Friday, February 5, 2010

Fear and Self-Loathing in the 'Burbs

"My honors government teacher told Tim and I not to go to our five year high school reunion because it would just make us feel really bad about ourselves. Because all the rednecks and people we didn’t like who didn’t go to college would all be married and have kids and houses that they were paying mortgages on, and we would be fresh our of college or still finishing it, way in debt with a crappy job and a roommate. What I’m saying is he was so right. A reunion at this point would be really terrible for my self esteem. Some people would think it was really cool that I live in New York and work for peanuts and compliments, but mostly I would regret my decision to not marry someone from my town, build a house behind my parent’s house and do the same job my mom did." --drexin

Now gigantic DISCLAIMER: I don't actually think the people I went to high school with who have mortgages and babies are rednecks (eww, yucky term anyway) or that their decisions are bad in any way, shape or form.

HOWEVER, can I just say how much this spoke to me? Because it did.

I think this paragraph pretty much sums up why I've felt funky for at least the last year or two. Every single day I scroll through facebook with the most awful look of disgust on my face. I can't seem to shake this feeling that I don't stack up to these people. That I'm inferior because I don't have a house or a couple of babies. That I don't fit in with any of my so-called friends.

Nobody is going to invite me to any mommy parties. I can't bond with the homeowners. I don't get down with the wedding planners.

It's just not who I am.

(Not to mention, I can't shake the feeling that some of these folks look down on me because I don't have all of these 'blessings'.)

And since I've gone about college in such a weird way I don't really have friends from that set either. Sure, I have people I talk to in class. I have fellow history majors that I see from time to time. But somebody to commiserate with on a Saturday morning over a cup of coffee? Nope.

All I ever wanted was to do things differently than my parents did. I didn't want to get married at 21. I didn't want to have a baby by the time I was 23/24. So I didn't. I just didn't have a desire, at this particular point in my life, to sit at home and relive my childhood. That's just me being honest about it.

I should be happy with my decision. Instead I just feel like a failure who doesn't fit in.

I keep holding on to this dream that next year I skip town. Move out of the area, maybe even out of the state. I start over with people who haven't known me since kindergarten. I learn a new area. New stores. New scenery. And then I return to my high school reunion in 20 years satisfied with the way I've lived. ON MY OWN TERMS.

But then there is the doubt that creeps in during the middle of the night. The doubt that tells me I'll never meet anyone. I'll never have a career. I'll never travel. I'll never have friends who invite me to dinner parties. I'll die alone with my cat and my nieces and nephews will have to bury me.

I know that's silly. But it's my blog. I'm just keeping it real around here.

(P.S. Just to reiterate: I'm not opposed to having a house and a husband and children. Not at all. I want all of those things. But not right now. And yet I feel like a loser for not wanting them, or having them now. That's the point here. This conundrum of feelings.)


SassyCassie said...

The fact that I dropped out of school and have no desire to go back and would be perfectly content to stay home and "keep house" and home school my kid, and I'll say it - "serve" my husband, makes me feel like a backwoods freak sometimes. I get it.

April said...

Thank you. And you're not a freak. Choice is a wonderful thing.

katie said...

this struck a chord with me too, in a big way. i've actually kind of backed off facebook and not visited it much at all over the past month, because it does start to mess with your head when you see everyone is eitehr a) married, b) having kids, c) traveling the world/building amazing careers, or d) ALL OF THE ABOVE FUCKING SHOOT ME.

i hope it's not creepy to say this but i would absolutely love to go get coffee or whatever with you some day! (maybe not early saturday morning, as that's not really my style, but you know). and creepiest statement yet: i consider you a friend and we met in college SO THERE :P

April said...

Not creepy!! You are so right, we are friends and we did meet in college, so yes...I agree! We should have coffee or something. I have breaks this semester...thank god. This week is crazy, but every Thursday I have free time between 1:45 and 5:15. Email me or something and let me know if any time in there ever works for you.