Archive for December, 2008

Living multiple lives

December 20, 2008

…well, not really; it just seems that way sometimes.

I’ve always had this odd sensation that I’m living several different lives. For instance, school and home. Mysocial life existed almost exclusively outside of my own home (with a few rare exceptions) until recently, and the two almost never overlapped. I’ve had friends over a handful of times during my childhood, not because my parents didn’t allow it or because I had something to hide, but it always felt like an invasion of my personal space to have people over. It was pretty unusual even for my parents to have people over; we were just a really close knit family, I suppose, and to have “other” people over was just not done very often. It was not for lack of friends, either – I just came to them instead of them coming to me. When people did come over, it felt very strange. To me, at least.

Likewise, because my love life arose as an offshoot of my social life which was a dependent of my school life, boyfriends came over next to never, or stayed no longer than it took to get in the car and go somewhere. It was like, depending on where and with whom I was, the other was sort of a non-tangential figment of my imagination. Sort of.

When I went to Japan, I was completely isolated physically from my boyfriend and my family. I was never especially homesick (boyfriend-sick, for sure), but its like I went into ‘survival’ mode and my subconscious just accepted where I was, then and there, as “reality”.Were it not for daily e-mails and regular phone calls from home, I almost feel like I would just re-established my identity there. As though my entire life at home just didn’t exist.

Of course, it was just a strange sort of feeling, but it struck me as soon as I became aware of it. I settled into a routine, got to know people, watched relationships and drama flare up and die around me, and went through a couple of my own. That was my new reality.

I wonder if that’s just another manifestations of what I’ve started calling my “selective, adaptive apathy”. Its not that I lack any kind of emotional attachment to my home and my family, but during the short time I was there, it was really my boyfriend who kept me from completely submerging into my new life. And that’s a strange thing in and of itself – no one person has ever had that much of an immediate, emotional hold on me. If I’m honest with myself, not having him there is what made me look forward to coming home. It didn’t make me miserable or keep me from enjoying myself, but the longing was tangible.

I’ve moved around a lot during the last year, too. Almost every school quarter, in fact, I stayed with someone new. The first summer, it was with a friend of my uncle; the next 3 quarters, a friend from community college and his family; this last quarter, a friend of my mother’s. Every time, not only a new schedule with new classes and teachers, but an entirely different “home” dynamic. I still go to my “real” home a couple times a week, but  that’ s also been split up into a few days at my boyfriend’s place (and even he changed residency last summer).

I’m a creature of habit, though – I insist on eating oatmeal and yogurt every morning, and I will fight storm conditions to get to my aerobics classes and Starbucks. But. I would almost say I live in a self-contained bubble, which contains all my little routines and thoughts and defenses that I just carry with me into each new situation and adapt them as needed.

Hmm…

December 15, 2008

The first time my boyfriend told me he loved me, he started the conversation with something to the effect of, “Have you ever been in love before?”, and then, “What do you think it means to be in love?”

He does this a lot. Asks me to explain my thoughts/thought process about something as opposed to just telling me. I both resent it and appreciate it: on the one hand, I feel like he never gives me “the benefit of the doubt”, or respects my opinion for its own sake, whether he belives it or not; on the other hand, he forces me to be articulate and put words to the mash of emotion and disjointed monologue that normally makes up my deep contemplation.

Anyway, I told him that, for starters, I had only maybe been in love once before. That relationship was with a much older man, and in hindsight it occurs to me that a lot of those feelings were probably based on some kind of delayed reaction to my grandfather’s passing, as he was the primary male role model in my life. While I think he was in love with me (he told me as much, and certainly treated me as though he cherished me), my moral unease with the whole situation prevented me from freely “loving” him back. But, it was the most I had ever felt for another person, and the first time I had become even remotely physical with a man (we did not have sex, however, but I doubt I would have been as comfortable with being touched by my current boyfriend were it not for the ‘foreplay’ I participated in with him).

What it did help me begin to recognize was the huge amount of emotion that it evoked in me. Normally, I’m pretty closed down and I rarely have any desire to spend time with other people – I’m not overly shy, and I do have a few friends, but I’m a loner, more or less. I have what I believe is a strong sense of decency and I try to be generous, but when it comes right down to it, I really can’t be bothered to put any energy into a ‘real’ relationship – I just don’t care. With my current boyfriend, perhaps in part because it was a ‘guilt-free’ relationship with prospects for the future, I fell hard.

He is the only person whose company I prefer over merely being alone – the only person whom I quite literally crave the presence of. He commands an enormous percentage of my attention and interest, easily being the sole subject occupying my thoughts at any given time. Being something of a germaphobe, I also tend to dislike being in close physical contact with virtually *all* people – except for him. No matter if he’s just stepped out of the shower or just spent an hour in the weight room, I find my attraction undeterred. He has the most wonderful smell about him – enhanced by a bit of Old Spice, but distinctly him, nonetheless, and it just makes my insides purr. He’s a big, powerful guy, and when we’re intimate he often ends up soaking wet in sweat, but still–often to the somewhat ironic amusement of my own subconscience — I cannot help but still want to lie close and rub my hands over his back as he rests. To me, he is the most beautiful creature I’ve ever laid eyes on.

