Changes

As I am sitting here on the brink of realizing one of my dreams, I can’t help but wonder what is next for me.

When I think about the way I thought my life was going to unfold as opposed to the way it has, it sparks a feeling in me akin to disappointment. If you had asked me 5 years ago, I would have told you that I would be married by now, maybe even starting to think about having children. I might not have been able to tell you where I was going to be working, or where I was going to be living, but that whole “happily ever after” thing was close to a definite for me.

In the interim, I have changed. What I once wanted isn’t what I still want. Don’t doubt me, I still would like to find my “happily ever after” but I have slowly been coming to the realization that it won’t be what I once thought it would be.

Part of it is because, though I ALWAYS say that I think change is key to growth, you really can’t account for the ways you might change. The person who made your heart beat fast every time you saw them three months ago may not do the same thing for you two days from now. The thing that was once your life’s passion may take a back burner to everything else depending on the choices you make and the hand life deals you.

I might just be in my feelings today, but I’m wondering where my life is leading me.

I can’t say that I feel helpless, because that is absolutely untrue. While part of me wouldn’t mind the stability of picking a city and making a life there, placing roots, doing all the things that society tells me I am “supposed” to be doing, the other part of me is pretty skeptical about the whole thing. I know that once I do that, it is going to be hard for me to uproot myself, especially when I think about the extensions of myself (read husband and child) that my family is wondering when I will have.  While I still feel like the decisions I am making are mostly about me, I see the impact they have on the people around me and I wonder how to figure out how to make choices that I feel like are causing the least hurt to the people I love the most.

I feel like I am straddling the line between selfishness and selflessness. Ever since the day of my departure has been growing closer, I have been listening to my family tell me their concerns about me going away. The most prevalent theme has been that they felt I had been “sowing my royal oats” so to speak, and that they felt I was always going to end up where my heart is (which is where they are). While I certainly feel a tug to be close to my family, I always feel a little trapped while I am with them. The city where I became a woman is the city of the girl I used to be, not the woman I have become, or am becoming.

Maybe part of it is my fear of being defined by who I am to the other people in my life. Granted, I already am. I am a daughter, a sister, an auntie, a friend. I’m not yet a mother or a wife, but those are roles that I will fill one day, and those might be the ones that scare me the most. You can fail at them, or at least feel like you have. Maybe you have an idea of how you are going to be, how you will grow with your partner, the relationship you will have with your children. No one sets out to be a bad parent -and in their own eyes they may NOT be- but that doesn’t mean that their children will see things the same way.  When I sit down and talk to my brothers about our childhood, I realize that we have different ideas about what the successes and failings of our parents are…and I guess we can only agree to disagree. By the same token, no one sets out to fail at any relationship, much less marriage, but no one can foresee the ways that their lives will change or how the person you took for better or worse (and the person you took) might change.

It’s crazy that the same ponderings I am facing now won’t be that different from the ones I am facing 1 day, 1 week, or 1 year from now. I just hope I am able to look back on all the choices I’ve made and feel that I have done the best with what I have. Fear of the unknown is a bitch.

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