The Last March of Youth

Fun fact about me: Antarctica has intrigued me since childhood, and when I was a teenager one of my parents wanted to send me on an Antarctic cruise for my birthday, but it was far too expensive for us to afford. I still can’t afford it, and have yet to go…and now I’m 29 going on 30. Not just Antarctica; I’ve never been to the Caribbean, to Europe, or even to Alaska, let alone further afield. Though to be honest some of the road trips I’ve gone on have been basically halfway to Alaska! He.

But it’s kinda sad to think that the clock is ticking on me still being young; I know it’s probably one of the most common kinds of whining in the world, but I’ll say it anyway: my youth would have been so much better if I had had some real money instead of the nigh-poverty-level nest egg I ended up with. I would have been able to glam myself up and travel in a way that I’d have really enjoyed instead of having to scrimp; that’s why I haven’t gone overseas, because I saw little point in doing it if I had to scrimp, and I held out hope for things being better when I was a bit older. Well, now that I’m a bit older I don’t seem to like that either, do I?

The truth is there’s not much to like in this whole scenario. If you (like me) don’t have a lot of money and connections from the get-go life will kinda suck for you; even if you’re able to be upwardly mobile over time and turn yourself into a “success” your most red-blooded prime years of youth will be essentially squandered in the grind. That’s why it’s so important for your kids to be well-heeled and have the best of everything: so they don’t have to have a life like that. At least it’s important for me with regard to my future children.

Dream Girl or Bust!

I’m dead-set enough on having a family to be perfectly willing to do it alone if need be, go down the road of being a single parent by choice. I’d really prefer to do it with a beautiful sweetheart I can truly love with adoring passion, but if I can’t have someone really amazing I’d much rather be alone.

For god-knows-what reason this seems to be a hot take; when I said on Twitter “Kinda in the same boat, but I honestly don’t even want a partner unless they’re really amazing” it caused something of a firestorm of hostile replies. This isn’t the first time one of my takes on love and marriage summoned a legion of creeps; my most controversial tweet of all time was “TIL the median man gives his woman an engagement ring worth only 2 weeks’ salary. 😮 Girls actually marry these people!? *3 months’* salary is reasonable for what will for most women be the most expensive piece of jewelry they’ll ever own. Anything less is an insult.”

Which I find disturbing. Only marrying someone who you passionately love and a man giving his woman a ring that represents some real commitment on his part used to be (and in civilized circles still is) considered really basic uncontroversial stuff. In any relationship these things really ought to be the bare minimum. Yet it’s apparently far too much for me to expect. Well, joke’s on them in the latter case, because it turns out I’m a man, and I’ll be the one presenting the ring! Ha! Does show how much misogynistic abuse women get online, though (they assume I’m a woman because my profile pic is of a woman; I use it because it’s my favorite painting).

In the former case, my wannabe abusers seem totally uncomprehending that a threat of me being alone if I don’t settle for less is an empty threat…because I’ve already decided I prefer being alone rather than settling for less! I can live with myself if I never find anybody; I couldn’t live with myself if I settled down with someone who I knew was the wrong woman for me. I couldn’t bear that!

It was also said in that cursed thread that if I’m 29 and haven’t found anybody that’s on me. Well, I don’t see where these people get these ideas that there’s any particular deadline for someone to settle down or else there’s something “wrong” with them, but if it is “on me”, so what? Frankly, I only rarely see anyone I’m even sexually attracted to, much less someone who’s both that and I can actually form a connection with even at the platonic level. Am I supposed to just take anyone, even someone I’m not attracted to, just because it’s “the right time” for me to marry?

Well, that seems to be what most people do, and it works out so well for them, right? Yeah, right. I see the misery in their eyes, the scar in their very soul that comes from giving themselves to someone who they know is not the right one for them, even if they won’t admit it even to themselves, let alone anyone else. And these are people who are far less picky in who they find attractive than I am, so it’s unlikely I could even stand to be such a relationship if I did attempt one.

We can’t all be born an Angeleno…

Besides, I don’t see why I should settle down with anyone local when one of my dearest goals in life is to extricate myself from my present geographic situation and go to better places. And yes, there are better places for me. I get along great with the European girls I’ve met through the ballroom scene, and in California I not only saw a far higher density of attractive people I might (at least theoretically) actually like to date, I was treated like a normal person. Indeed, people in Greater Los Angeles and up the coast assumed I was from there and was not a tourist!

It would be “on me” if I lived in the swanky parts of Greater Los Angeles or even abroad in Europe — you know, places where there’s a reasonable abundance of dateable girls — but that’s not how it works. Alas, in this cruel world we can’t all be born an Angeleno. If I was, I’d probably have grown up thinking I was just a normal person, I would have been given plenty of educational opportunities where I could actually make use of my talents, gotten into the performing arts industry at a young age, and gone on dates and all that from my teenage years. There’s an excellent chance I’d have found my special someone and we’d be in a loving marriage with plenty of children in one of those beach houses right now.

Travel to the Northwest, then the Northeast, then…where?

Well, the good news about my current situation is that despite the difficult hand I’ve been dealt I will be able to make my dreams come true while I’m still young enough to enjoy them, even if I won’t be as young as I’d like to have been.

I dream of summers in Europe, but I know that the expense and logistics of arranging overseas travel, getting on these airplanes, and so forth will be intimidating, so in the meantime I’ve set a much more attainable travel goal of visiting all 48 contiguous states by the time I hit the age of 30, which will be in February 2024.

I’ve plotted out a route to cover the Pacific Northwest, going to the beaches of Oregon and Washington by way of North Dakota, Montana, and Idaho, swinging back through the Tetons of Wyoming, which I plan on doing in the sunny and dry season this summer. It’s so hot and humid where I live now I’m half-tempted to pull the trigger and get going now, but I know it’ll be best to wait until at least June, if not July or even August.

I’m also intent on covering the other group of contiguous states I’ve yet to visit: the Northeast. Well, I’ve been to some parts of the Northeast; in fact I lived for a time within spitting distance of the DARPA Museum when I was a child, so I’ve seen both sides of the Potomac, but not anything deeper into the region. ‘Tis time  to correct that oversight. That’ll be an excursion later in the year; I’m thinking the fall, in order to take in New England during leaf-peeping season.

I’ve been to all the other contiguous states, so that would complete a full set of 48 states. Then what? Well, I would really like to go back to southern California sometime. Next year, perhaps? Or do I go to an even bolder destination outside the contiguous United States? Somehow I doubt I’ll be in the financial space or head space to go to Europe in 2024, but who knows?

Maybe I do some trips for dance purposes, like for a competition or something? I’ve never been too interested in doing the full nationwide circuit these hotshot competitors do, but a one-off vacation somewhere might be fun. I just was thinking today, that I’ve always thought of out-of-town competitions as this great chasm in difficulty I’d have to cross, but considering I have to drive like 100 miles through roads choked with dump trucks and huge trailers just to get to an “in-town” competition it really wouldn’t be that much worse than what I have to do anyway! That’s at once an inspiring and horrifying thought…

As an aside, the fact I have so much longer a commute than the chosen ones who live in the affluent suburbs and can just pop in and out of the studios like it’s right next door might go a long way toward explaining why I seem to lack energy and stamina compared to them. Hmph. Maybe my life will come together in much more satisfactory fashion when I start giving dance lessons as a certified instructor. I have a good feeling about that.


I might have to work fast, the going might be rough, but after all, if I can go from having naught but a high school diploma to being an MBA in nine months, surely I can make this happen. Surely I can summon the spirit of the ancient heroes whose blood still flows in my veins, and make my dreams come true. Just gotta believe…

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