Friday, April 13, 2007

GRE scores and relationships

Maybe I've been watching far too much Sex and the City for my own good, but why does it seem sometimes like life only "happens" in the context of relationships, at least for women? I have some excellent friends who are single and doing neat things with their lives--struggling to get ahead, saving up for home purchases, negotiating the astronomically delicate landmine of most family units, and generally, you know, LIVING, the same kinds of things I've been doing for the last few years--but somehow it seems that I had been judging them a little without meaning to at all. I just realized that unless my single friends were traveling the world or pursuing graduate degrees/exciting careers, I kind of thought their lives were mundane and stalled. I mean, most of my friends have intense passions for all kinds of pursuits, so if they weren't pursuing them, I kept thinking "why"?

However, it seems I have also delayed pursuing my passions and leading a rather mundane and stalled existence. Except I didn't notice it until I got comfortable with the idea of not being in a relationship. For some reason that I still have not fully explored, I actually excused the blandness of my own existence, the delayed pursuit of dreams, the comfortable day to day familiarity of Maryland because I was in a relationship. You see, for some dubious and now rather murky reason, I believed that giving stuff up to be in a relationship somehow made your life more exciting. Really, it just makes it more pathetic than the friends (god I am SOOOO sorry, I seriously did not realize this ugliness about myself until today) who are contented because they are doing exactly what it is they want to do.

I could say that I was being adventurous and risking my heart instead of risking my dreams, but that's just a pathetic excuse. I haven't really been in love with anyone I've dated recently--not in the way that is really a risk because you give yourself to another. I have been selecting rather safe, shallow goons in the same way I have been making rather safe, shallow life choices. Taking the GRE I realized that there are things I desperately want and need to pursue, even if failing at them means I'll be devastated. I need to write. I need to travel. I need to be involved with serious intellectual study.

The job I'm considering in Korea will give me enough time for the first, great experience with the second, and the opportunity to think about how and when to pursue the third (and whether it is more or less important than the first; and in the mean time throw it a bone by studying a foreign language and culture). I also need outdoors and beautiful things--hiking in the mountains should help!

Yes, I need relationships with others just the same as any other human. I have family and friends for that, but I think with love, I'd rather have someone who will flow with me, rather than force me in another direction or even just allow themselves to be dragged alongside. I'll keep my eyes open, but that kind of person doesn't come along all that often and I need to hold out for someone that I really could fall in love with. And after taking all these other necessary risks in my life, maybe I'll finally be ready for that kind of risk. If not, I'll be too busy to notice!

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