I finished a good memoir this week called Gone Feral about a woman searching for her (slightly mad) father. She and her sister were the children of “back to the land” hippies and experienced unconventional childhoods. They both struggled mightily to find their way in their twenties and thirties but both found unconventional partners who were good matches for them and both ended up having a child. At the end of the book, there is a lot of ink spilled about how their own children “saved them,” gave them purpose, taught them the meaning of love, etc. They are now both “back to the landers” themselves, so the cycle is complete.
It’s so hard to know how to feel reading that kind of stuff. I, too, took many detours in my twenties and thirties (and now in my forties), but none have led to a partner, and all have led back to a one-bedroom apartment and the taxing full-time workweek. It’s basically been a long stretch of monotone with splashes of color every so often when I got brave.
I never felt that “well-matched” feeling with a partner that these women did (or if so it was with someone that it couldn’t work out with long-term), but admittedly, I had more concern than they did about things like a roof over my head and health insurance. Still. A lot of other people have those concerns too, and they found partners.
I have no answers.