Even with what totally amounts to a free space, a Carnival of Aces post isn’t going to happen this month from me and honestly that’s pretty much all I was doing on my blog recently. I guess I would summarize what’s going on as writer’s block but it’s more of a case that I don’t have a solid 2+ hours to knock out a thoughtful and edited post so, well now what?
Personal update, I guess, I’m working two jobs or rather will be working two jobs when school starts up again because my second job is as a substitute teacher. I actually really, really hate substituting, but my actual job doesn’t offer fulltime positions, like at all. That’s retail for you. Unsurprisingly I have a whole ass degree (actually several including tech certificates), but I’m not technically working in my field(s) of study and the job I have right now I could have had right out of high school. Like what was the point of going to college, am I right? The only thing I have going for me that puts me somewhat “ahead” is I have zero college debt. I don’t have a lifetime of tens of thousands of dollars that I can only pay interest on. All my paychecks go to me and my immediate expenses and a medical emergency wouldn’t bankrupt me. That’s nothing to sneeze at. That’s a “win” in my book. But despite all that my dumbass got accepted into grad school.
I don’t know how to be honest with you because my GRE score was abysmal. Like I didn’t even realize until I pulled the transcripts but I didn’t actually graduate from my B.A. program with a 3.0 so…oops? These next two years are going to be very stressful, to say the least. It feels like more of the same “go to college and get a good job” B.S. but it’s not like I shook a magic eight ball this morning to arrive at this decision. My current job situation isn’t sustainable. Sometimes I work 40 hours a week, sometimes I work 16 hour a week. Substituting would be perfect as a supplement except I hate it and it’s very draining for me. The only way to “move up” in my current job is to get a technician’s license, and even then that’s only a one dollar raise and still not a fulltime position. An accelerated program would get me a license in 6 months (I think, my mom looked it up since I was already like “hell no”). Or in six months I could be two and half terms into a dual master’s program. I just want a job that’s sustainable gawd dammit.
What do I mean by “sustainable”? I’m probably going to be a lifelong single person because of the whole aroace thing and as lovely as all the ace pride stuff and awareness campaigns are, at the end of the day I have to find a way to live. “Amatonormativity” or whatever, not being single has some serious perks and security. It’s still one of the most alienating things about being in community spaces. Intellectualy I recognize the awe(?), power(?), significance(?) of being able to hold your partner’s hand in public. The odds of me sharing that experience are slim and none and slim left town. Not because I’m aroace, but because of how most people form, maintain, and interpret interpersonal relationships.
Since I’m already on this tangent I might as well make a pot of tea, pull up some hottakes and go all the way. For those just tuning in, I help mod @Aphobehottakes on Twitter. That means, when my data allows, I’ll open a Twitter search for “asexuals”. On the daily people will post death threats, troll memes, hate speech, ect…ect… and we’ll slap a clown emoji on their profile pic and call it a day. I am NOT an activist and I’ll never claim to be, it’s “just for entertainment”. Anywho: the specific hottakes I want to bring up are these gems:
Caveat: I’m not saying the majority of people think/believe this. That would be like seeing one person on Twitter saying something like, oh I don’t know, “lesbian isn’t a sexuality” and assuming there’s an epidemic of young people who actually think that. That’s not actually how the internet works even though misinformation IS a serious problem.
Honestly, for pretty much 99% of people it’s an absolute no-brainer that when forming, maintaining, and interpreting your most intimate relationship gender attraction is a major factor. Asking people on an average day to imagine for two seconds that gender attraction (sexual or romantic) wasn’t a thing is a tall order and for some people it’s down right gross and uncomfortable. Like I get it, a good day is when you get to walk down the street with your partner and nobody looks at you crooked for it and suddenly I’m waltzing in here asking you to basically forget about that milestone you’ve been fighting tooth and nail all your life for. This is something I’ve been trying to articulate and find the language for and it’s really fustrating but I think there is something profoundly queer and liberating about removing or just downgrading gender attraction as a primary factor in interpersonal relationships.
I’m not suggesting gender attraction is The (with a captal T) most important factor in forming intimate relationships, but it’s a serious contributing factor. I think. It’s like one of the first settings on any dating app, but maybe I’m just wrong and paranoid because of Twitter trolls and because one of the two arospecs I’ve known in real life was in an abusive relationship and his girlfriend’s excuse was “he didn’t love her enough”.
I don’t think aroaces are “born to be single” (as one troll insists and even created a second account so they have twice the comment power and hammer it home). Choosing to put yourself out there or not is very much a choice I think aroaces can and do make, but it’s absolutely shit-ur-pants terrifying because people come to an interpersonal relationship with biases and expectations that I don’t have the foggiest on how to navigate as a sex-neutral ace and romance repulsed aro which is why I personally don’t put myself out there. Instead I work two jobs and have literally nausea inducing anxiety about starting grad school in the fall.
TL:DR- I don’t know what I’m going do about my blog because I literally do not have time to write and there’s no time management wizard skills that are going to fix that any time soon. Also as a “fun” brain teaser (especially for any writers in the audience) just imagine what the world would be like if gender attraction wasn’t a major deciding factor in interpersonal relationships. Would that mean everyone could be “het” if they wanted and the religious nuts won OR would it feel liberating to have other determining factors take more precedence? What would those factors be?