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.