In Alaska, it is true that it seems everyone is either in a relationship, engaged, or married. When I first moved here I did not think this fact about Alaska would be that big of a deal. As usual I was wrong.
Yes, I am single. When I tell people this they act like it’s either a race or a death sentence. Oh no, you’re single, you live alone, AND you have a cat. Poor you.
I’m twenty something years old. I promise, I am okay.
Then I started to notice a trend about all the friends that would make fun of my lack of companionship. All these people that find my life to be so sad are all in relationships and they seem miserable.
So I have taken it upon myself to remind them of that. When they say something along the lines of “You need to find a boyfriend so you don’t have to go home and feed your cat like a single spinster.” (Yes, that is exaggerated but all the comments really kind of add up to that.) My response or at least I’m thinking this is: “Yeah, my nice, clean, quiet home where I get to do whatever I want and don’t have a deadbeat boyfriend to deal with.”
It’s not that I’m against relationships by any means. Right now I’m just trying to enjoy being young and not being tied to a boyfriend/husband and a family. I’m as free as I will ever be right now.
I think many girls/women unfortunately, look at being single as unhappy and being in a relationship as happy. That’s wrong, so wrong.
Let me tell you some of the relationships I’ve seen (especially up here in Alaska)… I’ll just say I’d rather be single.
A relationship shouldn’t be a struggle, it obviously is going to be give and take and it should be even, it should be easy and the guy should WANT to hang out with you on the weekends (No, that does not mean every waking moment and every single weekend. I like my independence too much for that.)
It’s just that I have met so many people telling themselves that they are happy when there is more to life than getting married.
So I would like to leave on this note: Ladies, the only person that is going to be able to make you happy in this world is you. If you fall into any of the categories that I have previously mentioned maybe you need some single time to learn to love yourself first. ”Don’t be a woman that needs a man. Be a woman a man needs.” Excuse me while I go feed my cat now.
The Grinch hated Alaska! The whole damn state! Now, please don’t ask why. There are too many reasons to say. It could be because my head isn’t screwed on just right. It could be, perhaps, that my snow boots are too tight. But I think the most likely reason of all is that my heart has frozen and shrunk 2 sizes too small.
Anyway, you see where I’m going with that. I’ll stop now but I am going to tell you the moment I realized I was the Grinch of Alaska. It was a Thursday.
I came home from work, very tired and some douche is parked in MY ASSIGNED parking spot. Like, what? I’m tired and you’re an ass. I wait. Maybe they just needed to run in and get something.
So, I did what I didn’t want to… I called the tow truck guys. But of course, being in Alaska (this comes about only because I hate it here) they only tow people at certain hours and suggested I park in visitor parking. BUT I’M NOT A VISITOR!
So, next I did something I never thought I would do. I wrote a strongly worded letter. Oh, yeah. I told them.
Then, I went up to Mt. Crumpit commonly known as my apartment and waited.
Minutes turned into hours as I stared down at the happy Alaskans carrying on with the rest of their day. That was the moment when I knew how the Grinch felt and I will never judge that poor green whatever he is again.
Finally, the car left and I reparked my car with a whole new understanding of that childhood tale.
I’m going to tell you the story of the halibut I work with. No, I’m not fishing industry. And as some pointed out he is technically a flounder but I’m in Alaska so whatever.
Anyway, do you remember the episode of Spongebob Squarepants where he was bullied by Flat and Mrs. Puff said she would help but ended up telling the bully it was Spongebob who complained. Well, reader, that is exactly what happened to me. Hence, the halibut/flounder reference.
I’m not going to go into the details because it would bore you and really just turn into a rant about the horrible people I work with. But to get the point across it was months of bullying. I dreaded work. I would wake up to go to work screaming. Literally, no joke. The alarm goes off, I wake up, realize where I am and where I have to go. Insert me screaming: FFUUCCKK! On a side note: very disturbing for my cat.
So this “workplace bully” as they like to call them is one of the biggest pains in the ass. It’s the classic know it all who doesn’t know it all. He was probably the cause of meltdowns #2-6.
Well, I finally got up the courage to go talk to my boss. Tell him I believe I am being bullied in the workplace and I have others to back me. He said he would talk to the halibut.
A few days went by and the halibut comes up to me and tells me that the bossman talked to him about what I said. Great.
Things have changed in the workplace though, so far. I would say it’s okay. Not great because really, you can never trust a halibut.
What I’m about to tell you is how I got my first job. It was only a month after college graduation… and as you might have guessed: Yes, it was in Alaska.
(What I will tell you later is this was no love story at all but that my friends comes later.)
What I will tell you now is that I graduated at the ripe young age of 21. I was offered a job in a strange, new land (and I being so young obviously made big decisions like this one by things I saw on the internet. For example: Awww wow, Alaska that’s so cool the Pacific Northwest. Everyone is so cool there and it’s a totally different way of life.) It was a place so different from everything I knew. So my wanderlust self said: HELL YEAH!
It was like my story was beginning. Like in the novels and you read about the protagonist who is offered an amazing journey filled with new, exciting and untold adventure that wait on the otherside!
So I sold all of my things (kinda) packed my bags and my cat (oh yes, every girl protagonist needs an animal friend by her side) and we headed to hell… whoops i’m sorry the keyboard got way from me… Alaska a week later.
When you fly in, it is overwhelming how beautiful and wild Alaska still is. Especially for a girl who has lived in cities her whole life. This was new, this was fresh. This was exactly what I needed for my life to really start. Just a girl and her cat taking on the last frontier.
There are trees everywhere, mountain top views right from town. I hung out in little bars with real Alaskans. I camped, I fished. I was pure Hemingway.
It took two months for me to tell the truth. Two months for all the little problems to build up. It was a Sunday. On this historic Sunday I wanted to go to a certain grocery store and you know… it wasn’t open. I had a complete meltdown (what I like to call: meltdown #1, there have been many.) That was the moment my mom and the world found out: I HATE ALASKA.
I was sick of the people, the customer service, the shit apartment I pay too much for, the shit town, the awful, awful state I couldn’t leave and so much more.
It was then that I realized that my life is not written by a great American author. I am not the protagonist on some incredible life journey. This is being twenty and being twenty fucking sucks. It taste like hope, bitterness, love and rejection, wanderlust, and of course shitty work hours.