* * *
PM, 20 years old is from Waterloo, Ontario where she’s doing her double major in Business and Psychology at the Wilfrid Laurier University. She is Canadian and her parents are Indian. Here’s the transcript of my face to face interview with her.
Heart: Tell me anything.
PM: Do you want to know what my life’s about? Let me tell you. OK so, Waterloo’s a college town and is home to two universities and one college. There are very few families that live there, mostly there are 20 somethings like me all over. I have never met a single family who lives there. For food, there are no fancy restaurants, but there are plenty of Shawarma Joints, burrito joints – cheap, easy but not quite fast food, you know what I mean? I don’t know of very many places like Waterloo.
Heart: What keeps you grounded, if there’s no family and there’s no one to be accountable for?
PM: There is no accountability. The good thing is you get to learn from all your mistakes. I mean there’s no accountability. I mean parents can say, “Hey, don’t go to the bar tonight, you have school tomorrow morning.” But, to me, its like, if I’ve done all my work and I’ve to pick between sleeping and going out with my friends, chances are everyone picks going out with their friends. You know what I mean? We go out at 1am and come back at 3am. But before you head out to the bar, you have to finish your homework otherwise you feel bad, you know.
Also, my parents are paying so much money for tuition, so its like, “Do I really waste their money? No. But, do I not want to have fun? No.” So you have to pick and choose, right? For me, if I want to go out at 1am, until 12:30pm I am working on my homework. Wednesday nights and Thursday nights, not the weekends, are the big party nights. I have a dense schedule on purpose, having Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to go to school and then take time off from Thursday to Sunday. I need my time off, right? Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays I have classes back to back to back, like 9 to 6, and Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday I am off. So, its not bad.
Heart: If you are doing a double major in Arts and Business, what kind of a career are you looking at? What kind of a job can you get after graduating?
PM: The Arts program is Social Sciences and its Psychology that my subject is. I just rethought, like literally last week, that I am going to consider going to law school. Not because I want to become a lawyer, but because I think its good to know the law. Because, lets say, you want to become a real estate agent, its important to know the tax laws. If you want to become a politician, you know its pretty straight forward that you need to know the law. I don’t just want to be a sales person, but a lawyer and while I am studying to become a lawyer, maybe I will figure out something along the way.
Heart: So you are buying time while pursuing law, so that you can figure out where your true calling is?
PM: Exactly, and I think its good to know the law in general. For life. For me becoming a lawyer is not to become rich and be a lawyer, but to know the law and to sharpen my verbal communication skills. And maybe, I will become a corporate lawyer one day, who knows? Or I can become a family lawyer and make 100 thousand dollars a year and be very contented with life and do whatever I want.
For the longest time I really wanted to be a real estate agent, I still do, because the housing market in Toronto is insane right now. It is literally crazy. There is no downward trend in the market. So, first I wanted to become a real estate agent and thought and thought about it, and said, “wait a second, I don’t want making sales my dream goal”, you know. But for the longest time, I didn’t know what to do. For the first two years of my university, I went out so much and partied all the time. I went to classes and did the motions of going to school and I didn’t get bad grades, I didn’t get 90’s but I didn’t get a D either. My average is 78, its not bad, I’ve made it. My sisters and my parents were nervous though those early years in college.
Heart: What’s your longterm personal goal?
PM: For me, because I am so shallow, I am not like my sisters who love science and have a passion for education or anything. For me, I want to have some money, be successful, and I like other things – to go out and experience stuff. I am not all about my career like them. I just want to be able to have money to be able to do the things I want to do. I mean, I know its not bad, its just different.
And with Indian parents, don’t you think that they raise their kids to be in the debate team or the robotics team or whatever. And honestly, compared to that, I am just so basic.
Heart: Everyone is high strung, and want to be some sort of an over achiever. I get your predicament.
PM: You know, that’s what I thought. Do I become a doctor for the sake of becoming a doctor? No. But, all the things I am interested in are not high paying jobs. I want to go and work in philanthropy but you only make so much money in that.
Heart: Do you see yourself having a family in the future, considering you are a millennial?
PM: Yeah, I guess so. Yeah, like if I don’t have a kid by like 30, I am going to freeze my eggs. That’s like a new trend right now. I am in a sorority and some of the girls who have graduated who are around 24 or 25, have already gone through the process of freezing their eggs. That’s just the new thing that everyone’s doing. Its super expensive and its double digit thousand dollars, but these are the kind of things I want to be able to do with the money I make.
Heart: Right now, you are not feeling the pressure to be in the league of your sisters. What if you are 30 and you feel the pinch of not having kept up with them?
PM: I won’t feel the pinch because I just know what I want, you know what I mean? I really don’t think I am going to… I am trying not to, that’s the goal. I just don’t want to be 30 years old and go like “Oh shoot, I should have done this or that.” That’s the worst case situation and I don’t want to put myself in that.
Heart: What do you read?
