Table for One

A petite Filipino female in her early 20’s enters a Japanese restaurant. She has wavy, shoulder-length, black hair, tan skin, and oriental eyes. The hostess greets her and sets her at a table for two by the window. The Filipino female looks at the menu briefly, orders a bowl of ramen, then proceeds to bring out her journal, in which she scribbles furiously for five minutes or so. When her ramen arrives, she utters a silent prayer, and begins to eat at a leisurely pace, occasionally putting down her chopsticks and soup spoon to add a line or two to the open page on the table.

This is me. Not a lot of people would eat at a restaurant on their own, but I actually find solace in so doing. Ditto with movies at the cinema—even if it does tend to get cold without anyone sitting beside me. I find equal pleasure in the company of my dear friends as I do in the company of my own thoughts. And if I could afford it, I’d be living in my own apartment rather than the guest room in my parent’s house at this very moment. I’m 24 years old and I have had “no boyfriend since birth”. And I’m pretty happy too.

There’s this urban legend that leads people to believe that single individuals live lonely existences, but I find that life has been far from sad or mundane. Yes, there are moments of despair, moments when you just need someone to sit beside you and, in their silent support, remind you that you are loved. But that’s what friends and family are for. Sometimes, even a classmate or co-worker or complete stranger will do the trick (without them knowing it). And every single time, no matter where you are or what situation you’re in, whispering, “Dear Lord…” to the air has a magic of its own that puts the most weary soul at ease. Then you realize that, single or not, you’re never alone.

When you’re single, you learn to stand on your own. You learn to take care of yourself and of the people you love. You also learn to ride public transport while balancing your luggage. And if you’re a single female, then you might as well learn a few self-defense tricks as well. But when you’re single, you also learn that, sometimes, you still need to ask for help. You also need to go on “dates” or have serious, “Let’s talk” moments. You still need to learn to manage your time, and you still need to figure out and stand by your priorities. Though I’ve never been in an official romantic relationship, I have deduced that the character traits one needs when he/she is single are traits which people in relationships shouldn’t do without either!

I love being single. I’m a closet romantic and would love to get married and have a wonderfully imperfect family one day—on the right day. When I’m ready, and when the person God wants me to be with is also ready. I’m not “waiting”; I’m just living my life every day in the way I can. My theory (which was reinforced by my favorite children’s book, “The Missing Piece Meets the Big O”) is that preparing myself for eternal life is also the best way to enable myself for married life. And if the latter never comes, well, we all know the former is undoubtedly the best future there is. So I’ll just sit here at my table. There’s space across me, but it’s cozy enough for one.


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