What Do I Want?…or, Weddings & Facebook Posts Make Me Think

I have a friend from college that I keep up with on Facebook who recently made a post that has made me pause and think.  She’s a well-educated, well traveled, attractive woman who comes from a good family, owns her own home and has two fur babies that she thinks the world of. But this lovely woman, who I’ll refer to in this post simply as C made a Facebook post recently about how she would like children, despite being childless and still single at 32 years of age. In typical fashion, I had to respond to her post with an uplifting message about how being childless isn’t necessarily a bad thing; being child-free, she has the opportunity to do what she wants, when she wants to do it and doesn’t have to worry about lugging her child/children with her along with bags filled with all of their accoutrements. She never has to worry about making arrangements for anyone to watch kids in order for her to be able to do anything, and best of all, she is free to travel unhindered whenever she likes.

But, I’ll admit, her post got me to thinking. Well, if I’m honest, it was her post and the fact that the weekend prior to reading it, I’d attended the wedding of a long time friend.  I’m 31. I’m single, and seem to always fall into the pattern of single, not single, single, continue on ad nauseum. The truth of the matter is that at 31 years old, I’m not entirely certain what it is that I want. Of course, I’d like to meet someone who meshes well with me and who would be a good partner, but do I ever really want to get married again? And kids? Do I want kids?

In theory, I think marriage is a good idea. The main idea is that you meet someone who is your equal, your partner and your friend and you marry them to pair up and forever be linked. But I’ve done the marriage thing once, and it didn’t work out so good for me. Granted, I think when I got married, I had a skewed view of what marriage was going to be like. Which was weird because I’d been living with the guy that I married and I come from a family with two parents who are still married and, I believe, have set a good example of what marriage is. Also, I married a lying bastard and so maybe I should open my mind to the possibility of pairing up with someone who doesn’t possess that character flaw.  The other aspect of marriage that makes me iffy is something that I’ve actually discussed with my dad. We as humans are still animals, and I think the concept of “forever” is tough for us to grasp. So, when we promise another person that we’ll be together forever, I think a lot of people don’t think about how hard being with someone until you die is actually going to be. Think about it: you go to bed with the same person every night and you wake up next to the same person every morning. That’s tough. That takes serious commitment.

When I allow myself to think about it, I struggle with the concept of having kids. I recently went away for a few days with one of my oldest friends and her little girl and it became evident that I simply don’t have the patience that having a child/children entails. Other reasons that parenthood might not be in the cards for me:

1)      I  value my sleep. And, if I don’t get enough of said sleep, I’m a real force to be reckoned with.

2)      I have a rather short fuse when it comes to smart mouthed kids. I’m afraid I’d beat a kid mercilessly if I was put in the position.

3)      I like to do what I want, when I want to do it. And I like being able to go where I want when the urge strikes. I like to do this unencumbered.

4)      The idea of being responsible for anyone other than my self and my dog scares the hell out of me.

5)      Kids are pretty gross. They pick their noses, spit out chewed food if they decided they don’t like it and are incapable of wiping their own bums for a good period of time.

6)      I’m afraid my child would be either over fed or under fed. How does one know exactly how much to feed one’s child? There are no directions on the side of the food bag for this.

7)      How does anyone ever know what size clothes their kid wears? My kid would perpetually wear ill-fitting clothes. Or trash bags.

8)      Kids are expensive. They always need something.

9)      I like peace and quiet and kids talk a lot. Like all the time. Kids are noisy, tiny little people who always can think of something to say.

10)   I like to use colorful language. I like to say the words fuck, shit and goddamnit a lot. Some people believe that you can’t say any of my favorite words around kids because they’ll instantly repeat them in the most unfortunate circumstances.

11)   Having a child requires having sex with someone who likes you. Or at least can tolerate you long enough to have sex with you. Or, if neither of those are an option, it requires having an expensive procedure. At this time, I don’t like anyone enough to have sex with them or have the money for said expensive procedure. This alone rules out having children.

