Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My Favorite Illusion

Control is my favorite illusion. We think we have it. We think that if we follow these steps, if we stay inside the lines most of the time, that we will get everything we ever wanted. But I haven't lived to be 30 without realizing that control is life's greatest illusion. Whoever said, "You want to make God laugh? Make plans." was a genius.

I think it is probably the greatest lesson I've learned. It's also the one I need to relearn over and over again. Every time I forget, I look up from my book and realize that I'M IN CHILE and then I remember. Chile was not my plan for 30.

To be honest, I thought I would meet the man of my dreams in college and get married by 22. How this would happen was a bit fuzzy, but I spent many hours ballroom dancing in my room with my imaginary groom. He was perfect. Unfortunately, real-life men did not quite live up to my imaginary man. And as much as I wanted to get married early in 20s, it just didn't happen.

This is what frustrates me when I hear how "young people are waiting longer to get married." Every time I hear a comment like that, I just want to yell, "It's not like I don't want's just that there aren't any takers..."

Okay, that sentence might've actually hurt a piece of my soul there...but just for a second.

I'm not sad that I'm here. I would never have gotten to Chile otherwise. I would never trade the path I'm on for the comfort of what I imagine marriage brings. You know, the ability to let yourself go a bit. To know that no matter how you look, someone has sworn to love you.

I'd like to think that I'm a wiser and stronger woman for being single. Capable of handling tougher situations.

I'd like to think that it was my newfound wisdom and not bitterness that made me want to laugh when I heard my friend's plans recently. My 28-year-old Chilean amiga told me she wanted to be married with kids by the time she was 35. I nodded politely. But what I thought was, "God's going to have fun with you."

I wish I had asked her what her plan of attack was, because I surely don't have one. I just wanted to know if she had some secret method of making sure she'd meet the man of her dreams by the time she was 34 (remember, she's gotta have kids by 35). I mean, it's not like you have a lot of control over who you meet, right?

I'm also confused about how you're supposed to know when you meet HIM. Is it some kind of zing? The men closest to HIM have been those that have somehow made me feel more ME with them than without--which is almost impossible to recreate. How is a man supposed to make me feel more like ME having just met me?

These thoughts make me wish that I were a man or at least had the brain of man where I might consider this idea for a milisecond before moving on to more pressing problems like how the Broncos should attack the draft.

I'm boggled just thinking about it.

Obviously, if I'm writing about, it's not completely out of my mind. I think about it. About a family. And then I think about living in Shanghai. Or traveling to Antarctica. Or joining the Peace Corps. And then I think about a family again.

Boggled. should the Broncos attack the draft?

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