Why did you choose this one?” –Leah Stewart (From The Myth of You and Me)
Indeed. Why? It’s funny to me how you can add up a thousand seemingly innocuous choices and come up with your life. Or, as this is my blog and I usually talk about myself incessantly, my life. Example?
A couple of years ago, I left the library on the UTA campus early because I decided to skip my night class. On my way out of the library, a girl came up to me and asked if I was in her geology class. I was, and the next time we had class she and I sat next to each other. Later, she told me she recognized me because I told her, “Bless you,” when she sneezed.
That girl is now Toommate. For example.
When I was a student at A&M, I could never picture my life. I had friends who knew exactly what they wanted. Most of those friends are doing exactly what they said they would be doing. I never was entirely sure what I wanted from my life.
Three years ago, I wanted nothing more than to get married. I wanted to be a meek-spirited Christian wife, active in the Church and supportive of my husband. I wanted to have babies. I wanted to stay at home and cook for my husband and my babies. I wanted to form a quiet relationship with a secret God.
I look at who I am now and I know with my entire being that I don’t fit (would never have fit) that role. That particular version of my life is no longer appealing. I feel honestly that, had I accomplished what I so thought I wanted, it would have been much like watching a baby deer try to walk for the first time–awkward and ill-balanced. Seriously. How can a quiet-spirited woman do some of the things I do? How can she have some of the same quirks?
When I go out in public and I have to use a public restroom, the only thing that makes me happy is knowing I can use AS MUCH TOILET PAPER AS I WANT TO USE! Seriously, it’s almost euphoria-inducing! And I go to town, man. I know you might think this is TMI, but who of you can honestly say you don’t enjoy that freedom?
I have a daily battle with myself about flossing. I know I should floss but it hurts. My gums get a little bleedy and sore. I know flossing gums helps them stop being bleedy and sore. The more you floss, the healthier your gums become. But I hate to floss. I hate seeing red toothpaste spit. And so I skip the flossing. And I feel guilty about it, as though I’m depriving my mouth of a truly clean environment, all because I ignore the existence of a thin, minty-wax covered string.
My life is a series of one experiment after another. I’ve discovered so many things about myself through my experiments. For example, having a roommate. I’ve discovered that I’m anal about which way the blinds should be pointed. It’s also been scientifically proven that I get irked when the trash can has trash but no trash bag.
I’ve also discovered little bits of myself through being in a relationship. I can’t talk about my relationship here. It feels juvenile and a little cheap. But I’m learning so much and this is all part of the version of my life I am choosing right now. I’ve discovered that I do have a needy side. I hate my needy side, but in order to staunch the flow of Pathetic, I must acknowledge its existence. If I choose to act on the needy inclinations, perhaps I am choosing to end the relationship. Or, allowing someone else to make that choice for me.
The funniest part is that I’ve been told in counseling that I rarely choose myself, that I’m more focused on other people. These words make me wonder if I am portraying myself correctly, as I am the most selfish person I ever think about.
I’m a bundle of Crazy and Weird, with some Quirk and Intelligence mixed in. And I’m choosing it all. I can no longer sit as an observer of this thing we call life because in doing so, I become someone who cheats on herself. I actively decide. Decisions, choices, options, pathways, highways, byways, sandwiches, skirts, pets, boyfriends, moms and families, straight or curly, calories and miles, running, walking, sleeping, reading, choosing.
It is in the choice that the versions exist.