Being a 20-something is hard. Especially around 22 or 23 when you realize you can’t be that carefree college student anymore and you have to actually go find that thing that 4 years of college was supposed to prepare you for: a job. I find that it’s a constant internal struggle over independence. We battle the ideas of finding our own place and having to pay rent and potentially have roommates with the thought “Maybe I can just move back in with mom and dad and live the rest of my life rent-free.” If you’re like me, that thought goes away quickly and you’re left with the conclusion that you have to suck it up and search for that yucky job thing because it’s officially time to adult.
I find it unfair that life moves so quickly – I mean, at 22 or 23 most of us don’t even know who we are! We get out of college and say to ourselves “is this even what I want to do for the rest of my life? Maybe I missed my calling to be a doctor or a lawyer or a teacher” and then we think about spending another 8 years in college (which sounds a lot like 8 years in prison) and all the money that comes with it and then that thought withers away. We don’t have much time to stop and smell the roses and figure things out because responsibility lurks at every corner.
That was my long introduction/release of frustration that leads me to what this is really about: me moving into my own place when I’m not even sure I’m ready. Now, I’ve been stressed this entire semester, but I think I tend to push my stress aside almost to the point where I don’t feel the 50-pound weight that I carry on my shoulders every single day. This weekend, I noticed the weight. I moved my luggage into my Astoria, Queens bedroom as some move-in guys were building my new bed for me. Once that was taken care of, I ran out to Costco where I spent nearly $200 on necessities before realizing I still needed other things and then ran to a local supermarket ($120) and Rite Aid ($35) I got back to my room and started evaluating my life and why, as excited as I was to finally have a room and not sleep on my aunt’s couch as I’ve done for years, I wasn’t as excited as you would think I would be. I said to myself “Well, Sam, you ARE taking 5 graduate level courses (one every night of the week) you DO work full-time (8:30-5:30) , you ARE aggressively searching for a job and running from interview to interview (my job is seasonal and ends next month), AND technically you can’t really afford this place (thank GOD I started saving my own money at the age of 6)…oh, and one more thing- you do this all without the financial backing of ANYONE”
So maybe THAT is why I wasn’t jumping for joy as my boyfriend thought I should be. And I feel that this is how most people my age live. We are forced to make decisions without thinking it through because we run out of options. We aren’t allowed to sit and bask in our accomplishments because there’s always another hurdle two feet away. It saddens me that our generation lives like this. Sometimes I wish I could just be one of those people that picks up and goes somewhere without worrying about how they’re going to survive the following day. I’m much too much of a control freak for that, but a girl can dream!
Moral of the story: I know that I’m blessed, and I know that everything I’ve jumped into is part of God’s master plan and it is all necessary. I just can’t wait until I have a comfortable job where I won’t have to worry so much about money and I can focus more on personal happiness and development. I think we all need to take just 24 hours to sit back and enjoy the hard work. And when that creepy little fella named “anxiety” slithers his way into the forefront of our brains we should just tell him “come back tomorrow.”