Guest Blogger: Shelley McConkie


Shelley is a stay-at-home mom with a perfect life.  Her husband is tall and went to an Ivy League business school. Her children are creative and contented. She is trying to take all of this in stride.



I admit I miss it. You know, the angst of being young and single and wondering where and when and how your eternity will solidify. Wondering if there really is someone out there who can hear the texture of your silences (thank you Mama Day for that wonderful line).


Oh, the collective sigh of roommates, the drama of break-ups and first phone calls. The wild abandon of being the sole proprietor of all life-altering decisions. I remember (vaguely, which is probably why I miss it) how wrenching it all was.


But don’t get me wrong, I am ridiculously happy. And any pre-marriage angst has been replaced by its fair share of post-marriage worry, stress and dismay. But none of those—singly or collectively—can match angst in sheer ability to make one soul-search. Or write. Or wonder, think, overly analyze, stay up late, eat triple fudge ice-cream…


I don’t think I missed the uncertainty as much when Matt and I were having our graduate school adventure in Philadelphia. Something about the grit of the ghetto, a one-bedroom apartment with a view of boathouses and the Rocky museum and the newness of marriage kept things interesting enough. And we always knew that it would only be for two years and then we’d be off to something different. Something as equally sexy as our summer internship in China and a view of a big city skyline from the 10th floor. 


But then we moved to Charlotte, NC. And I’ve found that I’ve spent most of the last year whining about how nice it is. And it is. It is downright lovely. We’ve renovated a 1940’s house on a tree-lined street. There is a swing in the backyard and a rocking chair on the front porch. Built-in bookshelves and a shiny, black baby grand.  


The perfect picket fence. And, coincidentally, the greatest challenge we’ve faced in our married lives. I’ve blamed it on Charlotte, but I realized last week that it has nothing to do with this place, our house or the fact that the librarians at our local library know me by name.


It’s that lack of angst that I’ve been talking about.  Oh, where is all the uncertainty in my life when I really need it?


Never, not once, in all my years of being so keenly single and self-aware, staying up late picturing my future out loud to the sound of someone else’s sigh, did I ever imagine that the experience of such widely distilled happiness would be such a struggle. Or that slamming into the picket fence would be so hard.


Now the only uncertainty left is not knowing when I am going to come to terms with such a boringly blissful life. And why, even after four years of marriage, I still miss having roommates