Quarter Life Crisis: It Always Comes Back to Love

New York City is a lonely place.

Despite the millions of people.

I’m going on my sixth month living here, and I haven’t been home in almost a year.  I miss home, but I have this strange relationship with my hometown now that Ro is gone.  I feel like when I’m home, it’s not really my home anymore.  I thought I had a home in Boston, but I have no longer have any ties there.

I guess I’m waiting for something to happen that glues me to New York City.

Not to say that I don’t feel like I have a connection with this city; I absolutely do.  I just don’t know if it’s “home” quite yet.

Does this make any sense? I apologize for those of you reading this who think I’m being fucking confusing.  It’s late, and I can’t sleep.

That being said: I need to vent.  Ro would know what to say… and that kills me.  But I don’t have Ro. I have a blog. So here goes…

I’m almost 25.

I have a job.  I live in New York. I have lots of friends. I have a family that supports me. I am still writing music.

But something is missing.

So many friends I have spoken with are telling me that this is the time in my life when I really need to do “some soul searching” and “find out who I am.”

But I already know who I am.

I don’t feel like that’s ever been a problem.

Here is my problem: And I will present it in a story of something that happened this weekend.

I went out with some friends on Friday night, since the city has slowly started to open up after the devastation of Sandy.  Everyone was so happy to get out of their apartments, and let loose.  Naturally, I dressed up in my fringed skull dress, equipped with spiky bracelets, my sparkle tie (which is quickly becoming my favorite accessory), black leggings and combat boots.  As I was going out I tweeted something along the lines of “I’m all about being too much. #NYC”

(Side note: I know I like to give a lot of details, but I feel like this is integral to the epiphany that will eventually ensue.)

When I get to karaoke, I quickly make some new friends who had ventured out from Brooklyn.  We did some shots and sang a lot of Biggie (Jen rapped, naturally).  Then it was my turn to sing.

I sand Gaga’s “You and I” (big surprise) and I had a slew of attractive men basically falling all over me when I was singing.

Then when it was done, they went back to their pretty, sweet, quiet, “safe” girls.  I didn’t even get an “awesome job” drink from one of them… and there must have been at least five.

It clicked: I am not the kind of girl anyone wants to date.  I intimidate people.  I am the girl that a guy looks at and goes, “She’s fun! She’s different! She’s comfortable with herself!”

But no one will actually date me.

This has been a problem for quite some time. Actually, my entire life.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before: but I’ve had the only two men I’ve ever loved in my whole life, compare me to Clementine of Eternal Sunshine and Summer from 500 Days of Summer.

A part of me thinks that these are endearing comparisons; I’m proud to be compared to two characters who are free thinking individuals that march to the beat of their own drums.

But come on… SERIOUSLY?! Both of those women are fucked up.  Is that how I appear to other people? Bruised? Crazy? Someone unlovable? If this is the way that two people who I was incredibly in love with and close to saw me, how do I appear on the surface?

This terrifies me.

I have a friend who constantly tells me if I want to go on dates with men, I need to “tone it down.” Dress a little plainer, don’t talk as much, don’t wear any of my spikes of bangles.

Is this what I have to do? Is New York really a place that accepts all sorts of people, or is it just a place where all these strange people co-exist with each other, but don’t really embrace each others’ differences?  Is everyone just looking for the “safe” choice.  Does everyone want a cookie cutter significant other?

I bet you that I will get comments from people based on this blog, and people will say, “No, Shannon! Never change! This is not true.”

But honestly, everything I’ve seen so far, has presented the exact opposite. My last boyfriend told me that I was “too good” for him. What the fuck does that even mean?? Is that just a nice way to say, “Sorry, I thought I could date you, but I really don’t want to put up with you anymore.” ?

Today I was watching football and there was an attractive guy (I’m assuming from the Midwest, since he was wearing an Indians hat and at a Browns Backer bar) sitting by himself.  It seemed like the perfect opening for me to put myself out there.  I even polled my Facebook friends to ask if I should ask him to sit at our table.  I got 18 “likes” and 6 comments. All of them encouraging me to go for it.

Just as I was about to muster up the courage to talked to him, my brain stopped me and I had a flashback of the other night.  I stalled, and by the time I knew it, the game was over, he paid his bill and left.

I am incapable of dating. I am paralyzed by the fear that no one will ever love me for who I am.  I am hindered by the reality that no significant other has ever loved me as much as I’ve loved them

Wow. Shit just got deep. That’s what you get when you start blogging at 1:30 in the morning.

I know what Ro would say. Something along the lines of, “Who gives a fuck what anyone else thinks? Be yourself and never apologize for it.”

This is the same woman who told me that I never had to shave my legs for a man; I only had to if wanted to. She would know exactly what to say in this situation.

And yet… even as I imagine what she might say to me now, I still don’t feel any better.

I love who I am. I love who I’ve become. I just want someone to love me.

Shannon Allen

“Too many guys think I’m a concept, or I complete them, or I’m gonna make them alive. But I’m just a fucked-up girl who’s lookin’ for my own peace of mind; don’t assign me yours.” -Clementine, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Summer: “We’ve been like Sid and Nancy for months now.”
Tom: “Summer, Sid stabbed Nancy, seven times with a kitchen knife, I mean we have some disagreements but I hardly think I’m Sid Vicious.”
Summer: “No I’m Sid.”

-500 Days of Summer


One thought on “Quarter Life Crisis: It Always Comes Back to Love

  1. Shannon…I have no idea what advice your Mom would give you but I do know this blog describes her; fun, different and comfortable with herself. She loved with all her heart and sometime she even lost at love. But everything in her life led her to your Dad and that worked amazingly well! You are in the right place and will find the right one when you least expect it. Enjoy the surprises! Love. Aunt Erin

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