Saturday, August 04, 2007

The High Desert & Substantial Questions

When my oldest sister, E, called me on Monday this week and asked if I wanted to accompany her to the the high desert (a few hours drive from the city) on Friday for a night, I was ecstatic. There is a gorgeous resort community over there and I was fortunate enough to spend an incredible weekend there this last winter with all the snow and Christmas stuff. And now, to spend a day and a half (yes, very quick trip!) in beautiful summer weather with a room on the golf course...amazing. This first photo is the view from the patio of our room. Needless to say, we were very content with just sitting in the Adirondack chairs, sipping on jack and cokes, watching the golfers and planes and gliders float by right in front of us. Further evidence of such bliss:

It was such a great trip. I haven't been "away" since...hmmm....probably that trip to the same resort in December. Even a brief trip like this proves very relaxing. I was so happy to be out in the beautiful high desert, that I woke up at 630am and went to the lodge to have coffee. Then I took a walk down this path and just around the resort. It was so quiet and peaceful that early in the morning. Later, my sister and I walked around the resort village and sat and talked for quite some time, went to a museum, and had lunch before heading back. It was great to spend some time with her. She is getting married in a few weeks and I'm so happy for all the wonderful things going on in her life. She and I eerily say the same things at the same time or will have the same thoughts simultaneously. I is really eerie just how in sync we are a lot of the time. We literally say the same thing and and it isn't necessarily something obvious or just a word. Crazy.

I've been really working on balance lately and feeling hopeful about my future, my purpose. But I have to be honest, as relaxing and beautiful as this short getaway was...I felt torn deep inside. I felt torn about my future and what I want. Maybe it was seeing all the families and couples over there...enjoying vacation together. Maybe it was because my trip in December to this resort was with someone that I had really felt could be truly lasting...and that trip was so incredible with him...but we have gone our separate ways in life now. Maybe I've been in a "bubble" here in the city...working and existing in an isolated world of my own somewhat. I don't know for sure. But I just felt sad in a way I haven't for quite awhile. It made me feel that I want a family, a husband, vacations and that life. And it makes me go back to a fundamental question I have regarding myself: can I have it all? Can I have a family of my own and yet, still be me...still be the dreamer, the writer, the humanitarian, the explorative girl?

I know that I am very sincere in my conviction when encouraging people to embrace what seems to be duality in their own life. I am very good about encouraging people with a family and those type of responsibilities to also pursue their passions simultaneously and with utmost conviction and effort. I insist that can be done and with seeming ease. But do I believe that I can even do that for myself? Is there something within me that makes me feel that I somehow don't deserve both? Again, it goes back to another fundamental question that I posted about earlier with regard to balancing my life - why does it have to be all or nothing? Why can't I truly believe in a balance for my life? Sure, I really enjoy and appreciate my life right now. I enjoy where I live, reading, working, going to yoga, taking walks, learning new things, and just being happy with what is. But I also want to share my life with someone in a very intimate way. I want a man to wrap his arms around me and kiss my forehead and love me for who I am. I want to hear about his day, be here for him, have his children, and be a wonderful part of my own family.

Somehow, I feel that I am sub-consciously resigning myself to a life without a family of my own for some reason. Maybe because I feel "different." That because I abhor the thought of living in the suburbs, being a soccer mom, getting together for gossipy lunches with the neigborhood moms (the movie Stepford Wives just came to mind!)...that I'm not allowed to have a husband and children. And I know that is such an extreme way of thinking. Truly though, there has to be more to it than just that. I don't know where the fear/doubt/creeping resignation comes from. I've been married before and that haunts me...what could have been, what should have been. But I don't dwell on what I can't change and I'm not afraid to "fail" by trying again and again and again. So, what, then?

Suddenly, as I'm typing this, I think about my sister E. She is 47 and getting married in a few weeks. She expressed previously having many fears about things coming together in her own life, much like these fears of mine that I shared with her today. I know I'm not alone. I know we all struggle with our own fears, limitations, seemingly unexplainable behaviors and doubtfulness. I just don't want to lie to myself like I think I've been doing somewhat. I don't want to push these fears away, never believing that I can have it "all," and ultimately, never fully challenging them. I never want to resign myself to either/or.

And so questions and awareness that I've sub-consciously driven deep within me, now come to the forefront of my consciousness. And I feel an increasing sense of frustration as to why I quietly slip toward resignation about my life being either/or.


Cavalock said...

