I should be asleep but my body clock is so out of whack after this week that I'm not sure I'll be back on a normal schedule until April. So I'm taking advantage of a quiet hotel room and a little insomnia to write. You are forewarned that it might be a little jumbled and rambling but this trip has my brain kind of going every which way.
This morning I woke up from one my recurring marriage dreams. I think I may have mentioned these dreams before but they happen every few months and it's always my wedding day and everything is a) very thrown together and b) I don't really know the groom. At some point of the dream I usually ask someone about the guy I'm marrying and they assure me that he's a cool guy and for some reason, no one is ever alarmed that I am asking questions about my fiance ON MY WEDDING DAY. In the dream I find myself thinking, "eh, might as well." And then I wake up and lay there luxuriating in the fact that I'm alone and not married to some random guy. I always take an enormous amount of comfort in that feeling because it makes me certain I haven't reached that, "eh, maybe it's better than being alone," point of my life that I sometimes get the feeling people think I ought to have now that I am *gasp* in my thirties.
We had a busy day of site visits and meetings and in between I was trying to coordinate how I was going to get from the Denver Airport tomorrow to my car which is parked at my bosses house across town. And as plans were falling through I kept thinking, "damnit one of these days I would like there to be a handsome fella on the other side of one of these work trips." Because really, the only people who WANT to pick you up at the airport are people who get to kiss you when you get in the car. There are times when I just feel exhausted after all these years of doing it all by myself. Like it would be so nice to fall apart for ten minutes and have someone else take a turn putting me back together. Because there are three people in this world who believe in you without question-your mom, yourself, and the guy wearing a ring. And when you are too old to keep going to your mother for validation and there is no guy with a ring, you have to do it yourself and sometimes you are sick of the sound of your own tough girl voice telling you how strong you are. We were wandering around all these menswear sections at Harrod's and Selfridges looking at sponsor shop-in-shops and it can be an almost physical ache because you don't want to buy cool shirts from London for your brothers or the guy you climb with, you want to be dressing up your very own boy.
The day was good. And I ended up with a few free hours with a coworker I adore and we decided to walk to our dinner meeting and do a little shopping along and get treats the way. He's very smart and interesting and he has good taste and I always feel like I learn so much when I get to travel with him. We talked about all kind of plans for next summer and I feel so validated when it's clear we are on the same page and he agrees with so many of my ideas. I feel smart. I feel good at my job.
We get to dinner and it's a venue our sponsors chose. It's terribly them which is to say it's pretty posh. They all show up in one well-dressed mass and none of the women seem to be one bit affected by the humidity that has turned my hair completely against me for the last nine days. We sit down and on my right is the VP of Marketing for the whole of Europe and on my left is another Marketing Director of this major, major fashion label. And even a couple of years ago I might spend most of that dinner feeling a bit out of my league. But tonight I chatted intelligently about David's neighborhood in Geneva because well, I lived there and Mattieu almost fell off his chair when I responded to him in French because you know, an American who speaks French? We talked about US vs European positioning and sports marketing initiatives and swapped background snapshots. I am at this lovely point in my career where I HAVE some background to talk about. And although I am still always actively looking for mentors and people above me to learn from, I'm developing a bit of a downline as well-younger people who want to know my career path and who ask for my advice. My resume sounds impressive without any massaging.
This has been happening quite a bit in the last year, I was sitting there, at a fancy restaurant off Hyde Park in London, holding my own and then some with these people and thinking-this is it, these are my sixteen year old dreams coming true. Looking around at the life I have built and the experiences I have had-I'm ecstatic that this is how things have turned out. Sometimes I walk into my cute apartment after an evening at the climbing gym or a good bike ride and I feel like my heart is going to bust right out of my grateful, satisfied chest.
I'm not living my backup plan-this is the life I was hoping for. There has always been a step two of that life-the husband and family part but I'm not flipping out because 90% of the girls I went to high school with are on baby number three. I have days where it is a total bummer to be single. And days where I can't even imagine there are any single mormon boys I don't already know or single not mormon boys who want to put up with my rules. But then I think about pretty much every good thing that has ever happened in my life and how rarely it's been something I saw coming or could explain to you why I feel like I deserved that shot. I didn't and I don't. I've been incredibly blessed and to complain about my circumstances or to whine about something I have no control over i.e. boys, seems straight up ungrateful.
I suppose I'm just hoping that there are other single ladies out there who have also reached a space where you can feel comfortable talking about those lonely days, and that "seriously???" feeling you get now and then when some kid you babysat is getting hitched and you are in a complete dating drought but also feel comfortable saying no, nice lady at church who said she looks at my life sometimes and feels jealous but she's sure I look at hers and feel jealous, I don't. I'm sure your kids and husband are lovely but I'm actually pretty alright with the way my life is shaking out.
And with that...I'm off to try to sleep a few hours before my last site visit and a flight that ends with my OWN BED!