Single Again… Do You Matter?

By Kenneth Stepp

Needed… Am I? I struggle with this thought daily. Most people who have had kids and raised them, look forward to the freedom after they are launched. The transition has not happened for me. I always had a purpose, I knew what my goals were and I knew my path every day. It isn’t like that anymore…

I wonder if the divorce took away that feeling of freedom for me. It never hit me I’d ever be alone. I was always surrounded by family. I can remember how nice it was on the off chance that I found myself alone in my home. The quiet was so nice. Now I’m alone most of the time and the quiet is just a painful reminder of my aloneness. I’m sure I’m not the only person who faces this.

After being single for 6 years and 10 months, I find myself feeling like an island most days. I’m out of touch with those who matter the most to me. And I feel lost as to what I should be doing to make my life feel it matters to anyone. The reality is, that to those I once mattered to I either do not or I matter far less and from a great distance. 

I remember almost 3 years ago I moved in with my roommate. She works all the time and has no time for anything during the week. I work from home so I found purpose in doing things for her. It’s different though. One day I was with those I loved more than life itself, the next day I was surrounded by strangers trying to find a way to fit in.

So, what is the fix? I’ve certainly spent enough time on this question and the answers aren’t satisfying at all. Spiritually I am trying to grow, emotionally I feel beat up most days, and physically, well, I’m getting older. Add to these that being single at a mature age is as crazy as anything I’ve ever been up against. 

Over the last few years I have tried and failed at love a couple of times, I have retreated back into myself several times, 3 times for an entire year each. I was created to be a partner, and I do it well. As a single person I feel scattered most of the time. The purpose I have today seems so much less significant than the purpose I had back then. My kids, marriage, and career took priority back then. 

I have had many over time, and I mean decades, tell me they were in a place like I find myself in today. My answer back then was always the same, give yourself away.  Give yourself away… I know when I am doing for others that I think far less about myself. I do try, but then my alone time hits and I’m stuck with just me, in my head. Perhaps I’m not great company or not great company for me. 

This article is looking more like a rant or a complaint. Maybe it is or maybe venting in writing is what was in order for me. It could be when I’m alone with my thoughts, this is what they look like. It’s not that my life is a bad one, I live in a nice house and have plenty to eat and do life on my own terms for the most part. I have friends that have lost far more than me and far more than I can imagine. I know homeless people who are hungry and will sleep sitting while leaning against a wall, if they sleep at all.

My life is what I created it to be. What’s missing is my partner. From both of us pulling the cart together to having another perspective and ideas from someone I love and trust. I hear from some singles that they are great alone. I hope they are being honest with themselves. I cannot say that is true in my life. I believe it would be amazing to have goals, plans, and journeys with the same person for years to come.  

Back to the question, do I matter? I believe the answer is yes. But in a very different way than in my memories. Am I needed? Finding someone with a need and helping them with their need answers that question. Do you see others? I can honestly say I can most days. 

I have met some amazing people since becoming single. Women, for the most part. They are strong and brave. They are survivors and natural fighters. From what I can see, they are the glue that holds so many others together. I’ve watched these overcomers do life on battlefields that would scare most of us guys to death. 

They matter and they matter to so many. Their purpose is in others. I’m following their lead as closely as I can, with what I have to work with. I’ll wrap this up with this thought. To matter to someone, be something to them. Give yourself away. Make others your purpose till there isn’t enough of yourself to worry about.

Do you matter? You do to me…