What is a time of joy for many women was my darkest hour.
I decided not to go to my (ENTER HIGH NUMBER-th) college reunion. Yes, yes...I know...LAME. Mostly, I felt that it's too far and expensive, but also I just don't know if I can stand around and talk about kids and schools and mortgages because, well, I don't have to send my kids to school because I don't have any, and I live in a rent control apartment and in White Upper Middle Class Northeast culture it's the equivalent of living in your parents' basement on unemployment and video game focus group stipends. Not procreating or entering upper-management? WHAT HAPPENED?
I'm not ashamed of my life. Well, a little. I'm not taking any spa weekends or shopping online for my shoe purchases (well, I am, but minus the "purchase" part) but I am paying my bills without killing myself or spending 10 hours a week on the freeway listening to NPR and wondering how my commute contributes to my back problems and thigh width.
Most importantly, in my free time I dance salsa, perform stand-up comedy, and wrote and produced one play. NOT BAD. I still have to work a "DAY JOB" but I can do it on my couch and let's just say I'm not wearing a blazer. Work still presents challenges and stress. Really, the only difference between working from home and working from The Office is that at home I don't have a creepy guy asking, "Do you know how to fix the printer?" or "Can I finish off the birthday cake in the fridge?" (Please note: I LOVE Creepy Guy).
I have many friends who have a family and a full-time job and I admire their commitment, strength, time-management skills, and their love for their kids and home. I enjoy children and I believe I could love, raise, and torture a child as well or better than many parents. And I often think about whether I should take more emergency-like measures to become a Mom, but every time I make a pro and con list, one of the pros is "Then I can be like everyone else"...maybe not the best reason.
Living as an unmarried, childless, self-employed woman makes me an object of scrutiny for my family (well, I think they've given up by now), employers, and creates a lot of uncomfortable moments. However, I am one thing that many mothers are not and that is Not Tired. No, I am Not Tired. Not. At. All. I sleep and wake up when I'm ready. Actually, I sometimes wake up in time to work Central Time (that's like 7:30!), but then I take a nap. I am not connected to the mainstream world of tired people. I know...it must be wrong. Very. Wrong.
It's actually revolutionary. In the History of Women how many of us -- not counting aristocratic or upper class women (who were really prisoners of home and circumstances...can we agree?) -- can attest to this? NOT TIRED. It almost feels like a crime. Like many women, I have spent much of my life saying the following:
"I'M FUCKING TIRED."
"Things are 'crazy.'"
Now, I recently produced a play and, yes that was very tiring. Also sometimes I have to work for focused amounts of time and, yes, I get drained. But on average, I am able to recover, rest, sleep, think, get depressed, go to therapy, work out...take care of myself. THE NERVE.
I'd love to live in a world where women went around saying things like:
"I don't know what to do with all this ENERGY."
"Another day of being supported with all my responsibilities and needs."
"Maybe I should do more..."
Becoming Not Tired was somewhat of an experiment at first. Like most people, I used to justify my existence on the planet by an unreasonable list of activities. One day I thought, "What would happen if I just chilled out?" I became a "freelance contractor" (aka, unemployed, with the occasional gig). But then the gigs became enough to support my bills. What if I just let things be? Would I sink into debt? Would the sky crash down on my well-rested head?
Nope. Nothing happened. All that's happened is that I started to lead more the life I wanted. I do struggle with priorities and time management and self-discipline. I do feel terrified at times, but, just for today, I'm not fucking tired.