I’ve been thinking lately of how I haven’t felt grounded in a while. I feel like I have (and have been accused of having) one foot out the door in various situations — as soon as something feels a little too comfortable, I’m anxious to get out of it. It happens in jobs (though the new job is more permanent, and I’m really loving it), it happens in my studies, it happens with living situations, and it happens in relationships.

Last summer, just after I’d moved into an apartment with my sister, I was thinking out loud to a friend about going to Central or South America, asking how long it would take to get my rudimentary Spanish skills up to a conversational level. He pointed out that I just moved in to my new place, and I was already planning to move out. He was right.

I’m about to finish one degree, and am thinking a little bit about starting another — not sure in what, but it probably won’t be library science. And it might not be related to anything I’ve studied before. And relationships… What a mess that part of my life is. I could love and be loved. I really think I could (I have had at least one great relationship). But I feel like I lose part of myself in each new relationship, making too many allowances for the other person and not asserting myself… Not in an assertive sense exactly, but in a “no, really, this is where I want to go to dinner/the movie I want to see/what I want to do” sense. I appropriate musical tastes, hobbies, diets. It makes me easy to get along with, I guess, but in the end I’m left with the residue (sometimes a good residue) of the relationship — books I’ll never read, music that speaks to those times but that really isn’t me. The residue and myself to reclaim. So I think I need to develop a stronger sense of self — I need to be more aware of my own taste and preferences and styles before I can have a healthy relationship of any type. This is why I’m grounded.

Grounded is the perfect word… I looked it up in my most favorite reference tool, the Oxford English Dictionary, and here’s one definition:

Deeply or strongly founded; firmly fixed or established; resting upon a good basis. Chiefly fig. of immaterial things.

That’s what I want to be as a person. Grounded. There’s another definition, too (and several more, but these are the important two tonight):

Of a child: confined to his or her home outside school hours as a punishment.

And in that sense I’m grounded, like a child, from dating until I am grounded as in “firmly fixed or established”. Grounded in hopes of a grounded outcome. Or something like that.

I’m not sure for how long. I don’t know if it will even work.


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