PM: I love to read and I read so many iBooks, by iBooks I mean romance novels, the free ones (laughs) on iBooks. Okay, let’s see, (takes out her iPhone), I read this one book in The Celebrity series by J. Sterling where, these people are in love and he is a famous musician and she is just a normal average girl. She goes to his concert, he falls in love with her blah blah blah, but turns out they had fallen in love with each other 10 years ago when they were in college and they didn’t even realize it.
Heart: Can you tell me about your dating life or is it off limits?
PM: So, both my best friends, one of them broke up with her boyfriend of 5 years this January and the other one of 3 years. We think like this, how do we even know this guy is the guy for us, if we don’t even know any other guy at all? How do I know that the guy I am with is the guy for me, the one for me, if I have never been with any other guy – like I said before?
Heart: What if the second guy is not the guy for you and you want to go back to the first guy? He has been taken now and is no longer available.
PM: That’s fine right, actually you know what, if its meant to be, it will be. You go through these serious breakups and then you wonder that it was never meant to be and that’s why this is happening. If you commit to someone for 5 years, its like he is your husband and you have never kissed another guy, not even talked to another guy, so how do you know this is the guy for you? Take for example, my friend who is now so happy with her new boyfriend, but she would have not known that if she wouldn’t have broken up with her boyfriend of 5 years. They were together since high school and they went on family vacations together and were like a married couple at 19. So young, right? For me, how will I know that there is a person I want to be with. I have to be with someone else before I can fully commit to one person who is better than the best. I don’t know, its not fair for the other person too if you are not fully into it, right?
So my friend was having issues with her boyfriend and I see that and I am with someone else and see what its like for her, she is with her new boyfriend now and she is happy, it makes her realize that maybe David is not her true love. You know, that’s what I am saying, you should be exploring to see if you can get a complete package of a guy. There is some controversy surrounding dating, but its good to keep meeting guys and talking to them, generally a good practice for life to make small talk with people to find out what kind of people they are. See, you have been married for so long, and you don’t even know how it is to even kiss another guy. You know what I mean? Being with just one person and you don’t even know what it feels to kiss another guy. So this is how it goes among us friends. We are all like, even if the guy is ugly and you think he is not the one we go on this date with him for practice. Because it is good to know to have all the alternate facts. There are 7 billion people in this world and you are looking for your “the one”. (laughs)
Heart: So what is important to begin with? Is it his superficial good looks?
PM: No, no, its not. You have to click with him and he has to have a good sense of humor. For me education is super important, he just has to have a good job. He can’t be a bum but at the same time not super geeky or whatever. He has to be a good guy. You should be able to talk to that guy confidently and be yourself. You can talk to a guy whom you think is so hot from a distance but you don’t have to ace the job interview, you know what I mean?
Heart: So, how do you go from small talk to taking it to the next level?
PM: Well, it depends, you just learn to pick up on each other’s signals.
Heart: So how are the female and male roles changing in the dating aspect? I mean, can you also ask for a date with a guy instead of waiting for him to ask you?
PM: Well yeah, it depends, but you definitely want the guy to ask you. I mean you want the guy to make the first move. Because you don’t want to seem too desperate. And you don’t want the guy to be thinking, “Oh this girl’s talking to me or oh she is so desperate” and everything. Who wants that kind of reputation? So, its still more of a traditional game. And you have to play hard to get.
Heart: Are you allowed to date multiple people?
PM: Oh my gosh, of course, yeah, if you are in the dating world. Its different if you are in a relationship, but if you are dating, you are going around practicing until you hit up on the right guy.
Heart: How do you know about the other person’s availability?
PM: They tell you, its on Facebook. Everyone makes it very obvious or you can even ask them. Typically, people advertise it, and if you are boyfriend – girlfriend you can tell by the way they comment on each other’s posts or their friends’ posts. Social media is huge. Snapchat is huge. And if someone sees your Snapchat story and doesn’t text you back, its like a huge, oh my God, “he didn’t text me back”. You wonder what the (bleep) is going on.
Heart: What about Snapchat that can create so much drama?
PM: If a guy sees a story that you have posted on Snapchat and doesn’t call you back, its a huge red flag. A story can be a simple photo of yourself. And after a while I know who all have seen my picture. And if the guy you are dating has seen the picture and hasn’t texted you back, you wonder, “Well, hello dude, I know you are on your phone because you have seen my Snapchat, so why are you avoiding me?” That’s the situation, you get what I’m saying? Snapchat has all these features that tell you your relationship with other people. If there is a best friend emoji next to a person’s information, it means you text with them every single day. If there is a cool face next to a person’s contact information, that means that there is someone else who is a mutual friend with that person. And that makes it dramatic. And you wonder who this other person is that your best friend is also good friends with and thats the source of drama. Snapchat has algorithms in the background that generate this emoji based on the connections made and the number of messages exchanged. So I can see that she’s friends with my best friend and seems to have a good connection with her. And it makes you wonder what’s going on between them, you know?
Note: Before you rate this episode, please consider if you would’ve been so open and authentic about your own life. Earlier episodes available at The Anonymous Manifesto™.
