You know that feeling of looking for something and not knowing where to find it?
I have a bachelor apartment in downtown Ottawa, a government job, 3 cats, some lovely friends and a family who likes me most of the time. The desire to have a life partner, kids, an established creative outlet, a fulfilling job that I feel I am good at is surging through me like my blood - but I’ve yet to find a way to go about finding it.
I decide to write a book. The fact that I’m terrible with grammar, can never remember when to double the consonants before adding ‘ing’, switch verb tenses just for fun and my English teachers always thought English my second language (although it is my first) does not scare me. I am confident that I have a unique voice. I have studied Carrie Bradshaw (newspaper columnist), Bridget Jones (Diary Enthusiast), and read every issue of Oprah Magazine religiously from cover to cover. I feel a full and integral part of my generation and its culture. I once believed myself to be a true Madonna clone. I have never missed an episode of American idol, and fancy myself to be a silent judge for the show.
I know I am and always will be a writer. Someone who feels compelled to write things down for any purpose, not necessarily making a living this way. My mother once found a piece of toilet paper in my shoe with a poem called 'Love' written on it. I was in grade 3 at the time and had sneaked out with the bathroom pass and a pen to sit in the stall writing on the neat little folded pieces of paper that came out of the metal box.
I’ve written and recorded some songs but I’m not a musician or a performer. I am a song-maker. A songwriter who hears songs in her head and tries to make them whole by playing them out on an instrument with some lyrics attached. I must admit though, sometimes they make up me. Sometimes they come to me while I am driving in my car or wake me up in the middle of the night. They are bossy, these songs. But they don't afford me a vast enough area to write the script that streams constantly through my head.
So a book it will be. What will this book be about, I wonder? Boys. Let’s make it about boys. So I'll have to go off now and find me a boy to write about, won't I? If nothing else, I can prove that I have indeed searched far and wide but not found a fellow well suited to me. That would be a good story to write.
There was that first Bachelorette reality show that showed Trista and Ryan Sutter’s whirlwind romance. Perhaps I could create my own mini-drama. Though I may not be a skinny, blond cheerleader, I have some things to offer. Besides, the whole thing would be much easier for me as I won't have production crews following me around and I won't have to do interviews with People magazine. I could be in control of the whole thing.
I am 32 and accept that I may be single for a very long time yet and may never have biological babies as a result. I am fine with this outcome, in some ways excited about it. But I need my 60 year old self to be able to look back and know that my 32 year old self did everything in her power to accept love and a partner into her life.
If I was going to be autonomous, it would not be from fear or unwillingness to expand in whatever way was necessary to let another human into my biosphere.
Having had a long string of completely failed relationships, some short and some long, some important and some frivolous, many hopeful and many hopeless, I have learned a few things. I have come to see some pretty obvious patterns in the way that I approach relationships with men. During a strong, independent stage of my life (a superior version of myself), I attract a fantastic man, Velcro myself to him like a needy cling-on, become desperate and dependent, and lose the very thing that attracted the man to me in the first place.
The other version was with men who actually wanted a powerless woman beside them and there I would stand as the sinking and suffocation ran its course. Then it would be I who disappeared into the night, unable to breathe under the constraints of being with this person. In either of these scenarios, I was unable to hold on to the core of me in my relationships. This will have to change or I will accept a life as a single and fabulous person.
I want someone who can inspire a better version of myself. I want someone who sees the good and the bad of me and accepts the whole picture without judgment. I want someone who can give me room to grow and not be threatened. I want to do all of this for the person I am with.
But does such a relationship exist?