Sunday, April 26, 2009

26 and counting.

I have failed both National Poetry Month and Utah. Which is a shame, because I love National Poetry Month (or at least the idea of National Poetry Month) and I had a wonderful time in Utah last week. I should be blogging in favor and praise of both.

That isn't going to happen, at least not tonight.

I went to Utah because I needed a break. Also because I wanted to see my family, but mostly the break thing. Six months in Chicago and I'm still uneasy, trying to figure out why I'm here. Or rather, I spend my sleepless nights trying to remind myself why I'm here: education + MFA + poetry. I'm not here for a job, although I'd appreciate one, or anything else, although that list is long and varied.

While in Utah, well, I summed in up in Relief Society today as "Babies! Babies! Babies!" Lauren has beautiful crazy Abby and Sven will soon have what we can only hope will be a beautiful crazy son. Add to that Meghan's little girl Kaitlin, and the entire week seemed to be steeped in Babies! Babies! Babies! And I thought I was behind on the marriage thing.

There's a very sane part of me that is saying not to worry. I'm in a good place right now. Not a comfortable place, but a good place. But I never thought I'd be 26 and single, never thought I could do the math and think my baby sister could be married and raising a family before me. I want my education, I want a PhD, I want a career. I think what's getting to me tonight is knowing that all of this is out of my hands. I didn't get to choose between relationship/marriage/family and MA/MFA/PhD.

Somewhere in my apartment, a faucet is dripping. I have no idea which one and I really don't want to find out.

I want to label this crisis as something, name it so I can deal with it. I considered being cliche and using the Quarterlife Crisis, but the experts tell me this is a bad idea. Well, that and I don't trust anything in a John Mayer song anymore. Maybe I can call it the Good Mormon Girl Crisis. Would I be feeling this way if I weren't part of a culture where we're supposed to aspire to be wives and mothers? I have no problem aspiring, but I do have a problem when a guy gives me that look when I tell him I'm in grad school. Never mind the second time through grad school, with a third on the way.

It's late. I should sleep. (How many times have I said this on my blog?) I considered taking off the comments box for this one, and maybe I should. I know I have wonderful brilliant friends who are Mormon and single. I have wonderful brilliant friends who are Mormon and married. I know some of you are with me, wishing we were married (not to each other) and raising families along with writing dissertations, and others are wishing that they had had the time to get a grad degree or two.

There are no easy answers. Just once, I wish there were. Then maybe I'd get to sleep at night.


Unknown said...

i'm so glad i'm not the only one (and that i've been labeled an "expert"). here is another expert on the 1/4 life crisis:

also i've been researching for an essay i'm writing on my singles branch and have come across a treasure trove of goodies. like, for instance, the quirkyalones: noun/adj. A person who has the capacity to enjoy single life (but is not opposed to being in a relationship) and generally prefers to be alone rather than dating for the sake of being in a couple.

i mean, like, right?

you can read the amazing quirkyalone manifesto here:

also, maybe go watch zac effron. it's amazing what he can do to remind you about how it's way good not to be 17 again.

Anna B said...

oooo! let's do name this crisis. i've just been calling it "identity crisis # fifty bazillion" or "academic identity crisis" because it always seems to stem around what i want to be. hmmm. good name for this crisis....

will think on it and get back to you.

although quarterlife crisis seems about right. could we go metamidlife crisis? or firsthalflifecrisis? FHLC for short?

Lekili said...

If you decide you really want a baby, I know someone who can get you one. Think about writing your dissertation with Abby running around...painful. We loved every minute with you. Hope we get to do it again soon. And by the way, the bishop sent Seth a text saying his call has been mailed. We hope it comes before Wednesday since Dad flies out for Portland for a week Wednesday morning. We'll keep you in the loop. Love you tons! Let me know what you think about club narwhal's sites.

Saule Cogneur said...

We sleep when we're dead. Life is too interesting to waste time slumbering.

Meg said...

All I can say is I love you and was so glad to get to spend some time with you. I'm sorry you're having a tough time with the whole single thing - my good friend Jami that I share an office with just had her 28th bday yesterday and struggles with the same thing. Try not to let it bug you and just enjoy the single days cause some time they'll be gone.....:)

Renaissance Girl said...

"Would I be feeling this way if I weren't part of a culture where we're supposed to aspire to be wives and mothers?"


"I have no problem aspiring, but I do have a problem when a guy gives me that look when I tell him I'm in grad school."

If this weren't a family blog, I'd say without acronymizing that you respond to that guy by saying, "F-off, insecure creep."


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