Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Discovery

When I was little we used to play in the woods, catch salamanders in the crick and burn ants with a magnifying glass in the heat of the sun. Traipse around the waterless pond only to find out it was more of a cemetery for rotting deer carcasses than the pond sans water. (Did I mention we were barefoot?) We’d play hide and seek in the basement of the neighbor’s house on rainy days – and were small enough to fit in the old kitchen cabinets stored down there. And on a nice day we’d go swimming in the pool or take a hike through the acres of yard space, climb up on the deer stand and use the CB to tease truckers. (Did they really buy we were 20 and not 10?) Sounds just peachy, right? (Let’s go with that for now.) We lived there for 8 years. I was 13 when we moved.

When we moved out of the boonies – with two less family members – it was the end of my 8th grade year. I appreciated the country very much, but I was glad we moved so I could have a social life in high school. After visiting Boston and New York over the next four years, the desire to live in the city – a real city, not Pittsburgh – grew exponentially. After going to undergrad in Pittsburgh (which I miss dearly, but visits suffice), I moved to DC; a metropolitan area with increased job opportunities. (Not NYC big, but it will do.)

I think that it was this desire, the desire for city life that was the largest contribution to the fail of my most recent relationship; stick with me now, I’m just segueing.

I caught myself wondering if the shift in location and life direction caused abrupt changes – or is it that abrupt changes caused the shift in direction. While he wanted suburbia, I wanted city life. I have my whole life to live outside the city; but you can’t raise a family on the NE side of DC. It was my time to live where I wanted; to be in the middle of it all – he wanted trees and a lawn and shit like that. I wanted bars and bums and shit like that. I wanted to live where life was interesting enough to have stories for my (eventual) kids - all 4 of them.

That’s right: 4. I’m guessing twins. I used to think I wanted to be a young mother; my plan at 16 was to marry at 24 and have babies at 26. I just broke up with my boyfriend of 5 years and I’ll be 26 this October. You do the math. Now 30 sounds good: 32 for babies, because for now, I’m all by myself. I’m alone. And I’m okay with that.

I’m not nervous. I’m not scared. I don’t lack self-confidence. And while I’m stressed to my wit with money and life, I’m sufficiently content enough. But I’m waiting: Who am I? This was, and continues to be, a point of contention for me - A nagging little bug that I just can’t seem to find to kill. And as a point of contention for me, it was a point of contention for me in a partnership.

We were in college when we met. (And while I’m aware 50% of married couples meet in college, I’m also aware that 50% of marriages end in divorce.) I was freshly 21 and he was 20 when we started dating – and as much as I hate Beyonce, a comment she recently made kind of clicked with me. She said, in reference to waiting so long to marry (that doucheturtle) Jay-Z, “I really don't believe that you will love the same thing when you're 20 as you do at 30. So that was my rule: before the age of 25, I would never get married. I feel like you have to get to know yourself, know what you want, spend some time by yourself, and be proud of who you are before you can share that with someone else".

As much as I despise her (and her halitosis *giggle*), she has a good point. A point that made me stop and go, “Huh, could be”. As we age, we change – regardless of any extenuating circumstances. And while I’m certain some things accelerated or magnified the shifts (for me), they would happen with or without the fuel.

I now find myself in a personal limbo. Something that I feel happens to most people (women) after escaping a long relationship: Of a time in life of trying to re-figure yourself out: Of attempting to re-balance: Of re-structure: Of figuring out how to move along and do it for just yourself. I find myself in many limbos: between wanting nice things but not being willing (or able) to pay for them, between wondering if I even want nice things or just have whatever suffice, between being a feminist and questioning the absence of chivalry, between being independent and wanting something done for me…or even *gasp* bought for me, between being a leather strap or diamond encrusted watch girl, between loving the city and missing the country.

Is this interesting? Or possibly just eclectic? Or is it simply confusing?Perhaps I’m trying to push an oval personality into a square hole. Is this just part of the series of trial and errors that we call our “twenties”? Do we ever really figure out who we are? In life, what defines a person and how do they know when to stop looking? Is it when we stop asking introverted questions that we are self-aware? Or do we become self-aware because we start asking?

I’ll have to get back to you…


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