Wednesday, March 10, 2010

On Being 26

Today I thought, holy shit, I can't believe it's MARCH.  March!  And on top of that, it was 60 degrees and sunny.  When did it become spring?  Oh right.  While I was stuck inside my office drinking coffee by the gallon.  And then my next thought was yikes, I am in my last few months of being 26.

Twenty-six!  Once upon a time, 26 was my magical number.  As a kid, I always thought of it as the age that I would get married.  Even when I graduated from college, I still felt like it wasn't totally out of the realm of possibility.  I probably didn't start to really give up on the idea until I turned 24 and was  still decidedly single.  Yet in spite of the generally negative tone of my writing here in blogland, I have actually spent the last year being secretly hopeful.  I mean, not secretly hopeful that I would get married this year - I'm not crazy, thank you.  I am kind of embarrassed to admit it, but more than once in the past year, I thought, well maybe 26 is the age at which I will MEET the person I end up marrying.

Silly right?  But hey, maybe it's true.  Maybe I have met him already.  Or maybe I will meet him in my remaining months as a 26-year-old!  Riiiight.  Still, it's funny how much my hopeful, sappy state-of-mind has colored my attitude towards guys that I've met this year.  Thinking back on a lot of my post-first date reactions, I was mostly optimistic.  I saw potential and possibilities and chose to ignore some obvious red flags.  I really tried not to concentrate on the negative and to focus more on what I liked about these guys.  And it helped for a bit, at least until my negative side succeeded in stomping all over my already-stunted optimistic side.

I think a lot of my hopeful mindset stemmed from my belief that because I was 26, I was ready for a relationship - ready to let someone in, ready to depend on someone, ready to try to make a relationship work.  Dating is exhausting, and a year of dating has definitely worn me down to where I just want a boyfriend already.  But recent events have merely proven that maybe I'm not all that ready.  I still haven't really let anyone in, and I still haven't tried particularly hard to make anything work.  What's that old saying?  Fake it till you make it?  I figure I will just keep plugging along, going out, living life, meeting people and hoping that some day, everything will just click into place.

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