Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Maybe It's Time to Face Reality

Maybe it’s time to face reality. Maybe it’s time to take a good, honest look at my life and come to some conclusions about myself. Maybe, based off of these conclusions, I should make some decisions and just go with it.
No, this does not mean that I am going to admit that maybe I’m not cut out to be a writer. It doesn’t mean that I am admitting that I have been irresponsible or wandered around in a bubble of bliss that will pop the minute I run out of money. It does not mean that I am perhaps not entirely human because I prefer ice-cold river water, wrinkled overworn clothes out of a backpack, and prefer a short bout of Monteczuma’s Revenge to having a mortgage. No, ladies and gentlemen, it means that perhaps it’s time for me to admit that I probably will never, ever, truly settle down.
Settling down means different things to do different people, so let me expand on the definition of this strange thing that I will never do. I will never say, “Gee, I haven’t had that much fun for like, 10 years.” I will never say, “I always wanted to go there, but it was never in the cards.” I will never refuse to go on a trip because there’s no running water. I will never refuse to eat something that looks even remotely tasty, even if I have no clue what it is. I will forgo doing something because I would have to do it by myself.
This settling down thing isn’t all bad, and to be honest, there are some things that I may never do on this path that I would kind of like to do. I will probably never own a new car, unless I win one. I will probably never be able to travel first class. I will probably never live more than a couple years in one place without it involving a super long hiatus to a foreign country. I will probably never have kids. I may never be able to find someone who wants to share all of this with me.
The more I think about it, though, the more I realize that my destiny is something I’ve been fighting for a long time. I keep expecting myself to get to the point where I want to live in one house with a mortgage and a job that would pay it; to wake up one day and hear my biological clock ticking; to want to commit myself to something and STAY committed to it. But what if I never do? What if I’m 45 years old and find that I am still single, still without a full-time (as opposed to a borrowed) pet of my own because I don’t know how long I’ll be here, still without children, and still planning long-ass trips all over the world?
As I said last week, I can’t guarantee that someday my feelings will be different. But today, right now, this moment, on 7/8/09, I can look that future straight on and be okay with it.
In the past I’ve tried to shape my future to something normal. I’ve tried to be in jobs that will get me on a career path with two weeks of vacation a year, that make me enough money I could potentially save for a house, looked for people to date in similar situations with similar goals. Where has this sort of searching gotten me? Back at the same place I always find myself: with money, a schedule, a social life, a boyfriend, and most likely completely miserable. One guy I dated said to me, “Well once we got married you would stop traveling, right?” I didn’t even think twice about it. I didn’t think about what he meant to me, how much I loved him, how this might actually be a normal idea. I just opened my mouth and said what my entire being was shouting: NO.
So maybe it’s time I try to shape my future to me. Maybe it’s time to let go of this idea that perhaps one day I’ll finally “grow up” and admit that “settling down” may not be in the cards for me. Maybe I need to be okay with the fact that I may be that cool aunt that brings back trinkets from foreign places; that some people will envy my freedom but would never actually want my solitude, and that maybe, just maybe, I like it that way.

Love and realistic kisses

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