A friend’s Facebook post spurred me to consider what it is in life that a WANT. Aside from summer nights filled with fireflies and the occasional ice cream sandwich, what is it that I want from my life?
- I want to have a home where friends can pop over any time. I want to live in the sort of place that everyone wants to hang out in because it’s so relaxing and lovely. I want to be a hostess. Because
- I want to have the sort of friends who want to pop over. And I want to be the sort of friend who can maintain pop-over relationships.
- I want to be in love. Not just with my significant other, but with so many aspects of my life that I simply get overwhelmed sometimes with gratitude and happiness.
- I want to be a wonderful partner. I want to maintain a loving relationship that is balanced, fair and free of unrealistic expectations. I want to give.
- I want to grow vegetables. Maybe some fruits.
- I want to laugh as freely and as often as I already do for the rest of my life.
- I want to forgive myself for how I reacted to the things that happened to me, for the things that I’ve done and for the things that I tolerated others doing to me. I want to forgive them, too.
- I want to apologize less.
- I want to offer gratitude more.
- I want to look back on today and be glad that things happened exactly as they did because I’ve learned something from it and made all the best choices I could’ve made at the time.
I read a post on Offbeat Bride about the magical “right time” to get married and all the pressure and want to do it on a certain timeline. It really struck a chord with me.
I’d lived with the deep-seeded need to get engaged right now, to get married right now. I’d felt it so strongly, and I’d operated under the assumption that it was the impulse to follow.
So we got engaged. And when it finally happened, after 6 years of being together, it became the catalyst for the end of our relationship.
In picking up the pieces and surveying the nebulous cloud of “what happened”, I learned a lot that I simply hadn’t been able to see at the time. I’d been pushing for right now since we started dating–it’s how we started dating! I’d been making the goals, making the demands and making the decisions.
I realized that all along, I had needed to feel that push of right now for myself. For my own life. For goals for myself.
Because I didn’t. I never had. I was filling my life with propelling the relationship forward so that I could cover up the fact that I wasn’t passionate about my own life, decisions or desires. I was creating relationship goals because they were clear, definite and easy. Charting a course for my relationship had a society-dictated trajectory and by fulfilling those relationship expectations, there was no way I could fail in my goals. I could land an engagement, I could demand a wedding and I could then be a wife. Those are things I could do, and they were within reach. By dragging him along, I was in some way helping us both move forward as adults in my mind.
This is not to say that my love was a sham or some sort of twelve step program into Stepfordhood. I was really in love with him, but I was ignoring myself and my own life.
Somehow in our engagement, I slowly became aware that I was stagnant as a person and I was dragging him down with me. I was terrified of real responsibility, but I was tired of pushing him toward it. So I ended our engagement and our relationship.
It was the right time.