A few weeks ago, I asked my brother (late 30’s, three kids, fairly decent at life) an atypically candid question.
“Do you think I have a chance of getting married anytime soon?”
My brother was quiet, and he’s not a quiet kind of guy. He carefully considered his answer, knowing from experience that one misspoken word can result in many of tears.
“I don’t think that a person who acts like you wants to get married.”
Of course, the obligatory tears ensued. How dare he say this about his perfect sister, a practically born-again virgin with excellent childbearing hips? But after the shitstorm came the calm, and I decided to hear him out.
It turns out that my brother wasn’t talking about my promiscuity (or lack thereof), or my potential parenting skills, or even my newfound penchant for polluting the Internet with recounts of my dating disasters. What he was referring to was my seemingly endless quest for finding myself, for postponing ‘real life’ in favor of ‘learning’ and ‘exploring’ and ‘creating experiences’, for dating all the wrong men and ignoring all the right ones.
I listened, I cried, I contradicted. And then I realized that he may have a point. As much as I may occasionally dream of simple happiness (within the confines of a Brooklyn Heights brownstone, of course), I’m certainly not working towards this goal in the conventional way (highly promising career, even more promising boyfriend).
The truth is, while some people are able to visualize exactly what they want at a young age and adamantly go after it, I was never one of them. It is not that I didn’t want success, it is just that I wasn’t exactly sure what the right path for me was. (It doesn’t help that we live at an odd time and even more odd economical climate.) It took me awhile to understand what I wanted, and it took me even longer to grow the balls to start going after it.
Somewhere along the way, a similar thing happened with my relationships. The opportunities to date different people made it hard to narrow down exactly what I wanted. I don’t date all the ‘wrong’ men because I can’t find the ‘right’ ones. I’m simply afraid that one particular ‘right one’ will narrow down my choices, grounding me and making me somewhat less interesting. Mixed in, there is also a fear of falling in love again, of opening up to somebody, of uprooting my life in a way that I’m not ready for.
The truth is, we are never 100 percent ready, because being ready is a choice within itself. Neither the perfect job, nor infinite success, nor the perfect man (or woman), will come running after you. You decide what you want, then you decide that you are ready for it, and then you go after it with everything you’ve got.
While I’m not quite ready to want to get married (whatever that means), I certainly don’t want to be the person who prevents herself from being happy because she’s too scared, or too closed-off, or too indecisive. And this is why, in 2014, I resolve to kick all my leftover fears in the ass, even if it means dating people who are not certified sociopaths.
Today, just hours away from 2014, think about what YOU want, and whether there is something standing in your way of getting there. Is it something inside of you, something you have the power to change? If so, resolve to make it the year that you find the courage in you to do so, bringing you one step closer to achieving your goals. (It doesn’t hurt that 2014 is supposed to be the year of five supermoons, which means that great changes are ahead.)
Bon courage and bonne année kids! I promise to be with you every step of the way.
P.S. Please don’t let any of my hungover philosophies distract you from kissing beautiful strangers when the ball drops. I will be attempting to do the same in London’s East End, where the options appear to be as limited as in Paris. Tune in for details in a couple of days, when my brain recovers!