I recently turned 26. This neither feels like a particularly young or old age. I am young enough to have no real responsibilities or obligations. I am old enough to have my Facebook newsfeed be flooded with pictures of weddings, engagement announcements, baby photos, updates on pregnancies and the list goes on. I am equally fascinated and repelled by these. Did Cat really marry that boy from West? Is Abby really pregnant? Is everyone pregnant? Is that where we are now- the age of life where everyone is… domestic?
Part of me is horrified by this. How can everyone be ready to settle down? While I realize that my lifelong idea that adventure ends with marriage is a little extreme, there are some adventures or experiences that can only be had when you’re flying solo. It’s a lot harder to pick up and go with someone else to consider. There are so many places I still want to go. So much of the world left unseen. There is this feeling in my chest, a tightness that I associate with the feeling of being trapped. Furniture makes me feel trapped. I hate owning any. My job makes me feel trapped. I go there five whole days a week (can you imagine?!). And even having a boyfriend means that I am limited in my explorations. I can’t exactly take off, life packed into a bag, for unlimited amounts of time and expect someone to wait behind.
But then, I feel the other side. This side is a new development. It’s something I feared would take over in my life eventually. It’s the need to nest. I want to garden. I want window boxes on a little bright colored cottage. Inside the house are pictures of all my favorite people, places and things. In the fridge are delicious treats. From the oven comes the smell of fresh bread baking. And everything is mine. At home, I wear only my underwear. My messes are always mine. And maybe, if he’s lucky, the boy comes over or lives with me. We fill the house with laughter and music can always be heard from our open windows. Even though he doesn’t want to, he dances in the kitchen with me. I love to dance in the kitchen.
How do people do this? Balance the need to explore the unknown with the want to make roots? Am I the only one who feels this tug of war?