Prudence

Life is a risky business. Any path can lead you to a dead end or might be paved with gold.

I’ve always envied people without ambition or curiosity (as I feel it). Childhood friends who marry the guy or girl down the road and buy a house close enough to walk to their parents’ home…..and they do pop in….every day…just for a chat. They often go on holiday together, to the same place most years and always take a packed lunch for the journey. There’s a picnic for every trip. No one seems to get bored. Everyone feels they belong and accepts their lot. Occasionally someone goes haywire and is brought into line or quietly exiled. Either way, no one ever discusses the episode. High holy days and family celebrations, always with the same people, menus, stories. People get older, but nothing really changes and everyone likes it that way.

I often wish that I could have settled for contentment and security. Married the first guy I got engaged to. Settled down with children and allowed him to love me and never cheat. I did think that I would marry Sam when I said ‘yes’ to that proposal. But the creeping anguish of seeing my entire future laid out before me felt like strangulation and I ran. I was just too young then and still so a little later, when I got serious with a handsome medic during my university days. Things would change once I’d seen a bit of the world. I was 28, with three engagements behind me before I finally started to understand that there would always be more of the world to see.

At 48, I still don’t know why familiarity bores me, scares me even. But I’ve stopped needing to answer that particular question. I don’t compare myself to anyone and my relationships, both of friendship and love, are fulfilling and strong, without being composed of either dependance or routine. I have learned to just accept that feeling strongly rooted, suffocates me, though I will fight to the death for my 3 children to feel secure and loved enough to make their own choices and mistakes. Recognising who I am and that we are all different and that thats ok, has finally liberated me. I feel responsible, even risk averse. Perhaps prudence is in the eye of the beholder?

Prudent

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