Thursday, July 17, 2008

Time Off(ish) and the Anticipation of Questions

I'm taking tomorrow off from work to make the 6 1/2 hour drive to my hometown. There, over the span of 2 days I will attend a wedding, have a business meeting, make Dad a birthday dinner, spend time with Mom and Stepdad, and--hopefully--relax a little. Right before I turn around and make that long drive back.

While I'm looking forward to seeing everyone, and to celebrating birthdays and marriages, I'm not exactly looking forward to the questions (When are you getting married?; When are you going to finish that book?; When are you going to have a baby?; When are you going to move back home?). I'm trying to learn how to be present, and these questions do not aide in my journey. My family has no shame. They will ask, whether or not I want to hear the question. They will expect answers. And I will, inevitably, provide them, although my responses are just buying time. I don't really know the answers to most of the questions they ask (the same questions, if I'm honest, that I ask myself rather regularly and fail to answer). The anticipated awkwardness makes me uncomfortably anxious.

Don't they (I) realize I'm just feeling my way, living as best I can, taking one small step at a time? Don't they (I) know that my destination is not "married," "finished with the book," or "a baby"? How I answer the questions they (I) ask me doesn't really matter. My destination is now, or at least it should be. The rest will work itself out. I want to relax and enjoy here, this moment in time, this page of my personal history. Is that too much to ask?

Even if it is, I'm going to try anyway.


Anonymous said...

I can totally understand this frustration. When I first moved to DC I felt pretty good about the things I was doing (teaching in the inner-city, getting my Master's degree), but inevitably every time I went home everyone was much more interested in my love life. I think you're right to enjoy living life in the here and now and to let things work themselves out as they should (rather than forcing them to happen because there is outside pressure).
Lucky me, I am now happily married and because I live in a one bedroom "garden" apartment nobody ever dares to ask when we're going to have kids. A short break from the outside pressure for a little while, anyway.
I hope your trip goes well and that you find some peace.

NoRegrets said...

Good for you. Enjoy the now.

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