Thursday, November 16, 2006

Number 8: Save the Cheerleader; Save the World

Hello Chicago! I finally returned home today after a week on the West Coast. It is good to be back.

I have to tell you though… I don’t know if it’s the adjustment to the time change or maybe it’s PMS, but at around 11pm, I was wide-awake and suddenly, very lonely. While what I’m about to write may seem a bit melodramatic, I believe my experience is universal and what I feel are things that other single women think and feel as well… sometimes it’s good to write these things down.

So that’s what I did. Like the good little aspiring writer I am, I keep a notebook next to my bed so every night before I go to sleep I can write. So tonight, I picked up my favorite hotel pen and wrote the loneliness down… “sometimes, I think that I may not ever meet someone special again and I might be alone… for a long time if not forever. Sometimes I take comfort in statistics because in our culture, it’s safe to bet that most of my single, woman friends (who happen to all be smart, attractive, interesting people… like yours truly) will end up in long-term, serious relationships, be that marriage or something else, eventually.”

Now granted, I haven’t been single for too terribly long—I wholeheartedly admit that—but the thought that there’s no one out there who is going to fall in love with you and who you are going to simultaneously fall in love with, is still kind of scary. So, I started thinking… what if? As in, what if I end up alone… forever or just for the next five years? What do I want my life to look like then?

This “planning” comes at a very opportune time, as with my dead computer (may it rest in peace) so went the goals I had written down for my 27th year (I think I cleverly titled it something like “27 goals for 27 years” but could only come up with about 16 goals for June 28, 2006-June 27,2007). Since I’m just about to reach the halfway point between 27 and 28 and, lest we not forget, we are approaching the New Year, I figured I was due for a revise anyway. But instead, today, I just wrote down the big stuff, or well the sort of big stuff… Here it is:


  1. Finally reach a weight that I’m happy with and can maintain so I can stop bitching about it and focus on something else.
  2. Run 2-3 half marathons a year, ultimately improving my time to a 9-minute per mile pace
  3. Run my first marathon in under 5 hours and run my second marathon in under 4 and a half hours.
  4. Go to Europe at least once.
  5. Write a collection of essays.
  6. Get something published (if not the collection of essays, then an article, a paper, something, anything).
  7. Buy a condo.
  8. Save the cheerleader; save the world (you didn't think my list was going to be entirely self-serving did you?).

That last one is obviously at the end of the timeline because I’ll be paying off that trip to Europe until at least 2009. Oh, and this list is not exhaustive… after all, there were sixteen for just this year…

But those are some of my goals. Lofty? Maybe not. Trite? Perhaps, but it’s my life and if I’m going to live it alone, then I’m going to do what I want to do (or at least what my 27-year-old self thinks my 30-year-old self is going to want to do). It might be silly to write this stuff down; it might be even sillier to admit it by writing it down here for all of you to read, but I guess I just like sharing… else I wouldn’t have this blog, now would I?

I suppose the bottom line for me is, even if I’m destined to lead my life alone… or even just a good portion of my young life… or if I meet “the guy” tomorrow and live happily ever after with him, the goals don’t change. Priorities shift and timelines can be fluid, but I guess what’s nice about being alone (no matter how old you were when you had that alone time) is that you get to figure out what you really want and, if you, like me, continue to get “time alone” throughout your life, you can reassess, edit, and revise the list.

Ultimately, I just want to be able to look back and say, “Wow, my life was pretty f-ing awesome, I had unique experiences and I had fun and I was happy.”

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