This was not my plan.
Actually, I never even imagined getting this far. 37. In all my teenaged dreams I’d picture myself at 30, max. So 37 was not even part of the game.
What was my plan? Well I’d be married of course. I didn’t ever particularly want children so they weren’t part of the equation. But I’d be married and well-off financially, living in a city, taking part in all sorts of cultural events. I’d be a published writer of some kind while also holding a day job. I’d be thin and fashionable and classy. I’d have lots of friends and we’d do things like go out for martinis.
Life, in short, would be perfect.
I have not lived up to my plan.
I’m not married. In fact I’ve been single for years. My last partner was crazy town and it ended after nine months. In reality it’s been 10 years since my last long term, meaningful relationship. Sure I’ve dated around, but nothing ever comes of it and for the most part I’ve set aside that part of my dream life. I’ve come to expect that if something does happen it will be a miracle, because the love of my life isn’t going to knock on my apartment door.
I’m still good with the no-children aspect, although as I’ve gotten older I’m less nonchalant about it. When I still had the option if I so chose, it was one thing. But now that I am edging into the age where it will no longer be a possibility it weighs on me. Not as regret so much as ‘what if I had?’
I do well enough financially, so I’ve succeeded there. And I do live in the downtown core of a city. Some people say Ottawa is boring, but I love it here. So very much. I knew the day I started university, maybe even before that, that this was where I wanted to be. Every so often I get some wanderlust, but the majority of the time I am very happy here.
Do I take part in cultural events? Somewhat. I certainly try to. And I’d say I succeed at this one as well. Being alone has certainly never stopped me. Usually price doesn’t stop me either, if I really want to see something. And Ottawa has a lot to offer, especially if you know where to look!
Am I a published writer? No, not at all. Ok, I have one article in a print magazine and one piece in an anthology that was self-published. I don’t even write nearly enough. It doesn’t take up as much of my free time as it used to, and that makes me sad. It’s totally on me as well. I waste a lot of time sitting on my ass browsing the internet. I need to take back this part of my life. I think I have it in me to be publishing short stories if I ever sit down and really do the work. I do hold a day job, however. So yay?
Thin and fashionable and classy? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. How about no to all of that. I need to work on my weight, to say the least. A lot of that weight is due to anti-depressants, which kind of sucks because it makes me wonder if it’s even possible to take the weight off while being on them. The fashionable kind of comes with the weight thing, being fashionable at a plus size is demonstrably harder than it is when you’re thin. It’s not impossible though. The problem is I loathe to spend money on clothing. Sometimes when you wanna look your best you gotta dole out some cash, and I just don’t do that. Sure, I’ll buy an Apple Watch, but pay $50 for a piece of clothing? No way. It’s bizarre. I have to break myself of that issue.
Lots of friends. No, I do not have lots of friends. Especially not in town. There are lots more that don’t live here, but that makes things much harder. My friends are all wonderful people who I love dearly. I am grateful they exist in my life. But there are not many of them, and my life is certainly nothing like an episode of FRIENDS. As such there isn’t a lot of martini drinking happening in my life.
Am I unhappy that things have turned out this way? It’s hard to answer that question. I am not unhappy, for the most part. There are things in my life I am unsatisfied with, but I think most people can say the same thing. Am I working to change those things? Most of them. And for those I’m not, I’m working to accept the things I cannot change, as they say.
Teenaged me had quite the imagination about where I’d end up. I’m glad that past me was so very optimistic! But perhaps she was also a little naïve. And that’s ok. I have to believe that I’m where I’m meant to be in life. Every decision I ever made got me here. I steered the boat, so to speak. I’m nowhere near the destination yet, and the journey’s been rocky, but I’ll let you know how it turns out.