Friday, July 22, 2005

The Roads We Travel

Are you where you thought you'd be?

Despite the fact that I've been at my current job for nearly three months now, the dominant feeling I had on my way into work this morning was one of surprise: how did I end up living in Manhattan, working in an office on Wall Street for a gay civil rights organization? I mean, when right-wing talking heads go on TV and use the phrase "the homosexual agenda," they're talking about my company (among others, of course).

If a fortune teller had revealed this to me during my senior year in high school in Beaverton, Oregon (yeah...I know), I probably would have just fallen down dead, as much from shock as, in some measure, disappointment. This wasn't in the game plan. I mean, I knew I was gay, I just didn't see myself becoming a professional homo. (Which is different than gay for pay.)

It's funny how life often takes us off the road we intended to travel, but even funnier still the way our paths continue to parallel, at varying distances, and occasionally intersect with, the paths of other people in our life. (Yes, the mathematicians among you will point out that parallel lines never vary in their distance apart from each other, let alone intersect. Well, this is a literary device, so mathematical rules don't apply.)

Case in point...back during that aforementioned senior year, I starred as Henry Higgins in my high school's production of My Fair Lady. (See, I told you I knew I was gay.) Lo, over these many years, I'm still in touch with a clarinetist from the pit orchestra, a feminist historian married with two kids who is probably even more surprised to find herself living in Texas than I am in New York, and the guy who played Colonel Pickering, who's now a published author and geek icon whose blog is read as far away as Lebanon. He's still in Beaverton, but I don't hold that against him.

So, no, I'm not at all where I expected to be. But I'm looking forward to finding out what's next.


Anthony said...

Personally, I think it'd be a bit dull if we all ended up where we expected to be when in our late teens. After all, it's not as if you're fully mature by the time you leave school - there's still a lot of growing up to be done afterwards.

I was convinced I wanted to be a teacher and certainly had no intention of ending up in retail. That said, I may be earning a good deal less than I would be had I followed my original career path (not to mention since my days in the hotel industry), but I'm a lot happier.

Jess said...

I think you should have business cards with "professional homo" printed up for yourself.

BTW, I've been going to union negotiations on Wall Street. Since you mentioned working down there, I figured I'd see where exactly. So I looked in and found that I've been in your building repeatedly. I should come say hi sometime, don't you think? :)

Courtney said...

I think I could have predicted the feminist historian stuff... but the Texas and married-with-young'uns stuff would have come as a surprise. I was all about the living in sin when I was young(er).

~N said...

I so could not have predicted the way my path has gone that it astounds me almost daily. "If you had told me, ONE year ago, that I'd be..." is practically my mantra. ...For the past 9 years or so. (Even though I haven't moved out of state yet.)

Quite a ride, this life stuff.