Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Never Married Divorcee

"There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under the jurisdiction. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I'm going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts."
— Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love

I had everything planned out.

I could tell you line by line what I wanted to do with my life- become a successful journalist, business owner, wife and mother.

At age 27, I am still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up

For so long my happiness directly correlated with my career. That’s where I sought approval and acceptance. And trust me, when my work life is in the toilet, so goes my self-esteem and my health. It defines me.

When it comes to love I am so mechanical:

Girl meets Guy.
Guy dates Girl. 
Girl becomes girlfriend. 
Time passes. 

And, if you’re lucky, there won’t be a divorce.

What of love? It’s not that important in the grand scheme of things. I mean, falling in love is like driving drunk—some people live to tell about it, and for others, well, you wished they never got on the road to begin with. 

The uncertainty of it all is a huge turn off. I'm more interested in finding a good friend, great sex, and trust-- rather than feeling love. I mean, if it happens with my good pipe-laying friend well that’s great. Still, I find that love is non-essential, like most government employees. 

My family lives on the other side of the country. I left them there to pursue that career that I am not sure I am interested in anymore.

Like Liz, I am at a point in my life where I need to let go, and live.

This year, I decided to divorce my expectations and my controlling ways. Normally, people would call it “doing me” but that’s not appropriate for me since doing me has gotten me in this state of unrest. Instead of focusing on my career and finding solace in pushing paper, or making career decisions, or by winning the approval of my bosses, I am ready to focus on really living.

I'm taking swimming lessons. Turns out I am a natural. For the rest of the year, I’ll continue to take swimming lessons, and perhaps become a lifeguard. Focusing on my athleticism and releasing my inner Olympian.

I’ll take cooking lessons.  A class every month, basic knifing, sushi making, and preparing sauces.

This perhaps is the beginning of my life’s lesson:  My life is so much bigger and wider than a brief case.