Tuesday, September 25, 2012

running away, the desire for clean slates, and the impossibility of that.

I think about running away a lot.

I don't have a bad life; I have good friends and a job I like. I eat brunch almost every Sunday, I live in an apartment in the District, and I read good literature. I indulge in amusing past times, like watching Friends eleventy billion times, and I have passions like writing, photography, and learning. I have plans for my future like grad school, a fulfilling job, and a lifestyle that allows me to travel. As far as material needs go, I have nothing to complain about, and therefore try not to.

For all intents and purposes, I could be categorized as happy.

Yet, I find myself thinking about running away from everything and everyone I've ever known or cared for. I think of living somewhere no one knows my name or my past, and they never have to. I'd erase this blog and delete my Facebook and throw my iPhone in a river. I think I could be happy living quietly and anonymously somewhere else in the world. I could write every day, I could live and eat simply. 

You might think it was lonely, and maybe it would be, but it doesn't seem that way from where I'm sitting. It seems peaceful, easy.

Of course, I know it would never work because one of the things I value more than anything else in my life is my relationships with my family and friends. I could never abandon them. Naturally, as long as I have them there will always be people who know my name, and I'll never truly be anonymous.

But sometimes, today especially, I am tempted by the idea of a clean slate in a place where no one knows who I am, and so I can be anyone I want.

Monday, September 3, 2012

here's your proof that there is a such thing as dumb questions.

Since I graduated from college, opened my wedding photography biz, and started working as a barista to get a little extra cash, there's been one question I've gotten from people quite frequently. 

Spoiler: This question makes me effing STABBY. 

The conversation normally goes this way: 
Them: "What did you study in college?"
Me: "International Politics and Diplomacy."
Them: "Oh, how interesting! So what do you do now?"
Me: "Ha, a few things. I own my own kickass wedding photography business, part time I act as a social media coordinator for a small nonprofit, and I'm a barista."*
Them: "Oh, how interesting. So like uh... What are you doing with your degree? Wasn't that kind of a waste?"

You know what I do with my bachelor's degree, Every Asshole That's Ever Asked Me This Question? I use my degree to be a well educated human being. I use it to speak intelligently (and with my own carefully-formed opinions backed by numbers and facts) on subjects like human trafficking, Chinese-American relations, and why (barring all catastrophes) Obama is going to win the 2012 election. I use my degree to understand Shakespearean literature, to dissect political rhetoric, and to know what the actual fuck an Oxford comma is. My college degree is useful every morning when I wake and review French vocabulary, and every night when I go to sleep after reading Wordsworth or Howard Zinn, or noting the subtle influences of John Stuart Mill's political philosophy on classic movies like Dead Poets' Society. My college degree is useful because I know who great thinkers like Mill, Wordsworth, Zinn, Machiavelli, Thoreau, and Orwell were, and I know what I think of them, not what someone else told me to think of them.

Basically, I use my bachelor's degree to not be a huge effing douchebag. What do you use yours for? 

*(If their next question after I say this to them isn't a loud "GIRL, when do you find time to sleep?!" I know we won't be friends.)