Friday, October 23, 2009

Observations and encounters

You know what really scares me? When people tell me to be realistic. When the inevitable Small Talk comes up nowadays I get asked over and over again, 'what are you doing? What are you planning on doing?' and I say I Graduated College and a vague Looking For Work in which is me-speak for Beats the Hell Out of Me. Then I get well-intentioned Suggestions. Most often I get 'Why don't you be a teacher?'
The short answer is 'Because I don't want to BE a teacher'
The long, not so polite, answer is, 'Don't you know ANYTHING about me?! Do I look like a social person to you?! Do I look like someone who could put up idiotic comments and questions DAY after DAY, trying to beat knowledge into ungrateful, unteachable FOOLS who don't appreciate me or even WANT to be in my presence nor I theirs?!? Thanks for suggestioning a completely gender biased role for me, the female - why not suggest I be a NURSE or a FLIGHT ATTENDENT or some other acceptable feminine role!?'

Ahhheem. The sad part is these people (the majority male) don't really think about it like that; that the instant assumption is that because I have boobs and a vagina the most suitable role for me is a stereotypical one that society says is suitable for a woman; kindergarten teacher, (I would be forced to EAT THEM if I had to be a kindergarten teacher. IF I had to be a teacher I would teach art at the university, dammit) nurse, secretary, flight attendent ect. ect.
There isn't anything wrong with those professions but this leads back to my opening statement; these roles have never suited me. I would rather be a marine biologist, or work on Myth Busters, or design web pages - something that requires the use of my awesome intelligence. Nice to know sexism is good and alive in the world.

Going back to realism; I've had a lot (too much) of time to think over the last two months and I never was realistic about life. In High School I never had a Plan for my future even though my teachers tried to steer me towards one. I was sort of wishy washy about life; whatever happened, happened. I just wanted to play with my friends and draw pretty pictures. Then I went to community college and discovered what public education had been trying to deny me all those years; I had intelligence.

Like, real intelligence; I easily passed English and History and Biology. Something I had never really done in high school; I got straight A's. Over the last year and a half I found the strength to overcome my morbid fear of Math and passed Intermediate Algebra and College Mathmatics to graduate a university. With major, major help from my father, the engineer, I went from literally knowing only the very basic simple one-plus-one-equals-two math to probability and statistics. Can you guess where my fear of math came from? A lifetime of public schools/teachers telling me how stupid I was, that I would never learn math and putting me in remedial courses. I can tell you that created some serious resentment that I spent all of my life being the stereotypical female-BAD-at-math to learning - holy shit, I can actually do AND understand this.

So the more I thought about and have been thinking about it I realize I don't WANT to be realistic about life. I don't want ANY of the things society says you should have; a nine to five job filing folders, or customer service (oh God, spare me that) or sitting in a cubicle punching the keyboard for NINE HOURS. I don't want to spare time and energy raising little children to behave like decent human beings (not right now, anyway). I don't want to deal with the pressures of understanding, dealing with and putting up with another persons mile-long baggage and in return, trying to train him to understand and respect me. Plus, I haven't had great experience in the past with men (boys?) trying to jump my pants. Being groped isn't all that fun and to be perfectly honest I haven't met anyone so far that I want (being painfully shy doesn't help, does it?).

So I'm going to be perfectly unrealistic. I'm going to do ALL the things society says is bad. I'm not going to get married and join the cult of Motherhood. I'm not going to get a nice, normal job. I'm not going to actively prowl the bars for a man (not that I ever have). I'm going to wear weird clothes that belong in the fifties. I'm going to continue drawing and making things and putting them in local coffee houses. I'm going to make a business out of what I do best; I'm going to make handcrafted things and sell them (something that I have already done and done well in the past). I'm going to write. I'm going to send it to publishers. I'm going to continue being introverted and actively realize its not that bad of a thing. Still waters run deep and all that. I'm going to do this because I realized that if I went out to try and be what somone else thinks is acceptable I'll just end up truly miserable, waste potential and time and betray myself. I've already had experience trying to live up to someone elses expectations of what I should be and it was a messy, ugly business that when, in the end, I refused to conform to his idea that I should be 'normal' I ended up losing my friends.

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