Working 9-5. In my mind it used to be a vision of hell. A fantasy world where your soul gets sucked out of your body as you drudge through hour after hour of the monotonous world that is now your eternity. A permanent state of fatigue and resentment towards your boss, your coworkers, the money-hoarding company that controls you because without them you have no money, no means of survival. So you wake up the next day and slave through it again just waiting for the moment you can go home to an empty house, a family that resents you for being so devoted to your job, a partner that doesn’t understand, and having to face the fact that you’re not happy, but too afraid to do anything about it.
But now that I’m doing this whole 9-5 thing for the summer working for a car manufacturer in an office job… this isn’t so bad. I’m slowly getting used to getting up in the mornings. I like that when I leave work my work stays there and doesn’t demand my attention for 4 hours at night to get it done like schoolwork does. I like that people don’t treat me like I’m retarded like the customer service job I was doing before this did. Instead of instructing me daily on how to work a scanning gun at a cash register, I’m given tasks and goals, and not instructed every moment on how I’m doing it wrong. And more importantly, I’m starting to believe that the work we do means something. Cars are important. People get attached to a car, a brand, a name. The people making the cars care about quality. And we all come out of it with a paycheque that allows us to enjoy the rest of our time when the job isn’t on our minds.
Maybe this 9-5 thing is an idea I can get behind after all.
There’s something I need to get off my chest. Most of the time life is good. I’m happy, I go out and enjoy activities, I spend time with people I like, I feel satisfaction from my job and physical activity. At the same time, I find myself looking for distractions all the time. I’m afraid to be alone with my thoughts. I need to be doing something, playing a game, working on something, watching a TV show, all the time. My goal is to spend every moment I’m awake distracted from the underlying feelings that bother me. The feelings are worst in that moment when I decide it’s now time to go to sleep. As I go to press the shutdown button on my computer and the buzz of the battery silences, the wave comes. A wave of emptiness and intense loneliness, with feelings that no matter what I’m doing, it’s not enough. It doesn’t happen all the time, and I find it’s definitely linked to my cycle. Feelings that only get worse as I turn off the light, leaving only me and the darkness that fills me up and surrounds me. This is no ordinary PMS. It breaks me down until I feel like there’s nothing left of myself. And I will never tell James this, but I love the nights when he sleeps over because I get to avoid the shutdown moment and just settle into his body and coast off to sleep. With him around, the loneliness doesn’t come. But at the same time, why can’t I just feel whole on my own?
I’ve been watching a lot of House and Sherlock lately, and I’ll admit I find both lead characters rather sexy. Which is odd, since the lead actor in House is 54 and the lead of Sherlock is 37. As a female in my early 20’s, I found this intriguing. And beyond that, my boyfriend, James, is 5 years older than me. I didn’t think that was much of a difference, but I can assure you my parents did. Still, I’ve been contemplating what makes older men appealing to us 20-somethings and I’ve come up with 5 main reasons:
1. There’s something outrageously sexy about a man who knows who he is, what he wants, and what he wants from you. A guy who knows how to please you, and genuinely cares about your satisfaction. A man with a career and financial stability who will never have to awkwardly ask if you can cover his rent this month because he actually couldn’t afford his new TV. A man with a life that is right for him, and who sees you as a great addition to his life but doesn’t need you to feel fulfilled. He’s happy and knows himself and where his strengths and weaknesses lie. He’s comfortable being himself and doesn’t feel the need to try to impress you or put on a show. He just is himself, and that makes him very appealing.
2. With younger guys you eventually hit the “this is fun and all but where is this going?” moment. I’m not down for a fling, and I don’t sleep around just for shits and giggles. If this isn’t going to be a relationship, I’m not interested. And unfortunately there’s a lot of “I’m just not looking for a relationship right now” kinds of people in my age group. Which is fine, but I have no interest in getting involved with them.
3. Twenty-something guys are immature. Which is fine if you’re at a party trying to see who can shotgun a beer faster, but not so great when you need help with your taxes and his response is “I dunno just don’t bother with that shit hashtag YOLO”. I’m not sure at exactly what age the maturity finally kicks in, but if anyone finds out please let me know so I can avoid all men younger than that.
4. I’m lazy. Any guy who gets bored spending a Friday evening at home watching movies and cooking dinner ourselves is not worth my time. I can’t deal with always having to be doing something. I like rest, I like couch time, I like video games. I mean partying and drinking and socializing are fun but they’re so much effort. And then there’s the whole process of getting ready and finding something to wear and figuring out who will be there and wait if Jill is there and Ben is there it will get weird cause Jill slept with Steve and… Long story short, drama is stupid. Know where there’s no drama? On my couch watching Netflix. Except for the dramas I choose to subject myself to. And at least those I can turn off.
