Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Seen on the Red Line to 95th at about 8:30 a.m.

“This train will be standing momentarily.”

Tell me about it.

Things in my life that are standing momentarily:

1) My job – Believe it or not, when I was a child I didn’t dream of becoming a data analyst. It just sort of happened. Actually, that’s not true. I can tell you exactly how it happened. I was an undecided major for too long in college, and my mom was freaking out, so I settled on Business. Seemed like a safe bet. When I graduated I started working for this big insurance company as an administrative assistant. So basically my college career left me thousands of dollars in debt and prepared me to be a glorified secretary. Fortunately my boss decided I was too smart for that, so she promoted me to a data analyst position. Actually, that’s not true either. She fired Gary and then hired me in his stead because I was younger and they could pay me less. I couldn’t look him in the eye when he left.

But this isn’t what I want to do, either. Insurance data analysis isn’t exactly riveting. There’s nowhere for me to move up in the company, even if I wanted to. I suppose I could apply for analyst jobs at other places that would pay me more, but…. You know what the worst part is? I still have no idea what I really want to do. I’m still that undecided major, only now I wear a suit every day instead of sweat pants.

2) My relationship – Jay and I started dating senior year of college. He worked on the newspaper; I thought he was so intelligent because he knew so much about world events. Until recently everything’s been fine, but now all Jay can talk about is marriage. He’s all, “but I love you,” and I’m all, “we can’t even get married in this state,” and he’s all, “so let’s move,” which is easy for him to say because his job lets him work remotely. He could go anywhere at a moment’s notice. I, on the other hand, cannot. And I honestly don’t know if I even want to.

I’m 26, but I still feel too young to get married. I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. I feel like I’d be a bad husband. I feel bad that Jay wants me to be his husband. I feel like I might not want to be with Jay forever. Too many feelings, not enough solid knowledge. I always thought that eventually I’d grow up and know things because adults know things, but now I think it’s all a scam and adults don’t know what they’re talking about, either. They’re just as scared and as confused as the rest of us.

3) My body – So this one may be a little shallow, but it bothers me nonetheless. It’s not like I’m a bad looking guy. I’m pretty athletic—I do a lot of running—so I’m slim and trim and whatever. People notice. But I think I’m too skinny, you know? I’ve had this same body since high school. Maybe it’s just another growing up thing. When am I going to look like a man? An adult male? I don’t have to be a lumberjack or anything, but if I could stop looking like a gawky teenager, that’d be great. A mild beer belly would do. A dash of gray hair.

Sometimes I think that if I looked older I’d feel older, and then I’d know how to fix everything. But maybe I’m too focused on feelings again. Maybe what I need is a jolt from the outside world, some sort of drastic, physical change that’d I’d have to adapt to, and I’d grow in the process. I say the outside world because I sure as hell don’t think I can find that sort of catalyst inside myself. 

A long one today! Ballad of a twenty-something. Writing group was kind of awesome last night. The previous meeting we assigned each other famous works of art as a story prompt, and we all came up with some great stuff. I love the one I'm writing; it's based on this untitled 1998 photograph by Gregory Crewdson. I'm definitely going to keep working on it and polish it up and submit it some places if all goes well.

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