Under the Hill…by Angela N. Parker
When you live on this earth for thirty-five years without ever managing to be somebody’s wife or mother you get used to being alone. I know that some people dread loneliness, but I don’t. Sure I’d like to have someone to share my life with and there are times when the longing becomes so intense and so consuming that I feel like I am going to suffocate in a blanket of despair and longing. But most of the time, like 85% -90%, it really doesn’t bother me.
This was recently hammered home when I spent time with my brother, his wife and his three kids. Being thrusts into Family Life 101 was an experience that I was not prepared for. Where was the freedom? The quiet time? When did the demands of the clingy, hyper, cuties ever end? Well, I’m sure that you all know the answer to that and I suddenly missed my life as a single gal on the go with no attachments and no real responsibility to anybody but myself. Being alone, I realized, was a good thing.
No, I’m not in denial. I just know myself. I like myself. I like being by myself. It’s just that simple and the more the idea of finding true love and living happily ever after in a two-story house with 2.5 kids seems to belong to in parallel universe that I’ll never find the star gate too, much less enter, the more I seriously begin to wonder , is one is truly the loneliest number?
Are we thrusts into boxes — wife/mother/friend/single gal/spinster — or do we try to place ourselves into boxes that we will never fit in to? What if I never marry? What if I never have kids? Is my life any less fulfilling? I mean look at Jane Austen. She only procreated on the page and her “children” will live forever, but she is still the “Patron Saint of Spinsterhood,” her real life a warning, while her fantasy creations a guide, an inspiration and a prayer.
Being married and having kids does not equal a life of happiness and fulfillment, everybody knows this. It’s hard work. It’s a life full of blood, sweat and tears. So, why do we make ourselves crazy for never taking the journey down that aisles?
“You have to try it once,” said an older, divorced friend who LOATHES her ex-husband.
Because it will make everybody else feel better that I’m safely coupled up? I see so many bad marriages, so many cheating husbands and unsatisfied wives that Madea’s words have become like the Gospel of Love, “I can do bad all by myself.”
Should I marry for monetary gains? Two incomes are better than one. I mean if the salary is good and the credit check comes back A-OK.
Is my biological clock really clicking or am I so confused by the noise coming in the other direction that I think having a kid is the only way to silence them and my own nagging fears?
Maybe, I should do it for sex on the regular. When you find a married couple having great sex let me know. Not saying that it doesn’t happen but….This is no offense to happily married women. I applaud you. I think it’s great you’ve found your road to happiness, but some of us are looking down that road, the same one you’ve walked and we have yet to be honest with ourselves — do we really want to walk down it? Or are we being pushed down a path that may not be for us.
Somebody once told me that life is not a sprint, but a marathon and as I bid adieu to another year, I find myself looking at all my accomplishments — published novels, career successes, strengthened family relationships, and can’t seem to care that it’s another year where I have “failed” to grab the brass ring of matrimony.
Maybe 2012 will bring me my husband, it is prophesied to be the end of the world after all, but if it doesn’t, for the first time in years, I’m truly okay with that. It took me 35 years but I finally feel like I’m enough to make myself happy and anything else is just extra toppings on an already delectable dish. It was a hard earned realization. Self-doubt is easy, self-empowerment hard and scary, but it’s a realization that has given me an independence I can’t help but cherish.
till next month…
Angela N. Parker is the author of Tethered, Guardians of Destiny: The Specter of War, and Under the Hill: One Thirty-Something Woman’s Musings on Spinsterhood, Disappointment and Accidental Self Discovery. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit my blogs at http://angelanparker.blogspot.com/ and http://theparkerverse.blogspot.com/.