on life choices and being single

today, i got to think about choices. it’s not only in big life events that we get to make choices – even in our daily lives, we are faced with a thousand and one options. coffee or tea? scrambled or sunny side-up? cream cheese or jam? but most of the time, it’s not as easy as that. sometimes, the you choices you make can change the course of your life (although the destination is arguably the same).

for instance, when you’re still single and you’re almost 30, you have to make a choice whether you want to stay single forever or put yourself out there so you could catch a potential mate. (the latter, of course, is easier said than done and still depends on certain circumstances.) and when you do make the choice of living “alone” for the rest of your life, you have to be prepared to make a choice whether to forgive and forget or wage war when people judge you for making such decision. 

society tends to do that. especially since the influence of catholicism is very strong, the norm is to “go forth and multiply.” so when you are not in any sort of romantic relationship, which makes it hard to procreate (unless you go the “test tube” way a la j.lo in “the back up plan”), your day-to-day choices that don’t take into consideration a husband/wife and children will always be viewed as shallow and selfish. (like how carrie bradshaw has been shamed just because she chose a life filled with several pairs of manolo blahnik shoes over a life of poopy diapers, pta meetings, and play dates.) 

and i see the problem with this kind of thinking that is very common in a society that puts high regard on marriage and views being single around the age of 30 as “abnormal.” it’s suffocating, not to mention shallow. what’s wrong with choosing to spend your waking hours on a career that makes you feel fulfilled as a person? what’s wrong with spending a fortune on vacation trips that immerse you in life-changing experiences? what’s wrong with going to the spa or to the gym when you’re there to take care of yourself? just because you don’t have a crying baby who would die if you don’t feed him pronto doesn’t mean you don’t have responsibilities in life.

because i believe that married or not, we all have something/someone to take care like their life depends on us. if your parents are still alive, you have them to look after and support (if they are financially incapable of supporting themselves). and even if they are rich, they still need you to do things that their aging bodies alone can’t anymore do (like going to the doctor). or if your parents aren’t around anymore, you can always join organizations that help the less fortunate. (they aren’t necessarily running short of helping hands, but they definitely won’t say “no” to more free services.) “tayong lahat ay may pananagutan sa isa’t isa,” as the song goes.

i wanna end by saying that marriage isn’t necessarily the happier option. and neither is singlehood. the happier option is always that which will make you feel at peace with yourself.