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All My Single Ladies

In one hour, I am leaving for a ski trip with 8 friends…4 couples. I round the number to 9.  That’s right, I’m the 9th wheel.  My friends and I wanted to do something different this year for New Year’s Eve.  A 5-day ski trip up to Mt. Snow, Vermont sounded just right.

I am 32-years old and single.  Since I have been in New York, I have been on a marathon of dates. I used to call myself the Chronic Dater.

I have been to multiple weddings, from Orthodox to Hindu. Truly the full gamut of weddings, from castles to outdoor tents, from 1,000 guests to more intimate ones, traditional and progressive ones.  I have served many roles, from being the maid of honor to someone’s +1.

I can’t tell you the number of brunches, dinners, or wine tastings I’ve been to where my girlfriends go on and on, trying to understand the enigma of dating and men. “When should I text him back?” “I offered to pay half and he accepted. What does that mean?”

I have girlfriends that exchange articles and titles of self-help books they recommend, who put cryptic statements on social media tools about men they’re dating, who cry their eyes dry watching hopeless romantic films, I’ve listened to them as they unload their frustrations, and they certainly have been there for me, ”but, he said he loved me..”  I have songs that were put on repeat that I felt were exclusively speaking to me.

My point is I’ve been there.  I am there.  But as we ring in the New Year, will you join me as I own my singleness and carry on?


With a habesha family, it’s very easy to do something wrong.  For example, are you slouching right now?  It’s so easy, really, to shift a little from their pearl tracks.

If I ever forget that I’m single, my grandmother is sure to remind me, which means no prospects to help me bear her grandchildren.  And to say my parents are concerned is an understatement. According to my parents, I am too picky.  I blame them, really.  I grew up with parents that have shown me the definition of true, unconditional love.  I expect a man to treat me the way my mother is treated by my father. I’m not settling for less.

What I’ve learned is pressuring yourself doesn’t do any good for anyone.  Golden nugget:  Don’t allow your parents to interfere in your love life.  You are capable of choosing who you want to invest your time with.  Your other option, which I don’t advise, is to please everyone else but yourself.

Be at peace with being single.  Let that sink in.  I don’t think those that are in a relationship are nearly as obsessed with their current relationship status as you are about yours.  Be comfortable with some uncertainty and mystery in your life.

This is the time of year where people conduct self-assessments and change, improve, or challenge aspects of themselves.  This year, I challenge you to a new resolution.  I challenge you to just be yourself and love every ounce of it.

Be your own Santa and be good to yourself.  Press the reset button on how you see singlehood.  It’s an amazing feeling.  Change your perspective.  Enjoy it.  You’re single, and…and what else?  What else are you made up of?

I can’t tell you how many phenomenal habesha women and men I have as family members and friends.  We are some driven people.

If you look at your life goals and priorities, do you really have time to sulk or wait around for Mr. Right?  And remember, being single and loved is better than being taken and empty. Continue bettering yourself and be the best you can be.  You cannot withdraw the love you deserve without depositing more potential.  You have a purpose in this world, a passion, a dream to be fulfilled.  You cannot make a man love you, and even if you could, would you?  Focus on your dreams, your greatness, your success.  You have control over your own life.

I don’t want you to just read this.  I want you to believe it.  You have to truly believe that you deserve greatness, and that becoming a Chronic Dater, like I was, is a distraction.

This coming year, I ask you to start your own habesha recipe book, become authors, record that first album, train for that marathon, save for your dream home, travel the world, graduate, sell that invention, visit your family back home, become an entrepreneur, do what others fear in doing, network with purpose, apply for a better job, spoil yourself, love yourself, become a leader in your community, speak up more, start that non-profit, succeed, blossom and be full of health for Y2013. This is my ask of you.  And if you have time, go on a few ski trips.

Happy New Year to Eritrea and the World!

By Shigei Gebremedhin

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