never married, over forty, a little bitter

if onlies’s_like_i’m_suggesting_that_people_should_have_aborted_their_own_children/

Hundreds and hundreds of studies, both qualitative and quantitative, have been done over decades trying to ascertain how only children are different from anyone else. In just about every area studied, we’re not. And where we are the news is good: We tend to be higher achievers and have higher intelligence scores. But because the world has always told us who we are, we tend to understand ourselves in only child terms. If we’re antisocial, it’s because we’re only children. Of course, if we’re incredibly social, we also explain that characteristic in terms of our only childhoods. It’s quite a totalizing narrative. I have found in my own upbringing, and in the scores of interviews I’ve done, that it’s indeed an intense way to be raised. But that intensity has little to do with the stereotypes. I’d also add that only children tend to have parents — especially mothers — who make their lives more about a life outside of a domestic bubble, or incessantly juggling the demands of work and child-rearing. And I think that’s a very important environment for kids to grow up in — one in which the people raising them are more than just workers and parents.

strategic moves

Despite the short-term discomfort, financial loss, and loneliness, I do think that moving back will turn out to be the right decision for me long-term. I may have to get through a difficult year of transition though.

When I was debating back and forth about the move, my current roommate was putting the pressure on, and I tried not to let him influence me. I had lived here before for almost a decade, so I knew the downsides to the job market and the dating scene, and I had to carefully weigh leaving behind a well-paying job and a large urban area for a smaller place with less opportunity.

I don’t know what will happen with the job interview, but chances are I will be working again soon at a much lower-level than I have been for a good decade. My roommate had to make the same adjustment, and he’s still unhappy about it. He has a boyfriend though, and now that the relationship is going well, he’s taken to saying how it’s the only good thing he has going for him and the only thing that makes putting up with the job bearable.

Reader, that does grate, as I am facing the same job situation now but with few romantic prospects of my own. It is further proof that I should never make a decision based on what someone else is pressuring me to do.

Ultimately, though, I’d been plotting out this move for a long time, and although I might have made it later, it would most likely have happened eventually. I also wrote long ago that I wouldn’t make the move for social or romantic reasons but for an easier life and more time for my own creative projects, and that part is proving true.