different from what is usual or expected; strange.
I guess you could say I’m at a weird place in life right now: I’m 28 and there are no children, no significant others, no mortgage to speak of. I don’t generally think this is an outrageous place to be but relatively speaking, it is odd. The changes between the ages of 24 and 28 are significant and social media shines a bright spotlight on the ways in which I’m not moving along at quite the same pace as my peers. Hell, sometimes I feel like I can’t keep track of anyone with all the last name changes and the baby pictures. Is it #tbt or is that your, like, offspring??
Children have never been important to me. I always thought I’d do the “conventional” thing – find a good man, pop out a family and live surrounded by a white picket fence in the suburbs – but as I got older I realized that children will not make or break my purpose here. In fact, I’m almost anti-child after encountering so many disrespectful, ungrateful brats who will surely run our planet into the ground. But I digress, I’m not here to pontificate on childbearing/raising.
There are a million things more important to me than societal norms. When it comes to my life, my one goal is to live a fun, gratifying, fulfilling one. I strive for success but it’s not because I’m supposed to or because it’s what’s expected of me but because it makes life easier…Easier to have fun, worry less, make changes when desired or needed.
I’m doing okay in this area. I like what I do. I’m maintaining my lifestyle (although sometimes I wish the hustle were slightly easier). I have meaningful relationships. I love my family. I’m active, healthy, mobile. I’m confident. I feel truly free and, sometimes, I even feel like I have it all.
But I don’t have it all. Allow me to be a little vulnerable here; Honest and real, passionate, definitely a little cliche: I don’t need children or a marriage, millions in the bank, a luxury car or a penthouse. My end goal is to find the one person with whom I share a deep, meaningful love. I am not afraid of being alone and, in fact, I sometimes relish it. It’s just..Really being in love with someone who loves you with a voracious passion that rivals your own…Well…That’s something to be felt. As often, and with much of your heart, as possible.
Awesome, right? I’m learning and growing, figuring out who I am, what I want, what I expect and what I deserve. In general, these are great things but they also present a problem for me because as I continue through this journey, I grow more selective, somewhat jaded and less willing to settle.
My inner circle is small. I don’t care for many people and I don’t tolerate a lot in terms of what I consider to be mistreatment. I don’t depend on many people because it is a surefire way to be let down – and these are just friends we’re talking about. When it comes to romance, I’m guarded but laid back. I hope for the best but expect the worst. I like relationships to happen organically and when someone disappoints me, I was probably never too invested to begin with. At the very least, I’d hope I had a little fun.
My expectations are high but not egregious – and I’m not perfect either, I know. Shitty people in regards to love and life are unavoidable but it’s not my responsibility to accept them, or anyone, into my world. When I see everyone else around me deeply in love, coupled up or betrothed, I start to wonder if I’m being unrealistic. There’s no way everyone else has just settled into romantic bliss…Right? Maybe I’m missing something. Maybe it’s me.
Alas, as tired as my previous dating mistakes and relationships have made me, I still have hope. It’s kind of embarrassing but the infamous, controversial Carrie Bradshaw said it best:
I’m looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love.
And it’s really as simple as that.
With all of its negative connotations, I guess I don’t mind being “odd." If odd is knowing my limits, refusing to settle or getting what I want, I’ll gladly be the lone black sheep.