So I’m Curious About This Whole ‘Life Thing’

Franca Gimenez

So I’m curious…

Because when you were younger,

It was normal to meet someone at school, date them, you had one thing in common at least and you knew it. You could talk about teachers, classes you wish you would’ve taken, classes you hate you took, school and trade secrets, the show the theater people put together. The school project you didn’t have help with. The free period you had for 3rd period, where you worked in the library, because it basically wasn’t work. That time you ditched and were so nervous about it, but eventually stopped caring about it.

And then you were done.

And then you went right back into school. And it was normal to meet someone there too, and date them, you had at least one thing in common at least and you knew it. You could talk about your major, why it mattered to you, what classes you had to take in order to finish your degree plan, what classes you would’ve liked to take if you had money/time, talk about the organizations you were a part of, or the ones you weren’t from, and why. The way the professor made fun of you, the person who later became your friend, and the laugh you had. The work-study you had in the library, in the basement, the department people didn’t even know existed. That time you ditched and nobody actually cared, because ultimately it was your education, and it wasn’t like your parents knew when you got up off the bed anyway.

And then you were done.

And you left, having acquired the piece of paper that said you were now certified to do your job, never mind the fact that you’d been doing it for a little more than minimum wage for the past three years since you were able to secure a job at the scene shop, where close-toed shoes and durable jeans were necessary. You left, thinking that what you were going to find outside was going to be more exciting than the “four walls” of your hometown, of your school, where you knew most people you went to class with, and knew what to expect from restaurants, hanging out, shows, parties. You left, thinking that it was okay that you hadn’t met the love of your life during those four years you’d spent working on yourself, loving what you were doing, figuring out how to navigate the sometimes crippling weight that was taking nearly 19-20 hours a semester, while working, while working on the shows that gave you the experience you needed to go out and do what you’re doing now. You left, hoping that what you’d figured out up until that point was enough, because you still had plenty of time to figure out everything else that was left to figure out.

And that’s true.

But you still go out with friends, hoping that you’ll make that connection, if not for you, for the sake of your friends and family who tell you that you should welcome love in your life, or at least companionship, not fully understanding that by no means are you lonely – you’re just alone, and not coupled off, but you’re fine, but maybe they’re right, they must be, because look at all the posts on social media your friends back home are posting, they must be happier than you are, because they’re having kids and rings on their fingers, while your biggest accomplishment in the past year has been to walk across a stage to grab a piece of paper that says you now know what you’re doing. And where are you going to meet the love of your life, and how, when most of the time, if you go out, you keep your head down, you let other people make their conquests, find their targets, because it’s been years since you’ve actually made an effort to flirt, or make a connection with someone that could potentially mean something. You’ve forgotten how to do that, because you’ve spent so much time working on something that means everything to you, your career, and you’re tired of being told that it might “be time” for you to find the person you’re supposed to marry, because how does anyone even know that getting married is what you want to do, not to mention the implication that you might be running out of “time” because your biological clock isn’t going to stop ticking, and oh, you’re just not sure what you want, of course you’re going to change your mind about kids, and when you have them your world will change, and don’t you think your niece is cute? I do, but I also think elephants are cute, and you don’t see me running out to get one.

So I’m curious.

Mainly I’m curious what the right process of living my life is. Because everybody else seems to know better than I do what I want, who I should be with, how to dress, what I should be doing as a job, instead of that job that’s “traditionally male” and doesn’t allow for me to dress up for the job, but I’ve got news, this is what I want, who I am, what I want to be, where I want to be, and no, I won’t change my mind, and if I do, it won’t be because of your incessant claim that I will, it will be because I’m a human being, ever changing, going with the flow of what I want now, who I am now, someone who has lived her life being told that what I like is weird, that who I am is not normal, and it’s taken me a long time to be okay with that, and do you know that some days, I’m still not okay with it, but those days are less, those feelings are around a few hours, instead of a few days, a few weeks. And no, I’m not done living, and I’ve not given up on finding a significant other, but biological clock be damned, I’ve got things to do for me, and I’m in no hurry to love someone, and there’s amazing people around me every day, people I’m eager to know, and no, I don’t know how to flirt, but I manage, thank you very much, and no, I don’t have a ring on my finger, nor do I have a cute picture of a baby to post on social media everyday, but I don’t need that right now, because I choose what my happiness is, not you. And yes, my career means a lot to me, and I won’t put that on pause because of biology, and certainly not because it’s what you tell me I should do. And no, maybe I don’t know what the right way is to meet people anymore, but I know that everywhere I go, I do meet people, so maybe I’m going in the right direction after all, and maybe you shouldn’t spend so much time telling me what you think is normal for my life, a life you aren’t responsible for, and know it’s not your responsibility to figure my life out. It’s mine, and mine alone.

And now, I’m still not done. TC mark

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