18 September 2009

It's Friday, we should break up - Expectations

As a general rule, I feel like a disappointment. At least to my mother.

I'm never going to be a doctor or a lawyer or some other respected profession where the participants typically make a lot of money. And the truth is? I don't care a lot about that. But I hate feeling like a disappointment. Because I had all this potential, and I'm wasting it by not pursuing something that probably would have made me miserable in the long run.

My mother would never ever tell me I'm a disappointment, at this point. But deep-down, I know it's there. She struggled most of her life to make sure that we had everything we needed financially. And she wants us, as her girls, to be financially secure.

My priorities are different, though. As the little girl who never got to see her mom because Mom was always out working, I see things through different eyes. I'd rather enjoy the time I have (and not have a lot of money) than work through it and miss out on everything.

I love my mom. And I appreciate everything she's done and continues to do for everyone in her life. But we are cut from a different cloth. I do not have her drive and determination. I want to be me. And I want to be happy being me.

So today, I've been thinking...and here's my list:

I'm supposed to: Have a clean apartment at all times.
In reality: My apartment is forever strewn with clothes. If I know someone is coming over, it's a mad rush to make things appear presentable.

I'm supposed to: Go to graduate school or medical school.
In reality: I want to be a writer. And I don't want to go to medical school. Even if they pay me.

I'm supposed to: Want a husband and 2.5 children and a house with a picket fence.
In reality: A husband seems like a lot of trouble and rather expensive to get rid of once he pisses me off, children barely speak English and are usually more of a pain than they're worth and the idea of having a child scares the bejesus out of my vagina, and I like living in an apartment and calling maintenance to fix my sink.

I'm supposed to: Make mature decisions regarding love and finances.
In reality: I'm still feeling my way through life and making the wrong choices. But my stories are damn interesting!

The girl I should be: One who walks through the grocery store with her healthy salad and bag of fruit for dinner. And a bottle of water. The big one.
The girl I am: One who has a cheeseburger, fries, and a beer. Possibly with cake.

The girl I should be: One who is put together impeccably, and floats around in heels like they were made for her feet.
The girl I am: One who's usually wearing jeans or cargo pants (or a skirt and thigh high stripe-y socks, yes!), never irons anything, and usually wears heels for no more than 15 minutes before kicking them off in favor of her flip flops. My feet hurt, damn it.

The girl I should be: One who owns her own car and owns or is in the process of owning her own home.
The girl I am: One who is still driving a hand-me-down from her parents because she'd rather buy heels she'll rarely wear or take vacations than have a car payment. See above for home-owner question.

The girl I should be: One who never gives anything away. One who never admits that she drank too much and threw up, or that she fell in the shower and busted her ass, or that she doesn't have any food in her fridge that wouldn't go on a hot dog (but no hot dogs). A lady.
The girl I am: Is a pretty open book. About her flaws and her indiscretions. Lady is not a word used to describe someone who ass-plodes all over the work bathroom after some McDonald's and then tells the internet about it.

Truth? I love who I am. And I wouldn't change it for anything. The girl I am is pretty awesome. She's a good friend. She cares about other people. She will stand up for what she believes in, but she knows how to admit she's wrong. She can tell you a damn good story. She will make you laugh through your tears. She works hard and plays hard. She doesn't think she's better than everyone else (even if she accidentally makes it sound like she does on occasion)...except Paris Hilton...she is definitely better than Paris Hilton. She can cook. She will always buy you a drink, and never expect one in return. She is generous and helpful, sometimes to a fault. She will punch you in the vagina before she'll watch you hurt yourself. She always says the hard thing, the thing no one wants to hear. She's willing to ask the question, whatever the question may be. She will listen to your opinion. She's willing to make an ass of herself, pretty much any time. And she is a damn lot of fun...most of the time.

So while I may never make a lot of money, or achieve success by society's standards, I will always be a person I'm proud to be. I don't need a Masters degree or a PhD or an MD to be a good person. I am a good person. So screw your expectations (not you, Mom). I have my own.


Organic Meatbag said...

I'm sure that your Mom is proud of you more than you know, ass bruises, explosive diarrhea and all...

Politics of Love Chick said...

