Real Talk: Being Single

As I’ve been hanging out in New York City for the last few weeks, I recently decided to make a reservation for one at a popular and busy dessert restaurant. After spending countless hours holed up in my friends’ apartment clocking my work hours and hustling over a new project (that I can’t wait to share with y’all soon!), I decided it was high time to take myself out for a sweet treat. So I made the 1.5 mile walk across Central Park toward the restaurant, ready to devour all things chocolate, only to end up slightly salty about a comment that was made to me by a waiter. As I was sitting down, he motioned to the empty seat and asked, “Where is your second person?” to which I kindly replied, “oh nope, it’s just me!” He half-smiled and said, “Oh, okay . . . well, enjoy.” That was one thing in itself, but then as I was leaving, he made sure to say to me over his shoulder, “hopefully next time there will be someone with you!”

While I don’t think there was any ill-intent in that this particular situation, I know that his comment could have been taken one of two ways: maybe it was said in kindness because it seemed like there should have been someone with me (like I’m cute and should have had a guy with me, or at least a friend), or that he was annoyed that — at the peak of their busy time of the day — they would only be serving one person/one meal instead of a “full party.” Sine I truly believe it was the former, you should know that I wasn’t personally offended. I have done so many things on my own at this point that a meal is pretty basic, and the truth is that I am totally comfortable taking myself out as I have learned over the last few years to truly enjoy my own company. What did take offense, however, was my not-so-slight justice complex, because all I could think was, “man, if I wasn’t as okay with being by myself, that could have really stung.” Which got me thinking even more that there are too many misconceptions around singleness, and — having been single for quite some time myself — there are a few things that I think need to be said about it from a single person’s perspective. And while I’ve confessed some things about singleness in the past, I’ve been searching for more: more truth, more guidance, and more encouragement for all of us as we, together, navigate the rapidly growing population of singles. But unfortunately, apart from this spot on message* (which I will reference many times in this post and encourage all of you to listen to ASAP), I haven’t come across much that suffices, thus I find myself here once again, sharing my heart on something that can be uncomfortable to talk about bluntly: singleness.

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Your Calling: Do It Scared

“Calling” can be such a daunting, pressurizing word nowadays, and it can feel like the questions that we’re constantly being asked, or asking of ourselves, sound a lot like: what is your life’s calling; what do you feel called to do; and to what, whom, and where are you being called?   We spend so much time trying to figure out just what in the world our calling might be, asking God to reveal the things He wants us to do, searching our hearts to recognize our gifts and passions, and then attempting to piece it all together into something that maybe — just maybe — reflects what we should be doing with our lives.  But what if the idea of “calling” is much more simple than we think?  What if it has less to do with what we do and more to do with who we are in Jesus and where He has placed us?  I am not an expert by any means, but if there is anything that I’ve learned in my almost thirty years of life, it is that we are really good at complicating the things of God.  I have come to believe that the whole idea of calling is really quite simple, because if we look into Scripture, there are really only a few things that we are all called to do: to love God, to seek Him with all of our hearts, to love our neighbors, and to make disciples. I believe that this is our general call as believers, and regardless of what we do with our lives vocationally, these are first and arguably most important things that we are called to do.

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How to Plan a Solo Trip

Since returning from my adventure around Europe, I’ve found that I get asked on the regular about the ins and outs of planning a solo trip. From saving the money to how to stay safe while traveling solo (and everything in between), I’ve loved being able to answer so many different questions around the practicalities of planning a solo holiday. While I am no expert, I do have a few trips under my belt now — both within the states and abroad — and I have learned a lot around the practicalities of planning a solo trip, especially from making some mistakes along the way, so I wanted to round up some of the most important tips I have collected as I’ve planned and executed both short and long-term solo trips. So whether you are going away for four days or four months, here are some of the things you should keep in mind when planning a solo trip of your own.

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Travel Guide: Paris, France

Paris was easily one of the cities I was most looking forward to spending time in while I was in Europe, as it has been near the top of my travel bucket list since I was sixteen. And let me tell you: it was well worth the wait. Despite meeting other travelers along the way who had expressed that Paris was overrated, I refused to lose my wide-eyed wonder and excitement for the city of love… and it did not disappoint, as I fell in love hard and fast. Six days hardly felt like enough time — as I’m convinced that I could have spent many more days wandering the charming streets and arrondissements that make up metropolitan Paris — and yet they gave me enough of a taste to know that I will definitely return some day. And while there are so, so many things you can and should do if you find yourself in Paris, I wanted to compile a short list to get you started. So here is a little guide for your (hopefully) next weekend getaway in Paris…

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