Do you know what my definition of success is? Very simple! It is to have a stable job that could afford me a modern apartment, a healthy lifestyle, a fully stuffed wardrobe and be a freelance writer. I would imagine myself sitting by the glass window overlooking the busy city from the twentieth floor of a high rise building with a laptop on my thighs and a glass of wine in my hand, drinking, musing and writing. I would have my family around, a few close friends and probably a dog. Now, I’m definitely not a dog person. In fact, I used to obsess over having fluffy, white cats but after finally watching Marley and Me last week, my mind has totally shifted to dogs — How surprising of me! Anyway, regardless of pets, which I probably will put more thoughts into later, this is basically a sketch of my dream. Of what I’m going to try hard to achieve in my years of being a young adult.
It’s pretty clear, straightforward and attainable, which makes me very happy.
The only thing that led me to an “Oh” moment just now is that I suddenly realized there is actually no man in this wonderful picture.
To be honest, I have never been a relationship girl. My only proper, functioning relationship was when I was 16 and it ended after 7 months of virtually long distance, which actually made it not very much of a real deal. Now, I’m turning 20 soon. I have no boyfriend and no ex-boyfriend to cry over. I have no history, or no trace of a man that I’m still holding dear memories of, or even cursing because I was cheated on. I have never been cheated on. I have no what if or what could have been either. I have a very clean record. I don’t even know what it’s like to have a long-term boyfriend or to be in a real relationship. I could imagine it’s somewhat like Marshall and Lily but it might well be too ideal in this modern dating world where people change their minds faster than they do with their clothes. I guess that’s why my dream does not have a man in it. Because why should I? What will he add to my life? I’m still waiting to be convinced.
It should be no surprise that my mind is implanted with this idea that men are my opponents as if we were playing some kind of game. Unless I regard a man as my friend, I find it impossible to take his side and fully trust him with my feelings. And then it gets funny when the guy I date asks me what’s wrong with me because what could have been wrong with a girl like me except for the fact that I’m dating someone and I have absolutely no idea how to act? — Which most of the time is the only reason that leads me to totally screw up and have my heart completely broken. I’m just that inexperienced and naive in this department. Then I would end up telling myself that I’m destined to be single.
That being said, there used to be days I would dream of having a simple, happy home. That thought often struck me when I was walking down a quiet street and happened to come across a house with the kitchen window open. That kitchen was empty with the light on but that was enough for me to fantasize about how my partner and I would be having fun while cooking together, making jokes and laughing over silly things and I would feel so safe and loved. It was when my innocent heart held hard onto what’s called love.
At the age of 20, I don’t know what it is exactly. I have liked many people but I have never loved anyone and I’m pretty sure I have never been loved by a man either. I was okay with it and now still am. Seriously, who really knows anything about love anyway? But that’s the thing, isn’t it? Relationships can come before love. Love takes a great amount of time while relationships can be purely fun and rewarding in many ways. And I might just be missing out.
Perhaps I have been too picky. Or unnecessarily idealistic. Probably ridiculously selfish. Would it be even more selfish if I just wish someone would be patient enough to teach me how to be in this interesting, new thing called relationship? Or you know, to compromise with someone, be a part of a team and stick around for better or worse. Things like that. I would like to give it a go some time. Who knows if one day my dream would expand further with not just me sitting by the glass window drinking by myself but with a special person enjoying the view with me instead. And a cute dog sleeping cosily by our feet.
If not, you know, it’s okay, I’m cool. My goals and the kind of life I would like to lead are irrelevant to my love history and not dependent on any person but me. My dream and love — they are two separate things. I guess when it comes to love, it’s best if I just go with the flow and see how things go. If it’s good, then it’s good. If it’s bad, I simply end it and move on — I’m definitely not afraid to move on.
Every passing minute is another chance to turn it around? Well, every passing minute is a new, wiser, braver Ellen being closer to her dream coming true.