back and forth
You spent the first five years trying to get with the plan/ And the next five years trying to be with your friends again— LCD Soundsystem, ALL MY FRIENDS
When I was in grad school in my early twenties, I was into bands and the book Edie: An American Girl. Come graduation day, I got scared and wanted to get married.
Instead, I moved away for my first professional job, bought real furniture, and filled my closet with a dry-clean-only wardrobe.
That phase lasted about a year. I started watching Woodstock and began missing my hippie college days. I ditched everything and went abroad with a youthful volunteer group.
Then I came back and did the professional job again. Then I ditched that to live with a roommate and join a dot com, where everyone wore sneakers and shorts to work. Then back to the professional job life. Then the obsession with a youthful dance scene. And so on.
My feelings about marriage and babies followed a similar trajectory. Sometimes I really wanted to get married and have kids, and other times I delved into obsessions far from that path.
The marriage/kids desire usually coincided with times when I was lonely, lost, and unsure of my next step. Here’s hoping I don’t spend the next forty years stuck in that mode!