When I was younger, I never dreamed of anything. I always imagined that most children had places they wanted to go – even if they were unrealistic like being a pilot or traveling the world. Most teenagers or even twenty-somethings have their feet somewhere and know that they want to be a doctor or a middle manager or that there is something in life that drives them. I never had that at any point in my life. All I ever wanted to be was in love but that’s not really a goal you can put down behind career objectives and map to a 5-year plan.
One of my flaws is that I believe in forcing the moment. If you ask me to make a major life decision or even a small one, I’ll probably ask you for a coin. If I do, it means I trust you to make that decision for me – which seems absurd on so many levels. Who leaves any decision beyond what’s for dinner up a coin and who leaves a decision up to someone else of any value? For me, the second you flip that coin or someone says “you should do this,” I know what I want. I know what I might be scared to say. I know what I might be too anxious to do. But having something or someone else force that moment of realization is what’s required. I had to make a career-related decision a month or two ago and had no idea what I was going to do until I asked a co-worker to tell me what to do.
When I was 5, I thought I’d be married by the age of 19. There was no need for a coin flip there and there never has been. I didn’t dream of my wedding day or of all the plans; instead, I dreamed of the marriage and how lucky I would be. You see, even as a child, I knew it would be lucky to find love – a real love that functioned the way I imagined where it was insular and supportive and about equality – but I also never dreamed that I might not have that luck. That’s largely served as a guiding principle for most of my life – the idea that I would be one of the lucky people to have love. I always just imagined my life would work out. It never occurred to me until fairly recently that I might be wrong, let alone that I was.
I believe the ebb and flow of the world is effectively a coin flip for the powers to be. As humans force the moment, things happen. At some point, that coin was flipped and contrary to what I might want, the universe decided I wasn’t going to be one of those lucky people who fall in love. I don’t think it’s a meritocracy by any means or something you can put out there – I just think it’s a matter of luck and that it is something I do not have. With that, I’ve actually been coming around to the idea that someone can have a completely fulfilling live and be entirely alone. In a great deal of ways, I love my job. I love my friends and my family. I love so many of my hobbies – from reading to writing to knitting to photography and countless other things. I love my passions like music. I love how much strength I’ve been building in my life emotionally and from a health perspective in recent years. I have a lot of love and contentment; not something I would have ever imagined 5, 10 or 20 years ago without being in love.
It isn’t a depressing thing by any means as I might have imagined earlier in life. Letting go of the idea or the hope of being in love isn’t a defeatist mentality. It’s not something to blog about on Thought Catalog or a dating website in the veiled hope someone changes that. It’s none of that. It’s saying I’m enough as is. I’ve never been enough for anyone else, myself included, so being enough is far more than most people get.
It’s just the way the universe flipped the coin for me.