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Singlehood and Perspective

by Claudine Sweeney
June 16th 2021
00:34:41
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Today we have a very special guest, Quinta Davenport, who is a dear friend and a licensed MFT. You'll get to listen in on Claudine and Quinta's conversation about perspective and living the single ... More

This is episode 80 one perspective in singlehood. You're listening to the Rise up and Shine podcast with Claudine and Ashley as an empty nester and a mom with young kids. We have both shared very similar and very real struggles from chaos to coaches. We now help other women live an authentic and meaningful life. So tune in weekly for girl talk and tips on how you too can rise up and let your light shine bright. This is the Rise up and Shine podcast. Yeah, good morning everyone. This is Ashley here today, we have something a little different for you. I personally have been with family for the last few weeks. My granny has recently fallen ill and has passed away. So I've been with my family. So today we actually have an awesome conversation with Claudine and a very good friend of ours and who is a licensed marriage and family therapist and so today they are going to have a great conversation with you and you're just going to be able to listen in and take some awesome tools and practical z to help you apply to your life.

So without further ado here is Claudine and Quinta, welcome back lovely listeners today, I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that Ashley is not with us today. She is off with family this week and so we miss her and I miss doing this podcast episode with her but the good news is we have a dear friend Quinta Davenport here with us today and Quinta is a marriage and family therapist trained and she's also the chief program officer of a local nonprofit, but what's really interesting about Quinta or different than Quinta is she is single. So we've gotten some feedback and obviously Ashley and I are married and have Children. So we typically share things from that perspective from the mary perspective and believe it or not, there is another perspective and that is the perspective through single eyes. So today I'm really fortunate and you are all fortunate to have Quinta here share some of her thoughts on her life and just different things.

We had a great chat before this. We probably should have recorded that, but I'm sure we're gonna get some good stuff for our listeners today. So welcome Quinta. Thank you so much for agreeing to do this. I know you know, it's different than the norm and you've agreed. And so here you are. Yeah, thank you for having me on. Yeah. So I was researching some statistics and in 1950, only 22% of the population was single and now at least the current statistic I could get was that it was over 50%. So you actually are in the majority and I as a married woman and now in the minority. So, um again, we've gotten feedback that we wanted to talk about that from different eyes. So let me start, we just have come through a tremendous um period unknown to most of us, which was the pandemic? The covid pandemic. So Quinta, Could you share a little bit how that was for you as a single woman? Well, honestly, um as we were talking earlier, a lot of my mindset isn't necessarily, I don't view things necessarily as how they affect me because I'm not married.

I think I just view them as how it affects me as a human being, right? So by nature, I'm an extrovert. Like, if you have to define me as introverted expert extroverts. So, a major challenge for Me when the pandemic 1st made it made itself known as I say, um is the disconnection from people like that was difficult for me because I I'm wired to get energy from people. So when I'm not in the presence of people over a significant period of time, it affects me, right? I often tell people um because of the organization I work with, I still went to work every day, right? So, okay, I didn't work from home and I was so grateful for that because I think, no, I know if I had to be alone 24 hours a day, that would not be beneficial for my mental health, right? So the fact that I got to go to work, I was I was grateful for that, right?

So going to work help me to maintain some semblance of normalcy. But honestly, after about a month of Covid being around, I was like, I need people. I I'm not doing well. Were you working at your place of employment the whole time? Or did you work from home in the very beginning? No. So probably 90 8% of the time. There was a small, very small, probably like two weeks small period of time where my boss, this I think when the numbers started to research, she was like, maybe we need to limit the number of people in the office. So for people who can work from home, they should not everyone in the organization can't because we serve people that live there, right? So, um, so I work from home maybe a handful of times. And it was very hard because one one because it was hard to stay focused on work. I'd be home and I'm like, oh, let me do some laundry. I'm like, oh, wait, no, I'm just be working, not baking cookies.

