Saturday, 5 March 2011
Who am I?
And what do I want?
I was out for a drink with a good friend last night and as ever our conversation turned that bit deeper after we'd finished the first bottle of wine. We didn't quite get as far as the question in the title of this post, but we did talk about the second one posed above. What it made me realise is, that if I want to answer that second question I probably need to understand a little bit more about what my answer to the first one is.
WARNING: This is about to be an introspective post, for those not wishing to know more, look away now!
Some bits of the answer to Who am I are straightforward. I'm the younger of two sisters, the baby of the family, and I realise now that I've always been used to being the youngest. I was the youngest in my year at school, at least a year younger than most of the people in my year at University and consequently I started on my post University graduate career, just that little bit younger than most. So, I've been used to being younger than my peers all my life and largely it still continues. I don't know if that has any great relevance, it just is.
I'm also relatively independently minded. I don't like to be penned in, tied down or told what to think or do - and that goes for work as well as my personal life. Perversely, I do like to have support and guidance around, but if I'm honest it's probably only ever on my terms and when I think I need it. Which possibly makes me not the easiest employee to manage or person to have a relationship with. I'm probably best when I get to have the ideas and call the shots - unless, of course, I've decided I don't want to, and then it's definitely your responsibility!!
I have (perhaps unsurprisingly given the above) two failed marriages and a handful of equally unsuccessful serious relationships. At the moment, I'm on my own and have been for almost 2 years. It's the longest time I've been without a partner since I was a student. In fact I think it's quite possibly the only time in my adult life I haven't been part of a couple for any length of time. I'm not saying this for sympathy, again it's just something that is and is part of who I currently am.
I can't say that I entirely enjoy it. At times I very much feel the lack of an 'other' in my life, but equally do I want to be joined at the hip to someone else again? Not really, and certainly not at the moment. A fair proportion of the time I thoroughly enjoy the freedom of being just me, doing what I want to do, having (largely) to suit no-one but myself and being responsible for no-one but me - apart from Cat that is, of course!
But - and here's the rub - I do want something more, I'm just not sure I know what that 'something more' is. Do I just underestimate the love and support I already get from my friends? Or is there something substantively different that I want, need from a partner?
Perhaps it's a level of intimacy that I don't feel I get at the moment that I'm looking for. And by intimacy I don't mean sex - although don't get me wrong, that would be great! - but there's a closeness that I don't think I get in my current circumstances and may well be what I'm looking for. That, and the feeling of having someone on my side when things get tough.
Which gets me to thinking, do I only really want someone for the tough times, or is it just that I feel their lack more accurately then? And if I only want someone for the tough times, to support me, does that make me selfish? And is that perhaps why I find myself 43, on my own and with no realistic prospect of that changing any time in the near future?
Who knows! And I still don't really know who I am or what I want!!