Yes, u can have a beautiful family with kids and still be who u want to be. Really.;)

Looks like a great resort, how hot was it? cloudless skies, blazing sun...must have been pretty hot.

b said...

cavalock...thanks for the encouragement! it does seem so attainable when i look at it from a healthy and peaceful perspective. it is when i let my past experiences, fear, insecurities, etc. come into play- that's when it seems unattainable.

yes, the resort and just that general countryside is so beautiful. i took those first three photos when we arrived at our room, around it was the warmest and sunniest part of the day as we were facing west. it was definitely warm but not too hot. it is the high desert so it is that dry heat without humidity.

thanks again for the encouragement!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good time was had by all. I can certainly relate that the high desert can be majestic not only during the summer, but during the winter months especially Christmas. Your past experiences are what shape you as an individual B, you cannot hide behind those insecurities but rather use them as learning experiences to grow forward.

b said...

anonymous...thank you for the comment and encouragement. i am absolutely accepting of the past and eagerly want to take all those experiences with me into the present and future. i want to grow from them and not be a slave to them. a strong desire and acceptance is there but somehow those fears and insecurities are more deeply embedded than i imagined. but i know that it takes time to conquer them and it is a daily concerted effort. i know i can do it. sometimes they creep up and seem so daunting though, you know?

Anonymous said...

I can relate and do know. Those thoughts undeniably overpower good memories and experiences. Hopefully your time at the resort community triggered thoughts of happiness from prior experiences including rembrance of your trip in December with that someone special. One.

b said... isn't that these fears/insecurities overpower good memories and experiences. it is actually the contrary. i appreciate and value those experiences more so. i think that the fears/insecurities just prevent me from fully participating in life and realizing potentialities. and that is a deep rooted issue with myself...accepting who i am and breaking past those self-doubts and self-criticism.

yes, the trip really did trigger happy memories from that december trip. those memories will always be happy ones, regardless of my insecurities and fears.

Celestine said...

beautiful pictures... looks heavenly

Run Around Paris said...

You know, those kinds of thoughts cross my mind often when I personally contemplate having kids. I mean, do I really want kids, or do I want the idea of being 'complete, with children'? It's strange how the more independent you become, the more you explore, the more you experience, the less clear the lines of tradition appear. Damn, that doesn't make a lot of sense as I write it, but I just have to say that it's hard to make those kinds of life decisions and not dwell on how it will affect the things you want to do as an independent person.

Congrats to your sister getting married...I hope we get to see a few photos!

b said...

celestine...thank you for stopping by my blog! it really is beautiful at that resort. definitely heavenly!

run around is nice to know that others can relate to these feelings. sometimes i feel so isolated by these thoughts but i know that i'm not the only person to struggle with them. at the age of 30, i just feel that i have to do something and not just let these thoughts linger. if i want to have it all, i need to be pursuing it all, not just thinking about it. deep inside, i believe that having a family and maintaining a degree of independence is very possible. but it isn't just going to happen for me. i need to make it happen. ugh. easier said than done!

i am very excited for my sister. it will be such a fun wedding and i'll do my best to get some photos posted afterwards!

Richard said...

I have noticed that there is a type of sadness that flows over one, clearing the mind and providing remarkable focus of purpose. Sadly, it is very ethereal and all too quickly disipates.

I cannot predict the future for you. I used to think relationships were pretty simple. Given all the people on the planet, how hard could it be for two people to hook up? Apparently, remarkably so.

I know I used to wonder why people were so different (ha, ha, in my mind, I was perfectly normal, it was the other people who were acting wierd - at least until I descended into despondancy).

The best thing about being married is never being alone. The worst thing about being married is never being alone.

One thing that probably helped / hindered me, is that I had no preconceptions of ideas about what roles I was to play, how I would act, etc. It was rather shocking to discover that Sofia has lots of ideas about the proper roles, behaviour, decorum, etc for husbands and wives.

For me, my wife was just my partner. My life companion. The mother of my kids. That was it. She was not the bread baker, or the knitter, or dishwasher.

This ancient post of mine may be partly relevant.

b said...

richard...that feeling does seem fleeting but i think it can be employed in our daily life a bit more than we believe.

it really isn't that i want to be able to predict my future or even map/plan it out. i think i just need to be me and not compromise myself in relationships. i also think about my life right now. i left grad school and i wanted to get a job that would allow me freedom but was something i could live off of and enjoy. so, i went out and diligently pursued job opportunities and i found this job. i wanted to live in this specific part of the city, so i diligently called on apartments and here i am...exactly where i wanted to live. i want to find someone wonderful and have a family of my own while simultaneously pursuing my own interests. and what have i done to make that happen? almost nothing. so, i am starting to look at these worries in a healthier light. it is as though sub-consciously i am waiting for the perfect situation with a man to fall in my lap. i am not "out there" and really open to meet anyone. so, what do i expect?

preconceptions can be very limiting. i don't necessarily hold many preconceptions about marriage as strict personal principles but i think that my awareness of social preconceptions is a hindrance. however, i am starting to finally shake that and feel hopeful.

great "ancient post." it is always encouraging to read about other people's experiences. it sounds as though you and sofia have really come to understand each other instead of immediately abandoning the relationship when these differences of opinion/perspective would arise.

Richard said...

We all have strengths and weaknesses in what we can and cannot do. In our strength we are fine, it is in our weaknesses that we need the supportive and nurturing society.

One difficulty is in determining if the changes we pursue are growth or distraction. I know I have been strongly motivated to quit my job, run away and join the circus (or something equally foolish).