The Life Timeline, Reexamined or How Sometimes It Feels Like I’m So Behind But Also I Guess What Is A Normal Life Nowadays Anyway?

The Life Timeline, Reexamined or How Sometimes It Feels Like I’m So Behind But Also I Guess What Is A Normal Life Nowadays Anyway?

I grew up in a conservative family, homeschooled from second grade all the way through high school. (The well runs deep if you wish to read more about this subject…) and then attended a private Christian college for undergrad. 

So, it’s not at all surprising that I tell you that a great many/the majority of my friends from that period of my life are married, have a house and 2-4 kids by now.  

But I chose to work in theatre, where things tend to work out a little differently.  

But still, at age 26, I ended up getting engaged, and married at 28. Surprise of all surprises, it was to the only woman I ever dated. Perhaps it wasn’t the most traditional route, but I had reached some level of “normal settling down” and felt relieved to have hit that milestone in my life. When our friends would complain about online dating or talk about their loneliness, my wife and I would look at each other and sigh, “Whew! At least we don’t have to ever go through that bullshit again.”  

We lived in the city of Chicago and neither had particularly good paying jobs, so we rented a technically decent apartment in a neighborhood where kids literally got shot on our block. It wasn’t a house with a white picket fence, and it sure as hell had its issues, but it was ours and we made it up as cute as we could.  

The first order of business after we moved in was arranging the Booze Shelf

Because we were a same-sex couple of limited means, even if we were interested in having kids together, it was financially impossible. But that wasn’t a thing we had in mind for our future together, anyway.  
So, we had begun living our own little version of the American Dream together. I had finally arrived at some semblance of the place so many of my friends had reached 5-10 years earlier.  

You can tell where this is going, though, by the title of my blog. For many reasons the marriage didn’t end up working out and I was sickened by the acknowledgment that I had experienced one whirlwind marriage and divorce before I had turned 30.  

This wasn’t supposed to be my life. It’s like I was playing a game and I was sent back to the start again, left in the dust.  

Yeah, I know that life isn’t a game and there are no set rules, but sometimes it’s nice to have some stability and sometimes it’s fine to want the stereotypical house and partner and 2.5 children and half a cat or whatever they say. 

But when have I ever been traditional?  

After my divorce, I got a new job and moved across the country to a place where I knew absolutely no one. I gave myself the freshest start possible. This next chapter of my life could be whatever I wanted it to be.

But now I had to figure out what exactly it was that I wanted.  
I had to figure out who I really was now that I was all grown up and on my own, left to my own devices.

The first bitter pill I had to swallow was realizing that I was either going to have to live with strangers for housemates or live in a shoebox studio apartment. And I did both of those things in rapid succession, ultimately deciding that a 230 square foot apartment with a mini fridge and hot plate for a kitchen was far superior to sharing a house.  

But it was a huge blow for me to acknowledge that I no longer had a real home. Most of my stuff is still in storage at my parents’ house, halfway across the country until I land somewhere more permanently, whatever that means. It’s like I’m in college again, like I’ve regressed 10 years. I feel like less of an adult than I did 5 years ago when I was living with my ex, now sleeping on my glorified cot.  
As I watch my friends have their second child, sell their starter house and move into their next one, I feel twinges of envy. These things are now further away from my reality than they had ever been.  
I decided to give the Netflix original show “Love” a try the other day and, while I’m not entirely sure I’ll keep watching, there was one part at the end of the first episode that was TOO REAL.  
One of the lead characters is a woman named Mickey, and she’s probably around my age and had just gone through a breakup. She finds herself at some strange cult meetup and stands up and gives this speech: 
“You said earlier that if you ask for love, the world will send you love back. But I’ve been asking and asking, and I haven’t gotten fucking anything. Hoping and waiting and wishing and wanting love. Hoping for love has fucking ruined my life. But I refuse to believe that all those dipshits I went to high school with, who are married now and putting pictures on Facebook every day of their kids in little headbands have it all figured out, right? That’s gotta be bullshit. That can’t be the deal, that can’t be it.”

After my divorce, I’ve marveled at how anyone can get marriage right, let alone the majority of my friends. (This is not me telling my high school friends that they are dipshits, by the way.) I identify so strongly with Mickey’s words, though.  

And, after my divorce, I’ve realized that I really do still want some version of the American Dream.

 After some deliberation over the past year and a half, I’ve decided I really would like to eventually get married again. With the right partner, I would like to have kids (ideally whole ones, and before my eggs start to desiccate, which is its own fun timeline issue…) I would like to have a healthy work/life balance and a cute home-type apparatus in which to live. With a full sized fridge. 
So here I am, at age 31, setting out once again to do the damn thing, if the American Dream happens to smile upon me again. 

