I'm curious. Is 30 to young for a mid-life crisis? I mean, I know I don't have the kids and the house and the grueling job that most people have when they experience the MLC. And I'm not male and married to a nagging wife who's let herself go, but still, I feel like I'm experiencing one right now.
A long time ago, back in the day, when I was a senior in high school, I had an epiphany of sorts. You see, I had been dating this guy since my sophomore year, and when I was a senior, he was a freshmen in college. I anticipated that this would be devastating, and I would be wrecked, but on the contrary, it turned out to be the best year of my high school career.
Despite the fact that our moms believed we were the perfect couple, and so cute, and were made for each other (gag), we chose to go our separate ways. Actually, I'm pretty sure this was my decision and he didn't have much say in it. But, hello! He was in college! He should have been out living it up, not driving home every weekend to see me.
At any rate, for the first time in my high school career, I was sans boyfriend. It was wonderful. I loved it! I didn't have to worry about eating lunch with him every day, or what we are going to do that evening or that weekend... It was great. I was hanging out with my girlfriends more, I had a real social life again, and most importantly, I felt FREE! I was an independent woman and I loved it!
That was the year I decided I wanted to be an independent woman when I grew up. Of course, life being the way it is, things didn't quite turn out that way, but we'll get back to that in a moment. First, I'd like to introduce you to the independent women I idolized, envied and wanted to be when I was growing up:
from The Wizard
played by the lovely Jenny Lewis (yes, that Jenny Lewis)
I loved Haley's spunky attitude and the fact that she was just as tough (if not tougher) than any guy I knew. And she really knew how to take control of a situation. For example...
And now I totally want to watch this movie right now, because, hello! It was awesome! And let's not forget that Jenny Lewis was in it, and Christian Slater, and you know how I feel about him.
from The Cosby Show
played by the lovely Lisa Bonet
By far, the coolest Cosby kid (aside from Theo, of course. Remember the episode in which he got his ear pierced? Too funny.). I loved Denise's free-style and independent thinking. Her clothes rocked, her hair rocked (well, not necessarily in retrospect, but at the time), and she had the spunkiest little stepdaughter. And did I mention how cool she was?
from The Wonder Years
played by the lovely Olivia d'Abo
Karen made very few appearances on the show, but her hippie ways struck a chord with me. And I can totally forgive her for marrying David Schwimmer, even though he was pretty much a dweeb back then too.
Jane, Holly and Robin
from Boys on the Side
played by Whoopi, Drew and Mary-Louise
Minus the whole dying of AIDS and lesbian thing, of course. But after watching this movie, what woman didn't want to jump in the car and just drive?
Okay, now back to my story.
So, long story short, High School Sweetheart and I got back together at some point in time. I went off to college to pursue my dreams of independence, and somewhere along the line, my rationality took a vacation, resulting in me transferring to the college my HSH was at and thus extending what had become a horribly toxic relationship for another year or so.
Seriously, we should have buried that relationship when we broke up my senior year. I'll admit it, I probably stuck it out for his family (he probably stuck it out for the sex. I'm not gonna lie, he wasn't getting much before me, or probably after me either, although I know he's in a relationship now, which is great. I'm really happy for him. No, really, I am. We were never a good match. He was so... vanilla). I loved his family. They were a real family. Mother, father, sister, brother. No dog though. And his mother could cook! She was an awesome cook. *Sigh* The things we Broken Homers do to feel normal...
Any way, after we finally did break up, I found myself bouncing from relationship to relationship until I met Gregarious. Fast forward nine years (yes, nine) to me finding myself sitting at a Fourth of July picnic in... Virginia, totally loathing the people around me, resenting Gregarious for dragging me to VA, and hating myself for where my life had brought me.
So, like all good Broken Homers who find themselves in situations they aren't quite pleased with, I panicked, turned tail and ran. Cuz that's what we do. We split when things get tough. Which is why I now find myself in NY.
At any rate, it's been 12 years since my senior year, and since I've been in grad school, the reality of how I've been living my life (or not living it) has struck home. I seem to be having a moment of panic where I'm realizing that I might never be that independent woman I dreamed of being, who is free to wander the world as she pleases. Which brings me back to my original question...
Is 30 too young for a mid-life crisis?