I know we all go through “crises” in our lives. Mid-life crisis. Quarter-life crisis (I think I hit this at 22, but whatever, close enough). Is this what’s called the divorce crisis?
Because in the last few months, my obsessions and outlooks have changed.
I want to travel so badly it itches. I dream about Paris, London, Prague, St. Petersburg…anywhere, everything. I want to see it all. I want to ride on a double-decker bus again and disembark in front of Westminster Abbey. I want to wear a cute little sundress and ride an overpriced gondola in Venice. I want to see the Northern Lights in Oslo, skate on a frozen pond in Salzburg, have an oh-so-cliched kiss at the base of the Eiffel Tower…I want it all.
And I want to do it alone. (God, that is so Eat. Pray. Love. and overdone)
But I want that. I want to find myself on cobblestone streets that are hundreds of years old, breathe the air of thousands of pilgrims in ancient cathedrals, revel in my complete inability to understand other languages, and speak rough, American English alone in the center of a thousand foreign voices.
This isn’t me, guys. The person I am got absolutely completely panic-stricken at age 23 when I went to England with my best friend. And I wasn’t alone. And I spoke the language. But it was less than a year after my accident, pre-medication, pre-therapy…pre-any real conception of love or heartbreak.
I’m obsessed with all things girly, feminine, delicate. I am 29 years old and I’m suddenly seized with the desire to make my entire apartment airy and pastel. I spent my 20’s eschewing pink in all shades and becoming obsessed with football. My wardrobe was built around bootcut jeans, long-sleeve t-shirts, and sneakers. Now I want to wear sundresses and lace and ballet flats and skinny jeans, I want to deck my entire apartment in candles and pictures of Europe and white lights and birds. I want to paint my fingernails sky blue.
I want to replace the beat-up piece of furniture that’s serving as my dresser and vanity table for this:
I was in the mall the other day and I couldn’t resist trying some of the L’Occitane Rose hand cream, and it brought me back to being a child, in my grandmother’s pastel-bedecked spare bedroom, sniffing her bath products and dreaming of the day when I’d wear makeup myself, when men would think I was beautiful, when I’d think I was beautiful.
Who is this person?
Everyone around me says that my weird changes are harmless. I’m not blowing tons of money or doing anything particularly destructive. It’s not like when I was 19 and going through a really abusive relationship and breakup, where I hacked off all my hair and went through a brief “punk grunge” phase that thankfully, no photographs exist of anymore.
But it scares me, because underneath I feel stripped, and if these brief moments of girly euphoria, solitary excitement, and finding joy in just myself fade away, what’s underneath will be ten times more raw.