 

Sure, sure, I know people say that when they have kids, things just come naturally. You’re able to magically know how much to feed them, what size clothes they wear and you develop this weird ability to totally tune out your noisy little gremlin while they mercilessly chatter away in the back seat on a long car drive. I’m told that somehow, some way, you’re able to afford said child once it arrives. I’m not really sure I actually believe any of this.

 

Now, with all of that said, I do actually turn into a pile of unrecognizable mush when I see a baby. I do love babies. I think I love them for a very few, select reasons:

1)      They’re usually cute/pretty tiny little people who wear clothes that make them cuter/prettier.

2)      They can’t talk back.

3)      As long as they don’t have a load in their pants or have recently vomited all over themselves, I usually like the way babies smell.

4)      When you hold someone else’s baby, you get to give it back.

Something in me says that if I ever meet “the right” guy, I’ll know whether or not I ever want to entertain the idea of marriage again, or the possibility of having children. But, the logical half of me says that I should have all of this figured out on my own before I meet anyone. Does everyone have this internal struggle on these issues, or is it just me? When someone asks me “Do you ever want to have kids?” or “Do you want to get married again?” should my response come from my gut; should it be an immediate, never hesitant, definitive yes or no? I’m not quite there yet, but I think with time and more thought, I’ll have a better idea of what exactly it is that I want when it comes to two of the biggest decisions of adulthood.

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Another One Bites the Dust…Or, I Have Hope for Myself, After All

That’s right. I’m back. Back and better than ever! I recently lost about two hundred pounds. Yep. I’ve re-entered the kingdom of Singledom. As it turns out, the one that I thought was “the one” was in fact most certainly not the one for me. I chalk it all up to another bump in the road with the apropos phrase “another one bites the dust”.

The season of renewal and growth is upon us and thus I find this latest occurrence in my personal life rather fitting. I’ve decided it’s time to really focus on investing time in myself and exploring who I am (again. But this time to do it more than a couple/few months). At thirty-one, I figure it’s time to get that figured out…or rather to continue the journey. With my time not invested in someone else, I now have the opportunity to delve deeper into myself; what makes me tick? What makes me happy? And the better question: Why am I not doing what makes me happy? Where do I actually want to live?

I’ve found that when I am in a relationship, a lot of my personal goals go by the wayside; for some reason, I can’t seem to juggle focus very well. Does everyone struggle with this or am I on my own here? I’ve decided to hit the reset button on my priorities and to reassess my goals now that life’s circumstances have changed:

#1 Get back to writing on a regular basis.

#2 Start playing music again. And possibly *gasp* start writing music again. The prospect of which scares the ever-loving shit out of me. Possibly start taking mandolin lessons.

#3 Make a concentrated effort to expand my culinary abilities.

#4 Continue hiking and *trying* to form myself into a shape that is a little less round.

#5 Start thinking seriously about moving. No really. I mean it this time.

#6 Start saving. No really. I mean it this time.

#7 Do not get distracted from any of the above goals.

After I pulled myself together, I realized that I was going to find myself with time that I hadn’t had in several months. After all, I wasn’t going to be commuting to anyone anymore. I was going to have weekends back to myself. I wasn’t going to need to be tied to my phone at night anymore. At first, the thought of breaking all of the above habits was going to be overwhelming. But then something beautiful happened. My mind opened up and I had a moment of clarity; I remembered that there are no rules and I can do what I want with my time. In fact, I can do whatever I want in regard to *all* of my life. There is no rule in stone saying I have to stay in one place or that I must do anything in particular. Those thoughts are liberating in what can be a very scary time of transition. I have hope for myself after all.

Ode to The 24 Most Underrated Parts of Being Single…or I’m Awesome, Who Cares?

