When the Choice is Yours

Mar 14, 2023 | Blog Beat

It’s not that I don’t want to be here. It’s just so different from what everyone else I knew seems to have chosen. Or am I only noticing the ones that all chose the same? They merge together like a blob. You can’t see the ones in the fringes. I am fringe. 

Can you see me now?

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This jealousy feels weird. Like being jealous of women who want to be mothers. I wish I wanted to choose their choices. Everything would be so much easier. 

It’s always easier when you’re the same. 

I am different because I chose to be. I chose to move 3,000 miles away. I chose to love a man different from my father and the men my sisters chose. 

I guess I’m still getting used to this choosing thing. I didn’t choose anything for a very long time. Growing up, I let my parents tell me who to be. That way, my choices could not disappoint them. 

I chose the college I did because my high school crush, a year older, went there. I majored in Philosophy. (That’s a lie. I majored in Religion to appease my parents. But that’s another story.) I never considered what I might want to do after graduation. But I loved smoking pot and writing term papers. I graduated with honors. I remember nothing. 

When I moved to New York City after college, I was amazed at the variety of people. From the business-suited financial to the art-scene bohemian, when you see a New Yorker on the street, they are confident. Dominating the city as themselves. 

F*ck. Who was I?

Turns out, I was someone quite different than I who I was presenting to be. One of the first things to change was my name. Dr. Judgementalstein of all people was the first to call me Cha Cha in 2008. A rebranding twenty-six years in the making. 

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I did make the decision to move to California. But to be honest, I didn’t think much about it. I was on the Subway, writing in my journal about the woes of winter. And it just came out of me. “When I move to California…” 

After months of sending my application up and down the California coast, I was offered a job as a Digital Copywriter at a San Diego company. Growing desperate to make my westward escape, I moved to San Diego sight unseen.   

What came next were a lot of f*cking choices. 

Ten years later, I am designing a life I never thought possible to even dream about. I live in Southern California with my boyfriend. (He’s going to ask me to marry him soon, but that’s another story.) When he asks, I want to say yes. I will say yes.  

I moved to California and met a man. He’s from here. We live in the house he grew up in. I’m not moving back. I don’t want to. But I have a strange jealousy of those who never desired to leave. 

Originally from the east coast, Cha Cha lives in southern California with her fiance (he’s a plumber) and their bob-tailed cat, Copper Soup.

As a woman, Cha Cha spends her time writing, reading (though not as much as she wishes she did), watching Project Runway (way more than she wished she did—especially since the show ended in 2019), trying to exercise for at least 20 minutes a day (otherwise, she won’t leave the house because she works from home), learning how to manage her money, and talking to herself out loud.

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