Tonight at 11…

I don’t want to take the elevator at work anymore.  However, I work on the 31st floor, so I don’t think it matters a whole helluva lot what I want.  They’ve installed these handy little monitors in all the elevators (1984, anyone?)  that broadcast headlines, stock prices, and weather.  Every morning I get into this elevator and see stories about a cop’s wife going missing, or another woman who went missing was found with her throat slashed, or a mother of three shot and killed while trick-or-treating with her children.  This is no way to start your day.  I got to my desk one morning and said to a coworker, “Every time I take the elevator I get so depressed.”  Perhaps you’re thinking that whenever I am on the elevator I should develop an intense interest in my shoes and avoid the little monitor altogether.  But see, they planned ahead for that–there are all these eye-catching graphics moving around on there–drawing your attention and sucking you in to the bad news.  I’m powerless, really.

I guess it’s a give-and-take.  In order to be current in the news, you have to wrestle with the stymieing despondency and feelings of hopelessness at the depravity of man.  Oh, but I did read today that although 77% of consumers go to the grocery store with a shopping list, roughly half of all expenditures are impulse buys.

So that’s something.

Last night Tim and I went out to dinner and talked about life.  Specifically, how we’d gotten to where we are and whether or not we’re happy.  Take, for example, my friends from high school.  All of my high school friends are still living in the same area (a small town in Ohio).  They are all married and have started/are starting families.  Only one of them went to college.  And here I am living in Chicago, with a college degree, and very unmarried.  I’m not saying what I did is better or worse compared to them, but that it’s so incredibly different.   And It was those differences that Tim and I discussed.

He asked me if I was happy with the direction my life has gone.  I didn’t really know how to answer that.  I mean, I’m not unhappy.  And I know I’m happy  with who I am.  And I wouldn’t be who I was if I hadn’t gone in this direction–I don’t think, anyway.  But at the same time, I can picture myself having taken the route my friends did–living in a small town with a husband and some kids.  And I can see myself happy there as well.

“Am I happy?” is a question that people don’t ask themselves enough.  Perhaps that is because if the answer is a no, the next question is “Why not?”  And then they have to do something about it–which, if it’s worth it, won’t be easy.  Complacency is easy.

6 thoughts on “Tonight at 11…

  1. I know what you mean about the direction your friends’ lives have taken. Most of the people that I know are still in Ohio. Most of them have college degrees and a portion of them are well on their way to marriage and children if they aren’t already there.

    AND I CAN PICTURE MYSELF THERE. You’re defined by the things that you choose and don’t choose in your life. I could be happy in that life. But I’m happy now. I’m living a life that I will happily tell my children about in 15 years. You’re obviously different from your Ohio friends because you got a degree, moved to Chicago, had life outside of marriage and kids.

    I don’t know where I’m going with this. But I loves you!!

  2. “Am I happy?” is an important question to ask from time to time. I’m pretty secure in the fact that I wouldn’t be as happy if I stayed home like my friends from high school. I don’t think I would be married or have kids. I don’t know what I’d be doing.

    Right now, the thing I need to do to keep myself happy is get my grad school application in.

    More and more I find myself picturing a life with kids. I’m not sure why.

  3. See, I don't think so. Not technically anyway. My desire for kids hasn't increased. If it has had any positive difference, it is that where there was once a smoldering rage against having children there is now a dull apathy. I, myself still have no desire for them but my future vision has started to include them.
    The problem is that I thought I would have no problem finding guys who didn't know they wanted children or just out and out didn't want them. This has not been the case. Most of the guys I dated in my youth asserted they wanted children but I brushed aside their assertions because we were young and I felt their desires were rooted in the notion that they were supposed to have children and thus were not real desires.
    I took Logan and Mario's desires for children a little more seriously. I came the closest I've ever come to living with somebody when I dated Logan and Mario and I dated the longest. I always thought Logan's desires for children were vague so I never worried about them much. Mario had a stronger desire and a clear picture of what he wanted. Even though Mario had and may still have plans that we would eventually marry, I sort of put that idea out of my mind. His total aversion to adoption was a big factor. Also, I don't think he would have been a supportive husband. I think I would have been on my own with the kids (Read: Every horror story I've ever heard about modern motherhood)
    Granted, it is waaay too soon to start thinking about this stuff with Brian. We've only been dating about 5 weeks but his age and desire makes the possibility feel imminent even if it isn't so I've been thinking about it.
    At first, it caused me to freak out and almost ruin the whole relationship. But I've calmed down since.
    The thing is, I don't want kids for myself. If I spend life as a fabulous single gal or marry somebody w/o a desire for offspring, my life will remain childless. However, if I fall in love with and marry a man who wants children, I will want to give them to him and then raise them on my terms. Any of this make sense?
    Does it seem like I'm selling out or selling myself short?

    • It makes perfect sense, and I'm in complete agreement with you. I would be perfectly content never having children, but if I ever married and my husband wanted children, I would.
      I don't think we're selling ourselves short or selling out. We're just child-ambivalent. 🙂

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