Good writing is supposed to be honest. Real, raw, unbridled truths uncovered. Even works of fiction uncover a bit of truth about real feelings through the cascade of made up characters.
When I was first asked to write a post for The Real KC, I was beyond excited. What a concept. A magazine by women, for women in the Kansas City area that keeps it real. There's nothing else like it.
Originally I had planned to write about all the fun places in KC. What it's like to be a young, single woman in this city. Where to find the best drink specials. What days certain bars are popular. Who plays the best music. The best place to go on dates, hold a girls night, grab a glass of wine and appetizers etc. And I can still submit that list. The post is nearly complete. But I realized, that wouldn't be me keeping it real.
What it is REALLY like being a 27 year old, single woman in Kansas City (and I imagine anywhere) is confusing. From a young age, girls are predisposed to believe that a romantic love is what you should be seeking. From Disney movies, to romantic comedies, to love songs and romance novels, all signs point to falling in love. Almost every plot involves a love story. It is the social "norm" to be in a relationship. And much to my dismay, relationships are not like the ones you see in shows like One Tree Hill. The Nathan and Haley Scott's of the world are few and far between.
The first questions anyone asks these days are 'What do you do' and 'Who are you seeing'. Coming from a girl who has spent most of her adult and adolescent life in a relationship, these questions are dreadful now. Almost as bad as the 'When are you getting married' or 'When do you plan on having kids' inquiries. In fact, I don't know which is worse.
My question is, why is this the spectrum on which we judge a woman's success?
I may be going out on a limb here but to me, most women in this day and age wear many hats. I know that I do. Officially I am the assistant director and Pre-K teacher At a preschool in Shawnee. Unofficially I am a nurse, a cook, a maid, a surrogate mother, a dance partner, a singer, a poet, a writer, an illustrator, a storyteller, a disciplinarian, a therapist, a mediator, a role model among a million other things and that is just while I'm at work.
Each day I am something new and each day is different. The roles that I play differ every hour of the day but one does not diminish another. Each day I teach children how to read, write, problem solve both analytically and emotionally. I hold hands, rub backs and wipe tears. I soothe tummy aches, break fevers and wipe noses and behinds. I color, play games and host dance parties. I communicate openly and honestly with my students on concepts some adults struggle with. It's actually quite amazing how often preschool concepts translate into the adult world. (Example: If you wouldn't be proud to tell your parents about it, should you be doing it? Am I doing this out of anger? Would I want someone to treat me this way.) It isn't until I clock out that I am able to wear the hat of my choosing.
Before this last year, I rarely had that choice. After I clocked out, there was still a multitude of things to be done. Dinner to be made, laundry to be folded, various household and domestic chores. All day, every day I am accustomed to prioritizing everyone else's needs before my own. So it is no surprise that I often do this in my romantic life as well.
Now though, some days I feel lost without someone to care for when the day is over. Other days, I relish in the fact that I can binge watch a show on Netflix while stuffing my face with cheap Mexican food in my favorite ratty t-shirt. I would be lying if I said that there aren't times where I am shamefully envious of my friends that are married with children. Had you
asked me several years ago where I thought I would be at 27, married with at least one child would have been the scenario in my mind. I would also be lying if I told you that lifestyle doesn't scare the living crap out of me sometimes.
What I am trying to say is this; I am gloriously lost in life at this moment in time. And each and every day I am learning to find adventure within the journey. It is okay to answers those impeding questions with none of your business or I am dating myself right now. Because that is exactly what I am doing. There are so many things that I want to do, so many places that I want to see and so many tasks I want to accomplish that I never even realized I wanted before.
Now don't get me wrong, I am in no way opposed to finding my great love in this lifetime. For now, though, I'm perfectly okay with finding the other wonderful things in this world to fall in love with. First and foremost, myself.
There is no shame in being lost as long as you are reaping some sort of benefits in your personal pilgrimage.