Do  you have one of those family members that does things that the rest of the family feels is bizarre or a waste of time or a dreamer’s quest? You know the type, they’re single-minded in chasing after rainbows and the rest of the family holds their breath as another venture doesn’t pan out. They’re forever picking up the pieces of shattered holy grails that they were sure that *this* time was the real deal. Their social life is quaintly described as “quirky” as they plunge into one adventure after another. Socially they’ll try most anything at least once just to say they did while the rest of the family waits for the hormones to calm down so they’ll settle down and have kids and a “real” career. Usually they have a few tattoos and piercings thrown in for good measure.

In my family, that’s me. Minus the tattoos and piercings, of course. Haven’t gotten around to that yet.

Okay, so a run-down of my life. I took care of my parents for 10 years, battled with medication-induced anxiety, am overweight (rubenesque), polyamourous, pansexual and a writer. Of all these things the fact that I’m a writer bothers my family the most. Writers are those weird people who live in dingy apartments, lead solitary lives, drink too much (or do too many drugs, right Mr. King?) and have odd sexual practices. In the eyes of my family, writing is some freakish cult I’ve joined and they’re looking for a way to detox my brain. Until they find one, they do a lot of smiling and nodding at me when I describe the career I’ve chosen. You know, the kind of smiling and nodding you do to someone you’re not sure is dangerous or not so you’re agreeing to keep them happy.

They think I don’t know.

Most of the time I ignore it. Really, I live a peaceful (if poor) life and am happy with where I’m at. I have friends who love and support me even if they don’t always understand me. I suppose writing is a bit like a cult sometimes. I wake up in the morning and wonder how I can appease the Goddess of Writing today. I sacrifice sleep sometimes and the occassional cat and when She’s happy, I do good work. When She’s not, it’s time to flog the old keyboard some more until She is. I’m currently in the Grant MacEwan Applied Communications in Professional Writing Program (which is switching to the Bachelor of Communication Studies). I work at temporary or menial jobs just to get enough money to write and that’s it. My goal is to write full-time either for a company or for myself. However, I’m not focused on working at what I see as a temporary solution to my real life. That’s the rainbow I chase.

My family sees it much differently. They see me bouncing from job to job (after all, writing isn’t a career, remember?) and want me to settle down. I’ve never had children by my choice (I’m 43) and never been married (by my choice) and they see that as a failure in my life. After all, when I meet Mr. Right, I’ll settle down and have kids (nope. Had my tubes tied). I’ll get myself a nice little job in retail somewhere (probably in a dollar store or such) and retire quietly when I can devote myself to my “hobby”.

They can have their delusions. I don’t care.

I’d like to say this to all the families who have to deal with the stranger in their midst; please butt out. You may not understand us, you may not like our decisions, you may worry about us. However, unless we ask your opinion (which is rare) or need you to bail us out (rarer still), please keep your tongue behind your teeth. We have rainbows to catch.