Tuesday, November 25, 2008

the lament of an almost 37 year old woman

i don't really feel like writing at the moment — but i don't fee like cleaning my apartment, doing my dishes (all of which are currently dirty, down to the last cheese knife which i just used to cut a bagel) or lugging my entire wardrobe to the laundromat. so here i sit, hair tied up in a messy bun, italian wool ballet tights & a white long sleeve t-shirt full of holes — a vision of beauty, surrounded by clutter and a life that most days does not feel like it is my own.

i have no desire to step foot outside my door, pick up the phone or see another human being right now. i wouldn't say i'm depressed but i feel strange and out of sorts, anxious. the last 6 months have been an upheaval. my whole life, changed. i'm confident it is for the better, but there are times when i walk through my door, into an apartment i barely recognize as my own and i wonder how i ended up here and what over the last 37 years (almost) i have given up to get to where i am.

i never thought getting older would bother me. that's an easy stance to have when you are 22 and the world is literally being handed to you left and right. everything is an adventure, there is nothing to stop you from doing what you want and getting whatever it is you desire. and when you are young it is easy to side step certain aspects of your life to make room for the future you think you want. i gave up so much — always with the thought that there would be time later — once i got my career going and was settled in the sort of life i saw for myself. the clincher is, i come to that point and realize that everything i ever wanted wasn't what it seemed. i'm not complaining. over all i rather love my life & its long, haphazard, crazy history. i've worked extremely hard but i've also been extremely lucky and have had more 'adventures' in my years than most people can dream of during their entire lives. i would be a selfish fool if i looked back on all of it and complained. and i'm not dead yet, i have many years of triumphs and failures ahead of me — which i am fairly certain will prove to be just as bizarre and comically wrought with absurd twists and turns as my past.

the only difference now is that i have a deeper understanding of the phrase 'you can't have it all.'
you can't. and every morning when i wake up alone at some ungodly hour to go to a job i have wanted since i was 4 i am reminded of everything i have given up to get here: relationships, family, a stable, consistent life, friends...
these are all things that have been pushed aside for decades because work always came first — no matter what my work was. i justified it to myself and those around me by saying i was doing what i had to do to get my life in order & when i got there i would find time for a real relationship, to have a family and a home & all the things normal people seem to come by without even thinking about it. and now i am almost 37 and i am no closer to finding any of those things than i was when i was a 22 year old junkie playing dress up in nyc.

for all intents and purposes i have created exactly the life i set out to have. what i wasn't counting on was that none of it would really matter in the end. much as i wake up in the morning, i go to sleep at night — alone. and no matter what anyone tells me i know deep down this is how it is going to be. i'm 37, intelligent and independent and i live in a city that covets the young and the insipid. the only man i have had any interest in for over a year wants nothing to do with me except for the occasional bout of sex — so he can concentrate on his career and sleep with whomever he wants. and from what i can tell he has a fondness for the young and the insipid. it's like a triple smack in the face. 1. total rejection 2. rejected for girls i wouldn't look twice at and 3. a painful glimpse of the person i used to be because i used to be just like him.

i got what i wanted. and i must pay for it by not getting what i realize now is so much more important. it doesn't seem that i ask for much, i don't NEED a boyfriend or family of my own as some entity from which i can identify myself — all i really want at this point, after all these years is to have something to take care of other than myself.

i'm so boring. after 37 years of a life that has revolved entirely around ME, ME, ME i would give anything to think about someone else for a change. and after all i have been through the only thing in my life that scares me right now is the realization that it might never happen. the material shit i have under control — i can do whatever work i want, i can move wherever i want & do anything i desire — but the only thing i can't control is if i'll do it alone. instinct tells me 'set the table for one.'