The menagerie has moved.  It has been a bumpy ride for months; my graduation, losing two jobs and gaining one, the presidential election. It is December now and the year is coming to a close… I can’t remember the last time I’ve written.  It doesn’t matter anyways.

I feel compelled to write.

I work in another college town now; a more urban one. I pass by countless faces, and so many of them are full of life.  I don’t know anyone any more.  I suppose that is what happens when you move away. Some days that gets me down- to know I’m so close to human beings but yet so far.  I walk perhaps a mile or two a day to get free parking, and I see so many faces along the way.

But my own face…I’ve lost the last of my youthful plumpness.  It’s gone of my face entirely now. My cheek bones; prominent.  My neck is slender.  My body has been sculpted by years of adult strife and learning curves.  It is not lost on my mind that I’ve become prime real estate to men looking to settle down.  In any other era, I might have been married off at my age and in my state.  I’m 24.  Perhaps, I’ve reached the peak of my attractiveness.  It’s a precarious time to be alive.  At once, I want to be alone and free but also internally long for belonging and a family of my own.  I’ve become very split and indecisive.  Suitors have presented themselves and I’ve turned so many down.

So it is striking that I have the audacity to feel wronged in life.  To feel….cast aside and overlooked.  I do, and I can’t shake it.

As a child, I was very serious.  Very bossy.  I had so few friends.  That carries into my life today.  I don’t know who my truest friends are.  I’m still what some may call “uptight”…My definition of fun, though, simply differs from that of so many.  I struggle to reconcile those differences as I wish to connect.  Simultaneously, I feel myself building a wall. I feel I am putting on a show.  A failed show, which knows and is painfully self-aware and that is why it fails.  I entertain company from time to time, and think what a terrible bore I must be to them…lost in my own world.  I look away.  My mind wanders. I push them away.

Sometimes, as I go through trying to fulfill work, personal, and family goals, I feel distinctly adrift.  I feel like my sense of well being hinges on whichever way the wind blows.  I come home, exhausted, achy, sore.  I get messages from men and it feels so meaningless.  I find myself ignoring them.  Thinking, if I please everyone, I displease myself.

The secret is, I want to make so many people happy.  I want to be that girl to that boy, and it amplifies 10x.  But it is my duty, to myself and to the world, to choose only one to love. That is an insanely impossible task.

So I drive home, through the back roads.  The headlights of oncoming traffic flash by, and light my face.  I instantly tear up, thinking of what I am not and what I will never be.  I feel adrift in an emotional sea.