I once had confidence.
I am 22. I am a college graduate with a degree in journalism. This sounds perfectly fine, yes? Wrong. I have graduated with a degree in a field I have absolutely no passion for. Although I enjoy writing, I am not a reporter. I don’t get the journalist high when “getting the story.” I came to realize this during my last semester of college.
I thought I had it all planned out. I was going to graduate, move to New York City where I would pay over a thousand dollars to live in a closet, all the while working for
a large, corporate Cosmopolitan magazine (Feminist Jamie shakes her head at the thought). I was going to write about everything I write about in this blog, but I would be getting paid.
Oh, shit. My life is hardly that. Four-year-old Jamie would be terribly disappointed.
“What do you mean you still live at home?! You don’t have a boyfriend, either?! But you’re supposed to be doing big girl things, like be a country singer or be a veterinarian.”
“Ah.. well.. err…”
Life is funny like that, four-year-old Jamie and I am now just learning it. Life doesn’t like to go according to plan, especially when you have had your whole life mapped out by the time you were fourteen.
I never understood why people went back to school after they just graduated. They had a degree! Go flaunt it! Go hang it on a wall! Go get that career!
I was silently judging them. (Outwardly, my facial expression revealed all.) I was envious they were already done with school, but at the same time, confused to why they were going back. Why weren’t they like me? I couldn’t wait to start my career. I couldn’t wait to prove to people (an employer) I really was a good writer. (Hire me!) I couldn’t wait to move out of Florida into my efficiency (that’s a nice word for “it’s miniscule and you will be lucky if you can fit two whole people in it”) New York City apartment.
Yet, I am one of them. The post-college graduate not quite ready to be an adult, and is contemplating on going back to school. (After all, it’s where I am used to being at.) I have entertained jobs that don’t require a degree: a flight attendant. (Okay, so I really just liked the idea of traveling to foreign countries for free.) I thought (and am still thinking) about somehow becoming a digital nomad. I have even considered joining a gypsy community. No, really.
I am not where I thought I would be at 22: working at a local newspaper at the bottom of the totem pole doing mindless work, and being completely miserable.
As of lately, I am questioning my existence. What is my purpose of being here? What is the purpose of life? To wake up, go to the dead-end job where we earn barely enough money to pay our bills, just to survive? This is life? This is what I couldn’t wait to start? Am I really ready for this? To grow up and be a big girl?
Oh, shit. Ready or not.
When I first met my current job nine months ago, I was instantly smitten. I was finally the go-getter and knocking politely at the door which would lead me to the field I wanted to pursue: journalism. (Or so I thought.) After all, it was an office job, and when your resume consists namely of retail and restaurants, this is hitting it big. I could finally wear those adorable pencil skirts and high heels. I could finally stop ranting about how much I hate working with the public. This was it.
It didn’t take long to fall in love. Nor did it take long to fall out of love.
I have reached the point in the relationship with my job where I no longer care. I am miserable, and am only here because I need money to survive. And because I am saving to leave Florida. (I hate you, capitalism.) (I hate you, American
I am learning that jobs are very much like relationships. They can be rewarding offering such a high that one doesn’t want to come down. But on the contrary, they can be entirely exhausting. They can be short-term. (Keeping one’s options open.) Or, they can be long-term. (Tying the knot.) Each member in the relationship must work hard in order to remain happy with one another. And if someone isn’t happy, a breakup occurs.
It’s not as if my current job is difficult. It’s quite simple actually. Perhaps that’s the problem: it’s not fulfilling. It’s boring. It’s not rewarding whatsoever. I am not intellectually stimulated. In other words, I am dating the guy who is just there to pass time, even though I deserve someone really spectacular. (I have a college degree! I deserve my own office! So I can hang it on the wall!) I am more than just a copy aficionado. I am more than just the girl who transfers calls to the correct department. I am more than just a coffee fetcher for the higher-ups.
But I am 22.
I feel that I am still young! I couldn’t fathom the idea of marriage or having children right now. How can I fathom the idea of settling into a career then? Isn’t this just as serious as making any other commitment? One must be sure! Are my expectations just as high as finding Mr. Almost Right when it comes to landing the career? Maybe.
I suppose it’s the same theory when it comes to finding the aforementioned Mr. Almost Right: you have to work a lot of shitty jobs until you find the right one for you. The secret? (I think) Figuring out what you love doing (for free), and then finding someone who is willing to pay you.
That’s the hard part.