Thursday, September 29, 2011

Clinging to an out-of-date dream

Something I realised about myself, and the way I am living right now. It's been dawning on me for weeks.
I am clinging to an out of date dream
Re-winding 25 years. I was looking for a (soul) mate to build a family with. Part of this dream included property. The reasons for this are probably fairly easy to fathom. I imagined that by my current age (45) I would own a home, have 2 or 3 functional teenage children around. I imagined these children would have grown up in the bosom of their extended family and by now, I would be settling in to mid-life knowing that there was no mortgage to pay, a man who loved me by my side, and every hope that these children would go on to be useful adult members of society. Being of the second wave feminist era, I also believed that the man I loved would support me in a career.

So at 25 I married, and went about (single handedly as it turned out) shaping this dream with someone who was not on the same page, and was not right for me.  I stuck it for 15 years and clung to that dream through what was, essentially, a demolition derby. He didn't want kids, he didn't want to live near family, he didn't want to settle down, he didn't want to have a regular job, he didn't want to buy a house. So I worked harder on my career, waited patiently for him to (what I might have euphemistically called) "grow up", ultimately chased down my dream of having a baby via IVF. Each year a bit of my dream  fell off. House prices rocketed, we couldn't afford to travel home for Christmas, I was infertile, I spent all my spare cash on putting him through college and taking him on holiday (!)

Then I woke up to myself, and thought if he won't follow my dreams with me, I'll have them alone. Marched off, and, with the help of a deposit from my parents, first attempted the dream with a sociopathic woman hater, and then finally, on my own.

But you know what? this dream doesn't fit anymore.  Why am I struggling to pay the mortgage on an overpriced townhouse at my age? so that I can set Connor up for life and die.  The last 20 years of my working life will be spent existing, in a job I don't particularly like so that I can put food on the table, and buy this place. I have no one to grow old with and only one child so rather than three children setting off to make their way in the world I will have one who has the option to "fail to launch" and live off me until I die then take my belongings and never have to work (much) himself. Just like his dad.  Why would I?  I need a new dream.

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