I’m 39. Highly educated. Good family. I have had every opportunity. I should be living in a luxury cluster in a gated estate with nice furniture and a husband and two kids.
I should have a corporate job. Should drive an SUV. Should go on family holidays. Should be good at cooking thanks to lots of classes. Should go to yoga on Tuesdays and Pilates every Thursday. Should ride bicycles on Saturdays. Should be hot because of all the Pilates and bike riding. Should wear at least one expensive yet subtle piece of bling.
Instead, apart from the long hours I work and the meetings I attend, my lifestyle most closely approximates that of a drug addict.
I look successful, if you don’t look too closely, but I am not, not in the way that society would consider successful in conventional terms. I have no income, not while I’m building a business.
I don’t pay rent. I live with my parents in the sense that I use their wifi and sleep at their place, most of the time. (Sometimes I spend the night with my business partners, so we can drink wine and work.) My things are weirdly scattered and I have no clue where anything is. I lose my cellphone, car keys, gate opener, hairbrush, asthma pump several times a day, every day.
If I need a car, I use one that belongs to my grandmother, who can no longer drive.
I paint with lipstick instead of wearing it.
I donate more than I earn to charity in an attempt to buy my own love and then feel weirdly resentful. I don’t have time for my current workload and keep missing deadlines, but keep saying yes to favours which always involve doing work for free.
I share too much of myself online because it’s easier than talking to people who might think I might want them to help, when I don’t. I often get lectured for doing this, because you’re supposed to look successful so that clients will hire you.
I am opinionated when it would probably be better to keep quiet.
I feel I have to explain, but the explaining is painful. I am tribeless. I don’t fit in anywhere, not really. Sometimes it’s lonely. Sometimes reassuring.
It is never not strange.