Not to be biased….buuut this might be one of my favorite posts ever. Why? Bc IT’S MY LITTLE SISTER! Courtney and I are two and a half years apart and she is my best friend. We are different in many ways but also very similar. We constantly get asked if we are twins and we keep a tally on how often we get asked that on vacations. We knew exactly how to push each other’s buttons when we were little but it’s been so sweet to see our relationship grow stronger and stronger as we get older. I always tell people “Courtney’s really the older one” because that’s how I feel! She is wise beyond her years, wicked smart, witty and a go getter. She loves the Lord fiercely and is in His word daily. She’s fun, an adventurer and a loyal friend. She knows what to say and do to calm my anxious mind, always has the best advice. Anyways, I could go on and on about how amazing she is and all she’s accomplished (like how she casually just associate produced a feature film… like YES GIRL!) but I want you to read her story in singleness. But first, here are a few fun facts about her.
Age: 26 - as of yesterday!
Occupation: Grad Student at USC - Fight on!
Location: Los Angeles
Favorite thing about living in LA: The Palm Trees and Ocean Sunsets
Can’t Live Without: Coffee and Avocado Toast #basic but true (this chick eats it like every morning)
And now without further ado— my sister’s story in singleness, “Another One Bites The Dust”
When I first took a stab at this blog post, I was still living and working in Fort Worth, Texas. Last June, I moved out to Los Angeles for grad school. I’m always afraid of major change, but I occasionally force myself through it because I know the challenge will ultimately be good for me. In just 8 short months I’ve experienced shifts in perspective - particularly as it comes to singleness - that I never could have imagined.
I used to be constantly confronted with the reality that I was a 20-something Christian girl in Texas, and my single friend count could dwindle at any given moment. I was at a wedding recently that had a fun photo booth. One of the prop items I chose to sport in a photo is a sign reading "another one bites the dust." This phrase explains how I used to feel with each new engagement photo, relationship status, and wedding album I saw on Facebook... And there goes another one. If your newsfeed is as inundated with reminders of your singleness as mine is, it can be tricky to continue in confidence as a single 20-something. What's important to realize as you scroll is that for every engagement post, there are twice as many single girls out there seeing the same post, hiding behind their screens feeling just as discouraged as you. I would get panicked and desperate, my mind swimming with thoughts like "Should I get on a dating app too? Am I not putting myself out there enough? Are there ANY eligible bachelors left at my church?! Do I have to go ON The Bachelor now?!?!"
By no means am I endorsing a pity party. I’m just saying that you’re not the only one annoyed by yet another engagement announcement. But we also need to be careful of the pedestal we put the promise of marriage on. Marriage isn’t the ultimate goal in life. Our friends in relationships are not superior to us, and neither are we singles any better than them. Don’t idolize one status over the other. Let’s also keep in mind that the way we feel in singleness today may change tomorrow. It’s easy to get in a slump and think that things will never change. We often worry about whether a season we don’t like will ever end. We think that because something either hasn’t ever happened or has only ever happened a certain way that it will be like that forever. Friends, let’s all admit together that we know this isn’t really true. The only truly consistent thing in this world is Jesus. I don’t know about you, but as a single 20-something, Jesus has called me to a lot of change - including moving across the country last year.
Being single in LA is an absolutely different experience than being single in Fort Worth. In Fort Worth, it felt like everywhere I looked in my own demographic, there were couples. Everything felt so wedding-centric. Conversations centered around wedding planning, engagement parties, budgeting for bridesmaid dresses and bachelorette weekends, and navigating early years of marriage. Church sermons frequently called out married couples to love their single friends better. For all my CA friends reading this, I’m serious - this was what life as a single 20-something in Texas was like. Fast forward to life in LA… there’s hardly even a married couple in sight. Pretty much all of my friends are single; barely anyone is even dating. Churches have single dudes out the wazzoo and there are no surprise engagement photographers hopping out of bushes around every corner. The culture is wildly different and, frankly, it is much easier to be content in singleness here.
