I’ve been co-babysitting with my mom since Friday night. She’s really supposed to be the one babysitting, but since she’s 50+ years old and hasn’t had small children in almost two decades, I thought I’d help a sistah (momma) out. Plus, she knows I have no social life and I owe her for my rent-free living.
These children are very smart and charismatic. But they are also children, which means they really don’t give a fuck about anything outside of what they want to do. This weekend has made me realize that I need to stop missing my birth control doses, because I’m so NOT ready for any of this anytime soon. Last night, they were rough-housing (I can’t believe I’m of the age where I use the term “rough-housing” with all seriousness) and having a good time. And then, the girl hit her nose against her brother’s head and started crying and screaming like her arm had been chopped off. She did this for about two minutes, then went and sat down on a chair, wiped off her tears, and went back to watching TV. Completely calm, completely fine, like nothing had happened.
Children are scary.
Since I’m not planning on having children anytime soon, I should at least figure out the rest of my life. As I’ve written about before, I’m in a rather large liminal moment, also known as my QUARTERLIFE CRISIS. I think my quarterlife crisis showed up a little prematurely, but now that I’ve named her… I need to be about the business of moving beyond her.
As much as I love social media, Instagram and Facebook give me all the existential angst these days. Every day, I am reminded via photos and status updates that other people are doing really awesome things and making progress in their lives… and I’m not. I think I am exactly where I need to be, but it doesn’t make it any easier to be here.
I try to live my life without regrets. It doesn’t do me much good, because I’m still a nostalgic sentimental sap… but I feel like it helps me sleep a little better at night when I’m not focusing on the ever-so-elusive What Could Have Been. But these days, it’s getting more difficult to do that. To be clear, I think I’m a pretty cool person. I got my shit that I’m working through, but other than that, I’m fond of myself. I’m just not fond of where I am in my life. In high school and college, I just knew by 25, I would be living on my own in New York, in a long-term relationship with my super-foooiiine boo thang, and doing some sort of arts/entertainment/media work.
I am actually doing none of these things. Zilch. But I see that my friends and peers have gotten engaged or married. Or they’ve moved to New York or some other cool part of the world. And while they may not be exactly where they want to be in their careers, they’re still doing the kind of work they want to do. They are in graduate school. They are traveling. They are making art. They are getting promotions. And I’m happy for them. I know their success is well-deserved and hard-earned, so I’m not trying to throw shade. But I’d be lying if I said I weren’t a little (or maybe insanely) jealous. I’d be lying if I said I felt insecure about my own accomplishments.
So here I am. I know I’m not ready for marriage or children. I’m not ready to “settle down”, but I do feel like I’ve settled. But I don’t want to get stuck here. I don’t want to keep feeling sorry for myself or jealous of my friends. I don’t want to keep staring longingly (creepily) at the homie’s pictures of Saturday brunch in Brooklyn, or their trip to South Africa.
I want to make the upcoming year really count for something. 24 was me being a reclusive, self-pitying, confused hot-ass mess. I’m not as confused anymore, but I still need to deal with the reclusive, self-pitying, hot-ass-messiness. I now know I really want to write professionally. I want to travel and change the world and all that. But more than anything, I want to be a writer who pays her bills by writing. I know I really want to focus on my physical, emotional, and mental health. I know I want to go to somebody’s graduate school next fall. And I know I want to finally get out of my mom’s house and start paying for my own health insurance by next summer.
It’s time to get on it!