I’m reading Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. I love the Bridget Jones books–Helen Fielding really tapped into something that speaks to me (and a lot of women, I suspect). The thing is, as cringe-worthy as she is, isn’t she a bit like a lot of us? Like me?
I feel over the hill lately. It seems as if I’ve gotten old and curmudgeonly, as if I’m frail and trying desperately to hide my growing weakness behind an irascible attitude (or SAT words). Why am I feeling old and fragile? It’s a mixture of things, mostly feeling stuck in my job in this position, being an unmarried woman over 24, and overall feeling dissatisfied with where I am in my life in general. It’s much too early for me to be having a mid-life crisis, or an “I’m almost thirty and haven’t accomplished anything” crisis, yet this panicked dissatisfaction persists.
Standing outside of church last night waiting to speak to my minister, I was listening and reflecting on the type of person I think that I’ve become in relationship to his statements on women recognizing the power in their femininity. He turned to me and a younger brother at the congregation who were standing by and began talking about how I was a great woman, and the man that marries me will be a lucky man. “You can say ‘amen’ when you hear the truth,” he prodded, smiling. Could I?
Is that the truth about me? Would I make a good wife? I’m not even sure if I make a good person some days. What does it mean to be good in all the different roles I inhabit–daughter, sister, friend, employee, girlfriend, fellow churchgoer, person on the street?
I’ve been engaged in a lot of introspection lately. I have all of these thoughts swirling around in my head and no real outlet for them because the words to express it all escape me. What I do know is that I’m trying not to turn into a Bridget–someone who religiously consults a million and one self-help books to figure out what every little nuance of everything means. I should be able to figure some of this out for myself!
Yet and still, I bought a book called What Frenchwomen Know About Love, Sex, and Other Matters of the Heart and Mind while I was out shopping at the bookstore. I was going to buy She Wants a Ring–And I Don’t Wanna Change A Thing: How a Man Can Overcome his Fears of Commitment and Marriage, but it wasn’t on sale. Maybe I do need a (little) help with some things.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my future. I suppose this is only natural because, well, I’m an adult woman and I’m not getting any younger. The future is fast approaching. The thing is, it’s hard for me as a woman to think about the future when I’m not certain who will be in it and what role they will have. If I have a husband, ought I to include him in my future goals and plans for my life? Wait, will I have a husband? I still don’t know how near in my future a husband is. Still, I can’t just sit around and wait for one, now can I? But I can’t plan to move to Tucson until I know a little something about how my future looks, right? It’s all very well for men to say, “Don’t wait on me; live your life.” It’s so much harder for women, or at least this woman, to do. I’ve witnessed many women keeping their lives fluid and transient because they assume that a man will come along and marry them. They wait to buy a house (too permanent). They keep many areas of their lives disposable. Why is that? Most real career women I know are unmarried and resigned to the fact they aren’t getting married anytime soon. I know plenty of women with jobs, or good enough careers, but they don’t really aggressively move up the ladder at companies because they might have a husband who might move and they need to be able to go. It’s crazy. It’s sick. It’s not fair to be so restrained–but the men say “you don’t have to wait for me” and they (I) still consider everything through the filter of us, even when us is not firmly established by marriage but tenuously established by feelings. Is the man who will marry me lucky? I like to think so. I’ve made myself ready to be married. I know how to cook and keep a house. I am learning how to listen, to be kind, to care. I love children. I am learning to care for myself in a better way. I’m developing patience. I’m the good Christian girl everyone exalts a man to marry. But will I be a lucky woman?To Be Continued…