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?
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.
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.