the green-eyed monster


There is an intern at my office, let's call her V, whom I've decided is my arch nemesis. I am not a jealous person by nature, but something about this girl gets me going.

V breezes into the office in these short, summery dresses, coming and going as she pleases while I sit chained to my desk, prematurely aged by responsibility. She was born in Burundi, a child of diplomats, growing up largely in Ontario, Canada. She's fluent in French and went to Princeton and has worked in theater and film at God knows what ridiculously young age.

I've heard she is also a dancer, like me, but will not risk broaching the subject and potentially bonding with her. In fact, I have not had so much as a real conversation with V--prefer instead to watch her stealthily out of the corner of my eye. As such, I have put together this loose biography from secondhand sources among my office mates and Google.

When I look at V, I can't help but bristle with the most insane jealousy. Feel as though the universe has replaced me with a younger, thinner, prettier version of myself with chemically-straightened hair. I am rendered obsolete with my (one) gray hair--irrelevant before I've even started to make my way in the world.

One might say: You're writing a book, right? And you went to Stanford and NYU film? And you make films and dance too? The answer is: yes, yes and yes. But I still don't speak French.

A moment of clarity this week: thinking about the past eight years (since my mother passed away). The experience was a kind of premature death for me--the mourning and the grief and the sadness that still sometimes grips me. While all my friends were busy exploring life after college, I was simply trying to carry on. And I feel myself awakened now with a desperate wanderlust, as though from a long slumber. I want to dance in Havana and backpack through Morrocco, to sing on the streets of Paris.

And I am unsure of what to do with these feelings now--whether to follow them where they lead, or continue on the "grown up" path. I imagine these dreams are merely the unspent desires of my early twenties, when I was living in a fog of grief. And so, in many ways, I am truly envious of V; at precisely the age when I should be looking for marriage or a mortgage or a retirement account, I find myself wishing to unburden myself of a 9-to-5, to be reckless and free, flouncing around in impossibly short skirts.

Perhaps I will get my chance to live the life I wish I had then after all--grays and bum knee and natural hair and all.

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  1. "I imagine these dreams are merely the unspent desires of my early twenties..."
    Who said that because you're past your early twenties that those dreams have to remain "unspent"? As humans, it's healthy to continue to dream throughout our lifetimes. The fact one dream wasn't achieved at a certain point doesn't mean we can't check it off later in life. Yes, it may be harder to achieve them... Things happen in life. Dreams are deferred sometimes. But I firmly believe you can still "follow [your dreams] where they lead".

    Let's consider it from this angle: when life get's stable and we find ourselves encumbered by responsibilities, fear somehow finds a way to attach itself to the prospect of us losing that stability. That fear may lead us to think those doors of carefree opportunities are closed. That if we walk through them, we lose our right to future stability...

    I've come to realize that's is all false. Live, love, leave a legacy!

  2. @Nanasei: Thanks for the encouragement! Perhaps there is more to the story yet. And V is actually a very lovely girl, I think that we might be friends if I could just get over my issues. :)


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