Questions – Answered

— How does where you are today differ from where you thought you'd be when you were a teenager?

I hated my teenage years, and spent a lot of time imagining what life would like when they were over. In truth, if I hadn't attended a performing arts school I'd never have survived high school. So, most importantly, even though I have my dark moments, I'm a much happier, more balanced person than I was then.

My dreams, then, were centered around theatre and cello, but by the time I graduated I was so burnt out from the classic over-achiever treadmill (why, yes, I can be first chair, and part of leadership, and take physics, calculus, AP biology and advanced musical theory all at once, and still have time for music lessons and model UN and Shakespeare camp and serving as Historian for the local ballet company, and, and, and, and…) that I ultimately went to a university that didn't even have a formal music department, because they gave me a lot of money, and the dorms were only a few blocks from the Haight.

I did get to play in theatre some, because my freshman seminar was Theatre as Social Commentary, and it was taught by a guy who was a dead ringer for Fidel Castro and kept wanting us to do something about Solidarity, which none of us were interested in. Oh, and there was the annual Comm Arts presentation party.

I had dabbled in /so/ many things for /so/ long, and never been able to choose, that even in college I had no clue what I wanted, and ultimately realized I was there for the wrong reasons, and quit. Someday, when I'm ready, and I know I'm doing it because I /want/ to and not because I feel it's expected of me, I'll finish my degree. Probably at Mills College in Oakland, because I really like the faculty and the philosophy of the school.

So, anyway, at nineteen, I was managing an espresso bar / bookstore, and writing radio filler for spare cash, and then I took some time for an extensive visit with my grandfather, during what turned out to be the last year of his life. And then I came back to California, though I'm not /from/ here (is anyone?) and got really active in the pro-choice movement, getting up at dawn on weekends to do clinic defense, and stuff, and went to work for my mother's company, and realized I really liked the industry.

Nothing of that is /anything/ I ever thought about, but for the most part I'm happy with how things have turned out. There are little regrets, here and there, but nothing earth shattering. I have a house I love, and a husband who understands me, mostly, and the two cutest dogs on earth, and I still don't have to be at work before ten or wear corporate drag. So, it's all good.

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Questions – Answered by Melissa Bartell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.