This week I’m on trial. I’m facing charges of lack of intimacy and male companionship, attending college and getting a degree I am currently not using, and having too much debt. When life throws a curve ball, I seem to catch it square in the face. I’d like to take a further look into these charges; after all I am the only one defending myself.
Charge 1: Lack of intimacy and male companionship.Exhibit A: Conversation (While I was texting on my phone)
Prosecutor: Do boys text you?
Prosecutor: Do you text boys?
Prosecutor (disgusted look across face, condescending tone): Well….WHY?
I have no idea why my lack of dating is directly correlated to my sexual preference. There is no man in my life presently, therefore I must be gay. I have never really dated. I have never had a boyfriend. I have my reasons. I do not trust most men/guys/boys. I went through a trauma which has made it difficult to allow myself to open up and consider dating. I’m working on it. I am healing the broken pieces to make myself whole again. How can I expect to be in a relationship and share myself with that person, if I am not complete myself? I was told that whatever you have on your list for a potential mate, you better be sure you can be and have those qualities too.
I am not perfect, nor will I ever be. I just want to make sure I am not settling for anything less than the best, because that is what I know I deserve. This charge comes from an unhappy, bitter divorcee—so I guess I should consider my source.
Charge 2: Attending college and getting a degree that is not being used
I went to college knowing full well it would be hard to get a job with my degree; yet, it did not stop me. I have had a passion for the arts and entertainment since the day I was born. I have always had a fascination with film, television and the theatre. I knew that I was meant to act, write, produce, and direct. For those who may be curious, or not already know, I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting. However, in college (and always) when I wasn’t cast in a show, I offered to lend a hand to the technical side and enjoyed it just as much as acting. After college, I moved to a place where I tried out theatre, film, and TV. I got some jobs and some work, but my living situation was not working, so I moved home. I had to quickly find a job to support me and be able to pay back my student/private loans. I got a job—two and a half years later, I am still here. I may not be acting, but I am expressing myself creatively. I write. I play piano. I paint. I am always looking for acting opportunities and submitting myself for commercials and local films. I am always looking for new plays and monologues. I am one of millions of people attempting to work in the entertainment industry. If I get a break one day, then that will be fabulous. If not, I will continue to work in this field because I am passionate about no matter how big or small the job is.
Charge 3: Having too much debt
I have a dream car. This dream car is solely based on my love for the TV show Supernatural. This dream car is a 1967 Chevy Impala, color black. I was searching through the classifieds the other day, during lunch, and I found one for $6,000. It may be green, but I could get it painted. I said, “I found my dream car for $6,000.” My supervisor made this snide comment, “You can have that car in twenty years when you pay off your student loans or when President Obama takes care of them for you.” I wanted to tell my supervisor, “I had no idea my financial situation was such a burden to you or any of your business.” I went to a private college, knowing full-well of the financial burden it would be. I knew it would be a struggle and there would be times when I would let myself regret the decision. But, I would not trade the friendships I have for the money it cost. The money I spent on college is completely worth the financial burden. I have support systems all over the United States, and I am sure wherever I end up—someone will be there to have my back. That’s true friendship…that is family.
I’d like to add that my college debt is my only debt. I have no credit cards. I own my car. My school debt is all I have. Yes, it is a lot of money—but I’m paying it back and learning responsibility. I have a pretty strict budget that I follow and I rarely break this budget. Being at this job for the past two and a half years, I have learned what it will take for me to be able to survive on my own somewhere else. I know how much money I will need to make and I feel I am pretty responsible with my money, that I will be able to make wise decisions and not have to ask for help or assistance from anyone.
Sometimes I feel like I need to say, “Until you have walked a mile in my shoes, you cannot even begin to judge me or have any say in what I do or do not do.” I rarely seek the advice from family, with the exception of my parents. My family just does not understand me. My family did not help me decide on college. My family does not/will not/could not help me decide on my love life. My family will not and should not have any say in my debt or what I do with my money.
My college friends are probably the highest of my trusted advisors. They understand the burdens and financial hardships. They understand the realization of working to survive and putting that acting career on the back burner or finding other creative outlets, or completely different careers. I am proud of all of them. No matter what.
It seems like there has been a lot of negativity thrown my way this week. I have felt the need to justify my life and decisions, when truly…I do not need to justify myself to anyone. The decision is mine and mine alone to decide what I do with my life. I may not always listen to the positive voice inside me, but I know it’s in there. You can do this. You can do this. That’s the voice I want to always listen to, because as Meredith Grey says it’s “the one that is almost always right.”
When I have extra money, I want to get tattooed on my wrist. I am who I am. I have a right to be here. I have nothing to prove. I feel like this quote will be my constant reminder that although the world may judge and question my presence, I know who I am. I know I have a right to live freely and happily. And finally, I know that I will have nothing to prove.