Seeking the safety of a grown up life

Sometimes there are things that just stick with you. They are so true to you, so well written, it just clicks. I had that today with the episode ‘This is my enjoyment’ of Fleishman is in Trouble. It is the episode of Libby, if I may say so. Though she is the narrator of the whole show, but she really has her moment in episode 6 of season 1 of this amazing show. May be it is because she is a struggling writer too, but she speaks to me.

She says: “I didn’t realize that the real power I had was that I had no obligations. I could do whatever the hell I wanted. How was I supposed to know that one day in seeking the safety of a grown up life, I would lose that power? I am 41 now. I can’t believe how briefly I held that power. I can’t believe how briefly I held it, and how quickly I gave it away.“

It is how I often feel when I am in a relationship for too long. It’s like the walls are starting to close in on me. And every time I think: yes, this time it will be different, but it hardly ever is. I love all my exes, though many of them do not love me anymore. Once I tell a person I love them, that’s it. If they are in trouble, they can always call me. If they want to talk: I will be there. And I know I am not the easiest.

I know what my mind does once the relationship dust settles. When the butterflies stop fluttering and just find a place to sit down and relax. People do not seem to expect it, but once my mind’s made up, it’s just made up. Things won’t change. Maybe for a while, but eventually, things simply don’t change.

My father turned 70 last year. He threw a big party and I got to see a few of their friends, who I hadn’t seen in a while. A friend of my mom said something that really stuck with me. And to be frank: it really hurt me. She said my mom was happy I have a boyfriend now, cause she worried about me when I was single. It’s a problem me and my parents have: they are so stuck in their babyboomer ways, they do not understand that marriage is not the way for everyone.

And this year, 2023, the year of the rabbit (I am one!), I am about to make a big change in something similar my parents just can’t deal with. I am about to go freelance. I have been working freelance for 15 years, but my parents feel like it unpredictable, and unpredictable things make them nervous. Just like me, when I am single, make them nervous. The fact that I am about to leave a regular job at the company my dad used to work for for fifty years or something, does not help either.

The older I get, the more visible it is that my parents and I are different, and that I have been going their way about things way too often. Though that has definitely brought me amazing things, I feel the urge to do things my way, to stand on my own two feet. To make my own decisions and not feel about them because I know my parents might be hurt by them.

Even though I know their hurt is misplaced. It sounds weird to say this as a 35 year old, and of course I have been making many, many of my own decisions. It’s just that this one, this work one, is important. Because it is scary, and not just because of my parents. But I feel that now is the time. If not now, when? Now I can have that power that Libby was speaking of. I don’t want to have this power just half of the day. I want to have it the full day. Standing on my own two feet. I can do this, right?


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