I’m sitting in my bedroom in my apartment. A bedroom I pay over $700 a month of my own money for. From a job I could only have because of my four years of college education, costing upwards of $57,000, which I pay off every month. From my paycheck. My room is a terrible mess, the floor is covered with dirty clothes, shoes, the shelves cluttered with trash, wine glasses, etc. I’m on my third IPA and I have to be at work at 8 am. As soon as I’m off at 4:30, I will change my clothes on the freeway and attempt to put make up on at each red light to get to my bar job at 5. I’ll probably get cut around 1:30 am and then do it all again tomorrow.
When I was a full time student (18 units each semester) at San Francisco State, I worked 4 days at a whiskey bar. I’d be at class from 8-4 ish and work at the bar from 6-12 am. The bar was closed on Mondays and I only had one class that day so I’d consider that my day off. I walked out of that school with 3.7 GPA and bank account that was never over-drafted. Don’t get me wrong, I’d lay in the fetal position more than I’d care to admit, crying, freaked out, my body and mind so exhausted and run thin I never thought I’d make it through. I remember telling my 20 year old self that it will never be this hard again.
Now that I’m 25 and a wife and preparing for graduate school with a full time day job and a bar gig on the side I realize, of course, that I was wrong. My husband likes to tell me that once we’ve settled into a home we love it will get easier. Once the holidays are over it will get easier, as soon as….once…when…eventually…etc. What I’ve realized, is that it never gets easier. It just gets different kinds of hard.
It is very easy for me to look at my life and see nothing but a list of failures. The numerous ways I’ve managed to let others and myself down. The hundreds and thousands of milliseconds I somehow played wrong, the opportunities I didn’t take, the future me that I just didn’t know well enough yet, that has brought me to this place of discontent.
I can’t even count that amount of adults who are baffled that I’ve managed to find a career in my field of study already. That my student debt is under $80,000. That I’ve only maxed out a few credit cards. To many, in 2015, these are accomplishments. But in the bright light of the first of November, I found myself pulling my hair at the roots holding back tears thinking: there is no way that this is my life.
I am extremely aware of that fact that there are people with problems like health concerns, and poverty, and you know, real things. But this blog is not for that kind of content, and I’m not going to apologize for my circumstantial troubles.
I am a first born child. An over achiever of the worst variety. A workaholic. A Gemini. A competitive female who lives to prove people wrong. I’ve all but created a persona of the most fearless, confident, 5 foot tall resting bitch faced queen who has nothing to show for it but a piece of paper in a $5 frame from Michael’s. So here I am. In bed, half drunk, in debt, crying about the life I thought I’d have.
I’ve spoken to many people that are right where I am. Who are even more that what I am. Mothers, wives, ex-military, divorcees, who are still trying to figure it out. Who keep telling me it will be okay. Or at least some version of okay. I am not special, I am not unique. I am not the first 25 year old girl to bust her ass in college, get married, work a bunch of shitty hospitality jobs and cry a few nights a week in the employee bathroom. I’m not proud of where I’m at, per se, but I’m alright with it.
When my mom found out she was pregnant with me at 25 (my current age) my 29 year old dad got a paper route. Just to make sure we were alright. I don’t want to have debt. I don’t want to work till 1 am. I don’t want to be crabby, and tired, and malnourished, and drinking every night. I don’t want to be a bad wife, a bad daughter, a bad person. I just want to not worry. Much like the shock that plagued me when I found out you poop while you give birth, I did not know what would be in store for me as an adult. I thought the challenges were behind me. I truly thought it would get easier.
Guess what, Mom and Dad? I made it. I’m a grown up.