Here’s the thing.

I’ve attempted this first ‘entry’ (update, blog, whatever) about a million times and I can’t seem to find the right words to say.  I think too much about what I will say next, which is a total problem, so here are my efforts at free thoughts flowing on paper (print?).  I’d like to be as honest as I can be, leave this public, and let everyone I know read it.  I’ve never done that before.  Typically, everything I write is under strict lock and key, but this is a new approach.  We’ll see how long it lasts.

In 22 days I will be 26 years old.  Four years from 30, closer to 30 than 20, fudging it when I say ‘mid-twenties’ — and that’s fine.  I always thought things would be different by this age, that I would have everything all figured out, because it always seemed like that’s what people do.  Well, I don’t.  Not even close.  Nothing has worked out how I assumed it would (assuming really does make an a…, you know) and coming to terms with that, with what felt/feels like the misdirection of my life, has been unbelievably hard.

The pressure for young women to marry (especially in a rural area), is smothering.  I think about what my life would be like and how normal I would feel if I lived anywhere else, anywhere other than Eastern Kentucky.  But, I don’t.  I live here, and I love it, I love everything about our small towns, the hills, and how absolutely beautiful everything is this time of year (my favorite time of year).  People tell me all the time, “Well, you could move.” and yeah, I could, but it wouldn’t be home.  As much as I love it, it doesn’t stop me from feeling like a unicorn (on good days, because unicorns are pretty) or a three legged dog with mange (on most days, because I wonder if I have the plague).

Comparison is the root of all things evil, truly.  But, it’s hard to not compare yourself to those closest to you.  Of all of my closest friends, I’m the only unmarried, and not just unmarried, but so single.  So incredibly single.  Like, third wheel in every situation single.  Perpetually single.  Look in all the wrong places and think you’ve found something decent single.  Cat lady single.  Eating Doritos in bed at 1am single.  Can’t even find a guy to go to UK games with you single.  You get the picture.  It’s hard to not feel like something is fundamentally wrong with you and to not think something about you keeps people away (I mean, other than the fact that I eat Doritos in bed at 1am. Whatever.).

But, there’s nothing wrong with me.  That doesn’t negate that I am a total mess, but there is nothing wrong with me.  So what, things haven’t turned out exactly like I thought they would, or anything like I thought they would, there’s nothing I can do about any of it.  So what, I’m 26 and live with my Mama.  So what, who cares?  The hardest part of not being like everyone else is accepting the fact that you aren’t like everyone else and just not caring anymore.  I’m working on that.

I always worked under the assumption that by 26, something would make sense.  I never assumed (again, it really does make a butt of everyone involved, but probably just me in this instance) that I would be like a hamster running in circles on that 22 year old fresh out of college wheel, struggling to move forward with growing up, with moving out of my parents house, and with life in general.  But, here I am, figuring things out on my own, moving at a snails pace.  For whatever reason, the idea of documenting my crazy seems kind of fun.  And scary.  And probably regretful sometime in the future.  We’ll see.

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Alena Hughes

Man, you should see the lengths my husband goes to in order to make sure I never get hungry. That's all you need to know about me.

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