If you are familiar with the Enneagram, I should tell you that I am a proud type 5. If you are unfamiliar, READ UP ON IT because it’s a super great personality assessment that not only helps you feel understood but also helps you relate better to others. Anyway, type 5s are notorious for speculating, analyzing, researching, and diving into deep holes of information without ever doing anything practical about it. I chose my word for 2019 to be ACTION because I wanted to be better this year about actually DOING SOMETHING about what I want. Since moving, I’ve been frequently crippled by timidity and indecisiveness. I’ve watched opportunities come and go because I took too long to decide or I did not act quickly enough. You know the whole “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” thing? Yeah, I feel that on a v deep level. Every missed opportunity only sends me into a deeper spiral of insecurity and honestly, shame. I get so frustrated with myself and end up just wallowing in the fact that I’m a fraud who can’t actually do anything. At my best, however, I know I’m capable of learning and adapting quickly. When I’m put to the test, I can apparently pull off just about anything… including associate producing and managing a feature film production while in school without ever having worked on a film before, just as an example. ;) I’m worth more than my wallowing, and you are too.
I’ve been reading Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis and it’s been kicking me in the booty to really tackle this whole 2019 ACTION goal. She talks about taking risks and going for it without apologizing for being a little aggressive or intense about something you really want. Believe it or not, my advice to all my fellow single ladies (cue Queen Bey, plz) is to TAKE MORE RISKS. I don’t mean “put yourself out there more” like people always annoyingly say. (Seriously though, WHAT does that even mean?!) I mean do something EXCITING, DIFFERENT, CRAZY, SCARY. Sure, it would be nice to explore that city you’ve always wanted to go to with the love of your life, but why not just go see it for yourself? Sure, you might think that your Hallmark small-town-hunny is about to move to your city and find you in the produce aisle after you’ve been patiently waiting ALL THIS TIME. But I’m here to tell you that maybe it’s time you pick a new city, a new job, a new something and just GO. Pray about it, yes, but I do think that us 20-30-something singles are single for a reason. I think some people are meant to stay in the same city or state for their whole lives or marry early and that’s all fine and well. But I would challenge you to pray about whether God has called you to go, like in Matthew 28 and countless other passages in scripture. One of my favorite sermons from Pastor Jim Essian at The Paradox Church is about gospel goodbyes. I listened to this on one of my last days in Fort Worth while walking around TCU’s campus (and quietly sobbed from behind my sunnies). Pastor Jim talks about how bittersweet it is that we build community with people and then sometimes, those people leave, because God has a mission for them elsewhere. When I lived in Fort Worth, I prayed so earnestly for a heart for that city. Was God faithful or what, because leaving about tore me in half. I loved that city and those people like I would be there forever. I prayed for my coworkers, I served at my church, I volunteered in the community, and I enjoyed some of the finest patio happy hours in all of Texas. I freakin’ committed to Fort Worth and gave it all I had. If I hadn’t been single, who knows if I would have developed such a big heart for that city and those people in the way I did. When I got accepted to USC and chose to attend, I immediately started praying the same prayers for LA. I’ll say that LA is a little harder to grow such a big heart for and commit to in the way I did in Fort Worth, but I know God is faithful and has very special plans for me here.
Singleness can be hard. But remember that dating and marriage are hard, too. I’ve experienced discontentment in my singleness, but I’ve also experienced discontentment in my dating. Moving from Fort Worth to Los Angeles for school and work certainly affected my attitude on dating, from the shift in culture to the shift in my own priorities. Life ebbs and flows and if you’re still single out there, keep your chin up. Take that risk you’ve been thinking about for forever. I promise, you’ll only regret what you didn’t take advantage of during your time in singleness. God only knows what is in store for me in LA, but I know my singleness in Fort Worth prepared me well for it, and I know God wants to purpose you well in your singleness too. - Courtney Poey