Getting inside my head…
Okay, I promise a total recap of my Europe trip in the coming weeks. But, first, I wanted to talk about some revelations I had about life while I was gone.
Since Ben and I split, he has complained that I’ve changed. It hit me that it hasn’t been me that has changed, but my focus in life.
When we were together, I wanted what I thought I was supposed to want…which I’ve really wanted all my life; I won’t deny that. I wanted us to grow up, settle down, buy a house in the suburbs, get married, start a family, etc. I wanted stability. It was to the point that I had mapped out our entire lives in Quicken so I could figure out where we would be financially when we both retired, even after paying college tuition for our two children. Ben, on the other hand, was always more spontaneous than me. I planned. He did not. I wanted to be what I considered an adult. He did not. We did not have the same focus in life, and, thus, we were doomed to fail.
Since our split, I started thinking a lot. Is this really what I want? Or is this just what society is telling me I should want? I thought about things that I enjoy in life. I love being in the security of a relationship. I love to travel. I love the thought of being spontaneous, though I’m really not, which is why I usually tend toward spontaneous guys when I date. I started imagining the life I had previously wanted. My life revolving around my children. No freedom to do what I want anymore. All my money being slowly sapped away for 18+ years. It seemed bleak. I started looking at my house that I bought less than two years ago, and just really, really wanting to sell it and move somewhere random. Maybe I’m just associating it with bad/sad memories; I don’t know.
Part of the reason I started thinking about this stuff was due to two former Weddingbee bloggers writing about why they will or won’t have children. I had started trying to catch up on all the blogs I’d neglected to read during my downtime last month and came across these posts. Ellie (Mrs. Lovebug) wrote about her decision to be child-free. I’d link to it, but it seems she’s since made her blog private. In response, Sara (Mrs. Creampuff) wrote about how she used to not want children, but why she will probably have them. You can read her three-part post here, here, and here. I found that I agreed with all their reasons to not have children. This confused me for a bit. I’ve always wanted kids. Ask anyone that knows me. I was kind of obsessed with it. So, the fact that I was suddenly thinking that I didn’t really made me open my eyes a little (okay, a lot). That’s when I started thinking about the whole what I want vs. what society wants thing. I’ve had people point out that maybe I just think I don’t want them because I’m not currently in a relationship with anyone, and that once I meet the right person, I’ll desperately want to have his children. Maybe. Maybe not. I’m not going to say that I definitely never, ever want children; I’m just going to say that I’m leaning that way right now, as I know I am not currently financially, emotionally, or mentally prepared for such a difficult task that would change my life forever.
Anyway, so back to my actual point. The revelation that I may not want children really threw my life focus into some sort of whirlwind. I mean, that was the Ultimate Goal. I had to rethink everything. I mentally changed my focus to ‘fun’ while I gave it more thought, and that’s where I was for the majority of the month of May.
Then I went to Europe.
Paris was the first stop, and I absolutely fell in love. Head over heels. If someone offered me a job today and said, “But you’ll have to move to Paris,” I wouldn’t give it a second thought. I’ve always been fond of large cities. This is where I hit revelation #2: Living in the suburbs kind of sucks. If I were going to live in Paris, I’d want to live IN Paris. In some tiny apartment in the middle of everything. Large house in the suburbs is also apparently not something I really want anymore. Strange. Although, I guess if I don’t plan on filling it with children, there’s no real need. I also have an overwhelming desire to sell most of the crap in my house.
I decided that I needed to move somewhere with an awesome Metro system. Best. Thing. Ever. So, yes, I do think I will be moving at some point in the future. Probably out of state. Probably somewhere with a Metro system. And preferably somewhere on the coast. I mentally kicked myself for not pursing that job in San Francisco a few years back. I didn’t for several reasons, the main two was that I didn’t want to move far from Ben in case we got back together (we were on a break at the time) and that I was scared to death of moving by myself. I’m working on my fear of doing things alone. I went to a bar last night by myself for the first time ever. I survived. I actually had fun.
So two major things had been knocked out of my original life focus. What was I supposed to focus on now? I still want to get married, of course, as nothing is more important to me than love, and I can’t EVER see that changing. But the rest of it? Not what I want anymore.
I decided that my focus should be to live. Don’t overplan, as I have a tendency to do. It surprises a lot of people when I tell them I didn’t plan my Europe trip. Sure, I booked hotels and transportation. But that’s it. When we stepped off the plane in Paris, my mom asked how we were supposed to get to our hotel. I didn’t know. But I figured it out. And that’s all I’m trying to do now. One day at a time. Figure it out.