It is a truth universally acknowledged, that an almost 25-year-old woman, with no fortune, who still lives with her parents, must be in want of a new life – or is it?!
Here’s the thing, I’m going to be 25 and I live at home, and I have a bachelor’s degree, and I work a job that makes me happy at least half of the time, but whenever I run into someone I used to know, or went to school with, I dread the moment they ask what I’m doing. I’m not one to typically be embarrassed, I’m loud, messy, clumsy, and unapologetically myself, but I always get this head tilt of confusion while the person thinks of what to say next.
I started working my current job when I was in my second year of college; it’s a retail job, and for whatever reason I can’t give it up. The pay is consistent, I’ve met some incredible people – including the boy I happen to love there, and there’s something oddly satisfying about being really good at what you do…I know, where’s the crisis part? I guess it never occurred to me that the thing that you happen to be really good at, might not be the thing that you’re super passionate about, or that you could be 25 and have no idea what you’re super passionate about.
Don’t get me wrong, I love lots of things – makeup, clothes, a new notebook, but these things don’t add up to a pay check, or could they? I don’t even know. I just thought that once I graduated school, I’d magically find my perfect job, that I’d get a dreamy career in the city or in London being a publisher or editor, or copywriter (I went to school for English – no I do not want to be a teacher – thanks for asking).
I’ve learned so much at my current job, and I wish I could tell that to the people who look at me and seem to be thinking that I wasted my potential; I’ve learned things that can’t be taught in a classroom, like how to appreciate wonderful human beings, old men who propose to me on Sunday mornings, couples who take a minute from their day to indulge me in the story of how they met, little kids who hug my legs while I talk to their parents, puppies who lick my face and make my week; I have learned how to deal with terrible people, people who make fun of you, and don’t know you, people who yell and scream at someone doing their job, or at least trying to; but I guess the reason I stay is there are days where I feel genuinely good at what I do.
I should be good at it; I’ve had 5 years of practice, a fifth of my life doing this retail job – and somedays it’s like I’m in a movie, or on stage and everything just lines up right, and I’m the star of the show, and I stay because of those moments. I keep saying I’m going to go back to school and that I’ll go to graduate school for business, but I have to take the prerequisites and that means I’ll be 25 sitting in a class with recent high school graduates, and I look the part, no one would know that I’m already kind of a business woman with part of a career behind me, but I don’t know it makes me feel so anxious that I just don’t register, and then get so mad at myself for letting another semester pass.
I think the thing that I’m trying to say, is if you’re feeling 25 all of the sudden, and you’re lonely, and confused and you have wonderful parents, and a great boyfriend, and a cute dog, and end up feeling guilty for feeling lonely or confused, well me too! I think that’s the big secret that no matter how old anyone is; everyone feels a little like this. I keep thinking one day I’ll wake up and know what I want to do, but I don’t think it works like that, maybe you have to make passion, maybe you have to do something unexpected, or push yourself to do that thing that you’re too scared to do, but I think things really do work out the way they’re supposed to.
I got some news recently that made me feel oddly thankful for all the extra time I’ve gotten with my parents, living at home – most kids, after high school, know their parents based on a once a week obligatory phone call basis, my parents are my best friends, I tell them everything. Most 25-year-olds have student loans, and staggering bills, and I’m debt free, and saving for a down payment on a house.
Can we talk about social media for like two seconds? Nobody is as perfect as their posts, and I’m speaking from behind some pretty perfect looking ones. I know so many people who claim to have amazing lives, and perfect jobs, and perfect boyfriends who just don’t. Can we all just be honest and say we’re a little lost and it’s okay?
To my point, I’m not very brave, I don’t think I would just walk into a registrar’s office and say I’d like to go here, and as much as I occasionally fantasize about quitting my job and working in a coffee shop part time, and working toward that New York City publishing job and making my dreams come true, I don’t know if I’m ready for that either, all I know is I will take things as they come, and that anything I’m going through right now is to prepare me for what’s next – whatever that may be. And that if we’re all really honest and vulnerable the truth is none of us know what we’re doing and that’s okay!