Sunday, June 11, 2006

somewhere between clarity and chaos lies my state of mind today

My vacation state of mind has officially come to an end, and reality has set back in. This past week has been a painful reminder that no matter how well you polish the table, the scratch will always still be there. You can cover it up, but it will never truly disappear. If that is too poetic for you, let me try again.

Just because someone appears happy on the outside it doesn't mean there isn't scarring on the inside. Appearances are just illusions. A shell or covering if you will. And this week has been a reminder of that over and over again.

In the last few weeks my eyes have been opened to the intricacies of many types of relationships. One of the side effects of being a long-term single is getting good at independence. You learn to do everything for yourself, and not need other people to be there for you. You make your decisions based on what is best for you, because your decisions will rarely effect [profoundly] another person. I've been watching different friendships and how they interact. And as skeptical and cynical as it may sound, I always wonder how long a friendship will last like that. A person who is a close friend now will completely fall to the wayside when "love," or a new job, or money, enters the picture. I never consider it a waste of time to make a sacrifice for a friend, but when I see people making decisions based on how it might affect a friend, I tend to go from slightly cynical to full-blown cynical. But like I said, it is a side effect of getting good at being single. You get good at independence and you can't relate to people making decisions based on other people's needs or desires.

On a related note I had a discussion this week with various people on the same subject- at what point does a young woman of a certain age (let's say 31) stop sitting around doing the expected lifestyle while waiting for Mr. Right to appear and go out and make a life happen? Or does she ever do that? At what point do you stop thinking that your future life will involve marriage? When you have reached a point in your life where you can safely look at your past and start to predict your future and realize that a date on Friday, let alone a husband, is most likely not going to happen, why should she not pursue a career? Why shouldn't a single woman ever pursue a career? I can't remember the last time I met a girl who really did put off marriage in search of a career, but I know hundreds who put off getting good at a career just in case she met a good guy.

I'm a big advocate of thinking for yourself, taking ownership of your own ideas, actions, and beliefs. I hate it when I hear other people taking credit or passing the buck for creativity and ideas. Change is inevitable no matter how well you deny and/or procrastinate the day of its coming. You will never truly know the full story and sometimes you might just have it all wrong. But that doesn't stop the truth from sitting there in front of you waiting for you to accept it.


  1. I think I was 26 when I decided I wasn't going to wait around. That was the year I graduated from BYU. I decided I was going to do what it took to become a children's book editor because there was no point in putting the enjoyment of my life on hold for a guy who might not show up.

    I think mainly I felt like if I went after my dreams, the right guy would show up while it was happening. But what happened was I began to date less and less, until I finally got to a place where I don't even *know* that many guys, let alone date them. Or I should say--I got to an *age* where I don't know any guys.

    But it's not for lack of trying. All my years in singles' wards, I got to know a number of guys, was friends with a lot of people, etc. But nobody was ever interested in me enough to go beyond a second date, if he ever asked me out in the first place.

    I love my job, though, and really, it's the only thing that's worth my time in my life right now. It's something I have control over. I wouldn't *dream* of slacking off at work, because 1) I need the money and I want to be promoted to make more money, and 2) I love what I do and want to grow in my job.

    I think any guy I met now would wonder what the heck I've been up to in my life by the age of 31 if I hadn't gotten good at my career. If I'd just been twiddling my thumbs until a guy came along, the kind of guy I want wouldn't want me. The problem, though, is that those kinds of guys don't come along very often, you know?

  2. Zwoelfet13:11 PM

    I really agree with your last paragraph--who finds just waiting attractive? You've identified your dream (job, anyway), did what you needed to do to get, and are now *doing* it. Good for you!

    I really like what you've said. However, I have known some women who really did put off marriage in search of a career. Not sure if it was a concious or evolved choice; it really seemed they had the idea that the marriage window had closed, they were going to pursue a career, and weren't going to even consider changing their mind.
    To be fair, though, it is tough. You plan your life to be one way, and then, when it's not, you make new plans. Then, having fully accepted the second plan, it's hard (and sometimes heartwrenching) to come up with a new plan, which may include elements of the previous ones.

    The hard part: Being independent, but also open to the idea that you may need someone else. But how can you need anything if you're independent? Maybe it comes back to the shell (if I can mangle your analogy)--As long as we have the shell, we're all independent, we're all OK, we're all self contained. Marriage, though, requires that shell to be gone. But not necessarily the whole shell--maybe just a piece of it, enough for the other person to cleave to you. Then, your shell, and the other person's shell, become one shell.
    But it can be painful to lose even a part of your shell, because it's a part of you. Less painful, though, than those who never grew a shell, because they were waiting for someone who never came, leaving them exposed to the crushing forces in the universe.

    Sorry, this was longer than I intended, and now I can't get the image of a bug having part of its shell torn off out of my head.


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