Today I'm heading up to Boston for my first bachelorette party, celebrating the soon-to-be wed C who was my sorority little sister. I haven't seen her since 2006, so I'm very excited for this rendezvous weekend of shenanigans.
But I've still got a lot going on in my head about this whole future thing.
As a child of divorced parents, I thought I'd be freaked out by the idea of marrying someone because all I heard about was how I was more likely to get divorced myself than my peers with married parents. My mom pounded into my head that I didn't need a man, but that I would date lots and lots of them before finding the right one. Even then this didn't resonate with me, but I did like the idea of not needing anyone. When I had my first serious boyfriend in college, though, the idea of marriage was less scary because I was in love for the first time and of course thought I'd met the man I was going to marry. I daydreamed about having a house together and sharing a happy life together. Quite sickening stuff actually, but normal for a 20-year-old. I thought I'd be married by age 25. Crazy kid.
When my college boyfriend and I broke up after he hooked up with one of my friends, I enjoyed single life for several years. I didn't date anyone really, just made friends and focused on myself. I was surrounded by powerful single women for the first time and began considering what my life would look like without a partner. It didn't scare me to think about being like these amazing women who had the freedom to kick ass in the world on their own. I figured I'd eventually move to DC, establish myself in my career, meet an older, established man, and get married when I was in my mid-30s. Sounded like a fabulous plan.
Then SCL came into my life. He was not what I had planned--younger, academic, and (yikes) in a relationship. But after nearly a year of flirtation and sexual tension, eventually we gave in and got together. I thought he'd be a fling. I was finishing up grad school and really desired no lasting connection to the school. But our time together was intoxicating, and soon we found ourselves in that all-consuming, nearly blinding infatuation stage. I couldn't just let go of that.
In those early weeks I felt that I loved him and that this was going to be the man I'd marry. And that feeling, while it sometimes wavers, is still there now. Sometimes I wish I were more freaked out by the idea of marriage, that I was in that place of being fine with it happening or not happening. But thoughts like that are so different in the abstract when there is no smart, handsome, compassionate man in my life.
I do want a life with SCL. I believe in him and in the work he's doing. We share the same values and view the world in similar ways. He challenges me and pushes me in ways that I need to be challenged and pushed. The core things we share are rare and beautiful. The barriers of age, maturity, and his being a student are temporary, and I guess I feel like if I can hang in there, he'll come around eventually. Perhaps this is a dangerous way to think about things, but for now it's where I place my hope.