Thirty-One

January 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

Day 31.

It is the lonely side of not settling, it is a brief, bottom of the barrel hopelessness that what I am holding out for will never find me that puts a daily break in my optimistic, “wait for it” attitude. For a few minutes each day I arrive at that place where I imagine the worst – marrying a man who wears khakis, getting a job requiring me to wear khakis, or ending up in an apartment that is anything but a home (and full of khakis). I imagine myself giving up everything I love the most, everything filling my future with color, to live the life that I feel rushed to live.

It seems like such a silly issue… in retrospect or from another person’s perspective (as do most things), but how many times a day do I settle for something that is much less than what I want or deserve because I lack patience or believe that I am not worth it? What patience and perseverance and worthiness require can be as small as choosing an apple over a piece of candy or as large as feeling like a homeless wanderer on my parents’ sofa. Assumptions and judgments can fly all day long, but in those five minutes of hopelessness they make their way past my 12in thick shield of individuality causing a high tide of self-loathing. In that moment the day’s top ten “should have’s” drown out all rationality. I could be married to a nice gentleman, living in a small, mediocre town, with an uninteresting degree under one arm and a chubby child under the other. “I should have, I should have, I should have…”

However, the rant only lasts so long before my current inspiration high snaps me back to reality. Before I know it I am done worrying about the “right” kind of man and awake to find myself staring at an eye shadow pallet of 50 exuberant colors. I cling to these little inspirations – the perfect melody or a thought provoking quote or a new vintage treasure – to keep me from sinking. I give thought to people who have pushed the limits – friends who nearly became unwelcome guests in an effort to hold out for the hidden gem home, the friends who tirelessly lived on a tight budget in order to pursue a career they were passionate about, the friends who stayed single, waiting for their soul mate, while everyone around them married – and I find hope in their patient successes.

Not settling is a choice; mostly one of patience. In my moment of silly despair not settling means choosing to believe that I am worth what I have dreamt up and having the courage to go after it, even if it requires painful waiting, good humored defense, and 50+ colors of eye shadow.

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