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A birthday present to myself
It’s my 35th birthday today and I have woken up alone.
Although some people might pity me or – if they are parents – feel jealous, in all honesty all I am feeling is relief. I’ve had such a hectic week, I don’t think I could cope with having one extra thing (person) to worry about.
In birthdays gone by, however, waking up by myself on my birthday made me feel more alone than anything else. My 31st birthday springs to mind. I was devastated about it and I think that had a lot to do with me not being where I wanted to be in any aspect of my life. Four years on and I’m feeling much more secure. So secure in fact that I’ve decided to launch a newsletter for single women, which is tantamount to getting a loud speaker out and yelling “I AM SINGLE AND HAVE BEEN FOR A LONG TIME!”
I’ve had the idea for this newsletter for a long time but was spurred on by the recent experience of baring my soul for a HuffPost UK article about the highs and lows of being the only single person in my group of best friends. It seemed to strike a chord if my various social media inboxes were anything to go by. The reaction was a curious mix of people who resonated with the parts of the article where I discussed the pain of feeling like I had been left on the shelf while others seemed to focus on the second half of it where I talked about how liberating being unattached can be.
The article also started conversations. There was the slightly awkward chat with my best friends when I confessed to writing about them, which ended up being a beautiful and open discussion. There were also multiple conversations with friends and perfect strangers about how little there is out there for single women and how what is published is often patronising or assumes every single person is desperate and miserable.
By creating this newsletter I hope to shine a light on the better quality stuff out there as well as adding my own voice to the mix. I also hope to showcase others by interviewing women who have experiences that I haven’t had or even roping them into contributing themselves if I can.
Launching the newsletter today feels particularly fitting and it really is my birthday present to myself. Ok, who am I kidding? I’ve already bought myself a sweatshirt and new underwear for my birthday! Treat ‘yo self, as they say.
Anyway, please do tell me what you want from this newsletter and I will do my best to deliver because actually, this is for you.
What has caught my attention this month
Full disclosure, Sarah Johnson, who wrote this, is a friend of mine but I don’t think I’m biased in saying it’s a really lovely and uplifting read. The way Sarah describes how she felt with so many weddings to go to is also extremely relatable.
This is a beautifully written personal essay on what it’s like to be single for 10 years from Rachel Thompson, who I often writes on the topic for Mashable. It’s from the end of August but it’s evergreen and deserves more attention, IMO.
This is the second episode of a new podcast series from freelance journalist Rachael Revesz. I loved how the women talked about the way some men can use money to belittle you (which frankly could be a sign of the beginning of financial abuse) but also discussed Slumflower’s recent controversial tweet about being a feminist in the dating world.
What has made me rage this month
This is from a US study (which you can read about here) and actually it doesn’t even surprise me but of course had me raging. I would love to see a similar study here in the UK. Do you think the results would be the same?
For those who don’t know, I’m Nicola Slawson, a freelance journalist based in London, UK. I don’t get paid to do this newsletter, but if you enjoyed it and would like to buy me a coffee, you can and I’d be very grateful. Or if you’re not able to do that, please share with your friends and encourage them to sign up!
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