I give you my parents fantasy for me...
....and here I give you the probable reality. Sorry mom and dad.
If you live to be 90 and you sleep 8 hrs per night, you will spend 30 years of your life sleeping. I love sleep as much as the next girl, but I'm trying to cut that back to 15-20 yrs. I want to sleep less and do more. I will be 40 this year and time seems to be going faster every day. Give or take a few years, my life is about half over and that makes me sad. As the years fly by, I find myself getting pickier about how I spend my time and who I spend it with.
When I was younger, I spent the majority of my time acting out the script my parents laid out for me. Somebody somewhere wrote and outline complete with a set of rules, guidelines and expectations that we are all supposed to follow. I would love to sit down and have a conversation with these people and find out who put them in charge of not only my destiny, but everybody's. Why would we be given the capacity to stray from the script but not be allowed to do so without disappointing ourselves or loved ones. Let's see...I was expected to go to college, meet a boy, get a good job with my degree, get married, buy a house with two cars in the garage, pop out a couple kids, raise the kids, retire with my husband...the first and only one, get old, then my kids take care of me and then I die. What really happened was I joined the Army and put myself through college and graduated...and it all went to shit from there. I realized in college that I was a lesbian...failure #1. They day after I graduated from college I said screw my degrees and moved to Athens to become a tattoo artist...failure #2. I was a tattoo artist for 10 yrs and quit because I couldn't live with the fact that I wasn't the best artist out there...failure #3. Had a series of relationships that I hoped would be forever but weren't, failures #4-8. I rent a townhouse...failure #9. No kids so far...failure #10 I have a job that I love but to a lot of people is still a failure because of my tax bracket....failure #11. I haven't really stuck to the script and it's not likely that life after 40 will be much different.
I don't think I'm a failure because I have made my own path. I beat myself up a lot when I was younger mostly because I felt like I had disappointed my parents. They wanted the fairy tale for me. The "easy road". I have always taken the more difficult road not because I wanted to be different, but because that was the only way I could be truly happy and my authentic self.
I could have met a boy and faked it until I made it the way many others have done. Would probably be having some midlife crisis right about now because well...I'm gay and married to a man. Might possibly have a couple kids that now will ultimately have to go through a divorce and deal with the fact that...surprise!...mommy's gay! It's one thing to be brought into the world by two loving homosexual parents and that is the only life you have ever known...it's your normal. It's another thing all together for it to happen later and have to deal with the break up of your parents marriage and all the fighting and pain that goes with that. So I decided to skip that part all together and be the dirty lesbian that I am.
I am a serial monogamist. I'm not really into dating. I always used to say that I only go out so I can meet somebody to stay home with. That's not even true anymore...because I don't go out. I have self esteem issues, so the idea of pursuing somebody is completely terrifying to me. My stranger danger issues don't help much either. So I just go about my life and if somebody comes along that wants to sit next to me on my couch, I either accept or decline. I have had several long relationships. Each time, I hoped with all my heart that they would be the ONE. I loved them all and tried my best to make it work. For one reason or another, none of them have so far. The main issue has been compatibility. They weren't bad people and I'm not a bad person...we were just bad together. No matter how much we both wanted it to work, it just didn't. I would try to change who they were or they would try to change me. We all have the ability to make small changes, but at the end of the day...you can't change who somebody is and the way they operate in the world. It's not fair to ask that of somebody or for them to ask that of you. All relationships require a certain amount of work, compromise and sacrifice...nobody is perfect. But most of your time should not be spent doing those things. Everybody has flaws, you just have to decide which ones you are willing to deal with.
The main thing I'm looking for in a relationship is true love. I always say, looks get you in the door, who you are as a human being keeps you there. I have been with some beautiful girls that got ugly really quickly because their insides did not match the outside. And there have been girls that I wasn't attracted to initially that became the most beautiful girls in the world because they were amazing human beings. Since I haven't had the option to be married, getting out has always been an option.
Divorce is super common these days but there is still a social stigma that goes with it. I have many friends that have gone through it or are thinking about it. The first thing I always ask them is "Are you in love with them?" "What is it that is keeping you there?" I can't remember anybody ever saying yes. The closest thing I have gotten is "Well I love and care about them and don't want to hurt them, but I'm not IN LOVE with them." It seems like it becomes more of a parent/child love than a marriage.
Many of them want to sacrifice their happiness for "the kids." That is not something I want to teach my kids. If they are unhappy in their marriage, I want them to work on it for a while and once they have tried everything to make it work, I want them to get out if that's what it takes for them to be happy.
Some one has actually said "I'm just staying for the pay check." This blows my fuckin' mind! No amount of stuff that you can buy in a store could ever feel better than TRUE LOVE. I've also heard "We are passing ships in the night. I don't really care. I don't want to have to work and I want to go to lunch with my friends."...again...I don't get it. I don't need somebody to pay my bills, I need someone who adores me and makes me feel like my happiness is important to them. My definition of love is putting somebody elses wants and needs before your own and doing it without hesitation or resentment. You do it because making them happy makes you happy. The best analogy of this actually came from my brother who let's face it, is a train wreck when it come to most things in life. I was talking to him on the phone one day and he was telling me how much he loved his girlfriend. He said "I love her so much that when I make us dinner, I always give her the best steak...and I don't even tell her. I just want her to have it. It makes me happy to know that she is getting the best one." Love is unselfish...and when the love is equal...everybody wins.
And then there is the whole social status/friend scenario. People have said "If I get divorced, I will lose all my friends. We all hang out as couples. They think I should just get over it and stay so we can all still hang out." Those people are not real friends. They are selfish and more concerned about how the divorce will effect them and don't give a shit about their "friends" happiness. I could care less about who my friends have laying next to them. All I want is for them to be happy. I'm gonna be their friend and support them no matter what they choose to do or who they do it with. Their relationship has nothing to do me. At the end of the day, it's none of my business. The one thing I really hate is going out with a group of women that are constantly bitching about their spouses and shit talking them but never doing anything to make it better. Shit or get off the pot ladies...I don't want to hear it anymore.
I want to find the person who wrote the fairy tale and kick them in the nuts! I'm assuming it was a man because women didn't even have the right to vote until 1920. If it was a woman, then I'd like to punch her in the vag! It is a fairy tale with no roots in reality. They set us up for failure. Most people get married to young to begin with. They don't know who or what they want and they end up with a life sentence. I'm not sure why this pressure is only placed on the most important thing...love. You can change jobs, friends, homes, clothes, lifestyles, hell you can even change genders. But you are expected to know exactly who you want to be with for the rest of your life somewhere between the ages of 20-35. You should be able to predict that you and that person will change and evolve in the same direction until death do you part. You get one shot. It's like the mob...Once you're in, you're in!
I guess I will just keep being a failure until I get it right. I would rather be alone for the right reasons, then together for the wrong ones. Maybe I will die an old spinster... alone except for my hundred cats. That's fine with me. I will die knowing I never settled and never gave up the quest for true love. My story is almost half over...I'm gonna make every moment of the second half count.