Saturday, July 10, 2010

Generally Not Normal

     I've never really been normal when it came to ideas about societal expectations, and what people should be doing with their own private lives:

     Homosexuality.  My grandfather is gay; he was forced to come out because my grandmother caught him in bed with another man.  After some time, she was able to feel bad for him, that he had such a secret and was so hated by society that it was difficult to tell that secret.  Of course they divorced, this was in the late 1970s.  When I was young, my family tried to keep this fact from me, not by covering it up, or lying about it, but just not talking about it.  Around age 5, I met my grandfather's "partner" and assumed that people meant business partner.  Which I discovered was not the case when I was 10, and my uncle said straight out that my grandfather was gay.  I didn't know what that meant, so he told me "It's when  man loves another man, instead of a woman." I knew something about sex and love by this time (because I was already starting to go through puberty, and my mom got me lots of books), so I knew that he was referring to things he wasn't saying.  I asked why that was such a big deal, and he thought for a moment before telling me he didn't know.  I could tell that he really didn't know, and it was kind of a lightbulb moment for him, that a 10 year old girl could have such an easy time understanding something that so many adults cannot.  I still fail to see why it's such a big deal.

     Children.  I do not want to have kids.  This is one of many decisions I made when I was 15, and I've haven't changed my mind for more than a hormonally-charged moment since.  There are many reasons, which I may get into later.  I do not hate kids, I think that people should only have them if they truly know what they're getting into, and truly want that experience.
     Sexual orientation.  I've wavered on my own, and I'm pretty sure that if people didn't have so many hang-ups, more people would be more open to a malleable identity.  Not that everyone would, there are obviously completely straight and completely gay people.  I've had crushes on girls, in fact my first crush was on a girl.  And I've sort of fallen for one or two, but I've never had any interest in having sex with women.  That doesn't mean that I never will, and I've always been open to the possibility that I might eventually romantically love a woman, even though I call myself straight.

     Families.  I've never seen the need to excuse behavior exhibited by family members, or otherwise tolerate people I don't like, just because we share some common ancestors.  I choose to be around the people I like, and my friends are more important to me than blood relatives ever will be.  My friends are the family I choose.

     Careers.  I've never felt the desire to have a "normal" job.  I could not be happy in a cubicle for eight hours a day, or at an office desk.  Working in a retail or other social environment would not be for me, as I am an introvert by nature, and I think selling things to people is a bullshit way to make a living.  Things I've considered doing are more along the lines of: heavy equipment operator, truck driver, baker, landscaper, or mechanic.  You know, real jobs that people need done.

     Religion.  I have never felt a faith in any higher power.  There are times that I think it's possible, but for the most part, I doubt.  I used to cover my lack of faith by saying that I didn't believe that man could truly know God, but now I freely admit that I'm an apathetic agnostic.  I don't care if there is a god, as the existence or non-existence of such would have little bearing on my life; and I believe that if there is a god, it is apathetic toward us.  So either way, I don't care.  This is a position that irks the religious as well as the atheists.  Neither can understand how I can just not care.  I say it's easy.

     I have always formed my own ideas about poverty, war, politics, government... you name it.  Some people might think or outright say that people like me are exactly what's wrong with our time and place.  I think I'm exactly what's right with this time and place.  I have the freedom to express myself and conduct my life however I choose.  And while I might not exactly get help from the government, I will not be burned at the stake like I would have, for just being me, not too long ago.

     One of my greatest achievements throughout my life has been encouraging others to think for themselves, and I'm certainly not done.