She has finally begun to see that she will not have a life even remotely resembling the one she once envisioned:
A worthwhile job.
An adorable house.
An adoring husband.
Two or four or six kids running amuck.
All starting with a husband at 22.
Of course, the husband at 22 never materialized, and she's ridiculously grateful that she's had the intervening years to find herself, discover her identity. She would have made a horrible wife at that age and would likely not make a good one right now, not yet anyway.
After a series of hopeful comments and interesting discussions, she paused to think about the life she now sees for herself.
For the first time, there is a blank slate.
This is at once depressing and a great relief. There is no particular life towards which she is aspring. Certainly, she wants to get married (and specifically, she wants to marry him) and have children (his), but there is no outline for how this will occur, no deadlines, no specific script that must play out in order for her to obtain happiness.
"Have you ever struggled with wanting to be successful and than realizing that being happy could be the same as being successful?" She asked him.
"Yes." He said.
And with that word, she remembered why she fell in love with him in the first place.
Glimpses of herself in a charming cafe in Boston, New York, heck, even Chicago or what about Rome, dot her imagination, but they don't drive her. She once craved a life in New York City, the Big Apple, Manhattan Island, where she could prove her mettle and make it once and for all. She once craved, as Michael Cunningham said, more of the same, a life exactly like the one she imagined her parents had at the start of their marriage. A tiny house with a big back yard, lots of love and frequent barbecues in that big backyard.
She never envisioned a quiet apartment with the wind howling outside, sitting alone on her couch at 26, pondering her future. But she is fast understanding that, though she held onto it for years past its expiration date (should, in fact, have come to terms with it perhaps as many as ten years ago, when she started college with no boyfriend to her name and no clue as to what she wanted other than a husband), the life she envisioned for herself is not the one worthy of her, not the one meant for her.
She finds it a great relief to pause and consider the life in the future and realize that a life unscripted is the only way to live.
This unscripted life could be less than what she planned, but it will also be more. It will lead her places she never foresaw and others she would have eschewed as impossible as little as a year ago. It will be better. It will be worse. It will be the same. It will be different.
But, most of all, it will be hers.