Starting over

As a child coloring in my basement playroom, nine times out of ten I would become disenchanted with "the rules"- staying inside the lines, coloring people peach instead of green or blue, making the typical pretty picture all seemed silly and pointless to me. So I would create a radically abstract picture, damn the rules to hell. After I had created my masterpiece, which seconds before I had been so passionate about, I would step back, cock my head to the side, and realize with a sinking feeling, that my different picture was..ugly. So I crumpled it up, threw it away, and started over, abiding by the rules this time.

This weekend, I am drawing far too many parallels between my life as an adult and my coloring escapades as a child. With more and more of my facebook friends slowly changing their relationship statuses to "engaged", a nauseating anxiety is rising in me. Yet another of my best friends from high school has a rock on her finger and will soon be planning another wedding that I won't be invited to, because I veered off the "right" path; as everyone was beginning to settle down, I did the exact opposite and hopped a flight to the Middle East. And I'm left I doing something wrong? If everyone seems to be so caught up in this marriage thing, there must be a reason for it, right? If I'm the only one not down with this whole marriage deal, the problem must be me. Sometimes I feel like maybe I only ran away to the Middle East to avoid the prospect of marriage, so as not to be embarrassed if it never happened to me. Living here, I have an excuse. But now I'm starting to wonder if I'll regret this radical deviation from the norm in 5, 7, 9 years. I certainly don't now, but when I'm done with my picture, I might look at it, decide it's ugly, and want to start over. Unfortunately, this is one picture that can't be erased or redone. This is my life. God knows I hope I'm doing it right.

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