96. We are not static…

So It’s been about 18 months since I wrote anything on this blog…which is weird since it used to be so important to me. But things change, and I guess that’s the whole point of this post.

I feel like the older we get the more we assume that we have ourselves figured out. And to some extent it’s true. Every experience we have helps us refine what we like and don’t like in life. I’m really glad I’m not the same as I was when I was 22. But it’s foolish to believe that this process will ever stop, and why should it?

I’ve been in the USA for 2 years now, and I just had a little party to celebrate. I dressed up in stars and stripes and sang along to the star-spangled banner. Obviously this was done in jest, but would I have done it 2 years ago? Probably not. I like to think that I’ve always had a good sense of fun, but I’m so much more confident 2 years on, care so much less what people think of me. It’s refreshing. Living as an ex-pat has been so good for me, it has allowed me to experience so much more, to explore parts of my personality that I never knew existed, to challenge assumptions I had about myself.

  • I’m a yoga enthusiast (despite previously believing that it was a) for hippies, and b) I was entirely too inflexible)
  • I run (despite believing that I couldn’t breathe because I was too unfit)
  • Before I moved to NY I could never relax, and so kept my calendar purposely over-busy. Now some of my favourite days are the ones where I just wander round my neighbourhood, sit by the waterfront, eat some ice-cream, do nothing really.
  • I overcame my fear of people reading my fiction by signing up for classes that also allowed me to make some wonderful friends
  • I assumed that I hated sports because I didn’t understand them but now I go to watch baseball with friends (actually quite fun!) and now have a football team and am getting to know a whole new group of people through that
  • I used to think that I would only ever date brits because noone else could possibly understand me. HA!
  • I used to struggle to spend any time alone because it made me feel anxious…now I’m single AND living alone and it’s totally fine, sometimes totally awesome (this week I even got rid of a spider all by myself yo!)

This is just a small sampling.

I criticised my ex for having a certain vision of me, that frustrated him when I couldn’t live up to it. But the reality is that I’m just as guilty of doing this to myself. Every day I tell myself that I am a certain way, that I like certain things. But the reality is I have no idea what I really need or want from life.

When I was in India I met so many interesting people and we talked a lot about marriage. Nearly everyone told me that they thought arranged marriages were successful because their parents picked people who were actually good for them, because we tend to get it to so wrong ourselves. Now I’m not saying I want my choice taken away, but it did get me thinking that perhaps I’d been approaching this all wrong.

I’ve dated so many people that were completely wrong for me, because they matched a list of self-selected criteria that I believed to be important. For me that tended to be shared hobbies, shared love of music and films, superficial stuff. When I look at the best couples I know most of them have barely anything in common on a superficial level. I think everybody has some non-negotiables, usually surrounding beliefs, family plans, etc. It’s important that you allign close enough there but everything else is really just white noise.It’s what keeps it interesting. You should be with someone who challenges your opinions and assumptions, who opens you up to new activities that you may end up loving. And if you don’t love them, that’s fine too, but at least you know you haven’t let something pass you by.

So I guess this is me saying that I’m going to be open-minded and not close off my options here. It’s important to assess your choices, to change your mind. There are some really big questions in life…Where do I want to live, what job do I want to do, who do I want to be with? Wouldn’t you want to be sure that you’d explored all of your options? Some of it will stick, some of it won’t. But just try not to judge me too harshly while I’m flip-flopping around in the meantime.

“Life is not a static thing. The only people who do not change their minds are incompetents in asylums, those who can’t are those in cemeteries.” Everett Dirksen

 

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