Saturday, November 17, 2012

I used to feel sorry for nuns. I always thought their commitment to God meant giving up 'life', the way we experience it. They couldn't get married. They didn't have jobs. They didn't have sex or love or children. They lived in poverty. Their lives were circumscribed by rules.

But now I realise, I am basically a secular nun. Think about it. I sit at home working most of the time. I don't have sex and am not married. Unless something changes radically for me in the next five years I will not have children. I am really poor and don't have a proper job. I live in a prison of humilation. I feel like a complete loser for having thought that nuns were missing out on 'life', when that's basically what I am doing.

I have thought this depressively for at least a year. But what has made me write this post was that I went to drinks at my work and there were all these young people there, heading out to some warehouse party or to the opening of Melbourne Music Week, and I realise how I have stopped even thinking that I am allowed to go to these things, or that they are meant for me. It made me feel old and withered and irrelevant.

But I don't even have the consolation of 'a baby at home' or 'a quiet night in after my stressful job'. I just sit at home doing my pointless work that falls unnoticed into a void, and then my 'break' is to sit at the dinner table or on the couch, as opposed to at my desk.

I am not happy being a nun. I want to be worldly, to be loved and to be respected. But I just don't see how that is going to happen from now on. I was talking to some dude at the drinks tonight who was a bit of all right and thinking, "He looks a bit like Adam from Girls," and then chastising myself for thinking that fucked-up character is a sex object to aspire to.

But really, what has made me realise that I am a nun is that I have stopped thinking of myself as someone that anyone would want to have sex with. Let's face it: all the dudes my age are taken. I am left with the weirdos and the broken single dads. I guess men probably see me similarly as a weird, broken last resort. Recently I saw a photo of myself on Facebook, taken in 1999:

That is me on the far right. And I realised that I have looked like this for the last 20 years. Sitting aside from everyone. Crossing my arms over myself because I'm worried about shielding my fat body from critical stares. The most tragic thing is that I have just got fatter and fatter over the years and I am actually quite thin in that picture.

Anyway it is silly to be blogging this stuff so I will stop now. The best thing about being a secular nun is that I don't have to be a fucking slave to the evil Catholic Church and the appalling men in it who seek to dominate women. I should maybe aspire to join the ranks of literary women who had what I think of as sad, empty personal lives but whose work survives and is revered. Jane Austen. Emily Dickinson. The Bront√ęs. Christina Rossetti.

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