Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Twentysomething Response 7: GPS to Normalcy, Turn Left on Love Intersection

In my GPS of life, normalcy had not been the primary destination for more than a decade, instead it is an old destination kept in the database of my mind. Like many Millennials, I want to be my own special self, with no resemblance to the mean. Nevertheless, from one time to another, whenever I was to embark to a new location, I'd see it hovering on the history page, waiting to be chosen, once again. Every so often, as much as I hate to admit it, I would wonder the type of reality I'd be in if I stuck with the road to normalcy. What if I had conformed to social norms? What if I had worried about swerving into the wrong direction and did some serious road damage just to return to the right track? 
This couple (perhaps, even siblings)
were being choreographed by a
middle-aged lady (mom?) until a
line formed

In this day and age, one could ask, "What does right and wrong direction even mean?" Well in some cultures, like the one that nurtured me before spitting me out to another continent, the right direction include being involved in less than five innocent yet caring relationships before settling down before your late twenties and producing a child immediately. In the culture that I currently live in, the right direction is to pick one up that seem most interesting (even from behind the latest set of beer goggles) to take home and romp around under the sheets with. Experimentation is a long-standing fad, that equally promotes exploration and hook-ups.

Ultimately, though, these directions are as arbitrary as it gets especially in a world where globalization blurs the lines between countries and culture. Traditions have slowly dissolved with the emergence of technology, leaving behind an eclectic remnants of what used to be. Strict rules no longer exist, which is a good thing as it allows freedom of expression, but could also be abysmal as it leads to confusion. Being in a committed relationship, seems, to be less acceptable than hooking up. Wanting to marry sounds more shocking than not wanting to hold out until marriage.

Either paradigm does not really work for me as it requires having had some experience by one's early twenties. Fact: I have no such thing under my belt. At times I am blissfully exuberant for being spared from any STD scares or awkward the-day-afters. Other times, I am absolutely neutral as I sit in an NYC cafe sandwiched between two couples. Unfortunately, I also have my share of feeling blue due to the nonexistence of a counter-part. In each moment, my friends would calibrate their responses, thinking wishfully that I would somehow reach equilibrium: normalcy. The most mind-boggling thing, though, is the fact that I find myself caring more often than not. I catch myself contemplating on joining an online dating site and actually dipping my foot in. I notice myself enviously looking at photos of my friends and their partners. I see the X-ray vision of my heart slowly melting to my stomach, causing awful anxiety-induced stomach aches. And yet, I also find myself not wanting to go on that date or not wanting what a date even entails. 
Don't you love it when Disney Royalties are candid?
Selfishly, I just want somebody to come along and whisk me off my feet. I am a lazy, loveless brat, who, apparently, has no courage or energy to jump in the relationship pool. I am much too content staying at home, watching The Mindy Project and shamelessly pining over Josh, the cheater. I would rather watch an Off-Broadway show alone than worry about whether my date is enjoying it or, on the contrary, is regretting the fact that he spent $50 on a standing show. Then again, though, I could hear this all echoing into an "I rather stay at home than be rejected or get some sort of confirmation that I am not worth loving"; or "I rather shelter myself with this bunny covered blanket than learn this unforgiving, arbitrary game." In relation to being an emerging adult, all my life I have been more or less taught that I am special, that somebody will come along (some day) and that you will sort of live happily ever after, especially if you're a good person. Even though I am unsure about my status as a good person, I think that I am quite alright, could be quite demanding at times but I don't lie that often or cheat or steal, so I should be ok, right?

Mindy and Josh without the awful truth (sigh)
Now with a red face and a tired heart, I will admit that I am a coward and idealist when it comes to love. An imperfect and complicated combination that has inhibited my finger from choosing "Normalcy" as my next destination on my GPS. I will not promise you that I will resolve any of these issues before I turn two decades old, but I have found the courage to at least plan out some of these things in my head, which for those who know me means that I am more than halfway through the entire process. If not, I have convinced my parents to help me adopt a child when I am officially declared a thirty year old spinster (kidding or not kidding)?

This is an awfully pathetic take on being a twentysomething, but I know that there are still other outliers out there who would understand this post and perhaps feel less lonely about life.

The Cowardly, Loveless Lion

Wish this Princess luck on finding her Prince/ss Charming!

P.S. Yes, I have "Disney Princess Syndrome"

Interesting articles on Millennial relationships:
1. Cohabiting with an ex -
2. Labeling in today's society -
3. The age old question -

Photos were taken at Disney World or from Mindy Project stills

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