My drama teacher from high school, Ms. Wynn, used to tell my class this all the time. She would sit in her chair, cross legged, flipping her hair, and accent each word: “Life. Is. All. About. Timing.” It was like, if there’s one thing you leave this class knowing, it’s that that is what life is. Usually she said this after somebody doing a scene missed her cue or came in too early into a scene thereby fucking up the dynamic. Anyway, the concept seemed silly to me. Timing? That’s what my life is reduced to? A bunch of circumstances about being at the right place at the right time? Can’t we “make time?” I’m not going to sit around and wait for something to happen because I don’t want to fuck up the “timing.” Or because the “timing’s not right.” This is what high school Genny thought.
Post-graduate Genny has had some second thoughts since then.
I don’t know what it is. Actually, I do… But I just wanted to say that cos I usually say something like that when I don’t know what else to say to fill in the gap. ANYWAY. The past couple months of this quarter-life crisis that everyone seems to yak on about nowadays has made me realize that, yes, life is all about timing. If not all, at least a huge chunk. I think it has to do with those “In hindsight” scenarios.
For instance, not a day goes by that I ask myself, Why am I still in this city? I was so convinced – so utterly convinced – that I would have been long gone by this time. I had plans to move back to L.A. doing journalist-y media type stuff. I remember earlier this year, surfing the Internet during my spring internship, looking for copy editing or editing assistant jobs back home. I imagined myself working at some local paper or trade magazine. This, of course, never happened. And, in hindsight, it’s a damn good thing it never happened. I went back home after graduation for a couple weeks before I started my summer internship at a newswire in D.C. Being home pretty much solidified everything for me – I didn’t really want to go back home. For me, going back home meant regressing. That may not necessarily be true, but at the time when I thought those things, it was true. That’s not to say I’ll never go back home. I hope to. Just…not now. I don’t think I’d be happy. I’m still trying to figure it out and when people ask me, I always feel like my answer is never good enough. Like, it’s not a reasonable answer. I think to myself, Wow, they probably think I’m trying to avoid something or that I’m running away from something. But I think people tend to think that when they think you haven’t a clue what you want to do with your life, which is and isn’t partly the case with me and I’m pretty sure the majority of the population.
I can’t even imagine how things would had I gone back. What kind of job I would have, how my relationship with my family would be, and what kind of life I would live. For all the shit I give D.C. most of the time, I’d say the timing was right as far as me staying. Job-wise, many of the things I’m interested in are here. L.A. is a place you go to pursue entertainment or something along those lines. It is possible to find other jobs, but no one goes to L.A. to, for lack of a better phrase, “make a difference.” It’s not that kind of city. It doesn’t attract those kind of people.
The whole timing concept is something I’ve been thinking about lately the more and more it sinks in that I can pretty much do whatever the hell I want. I decided to put grad school on hold after it dawned on me just how much of a fucking commitment it was going to be. Grad school was, in hindsight, something I rushed into without even thinking. The closer and closer deadlines got, the more and more I panicked. Was this something I really wanted to do? Was this something I could commit six to eight years of my life to, like, right now? I didn’t even do much grad school research. I decided I wanted to go to grad school over the summer. That’s not too long ago. Now that I’ve held out, I’ve discovered other possibilities. I can finally do all those things I’ve dreamt of doing but never got around to. I want to learn how to play an instrument. I want to take a road trip across the country and see the sun rise over the desert. I want to learn how to bake more chocolate things. I want to teach English abroad. I want to work on a farm for a couple months. Oh, and I want to learn conversational Spanish. I have no clue which one of those things I’ll get around to doing before I go back to school but I can’t do these things if I’m busy with grad school now.
My friend, Aminah, and I were talking about the effect of timing in our lives. Aminah mentioned how crazy it was that one dot where circumstance and faith and planning and EVERYTHING intersect is the dot that decides how your life is going to be at the particular point in time. How if that dot goes off kilter for a bit, it throws everything off. It’s hard to come to terms with the fact that there are going to be things in life that are completely out of your control (especially for someone like me who likes to be in control), but it’s something I’ve gotten over. That’s not to say that you can make opportunities happen, you can. But I guess I refuse to believe that there isn’t an order or no rhyme or reason to life. That’s not to say I use “life is all about timing” as an excuse for those times of regret (which I hate, by the way). Like regretting applying for that job you saw because you weren’t confident in your qualifications or regretting never telling someone how you feel about him. It’s that whole you have to try first and then see what happens kind of thing, which, fuck, is so much easier said than done!
Every day I wake up and I wonder how my day will be different, or the same, from the previous day. I usually can predict how my days will end up Monday through Friday from nine to five. It’s something I’m not particularly happy with right now but I figure maybe this is what I’m supposed to be doing right now. I work with people I truly enjoy working with and I’m learning so much from them than I could have ever imagined, I’m learning the keen art of office politics, and I make enough money to pay my rent, buy food, splurge a bit, and save for the future. I think to myself this is perfectly fine because I know I could never do this forever and I’m glad I know now and got it out of the way. I think to myself in five years, I hope, I will have worked just as hard to have a career that doesn’t confine me to white walls and windowless spaces or be back at school just as motivated to get back into the grind. I’ll come to appreciate all of this when that day comes because I’ll remember what it was to have a nine to five. I think to myself in five years, I hope, the timing will be right for all those things. And I think it will be cos I’m pretty determined to make it fucking happen.
Shit, I just realized I waxed emo here major. Pathetic. HA.