*ahem*

So, back to the “what is love to me” question. Well, whereas I tend not to care one way or the other about most people, the person I love has my complete attention. While I generally feel sympathy for other people’s problems, my attitude is always, “Aww, that’s a shame”, and I may not think about it with any real concern any further than that. On the other hand, this person whom I love – their happiness and well-being is of the utmost importance to me, and their mood or behavior towards me can leave me in tears at the drop of a hat, or bring me contentment as I have never known before. When he’s angry with me, even if I feel I am in the right or that he’s overreacting, its like I’m trying to inflate a punctured balloon – my anger will not hold a charge. I cannot just say “Fuck it” and walk away. The thought of something happening to him, of him dying, nearly kills me. You recall all that nonesense with the chiropractor – yes, part of that is my self-righteousness rearing its ugly head, but the reason I make such a stink about it with him personally is because I fear for his safety.

All in all, I want to be with him all the time, and I have eyes for no one else. My libido quite literally will not give anyone else the time of day.

That’s what love is to me.

Thinking about kids…

December 11, 2008

“I felt the same way when I was your age. Don’t rule it out completely – you’ll probably change your mind”

I don’t like kids. I don’t want kids. Its not that I have some kind of repulsion towards them or that I have this burning animosity – I just have no interest in having my own. None. Zip. Nadda. Its unfathomable to me that I would ever be able to play the role of ‘mom’. I wouldn’t say I lack any kind of maternal instinct – I love raising baby animals, and I can’t think of a single period of my childhood where we had less than 5 cats, a dog, and a bunch of livestock. But human children are different – I have no special affinity for them what-so-ever.

The only things children represent to me is a chain on my leg that will forcibly orient itself in the position of “center of my universe” and superceed the importance of all other things in my life. And that’s in the most ideal of situations.

Imagine if the child was autistic, or born with a degenerative condition? I have a great deal of respect for people who are in those situations and can handle them – they are extremely brave and commited parents, and I applaud their devotion – but I do not believe I am strong enough for that. I would be resentful, and unhappy, I just don’t think I would ever be able to reconcile those feelings in order to devote myself wholeheartedly to the child.

I tend to look at pregnancywith a very sterile, medical attitude as well. If it was a choice between my life and an unborn child’s, I would choose to abort. No hesitation. Its strikes me as foolish for a woman to do otherwise on the grounds that a fetus’s life has more value than her own. If I were the husband, I would much rather loose the fetus and have my wife – even if trying again was not possible, there are other options. A fetus is a potential person – its mother IS a person. Just my opinion…

You have to really want kids to have them and be happy. As a woman, you have to spend 9 months incubating them, suffer the agony of childbirth, and then they are completely dependent on you for at least the next 5 years. Then shortly after puberty hits the metaphorical fan and if my observation of my own peers in elementary through high school is any indication, that can be the most hellish thing to suffer through. I would no more become a parent than a gradeschool teacher.

I also don’t understand the way women come unglued around someone else’s baby. What an embarassing, stereotypical girly display – makes me ashamed of my gender. I don’t gush like that over puppies and kittens, which I find to be superiorly “cute”. Yeah, congradulations or whatever. No, thank you, I don’t care to hold the baby.

Like I said, I don’t ‘hate’ kids, but for some reason, I always feel a great swell of pity whenever I see a young mother dragging along her little snot-nosed brats, or a pretty girl bulging out of her clothes 7 months into the pregnancy. And all I can think is, “That will NEVER be me”. Sometimes it worries me that I have such an extreme attitude about it, but in truth, it downright horrifies me that I might find myself pregnant and stuck raising a kid.

My biggest problem has do with the trauma to my body. I’m extremely sensitive to weight change, and I think the condition of pregnancy would throw me into a paranoid depression from which I might never recover. It would make me feel fat and vulnerable. And I couldn’t stand it – I’ve spent my entire life trying to be as healthy and fit as I can (I’ve never had a drink in my life, never smoked, never done drugs, I eat well, and I work out 5 times a week) and I just don’t believe that I could bring myself to fuck that up, not when there are other ways.

Is that so wrong? Does no one else feel that way?

I worry about what’s going to happen in the next few years if my boyfriend and I are still together; this could well become a dealbraker. He’s already 30, while I’m only 22 and just reaching the end of my university schooling. While he’s far from being in any kind of position (economically, anyway – he barely makes enough to support himself and shares an apartment with hid dad), he’s at “that age” where he’s going to start wanting to settle down. Maybe he doesn’t realize what he’s saying, but I noticed the first time he said “when” instead of “if I have kids”. We’ve talked about it, hypothetically, and he knows I’m not keen on the whole “birthing” thing, but he’s “down” with adoption, too. I’ve expressed my negative desire for motherhood in a number of subtle ways (hell, I don’t even like the idea of marriage, which is practically step one to “starting a family”) to him, and I think he gets it, but I still worry its going to be a problem way sooner than I think. I love him, I really do, but under no circumstances will I be coerced into bearing children in order to stay with him.

I think I’d almost be relieved to find out I was infertile.