16 September 2008

seasons and gifts

If you've been "a regular" here for awhile, you know I discuss much of my life on this blog. I don't usually hold back. You may also know I've been dating this great guy, Barkley, and I don't talk about him a lot.

I remember returning to Seattle during my college years and sensing that saying "no," when I answered the "do you have a boyfriend" question was somehow the wrong answer as well as the abrupt end to the questioner's interest in my life and experiences. That may seem a bit harsh, but it was often my experience. As if my love life or potential partner was the only thing of interest to talk about. I often felt disgusted imagining that my worth was measured based on whether or not I was "linked" to another person romantically.

People don't intend this, of course. Our culture is in love with love, or at least overly interested in romance. (Have you noted all the "reality" tv shows about love, romance, & dating, for starters?) People want to hear stories of dating and romance. Especially if they are happily married, they want that for other people as well. But somehow, the conversation communicates that value exists if you are married, engaged, or otherwise dating.

(You may appreciate that at this very moment, my Itunes playlist landed on Barlow Girl's song, Average girl, with the lyrics, "no more dating, I'm just waiting...")

And I'll own that I am sensitive to this area. When I was giving leadership to small groups in a church setting, someone asked me why I didn't lead a group for singles. My response communicated that I wanted to know people from all aspects of life. I needed married people, families, singles, old, young, divorced, dating, etc. in my circle of community. They pondered what I would have in common with married people, and families. Perhaps overlooking the fact that I was born into a family and had married friends. But I digress.

It is a great honor to be single. This is not just a single girl trying to talk herself into contentment. I mean that the opportunities one has as a single person are great. Although all the responsibility is on one's shoulder as a single person, the freedoms are on offer as well. It is something I consider as a complete God gift, this single life. It is rich with community and opportunity and diversity. As much as marriage provides definition, singleness shapes and defines me.
Which brings me back to Barkley...although, be assured, this is no announcement. But some people wonder why I don't post about him more. I don't in part because he is more private than I am. As open as I might be about "my" life and adventures, it does not give me the right to be as open about "his" life and adventures, even if some of those adventures include me.

But he and I did talk about this blog. And he encouraged me to write more about him as appropriate. And so, as part of something else that is defining and shaping me, I give you, my Barkley. Tee hee. Okay, not really. But, I expect you'll see more of him on these pages. As he becomes more and more part of my heart and life, you may read more of that journey here, too. It is also a rich gift.


Jewels said...

Congratulations Gracie on a new season!

angel said...

i love your blog so much and i am so glad you write so much about your life i miss you so much dear friend i long to go out for coffee with you and talk and what not i hope that all is going well for you

Gracie said...

Aw J, thanks. As if this is anything u don't already know. :-)

Faraway Angel, won't u come back?? You are missed. Thanks for your kind comments. "Your" big ol blue mug is available for a cup o java anytime!

Karen said...

Hi Barkley! It's nice to see you on the blog at last!

Karla said...


Dan said...

Looking forward to getting to know him.

Rachel said...

Yaay Barkley! Can't wait to read about your adventures together!

Lana Baker said...

SAHWEEET!I just knew something was up...you have a little extra "spark" these days!Nice to know a bit more about your guy.We will check the blog frequently for more future dish about B-man!