My journey through the Singleton Inquisition. Was there something wrong with me, going solo for so many years?

Photo credit: Cha Wilde

The Singleton Inquisition first came for me while I was shopping for skis at a Seattle sporting goods store. I was 29, and just out of a seven-year relationship, a breakup that precipitated a move from New York City back to my hometown.

A handsome outdoorsman with a full head…

I mocked late-marriers for taking their husbands' name — then I went and did it.

Just married and freshly named. Photo courtesy author.

When my husband proposed to me, I was 49 and never married. He was 57 and a widower. While the content of our lives would fuse, mingle and blend, one thing would remain the same: my name.

I always thought there was something a bit mutton-dressed-up-as-lamb about a middle-aged woman…

I want life to remain pretty much the same

Open for business. Sort of. (Photo by Narelle Mishel)

Today I’m fully vaccinated. Watch out world, here I come!….

(I wish you could hear how loudly my husband is laughing at this.)

As it turns out, I’m putting my toe very tentatively, slowly, warily back into . . . what exactly? — normal life? No. Gathering with people indoors…

What if children are the sages we try to return to as adults?

The young contemplator hosing down her brother. (Photo credit, author)

When I was about five, I’d sit in front of a mirror and stare at myself. Stare and stare and stare at a small brunette body sitting on the floor in front of a full-length mirror that ran the length of a bedroom door. …

A poem

Photo by author.

We’re all the same person, walking and wandering home —

look, the eaves how they slope into the cracked streets of

our neighborhoods. Cars drive over them — honk honk

to hospitals and offices, to restaurants and airports.

Small bodies slip into the world; more bodies roar out

while…

The Brits have streamlined the awkwardness of invitations with one word, and I want in

Fancy a cuppa? (Photo by author)

Consider, for a moment, these ordinary British phrases:

“Fancy a coffee?”

“Fancy dinner this weekend?”

“Fancy a run?”

Here in America, where I live, these questions would be posed differently. Watch the leads:

“Would you like to get coffee this week?”

or

“Are you free to have dinner on Thursday?”

To a life worth living, thank you beautiful world

It’s not fun being 30,000 feet in the air, but the views are spectacular. (Photo by author)

The second time I lived in New York City was short. Seven months compared to the previous seven years. I left for good in 1996. Between those two residencies, I spent three years living in Seattle, with all those trees, lakes, mountains, and accessible recreation. …

A few questions to crack the hard nut of “acceptance”

Photo by author.

If I could just accept myself for who I am. If I could just accept him/her/they for who they are.

Oh, the longing to be someone better — but consider:

What do we really want from a state of acceptance?

What does not accepting give us that is so hard…

There is no reason so let’s stop looking for one

The search can be endless. (Photo by author)

In my mid-40s, when I was still single after many years of being single; when I continued to hold a Never Married status in a society where people pair up and marry, I often turned to the big scratchy question of Why?

Why was I single? Was I not circulating…

Pick something, anything, and stop chasing your tail — right now

Flit, flit, what to do? (Photo by author)

It starts like this: a sunny Monday morning, the birds chirping, the air crisp, a fun weekend over my shoulder, a day filled with promise.

Then I go and ruin it.

Why? Because I spend too many hours wondering:

What to do? What should I do right now? Next? Writing…

Tatyana Sussex

Writer, coach, swimmer, late-marrier. Guide, companion, and explorer at the trailhead of Everyday Creative Coaching: www.everydaycreative.net

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