On Being A Floater, or How Sometimes Not Fitting Into Boxes Sometimes Gets A Bit Old And Lonely And Also I’m Kinda Like E.T.

On Being A Floater, or How Sometimes Not Fitting Into Boxes Sometimes Gets A Bit Old And Lonely And Also I’m Kinda Like E.T.
et
I promise this will all make sense by the end.

I’ve always been a bit of a “floater.”

One of the things I pride myself in is that I am fiercely individual, but I have found that this can sometimes come with a price.

I’ve been thinking about this concept a lot lately.

Continue reading “On Being A Floater, or How Sometimes Not Fitting Into Boxes Sometimes Gets A Bit Old And Lonely And Also I’m Kinda Like E.T.”

On Waiting For Godot, or How This Existential Absurdist Play Made Me Contemplate My Relationship to Ideas of Partnership, Depression and Religion

On Waiting For Godot, or How This Existential Absurdist Play Made Me Contemplate My Relationship to Ideas of Partnership, Depression and Religion
Waiting for Godot set at Theatre Royal Haymarket 2009

 

Since I have an MFA in an aspect of theatre, I’ve read a lot of plays, and I am no stranger to the work of Samuel Beckett.

I first saw a production of Waiting for Godot as a senior in high school while visiting what would become my undergrad theatre department in 2004. I knew nothing about the play, and, while I claimed to be an artsy and intelligent student, I was pretty perplexed by it all.

Waiting for Godot is an existential absurdist play in which two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, are stuck in an eternal loop of limbo in which they are constantly waiting for a character named “Godot” who never comes.

Continue reading “On Waiting For Godot, or How This Existential Absurdist Play Made Me Contemplate My Relationship to Ideas of Partnership, Depression and Religion”

On Dating Again or How My Divorce Has Kinda Messed Me Up For Any Future Partners

Yep. It’s happening.
This upcoming Tuesday would have been my 2nd wedding anniversary, and this Friday, my ex wife and I would have been together for five years.

And I’m dipping my toes back into the dating pool.

And it’s weird AF.

Continue reading “On Dating Again or How My Divorce Has Kinda Messed Me Up For Any Future Partners”

On Down Days, or How Even Though The Only Person I’ve Spoken With All Week is an Aldi Cashier, I Can’t Possibly Be Social Tonight

I’ve been having one of those days.

No, I did absolutely nothing of consequence today. I’m off work for at least another week, and I slept in till 1 and took a nap at 7:30.

I had made some plans with myself to go to a dark electro night in a neighboring town, but I spent the whole day dreading it.

I made pros and cons lists. I didn’t want to go by myself but that’s just how it would have to be. It’s 20 miles away, which means it’s a commitment and I can’t just bail. I could meet some cool people, but if I got cornered by some weirdies (and there are definitely those types at these sort of occasions) I wouldn’t have a friend as an exit strategy.

And, even though the only human contact I have had in the last week was the cashier at Aldi, I really really don’t want to be around people.

I talked with friends, they tried to convince me it would be a good idea and I would end up having fun.

But in the end, I think I’m bowing out of my plans with myself.

Continue reading “On Down Days, or How Even Though The Only Person I’ve Spoken With All Week is an Aldi Cashier, I Can’t Possibly Be Social Tonight”

On Going Out Alone, or The Wordvomit I Wrote While Sitting Alone At A Bar

On Going Out Alone, or The Wordvomit I Wrote While Sitting Alone At A Bar

I’ve actually lived in my current town for a grand total of 5 months, three of which I was wallowing in some serious post-divorce feels.  I have some nice coworkers, but I still haven’t really found my people. 

So here I am, faced with several weeks of no work and no idea what the hell to do.

So tonight, I decided to conduct…an experiment.

Continue reading “On Going Out Alone, or The Wordvomit I Wrote While Sitting Alone At A Bar”

On Friendship, or How I “Won” One Of My Closest Friends In My Divorce

On Friendship, or How I “Won” One Of My Closest Friends In My Divorce

Our first friends are often chosen for us because our parents like each other. We have few real interests, and “getting along” means we don’t hit each other over the head with the Fisher Price Corn Popper Walker Toy and we share our favorite stuffed animals.

Me with toysMarch 1988
All mine, bitch.  (I was just shy of 2 years old here)

Continue reading “On Friendship, or How I “Won” One Of My Closest Friends In My Divorce”