Parallel:

 

I am not a physicist.

I understand very little of the notions behind multiverse theory,
but I do know this:

I hope there is another Rebecca out there, somewhere.

Another Rebecca who didn’t, who wasn’t,
who is, who will be
all the things that I regret not doing,
who will never do all the stupid things I did.

I hope that she is real.

 

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(re)Test:

A year ago,
I turned down a fairly lucrative job possibility at UCLA.

It was for their stem cell research department.
I asked if they used adult stem cells,
but no,
it was all embryonic.

I walked away from that possibility
because I knew I couldn’t stand before God
and admit to being a part of killing children
just because I was afraid I couldn’t pay the rent.

And I’ve been able to pay my rent,
in spite of that
(because of that?)
decision.

One week ago,
I got a call to interview with a company called Break Media.

I called The Boyo,
excited to have an interview after so many months without one.

He looked up the company.

And I heard hesitation in his voice.

They’re a company that “knows guys”.
Because “guys” flock in droves to their sites,
Holyta*co being my favorite example of the unapologetic misogyny they represent.

If I took this job,
I would lose any right I have to speak up about
unfair representation of women in the media.
I would be a part of the industry that contributes to
my eating disorder on a regular basis.
I would be a part of pretending that it’s “normal” for guys to behave like animals.

It isn’t.

And that’s probably the most insulting part of this company’s M.O.–
it would almost be better if they were *actually* dealing in porn,
instead of dismissing their onslaught of photos and videos of girls in
compromising clothing and positions as “boys will be boys”.

That’s a lie.

Boys can be Men.

If I took that job,
I would never be able to ask that of any man I love or care for.

What went through my head as I found out more about this company was something like this:

“Again?

Another job possibility I can’t follow up on for reasons of morality?

But I passed this test!
Why must I take it again?”

I didn’t understand.
I don’t understand.

I know that God’s ways are mysterious,
but sometimes?

I wish He would pull back the curtain,
just a little.

One of the hardest bits of this whole hellish year
has been feeling as though I have to bite my tongue–
I’m healthy.
I have a roof over my head,
clothes on my back,
shoes I can hock if I need to,
amazing friends who have covered my ass in more ways than
I could possibly count.

When I think about what Friend Mary went through–
cancer-losing-her-house-in-a-fire-chronic-pain-surgeries-surgeries…
my problems are so…beige.

But that doesn’t make the hurt
and the disappointment any easier to bear.

There are a few ordeals that happened this year
that I still don’t talk about with anyone, really.

It just feels like one test
after another
after another,
and no matter whether I make good decisions,
right decisions,
decisions that continue to imperil me on the graces of
unemployment and uncertainty,
the tempest still comes.

It is a hard hard thing to realize
that happiness is not my inalienable right.

Things I Wish I Had Known:

If I could sit my 20-year-old self down,
and give that scared, long-haired girl some advice,
from the High White Tower of 28-year-old Experience
(take it for what it’s worth, in other words),
I might say this:

1) That English degree? Not really going to do much for you.
Take some business classes, too. Or double-major.

2) You are smarter than you think.

3) Don’t be afraid of having to pay rent–if travelling makes your toes tingle, DO IT.

4) You are not your sister, nor are you able to draw the way she does,
and that’s okay. Paint, for fuck’s sake.

5) Your faith is not based on how many times per week you go to church.

6) You’re a snob. You’ll still be a snob in eight years. Start working on this now.

7) APPLY TO GRAD SCHOOL BEFORE YOU GRADUATE. This is one of my biggest regrets.

8 ) If someone tries to force you into a career that you know will not
make you happy, do not give in (…or learn to deal with it more graciously).

9) Money will always be tight–but you will never be without food, clothes, or a place to live. Trust God and be sensible.

10) Your friends are figuring themselves out, too–be patient.

11) Never, never, never give up.

12) If you are blessed with a day, a week, a month of lovely ordinariness,
treasure it.

13) Stop making up movies in your head about how situations are going to go.
Very little actually works out the way you expect and hope it will.

14) You will often be disappointed and disillusioned. You will also often be surprised and delighted. Remember the latter, roll with the former.

Oh,
yes,
last one?

15) CUT YOUR HAIR.