So my mind connects home with home. Yeah, home will work. Yeah, well, and that's that's great for you. But many singles were they had to work from home. And so they didn't have that opportunity to be with people because I know we we've shared, you know, we're wired for relationships. And so I believe Ashley and I did a podcast last year, I'm connecting. Creative connecting because so many people were stuck at home and what that does to people, especially if they live alone. I had the opposite problem. I'm not a problem, but my kids, a couple of them already lived on our property down in southern California and then another one moved onto the property as well. So all of a sudden I had almost all my Children background me and grandchildren. So there was no alone time. It was kind of the opposite. There was nowhere to go to be alone and you couldn't even go to your local Starbucks or the library because they were all shut down. So, um, so something I had to do was get creative with my ability to connect with people.

Right? So how did you do that? What are some examples? Everyone is different, right. So for for many people zoom was a lifesaver or is a lifesaver right? For me, um, I have a difficult time connecting over a camera. Right? So I I literally, I need to see you, I need to v and a human being's presence. So I was in the beginning, I feel like I'm gonna be such and such a place like a park or whatever, right? And if you happen to show up, I won't be upset. So in socially distance. Right? So have dinner in a park, you know, with our launch here just to have that human connection or you know, going for prayer walks on a trail where you can still distance yourself, but still have that human connection was very beneficial for me in those earlier months of Kobe.

Yeah, Well that's great that you got creative, you didn't make an excuse because, oh no, I'm single and I can't go out and I can't do anything. You had the wherewithal within you to go after what you knew you need it. And that's a great example of great practical. Um, you know, it's funny this morning, I I were on the road. Many people, many of our listeners know that while Pat and I are waiting for our house to be done. So we've been on the road. So I've been together with him night and day 24 7 for about two months now, nine day, like there is no place to go and he is camping with our oldest son and his cousin in the mountains for two days and it was like alone time. And I was like, this is so exciting. And I know for me as a married woman sometimes I think, oh, must be so nice to have all this alone time, like no one else talking. So, but I would imagine as a single, sometimes we can see things the other way. Like it would be so nice to have someone to come home to.

Yeah, That's 100% accurate. Right? Um, I really think it's a, the sweet spot is balanced, right? Yes. Anything in life, All of one thing, whether it's a good thing or a negative thing is not healthy, right? So ice cream is great. But if I eat ice cream every day for five hours a day, then it's not great, right? So a long time is great. But if I'm alone 24 hours a day, it's not great. Or if I have no time to be alone, that's also not great, right? So I'm uh like I was saying before finding that balance I know for me it has been a challenge. Um as of recently, like the, the amount of a long time, like I was saying right on when the pandemic first, like really first started, like it was like, oh, two weeks, we're gonna shut down. That Yeah, I was like two weeks, I enjoy my own company and I enjoy other people's company words.

So I'm cool with that. But then when it became months I was like, oh no, no, I can't from my own company is a month. Um it was, it has been challenging. I realized a couple of months ago, a lull in my was my internal, I don't even know the word contentment. Okay. My internal contentment at certain points of the day and what I realized the connection was coming home from work And waking up in the morning. Those were the two points of the day where I really kind of felt like a sadness, like a low key sadness internally because um so being at work, my mind is very active, active, active, right? And then I get in the car to come home to not active, right? So, right with that connection, Like, oh, not that I enjoy, I enjoy my home, but but just the idea of coming home to be alone like that, that was challenging, right?

Or for in the mornings like waking up, oh, it's a reminder you are alone, right? So it's those uh I found out those two points of the day have been challenging. Yes. Well, and you know, you and I you and I talked earlier, but the pandemic really was a loss. It was a loss. There was so much grieving. Um we lost what normal was. Mhm. Yeah, so we were talking, I was, I was saying how I've come to realize that normal, how normal is really anything that you do for an extended period of time, right? When the pandemic first started, you know, you would often hear people say, oh, I can't wait to go back to normal, can't wait to life goes back to normal. And that's because how we did life then that's what we knew right then. And ships had to be made and how we quote unquote, did life, Right? And so you weren't going out two restaurants or bars or wherever, right?

