Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Script

I had my script. I was very young when I decided I had to be an independent woman. I knew I would have to live alone. Marriage never entered my mind. I did not, however, rule out a live-in partner, and I knew that would happen sometime, too. Or sometimes. I would have as many lovers as possible. This was not a script I needed or wanted to change for any reasons.

But I did change it. I did not know it, though. By the time I married I thought I had been the independent woman already. I had, actually, but not independent enough, not long enough. I know that now. I had had as many lovers as I could, and I had a partner. I even thought he could be the man of my life, if there was ever to be one. Still, I did not really want to be married. That I knew for sure. He didn’t either.

But life is often cruel in its works. It was the ultimate irony. The one person that does not want to marry has to do it for political reasons. We loved each other, and the only way we could be together was for me to get a Resident Visa. And there we went. We knew it would not be pretty, because our families would see our marriage as “the real thing” but we knew it wasn’t. It really does not sound surprising the thing did not last. Aside from the fact that we were basically very different and that we were never meant for each other (long-term, at any rate), there was the pressure put on us by society. By the fact we were married and that people expect certain things and behaviors from you if you’re married. I could not deal with that. I could not be continually identified and linked to this person, no matter what.

It’s over now. I lament the loss of a partner. For a while I lamented the loss of a friend, since it the original agreement that we would always be friends did not seem to work. In a few months I went to hell and back thinking about what I had lost and how I could have done things differently. I abused myself with false notions of failure. I forgot to remind myself that this was what I had been wanting for about 3 years. Just last week I stopped thinking in the negative and forced myself to focus only on what to do next. On enjoying life. Granted it is difficult when you don’t have too many people around --most of my social life disappeared with Scott, hence all these incomprehensible months.

But I am the independent woman I wanted to be, now more than ever, what the heck. I can choose anything. Now I’m making the easier choices professionally, and not worrying about them -I don’t care if my two part-time jobs are not fulfilling and do not come with benefits. For now. Of course, I don’t care because it’s not going to last long. After the winter I’ll make more risky choices and I’m going to go for everything I want. I am going for everything I want personally right now. Jobs are only jobs.

I am thirty-two and the year 2000 is 23 days away. Before that time when I decided to be the independent woman, there was another time when my siblings and I were calculating how old we would be by the year 2000. It was almost impossible to imagine, but I would be 32, so I could vaguely imagine someone old and boring. Of course, the only models we had were my parents and other parents. I didn’t see it in a negative way, but I just assume I would be like them, and that I would have children and a serious life, full of responsibilities and adult problems. At that point I was not worried about--did not think about—other options. So it’s relieving to see that I am not that person. The problems I have now are not the kind I imagined at six. Although I feel pretty much adult these days, it’s kind of new; it only happened after the separation. Up to that point, I felt adult in the wrong ways: the marriage, the connections with people through the marriage. The having a job and problems. The way I dealt with Scott and other people: not mature enough. Now, I have the adult part that I wanted: the way I deal with people, the not being dependent on people. It has not been easy, and it won’t for a while, but it’s there, I’m getting it. And I don’t have the adult constrains of marriage and the social assumptions that come with it. I can be playful and young when and if I want to. And everybody will know that I’m not here because of a man. That I am here because I chose to, and I do what I do, professionally and personally, because I chose to. It is beautiful.

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