I have this problem. (Well, I have two: One is that I can't spell "problem" correctly the first four times I type it. Also, "the.") It's this problem that makes me kind of cringe and worry that I'm going to freak out 20 years down the road and be the mom that up and abandons her family because she has a mid-life crisis that really probably should have been a quarter-life crisis but it wasn't because I convinced myself that everything was okay when it probably wasn't.
See, there's the me that I see evolving, or maybe has always existed. She's pretty quiet, is a worrier, keeps to herself, is pretty loyal to what friends she has, occasionally does stuff that pisses off her parents like get tattoos and piercings and basically live with her boyfriend when she's in town, but really, other than that, doesn't stray outside the lines much. She's a little obsessive, okay maybe a lot, and is definitely hurt easily. She's crazy guarded, scares easy, keeps her past a secret, and isn't big on trying new things, but kind of wishes she was more brave. In fact, her parents and boyfriend kind of worry that she is totally incapable of taking care of herself in an emergency situation. She watches movies and sometimes goes to parties and plans her future obsessively, down to the time she'll go to bed when she's 50 (all right, maybe not that extreme). She wants to be an international human rights lawyer and get married before she's 27 (all right, 25) and raise kids and live happily ever after, the end. She'll probably be a stay at home mom when her kids are born and she'll get crafty as hell and she and her husband will have sex like once a month or something, because that's boring but it fits in with all the other patterns of her life. She also oversimplifies and overexaggerates, worries a heck of a lot about her weight, and really just wants to be hugged ALL THE TIME.
And then there's the me I want to be. This kick ass woman that could beat someone up if called upon, especially if it would save her life, is loud and straightforward, enjoys drinking too much and having fun. She's impulsive and hella funny, and also really hot and totally aware of her appeal to men, like whoa. She wants to become a professional writer or photographer and wanderer a la Nicole of nicoleisbetter.com and maybe, just maybe, she'd recognize that yes, she's already fallen head over heels in love but that doesn't mean she needs to marry him tomorrow. She'd be open about the fact that she has a dark past because she knows that she could help other people by being so.
In my head, this woman would realize that she's smack in the middle of a quarter-life crisis but knows that it'll be okay because she really just wants to change the world and have an effect and figure out what that actually fucking means so she can go do it already. Also, she's not as easily hurt as I am and she depends more on herself for happiness instead of her boyfriend's love or mom's approval. She does crazy shit like quit her job that she hates and buys random plane tickets to France, because she's brave like that. She's also would have gotten over her fear of trying new things and tried pot long before I did, and she also probably would have grown a pair and told that guy that she liked through most of high school how she felt. This woman would probably get married, but not have kids because as much as she loves them, she wants to be able to move to China to work on site for a year and not have that disrupt the kids' lives. Instead, she could be the awesome aunt to all her friends' kids that spoils them and tells them exciting stories about that one time an elephant tried to kill her in Kenya (okay, that one DID happen to me, but still). She lives out loud, does epic shit, and wouldn't really need anyone, except her husband and her momma, she's totally tough and people would describe her as awesome and a vixen, whatever the hell that means. She is also the type of 20-something that instead of just blogging about her quarter-life crisis and how it's freaking her out that she is two people at once but feels like she has to pick one, she'd actually GET OFF HER ASS AND GO BE THE WOMAN SHE WANTS TO BE INSTEAD OF JUST DAYDREAMING ABOUT IT.
Aaaaaand, deep breath.
edit:// A follow-up to this post, about one year later: Ea Alis Propriis Volat