What to do kind of got really, really small. So, and we've been doing that for over a year. So in some respects that this is now normal, right? That I don't spend as much time with people. Yeah, I don't I'm not as active. Maybe as I might have been previously. Uh, my connections with people might not be as rich as they were previously. Right? So, and a lot of respects that has become normal. So I even think the idea of now that we're kind of coming out of Kobe, whatever that means, Right. Right. Um, the world is opening up more. I even think that's my register as a loss to some people because is another shift, right? Yes. Life has become quote unquote normal for the past year, 14 months, whatever amount of time has been and now we're making another ship. Yeah, it sounds weird, but that can off that can also feel like a loss right now my life is being shaken up again even though we probably, most of us probably do that as positive.

Yeah, I get to do more stuff. But still, internally, it can feel like a loss because it's a shift in life. Well, so funny you say that because we were recently in Idaho and so they did not have the mask mandate anymore. They had removed it and released it right before we got there. So we were going into all these stores without our masks and that felt really weird after 15 months. It felt really weird and I remember chatting with some friends and I'm thinking, well it's weird that I feel weird, you know, it was like there was this weirdness that I felt weird about not wearing a mask because that had been the new normal for over a year and now it's like nervous. I was like, are we breaking the rule? You know, I'm a total rule follower. Usually I'm kind of an out of the box we will follow, I like to follow the rules, but I like to get out of the box too, but it's not really weird and when you talk about the new normal, it makes a lot of sense. So Quentin tell me what else was a challenge for you during the pandemic, yep. So I don't necessarily know this is related to pandemic.

I really don't feel like it's related to pandemic. I just think it just happens to line up during a pandemic, but something I been experienced for a little while um is this really learning how to deal with feelings of hurt, hopefully relates to God and and similarly to human beings, right? So if you feel hurt by human beings, you likely want to withdraw from them, right? You don't want to be connected to them because you feel hurt by them, right? A few months. I really learned a lot about my relationship with God as it relates feeling hurt, right? So, I was talking to my husband and I were talking earlier and I was like um the words I used, I was like when God hurt me and I had to correct myself like, well no, I didn't hurt me when I felt hurt. All right. Um, it's a big lesson that I've learned in that area is really learning how to line up my definition of things with God's definition of what I mean by that.

I think big part of what I felt hurt by was this idea that I felt like God wasn't blessing me quote unquote with things that actually be blessed with, right? And I was in a bible group a while ago and the topic was about mary mm jesus mother and how when the angel came to her, he called her blessed and highly favored. And so the a large part of the discussion was on how we do have people, how we define blessed and highly favored and how often our definition of blessed and highly favored does not align with God's definition, right? As people were like, oh, I'm black. You just talk to people, I'm blessed because you know, I have a home, I have a car, I have a job, I have family, whatever, right? I have themes often how we define whether or not we're blessed favored by God and relax those things.

Our mind can go to this idea. Well, God must not care. Obviously. Here look, I don't, I don't have a job. How can God care or I desire kids? And I don't have them. How can God care? Like, yeah, mom can go to doubting God's goodness because of things we don't have, that. We think we should have and well someone, we're talking about mary and how the angels calling her blessed and highly favored. But if you really look at mary's life and all the challenges she went through as a human, you probably wouldn't be like, oh yeah, married. She was blessed and highly favorite based on the things she had because she went through some really challenging is going to work. It's wrong. The word really hard, really difficult times in her life, connected to her son, connected to her own personal um journey. And but still God says she was blessed and highly favored. So that got me thinking there must be some other definition that God is using that I'm not right now, we have to shift that in my mind and decide, okay, I'm gonna I got to look at life through my calling my spiritual lenses, Right?

