I remember what I was doing exactly one year ago, and the memory doesn't seem all that distant. The lease renewal showed up on my apartment door the other day, and I realized that another year of my life is behind me.
I can't really say that I'm where I expected to be, because somewhere along the lines, I stopped guessing what the future held.
In the coming year I will enter the second half of my Twenties. I imagine this means that I am fast-approaching the point in my life at which I will be expected to act like an adult.
I'll figure it out when I get there.
I've never been a big fan of New Year's resolutions, but I can tell you that there are a few things I'm looking forward to in 2012...
I'll have more chances to be near the man I love. Perhaps I'll be moving out of the ghetto, and into a HOUSE. I might get a new schedule at work. I'll probably get a few more raises.
This was a year of emotional growth for me. I feel worthy when things go right. I feel proud when people compliment me. I learned that there are still Men who behave as Men, and that I have every right to demand to be treated like a Lady.
And the biggest epiphany...
I've come to peace with my broken-babymaker.
Circumstances being as they are, I've had the opportunity to reevaluate my urgency towards motherhood. In sharing a one-bedroom apartment with an infant, I've realized:
1) This is as close as I'll likely get to being a mother.
2) I'm okay with that.
And I promise that I'm not just saying this because I'm dating a man who doesn't want kids. NONE of the guys I dated wanted kids. (At first.)
My aspirations for motherhood were formed at a time when I had a different view of how my life would play out. I didn't think that the economy would tank. I didn't think I, among many others of my generation, would be circumstantially forced into "Plan B" scenarios for survival. My Disney Childhood conditioning paired with my golden-child small-town upbringing wired me to believe that I'd have a white-picket fence, an career-employed husband, and a stay-at-home writing career all by the time that my biological clock started ticking.
Instead I work in a call center for a major corporation, making lower-middle-class wages, with five credit cards, living in a dodgy neighborhood. I get by better than most, but it's not the lifestyle I envisioned bringing a kid into. I could manage if I had to, but my passion for child development would be dimmed by my circumstances.
I really love working with kids, and I get a lot of gratification out of helping them learn and discover things in the world. But mostly I love it because I'm so damned GOOD at it.
And I've realized... Just because I'm good at something, doesn't mean that I have to build a life around it. I'm really good at kegel massages; this doesn't mean I should become a call-girl.
This is my life. It's not the one I expected, but it could be a whole fuck of a lot worse.
I'll take it.
And now, I'll play you out with my year-end gift to the interwebs...
A cover of MyHope, originally by Molly Lewis.