What a Manifesto - I likey.
You're definitely the chill girl to hang with and i'm sure all the other proper girls are jealous of it to.

Keep rocking out to your own beat.

"Give Me truths for I am weary of surfaces"
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Anonymous said...

I realised that I should keep expectations low, then as I work my way up, anything beyond Fire Fighting is a bonus. So far, my plan has worked and I look like a rock star to my mama.

Jay Ferris said...

I think the world wants you just the way you are. At least until the zombie apocalypse, at which point you will not be able to escape your destiny.

Seriously though; I expect you to be awesome and you keep delivering, so maybe it's just about having the right expectations.

Gofahne said...

Friends are an apology for family. Remember that! I wouldn't change one damn hair on your head or the stories of how it got to that color in the first place :). You shine out loud for a reason and if you met any of the "I should's" I'd probably punch you in the vagina, mainly out of boredom. We're different/original/interesting/quirky because we made a choice to listen to ourselves rather than anyone else, even when that choice sucks and makes you question things. And eff anything considered "normal". Normal usually means, someone else told me "this is how I was supposed to think".

M said...

Truth: Learning to be who you are and not who everyone else expects you to be is one of the hardest things about being in your 20s, in my opinion. You are a rockstar for figuring it out :).

Just A Girl said...

You are a lot like me, so that means I automatically think you're rad. But I would anyway because you just fucking are and I'm never wrong about things like this. That's the girl I am. :D

Also GD it sucks you're not going to DC.

Ed Adams said...

Yep. You're awesome. Just ask yourself.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

I love when you post like this. Because for everything we admire and love about you, you still struggle like the rest of us with the things you don't feel 100% confidnet about yourself and THAT is sexy. the "or a skirt and thigh high stripe-y socks, yes!" outfit? THAT girl can have all the insecurities she wants if she will just roam the house like that for me. Add a jungle cat purr every hour of so and I am sold baby. Oh and never give up on your dreams of being a writer because you tell the BEST stories.

Antje Spethmann said...

"She always says the hard thing, the thing no one wants to hear."
I found myself wondering if this comma (above) should be a semi-colon....
I say you should have at least one expectation... and that is to become the "professional" writer you're born to be. I'll keep feeding you the job leads, anyway. Maybe some day one will stick.

Meg said...

"children barely speak English"... LMAO.

You may not be who you're "supposed to" be, but you know who you are, which is a lot more than most can say.

restaurant refugee said...

I would be willing to bet some serious cash that your Mom is proud of you for the exact reasons you cite. She did a sufficiently good job that you can make the choices you've made, and that is a damn good reason to be proud.

Andhari said...

I'm sure you're not a dissapointment. Everyone is different! My mom's kinda like that with marriage and kids and I told her to not expect that from me soon. No way, I'm gonna focus in my project not project family or project baby.

If your routines make you happy, girlie, I say stick to them :)

Mega8815 said...

This is SUCH an outstanding post!!!!
You have so much to be proud of and so much going for you. I don't think you need much more than that. Whoohoo!!!

Alice said...

HEAR FUCKING HEAR. i am SO HAPPY with my life, and i don't have a masters / law degree / med degree / etc etc. i am one of my only friends who doesn't. and i really, really don't care. i love where i live and i travel like 3 times a year, which was my only life goal when i was in college, and WHAT DO YOU KNOW, i have achieved it. so there ;-)

Zan said...

I love you for this post. I've been feeling a little disappointed in myself for not meeting "my potential", but fuck it. I am who I am. Drunken binges and skeleton-filled closet and all.

Kristan said...

I totally hear this post. It's been getting worse ever since I hit the two-years-since-graduating-college mark. Granted, my parents never wanted me to be a lawyer or doctor -- since age 9 I've wanted to be a writer, so they just said, "As long as you're a bestseller" -- but this is such a frigging slow, tough industry, and I can't help feeling like despite my efforts I have nothing to show for it.

That said, like you I wouldn't change a thing. It's not the easiest path, but it's the one I love.

Good luck to both of us! :D

Bri said...

I found you through an article on the Brazen Careerist and I have to say that you are my soul twin. I love this post and will be linking to it from my own blog.

Don't change who you are, you're too awesome. :o)