It’s been almost two months since I left Kalamazoo to embark on some new journey into the void, and I’m already jaded. Sure, for many 20-somethings that are fresh out of undergrad, this is old news. You come home to the old rules but a new mindset, you may fall into the couch potato life for a few weeks and go back to the job you had since you were 16. You may roll the dice and take a chance– like so many of my friends have done valiantly and definitely ungracefully (though it seems like they’re skating their way into the future)– and end up in Iowa for grad school or Chicago for a job or Detroit for new opportunities. I’ve learned in the past two months after talking to all of the women I write with on this blog that post grad life is shitty and hard and we have all fucked up already in some way or another.
The struggle that exists in taking a chance is that some of us are too fucking scared to do it. I am one of these people. I’m 22 and live in Michigan, yet I can’t drive a car or call my doctor for my medication or get a job.
I talked about it before; I can stay or go. But two months later from those original thoughts, seeing people scooping up jobs left and right, seeing my best friends travel to Tibet and New York City and Chicago, and watching Facebook scroll by with the liveliness of summer, I feel the need to voice how hard it is to sit here and not feel like I’m doing anything.
“Well Hunter, why don’t you do something about it?” you may ask, to which I can show you the list of 20+ jobs I have applied to in the past two months in varied locations. I can show you that the only call for an interview I received was from Vera Bradley and I didn’t even do them the decency of calling back to decline an interview. But that’s just the surface of it.
Truthfully, I’ve been so stuck in a rut that I’m failing out of other opportunities in life. I’m freelance editing a book on the side that promised me a paycheck but I haven’t seen yet because I haven’t gotten past page 8 in edits. I’ve been trying to get myself to work on stuff for my internship for a week and usually sit with an open Google doc and binge watch Friends instead. Hell, this is the first thing I’ve written in about a month. I can tell you about what happened on General Hospital last week, go to an estate sale and pick out a mid-century modern tablecloth that you can sell on Ebay for $15 when you paid $1, I can explain what a satin stitch or french knot are in embroidery, and tell you how well my Sims are on the app on my phone. This has been my life for two months. It’s far from pathetic, I mean I’ve taught myself to embroider things, but I know I’m doing it to avoid the void of not knowing. I am too scared to do anything.
Yet, I’m in the midst of the void. All I can talk about is how 1) depressed I am 2) scared I am and 3) tired I am. These conversations vary but usually lead back to this main point: I have no idea what I want to do with my life and I feel like everyone else has it figured out (which they don’t, but try telling my brain that at 3 a.m. when I’m on Indeed job hunting because someone on Facebook just shared that they got their dream job…gag).
The truth is, the world is full of opportunities and chances to take. I took a chance by moving back home, and I’ve fallen into a rut that I cannot seem to dig myself out of. If I’m not talking about my existential crisis, I’m thinking about it, convincing myself I’m a failure for not leaving school with a job in my pocket or not moving out before I got home.
Sure, there are other days when I remember that I’ll get where I need to be eventually. My mom reminds me that some companies take longer to get back to applicants, my friends take me to watch meteor showers or meet up in Kalamazoo or Chicago and remind me that I am smart and worthy.
Maybe I’m saying this to me more than you, but know that there’s a way out eventually. Maybe I haven’t written poems in a while, or some days I can’t get out of bed because I feel pathetic. I hoard empty bags of SunChips and string cheese wrappers on my side table. I’ve eaten ice cream every day for the past, like, two weeks. I watch game shows from the 1970s with my mom for hours straight. I have accumulated a ton of credit card debt because I can’t say no to a Slurpee. I spend hours looking at home goods and fantasizing about the color I will paint my walls in my dream home. I am lost, and sad, and confused most of the time and don’t leave my house when it gets too hot or cold or rainy or windy or cloudy. But I know this is going to pass one day, and I will write again, and I will figure it out. I can’t enjoy this ride right now, but I’m going to stick with it and probably cry a lot more over it. But when I’m ready, I’ll be jumping into something new. Until then, I’ll be here in my bed with my Netflix and my dog.