The past three years have been very emotional. 2015 was nothing but emotion. 2016 was growth. 2017 was spreading my wings. 2018 is shaping up to be a very introspective year. Not that the others weren't, but it took three years to set me up for a healthy place to breathe, think and understand.

I was having a game night with a group of friends last week. We were drinking beers, laughing, singing 90s songs and playing Settlers of Catan. At one point, the youngest person present said, "Would you ever have imagined when you were little that this is what it would mean to be a grownup?"


I actually do think about younger me a lot. What would I tell me? What would I tell her to change? What would I tell her to stand up for? The reality of this fictional situation is that I don't want to tell myself anything. Yes, mistakes were made. Yes, things could have been different. And I've said it before and I'll continue to say it many, many times, but I am who I am and I am where I am because of all of the shit that I've been through. Life is too short to dwell on regrets.

So what should I dwell on instead?


But not really.

So I wouldn't say that I'm dwelling, but what I'm dealing with has two parts to it. 1) Learning to be complete on my own and 2) fighting every instinct to feel at all inadequate because of the things I "should" be/have been.

Being complete. That's a frickin' tall order. The subject first came up sometime in late 2016, early 2017 and I don't know why it didn't occur to me before then. Well, my therapist was the one that brought it up. We were talking about dating and blah blah blah, but the out come is that what I want out of life is to be my own independent person. I want to live a full life and have it be enough if it's only ever just me. And if there's someone by my side to hold my hand and walk with me, just as complete and independent on his own, fantastic. Otherwise, I have me, and that is enough. Yeah, tall order. It's one thing to say all of those words and to want them and to believe in them. But it's a completely other thing to actually LIVE them. But I think I'm starting to.

So why is that important to me? I feel like it should be obvious, but I'm gong to say it anyway. I'd much rather be alone and live the life I want to live than be stuck with someone living a life I hate. Did that. I'm over it. I lost myself and I stopped growing. Life has a lot to offer and I can't explore it by standing still.

The second part about fighting Should. This one is hard because it's not just me I'm fighting; it's family, friends and society. Every time I was asked as a child what I wanted when I grew up. Things like where I would live or how many dogs I would have or what my job would be always fluctuated. But you know what didn't change? I was always going to get married and have kids. And I'm not alone on that. A lot of people are set up with that expectation. And that expectation is drilled and hammered in so deeply that it's still there. I'm personally letting it go, but I can't go a week without someone telling me that someday I'll get what I deserve. Or that the moment you stop looking for Mr. Right, that's when he appears.

Will everyone stop being my cheerleader, please? You're not actually helping. You're brining pity into a situation that doesn't need it.

I'm doing my best to be enough on my own. And I'm inching my way there. Yeah, it's sad sometimes and of course it hurts when I feel like the third wheel in life. But there's something to be said for my complete freedom.

So. I'll be living my life. And loving it as often as anyone can. I'm good. I'm enough.

[She repeats "I'm enough" over and over to herself as the room goes dark. End scene.]

I don't have to if I don't want to

I had a teacher in high school that transformed my life. It wasn’t an overarching life lesson or advice I wasn’t mature enough to realize on my own. Instead, he simply told me that if I found myself reading a book that I lost interest in, that was okay; stop reading. That’s given me the freedom to put books down nearly without guilt. I still have some guilt over books like One Few Over the Cuckoo’s Nest because there are books that I feel like you are judged for not finding interesting or not appreciating or, blah, blah, blah. So I still have some of that. But books are no different than food or clothing or music in that everyone has their own taste. I’ll pick almost anything up, but that also means that I reserve the right to put it down whenever I decided I don’t care about it. It’s not a lack of respect for the author and it’s not a lack of intelligence or ability to understand. No, it’s typically that I just don’t care and would rather be doing something else.

So, thank you, Mr. Name-I-Don’t-Remember. You have truly given me the gift of time.