Monday, September 30, 2013

Vagaries of a Middle-Aged Schmuck

Last night, I found myself in a coffee shop sipping hot vanilla latte and indulging in decadent blueberry cheesecake while musing about my solitary existence. It must be my age and the fact that I’m supposedly way past Erikson’s Intimacy vs Isolation Stage but am still very much stuck in it, struggling to keep my head afloat like a child who doesn’t know how to swim, that this issue is becoming a recurring thought, almost an obsession I couldn’t seem to shake off my head. The question whether I should battle against my imminent fate of being forever alone or just gently and graciously acquiesce to lifelong solitude nags me all the time that I decided to take some time off from work, pretend that I’m going somewhere far away, when in fact, I’m just wandering around this little city, spending my hard earned money on expensive coffee and pies, and books which will probably take me months to read. In the next few days, I will just hole myself up in a quiet beach-side resort a half-hour drive away from the city to meditate and contemplate on my fate. Hibernate, so they say. Like a snake molting off her skin and eventually emerging with a brand-new one, or a cat who will just sleep all day to recover her nine lives.

Well, being single at 33 isn’t entirely miserable. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m not sour-graping, mind you. I’m simply stating the obvious. I’m a woman who runs, reads, writes, takes pictures, travels, drives my own car, and has an incredibly fulfilling and relevant job, and millions of other women in the world would have dumped their husbands to take my place. And while other women are growing fat, grumbling about their boring lives and their mundane home routines and the impossibility of the perfect afritada or adobo, I am steadily and slowly getting fit, evolving while sucking the marrow out of life, learning and relearning new things, exploring possibilities, loving the world and everything in it. This week, I’ll get diving lessons for an open-water diving certificate. In the next few months, I’m getting swimming lessons, try my luck in biking, then train for 21K, travel to India or to China, perhaps get an MBA. There’s just too much to do, and I can’t imagine being able to do half of these wonderful things if I have a husband who’s unwilling to do all those with me, or much worse, several kids pulling at my pants or sucking at my tits.

But I am alone. There’s the rub. I am alone. Alone, alone, alone. Is this the price I have to pay for asking more out of life? Do I need to remain solitary so I can "suck the marrow" out of our short existence? Am I willing to exchange all my plans for the possibility of having a better half, to be loved, to be entwined with another soul for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, until life as we know it is extinguished? Don't get me wrong. I am one of those thirty-something single women who enjoy solitude. And yet, I also desire to share my solitude with someone. And no, I am not jaded, at least not yet. I am still one of those hopeless romantics who still believe that the one made for me since the beginning of time is still out there, searching for me. I am just a solitary soul waiting to be found, trying to live an extraordinary life while at it, but waiting, every single day, waiting, waiting, waiting... 

Am I stupid to wait? Should I just abandon this hopeless-romantic-ship and jump overboard into the ocean of eternal solitude? Should I? Or should I not?

I took a few days off from work to contemplate on these things, to give an answer to these nagging, seemingly unimportant but utterly pivotal questions about my existence. Also, I promised myself that I will write again, that during this short break, I’ll have at least some form of documentation of my thoughts that is much more substantial than a few annoying words in an egoistic self-elevating Facebook status. I have resolved that at the end of three days, I will be able to answer these perennially baffling and troublesome questions: Would I rather be alone? Am I prepared to be alone?

Today is day one of my vacation. And I am successful enough to squeeze out a blog entry from my tired and overworked brain.

So far, my answer to both questions is a resounding NO.