I have been quiet for the past few days, I know. I…

I have been quiet for the past few days, I know. I think I am officially having a quarter-life crisis. For the last week I have been trying to figure out what the hell is going on in my head. I thought I knew, but then I changed my mind. I don’t know which end is up right now. I have been moody and flighty and needy all week. I came to the realization that I have no goals for the moment. I have future goals, I mean I know I want to someday go back to school, get my PhD. and teach, but that has always been a when-I-am-older-after-I-have-a-career kind of thing. And I know I want to be married someday and maybe even have kids, but as I am single, without even a prospect, that isn’t really a goal to be worried with. Although I have been. I don’t know why.

I spent a lot of time convincing myself that I didn’t need a man or a marriage to be happy. It is part of why I got my master’s degree, it is why I haven’t waited to buy a house or nice furniture, it was all to help me be happy with me and to be self-sufficient–something my mother never could do. But then I look around at my married friends and wonder why they got to be so lucky so young and what I did wrong. But then I think, ok, but they missed out on their early 20’s and the fun you can have being over 21 and single. But then I think, yes, it’s fun, until you come home to an empty house and have only your cat to share your bed. But then I think, but that cat doesn’t snore (well not loudly anyway), and listens to my insessant talking, and loves me unconditionally (unless I kick him off the bed for fighting with his brother). And then I remind myself that I am not so sure my friends are happy with their lives either. There are lots of rumors that some of their marriages are rocky to say the least. But at least they have someone to take care of and to take care of them.

I just keep being reminded of the episode of Friends where Rachel turns 30. She is dating Tad, her younger by 5 years assistant and she has the moment of realization at her birthday party that her “plan” isn’t even close to working. At thirty she was supposed to have all these things done. Not the least of which was to have found a man and be on her way to having kids. So she starts realigning her plan to fit her life and she realizes she would have to marry Tad, as he rolls into the room on a Razor scooter and get pregnant in like the next year.

As much as I have tried not to, I had a plan. I think it’s almost impossible for a girl not too. You can try but somewhere deep down, it’s there, and when it gets messed up, you realize it. I know I am not 30 but down here in Texas, 25 might as well be. I have 2, yes TWO single female friends in town (and I have a lot of friends!). One is working on her master’s degree and is useless after 11pm (although fabulous before then) and the other is my going-out buddy, but she is sort of dating a friend of mine, so there may come a day when she isn’t so single…but then again, she has sworn to me that that day will not be anytime soon. In any case, I am surrounded by marrieds and living-togethers, and that leaves very little room to manuever. I love my friends, don’t get me wrong. And I am very happy FOR them. I just wish I had some more singletons to hang with.

And I wish I had a goal. I have no current goals. If I had one, something to worry about and obsess over, I think I would be much less concerned with my friends and my lack of a less than single status. I have done everything I had intended to this point, though. I graduated college in 4 years (a feat at UT–I cannot tell you how many people I know who didn’t do it in 4 years), I got my master’s in 1 and half years, I got a good job with a future, I bought a house, I even figured out “who I am”…These were the things I was supposed to do by 25. I did them. I never planned for 25-35. I just kind of assumed I would be with a guy, and headed toward marriage, and I would be working on that and my career. But I’m not. I am working on my career, but even that isn’t the obsessive kind of job I figured I’d have. It’s 8-5 and that’s it. That’s the way my parents wanted the business and that’s what we do. And being an overachiever when you work with your family and have no competition isn’t as much fun. I need someone to work against. Someone who I can want to be better than to make me obsess. But since it is just my parents and myself, that isn’t there. I have a project that I am working on that I am trying to make my obsession and even went so far as to wake up this morning excited to get to the office and work on, but without someone to compete against, it just isn’t quite the same for me.

So here I am lost. It is a strange feeling to know who you are, what you stand for, what you want out of life, that you have accomplished all the goals you have set for yourself, and not know where you are. And I think it may be an even worse feeling to do it as a liberal, non-religious, half-Jewish, self-sufficient, graduate-degree-carrying, 25 year old in the conservative, christian, we-marry-young, and only-5%-of-the-country-holds-a-master’s-degree city of Dallas.

I think I need a little red sports car.

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7 responses to “I have been quiet for the past few days, I know. I…

  1. Life deals us funny hands. When I was 25 I expected to be married and have a couple of kids. I didn’t get married until I was 29 and now, well, we’re not going to have kids at all!

    I understand the quarter-life crisis. I had it too. 25 was tougher on me than turning 30. πŸ™‚

  2. I hope you are right! Actually, I am sure you are. I’ll survive. I always have.

  3. Stay strong, cuz. Getting married in your 20’s is very overrated.

    You are right to want to prove to yourself that you can make it before getting married. There is so much pressure to move from college to career to marriage and kids and for what? so our kids can repeat that cycle? Life becomes only about your kids and work (do you know any married people who talk about anything else?). People weren’t meant to live like that, not when they are young anyway. What can a person possibly teach their kids if they’ve never really lived a life themselves?

    Right now you are free to do whatever you want, whenever you want. Most people dont take advantage of the full possibilities of that freedom. Most people also dont realize that this is the only time in our lives we are ever going to have it as well. Once we get married, that freedom, which ranges from having a late dinner because you like the conversation you are having with a new friend to picking up and travelling for a month, is gone.

    Sure, it sucks to come home to an empty house sometimes. But it is alot better than waking up 20 years from now and wondering what you could have done with your life if you had the chance…and by the way, you dont need something as grand as a dream to follow, just figure out what you like and do it. Why not head to Thailand and help the relief efforts? (a bit extreme, but you get the idea, and you could do it)…

    sorry for the rant on your webblog, not that im so much older/wiser to be handing out advice…

  4. Thank you for that. It does help. THIS is why I need to live up North. When are you coming to visit by the way??? πŸ˜‰

  5. This is more of a comment to the Anonymous comment…freedom doesn’t go away when you get married, depending on whom you marry.

    The ideal situation is to find someone you want to go with you for that month-long trip, and someone who has his/her own interests and will be happy that you’ve found a new friend, instead of being unhappy that you’re out late.

    Getting married shouldn’t be about giving up anything, but it should be about compromising and coming to a happy medium where you can happily be part of a couple while also still being the amazing, unique creature that attracted your partner in the first place.

    It’s possible…don’t let anyone tell you that it isn’t. πŸ™‚

    {{climbing off my soapbox}}

  6. Stacy, just to let you know, anonymous is my cousin Rob from New York/NJ…I think, correct me if I’m wrong Rob, but I think he means just that you lose the ability to have everything your way. No need for compromise when it’s just you. No need to ask anyone if they are cool with you say, flying to Indonesia to help with relief efforts as he suggested. You can just do it. Plus, when/if you have kids that adds a whole other element to consider. I don’t think Rob is against marriage, he just has a really cool life and he knows it! (He’s working on his PhD in Arab studies at Princeton…not proud of my cuz at all ;-)…and he has summers off at the Jersey shore, and winter breaks…a good life!) But I am totally speaking for Rob…I guess I could be way off on his position.

    But if I was getting my PhD at Princeton and spending my summers at the Jersey shore that’s how I would feel πŸ™‚

  7. But I think what you are saying Stacy is great. And I really hope I am as lucky as you are someday. And I really appreciate the concern. Truly.

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