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I Am That Girl….I’m Not That Girl

December 4, 2012

I got married when I was 22. By the time I was 24 I was the mother of two. I was married for 21 years. It is stating the obvious to say that sometimes it was difficult. I remember times when I felt like I was floating outside of my body. I felt so overwhelmed it was like I didn’t know who I was anymore. I went through each day like a robot. I had no sense of self and the unhappiness enveloped me like a thick, heavy blanket I couldn’t toss off.

It wasn’t just the usual demands and stresses of being a mother and wife. I was battling depression and for much of that time, an unhappy marriage.

Sometimes I would imagine a different life. I would think about what it would be like to leave. I would think about what it would be like to be able to think independently, to act independently. I fantasized about living alone in some dump. Alone with my own thoughts. My own actions. Surviving didn’t scare me. I fantasized about having the choice to eat ramen noodles and peanut butter every day if I needed to instead of trying to provide balanced meals for all of us. I imagined working any hours I wanted to. Not having to be somewhere at 3pm every day. The freedom of simple self-determination was something I longed for, sometimes desperately.

Now, I am that girl. My kids are grown. I have my own crappy apartment. It’s decorated just the way I want it. The furniture is just where I want it to be. No second opinions. No passive-aggressive hints of disapproval. No criticism. No tension hanging in the air. I have a job that might allow me to make a living one day. I do what I want when I want, within my means.

And it feels good. Some days I’m alone all day. I run some errands, walk in the park. Text with friends. Talk to family.  I am the girl I fantasized about being and most of the time, it’s as wonderful as I imagined it would be.

But………..I’m also scared sometimes and I get lonely. I’m not finished. Now, I fantasize about a different life. I imagine having my master’s degree in History. Maybe being a history teacher. I imagine being the curator at the museum, working on research and writing and planning an endless line up of exhibits. I imagine living in a nicer, small apartment or a small house in the Saints streets. I imagine traveling. Going to Europe and the Grand Canyon and back to Bali. I imagine health insurance and a retirement fund. I imagine writing a book and making obscene amounts of money.

Most of all, I imagine falling in love. This time it lasts because the man I fall in love with thinks I’m the best thing that ever happen to him. He’s crazy about me, just the way I am. And he knows that life is about people and joy and the rest of it is just bullshit. And I’m crazy about him because he’s the best thing that ever happen to me. He brings out the best in me and calls me out when I’m full of shit without needing to take me down. He holds me up and lets me hold him when he needs it. He’s brilliant and funny and makes me laugh and lets me cry. And he’s tall and dark. He’s from some other country and though his English is polished, his accent is thick and smooth. He has soft, dark curly hair that gets out of control when he lets it grow too long.

That’s the girl I’m not. That’s the girl I want to be. I hope one day I’m writing about being that girl. For now, I’m thankful that I made it to the girl I am right now.

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From → Rantings

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