Tuesday, April 27, 2010
I had an excellent birthday weekend (zombie pub crawl, birthday dinner & cake, awesome presents) with only a couple of bumpy patches (CTA drama, a dead and lifeless laptop). I had intended for the past year to spend it on a beach in SC, but have decided I will need that vacation much more next winter than now when everything is warmer and blooming (well, theoretically anyway.) Also, theoretically I am older, but still feel very much in a sort of suspended adolescence--mind you a fun one, but I wonder if I should be acting like a "grown up" at this point, and what the hell is a "grown up" anyway? The first half of my thirties did not quite niggle me so much as this particular birthday, the tipping point on that slide toward 40, mostly because I do not feel as old as I seem to inevitably be becoming. I would say I am very much still the same girl at 36 as I was at 26, and sometimes I think at 16, only with a little bit more experience under her belt, a few more passions, and a lot more cynicim. I am always a little creeped out when I see people my age preoccupied with certain things, pensions, 401K's, home ownership, families, keeping up with the Jones, all of which seem like things that people like my parents deal with and not me.
I admit, I do live in my little artsy/craftsy bubble most of the time and don't fret much about the "real" world except when I absolutely have to. Sure, I am decently responsible and can pay my own bills. I am even incredibly organized and ambitious when it comes to certain pursuits--all of which I suppose are hallmarks of being a grown up--a certain amount of artistic/writerly achievement, a good (if a bit overdone) education, running my own business, etc. But I realized long ago that I'm not sure I want many of the things in like that I'm continually told I'm supposed to want--that little American dream--the husband, the kids, the mini-van and the soccer practice, all things which just never seemed right to me, or at least FOR me. But somehow, since everyone else seems to be doing them, they feel like very grown up things to be dealing with, and I get the impression there is something wrong, something fundamentally stunted, for NOT wanting those things. Of course, that doesn't make me any more inclined toward them, in fact, I still sort of want to run the other way. Truthfully, I'm not even sure if I believe in marriage, and definitely am sure monogamy does not work for me. I am more happily inclined to long-term open-ended non-monogamous relationships of late (of course I need to work more on WHO they are with *ahem*). Also, I've always lacked that biological urge to have children, and figured if at some point if I found myself both wanting and financially stable enought to raise a child, I would adopt. I've accepted my square peggishness in regard to these things, but sometimes I get the impression that it goes much further than that.
I have always been very much about living my life as true as I possibly can to the things that I want, the things that I value--creativity, passion, knowledge, but those things seem so very at odds with what everyone else values--stability, financial gain, ownership, consumerism. I feel this tension less in Chicago, where everyone around me is of similar mindset, but moreso whenever I go home or visit family. Perhaps it's a certain hyper self-awareness. Or hyper self-consciousness about my choices, that don't really seem like choices at all, but moreso just who I am and what I'm about.