Every once in a while, there comes along an article that makes you realize just how good you’ve got it. I stumbled upon this gem The 24 Most Underrated Parts of Being Single a few days ago and it got me to thinking how good singledom really is.
Sure, sure, we all want companionship: someone to love and be loved by us and to share life with. But I have friends who I love and who I share my life with. And really, I’ve been in the dating pool recently and it’s pretty damn shallow; most men I meet are either married liars or can’t meet the basic requirements of holding a valid driver’s license or keeping a job long term. So, rather than mope and cry into my libation, I’m choosing to reread this article numerous times and to rejoice in my freedom.  The article hits some fantastic high points. Some of them were simply so good that they were inspiration for this post and I had to point out my favorites to those lonely nay sayers to prove just how good we’ve got it:
1) You can eat whatever the fuck you want.
How true is this!? If I want to sit down on a Friday night with a bottle of wine or champagne and gorge myself by eating an entire pizza, I can do that and hate myself in the morning. I don’t have to share and I don’t have to be judged. This is called freedom. It’s also called the beginnings of obesity.

6) You can wear embarrassing pajamas all day like a boss.
I’m a huge fan of this one. If I want to walk around the house in my torn-to-hell Rolling Stones t-shirt from 1998 and plaid pajama pants that are ripped at the inseam (to allow maximum ventilation), I can do it. Sure, I look like a total hobo, but that’s the point…I don’t need to look cute for anyone, so looking like a hobo is ok. As long as I don’t leave the house looking like that.

8) No one will judge you for dancing like a moron.
We all do it. We all shake what our mommas gave us and look like mentally challenged patients with absolutely no skills. But here’s the thing: there is no pretense when you’re single. You don’t have to worry about doing this and being labeled the aforementioned mentally challenged patient with zero skills. You can shake it, shake it, just don’t break it…alone or with friends who have the same skill level you do for dancing.

dance

 

 

 

 

 

9) You don’t have to share a bed with some jerk to who hogs the sheets.
I love sleeping alone. I get to take up the entire bed and wrap the blankets entirely around myself. Sleeping alone is the tops: you don’t have to be kept awake by someone else’s weird sleeping habits or snoring.

 

10) You can move at a moment’s notice without fear of any consequences.
I really like the fact that if I choose to move, whether it’s to a town an hour from where I currently am or to another state, it affects no one but me. Throw another person into the mix and things get messy.

 

11) You never have to worry about getting into fights about stupid shit that doesn’t mean anything.
I think we’ve all had those fights. Enough said.

No. Stupid. Fights.

 

14) You don’t have to worry about normal grooming. At.All.
I think one of the biggest pains in the ass about being female is shaving one’s legs. Some people get really obsessive over it and can’t go a day without doing it. Me? I could go all winter and be totally ok with my legs resembling what I imagine Grizzly Adams’ looked like.

15) You can watch whatever the hell you want.
That’s right: no one is there to insult me for watching shows like Ghost Adventures and being all googly-eyed over the muscled and dumb Zac Bagans. I can also watch my favorite movie, Bridget Jones’s Diary without criticism or anything on Lifetime, for that matter.
18) Hideous underpants can be worn freely, because you don’t care who sees your junk.
Yep. If I so choose to wear the huge underpants that are actually marketed to the women significantly older than me, I can without (much) shame because no one is seeing those suckers but me.

hideous underpants

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20) You can fart and burp without shame because there is no one to judge you.
I think this one is pretty self explanatory. You wouldn’t believe the sounds that come out of women when they’re hanging out with other women that they’ve known for well over a decade. We’d never do that stuff in front of anyone else.

These were my favorites that made me smile a few days ago when I most needed it. They reminded me that while I may not have exactly the kind of relationship that I want, for right now, these little freedoms make this time enjoyable. If you’re single, think about the things that bring you the most joy, and those things that you probably couldn’t do if you were otherwise engaged. I promise that it’ll help you turn that frown upside down when you’re feeling like you’ll never meet someone that not only has a pulse but is well-groomed, has similar interests and that you can actually hold a conversation with.

who cares I'm awesome