Nobody Likes You When You’re 24

Me and Sparkles

As much evidence as there is to the contrary, I do actually make an effort to not make this blog full of whining and complaining. Generally, the last thing anyone wants to read is someone else bitching, so today you have fair warning. There is going to be lots of privileged white girl complaining, but I’ll try to make it cool.

I have always taken issue with the phrase “supposed to”. It is applied far too liberally, encourages pigeon-holing and stereotyping, and limits thinking, which probably bothers me the most. I am a big fan of thinking. If society, or your school, or your boss, or your mom tells you that you are “supposed to” respond and behave in pre-determined ways then there is no need figure those things out for yourself; and too many people, when given the opportunity, will choose not to think or make decisions. Perhaps it’s ridiculous, but I believe that even if what you do ends up being the same as if you’d simply done what you were told, motivation matters. You should always be able to answer the question – why did you do that? Maybe it’s because I’m a control freak and over-thinking everything gives me a sense of ownership over my sad life, but let’s over-analyse that later.

I have been dealing with some stress and tension in relation to the fact that I am doing my life wrong. For some reason the “supposed to” list I made for myself has far more hold over my psyche than any and all others. Judge as you will. Everyone has expectations for their life – even the assholes who hit on me claiming they live in the moment and would like to offer me the distinct privilege of fucking them silly – or so I have to assume to preserve what little faith I have in humanity. And inevitably there are things on that list that are subject to change, and elements you are bound to give up due to circumstance (I accept that I will never ride a Pegasus – really, I do) but there are some that you count on, that if you satisfy all of the pre-requisites for, you expect to happen in accordance with the laws of logic and your tiny universe. For me, this included employment after graduating from a very expensive private university. Granted I got a taste of my dream job, which is more than most people can say, ever, but the vision for the year I turn twenty-five had a house in it that only I lived in. With a room with words all over the walls for me to write in, an extra car in the garage just for weekends, and a puppy. Maybe a little much, depending on what you’re comparing it to, but I’ve never lacked confidence.

It’s all well and good to wax internet poetic with your take what you want/seize the day/kick the world’s ass memes, but in my experience all of those require money (or maybe that’s only the things I want – not that I want to be a dragon with a pile of money, though a dragon would make all the travelling I do want to do more cost-effective). And because of…oh let’s just blame the world and you can apply whatever spiritual/ political/ financial/ etc. nuances you like to it… so, because of the world I mostly write things that no one reads in the back bedroom of my parents house, working as a mildly inappropriate substitute teacher, desperately trying to show my gratitude for all of those things by being polite and accommodating and helpful, when really I can’t stop mentally re-evaluating how I ended up here, with no puppy. And it’s no one’s fault, not even mine. I send out more resumes than I’m going to admit to, and interview for jobs with health insurance (some of which I actually want), and I’m super nice, so I just have to tell myself that they are only hiring inter-galactic alien robots and thus I have no reason to feel inadequate and panicky about not meeting their criteria. This existence simply is. For no reason.

Everyone’s go-to comforting comment is that “You’re so young!”, or at least it was. I try not to talk about depressing topics with people, so I don’t talk about myself much lately thus making the placating comments less necessary. But the reality is I am very quickly coming to the transition from “you’re so young”, barreling straight into “God, you’re no spring chicken, get your shit together”. Even if I do all the things I wanted to have done by now, no one will be nearly as impressed by them as they would have been. Alexander conquered the known world by the time he was 25, everyone is going to remember that; Hillary paid off her Corolla by age 24 simply does not have the same ring to it.

This means that my real problem is chilling the fuck out. And acknowledging the need for frolicking in perfect joy over parents who semi-enjoy me living in their back bedroom (despite how much more together their shit was at my age). And to continue sending resumes to everyone and begging people to read things (and mentioning my future plans for space travel and a bionic arm) and making strange phone calls because that’s all there is for an over-educated group babysitter to do combat this “world” problem we’re having. I also get to tell my recently college graduated sister that her new life choices are graduate school forever or the beautiful example of bitter hagdom I have set while making any money you can doing whatever someone will pay you for that won’t make it necessary to stop using forks. No one cares what you majored in. Or she can get married and have babies and get food stamps – it’s totally on trend again. I also reserve the right to hate her and her entire graduating class forever if things actually work out for the little bastards.

Of course I’m not quite so jaded that I don’t still harbor a tiny pearly, shiny, sparkle of delusion that one day soon I will be the exception to all this crap and get everything I want all at once. At which point I will deny I ever wrote this. And fly away on my Pegasus. Just like Lena Dunham.

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