I walked home from church one Saturday afternoon, after spending the whole morning writing scripts for our Sunday school’s upcoming lessons. I passed through Park Slope and debated if I should go to my favorite Chinese restaurant, Mr. Wonton. My stomach cravings got the best of me. I walked in and noticed a young, black woman, sitting in the corner, eating General Tso’s Chicken. She was alone. I was empowered by how carefree she was. I’ve eaten by myself before, but seeing her there, at that moment, reminded me how long it’s been since I’ve been a solo diner. I asked for a seat in the back of her, not to be a lurker but her area offered the best seating in the restaurant. I ordered shrimp fried rice and a shrimp roll. They brought over noodle chips with a bowl of duck sauce. I giddily enjoyed a delicious meal, and my fortune told me “If you can shape it in your mind, you will find it in your life…”
That simple moment led me to think about how content I was. I am single. I’ve been single for quite some time now, however it was the first time in my life where I didn’t feel shame about my singleness or even, complain about it. I love myself. I really do, and it took such a long time to get here but I am here. I don’t want to settle in a relationship. I don’t want to attract men with empty promises and an inability to be faithful. I don’t want to compromise myself anymore. I don’t want to lose myself either. I don’t want to give and not get the same back in return. I don’t want to feel alone, even though I have the title of a girlfriend. I don’t want to be worried about where my man is or why he hasn’t called me all day. I don’t want to question if he will feel the same joy that I feel about my birthday or Valentine’s Day. I don’t want to push my man to make more ambitious strides with his life without the same support from him. I don’t want to teach a man how to be a man. I’ve grown tired of it all.
My table was set for two. I looked at the empty seat in front of me, but it didn’t taunt me. It represented the ghosts of the many men that came before that just didn’t work out. It also represented the bright future ahead of me. I’ve given my love life to God. So while he does the work in me, I know there’s going to be many other times where I will be dating myself, and that’s okay. I am content in where I am right now because I know I am being prepared for a relationship that will last forever.