I think I’m having an outer body experience (Yes, I realize it’s out-of-body, but that’s not what I’m feeling). My friends had big news this weekend. One got laid; one got engaged; and I was in the upper Midwest getting drunk off of a sapporro, a spotted cow and two PBRs. I find myself suddenly struggling with the puzzle pieces of my adult life, squinting at them without recognition, fitting pieces together that almost but don’t quite fit…wondering why their puzzles look so much better than mine when we’re working from the same materials. This is nonsensical. I’ve lived my life rarely seeking external validation. I have little concern for the timelines or the expectations of others. My uncle actually tried to give me a pep talk once about maybe trying to pretend to care what my peers thought of me, because maybe, I’d have more fun. I forget his exact phrase, something about getting distracted and getting caught up, yes, that’s what it was “get caught up in your peers once in a while.” I’m just not that girl. I’ve always done my own thing. My parents don’t joke that I raised myself, they spout it as gospel truth.
I mean, I’m an okay adult. I pay all my bills well before they’re due, and I regularly go to the doctor’s and the dentist’s office of my own volition. I floss (sometimes). I wear my glasses when I should and I try. I do. I try. I recycle. I eat my vegetables. I even wash my face with this weird paste made of salt and baking soda because, well because my grandma is into all that holistic shit, but it actually seems to be good for my skin. The salt is like an exfoliant and the baking soda kinda soothes and soaks up all the oils. I digress in a big way.
But I’m not going to dinner with the love of my life and I’m not meeting warm bodies and having fun, casual sex on the weekends and I’m not taking my dog that I adopted for a walk. I never think about any of these markers of adulthood as having any meaning or place in my life when I’m at work with a student sitting across from me or when I’m having my ass handed to me in a great, sweaty package at boot camp in the campus gym twice a week. But all of a sudden, I’m thinking about it.
My friend gave me her news and I had a Bridesmaids moment. I, up until now, never really empathized with Kristen Wiig’s character. I admit. Why, why is she so crazy? But I felt it, when my friend told me. That selfish pearl of panic and loss and everything’s suddenly different and I get no say and holyfuckwhatamidoing? I’m doing this right, right? Lots of people my age and younger are pairing off, getting their mates, but no one tells you growing up how it will be. That you’ll have your heart broken one million times over by the friends you make and fail to keep. By the people you lose sight of and the people you grow away from and the people you genuinely just lose because the world is a bitch. Things change; people change. This is why people start to freak out that they will be alone forever. Because there is a legitimate possibility you could be alone. Forever. Your friends pair off or move away and you continue to orbit independently. It’s not bad. Not at all, but I see why it is a freaky feeling to have. It’s one thing to be alone by choice. It’s another to feel like you’re alone because everyone left you. Pulled the rug right out from under you and were out the door before you landed on your ass. It’s daunting if you try to swallow it all at once. A work friend said something I thought was so true the other day. She was pissed at a married friend who told her she was so lucky to be able to go out and meet guys and Internet date (such a thing). And her response was, “which would you rather do? Go to a bar and have rambling conversations with strangers? Check your computer/phone and have conversations with strangers that feel like you are climbing a mountain? Or be at home on the couch with someone you like a lot watching Netflix and YouTube?” I hadn’t thought of it like that before, but it was hard to argue with her logic. I shrugged for lack of words.
And I am ridiculously happy for both of my friends. The one who had consensual sex and the one who has made a great decision to share her life. It’s an incredibly joyful feeling. The world is a great, happy place where unicorns dance and sunflowers never die.
Human is such a weird costume.