That's a great point. I think about what I think about this scripture in first Corinthians seven, in the message version, it says, I want you to live as free of complications as possible when you're unmarried, you're free to concentrate on simply pleasing the master marriage involves you and all the nuts and bolts of domestic life and wanting to please your spouse leading to so many more demands on your attention. And you know, that's that's a scripture, whether people like it or not like it. It's there, it's in the word and that's one standard, so to speak, where the world teaches us really that to be married is the ultimate, at least. I felt that my generation, I really felt like getting married was the end all. In fact, my parents sent me to a very affluent private girls school in Los Angeles for six years and I really felt like I just wanted to get married and have six kids. I think I'm the product of watching too much brady bunch and I really thought that would be my life, I just want to get married and have kids.

And my dad was really like, that's what you want to do, like we're sending you to school, don't want to be a lawyer, don't you want to be a doctor. And for me, all I wanted to do is be married. I thought that was the end all and of course, you know, once we get married, many of us are like, oh, this is very different than what I thought it was different. Not at all a negative outlook on marriage because I'm grateful to be married, but it's funny how that was kind of for me, the end all like, and again, many years ago, it was far more common. We didn't have as many single women and I was a single mom for a year. So that again, not quite like mary couldn't claim that I was highly favored blessed by God, I ended up that way in my own doing single and pregnant, but it wasn't the norm that wasn't the standard wasn't highly regarded at that time. So I appreciate that perspective, that what we choose, um what we choose to make our standard or focus on. I like the spiritual lens that you say can shift our perspective.

And I even think about our primitive brain for thousands of years. It was wired. It still is, it's wired to survive. But for thousands of years as women, we had to in effect latch onto a man to help protect us from the lions and tigers roaming out there and to recreate appropriate. So there is this wiring in us To be partnered up. But now since the 50s we have this prosperity in women are now able to get great jobs and support themselves and there's a lot of quality. So it has shifted. It's not a curse to be single. It's not a blessing to be married. And I love that you shared that just the spiritual lens of it. Yeah, I think, I don't know, I'm making a big generalization, but most, most people that I know that are not married. The view is not their perspective is not necessarily necessarily um, uh, that marriage is the promised land, right? Yeah, writes like that marriage is, is like, oh, this mecca and invite you to get to that mecca, life is fabulous, right?

I I think there are some people that have, you know, because I'm making a blanket. Yeah statement. But there are some people that might have the mindset. But I think the large majority of being, even speaking for myself, um for me, marriage represents partnership and that's, that's why it's desires. Um to me it doesn't represent completion of me as a person. Doesn't represent um someone taking care of me because I can't take care of myself, doesn't represent those things for me. Um it represents partnership and I think this might just because I'm wired, but like I said, all people are wired to connect other people, right? So for me it's just another way to connect to another human being, right? So it's not a life or death situation, right? So, right moment. It's not like, oh, life, I can't exist, right?

It's just different. It's just a different way of connecting to another person. Um that I desired a connection I desire to have. Right? So that's kind of how I be marriage as a a new partnership to be formed. Right? We we formed lots of partnerships, right? When you start a business, right? It's like, oh, you formed a new partnership or starting a new job, a new partnership with your colleague. Right? So marriages my mind just another partnership. Yeah, will be full. I have. Yeah, it definitely has its eyes, of course the other day, my husband, I were trying to discuss furniture and decorating ideas in the house. And a few months ago he gave me carte blanche, you can do whatever you want inside the house, you've waited so long you can do. And then two days ago he started changing his mind. I'm like no, we've already had this discussion. So I was like, oh gosh, single people like they don't have anyone to, you know, stop their decision making process and like that must be nice, you get to do whatever you want, whenever you want, whatever.

