I have been absent from this blog for awhile, but not totally on purpose. Yes, life has been busy, but I constantly think about writing. My brain is wired to think in the form of a journal entry, for better or worse.
Today I am going to share some drafts I have started in the last few months, drafts that I obviously never finished for one reason or another.
I’m Sorry but I Don’t Want to Date You
“I am going to go out on a limb and say maybe it’s me. Maybe I give off some signal that screams I LIKE YOU AND I WANT TO DATE YOU RIGHT NOW, but I don’t think that’s it. This might be a symptom of a bigger issue, but (this time) it’s not me, it’s you.
I work in a company with 83 people, and about eight of them are women, myself included. I actually like people, actually enjoy being around other human beings, and if I want to make friends then some of them will have to be men. Does this mean I want to date all of those men? Not. Even. Close. It just means that I enjoy socializing, enjoy the jokes and laughter. I also work in an industry that is very male dominated, so nearly all the people I come in contact with, do business with, or see at events, are men. A lot of them are incredibly smart, hilarious, and share common interests with me. Does this mean I want to date all of those men? Not. Even. Close. It’s a hard line to walk, because I really like my job and making friends, but do I need to check every smile I give you? Do I need to make sure I do not laugh at all your jokes? Do I need to be bitchy so you don’t think I want to date you? Because I don’t want to date you, and the quicker we establish that, the better.”
Well, That Part’s True
“I have talked a little bit about the game industry and how much I love it. From past entries, it probably comes off like this job is a dream, and maybe in a lot of ways it is. However, like almost everything, there is a dark undercurrent to this industry that I am slowly learning to navigate across. Gaming is filled with people who spent their adolescence being the outcast. That word can conjure up a million different images of whatever you think that word means, but in the end, those people either grew out of their presumed awkwardness or absolutely did not.”
Screaming Into A Void
“I spent many years bending to the will of other people. It might not seem this way, from those that know me well, but it’s totally true.
Maybe it’s a very childish thing for me to say, but I really hate it when people expect something out of me. Sure, you can expect me to be a good person, a hard worker, and trustworthy, but I would otherwise hope that you zip it. Other people and their expectations are impossible to live up to, and at my age, when is it okay to stop caring about everyone else? When is it okay to say “Cool, I hear you. I’m just going to go over here and do what I need to do, you can be okay with it or not.”
I am going home to Tennessee next week, and by the time I land, it will have been about three and a half years since I’ve been back. I have lived in Washington longer than I ever lived in Tennessee, but that is where home is, with my family and old friends. Tennessee is where I started the process of becoming a real adult, becoming someone that I would want to be friends with, or just someone I would be happy to know.
I feel like that’s what becoming a real adult should feel like. Transitioning into someone you’d like to be friends with, instead of feeling uncomfortable in your own skin.
Tennessee is the last place I lived where I actively hated who I was. It was probably my age and life circumstances, but getting away from that person is the best decision I’ve ever made. People like to say “wherever you go, there you are”, and that’s true, because it’s amazing what a fresh environment will do for the soul. That’s why I love to travel so much, because experiencing new places and people is what makes my own life worth living, knowing there is so much more to this world is what makes everything worth it.
I also came back from Los Angeles a few weeks ago, and oh boy, that trip did absolutely nothing to curb my desire to move again. I don’t even have to choose LA as the place I want to live, but somewhere (anywhere) else with a new vibe. I will be the first to say that I have always loved Seattle because of the rain and clouds, but I can also say that those things have taken their toll over the years. Sunshine and warmth is so good for the body and spirit, and like a plant that doesn’t see much of either nine months out of the year, being in California makes me feel alive again. I will be thirty years old next year, and I often look around me and wonder what the hell I’ve been up to the last ten years. I feel like this chapter might be coming to a close, and it’s not a decision I come to lightly, but it is something I welcome.
I sat with a good friend last night during happy hour, someone I have always been able to trust with the truth, which is so few and far between as I get older. He has recently started dating someone, and as happy as I am that he has found someone who makes him happy, my bitter side took hold and refused to let go. I sat there, listening to his stories of the past few weeks, as much stomach started to lurch in that familiar way and I tried to force it away. We laughed about this new bitter side of me, which I wasn’t trying to hide, and the conversation turned in a new direction. He asked me why I thought I was so annoyed with relationships, and I had to really think about it, but it really boils down to being bored with the people I surround myself with. Nobody challenges me anymore.”
“There is one thing that has plagued me, for as long as I can remember, and it’s Identity. The process of identifying who we are in terms on what we like, what we don’t like, and what we wish we liked. It goes without saying that fitting in with our peers is a priority for most of us, and no matter how much we insist that it’s not, it’s definitely something most of us crave.
I have always had a hard time feeling like I fit in. That weird sixteen year old mentality never truly left me, and it’s mainly because I haven’t been around people who (I’ve felt) appreciated what I brought to the table. I have always been someone who likes a little bit of everything, and so finding a group of good friends who don’t consider me weird has always been this strange challenge. An exhausting one after awhile, because who wants to paint themselves into a corner in order to fit in?
I entered the ‘game world’ about a year and a half ago. I have never had a job before where ‘fitting in’ was so unimportant to me, because I already felt like I belonged here, and not even because I am a huge gamer (which I am not, I just appreciate games and gamers in general) but because I finally found a place where nobody cares. It is most definitely this ‘Seattle bubble’ of quiet acceptance and general support, but it has been the best year and a half of my professional life. It has been this acceptance, showing up in my late twenties, that has given me the confidence to like what I want to like with no need to pretend in front of people who don’t share those likes. Showing people the obsessive side of me, the one who obsesses over plants and inflatable creatures and boots, no longer gives me anxiety and fear that people won’t like me. I am not trying to be quirky here, which is another problem, because I am not selling anything. I don’t do or say things to make me seem more ‘interesting’, I am honestly just happy to be having a conversation with another human about something, while secretly just sort of hoping they don’t think I’m an idiot. I mean, at this point, I can’t change anything.”
And this quote that I wanted to add somewhere, but never did:
We’re all seeking that special person who is right for us. But if you’ve been through enough relationships, you begin to suspect there’s no right person, just different flavors of wrong. Why is this? Because you yourself are wrong in some way, and you seek out partners who are wrong in some complementary way. But it takes a lot of living to grow fully into your own wrongness. And it isn’t until you finally run up against your deepest demons, your unsolvable problems, the ones that make you truly who you are, that we’re ready to find a lifelong mate. Only then do you finally know what you’re looking for. You’re looking for the wrong person. But not just any wrong person: the right wrong person, someone you lovingly gaze upon and think, “This is the problem I want to have.”