Written by yours truly, earlier this month (I promise I’d been meaning to share):
I confess that sometimes I have a feeling I will find myself at thirty still alone. By that I also mean, very much an independent party-of-one. I remember until now the puzzled expression of a friend in grad school who, when I told him I hope to get out of our country again at age 30 in pursuit of a second master, he had gently raised a question (“-but wouldn’t you have kids, husband?”) which only left me feeling puzzled and out-of-sorts because that particular question, up until the age of twenty-four that I was then, had never crossed my mind.
At twenty-six, I confess that I do not know what ‘in love’ feels like (mostly I still wonder whether I need to) and given the amount of times I have consoled friends in relationships aka play the role of that-friend-who-gives-relationship-advice-but-is-in-truth-perpetually-single, and two, been asked and have served as a bridesmaid / ‘dulang girl’ – at times I do wonder if I’ll be that classic tale of forever-the-bridesmaid-never-the-bride (and what a tale that would be!). But I do not and would not want to dilute myself to the story of “I was given great friendships / a huge family thus short-handed on romance” …God is most fair, my dear.
I’m writing simply to tell of another tale, the one in which whenever I sit with myself, in solitude, I am not unsettled. There is palpitation, but it isn’t fear. I am myself with myself and I think that’s an extremely key self-discovery. It’s the understanding and acceptance that there are many twenty-sixers within and outside of my radius who are living wholly different lives than my own – some headed towards blinding neon lights while others are cozily tucked behind picket fences – and here’s mine. They can and probably do live great lives and maybe I can and do secretly envy or desire for theirs (because the grass is always greener outside of our lawn, isn’t it) but I can also not want those lives and upright say no and mean it. I’m sure there are those with spouses, partners, kids and what-have-yous who’d similarly understand and echo this (including not wanting the life I have now!), but for myself – I could not have arrived at this perspective any other way.
And I hate to disappoint but this really isn’t a retrospect story of bridesmaid-zilla, spinster-doom, trade-offs or even ‘finalists’ (an old friend explained it as those who when they settle, others would react with “Finally!”) – it’s just mine, which is a endless balancing act between choices and circumstances.
I should probably not quote John Mayer (ha!) especially when the topic is on love, but I have always believed that he did know what he was on about when he crooned this line years ago, “The(my) heart of life is good.” Indeed.