Saturday, January 29, 2011

twenty-somethings

Whew! Made it through my first full week of work since the new year (the 2-hour delay on Thursday doesn't count). It was surprisingly a nice week. My students are slowly driving me insane, but it's the end of the semester so there is just a lot going on. It should calm down after this week (hopefully).  I do love my students, I just don't love all of their *choices*! It's sometimes hard getting across to an 18 year old on the facts of life when you're only 6 years older than they are...somehow they do not think I know what I am talking about...:). Come on, I am OLDER and WISER...shesh!

There has been a reoccuring theme to my life this week, though. Getting asked by adults *why* I'm not dating anyone seriously? It happened at the end of an IEP meeting on Monday by the school psychologist (who I love, btw). I am glad that is what she is thinking about as we sit in a meeting. It happened the next day by a teacher in the middle of work, but in her defense, we were just casually chit-chatting, so I guess it could be a normal question. Then it happened again when I ran into a older adult I know at a work function. She went on and on about how I need to date online- "it's the thing these days!" It's like it is the question on everyone's mind. I guess I can take it as a compliment that they all are amazed that I am not dating anyone seriously. But why should that be? Since when does it define who you are as a person if you're in a relationship or not? Crazy people are in relationships, and great people also date crazy people, so why does it matter? I don't think there is anything wrong with a seemingly great person being single. Maybe they haven't met anyone special enough or maybe they choose not to be in a relationship. I like to think I am fun and a good catch, but I do not base my success on whether or not I am seeing someone special.

It is just an interesting phenomenon to experience as you move through your 20's and the different paths people take. Many people you know are pairing off and settling down, while others are just living in the moment. It's funny- I have friends who are always in relationships (serial monogamists, they're called) and then I have friends who enjoy the single life and doing as they please and are in no rush to (and rarely) settle down. Then some people are stuck between doing what they think they are supposed to do and doing what they want to do and trying to make sense of it all. Some of my happiest friends are single, but I know people in relationships who are only blissfully happy in relationships. Then there are people that are truly happy either way. It's really a crazy time of life, I think. My generation is definitely more open about all different types of relationships and life paths, but somehow that pressure is still there to do what you are supposed to do. I think everyone assumes they will get married and have kids. Many just don't want it now- even friends who have been dating people for years still can't talk about marriage. There is not a sense of urgency maybe there once was. I don't assume anything. I don't know what my life will be like, but I know I am not waiting for anyone to take care of me. I am planning my life as it is now and not as it could be with someone else. If I meet someone- great. But I am not set on what I want my life to be like.

What I have noticed is that everyone is always searching. Some are searching for relationships, some are searching for the life they want, some are searching for happiness in some form, others for something new and fulfilling. Searching is the hardest part of the twenty-something. The uncertainty, the wishes, the plans and the reality all mixed together make us want something we don't know how to find.

Bottom line: Happiness cannot be measure by what is supposed to be or what society says is normal. I think people would live very different lives without the influence of society. Great people never marry, but they live fulfilling, successful lives in different ways. So, why am I single? I don't know, and frankly, being in a relationship is not how I base success in life, nor greatness of personality or looks. Crazy, mean and ugly people are loved too. And sometimes it's the "normal" and "great" ones who love them.
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