I've started this bloody post three times!! I'm trying to be funny, witty, humorous ... pretty much everything I don't feel right now, so I'm just going to write it the way I feel - it may lack some of the grace and charm of other posts, but - hey, I think that exists mostly in my head anyway!
I have always felt that I am two very different people forced to live inside one body. There is the sarcastic, independent feminist me who is skeptical of anything resembling religion, conservatism or traditional gender roles, and then there's the shy, calm homebody me who is deeply spiritual and wants nothing more than to have a family. Needless to say, my two "mes" don't get along. Life might be a bit easier - if not exponentially more complicated - if I had a third me, the mediator, the one who sets priorities, goals, passions and then decides what of the other two "mes" is best suited to take the lead in any given situation. This, however, is not the case. Both my mes (is this getting complicated for anyone else?!) have equally loud voices, equally strong pulls and hate the priorities of the other "me" equally as much. There is no middle ground. When I was younger these two mes ...
(okay - wait - time-out; this whole "mes" stuff is getting really confusing for me, so I'm sure it is for you, and given my inclination for naming things, it only makes sense to give my two mes different names: feminist me is now Xena, Warrior Princess and homebody me is now Laura Ingalls Wilder ... okay, time-in)
... When I was younger, Xena and Laura played nicely - they generally got along and even helped each other out; when Laura was too shy for a party, Xena would step in; when a situation required more delicacy and tact than Xena could manage, along came Laura. Now that they are both all grown up, however, with heir own dreams, goals, passion, etc. they have realized that only one of them can get their way, and they are fighting tooth-and-nail for the complete destruction of the other. Now that I'm in my mid-twenties (on my out of my mid-twenties, actually) I really need to start making some life choices - deciding which way to go, what path I want to be on, which one of the "mes" dies - Xena or Laura - because I really don't see how they will coexist happily again.
Meet my two-personalities (see - I told you you didn't want to live in my mind):
Xena has an exuberant passion for life. She's a fierce friend and companion and has unreasonably high expectations of herself and others; most people fall very short of these expectations and her disappointment is keenly felt. Xena wants to live a fast-paced, high-powered life in the big city, traveling extensively and being the absolute best in her field. She loves having people around - thrives on activity - and truly wants to help the world. She wants to get divorced just so she can live with the same person she's living with now, but not in the "conventional" way, "fuck this institution called marriage" (oh yes, and Xena swears ... A LOT). She never sees herself having children - it wouldn't fit into her lifestyle or goals, and simply isn't a priority.
Laura, on the other hand, wants desperately to have children and is feeling their absence daily; she wonders if it's maybe already too late to start. She deeply values her spirituality and wants to practice it, uninhibited by convention or space. Give Laura 5 acres with trees, water and tools and she'll be absolutely content. She wants to raise animals, spool wool, grow her own food, have a ground-cellar, and the space to create, work and live without having neighbors listen on the other side of the wall. Laura is exceedingly private. She has few friends, but those who are can expect absolute devotion and compassion. She is quick to forgive herself and others and simply wants to live in peace with her family, her farm and her thoughts.
So, here I am - the big, main, body Me, Emily - housing these two totally different set of ideals and goals, trying to figure out what the hell I actually want from life - where am I going? What am I doing? Do I want the country or the city? Friends and activity or family and peace? Xena or Laura? It has to be a choice - one or the other. There is no compromise or middle ground; neither of them would be happy with that; both would be disappointed and unfulfilled. If I make a decision, however, I think I will also mourn the loss of the life-not-chosen, the death of the other me. I know it has to happen, but how do you choose to kill half of your dreams - half of yourself? How do you decide which path to follow?