Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Plus One . . . .

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a nun.

Stop laughing. Seriously. Get up off the floor, you're embarrassing yourself.

I'm not kidding. We were very religious when I was young; said the rosary every night, went to church every Sunday, went to Catholic school for 12 years. I decided early that I wanted to be a nun, like in first grade. Maybe it was the safety of being around nothing but women, or the idea that no man would ever put any expectations on me. Maybe it was the cameraderie, or the idea of service. Maybe it was the habits. I don't really fully know now. But, every once in a while I find myself thinking about it again.

The thing that made me change my mind about taking orders happened back when I was in third grade: I realized I wanted to be a mother one day. So, I gave it up and got on a different path, and now all these years later, I wonder from time to time if I didn't make the wrong choice.

I've never really had a Plus One, or a Valentine. I've never been asked out on a date, really. Any dates I've ever been on, I've done the asking. I've always been like that, and while it's admirable to take the initiative in your own life, there are times I just wish I didn't always have to. Maybe that was what appealed about taking orders all those years ago: I could give my life over to something, and stop having to be the one to have to carry all the load by myself. I'm "Take the Bull By the Horns" Girl. If a decision needs to be made, I make it. If something needs to be planned, I do the planning. I volunteer to go first, I lead the group.

I'm thirty years old, and I'm tired. I've driven my life so hard for so long, steered it like a runaway train with one hand on the wheel, and I guess I just wish I could find a good place, a good career, find a good partner, and settle. I'm always pushing, looking for the next opportunity, forcing the square peg to fit into the round hole, and sometimes I just want to chuck the whole thing at someone else and let them do it for awhile. It sounds awful, like I want to go back to the '50's and make martinis for my husband while he runs the world, but it's not that at all. I just want somebody to share the load, to know that it doesn't always have to be me to speak up, take initiative, make decisions. I think that's the real burden of loneliness: knowing there's no one to lean on when things are stressful, when you want to cry or collapse because things are just to tough for one person to deal with.

I will not have a Plus One for my sister's wedding. I could ask some guy (or, knowing me, several guys before I actually got one to accept the invitation), but I just don't want to. I think I'm at the point in my life where I want somebody else to do the pursuing. To care enough about being around me that they take the initiative for once. No more hammering those square pegs into round holes.

But, I'll tell you, it's times like these that the convent starts to look really good again.

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