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afternoon ramblings ~ some overly contemplative stuff balanced out by shallow fashion talk

Processed with MoldivThe other day, a dumb boy asked me the ridiculous question, “Why are you still single?”  If I had a date for every time I’ve been asked that question, I’d be happily married with five children by now.  And okay, this boy isn’t dumb, he’s nice.  But the question is dumb.  Nevertheless, it got me thinking.  On top of that, the end of the year and the mirage of all things new on the horizon always turns me into a deep-thinking, super-reflective {as in, reflecting on the year and my life, not sparkly-shiny-reflective – although that happens this time of year, too}, nostalgic, hopeful-yet-ever-more-cynical-as-the-years-go-on mess.  My birthday just happens to be New Year’s Eve day, so each year end, I get a double dose of closing out one chapter and starting another.  And I love it and I hate it.

This year, however, seems a little different and I’m going to attempt to put it into words for you.  {Aren’t you so excited?  Didn’t you long to spend your Monday afternoon reading an overly deep-thinking blog post??}  As I mentioned above, I have become a bit more cynical each year since turning thirty, I think.  It might have started before that, really.  But I was generally pretty happy and hopeful about life {in spite of some big life tragedies I had experienced before then} through my thirtieth year.  But somewhere along the way, before my thirty-first birthday hit, I started on a downward spiral that I feel like I finally started to crawl up from this year, at last.

I will spare you the depressing details and such {but if you poke around the blog posts from, say, 2011 through 2013, I’m sure you can find lots of cheery anecdotes}, and skip right to the good part about the upward climb back to peace and hope.  Basically, the answer to the dumb {or maybe not so dumb} question above – the dreaded, “Why are you still single?” question – is what has made me realize the new heights I’ve reached in my climb this year.

You see, I finally think I have an actual, non-sarcastic, non-evasive answer:  Because I wasn’t ready.

And maybe I’m still not ready.

The fact that I can realize, acknowledge, and admit this – well, it’s kind of a huge deal.  But it’s the truth.  And now I see it and I want to talk about it, which is also kind of a big deal, considering I’ve always been a little annoyed by those girls who are single and want to blog about it.  Ha.

The thing is, I can look back at the past few years, and then beyond to my whole life, and I can see how God is and has been shaping me, chipping away the yucky stuff, and revealing over and over His love and grace to me and in me.  I tear up even writing that sentence and reading over it, because His love for me and for you is so hard for us humans to comprehend and absorb.  I don’t deserve His relentless pursuit of me.

I see all the ways He has worked on me, and I am so humbled.  I know He’s not done with me, and I am so thankful.  I think of how I’ve resisted and messed up so many times, and I am eternally grateful for His grace and mercy.

When I reflect on my past relationships with guys, I am actually able to feel a little glad that they didn’t last and that those poor guys didn’t have to go through this process with me.  I know I won’t be perfect when my future husband proposes to me, but I’m pretty happy he won’t have to put up with who I have been in the past.  And I can honestly say I get it now: I understand why those relationships I begged God to work out for me didn’t last or never even really got off the ground.  For a long, long time, I mostly believed it was because of those dumb boys – the ones who didn’t love me back quite enough – but now, now I know it was because of me.  I wasn’t ready.  And I’m not sure when I will be ready.  Because God is still working on me.  And I am okay with that.  Actually, I am more than just okay with that.  I am incredibly happy about it!  Thank you, Jesus, for not giving up on me. 

Now that we’ve got all the serious stuff out of the way and if you’ve stuck with me to this point in the post, let’s drastically switch gears and talk about my outfits in the pix up above.  Okay? :)  Fun stuff to balance out the overly contemplative stuff I’ve thrown at you today…. At the beginning of this month, I went to Las Vegas with some friends for a few days, and I was excited to plan my all-thrifted outfits for my nights out there.  In the photos above, after you scroll back over my bleeding heart, you’ll see the results of my careful planning.  I am a big nerd when it comes to clothing, especially when it’s for a much-anticipated trip where I know I’ll get the chance to dress up.  I literally wrote out the outfits, down to the accessories, for this trip.  {Okay, maybe this is actually why I’m still single.. ;)}  Let’s just break them down, shall we?  The first night, I wore a nude leather vest zipped over a nude spangled dress, with some tan leather mules tipped in gold at the toes.  I carried a black and gold bag with tan leather trim and handles with that outfit.  All of it, every single piece, was found at thrift stores over the last few years.  I actually looked up the purse after I found it at Goodwill, because I could tell it was pretty nice, and it was some name brand I had never heard of which retails for hundreds of dollars new – and even on ebay, the bags are pricey.  I paid less than five dollars for it, no big deal. ;)  The next outfit, for the second night, included a legit Louis Vuitton dress {!!!!!} and Stuart Weitzman crossbody bag.  Found ’em at the thirft stores.  No.  Big.  Deal.  Except it totally is.  I had bought that LV dress months and months ago, maybe even last year, I can’t remember.  I had never worn it yet because I should for sure wear a size large when it comes to Vuitton dresses, and this one is definitely a medium.  But thanks to a little careful eating pre-trip, plus some control top tights {so very sexy, I know}, I was able to pull this dress out for it’s moment of glory.  I loved wearing it so much that I’m seriously considering wearing it again for my birthday/New Year’s Eve.  Because every dress deserves more than one moment of glory in it’s {second time around} lifetime.  Speaking of repeating great items, I rocked the same shoes two nights in a row in Vegas.  Which is a great idea when it comes to packing, but a terrible idea when it comes to roaming the Strip two nights in a row in a pair of shoes you got at a thrift store that you had never worn before and were broken in on someone else’s feet.  Which sounds gross but really doesn’t bother me, except for how badly my feet were hurting that second night.  Geez.  Did you follow me there?? :)  By the way, the one thing in that outfit which wasn’t thrifted were the tights.  Because ew, secondhand tights do kind of skeeve me out.  Yucky.  Those green tights and the black ones in the next outfit were bought at a normal store, probably Ross or Kohl’s or possibly TJ Maxx {all good sources for tights}.  Oh wait, the bracelet wasn’t a thrift store find, either.  I bought it at the airport in Florida two years ago; and every time I wear it, I think about the fun friend trip I was on when I bought it.  Okay, last outfit, featuring a mirror pic so it’s all backward, heyyy: thrifted dress and jewelry, belt found on Amazon for five dollars {it’s nine dollars now, sorry}, and shoes from GoJane.  So there you have it, my {mostly} thrifted Vegas fashion. :)  Wasn’t that fun?  Doesn’t it counteract my single-girl talk earlier?  Are we still friends?  Do you still love me?  Is neediness a quality guys are looking for in a long term relationship??

I love you all.  Thanks for reading my end of the year novel.  I’ll be back with more soon.  Don’t get too excited, it might not be as deep or as lengthy.  :)

~abi~

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ElizabethDecember 30, 2014 - 9:45 pm

I really enjoyed this post! Seriously, God is so good! It is so neat to look back and see that HE was SO at work! And your outfits are so awesome! It is cool how all three are so different and you styled your hair and makeup differentely in each one. They are all great but I think that the third look is my favorite. I better end this before I exceed my exclamation point quota! ;)

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