Friday, June 23, 2006

Choices

What the hell am I doing right now? I'm 31 and living with my parents! Every now and then, this fact smacks me in the face and I'm horrified by it---not by my parents themselves, but by the fact that my life has become so fucked up that I had to move in with them. At age 31. So many people I know and once knew have significant others, homes, steady careers, maybe even kids, are rooted in communities, and are even close to paying off their student loans--while I, on the other hand, have none of those things. Not one.

But don't be confused here; this is not a blog about self-pity.

I am thankful that I don't have those things at this point in my life, as this is the wrong time for me to have them. Most of the time I legitimately feel like there is nothing but opportunity ahead of me and that I am lucky to have such freedom to explore this opportunity. This is exhilarating and I love it, even if we live in a culture which lies and tells us we are failures without a home, family, and career. But this freedom I love can also mean confusion. Solitude can mean loneliness. Exploration can mean rootlessness. I do love my freedom and solitude and all that, and for the first time in my life, I am honestly making the best of them, or at least working on it. However, the flip sides of those concepts--confusion, loneliness, rootlessness--do surface at times and make me feel like the only person in the world who is floating around in space with no companion, no home, no known future. And at times, things get the best of me and I do feel like a failure for it. I hate when I let that doubt into my mind.

Fortunately, on all levels I know this is not true, that I am most certainly not a failure and that I have lots going for me, that I am in more control than it sometimes feels and that even if I'm not in total control of everything...who cares?! I don't have to be in control of every part of my life every second of the day.

I'm damn smart and interesting and have a heartbreakingly amazing life ahead of me and have already led a pretty great life thus far. And anyone who doesn't see that or doesn't want to be part of my life can just go to hell. I have chosen the life I have right now. I chose to leave St. Louis. I chose to move in with my parents, knowing it would be temporary. I chose to enter a phase of uncertainty, a phase intended to clear my head a bit, to catch my breath. These are active choices, not consequences. I take full responsibility and feel pride in all my choices.

So why does it all still make me feel bad sometimes, like having made these choices shows some sort of flaw on my part, like I'm the only person who is confused and lonely and rootless?

I don't know why. But it just does sometimes, and tonight is one of those times.

3 Comments:

At June 24, 2006 1:10 AM, Anonymous JH said...

It's societal norms, or bad flashbacks to you-know-where. I'm increasingly wondering why we don't celebrate the milestones of single people. And Heather, you are not your mistakes. That's what my mom tells me when I feel down at about being 31, single, poor and unable to see a way out of the hole society says I am. Poor choices in our past may help us grow into our true self, but we are worth so much more than them. Chin up, young person, chin up.

 
At June 24, 2006 10:49 AM, Anonymous Emily said...

You know I feel the same way... I make no money (I'm currently earning almost the same as at you-know-where) and live with my parents too. And as you have heard 8 million times, I was on the brink of launching a wonderful, heterosexual marriage that everyone would have celebrated... Now I'm just a big "loser" living with my parents, which I feel like I have to justify to everyone I meet. The thing I mainly don't understand is why we have wedding showers and give a bunch of shit to people who are getting married. You can afford that shit a lot better on two incomes--it's broke single people who need the help. But you have to get into a hetersexual marriage first to be "rewarded" in our society. But fuck society anyway. You at least seem to be a lot better at saying that than I am.

 
At June 25, 2006 3:20 PM, Blogger Heather said...

JH and Emily, thanks for your encouragement and commiseration. You guys are both awesome, and I don't feel so alone because of you both. And just so you know, I feel better today, as I knew I would. Mood swings are fun, aren't they?? :)

 

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