I am rooting like crazy for my friends who are searching on a timeline, and for every one of their priorities, so long as they’re desired, not assumed. I have nothing of interest to report to colleagues when they ask what’s new. But — often to my own detriment — I’ve never been one to give up. I think about it for days, and then months, and now years until I asked myself what it is exactly that I’m giving up.
New York, with its large, faceless crowds and anything-goes attitude, felt like a shield from the wedding wind. And in that vacuum, without anyone watching or any force pushing me, I stopped dating. I started going to classes and workshops and spent most of my Friday nights on the couch with an essay and a box of cereal.
I knew no one, and even though I was smack in the middle of the densest U. I woke up early, eager to sit down and put words to paper before my real job.“Wild, I know…” I would joke to my friends back in San Francisco about my nights alone in New York.
Many of us were averaging at least three dates a week and meeting regularly to discuss our progress. For years, we were each other’s support — emotionally and physically.
We chaperoned wisdom teeth removals, held surprise birthday parties, gave each other pep talks before big meetings, cooked dinner together on Sunday nights.
If I don’t meet someone who makes me happier than I make myself, then maybe that’s OK; I don’t need to go out of my way to search for something I’m not even sure I want. For women who know they want biological children, the pressure is real.
Real, physical limitations accelerate the need to find a partner, and my sympathies, for that grueling task, in a society that pathologizes women who go steadily after what they want, is enormous.
I moved to an apartment in the East Village and jumped head-first into a fancy consulting job, followed by a cross-country move to California for business school.
I met other women with ambitious goals and strong ideals and we clung to one another, our new friendships built on shared challenges and tools we were just learning to articulate.
I would re-read my profiles on each site often, to remind myself what my date was expecting.