Everyone's obsessed with relationships...
And I am too; I think about them all the time, in all their varied stages and states. This particular topic, though, has been on my mind for quite a while. I've been thinking about it even before I started this blog, but now that I am in the thick of living alone overseas I think I have the perspective I needed in order to share my thoughts.
"What the hell are you even talking about, Nkem?" you ask? Let me tell you.
Way before I decided to move abroad, I'd always dreamed of it (sometimes literally but mostly figuratively). At the time, it really didn't seem like a possibility because it seemed so far off-track from what my trajectory was 'supposed to be' according to my schooling and all that jazz. The idea of diverting from what I'd studied was only one part of what held me back from living out my then-dream, though. I'd always held this (silly) idea in the back of my head that as a single person who was somehow always searching but never serious, I'd miss out on my opportunity to meet the person I was supposed to meet if I left the states and lived out my dream.
I'm sure I don't have to point out how many things are wrong with that sentence, but I'm going to elaborate anyway. I'll say, I think it was truly fear - fear and the shackles of societal expectations that kept me benighted to what my soul was actually searching for. I was subconsciously living through the subtle (but impactful) alienation I felt for having a dream that didn't look like those of the people around me, and wanting to pursue it. I vaguely remember short conversations I would have with myself that went something like:
Me: I should just pick up and go. There's nothing holding me back here. I have no responsibilities or ties.
Brain: True, but it's so different from what you'd always wanted to do. Are you sure it's right for you? And what if you were to meet someone here that would make staying around worthwhile.
And that was that. It wasn't really until the rats legitimately kicked me out of NYC that I made a move. Those crippling thoughts of a potential, considerable, maybe, probably not, someone accompanied with the idea that I should stay in my lane really held me back for a while. Those very thoughts encouraged the idea that I need to have a partner in order to live fully or to be happy. Listen, life is short. It really is. And time flies! Just 3 seconds ago I was arriving at Busan airport with my 5 pieces of luggage in tow. Now, I've been here for 8 months, and I feel like the new and improved (and improving) version of the same old Nkem.
What I would have never gained had I stayed back in the states still half-assedly searching for Mr. Anyone and staying in a lane that I wasn't suited for, is the discipline, introspection, resilience, interpersonal skills, and love for myself that I diligently work towards everyday here. I'll never regret not previously taking ownership of my dreams, or believing that things had to be black or white - love or travel. What does regret do but cause wrinkles on the face and on the spirit? Everything I am today is because of the decisions (and indecision) that took place in the past, and I can take ownership of that.
Life is a crazy, fun, saucy, surprising, sad journey - and though I had to bury my ego a little deeper to write this, I'm convinced it's all for the best. Is it corny to say I'm falling in love with myself?
I was always partial to corn, anyway. :)
Do you feel like society is obsessed with relationships? How does the world's portrayal of them affect you?