The last few days have been mentally and physically taxing ones for me. I'm drowning in approximately 175 essays to read (in addition to the rest of the homework I need to grade.) I have an online class I need to film for and grade. I have friends who want to spend time with me. I have a bed who dearly misses me. I have a handful of very needy parents to deal with. I have a somewhat neglected spiritual life that I have been making strides to enhance again. I have personal insecurities and outside pressures to somehow conquer or, at least, learn to put up with. My life, at least right now, feels a bit like the trash compactor in Star Wars and I'm doing everything I can to try and stop it, or at least get the trash out, but I've been fighting to stay on top while I do all this and it. is. hard.
Then I read this.
It's written by a good family friend that I knew growing up. I've been a long-time reader of hers because she has such a way with words that I can't help myself. Today she said exactly what I needed to.
Because - the thing is - in the middle of all this cultural pressure, I find myself looking at my own "someday" and feeling, on the whole, quite satisfied with what I have.
It used to be that someday I would graduate and have a job and teach and be financially independent and be married and have a family and do everything well. Now a good portion of that is here. I did graduate. I have a fantastic job. I teach. I am completely financially independent. I'm not married and I don't have a family and I certainly don't do everything well, but I am happy.
And, if I were being perfectly honest, I think I would be absolutely suffocated if I were home right now with children who couldn't speak yet. I'm not ready for that. I'm content with my room full of noisy teenagers who can mostly take care of their own body fluids. (Though, to be fair, this is likely the partial result of a stomach flu going around school that resulted in a hallway mishap recently. I don't hate small children. I'm just glad I don't have any right this second.)
So much of what I've written about in the last several years of having this blog has been about my convictions on love or dating or social lives in general that, for all my trying to escape the pressure, I've only ever been stuck in a world where I have felt inadequate and unappreciated as a single woman. As though my marital status has been a deterrent in my value or worth, or, if not a deterrent, then not as important. It has left me feeling torn and pressured into doing things for the entirely wrong reasons, just to attempt to relieve that pressure. It's no wonder I can't have fun when I go out on dates: I'm not dating to please myself, I'm dating to please others or to meet some cultural standard.
It sounds selfish, but I don't mean it to. I only mean that my mind has always been in the wrong place. It hasn't ever been: "someday I'll find someone that helps me be happy" - it's always been, "someday I'll find someone and that will make _____ happier with me." Or, "someday I will find someone and then I can have a life like ______."
What I'm trying to say is. . . I can wait. I'm ready to shed the pressure and just be for a while. I like where I am. I'm happy where I am. I don't want to live someone else's life. And I think, for a little while, before I dive back into the fray, I need to take a bit of time to appreciate the life that I have. I do look forward to my "someday" when I am not single and have all it entails in my life, but I am, for now, content with the "some" of "someday" I have.