I’ve been in a weird mood lately.
For the most part, I’m very happy with my life right now. I love my job. I love my apartment. As much as I bitch about the T, I love not having a car most of the time. And while I can’t deny that I’d love to have a boyfriend, I enjoy the freedom that comes with being single.
But do I want my life to stay like this forever? Can I imagine myself in twenty years, living in an apartment in Somerville, still trying to get a date, childless, dependent on public transportation, working for the same low salary? Could you tell the answer to that question before you got halfway through the previous sentence?
I have moments when I wonder if I’m stuck here—if anything in my life is ever going to change. The funny thing is that I’ve never been good with change. When I was a kid, my mom would always be asking me if I wanted a new comforter or a new jacket or something, and my answer was always, “No, I like the one I have.” And I’ve always dreaded changes like starting college or graduating from college or friends moving away. I guess that’s a good thing—it must mean I’m fairly content with my life.
But now, I find myself fearing things staying the same. I’ve written enough about wanting a relationship, so I won’t go into it again. But one reason I haven’t discussed is that even though I have great roommates and a great apartment, I’d also like to live alone for a little while, and I don’t think that I could live alone if I wasn’t in a relationship. It relates back to this—I think I’d feel cut off from the world otherwise. So I guess I simultaneously crave aloneness and companionship. Man, am I that hard to please?
I’ve mentioned before how hard I find it to imagine owning a house. I’m still years and years away from that goal. But I’ve been finding myself thinking lately about where I want to live when I am ready to buy…which towns are fairly close to Boston? Have a commuter rail station in town? Have a good public school system for my nonexistent children? Recently, I bought the issue of Boston magazine about the best places to live, and then I wondered why. It’s not as if I’m about to get married and buy a house in the suburbs with my husband. But I still like to think about the possibilities for where I might live.
I’ve written extensively about my love-hate relationship with the T, but the truth is that I usually enjoy saving a lot of money by not paying for gas or parking or insurance or repairs if anything goes wrong. Still, there are a lot of times that I just wish I could get in the damn car and drive somewhere. Market Basket, the blissfully cheap local supermarket, is two miles away from me, which is close enough that I can walk…but far enough away that I can’t carry more than a couple of bags back with me. I wish I didn’t always have to ask my dad to come pick me up if I’m visiting my parents, and that I didn’t have to take the commuter rail to visit Christina.
If I eventually take a certain job, though, I’d get a company car, which would be awesome, but scary in its own way. The thing is, I love what I’m doing for work, and I know that I definitely want to stay in publishing, but there’s a large part of me that wants to move on to the next step, scary and unfamiliar as it may be. I’ve been trying to do as much as I can to prepare myself for it, and I’m lucky to have an incredibly supportive boss who’s been helping me a lot with career development. It would be a challenge for me if it does happen, but I also feel like if I prove that I can do it, I can do anything.
And then there’s my stalled writing career, which is no one’s fault but my own. I just need to glue my butt to the chair and get the writing done. I don’t even want to think about how much I could have accomplished if I spent as much time writing as I do sitting around watching reruns of 1990s sitcoms.
So…I don’t have any answers. All I know is that where I am isn’t bad, but where I could be looks even better. I’ll be twenty-five in July, and I think a lot of people feel this way as they near the quarter-century mark. At least I know what I want, I guess. Stay tuned.