My sister has got it figured out. Her first job was a summer internship at the place my dad works at. In the Fall, they asked her to stay with them, and soon offered her to be full-time. She never had to put in applications all over town, or go job hunting on a rainy day, running into every store in strip malls asking if they’re hiring. She moved out as soon as she turned eighteen. Like I could ever imagine affording that. She just got married at age twenty in March of 2010. She never had to go through a post-graduation, pre-anything-meaningful-in-life, quarter-life crisis or anything. Not only is her life fulfilling, simplistic, and everything she’d always wished it would be, it’s everything I wished my life would be.
There she is, happily married, has always had an enjoyable and rewarding job, loving being a wife and cooking and working out and trying new things, driven, and being exactly where she feels she is meant to be. And here I am. I graduated High School last summer, and then went away to a wonderful school that I loved, only to be flipped on my head. My Vocal Performance major, which had been all I had known, ended up not being what I loved or thrived doing. Linguistics, my new focus, was not offered as a degree at that school. Also, it turned out that I actually felt limited and trapped on campus rather than the “Go, be free and independent!” that freshman year of college is supposed to promise.
So I came home. I transferred to my local community college, taking some courses that will work towards my degree (nothing specialized, unfortunately – just Spanish, film, English Comp, etc.). Now, I NEVER imagined myself being here. I still kind of can’t believe I’m here. Unlike my sister, I am exactly where I never hoped or thought or imagined I would be. I’m going to community college. I’m working a part-time job, to make money, to buy gas, to drive to my part-time job. I then come home, where I live with my parents, and put up with three obnoxious, past-their-cute-prime, eat-my-favorite-articles-of-clothing dogs. I have a car that thinks going into the shop once a week is a spa treatment – seriously, it’s been in the shop three or four times in one month. I didn’t just come back home to figure out what to do next, or to work and get my degree, I came home to an unfriendly not-so-welcome into the grown-up world of court dates, used car shopping, boss issues, and realizing just how unaffordable and tedious being a grown up is.
I’ve been feeling a heck of a lack of drive. There’s no diploma I’m working for, or a career I can’t wait to start and do things with, or anything like that. The next thing in life I’m really looking forward to or excited about is getting married, starting a family, being a good housewife and mom and cooking and laughing. But it’ll be quite some time until I (or my significant other) can afford a wedding and place to live. And so it’s turned to myself. The only thing I can think to set goals with is to work out X many times a week, or tone up this or that part of my body. But even that gets old and tiring and discouraging.
My mom’s been bugging me about getting back into extracurricular activities that I loved in high school, which are not as easy or simple to get involved with or that have a point as when they’re run by your school (for example, working towards a recital or concert or opening night of the Spring musical). There is an audition for a play I’m going to do, but that’s in June (and as I’m writing this, it just hit me that maybe my week away in Georgia to see my best friend in July might hinder that involvement. I know a lot of times, they want some one who will be at every rehearsal – especially for any role bigger than “Chorus Dancer #6” or “Frightened Inmate #3”). I’ve been encouraged to call my high school voice teacher to begin lessons again – which I probably will, and I’ll enjoy it, but it’ll just be to pass the time. I know now that I don’t want a vocal arts career and so I don’t know if I’ll see much reason to it other than to just further improve my skills for… what, exactly?
When I put in a lot of job applications around town when I first transferred back home, two places were interested: a sandwich shop in the town right down the road, and the Cafe I work at now, which offered me an interview and job sooner than the former had. That being said, the sandwich shop did call me twice about an interview, but I had to tell them I just couldn’t add on another job with being in school and already working part time. However, now that school is over, I called them and asked about an interview to possibly add it on as a second job. But they seemed hesitant about reconciling my current sporadic schedule and about the number of people they already have that will discontinue their employment there in the fall when school starts up again (I’ll probably just go on with my current job and school schedule, like I did last semester), and that they would call me back. And I don’t know if I really want them to ask me to come in. I don’t know if I want a second job because I might as well make money if I have time on my hands, or if I think it could be fun or if I actually don’t want it but for some reason think it might be enough of a change in my life to make things interesting. I might have a new goal of learning how things worked and the recipes and the menu. I just don’t know.
So this is where I’m left. To all of you who have it figured out and are happy and fulfilled with your lives, congratulations. You’re very fortunate to be in your position and I hope it continues to give you many years of contentment. And for all those like me, I’m sure we’ll get through and something exciting and meaningful will happen to us eventually.
And I’m just trying to figure out where to go from here.