Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Where Do I Go From Here....?

I’m pretty sure that most of us think about the future… In some way or another. Some think about the dreams, money, career, homes, families….Lots of things, really. I think that it’s both good and important to think about the future. We need to be able to establish goals and plans for our lives. Without them, where would we end up? On the fast track to nowhere… Doing nothing, never bettering ourselves (in whatever way that may be)…Just staying where we are, like stagnant water.
I’ve always had a plan for the future. When I was younger my plan looked like this…. Go to college, graduate in 4 years/at age 22. While in college I was going to meet the man of my dreams, fall in love, and become engaged by or shortly after our graduation (because, naturally, we would be the same age so that we could be on the same timeline). After this would come our careers and wedding planning. We’d be married by 24. Our first child would come by 26 or 27. The second, surely before we turned 30. Life would be great. Naturally he would have a good career that would enable me to work only part time if I wanted, so that I could be one of those stay-at-home, super active with the kids type of moms.

That was the plan at around age 18. Suburban life with a white picket fence.

 That plan soooo did not happen. I spent my 20s in and out of relationships; short, long, good that fell apart, okay that filled the time and made me feel less lonely, and bad. I was engaged at 18. It just wasn’t the right relationship so it didn’t work. I’m sure we were both at fault in different ways. Basically we were young and probably were not ready to make such a huge, life altering decision. I bought a dress with a wedding date in mind, but it didn’t get that far. I think that’s good; we’re lucky. We saved ourselves the pain of divorce, possibly with children. Or maybe we saved ourselves from being in an unhappy relationship forever.
Whatever, the reasons, what happened was for the best - for both of us.

As for college, I graduated at 23, a year later than my planned 22. I wasn’t engaged to the love of my life. No wedding plans were being made following graduation. I landed a good job in a town not far from home (and an even smaller town than home). This wasn’t what I wanted, but it’s what I took. I needed a job and I honestly wasn’t sure were I was going. What an awkward time… And it was all so fast after graduation. In the spring I was a college girl, going out at least a few nights a week, having fun with my friends.By the end of the summer I was a homeowner…With bills…A real grown-up. But part of me still felt like a college kid. In one way it was an easy transition; I just went with the flow of how things happened. On the other hand, it was a hard transition. I ended up in this place that I wasn’t sure about. But? What do you do? You graduate and get a job. That’s just how it is.

I’m 30, quickly closing in on 31 and… I am not married. I have no children. I own a home, and have a masters degree.

The masters wasn’t in the plan either. But after being out of undergrad for a year I decided I needed to get it.  I graduated in 2009 and here I am, still in a bachelors position with nothing masters-related in my current view. Licensing has made it very difficult on some of us. I’ve encountered some difficulties of my own along the way and it’s been very frustrating. It’s even more difficult when looking for a job out of state…The license I have in this state doesn’t even exist where I’m looking. Basically I’ll be stuck in a bachelors job for two years, while i get the proper supervision, then I can actually take the test, get my license, and maybe use my masters degree. What I ultimately want to do is open a private practice. I really need to get some networking and experience in another area first… I need to learn the agencies that are around there so I know where to refer people. If I have to take a bachelors position to achieve this; fine. I’ll do it. However, I cannot seem to find a job…. I’ve applied for lots. I’ve been contacted for several, but the licensing thing is messing me up. I find it quite annoying that people like me, who have put the time into school and internships and jobs have to do this stupid supervision thing. But when they changed the laws, anyone who had been licensed for a certain amount of time (with NO requirements; may have gotten their license from a cereal box) were automatically grandfathered in. I get that these people had the work experience, but there are some things that not even the best trained monkey can learn without the appropriate guidance and education.

Just sayin’…

Anyway, so my life plan? Not at all where I thought I’d be. In fact, that plan is nothing but a piece of history in my mind.

Honestly I’m SOOO glad about that. Are there things I’d do differently if I could? Of course.
Now I have a new plan… Sometimes I wonder if I’m too old to work toward part of this plan. Not because

I think I am, but because in some ways by some standards, I might be.
My new plan is all over the place. There are things I want to do that include my chosen career path. There are things I want to do that are completely different, and are most likely what would be called “a long shot.”
I know that I want to continue to work toward professional success. That’s a given. I can’t not work toward goals and something more. It’s just in my nature. I get bored easily. I need to be challenged. I need to feel a sense of accomplishment.

I want to get married. I want to spend the rest of my life with the guy I’m meant to be with. The love stuff… That’s a given. I know what I want, what I deserve, and never would I consider settling for less.
Sometimes I want to have a big Cinderella-type affair, complete with two dresses, and over-the-top everything. Other days I’ll take a mild version of that… Reality kicks in and I realize that have a celebrity, princess type wedding is completely insane. Then there are days where it all sounds like more work than I’d like to even consider, so I think Vegas would be a perfectly fine option. In reality I’ll do something standard, probably with the assistance of a wedding planner (one who can handle me…lol…does such a person exist!?).

