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Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to The Shabby Suitcase - a blog documenting the creative outlets and general wanderings of a nomadic twenty-something. 


The latest adventure.


A Tangle of Thoughts

Marissa Conway

the look: dress from Anthropologie, shoes and sunnies from Topshop

I sat down with the intent of untangling the mess of thoughts regarding my master's program, my recent breathtaking trip to the Cotswolds, and how easy it is to get swept up in London, to shuffle about the city and feel lost among eight million people.  But what has been really haunting my mind of late: men.  And why wouldn't they?  So much of my time is spent deconstructing gender roles, identities - I seem to be asking myself daily how I fit into the world, how my personality, my own grasp of femininity (and sometimes lack thereof) will match up with another person - what my expectations of masculinity are, what I want out of a partner.  Dating is a puzzle, one that I've never managed to piece together properly, and one that I try to avoid discussing at large for fear the feminist goddesses will smite me should I talk about men too much.  But goddesses be damned - when so much of my world right now revolves around analyzing the power structures and relationships between men and women, and everything in between, it's simply impossible to keep this analysis from bleeding into my personal life, infiltrating my mind.  Perhaps it's a bit paradoxical that this MA in Gender Studies has infused me with a new intrigue in dating, but it's also provided me with a fresh and quizzical set of tools to brave the big bad world of Tinder.

I have a definitive history of annoyance with the mechanics of dating.  Most of the time I find it exhausting to get a drink with someone I don't know when I could be home, reading or writing or perhaps more accurately, watching Netflix.  And I've always felt a bit paralyzed when in a relationship - I don't know how to leap into another person's life without fear of losing mine.  I don't know how to remain a whole, independent person, and be vulnerable to someone else.  Perhaps it's a jaded stubbornness, that in order to prove I love myself I must be single.  (Or maybe I've just watched Eat, Pray, Love too many times.) And when so many around me are getting married and having kids, I feel left behind, but relieved to be so - desperately clinging to the autonomy that single life gives me, craving the ability to up and move to a new country, drink wine in dark bars with men whose accents make me weak at the knees.  Fuck up relationships again and again, but this time, somehow it seems more exciting, more like I'm in a Woody Allen movie and less like I have no idea what I'm doing.

So how's that for a tangle of thoughts.