I have a lot of time on my hands and only bad things happen when I do have a lot of time on my hands. This time turns into thinking about my choices in life and then criticizing every.single.choice I have made thus far.
College? Should have worked much harder than I did and I should have done everything in my power in order to attend Georgia. My career would probably be thanking me right about now. I also should have focused more on computers than hitting the weekly fraternity parties, my bank account would be thanking me right about now.
Spending money? Umm, saving more than spending would have been helpful but I guess I am more like my dad than I realized. I can’t help it, I like to buy stuff. Had I been saving some, I probably wouldn’t be in debt and oh yeah, I would probably have a house to live in as opposed to an apartment.
Men? Well, I promise that when I was younger and had plenty of boys to choose from, I had a three date max. Seriously, my mom used to laugh about it. I would go out with a guy and if I didn’t think it was going well. . .he was out of there (hence the three date max). Of course, some of my issues that I have today can all be traced back to one ex, in college and for quite a time after. He was no good for me but my self-esteem took a direct hit via him. Trying to find the old me is impossible and that makes me sad. I learned to be afraid of being honest, of saying I didn’t like something and standing up for myself. That proved to be quite a hindrance when I dated the guy after this ex. My heart was left, stomped on the ground with the words uttered by him to friends, “I can do better than her.”
The upside is the ex that did such a job on my self-esteem is now a friend and he will always be firmly in the friend column. The only reason he got there was he apologized, for everything. The other ex is married with kids and I can only hope and pray he found what he was looking for and is happy.
My choice to voice my concerns to the boy (who was the love I had been looking for) were not handled well. I know that people cannot change or at least, you can’t force them to change, so I thought I was doing the honorable thing by walking away. Umm, yeah, live with that regret daily. A good guy who just didn’t have the relationship experiences that I have; should have given him a chance.
Being single means being alone. I get that and I don’t mind that since I have been there done that but the question that keeps coming to mind is this: What happens to the single when everyone else is paired up and reproducing?
The motherhood, as so eloquently discussed on Sex and the City, finds women of all race, creeds and social standings running for the nearest Gymboree, playdates and other mommies to spend time with instead of their wilder, more selfish single friends. While I am no longer wild, was never selfish, I am single. And I keep finding that I am that outsider looking in, I don’t understand morning sickness (although, I would take it in a heartbeat) nor do I understand the need to buy every damn toy in Target for my kids for Christmas because I just can’t stop myself.
So here I sit, time on my hands, realizing that my friends have all moved on and doubting myself as to whether I will ever catch up to them. Sure, they like to chat from time to time, grab coffee every so often but for the most part, I don’t fit in with them. I get kidded to not become that crazy old cat lady, the assurance that everything will work out but in reality, I see myself slowly being craved out of their lives. Is it on purpose? Probably not but while they are wondering if breastfeeding is going to work or what school to put little Johnny in, they know not to ask me. I just don’t have that life experience under my belt to share.
Then I start to question myself. What’s wrong with me? What is it that I am doing that compels men to see me as someone to date but not to commit to? I have never even been engaged or close to it, not even by a long shot. Am I too needy? I don’t think I am, I don’t call 24/7, I don’t whine about anything (unless I am sick and then all bets are off) and I certainly understand the need for some downtime to be by one’s self.
I tried online dating, one site was pure meat market and the other, where I found the boy, was geared towards people who wanted to commit, get married and have kids. I just don’t think the boy understood the purpose of that particular site. Or maybe I was a great girlfriend but not wife material. I mean, I can’t clean to save my life. I am truly a messy person but I can cook and I can nurture the hell out of anyone that needs it.
Being single and back to square one is daunting. I don’t have a problem doing things on my own. I have had dinner, by myself at restaurants. I haven’t tried the travel on own yet but that has to do more with money than moxie. Movies? Oh hell, I prefer going alone so I can lose myself in the film. But what happens when I get older, well older than I already am?
While some of the women in my office think that my life is fab being single, I just shake my head. I get that if you are unhappy or feel that life is a never ending list of things to do, errands to run and ball games/recitals to attend, my life can seem kind of dreamy. BUT, being on my own is tough. My worries come from the depths of what happens if I can’t work or my car decides to blow up, I am a single income family. There is no one there that can help me out in a pinch. Of course my parents could but I could never ask them for that since I know that they exist on savings, investments and retirement.
Someone who I once knew said he kept meeting women who were in the left lane going 100 MPH and he wanted a woman who was willing to get in the slow lane and take her time with him. Well, I hate to say it but he (and any man who thinks this) needs to date 22 year olds. I am 35, I am not going to apologize for knowing what I want nor am I going to settle since, well I have waited this long but there comes a point and time when everyone has to grow up.
Sure, I have dreams of running off and living in DC or NYC and writing but that is what I should have been doing when I was in my twenties. I made choices and some of them are quite difficult to swallow but I have to own up to the fact that I am no longer a kid; running around singing la-ti-dah. I am an adult who has to hold down a job, pay the debts that I owe and be a responisble citizen.
I just wish that having the single life didn’t separate me from my friends. I miss them but I get that they all have lives they have to attend to and calling me or hanging with me all the time isn’t part of what they need to deal with daily.