Friday, October 10, 2008

The next step

Most of my best friends from growing up are married, and a lot of them are starting to have kids. I suppose the EVENTUAL goal of finding a life partner would be to start a life and a family together. But lately, I've realized that I'm in no hurry for the eventual part.

One of my very best friends was venting to me after bickering with her husband, and said something along the lines of, "honestly, I don't even care if he's started smoking again as long as he helps with the damn dishes." I couldn't help it, I laughed out loud.

Watching how hard my parents have worked to make their 40-year marriage a successful one, I have no delusions that people get married and "live happily ever after." There have been times when I've even wondered if it's worth all the effort.

Another girlfriend is juggling a three-month old baby, a husband with a career that forces him to spend a lot of time away from home and a job of her own. Talk about exhausting - the woman can barely eat a full meal or watch a TV show. Sure, I see how she looks at that little girl, but I still need a nap just thinking about all the responsibility.

From runny poop and incessant crying to the fear of hurting or irreversibly screwing up your child, early motherhood looks like it sucks. It looks like a lot to put up with just to have someone who, bound by the circle of life, will comfort and care for you when your body and mind inevitably begin to deteriorate.

Of course I can't fully understand what it's like to be married and have kids from where I stand, but I do understand how people get there. For the same reasons I feel ready to share my life with someone, I can imagine that once you are with someone who is worth the sacrifice, frustration and exhaustion of constant compromise and communication, the desire for the rest - regardless of if "the rest" is commitment or marriage and kids - will follow.

In relationships, we always seem to be focused on the next step, whether that be our first kiss, our first boyfriend, getting married or having our first kid. However, since I've yet to meet someone that I want to share a bathroom with for the rest of my life, I'm going to make it my personal mission to enjoy exactly where I am. Who knows, in a few years, I might miss this...


Mili said...

u echo my sentiments :)

Anonymous said...

you are so insightful:) I miss it sometimes, the single life. I'm happy but I miss it.