But anyway, that was just one instance of that. But it's interesting you said about being able to support yourself and I know in my many years and having lots of women friends, I'm married, some single, I think age and finances has something to do with it too because I remember many years ago I had a friend who is married and they were separated and the primary reason she went back, which is sad to say it was not out of love or respect, but out of I can't make it on my own like financial, I will not have the life that I have because a lot of us like myself as well, early on, we gave up careers, we gave up a lot of things or you know, willingly to be home and raise our Children, many of us. So now if you're in your forties, fifties, sixties and you're on that end now you're like, okay, you know, I'm kind of stuck, which is an unfortunate thing and I don't know why I'm diverging here because this really isn't our topic, but I know that finances and um age and I have another friend who's a bit older than I am, who's single, and really worried about the future, like what happens if I get sick, what happens if all these things?

So there's a lot of other factors that play into it, but I love your perspective of a partnership, it's a really healthy way to look at marriage. And even when you were talking about um feeling hurt by God, I know certainly I've been there many, many years and I've shared this online, but you know, having a spouse helps balance that at times, like when I was really going off the deep end, he of course tried to help me, but then when I was really going off the deep end, he was close enough to pull in other people to help me because I was really not doing well spiritually, my relationship with God was faltering because I felt so deeply hurt, I'm married or single. We're going to have those feelings when we have expectations and we thank God, if you love me, you'll bless me, that's not a single or a married. Um feeling that's a human feeling like you were saying, I mean, some of these are human needs, they're not single needs are married needs, and so I appreciate you sharing that. You've kind of gone off the deep end, he can help balance that, that's a great example of what I'm referencing what I say, the partnership, right, right, so when you're as an individual, you got you and you got got, you got, you know, you got other people, but You don't got other people at 3:00 AM, right?

We go in the morning, you got you and God, right? Um, so, like I'm saying, I think that's a great example of the partnership I'm talking about even like spiritually, your partner helping walk in this spiritual journey together as partners in in really helping each other achieve whatever, trying to achieve spiritually. Yeah, I think there's, you know, the great thing is you've brought it up, but it's mindset nationally, and I talk a lot about mindset on this show, I mean we talk a lot about our neural pathways and the thoughts that can strengthen those and even those and single or married isn't the issue, it's really our mindset in our perspective on our current position, whether we're single or married, and it can be a blessing both ways. It can be a curse both ways, depending how you view it. Certainly times in my, almost 33 years of marriage, I felt like it was a curse. There were times, I didn't like my spouse very much and I just thought, oh my, you know, sisters occurs, how am I going to make it, but I had Children.

So I stayed now we're on the other side of that hill and I'm enjoying it, but there are times to being single that this freedom to pursue your interest, undivided attention, you know, undivided. Um, like that scripture said, you're not your demands on your attention. And I think even with myself, I have four kids. So my piece of the pie guy got divided by six. I had six people including myself that I had to figure and help with their needs and give attention to. And so sometimes the blessing of being single is that there are times to self developed. So if there's any single listeners out there, this is your time to shine. This is your time to thrive. Make the best of it. Don't wait thinking that marriage is the end all that's not the end. All that's a partnership in a partnership like a business or any partnership is going to have troubles of its own. I was sharing with Quint earlier, but with Ashley sometimes with recording, she's my tech savvy one and I'm always too noisy and making too much noise. She's always getting on me.

You're rattling your paper, You're rattling your pin, You're clicking. You know, our little partnership, there's always going to be little things that's very slight, but there's always something that we can point to each other at, in a partnership. Yeah. And I think I think you make a great point. Something I've very grateful that I learned many years ago is really, um not to sit in my singlehood waiting for something that happened. Really. I'm gonna live my best life. That's right. No matter what my marital status is, right, or no matter what anything is right, I'm always gonna try to live my best life. Always gonna try to be the best version. We hear this a lot be the best version of me that I can write, I'm gonna develop. I'm gonna travel. I'm gonna enjoy like, I'm going to do things I've never done before. And if a partner comes great, we're going to continue to do those things together.

