Thursday, November 03, 2005

Reflecting on the state of things

I've got friends with nice homes and nice cars. Friends with kids. Friends with high-falutin' jobs and fat paychecks to match. Friends with their own burgeoning businesses. Friends with agressive investments and cute little stock portfolios. They're all my age or close to it, all people I've known for years. I see them, and I see me. And then I just kind of sit here and draw a blank.

Okay, so I'm in school right now. No one expects someone who's in school full time to focus on much else, I know. And I've had a couple of major setbacks with my health or whatever, so I've gotten a weird late start. I got married young, and I can say that I'm one of the few from my peer group that's still happily married to my first spouse... that's one I credit to luck and not much else. And I don't want kids, although I can't deny the constant peer pressure and the occassional pitying looks I get from people who assume I'm, um, "one of those women." I mean, I kept my last name... ooooh, I'm such a rebel. So I don't have the high-end job, the big house, the bad-ass car (well, I did... but I sold the convertible before I came to New York... sniff), the stock portfolio... call me crazy, but I'm starting to feel like a loser.

John's a lucky boy. He's one of those people that has a purpose, a calling, and more than enough talent to get it done. At the moment, he's a high school Latin teacher. If you're gonna be a high school teacher, you're still impressive if you're teaching Latin. People ask what he does, and when he tells them, they always say, "Oh! A Laitn teacher... wow." And they're genuine about it. Then, of course, he'll be starting his PhD work next year, after which he'll be even more impressive. Besides that, he's also a bouncer, and damn good at it. He gets "Oh! A bouncer... wow" a lot, too. And he's typically the funniest person in the room (unless John Sauvey's in the room with him... then, it's pretty steep competitiion). What can I say? My boy's pretty damn cool.

With me, they seem impressed, but only vaguely. "Oh, a PhD in psychology? Wow, that's... huh. Wow." Then there's the rest. "Oh, and you're a bouncer, too? That's... wow. Interesting. Boy, that must be scary." I used to have a good "in" with being an opera singer. People seemed kind of mistified by that, even though I never figured out why. Nowadays, I bring up the fact that I write my own music and perform, and that's not nearly as cool. Just about all of my friends still introduce me as the opera singer. Bummer... I was kind of hoping that what I'm doing now could still be considered interesting. Hell, I think it's a lot more interesting. Whatever... maybe that's just me. Besides, who wants to discuss psychology? No one I run into seems to be too interested. That's fine... it's not necessarily on the top of most people's lists as random conversation. As for people in the field, they tend to bug me... they're quantitative folks, and they inevitably rub me sideways.

So I try to look on the bright side. I may be older than most people in my spot, but that just makes me better at it, I guess. My music is getting better... I just need to put out a CD or something. I've got a mortgage, even if it's in another state and in a house I'm not living in at the moment... still, it's my mortgage. And I may not have any kids (and I'm all smiles about that, trust me), but I've got my cat here in New York, my two pups and two ferrets in Texas, and Trouble, my niece-cat. And I may not have money, but I've got... um... okay, I don't have anything to say on that one. Money would be nice. Don't believe what they tell you. Money buys happiness. I'm not saying you can't be happy without it, but you can buy it. It's like love... same thing.

I guess I'm not doing too badly. I may end up with money someday. As soon as I'm a rock star. And I mean that, by the way. I could do it. I've done plenty... what's a little "rock star" sprinkled on top? Besides, in the wise words of my roommate, I'll always have my PhD to fall back on.


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