The past few weeks have been very busy for me. My mother is gone and I'm taking care of my disabled sibling. I figured I wouldn't mind doing this because my mother has been doing this for, oh, the past 31 years or so? Anyway, waking up early every day, being the full-time care taker of another person and going to lab had me drained by the end of the first week. It's definitely something to get used to and I finally see where my mother is coming from. On top of that, I've been trying to focus on verbal, the weak area of my MCAT score. But, yeah, it's been hard and it's been tiring.
On another note, I've been thinking a lot about relationships lately. It all started when the grad student I work with told me a couple of weeks ago that all the females he knew who are in their mid-20s are looking for a serious relationship with marriage in mind. And, he also told me that he doesn't want to have kids. I asked him why he doesn't want kids and he said that the world is already overpopulated and him having kids is not going to help. Plus, he shrugged it off as something that is not a big deal.
I think it's interesting to see the different ways people think. I also find it very interesting how much I've changed my way of thinking when it comes to children and marriage. I used to be the type of person who wanted to find The Guy who would stay with me forever, for better or for worse, until death do us part. It was a priority in my life. But, after my first serious relationship ended a year ago (he broke it off), I've had a lot of time to think and a lot of time to read books on psychology, relationships, and break ups. I've come to the conclusion that I was trying to look for a guy who would never leave me. That's all I wanted. That was going to be good enough for me. Why? Because my father was never around while growing up, so I wanted to fill that void that was created from lacking a strong, protective male figure in my life. But, I've come to realize that the reality is that there is no "guy who will stay with you forever". We're all imperfect human beings. People change during the relationship, decide they've had enough of it, and leave. Or, they get into car accidents (or what have you) and die (thus, leaving you). Or, they find someone else and leave. And even if they stay with you forever, what guarantees you that you will be happy? What if you are miserable with that person? Does it mean you have to stay with them forever just because you are married?
I've thought a lot my relationships and just relationships in general. I used to think that I'd do everything possible to keep mine, sacrifices included. But, I think good relationships do not require that much sacrifice (and I'm referring to big sacrifices, like career, happiness, etc). I made a lot of sacrifices during my relationship. I think it's a common thing. But is it worth it? Is it good to sacrifice? What if you sacrifice everything for that person and then that person leaves? I always think of Maria Shriver and how she gave up great career as a journalist for her marriage and she is left with nothing (career-wise). Then, 20 years later, after she gave it all, the relationship is over. That left a long-lasting impression on me, just like other similar relationships that I know of in real life.
So, as for me, I'd like to find someone who supports my career goals and dreams. I'd like to find someone who doesn't push me directly or indirectly to sacrifice things I consider important in my life. Finding someone to marry is not in my priority list. I'd rather be happy and alone than be miserable with someone. So, if I end up married, then great. If I don't end up married, then great. I know that I need to be happy by myself first and not miserable because of someone else. I feel that looking for happiness in a partner is like leaving somebody else in charge of your happiness. That's very unhealthy. If you leave other people in charge of your happiness and your life, then how are you going to have control over your own life? You should be happy alone first. At least that's what I've concluded.
As for kids, if I end up having them, then awesome. If I don't, then that's OK. Once again, having kids is not a priority in my life. Before I used to think that having a kid to leave on earth after I'd die would be great because my offspring would still be around and carry my genes and blood even when I was no longer on this earth. But, what does it matter to me if I am dead and cannot enjoy that? Why do people have kids? Is it because then they won't feel lonely anymore? Well, that may work for the first 18 years, but after that the kid becomes an adult and leaves, so that can't be it. I guess your offspring can sort of be a life-long project you can work on and love. Having kids is a huge responsibility that changes your life forever. I think that having kids can be an amazing experience, but again, I am not going to make this a priority in my life. If it happens, that's good. But, if it doesn't, that's good, too.