When I was 13 and used to watch FRIENDS, being in your 20s looked like the best time. Now that I’m the same age as the characters, 20-something isn’t feeling so amazing. I mean, Rachel came into the picture wearing a wasted wedding dress and looking like I do the morning-after a solid night of Buck Hunter and Jack, and within a few seasons she was working a wicked job and had her professional life going. I know what I want to do, but unfortunately I don’t like in New York City; I live in an eight-month-per-year tundra where my dream is thousands of miles away and I can’t seem to find my fucking way there.
What makes some people lucky?
When I was younger people always asked what I wanted to be “when I grew up.” I have the same answer now that I had back then: happy. That’s all I’ve ever wanted. I didn’t have the greatest childhood and I spent most of my time alone in my room, imagining how my life would be once I was older and away from all of the dismal aspects of my life. I didn’t think I’d be 28 and still on the hunt.
When I was six this special teacher came and spent time with each kid. She got us to count “as high as we could,” and read from a book and whatever. She decided that I wasn’t being challenged enough and should be pushed ahead into the second grade. My miserable, absent mother ignored this suggestion so the teachers stuck me into this group of other kids from other grades who were smarter than their peers. This was back in the early ’90s. No one really cared about child potential back then, like they do now. I wonder all the time what might have happened to me — to my future — if I’d had someone around who was really gunning for me; someone who cared what happened to me and how I fared in the world. Could I have been somebody?
I think most of my potential is wasted. I also don’t have any kind of parental or mentor figure to push or motivate me, and I’m not exactly inclined to do it for myself. I’ve developed a bit of a “who gives a fuck” complex. It’s pretty bleak and I’m not proud to admit it. I know I’m not an idiot. I passed the Mensa practice exam, so it’s a possibility for me to nudge myself a little further and pay to take the actual exam and slip that little piece of Material Object into my wallet. But for what? What actually matters anymore? I’m literally the only person I have. And isn’t that the most pathetic thing you’ve ever heard?
I wish I could change everything, because isn’t that a kick in the cunt? Girl who was conceived after a vasectomy and thus not even supposed to be born in the first place is borne unto a woman who never wanted children and has never wanted her and turns out to be a fairly intelligent, potential-ridden kid who gets kicked to the back of the bus and no one even notices her until she’s older and even then it’s not the attention she wants? I can’t even believe I constructed that abomination of a sentence. My inner editor is cringing but the outer shell of that is the part of me who stopped giving a fuck about almost everything.
I want the do-over. I want to be born to someone who desperately wants a baby. I want to be praised and hugged and loved and mentored and pushed. I want someone who gives a shit that my report cards are shiny and flawless. I want someone who basks in my achievements and saves for my education. I want to be mothered and I want opportunity. I want the life I thought I’d have back when I was 13.
FRIENDS should have prepared me for this. Instead of becoming Rachel, somehow I’ve ended up as Mr. Heckles.
I’ve spent my entire life clueless. Happiness has always been my destination but no one gave enough of a fuck to give me some directions.
This is why certain people should be sterilized. Why is it that people who want a child more than anything are the ones who can’t conceive, and yet women whose IQs can’t muster up a third integer pop kids out like a fucking Pez dispenser? We live in a fucking joke of a world. It’s laughable, if you’re high enough.
For Christmas this year, I want a retroactive abortion. I want a switch to flick that sends me into a backwards time lapse. Zip me back, in record time, through my agonizing 20s, my lost late teens and now-subsequent oblivious early teens. The bad skin and distorted self-image; the damaging moments that left never-fading scars. Slip into the preteen years of confusion and misery, right into the early years, when everything was possible. Get hazy in that period where the most innocent parts of me were forever destroyed and shrink me back into the baby whose mother thought she was “funny-looking.” Squeeze me back into a fetus, so tiny that I almost don’t exist at all. And then…quash my existence. Make it so I never happened at all. What then?
A big reason I’m unsure of ever having a baby is because I’m terrified of fucking them up. I’m terrified of ever making another human being feel the way I used to. But the other part of me knows what it’s like to be a child who’s just as desperate to be loved as those childless mothers are to love something. Maybe I could give a kid a good life, but really, maybe I can’t. The chance of failure is too great, and the repercussions of that failure are irrevocable. People always talk about how you only get one life. Yeah. Exactly. One. And if someone else ruins the parts of you that really matter, what exactly is a person supposed to do with the leftovers?
I’m leftovers. And the only people who like leftovers are the ones who have moms who are such amazing cooks that the leftovers are still amazing. See that doesn’t even make sense. I tried picking me way through and that’s where I got.
The closer I get to 30, the worse I feel. I wake up almost every morning with this overwhelming sense of heaviness. Like I’m tired, and I’m just done. I’m done pushing. I’m done imagining this dream life in my head that, honestly, I’m never going to have. I’m never going to walk into 30 Rock because I work there. I’m never going to see my name in the credits. I’m never going to have Tina Fey or Kelly Oxford in my My5. Sure, it’s fun to dream it. Just for shits and gigs, I sit around and imagine living that life. People who get my sense of humour and appreciate the dark and twisty turns that it takes; who enjoy the fact that I’m a mashup of Anthony Jeselnik, Daniel Tosh, Tina Fey, and Kristen Wiig. People who like the fact that I’m a sarcastic asshole. I mean, I do have those people now. I can count them on one hand, and I love them. I love them because they accept me for me who I am. Even though I don’t really know exactly who I am.
Whatever. All I’m saying is that Martin Luther King had a dream, and so do I. But I’m pretty sure we’re going to have similar endings. We’ll both be dead, except everyone will remember him, and I’ll just be this dark, unknown blogger who waxed poetic about a life she wishes she could have had when she already knew that she wasn’t going to have it.
Wax on, wax off…. Fade out.