Sunday, August 01, 2004

It's Official

i'm overeducated, unemployed, in debt, disillusioned and directionless. where does one go from here?

i know i'm not alone. it seems a good percentage of my generation is also 'lost,' struggling with the quarter life crisis that seems to plague so many of us. we refuse to turn into our parents, live a life of stable mediocrity, but once we enter the dreaded real world and realize that, yes, the gold rush tech boom days that turned twentysomethings into millionaires overnight are really over (and we missed the boat) and that, yes, we'll need to stay stuck in creatively stifling day jobs for years to come because that's how rent gets paid, we get all kinds of depressed. we go on prozac. we lie awake wondering why the fuck we aren't already rich and famous when someone as talentless as jennifer love hewitt is. we sit around with our like-minded peers discussing how much smarter we are than our bosses and how menial our work tasks are. and when we finally, frighteningly realize that we are destined to be cogs in an immutable system, we have a meltdown, move back in with our parents and spend our days lounging around in our pajamas, eating cereal and watching MTV -- anything to take us back to a carefree youth we didn't value enough when it was around.

sound like anyone you know? i'll confess i possessed some elements of this crisis mentality after i finished my bachelor's and initially joined corporate America. i feared i would never find true happiness by assuming my new role (as cog) in my new environment. i figured i'd have to train myself to expect so little from the big world i once expected so much from. Reality Check 101 -- why was that class never offered in college?

this time around, it's very different. there are no pie-in-the-sky, stars-in-the-eyes dreams of being able to change the world with just the love in your heart, good will toward all. it's sad that some of that lofty idealism of youth is gone, but that shit just ain't realistic. the upbeat flipside to this is that while i've learned to expect less from the world, i've come to expect more from myself. there's no false sense of entitlement, no belief in 'meant to be' anymore. steady baby steps sometimes take you farther than long strides followed by inactivity.

that's what i hope, at least. i'm taking my first baby step tomorrow by starting temporary work at a place i wouldn't mind working permanently. (given that i must be there at 6am, i got up at an ungodly hour today, a sunday, to practice for my big 4:30am wakeup tomorrow.) i'm so ready to start working again. ready to be productive, to earn money, to feel good about myself and my place as a cog, to fill my days up with stimulating activity instead of wasting them away at home, where i've been for the past month, sitting around bored, deep in thought over self-absorbed matters that don't really matter much. yes, work will hit the spot right about now, and i won't turn up my nose to the menial tasks or be afraid to work hard or stay late. i'll expect nothing, but give it my all and maybe, just maybe, it'll lead me to the next step.

and if doesn't, there's always my parents' house, cereal and MTV.

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