Other than the previously mentioned love stuff… Two things that will happen no matter what? There will be two dresses and I will be skinny. I will not get married until I am, at most, a size eight. Don’t ask me what it is about it, but that’s what I’ve set as a goal and that’s what I’ll be. That dress (or those dresses!) will have one number on the tag. And that’s it. Some would say I’m already at that goal, but wedding dresses run small or weird or something. The sizing is just all messed up. I might be a six in a regular dress, but an eight in a wedding dress. Right now I’m an 8/10, medium in regular dresses. I’d probably have to get a 12 in a wedding dress though! Good thing I’m not trying on or purchasing wedding dresses anytime soon!!!
I’m going back and forth on children… Good thing I don’t have to worry about that at this very moment. Some days I want them… Like in my old plan, I still want the nice house, the adorable kids, the ability to stay home with them (probably part-time because full-time would drive me crazy). Then there’s this other part of me that isn’t so sure. First, I do not want to feel held back or like I’m missing out on something I want to do. I want to be able to travel and have fun. I also really don’t want to go through the hell that pregnancy puts a body through. I do not want to gain a ton of weight. In fact, I want to have cosmetic surgery to remove skin…. Can I do that and then get pregnant? What’s all that stretching going to do to me? Will it make the surgery worth nothing when that happens? I don’t want to put myself through surgery and spend that kind of money if getting pregnant is just going to mess it all up. I’m far too obsessed with my weight and losing weight to be a responsible pregnant person. I’m too fearful of gaining weight. I do not want to get fat(ter) again. I’m totally certain I’ll reach my goal weight before pregnancy is even a consideration, but…. After all my hard work to reach my goal, do I want to knowingly do something that’s gonna mess it up?

Yes, I’m selfish. My indecisiveness about having a child is because I’m selfish. I’m working hard to get the body I want. I don’t want to mess it up. I’ve finally learned how to really live my life and not let anyone or anything hold me back.

Does it make me a horrible person that I’m so concerned with my weight and appearance that I’d not have a child because of it? Seriously…. I think I sound like a bit of a beast right now. A selfish beast.
So then I worry… Am I too selfish to be a parent? Which then makes me think that maybe it’s better to not be one. Sometimes this makes me angry… Is this a genetic feeling? Did I get this from my biological parents? They were 40 when I was born… 40 years-old and they didn’t have their lives together enough to care for a baby properly? GEEZ! I’m not unhappy or angry that they gave me up. In fact, it’s just the opposite. I’m so incredibly thankful that they did. What I’m angry about is not knowing if this irresponsibility that they have is something that can be genetic? I know I don’t want to be like that. Am I going to have to spend my entire life fighting it? How much is nature versus nurture? Is the way that my parents raised me enough? Sometimes I wonder.

Anyway, as far as babies… One day I’m like ”I don’t think so” and then the next I’m totally fine the next day and think, “yes, I want it all…At any cost.” If I gain weight, I can fight like hell to lose it again. I’ve done it once. Obviously I have the strength and drive to do it…. And I won’t have as far to go when that does happen.

Luckily, for me, having a baby is at least a few years down the road yet. Maybe (or hopefully?) by (meaning before) 35. I guess maybe my conflicting thoughts on that topic are because… Right now? I’m not ready (obviously); I don’t want that at this very moment. You all have fun having your children; I’ll be a happy observer for now!! I’m sure that when the time is right, I won’t feel conflicted. I know I’ll want to have a baby. I’ve wanted nothing more than to be a mother my entire life. I can’t imagine that losing weight has changed me so much inside that I’d sacrifice that for my appearance…. I really don’t think that’s me.
As I sit here I can’t help but think… Does this blog make me sound totally selfish? What kind of a person won’t get married or have children until they reach a certain size? Is that normal? Or am I some sort of a monster?

Please tell me that’s normal…There’s a part of me that wishes I could go back… That I could go back and have never gained weight. That I’d be average. That I didn’t spend the majority of my 20s stuck in a body that I hated…Insecure, afraid, and keeping the real me inside; hidden from those who may reject me. Only my family and close friends could see the real me. Sometimes I didn’t even fully open up to them. What if I had spent my 20s as an average size person? Maybe I’d have had the confidence to do the things I wanted to, but was too afraid to. Maybe I’d have the strength and courage that I was lacking then but have now. Sometimes I don’t feel like I’m ready to be a grown-up, but I AM a grown-up. I can’t go back. No one can. Now I have to figure out a way to make my two plans merge together and become one greater plan. I guess I have some thinking (and work!) to do.


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