It's a weird moment, that one when you realize you're over your quarter life crisis. The one where you look at somebody else struggling and even though your life may not be 100% together you think "Hey, I remember what that's like" instead of being like "Oh my god, right? What the fuck am I doing, why haven't I figured out my whole life yet? Why isn't the plan making me happy? I am going to disappoint everybody if I don't stick to the plan. CRISIS CRISIS CRISIS!" (Or at least that's how my brain worked for most of the past two years, maybe those of you who had/are having the crisis are not so dramatic). I don't know what I'm doing right now. I'm not sure what my long term goals are. And I'm ok with it. For me my quarter life crisis was about learning that things can be just ok for now. Decisions do not have to be final, not everything, all the time has to be working towards an ultimate goal. It was about reconciling how I thought others perceived me with how I perceived myself and both of those with who I wanted to be. It was coming to the realization that I was allowed to change, that the people that truly loved me and cared about me wouldn't be disappointed if I said "no" to something I had previously said "yes" to if "no" was going to make me happier. It was about recognizing what things I wanted and what things I didn't want and learning to be comfortable voicing the things I didn't want. Yeah, maybe it took some impulsive decision making, a bad relationship and a not bad, but less than amazing relationship to realize a lot of those things, but the point is I floundered, I pushed through and now I'm comfortable sitting in a place where every decision isn't made with absolute certainty.
Right now, I've been seeing this guy for a few weeks, we'll call him Stephen and yeah, his name was something else the last time I mentioned him, but now it says Stephen in that post because he requested a pseudonym. Frankly, I don't really know what I'm doing or what I want. The other night Michelle asked something along the lines of "Are you going to see your boy... question mark?" and I responded "Yes, I am going to go see my boy... that I've been spending a lot of time with". Because oh my god I have been spending so much time with him that tonight when he asked if I would be mad if he just wanted to go to home and sleep I was relieved because I was trying to figure out how to tactfully bring up that I needed to spend a night by myself in my own bed. I have seen him more days than not in the last week and a half and I only really met him three weeks ago. It's a lot. Like, in the week after our first date kind of freaked me the fuck out, I don't know if I want this, please don't suggest we get married and have babies like next week a lot. Especially because our first date was not planned as a date, but did result in seven hours of drinking and me going home with him, I was still in some sort of dating limbo with Mark and I had told Michelle that while I would probably be ok with sleeping with Stephen again I didn't really think there was anything more to it than that and really meant it. (Sorry Stephen, think of it as a compliment about how much I liked the drunken sex)
And now we've reached the point in the blog post where I've possibly made both my family and the guy I'm seeing uncomfortable, so that's good.
But things changed. I got less freaked out by the texting and asking if I wanted to go out all the time as I realized a) I really liked him and b) he was not going to suggest we get married next week.
When I started dating Matt, it was because I wanted somebody that was in it for the long haul. After the seesaw of let's talk about children/I want to sleep with other people, that was The Douche, I wanted to be with the kind of man for whom commitment was not an issue and while Matt is a great guy, I probably jumped into a relationship that I should've easily seen had a number of incompatibilities, purely because it was the type of relationship I thought I wanted at the time.
I've written a fair amount about what I want out of relationships and my thoughts on marriage and children (most notably here & here) and it turns out, the more things change, the more they stay the same. I still don't know that marriage or children are the thing for me. I am fairly certain that's not what I'm looking for from a relationship right now. I know that I'll probably always be better at monogamy than casual dating/sex (despite the number of people I've slept with in the last two months kind of making it seem otherwise to me, though it would possibly make you say "Seriously? I've slept with that many people in a week," but I'm me and I just don't do a whole lot of sleeping around). I know that I like having time to myself and freedom to make my own decisions but also having somebody to call and say "I had a shitty day, beer, Netflix and snuggles needed STAT".
I know that Stephen made me a playlist, says things like "I'm not wearing a cardigan because I didn't know I was going to see you today" and seems to keep the insomnia at bay when I'm in the same bed as him. I know I like kissing him and he's pretty good at making me smile. I know that I'm still getting to know him, that there's lots to still find out.
I don't know what I want yet, but I'm ok with the way things are so far and I'm comfortable in my not knowing.