One man’s living is another man’s boredom.
“So… what do you want,” said M my 20s something therapist I was learning to appreciate, despite our closeness in age. His question struck me as odd, perhaps because I hadn’t formulated an answer to it out loud. I shifted my weight in my chair. “Well” I said,” I guess I want to live.” My lips reached for my ears. “I don’t think that’s asking for too much.”
A few days later, the question resurfaced on the lips an inquisitive manager. “What gives your life meaning,” R asked. My mouth was full of sandwich at the time, “ummmmm…” I paused, confused that I couldn’t say G-d; my how I’ve changed over the years.
Turning 28 has done a number on my brain. Seriously, I feel as though I’m waiting for that moment of grown-updom to hit me. That minute where I lay aside the things that make me come alive in favor of the humdrum, ordinary, American existence we are told is the dream.
GROWING UP ACCORDING TO RHONDA:
A boring 9-5 that drags onward until my extinction
An overall general life plan (save, save, save, build, build, build) that will continue long after I’m dead
Having kids before my womb dries up or my uterus spontaneously combusts into menopause.
Truthfully, I find myself missing the excitement of new things, the rush of staring at a map and planning how to get there, the titillating process of endlessly trying to communicate through sign language or broken English or even, bungee jumping in South Korea, sky diving in Italy, packing up a suitcase full of clothing and couchsurfing in Israel for a month! I miss movement. To me this is living and meaning and what I’ve wanted to do since, well, high school. I can distinctly remember my father (annoyingly, perhaps) asking the high school me, why I always wanted to go somewhere. I stared at him blankly “I don’t know,” I said. That statement rings true even today. That’s not to say there weren’t struggles, or challenges, or periods of missing familiarity as a traveller. Yes, there have been moments of exhaustion and trepidation at the realization that I am locked into a year contract and I hate my school, or the bratty kids that follow me home screaming “fuck you bitch,” because they think it’s how American’s talk, or not understanding the random woman on the bus shouting at me about Africa. Through it all however I would rather take the pains and blows of that journey than waste away doing something passable just because it’s the grown up thing to do.
These are my confessions…just when I thought I said all I could say…
I travelled because I couldn’t stand the thought of being trapped behind a desk all day.
I travelled because it was the perfect package, work and play all wrapped into one.
I travelled because it was easier than endlessly hating my job.
And hell, I travelled because I had the guts to do it and it was a shit load of fun!
Random Questions or On The Road Again
In six weeks I’m moving to California. I’ll admit there is a rush of excitement as I begin a new chapter in my life. Admittedly, I’m afraid to repeat previous mistakes, that is, let’s take a job without considering that you spend more time at work than you do at home. In other words, I have look beyond the moment of yay new job! I have to ask: Is this worth it? Can I stick with this? I mean really stick with it and thrive as a creative individual, one who can barely sit still long enough to solve a mathematical equation. If not, I’ll end up in the land of self-indulgent indifference.
In 354 days I will be marrying the love of my life, a musician. His desired career is one I thoroughly respect. I am neither intimidated by, nor ashamed of what he hopes to do with his craft. It is my belief that creative urges are the fruit of living. So few people have the chance to taste it. I applaud him and yet, how can I cheer for his career enlightenment and conveniently ignore my own? No, I don’t have the luxury to pack up and move anytime the wind blows, but surely there must be something worthwhile to pursue in the world. Surely.
I have rarely if ever thought of what life would be like if I wasn’t in entertainment (see previous posts if you don’t catch my drift). Even now it’s hard to separate my mind from such a deep obsession. I dreamed a dream in time gone by that I would be the perfect trifecta: actor, writer, producer, blazing a glorious path as portrayed on the silver screen. Cleary that didn’t happen. Though there have been moments of touching, barely touching, and admiration from afar, I have yet to be settled in my true passions. For the past few weeks, I’ve felt as though my dreams were dying and I could only envision myself staring down the barrel of endless boredom and monotony.
I am a fighter and as much as I encourage my lover to chase, with endless fervor his dreams, I am reminded that I must chase my own. I cannot settle for life according to (insert every person who has told me that I can’t, or that entertainment isn’t a career, or they would never allow their children to do that). I have to give myself a chance to shine, to grow, to live, so that life has meaning and is worth living, each and every moment. I have no clue what that’s going to look like, but damn it if I’m not committed to finding out. I travelled and had plenty of adventure so believe me when I say, there is still more to have.