When I was in undergraduate school, my chosen major was journalism. The only thing I knew for certain I loved to do was write. The only way I knew to make a living writing was to be a journalist. So I chose journalism as my major. Near the end of my freshman year, my father convinced me that I’d never make a living writing, and that I should be sensible, and change my major to business.
My father is an engineer. At the time he was an entrepreneur, having started his own sales and manufacturing business that employed a dozen people. My father was the smartest man I knew, and like most daughters, I wanted to please him. I wanted him to be proud of me. So beginning my sophomore year, my major was general business administration. I didn’t choose a major any more specific than this, as business was not really my thing, and so I couldn’t pinpoint in exactly what direction I wanted to go in the college of business.
I made As. A couple of Bs. And one notable D. In biology. Animals and Man. I think that grade was a protest against a professor who refused to teach evolution. When I got out of undergrad, I went to work for an insurance company as a claims adjuster. Everyone else in my family worked for my father, including my sister, her husband, and my two older brothers. I, on the other hand, wanted to strike out on my own. And so I did. After several years of working for insurance companies, I quit, moved into a garage apartment at my parents’, and went to law school. I was an editor on my law review, and head brief writer for my law school’s moot court teams. I won awards. I was published. I found an outlet for my writing. Even if it was legal writing. It still was writing.
When I got out of law school, I discovered that a lawyer who writes well can make a pretty good living. And so I did. I like to write briefs. I like to win, especially at written and oral advocacy. But my heart was never really in it. It pays the bills.
I’ve had an ongoing fantasy for years of just ditching it all. Moving to the Caribbean and selling beaded ankle bracelets on the beach. And writing. Or moving to Canada and living in my parents’ cabin on the lake. And writing. Somehow just giving up these golden handcuffs, and being set free of the grind.
But I’m afraid to ever really do it. How could I give up my cushy easy life?
And then I met Mack. Mack has lived his entire life in pursuit of his dream. His dream of being a singer songwriter, and a writer. Despite opportunities to do so, he never gave up his dream for an easy, obvious existence.
I envy Mack. When I saw the way he lives his life, when I got to know a man who never sold out, who never let money be more important than his passion, I wanted to be him. I joked with him the other day that I should give up being a lawyer, and we could run away to Canada and live in the cabin with the cats. And write.
He said the cats would be eating our faces within a month because we would have killed each other. The cabin is small.
But I want what Mack has. I want to be free of this existence to which I sold out when I was too young to know any better. When all that mattered to me was pleasing my father. And when Mack was living with me, and living the way an artist lives, I hated him for having the strength to choose that life. I hated myself for selling out, and being trapped by a paycheck that can fund unlimited trips to the sushi bar.
I envy Mack and the choices he’s made. And that was a problem. It had me picking at him and criticizing him, and ridiculing him. Little did he know, I envy him.
I hope from here on out, I can focus that envy on his penis. His cock. Yes, I do envy Mack’s cock. Or something like that.