Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: life choices

Not in This Lifetime

I saw my last therapist for close to fifteen years. Around the ten-year mark, I said something about regretting that I was still working on some of the same issues that I had been when I first started seeing her. She said something to the effect that if I didn’t work on them then, I would be saying the the same thing in ten more years, except it’d be, “I can’t believe I’ve been working twenty years on this,” instead of ten.

I balked at what she was saying at the time (that’s just how I roll. My first instinct is always to counter what’s being said to me. I’m working on it), and I thought it was trite (which it was, but many tropes have at least a grain of truth), but she’s right. It’s fine to be sad that I haven’t fixed x, y, or z, but unless I work on it, it still won’t get fixed, and I’ll just have wasted more years. Take for example learning a new language. Chinese would be really useful for me to learn, but I would feel weird if I learned it before I learn Taiwanese which is my family’s native language. It would be harder for me to learn it, and I haven’t. I also haven’t learned Chinese. If I had started with that, I would know it by now.

Sigh.

In the past week, I’ve been thinking of my mortality. I’m probably past the half point of my life, and it’s all downhill from here. I jest, but not really. I have a thing that I hate the second half of things because it means the end is nearer than the beginning, and I’m feeling that way about my life right now. There are many things that are probably not going to happen in this lifetime, some for better and some for worse. Let’s start with some of the better ones.

  1. Have kids. WHEW!!! Enough said. Ha! Just kidding. About enough said, not about putting kids on this list. I can’t help but be smug when I remember an argument with a friend twenty years ago about having kids. There were three of us, all in our mid-to-late twenties, and one friend was insisting that I’d be the first of us to have kids. I don’t know why she thought that, but it really pissed the fuck out of me. I’ve known since I was twenty that I didn’t want kids. It’s the only constant in my life. To have someone who didn’t even know me that well tell me that I was going to have kids, aw, hell no. At the time, I thought to myself that I would send her postcard after she had a kid to gloat about it. She has a kid now and so does my other friend (my BFF), and me? Gloriously child-free.
  2. Get married. This is another that I assumed would just happen because isn’t it what every girl dreams of? Not me. I never made my Barbies get married–just have sex. I didn’t dream of my wedding because it seemed more like a nightmare to me. When I got older, I had political problems with it as well. The sexist origins of marriage, the taking of the dude’s last name, etc. Add to that the fact that marriage equality was but a dream when I was a young bi lady, and it was a big fat nope for me. Still, there was a tiny corner of my mind that wanted it for…reasons! I couldn’t articulate why, but I began to see it was to normalize my freak-ass self. I was such a weirdo and had no place in polite society. I had shed vestiges of an acceptable persona all throughout my twenties. I gave up religion, the idea of being a mother, and I had a hard time letting go of walking down the aisle in wedded bliss. What changed my mind? Over time, I realized I didn’t want to be with someone 24/7. I like living alone. I don’t like compromise. I like sleeping by myself. Well, maybe with my cat, but dassit. Any time I thought of marriage, it just seemed like a millstone around the neck. By the time I was thirty, I was done with the idea of marriage.
  3. A romantic relationship. This is in a gray area, but I’m leaning towards the idea that I’d prefer not to have a monogamous, primary romantic relationship. I’ve written about this before, but I’m not good girlfriend material. In addition, I don’t want to commit so deeply to one person. I have great friends that fulfill many of my emotional needs, and all I really am missing is sex. I’ve said it many times, but my ideal sex buddy would be someone with whom I could laugh, talk, eat, watch a sportsball game, then fuck for hours. Then, I’d kick them out and sleep the way I sleep best–alone. I wouldn’t mind having a few of these relationships. The idea makes me smile. When I think of a romantic relationship, there’s a constriction in my chest, and I have a hard time breathing. It feels smothering, which is what I tend to do in relationships.

Those are the ones I’m comfortable with. There are others that I’m less happy about. Let’s start that list now.


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Meet Me at the Crossroads

I’m having a midlife crisis of sorts, and I need to talk it out. I’m dissatisfied with my life, specifically, well everything, but right now, I’m focusing on my lack of a career. I don’t want to be a freelance editor any longer, and I’m struggling as a writer. It’s not easy as a writer out there, what what? I knew it wouldn’t be because anything creative is gonna be a hard row to hoe, but writing in this day and age is capricious and whimsical. The great thing about the internet is that anyone can write. The bad thing about the internet is that anyone can write. I don’t know if you know this, but there’s a lot of shit on the webs. A LOT.

Let me hasten to say this isn’t new, the shit, I mean. 90% of pop culture is pure shit. Music, books, TV shows, video games, whatever–it’s mostly shit. It always has been, and it probably always will be. It’s just that the proliferation of shit is easier online. Any yahoo (see what I did there) can start a blog (ahem) and rant away. Yes, pot meet kettle.

The other problem is that because of the sheer volume, it’s harder to get noticed in this day and age. I can wade through twenty posts and maybe find one nugget of truth. I have up to fifty tabs open at a time, but I read maybe a fifth of the tabs I have open. I’ve been blogging on a daily basis (weekdays only) for nearly a year, and while it’s been beneficial to my writing chops, it’s not really gone anywhere professionally. I have a very small faithful band of readers, and I appreciate every one of them. Seriously. Learning that someone reads almost everything I write is humbling and gratifying. Hearing that someone remembers something I wrote years ago is amazing as well.

My problem is that I’m terrible at self-promoting. There are several reasons for it. One, in Taiwanese culture, you’re not supposed to brag about your achievements. There’s a superstitious reason for it–if you brag about something, the gods will be offended and punish you for it. In my family, it’s even worse. My father thinks mentioning anything you’ve done is bragging, even though he inside, he’s very prideful about his work, and it’s a complicated mess. In addition, women in American society get called bitches on the daily if they’re deemed as getting too big for their britches. This is the short answer as to why I have difficulty promoting myself.

In addition, I don’t like to intrude, and I don’t like to be a pest. Endlessly promoting my own work feels like both, but I know that’s something I have to get over. It’s also hard because it feels like my child ┬áhas been rejected every time I circulate a post and it gets little to no love. I already have a low self-esteem, and that doesn’t help. It’s also frustrating when I read a lot of the shit being passed around as wisdom on social media.

Anyway.


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