I dream of wild goose chases and not enough sleep, layovers in foreign countries, and a cup of hot tea. If I’m ever to dye my hair it’ll be “wash out,” and the only tattoos I treasure are twenty-five cent press-on’s. The “lasting” and the “long-term” knot my stomach; I’ll forever torture myself with the question, “What if I have a change of heart?”
I consider my melodramatic past foolish, and whenever I’m reminded, I blush, and suddenly the blotchy, grey spot on my shoe becomes extremely fascinating. No matter, I still get cold feet when I’m asked what I want for breakfast. Often I’m consumed by the fear to commit and sit stagnant. When someone comes along and extends his hand, I never take it. I prefer to roll around in fictional dilemmas until I’m ready to stand on my own; it’s all so bizarre and cowardly, and I still do not know how to deal with my head.
I lay with my best friend on the floor of her kitchen; my face is pressed onto the cool tile, and the windows haven’t seen sunlight for hours. A cup of earl grey steams a few inches from my face; I watch each puff curl until it fades into the Carolina blue paint on the walls. My burned tongue breaks the comfortable silence, “Where do you see me in ten years?” I know my friend to be cynical, but I usually appreciate her honesty. She sits up and blinks away whatever haze she fell into. “You’ll party in college, and resent yourself for this. You’ll marry some lacrosse player, but end up divorced.” I wait for her to say she’s kidding, but her giggling dies down, and nothing else comes from her lips but an annoying snore.
I say I want unending adventure- plane tickets, bug spray, cheap meals, and salt water; I say that babies look like aliens, marriage isn’t for me, and desk jobs do not cut it. All of this rings true, but only to an extent. I want an orange cat named José, a husband, and smart children. I want permanence in security, happiness, and love. I lie to shield myself from failure, but this only distances me from achievement.
One day I will commit to every word I speak. They will not come easy, but I’ll remember the persistence it took to reach every “Yes,” “I disagree,” and “I promise”. Sometime it’s as if I have everything to succeed but myself. I am afraid of my voice, the stares, the whispers, and whatever other minuscule consequence. Maybe I am just afraid of consequence.
In ten years, I may be divorced and still rolling in my indecisiveness; I may have a henna tattoo and a library card. I hope to be sitting at the breakfast table across from my husband. José the orange cat is purring beneath my chair, tangling himself in my legs. Our home breathes gently, in and out; the sun is still rising in the windows, and a teakettle whistles on the stove. With every choice comes fear, but then courage. I am not sure where I will be in ten years, but I know where I want to be.