I haven't had much of a social life since I moved back to Grosse Pointe. And that hasn't bothered me too much; I needed a break. But over the past couple of weeks, I've finally had the chance to see quite a few of my favorite people, and it has me thinking about a lot of things.
First, our culture is messed up for demanding we all be pragmatic workaholics. I don't think it's any kind of secret that things went to shit last year and I freaked out. I'm very proud of how well things are going now--proud because I know that perhaps the biggest reason for such a vast improvement is that I was active in my decision making. I could still be at SVSU right now, but I'm not. I could still be in the closet, but I'm not. You get the idea.
And yet, whenever people ask me what I'm doing with my life, both short term and long, I get insecure and defensive. Yeah, I transferred after three years, which is strange as hell, but, but, but! I'm taking 17 credits and working, blah, blah, blah. See? Even us weird artist types are capable of being productive members of society. Wah, wah.
After work last night, I got together with my friend Stephanie for a couple of beers. We hadn't seen each other in way too long. We went to high school together; she lives in Chicago now, but came to town for the weekend to help her mom move. After we hung out last night, she updated her blog with, "I love you, Amelia. People like you make me feel like the rest of the world is insane and we're doing okay."
I feel the same way about her, and most of my friends, for that matter. And maybe that sounds immature. But I don't mean it the same way I would have meant it had I said that in high school. I just mean that I need my friends to remind me that even though we're oddballs, we're not alone.
And that leads me to my second point: It's okay. I feel really weird when the woman whose kids I watch on weeknights asks me what I do on the weekends. The truth: I geek out on Project Muse. I read Feministing. I bond with my cat. I watch countless episodes of The Golden Girls. I go out occasionally, but not often. And when I do, it's with people like Stephanie. And we talk about poetry and/or feminism.
I had lunch yesterday with a few of my friends from the Controlled Burn Seminar for Young Writers (pictured above). It was the most refreshing thing ever. Patric (who's a grad student at Wayne State) talked about research and Ireland. Lucy (who's an undergrad at NMU, and editor-in-chief of the newspaper there) talked about how much she loves her history classes and this swanky recorder she bought for interviews.
This past year, I've just really been learning to respect myself and my limits. I don't think I was a very good editor. But that doesn't mean I can't be a good...something else. Because I don't know what I want to do with myself yet, exactly. And that may not be okay by you, but I've finally reached a point where it's okay by me. I'm weird. I'm happy. I'm productive in my own strange way. I'm not alone. And that (right now, at least) is all that matters.
What I Did on My Summer Vacation
2 months ago