The Anonymous Manifesto is where strangers tell their stories anonymously. We’re all fabulous in our own little ways, aren’t we? And since our world is getting pretty condensed, this social experiment might expand our combined horizons.
Why Anonymous Manifesto?
Wait, I am confused. Why interview people?
Fair question. To find out how everyone else is able to live this unlivable life. And most importantly, to get back to having conversations with our fellow earth dwellers while prodding each other with deep questions.
What’s the point?
These interviews might show us that we are all people who are exciting, heartbroken, crazy, lonely, and thriving in some way and the same way. These interviews might inform, entertain, compel, touch, impact and inspire.
What’s a manifesto?
A public declaration of personal lessons, dreams, aspirations, opinions and goals.
These people are like you and me, common folks. Moreover, why wait in line to snag celebrity interviews? Eh?
This is not an opinionated survey of the human survival landscape. It’s a snapshot of their life in the now. To each his own.
Can I sign up to be interviewed?
Have a pulse? Sure, then email us at: email@example.com.
* * *
The Anonymous Manifesto
SS, 57, is a Korean American and a serial entrepreneur. He talks about his grandmother, his many, many thoughtful and kind lessons for his children (and for humanity) and why he can't manage to take a U turn even when he knows he is driving in the wrong direction....
AC, 25, is currently doing her PhD in Clinical psychology. Her parents are from India and her family moved to the States when she was 5. She talks about her research work, why she enjoys what she does and the changing role of women in our society. She talks about her...
JB, 24, is a biomedical engineer and a second generation Italian American from Philadelphia. She talks about the golden rule that shines a light on her life's path, and talks about her recent breakup and her dreams for the future. Talking to her made me realize that...
HG, 40, is a First generation Indian American from a small town in Georgia. He talks about traveling to see the natural wonders of the world before they'll all disappear, and he explains his answers with a heavy dose of humanity. When you read out his answers, keep...
ME, 49, is at the cusp of leaving the corporate world and taking a small sabbatical without much thought about the future, but with a decade's worth of planning in the past that has led up to this moment. He talks about his work, his 4 aunts he wishes to see soon in...
JC, 14, is a rising 10th grader at a high school in Johns Creek. You've to read every word of hers fully keeping her mischievous smile in mind. She talks about teenagers and their obsessions with their phones, and the extent of procrastination that's permeated in...
MS, 8, is full of imagination and usually says what's on his mind. And even if he's lecturing me on some aspects of life, like "One has to enjoy what they do for a living", he doesn't seem to realize that he's said something profound. Here’s the transcript of my face...
PR, 52, considers herself a patriot owing to her long service in the United States' defense industry. She talks about her picture perfect childhood in a strict Catholic upbringing in Virginia, her young adulthood as a member of Young Life, and her life as a working...
SS, 17, was reading Ernest Hemingway's Farewell to arms, when I met him this past weekend in Stone Mountain, Georgia. He's just graduated at top of his class at a special public STEM school and will start pursuing his Computer science degree at Princeton this...
Sunday morning, I made toast and scrambled eggs with onions and spinach for Ky, my 12 year old who was leaving for a week long camp at Blairsville, Georgia. His boy scouts troop plans to camp at the Woodruff camp grounds until noon next Sunday. As I looked down into...
AT met me at a park, where she readied herself for an interview in the hot sun. She told me what she thinks the words love and kind mean, and all the things she likes to do with her family. Her parents are from India. Here’s the transcript of my face to face interview...
Continued from Part I * Heart: That's awesome, you approached him? GD: I did. And he had never played tennis in his life. And he came and played it like he had been playing it all his life. (Laughs) So, that kind of started the relationship. * Heart: Tennis or...
SH, who drives a Ford Truck and has a "Veteran" license plate talks about his beloved dog, his opinion on Flint (From CNN: The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, was caused by cost-cutting measures leading to tainted drinking water containing lead and other toxins) and...
Early Tuesday morning, GD, 79 and a resident of Johns Creek, Georgia for 20 years, sat me on her cozy reading chair in a room that faces the road and excused herself to go check on the Chicken Tikka masala that was on the stove. While waiting, I looked at her yard...
KS, is a middle schooler and lives with his family in Johns Creek, Georgia. He shares his thoughts on his family, his middle school life and India - his parents' home country. He even has some tips for me as an interviewer. Here’s the transcript of my face to face...
EJ, in her 70's is a Finnish grandmother, who invited me into her home and politely asked me to remove my shoes before we went into the living room. "No one wears shoes in the house." Surprising, I told her, both because Finland's a cold country and also...
SG, 50 is from India and teaches high school Math in [redacted], Georgia, population 70,000. He tells me about life in small town USA, his passion for a mentally stressful job like teaching and the respect he gets and the prejudices he faces from people he interacts...
VR, in her mid 40's, is from Johnscreek, GA. She's mom to a girl and two boys from her husband's previous marriage. We talk about her Michigan militia childhood, what makes her laugh and inspires her to write among other things. Here's the transcript of my face to...
Questions, just ask!
Text or Call: 678.310.5025 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bringing a Group? Email us for a special price!