against the grain or insecure excuse?

Sometimes I’m not sure which I am. I get really defensive about things like people marrying right out of college or earlier, or people being afraid of dining alone….but is it that I support those things that I choose or because I choose them out of necessity?

Lately, I’ve begun feeling like it was insecurity. I would save money all week by eating handouts at work and not buying groceries (because cooking for one seems pointless!), then blowing all the saved money at the end of the week making up for what I didn’t eat before…and doing it alone. Just last week, a guy came up to me and said “You’re not seriously here alone, are you?” to which I retorted, “No, I’m just reading a book with all of my friends (gestured to empty high table) [jackass]”…

Notions like that make me wonder why I’m alone all the time. Or like when I walked from Lakewood to Whiskey Island alone last night and some dudes on bikes shouted after me “Hey, girl, where’s your boyfriend??” [“Where’s yours??”]… I wonder, but then I go to make arrangements and they fall through too often that I remember.

Sometimes I think it would be nice to live with someone. Sometimes I think it would be nice to have things “figured out”. But the reality is, I do have things “figured out”. And if I hadn’t ended my long-term relationship in college, I may have never done a lot of things and become ME. And THAT is why I think no girl in my generation who has finished college at 22 should marry before 25.

Because I didn’t follow the alleged “norm”, I got to visit over 30 countries in one year. Because I continue to neglect the “norm”, I can walk around Edgewater Park on the 4th of July without a date and not care. I can visit any restaurant I want whenever I want and not need company or reservations. I can read a book at a bar stool and not care for a second. I can bike whenever I please to wherever I want, play in any hockey league or on a softball team and have only work to confine me. I can volunteer and spend time with my elderly neighbor and learn more than any married woman at my age could dream of learning. And I’m pretty glad that’s the path I ended up on.

I’m not saying I don’t eventually want what other women have – it’s just right now I have too many other things to worry about. There are too many places to see, too many people to help,…and I would be fine if that’s all I ever do. The only time I worry I won’t be fine is if I worry too much about what “society” says. Well, forget you society. Because society also made me think a guy who was as angelic as guys get would never hurt me, and he’s topped even the somewhat abusive relationship I came out of in college. Nothing cuts deeper than words of hate. Not even a bully locking you in his room and restraining you from going home. The only perk is this is the kind of behavior I can freely walk away from, and that’s what I’m doing.

So Kayla, stop telling yourself this lifestyle is an excuse – because it’s clearly a choice. Like when all of your friends last minute say they can’t make the movie and you go alone anyway – you’re just realizing the value in life experiences doesn’t have to correlate with how many people are there to experience them with you.

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