State of My Life Right Now
Over the weekend, at a coffee shop, I watched the barista flirt with a customer she obviously knew. Normally, this kind of thing = eye-rolling annoyance, at minimum.
Instead, they both seemed so happy and earnest, and their nervous-yet-playful exchange so full of promise, I couldn’t find it in me to get irritated that I wasn’t being waited on. He must have asked something about kids, because she responded that, even though she had a toddler and wanted more, she didn’t have the other half of the procreating team. He asked how to spell her name, which I remember was something weird like Arvyn, and said that the spelling must have been why he couldn’t find her on Facebook.
When I left with my order, he was sitting in a corner, fiddling on an electronic gadget. In the story that continued in my head, he was friending Arvyn on Facebook at that moment, and within a few weeks they’ll be inseparable.
Turning 30 was a handwringing anxiety-fest, but I exorcized some of that angst on this blog. In the time since, I’ve realized that I was so focused on what I felt was missing from my life that should be in it, I didn’t much consider if I even wanted those things I worried I couldn’t have. Two of the biggest were, of course, marriage and babies. Here are my current conclusions on both:
Marriage – Eh.
Babies – Sure!
Luckily, most of the people I care about are not too concerned about the status of the first, and wouldn’t be even if the second were involved. And while I still would like children, and don’t think all of my eggs have shriveled up yet, at nearly 32 I do have to face a little bit of biological reality. Pumping my body full of fertility hormones will likely never appeal to me.
Plus, I’m currently without the other half of the procreating team.
That’s mostly because I can probably count on 5 fingers the number of guys I’ve dated in as many years. One could not construct a grammatically correct sentence in any written communication: nix. Another annoyed me so much that breaking my foot had the silver lining of an excuse not to see him. The most recent one couldn’t bowl; when my (very low) score beat his, I thought, Nah.
Perhaps I’m just an overly picky snob. But, one of these few I did really like, and he did leave me heartbroken. Unfortunately, he was a pretty recognizable trope: the non-boyfriend boyfriend with whom one has a part-time, un-labeled non-relationship relationship.
He acted a lot like a boyfriend some of the time (or somewhat like a boyfriend a lot of the time – I’m still not sure which). At these times he was funny, sweet, and kind. It was so easy to like him and want to be around him, so I can’t beat myself up too much about the rest of the time, during which he ignored me and blew me off to hang with his bros. I allowed our non-relationship relationship to continue like this for an embarrassingly long time, while I grew needy and desperate, rationalizing away jerkiness to keep the frustration and confusion at bay — until, finally, the strong, independent me who’s always been happy to march to her own beat resurfaced from under the tears she was weepily drowning in and put the kibosh on all of that.
I was back to being alone. But time did its magic: the anxiety over what felt missing in my life faded, as did the mourning of the ending of this pseudo-romance.
Amidst all the 30 angst, a friend said to me with a shake of her head, “You just don’t know how good you’ve got it.” At the time, she was right. But now I do know how good I’ve got it. Among the many happy things about being nearly 32 and sans marriage and babies, the following are included:
- Weekend trips to the beach, where I witness love blossoming in a coffee shop while I wait for chai lattes
- Seeing This is the End on a whim one hot afternoon after work. Having time after to take a walk and get some laundry done.
- Taking calculus class, again, after nearly 14 years
- Tapas and sangria under an umbrella on a city sidewalk
- Knowing that I would rather be alone than put up with anything to avoid being alone. (Strong people in my life have shown me that, and I’ll be forever thankful for it.)
- Reading good books
- Reading crappy books
- Netflix Instant streaming
- Baseball games
- Planning trips to Europe
- Listening to my grandfather tell stories
- Staying up late, going to bed at 8:30 p.m., sleeping in, and waking at 5 a.m., in any combination, plus napping
The amount of time I spend alone mostly matches the amount of time I want to be alone, which my introvert self loves. The rest of the time, I usually do as little or as much as I please, with whomever and whenever I want.
State of My Life Right Now: Quite Good