Monday, January 4, 2010

Roll on.

I met my husband when I was 22. I find that number shocking now; how young I was! I remember, even at the time, thinking this was all happening too fast - that I had just come into my own self and I wasn't ready to end my run as this wild, independent girl quite yet. One night I confessed to a fellow bartender (pleaded, really), that I wasn't ready to get married - wondering if she had some secret on how to postpone my fate. It was a fate that I really wanted (oh, how totally in love I was with this guy), but at the same time, I was somewhat reluctant to head toward. I was really good at being single. [Well, if by 'being single' you meant 'drinking heavily and getting into dangerous situations where I always escaped scot-free with my sense of humor and charm -and virginity, yeah- still intact'; then yes. I was excellent at being single.] Plus, I wanted to travel. I had this one grand plan, my big ever-present daydream, to pack up the Civic with all my worldly possessions and just go and land where ever the wind blew me. I knew I could stay at the local youth hostel until I got on my feet and oh, the people I would surely meet there! Maybe I would bar tend, that's an easy thing to work around and isn't everyone in service just there to support their next step anyway? But what I really wanted to write and write until my fingers fell off - for Lonely Planet and for my own personal 'Great American Novel' gain and eventually take over Samantha Brown's job. I wanted to absorb all the beauty I could find out there, pull it all inside of me and let it leave its mark forever all over my muddy little soul and then I just wanted to shine those sights and sounds and feelings back out through a calligraphy pen onto endless sheets of textured paper and relive it all over and over and over again. I wanted to fill myself up in every way a single person can - with experiences that are big and beautiful and blinding but have nothing to do with anyone else. I was at a point in my life where I was totally into physical contact but not at all into the idea of attachment. Bonds like that were only going to slow me down. So I had relationships, I had crushes, I had fun. No sweat.

And then one night, after 'leading' a room full of semi-potty-trained 3 year olds and hating nearly every minute of it, and not having to go to my second job (server at redneck wing bar), I got a call inviting me to a party in the city. And ugh, I was tired and not in the mood. And one could claim this was magic, that I was invited to this party because we were destined to meet that night - but it was bound to happen at one point or another - we were running in so many of the same circles, he even had pictures of me at parties he had been at but had no idea who I was. It was inevitable that we meet. But it happened that night - the week before Christmas and I saw the immigration papers on the wall and was shocked that no one had introduced me to this Mick before - clearly I had not been stating my preference for Irishmen loudly enough. No matter; I would never have to point such desires out again. I knew from the moment I saw him and I made jokes about it the next day, and then that Friday night with my family; that I had to leave early because I had 'a date with my future husband'. Barry was a very laid back guy, but at the same time, he was extremely focused. I found the former appealing, the latter amusing. So many grand plans, schemes, ideas - his imagination was something else. And at the time, I was also in a frame of mind where I was quite lofty with my goals - but as the relationship progressed, that part of my mind began to quietly close shop. But for the one or two drunken outbursts to strangers where I admitted that I felt like with the birth of this relationship that part of myself was dying (but never expressed so eloquently/coherently), I just wandered on my merry way toward that destination.

We will celebrate our 6 year anniversary this month. I met Barry 8 years ago and I'm not sure at exactly what point I lost myself. I mean, not completely - there are plenty of times where I can see/feel myself shimmering through. And the 'being single' we referred to earlier has no place nor any appeal at this point in my life. Additionally, becoming a mother, twice, has irrevocably changed who I was into another kind of person, too. My goals from year 22 are pretty incompatible with all of these things. Do I still mourn the path I strutted my engagement ring right on past? Only sometimes, and not for very long. I feel like I didn't mourn properly for that death. Like part of me is still hanging on to those post-adolescent dreams as if they are all my heart is capable of being thrilled by. Our relationship only has the potential of its weakest member and my imagination for the future needs to be stirred up now. My map needs to be scribbled out onto something tangible and I need to carry it in my back pocket and pull it out when I get all worn down.

I need to grow up. But that's another (monstrous) ball of wax for another day.

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