An hour after touching down in Vancouver, I was told that my ex-boyfriend recently got engaged.
I was agape. And I want to explain that a large part of me felt this way because the moment was poignantly ironic…
Vancouver was the place my ex and I would’ve ended up at had I chosen to go forward with our relationship. I’m not there with him today because quite simply, I wasn’t going to marry him and I wasn’t going to have children with him. I chose the road marked “adventure time” instead (even though, by my ex’s strange logic and insistence, the two roads marked “marriage+kids” and “adventure time” could merge— I’m sorry, but I’m many types of woman, but not the type who could Baby-Björn it up Machu Pichu)
I knew that briefly being in Vancouver was going to bring on a wave of existential questions that I’d have to at least think about— but to hear that my ex just got engaged— well, that is a glaring confrontation. I didn’t anticipate for the wave to be this big.
So my decision two years ago has brought me to the “coulda been” place, only I’m here continuing to live my “definitely is” life. And somewhere here is somebody else living my “coulda been” life while I’m about to just live out some “definitely are” adventures-- on the cusp of travelling to Indonesia and Japan.
For the most part, I’ve lived a semi-charmed life since splitting from my ex. My adventures, at home or away, are life-changing and people, at home or away, are just nicer to me and I find I’m easier to learn about when it’s just me (or at least that’s how it’s always been for me). But it needs to be known that while I don’t regret my decision of choosing “adventure time”, it wasn’t an easy one to make. And I knew that that sort of difficulty was going to carry on throughout my adventure time life, not limited to the dismissive, hard teaching of “that’s just life itself”. I knew that outside of “stability” and “comfort”, I was resigned to repeatedly experience flakey lovers and hard-to-manage, short-lived, confusing romances with self-entitled narcissists (because that’s literally all that’s left. Oh, and gays). I knew that outside of conveniently sharing the load with a partner when it comes to purchasing property, I’d have to handle that mortgage on my own. I knew that I was going to have to continually, continually, CONTINUALLY deflect the ridiculous pity and ridiculous judgment of my married-with-children peers and society (but this one’s easy ‘cause fuck you? My life?).
But you take the bad with the good, the sour with the sweet. And in the end, you’re always able to “manage”. Shit isn’t that impossible on your own, in spite of what we’re conditioned to believe what’s easier or convenient.
I’m thoroughly happy where I am. I’m assured by knowing that I’m not doing what everyone else is doing or what’s deemed “right” or “what should be” at this age…
Ever going against the tide…