The Background….

blog ads

Most of you who have been following me know that I am completing my Doctorate in Education.  What I have not discussed is the topic of my dissertation as well as how I selected the topic.  First of all let me state that my research is about the lives and lived experiences of single, professional African American women.  There was an interesting road that led me here.

A few years ago, more accurately several years ago, a good friend of mine invited a group of her female friends over to watch a documentary called SoulMate.  The documentary discussed the issues many single African American women face while dating and attempting to find a mate.  The documentary was interesting to say the least and it provoked much discussion throughout the evening.

Buy SoulMate Film on DVD

One of the things that struck me throughout the evening was how emotional the women in the room were about being single.  There were tears and laments about being single and at first I thought they were joking but I realized that they were serious and some of the women in that room were borderline depressed because they were still single.  On the way home from this ‘Girls Night Out’ I began to wonder how I felt about being single, and where my feelings came from.

I began to think about our pressures from society, from family and at times from peers to marry.  I also thought about how religious institutions also play a large role in how we are viewed as single, professional women in  a society where marriage is the societal norm, even though single, professional women are the largest and fastest growing demographic in today’s society.  To say the least there are topics for great discussion.  For the past few years this topic has been consuming my time.  As I get closer to completing my degree and defending my dissertation, I will be sharing more about what I have discover in my research and looking to have more discussion with my audience.

In the meantime, take a look at the website for the movie SoulMate.  The documentary was made several years ago, however it is very relevant today.  I encourage you all to take a look at the documentary make it a girl’s night and have an honest discussion with your friends about how you feel about being single and how it impacts your life and relationships.

Party Of One

single-ladies-girls-women-quotes-sayings-party

When I first moved away from home, it was difficult to adjust to being single and on my own.  There were so many things that I need to get used to, so many life adjustments to make that it was almost overwhelming.  As I began to adjust to what it meant to live on my own, I began to learn that it was truly a party of one.

I was raised in a multigenerational home.  This meant that you often had to wait for the bathroom, there were huge meals cooked everyday and finding a place of peace and quiet was often a luxury.  As a college student and later a young adult I got used to my grandmother moving everything you may have left in another party of the house in order to keep the house clean.  It didn’t matter if you moved to answer a call, eat or go to the bathroom.  If you left your things unattended in the living or dining room for too long they almost always ended up on your bed to be put away.

The first thing I did when I moved away from home was to leave change on the floor.  I know this sounds crazy, and left me add it was not a lot of change, but enough to see that it did not move.  This was a major win for me.  The second thing I did was to leave mail on the dining room table occasionally or leave my books in the living room.  (I was in grad school when I moved away from home).  I would smile every time I saw that my things were just as I left them.  One of the perks of having my own place.

The biggest adjustment was cooking.  I was used to cooking for several people so to adjust my cooking to accommodating just one person was not easy.  At the end of the week I often found myself throwing away too much food because the left overs were too much to consume and I would typically cook several different meals during the week.  It was an adjustment but eventually, I was able to not only learn to cook for one, but I began to allow myself to eat what I wanted when I wanted.  Dinner did not have to be the conventional meal, it could be a bowl of cereal or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a glass of milk.

Independent owned

Overall, it was one of the best times of my life.  Learning to live on my own and the ability to exercise my independence taught me a lot.  It helped me to grow and develop into the self-sufficient, strong woman I have become and it allowed me the opportunity to grow as an individual.  I also realized that there was nothing wrong with a party of one.  I realized that  I could be happy, independent, self-sufficient and successful and cook a meal for one.

I realize that a lot of people stay home with their parents and move out when the get married.  Or they may go away to college and come back to live with their parents after graduation.  There is nothing wrong with that.  Now that people are remaining single longer and delaying marriage until later in life it is not uncommon to find single women out here making it.  Surviving and self sufficient and doing what they have to do.  There is nothing wrong with a party of one.