Into The Wild Essay Belonging

Into The Wild Essay Belonging-49
I couldn’t comprehend how this was different from the things we had done before.These were the friends that I had been single with, all of us tethered to one another for everything that we did: eating meals and drinking beers and dating men and running to the bar in the middle of those Vermont winters wearing nothing but torn jeans and tank tops.By the time I met Neil, my friends had all gotten married, one right after the other, then pregnant, one right after the other.

I couldn’t comprehend how this was different from the things we had done before.These were the friends that I had been single with, all of us tethered to one another for everything that we did: eating meals and drinking beers and dating men and running to the bar in the middle of those Vermont winters wearing nothing but torn jeans and tank tops.

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I too had wanted those things, and when I met a man in my late 20s who was quiet and kind, I figured I had finally found it.

I could picture the life I wanted so clearly: an old house on a dirt road, a kitchen table big enough for the kids to do their homework, a hammock in the shade, this kind and quiet man kissing my neck every morning before heading off to work.

But then, because these things sometimes happen — a short straw, a joker card pulled from the deck — I found out after five years that this kind and quiet man was not the kind of man I wanted to marry.

He was the kind of man who kept secrets, the kind of man who had a hard time being honest, the kind of man who lied about the things he was doing when he wasn’t doing them with me.

It felt bold, freeing, revolutionary even, deciding at that age that any man I met would be temporary, short-term, intended only as a pit stop along the way to my next adventure.

At first my friends were on board, asking for constant updates. For the first few months, we all lived vicariously through each other’s adventures.

“Emily’s Heartbreak Tour of America,” my friends called it, and it kind of was.

I was a 33-year-old woman, and after spending my entire adult life looking for a man to marry, I committed instead to a year of not trying to find one.

In the middle of our breakup, I played bridesmaid to my best friend.

Standing beside her as she said her vows, I felt like we were opposites. Standing in front of her wedding guests, I remember thinking for the first time, If being good was what got me here, then I may as well be whatever I want.

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