Where the green dress travels has been such a wonderful passion project for me. When I started my blog almost a decade ago I thought I had to be funny, tell a good story, and keep it light for people to want to read what I had to say. Then years ago, when I brought that dress in my backpack for no good reason to hike to Havasu falls & camp, it was pure stubbornness and feeling some kind of way about an internal struggle I was having between being feminine and also athletic and outdoorsy. Writing about and discussing it helped me, and in turn I was blown away that others read and were encouraged by what I wrote. It’s still my most read blog post and somehow has been clicked on by almost a thousand of y’all. Since then, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing my green dress posts because they are the ones that for whatever reason touched me and I felt overwhelmingly compelled to tell others about. Women’s rights in Morocco, daily life in Cuba, elephant camps and conservation inThailand, and personal travel struggles, it’s all in those posts that came pouring straight out of my heart.
And now here I am again. I’m packed in a backpack on a plane to Chile to do a 85 mile, 8 night camping trek. Once again, I’ll be hauling everything around on my back & every pound counts. But, you guessed it, the dress is there. I have a slightly matured empowerment message to share this time though.
I’m 33 1/2, I’m veryyy single with no prospective husband in the near future, and have no children. I’m from a small town in Tennessee, so of course it was assumed I’d have a white picket fence and 2 to 3 kids playing alllll the youth league sports by now. 95% of my childhood and college friends are right smack there.
BUT I DON’T. And maybe I won’t. And at 33 1/2 I’m pretty comfortable as an individual. I know what I want, I know what I have to offer those prospective partners, and I’m certainly not afraid to be by myself. Actually, what scares me the most is how comfortable I am being alone. But through that I’ve learned to respect and like myself, majority of the time, and hopefully that will make me a better lifetime partner if it’s in my cards.
My point to all of this is simply a reminder that it’s okayyy to not be on the same page as ‘everyone else’, and you shouldn’t be made to feel any less because of it. Be content and comfortable at your own pace. For me, my 30’s have been my best years and I attribute a lot of that to knowing what I’ll accept and getting rid of the waste. That applies to a lot of different aspects.
Do not mistake me, I am not rebelling here. I want to be on the bandwagon. Every time I go stag to a wedding or am the 7th wheel I’m aware that I’m single and do not want to be. But, these are things I hear on the regular: ‘I just can’t believe you’re still single’, ‘do you even try?’ or ‘they’ll come around when you least expect it’. My favorite is, ‘you travel too much to meet someone’ & ‘well there’s still plenty of time.’ You guys have no idea how often I field these kind of comments and have to fake smile at the good intentions. I know my friends who are happily married and do not want or can’t have children face a lot of parallels as well. Matchmaking and constructive criticism is always welcomed, but remember that sometimes these conversations and comments are taken to heart and can be taken as excluding, derogatory, and just rude. Or in the case of the two different grown men in one day last week who tried to tell me why I was still single (I’m too picky and travel too much) and what I kind of man I should be targeting (apparently a mature lower 40’s)… royally piss me off.
Going through all of the green dress travels has really helped to mold me into the confident woman I am now. Learning the challenges women are faced with in Morocco made me want to lift up my fellow females in my daily life. Seeing the difficulties of daily life for locals in Cuba taught me how little, materialistic speaking, I really need to be happy. The elephant sanctuary and sex trafficking rescue mission of Chai Lai Orchid in Thailand made me think about compassion in a different context. My first world problems of a disappointing first date shrink away in comparison and it’s just not a main priority in MY life, yet.
So I’m going to take pictures in my green dress on one of the most beautiful treks in the world because I damn well want to, and I’m going to tell you to be comfortable in whatever scenario you’re in where you might be or feel beat down. Most of all, I’m going to hope that I made one person feel a little taller and a little more comfortable in their skin by reading this, and maybe made another think twice before asking why on earth someone is single, doesn’t have kids, or didn’t fight for that relationship longer. Whatever the case, lets be kind and considerate to each other.
This is me in my very single 33 1/2 yr old skin after climbing up a mountain and feeling strong as hell.