This Is What I Want

I lost my ring today, the one that I saved up for and bought for myself for my 30th birthday last October.

There’s a part of me that is really devastated, it was expensive (at least, by my yardstick) and I feel like an idiot- it was ever so slightly too big for my finger, and I kept meaning to go get it resized, but like most things in my personal life, I put it off for no reason. So I was just careful with it, at least I was until today. The last time I remember having it was when I was playing with it, twisting it around and around on my finger while I sat catching up with a friend in Fort Greene Park this afternoon.

I ran a few errands before I realized it was gone, I had thrown out an empty plastic cup, I was pulling things in and out of my bag… when I did notice, my heart sank. I backtracked slowly, but of course, no luck. I half heartedly left my phone number at the grocery store in case they found it. I’m not holding my breath.

Now that it’s been a few hours, that feeling in the pit of my stomach has mellowed a bit. I’m mostly just pissed about the money I spent, but the ring itself, with all of the symbolism it was supposed to have… it turns out it was just a ring. A ring with diamonds, something I’d never ever had before and felt a little weird wearing the whole time I did. It was beautiful, and I liked the routine of wearing it every day. But the vision I have of myself is of someone so overwhelmingly plain that having something sparkly felt like I was playing dress up with my mom’s jewelry.

I woke up this morning feeling like yesterday was the end a phase of my life. I don’t know why. It was like when I woke up one morning and decided to never drink again- totally unexpected and hard to explain. Losing my ring kind of makes me feel like the universe was telling me that I wouldn’t need it anymore. The ring was supposed to be this thing that I wore on my right finger, a show of my love for myself. But it was never really that.

Growing up, I always knew what I wanted. I wanted to be best cellist in elementary school, I wanted to be president of my 7th grade class, I wanted to go to school outside of the country. I wanted to settle neatly into that social group that vacillates between popularity and utter normalcy which ultimately results in me making not much of an impression as a teenager with my peers. I wanted to live in a big city.

As I got older, I started to slip when it came to identifying the things that I want. And lately it’s been pretty bad, me not taking inventory of my hopes and dreams. Instead, I cling to what everyone around me seems to want. And 8 year old Rose, the one who wore two different colored socks every single day of elementary school, who was a total badass, is screaming at adult Rose.

I woke up this morning feeling like I was ready to do what I wanted again, and like I was ready to figure out what that was. And, I mean really, I don’t need a fucking ring to prove to myself that I’m self sufficient.

Here is what I want, today:

  • To have fun. Actual fun, dumb fun… I want to do things that are maybe irresponsible that are fucking fun. I want to say yes to things again. When did I stop doing that? Speaking of stopping things:

  • I want to stop dating. The truth is that I hate it. I hate it so much. I hate the apps, I hate that in the real world I am always the one who has to do the asking because I’m “intimidating” (also, what the fuck does that mean? multiple people have super helpfully told me this about myself) and in the end I never ever like the person the same amount that they like me. It makes me feel terrible about myself like 85% of the time, and a 15% chance of not wanting to gouge my eyes out is not enough. It’s not that I don’t want a relationship, I’m a human (despite my best efforts) it’s just that I obviously can’t handle anything that would get me there and it’s making me feel like I’m crazy.

  • I want to get my own apartment. I’m currently hiding money from myself to make this a reality in September. I’m cultivating the dopest of Pinterest boards and I. Am. Ready. To. Go. But yeah if you think living in New York is expensive, try moving in New York.

  • I want to start my own small business. Currently I’m thinking it’ll be an old trailer that I convert into a bar that has kombucha on tap that people can rent for their weddings because it’s Instagrammable AF.

  • I want to take three weeks off and go to Maine by myself and write the whole time.

  • I want to organize a trivia night at a bar with questions that are all about sex and I want to donate the proceeds to Planned Parenthood.

  • I want to get published somewhere. Which means I have to suck it up and try harder.

  • I really really want to be a good friend. Like an exceptional friend.

Here is what I don’t want right now:

  • I don’t want to change jobs. I have figured this one out, more or less, and my first instinct when I’m feeling restless is always to be seeking out the next job, but I need to stop. My career ends up being a crutch, an excuse not to be focusing on anything else. I have the vibe down, and I know where we keep the snacks. I’m staying, for now.

  • I don’t want to keep dwelling on the decisions I made in my 20s. I need to give myself a clean slate, it’s the only way this whole having-a-happy-life is going to work.

  • I don’t want kids right now. Until recently I’ve been really sure I wanted to have kids in the not-so-distant future. Lately, I’ve been reconsidering. I’ll probably end up popping a couple out eventually but that feeling of certainty has been missing, and I don’t want to feel bad about that.

The list is a work in progress, but at this moment I feel good about going forth with this list and without the ring.