So it's Labor Day, and I sincerely hope that means you're not working today. But there's a good chance that you are, especially if you work in an undervalued, underpaid position. As for me, being a freelancer, I have the privilege of being able to not work whenever I want, though it means I don't get paid.
It's also my birthday week. I turn 30 on Friday and I've got some wisdom for the youngsters out there still slogging through their 20s.
I started out college determined to become a graphic design major because it seemed like it would be lucrative in the future even though my true love was writing. I was rejected by the university's art school the first time I applied. I knew I could apply again, but it got me wondering if art was really my thing.
It's not. Look at this blog. I mean.
It was actually seeing Clerks 2 that made me realize that I should chase what I want instead of chasing what other people thought I should want. I switched my major to English with an emphasis on Creative Writing. Useless, right?
Fuckin' wrong, assholes.
But to be honest, I was just lucky. I've been lucky in a lot of ways. In other ways, not so much. I flailed about a lot in my 20s, trying to get into marketing, suffering from intense imposter syndrome, trying for years to break into video game journalism, failing, getting into social justice, pitching articles, getting rejected 90% of the time, working underpaid freelance writing job along with underpaid day jobs/part time jobs in food service and retail/cat boarding/cat grooming/cat adoption (yes that was all one job), battling increasing anxiety and depression in boring, unfulfilling desk jobs.
And I've come out the other end here. I have one freelance gig working with RockYou Media, which has become a lot of fluff and celebrity news but helps pay the bills. Then, very recently, I followed a gut feeling into applying for a research position for a foundation focused on providing information about opioids and addiction. It may go nowhere, or it may end up being a salaried position that could allow me to save up for a down payment on an actual house.
Then entire time, despite the fact that I had heard/read from multiple sources that your life won't really settle down until your 30s, I often felt inadequate. Everyone likes to think they're going to be better than most and figure everything out by 25. It's just unrealistic. After all that school, you need 8-12 years of flailing about to get settled into life. At least.
There really is no rush. There's no age at which you should have everything figured out. And with capitalism rapidly decaying, finding any kind of stability is getting more difficult every year. You cannot expect to figure anything out before your 30s. Really try not to. Relax a little. Spend some time partying and fucking up if you can.
But also know that you'll still struggle with the pressure to get all the stuff nailed down in your 20s. You'll still feel bad and get down on yourself. But try to know that it will get better. I'll be over here working hard to make sure that what I've said can be true for everybody, not just the privileged.
There have been many times through my 20s where I cried because I experienced a setback and felt like nothing would ever change. That I would always be in the same state of instability, precariousness, and struggle. But I kept going, because you just have to, and now I'm in a pretty good place that might become even better soon.
In my 30s, I expect to continue to struggle with setbacks, feeling inadequate, accepting my aging and fat body, making myself go outside sometimes, and the ever-present anxiety over everything. But I'll be okay, at least until the economy collapses.
Life is weird and choatic and uncertain. Nothing is guaranteed, everything can go wrong, and it's terrifying. Please keep going. I love all my friends and social media mutuals and people who read this blog who have never written a word to me. Go easy on yourself. Maybe one day I'll actually re-design this blog. You'll want to see that. It's gonna be great.
And that's a very long-winded way of saying I'm taking the week off from blogging, okay byeeeeee!