5. Men age differently from women. I blame society for teaching us that men with graying hair are desirable but women with gray hair are defective. If a man will only get hotter as he ages but I’ve already passed my prime and am on a decline now for the rest of my life, then mathematically we can maximize our respective sexinesses by me dating someone several years older than me. And what guy doesn’t want a beautiful young woman? Win win.
I like that he could throw me around. But doesn’t.
[Context: he likes to lift me up and carry me around the house. Like we're lying on the bed and he'll sit up and carry me over to the light switch to shut the light off. I said this to him once and he laughed really hard, saying I need to put this on my blog. Well there you go, James, it's up here now.]
If you haven’t watched BBC’s Sherlock, this won’t make any sense to you. It’s no secret that many women find Benedict Cumberbatch extremely sexy. Personally, I didn’t get it. And then I started watching the show, and I must say I found his intelligence very hot. There’s something very appealing about a clever man. A man you don’t think any other woman has touched because his personality seems to repel most people. And he does have beautiful blue eyes. But what would he be like in bed? Let’s speculate, shall we?
First things first, he would know everything about you. He knows how many men you’ve been with by details like the grooming of your lady area and how natural it feels for you to be with him. He would be able to locate your pleasure points in seconds. He would monitor your heart rate and breathing, notice every small change for better or worse. He would be deeply intimate and dedicated to pleasing you. He would also know if you were faking, and nothing would kill the mood faster than “stop moaning like that, dear, I know you don’t mean it”. And don’t even get me started on trying to fake an orgasm. No matter how convincing you think you’re being, he knows. And he’s not amused by your apparently vast knowledge of porn star tactics. Ooh but that accent… what girl doesn’t like a British accent? He could be reading you a recipe for onion stew and it would still be the sexiest thing ever if he looked you in the eyes as he enunciated every word. He’s desirable because no one can have him. He’s too smart, too coy, too clever to be swayed by regular impulses. He wouldn’t be doing it out of love, not because he is incapable of feeling love, but rather because he doesn’t need love from you to feel fulfilled. He would go slowly, and make sure you enjoyed every moment of his sensual touch. He would be the greatest one-night fling you’ve ever had. And when you wake up in the morning and he is gone you will have nothing except the fond memories of a fantastic encounter that you are not completely certain was real. No one will believe you anyway.
I need pole dancing because I’m tired of being taught to hate my body, and instead learning to love what it is capable of. I need goals in the short term. There’s always a new move to learn that requires just a little more strength, a little more flexibility, or a little more courage. I need to push my boundaries. I need to spend time with other girls who are overcoming their own obstacles. I love noticing differences in my body, like the strength of my abs or the size of my biceps. Women can be muscular, and I’m not ashamed of them. I’m not ashamed of my bruises. They’re battle scars that mean I was doing something fantastic that most people only dream of. Yes, I’m going to wear shorts this summer despite the bruises and yes, some people are going to think my boyfriend beats me. And I don’t care. In fact, I’m sick of worrying what other people think. I’m finally good at something that I do only for me, not for anyone else. I feel good about myself when I dance. I’m sexy. I’m strong. I use my curves to my advantage instead of trying to conceal them. My body is changing, and I’m feeling great about it. It’s hard to tell if I love my body because it’s getting stronger or if I just am more accepting of myself. Either way, its a positive cycle. I’m sick of hearing women define their self-worth by their dress size. I’m tired of women judging each other for not measuring up to an unattainable standard. I hate seeing stick-thin models and depressed teenage girls who honestly believe that they would be happier, more loved, more worthy if they weighed less. Your body is what it is, and there’s a lot about it you can’t change. Instead of hating myself, I’m committed to accepting myself for who I am. For the past decade I’ve hated my body. Now I’m choosing to love myself because nothing good ever comes out of self-hatred.
I am beautiful. I am flawed. I am enough.
I’ve recently experienced a rather depressing phenomenon. Even when good things happen to me, I often become sad and detached right after. Like when I got the job I wanted teaching pole dancing (which I love in ways I can’t even describe). The more good things happen to me, the more I commit to being here. Maybe forever. I signed a two-year contract, and even though I wanted this job more than anything, it means I won’t be going home for a long, long time. And even though I love being an adult, working, doing things I love, being with James here, part of me just wants to curl up in my bed back at home and just forget the world exists. The worst part is that no one understands. The ones I do try to talk to about this, like my parents, just shrug and say it was my choice to come here so if I’m unhappy it’s my own fault. Not surprisingly, being blamed for this doesn’t make me feel any better. I desperately want James to understand because he’s there for me when I get depressed. He doesn’t really get it though. He’s never been more than a couple hours’ drive from his parents. He sees them all the time. Even when he was away for school he always knew he could go home if he wanted to. I don’t have that option. I guess it took something big like a two-year work commitment to make me really see that this isn’t temporary. And most of the time I’m completely fine with that. Except for when my dark mood strikes and I realize that despite everything, I still feel isolated and I don’t know what to do about it.