But I'm not waiting until I have this partnership mm to enjoy the life that God has given me. Right? So, that's really then my conviction for a really long period of time. Right? So, I'm gonna as they say, I'm gonna do me Yeah. If And when a party comes along, great, That's like the cherry on the cake. I also helped make this analogy about cake and cherries, Right? And this applies to many years of life. But in terms of what about being single right now? But um, sometimes we view marriage as or relationship as the cake. Right? Right? Really? It's the cherry on top, right? Is the cake, right? If someone gave me a piece of cake without a cherry I would not be like, get a kick out of here. There's no cherry. And I'd be like, cake sharing on it. But even if there isn't, I still want the cake, right? And that's kind of how you like, right?

Life is the cake. Marriage is the cherry on top. I still want the cake. There's no cherry on it, right you want. But if there isn't a case, still cake, that is a phenomenal perspective. I love that. So if anybody is listening and struggling with their singleness or trying to figure out how to rise and shine in their singleness. That is a phenomenal analogy. The cake. That's right. Life is our cake. And if we're married, that's just the cherry. You're right. I'm still having that cake. I'm going to have that cake and enjoy the whole cake. Whether there's cherry on it or not. Well, you've given us a lot of practical and I want to just recap for our listeners if because you've given, you've given us so many cherries on the cake, quinta, I'm hearing, I'm left and right. But one of them that I'm getting loud and clear is mindset. It's really perspective and mindset and how we think about our circumstances going to determine how we feel and singleness is neutral. It's not a good thing or bad thing. It's just neutral. Just like marriage is it's not a good thing or bad thing.

It just is it is what it is. But our perspective on in our thoughts on it are going to determine how we feel about our situation and how we behave that's going to determine that. And that's going to give us the results and we can have this great cake of life whether we're single or married or we can just be looking at crumbs going, when is my cake coming? When is my cake coming when you already have it. So I appreciate that. That's a great when our mindset, The second one is you said, I love how you shared about being wired for relationships and I think married or single, it's up to us to pursue those relationships like our friendships. Um I know for me I absolutely I'm married and he's a great support to me. But it's also my relationship with women with my women friends that really helped hold my arm up and like you, I am not a great fan of zoom. This has not met my relationship needs. I don't know how much oxytocin has been released in this hug list society of ours in the last year. I'm missing my oxytocin, but relationships are key really going after those and no one does that for you.

My husband does not go make my relationships for me single or married. It's up to me to make those relationships happen. Really deep supportive women relationship and that's our own responsibility. Um the other one I loved is he said having a spiritual lens and I love that because you know, the world can throw a lot of standards at us that aren't necessarily true or right. And when we get God's perspective on and we start holding his standard to our eyes. We can really feel that contentment that you were talking about when, when we're not feeling content, we're probably looking at things through the wrong lens. So getting back our spiritual glasses on and seeing things through God's eyes will really help um that contentment that comes single or married. I mean we all struggle that I struggled that I struggle with loneliness even as a married woman that can happen. And the last one you said, which was great, which I need to remember is balance. Finding that balance, whether you're single or married, we have to find a balance of that refreshing time of aloneness where we recharge and reconnect.

I'm an introvert so I recharged when I'm alone. So I've been on this road trip for traveling for almost two months over two months, so there's not a lot alone time like 24/7. So I have to get creative to find that balance. We even talked about maybe when we get back, maybe I'm going to take a few days and go away by myself just to recharge because that's what I'm feeling right now. It hasn't been balanced. So I appreciate you bringing up the balance of it all. So Quentin do you have any parting words for us? Any, any words of encouragement to share with our listeners go live your best life something I decided to do last week or two weeks ago? Every month. I'm gonna do something I've never done before. Right. Uh novelty and life is really important uh because you just go on your date yet. I do this. Do that life kids living in yeah, boring and monotonous and black luster. Right, So I think doing novel, they're doing new things great importance.

So I love that. So great, great words of encouragement. Quinta, thank you for being with us today. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and single or married. This is all of our time to rise up and shine. And until next time take care.

Singlehood and Perspective
Singlehood and Perspective
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