I got another parking ticket during work today. I caught the meter maid at my car when I was going to replace my timed-out ticket with a new one.
“By four minutes, are you cereal?!” I demanded of the absolutely heartless guy.
And then I openly cried while walking to Ace Hardware. Because the ticket was for $32 and I hadn’t even made $32 yet, though I had already worked for 3 hours.
Before you accuse me of being on the rag, let me clarify that it’s not just about the parking ticket. It’s something else that has been eating at me lately.
Since graduating from college over a year ago, I have realized that I’ve been lied to a lot. Some of these lies include:
- Having a degree sets you far above all other job applicants
Everyone has a degree now, and yours isn’t high enough.
- Employers will definitely want to hire you
Employers don’t need you.
- There are so many jobs out there
But none that you are qualified for.
- There is no way that you will work at Burger King forever because you have a degree
Degrees guarantee nothing. Experience is better but you don’t have any.
- You can always get a crappy job and wait til something better comes along
Something better may never come along so you should consider joining the military to support yourself.
- If you work hard you will get results
You can work your ass off and get absolutely nothing. You are owed nothing
- You can accomplish anything you set your mind to
Not everyone can be President.
- None of your friends know what they are doing either
Yes they do. They have plans and are executing them. This is not an excuse for not knowing what you’re doing.
- You are an adult now
I am so far from being an adult right now.
- You should get married now
Don’t make me laugh.
“We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.” ||Fight Club
So anyway, post-grad life is harder than I thought it would be. Welcome to the school of hard knocks, Ashley.
I’ve moved back in with my parents because I’m making so little money annually that the government doesn’t even take out income tax. (You can look up how much that is but I’m too sad to write it here). I can’t go to the dentist or eye doctor anymore, and in a couple years I’ll be dropped from the rest of my parents’ healthcare coverage as well. I think Obamacare is in my future.
Meanwhile, I find myself increasingly annoyed with people who I deem to “have it too much together.” Here is a short list of things that indicate you have to too much together:
- Your fingernail polish matches your toenail polish
- Your bra and underwear form a matching set
- You take a shower every day
- You wear make up.
- You have a 5-year plan
- You have a 5-month plan
- You buy organic food because money is worthless to you
- You are in a romantic relationship with someone who cherishes you and respects you
- You have a regular gym routine
- You go to the gym literally ever
I’m constantly fighting against the American truth that hard work means everything, and believing in yourself will carry you to the life you want.
Hey, I made the right choices….I got straight A’s in school. I made friends. I did extra-curriculars. I got scholarships. I went to church. I didn’t do drugs. I never contracted the Clap. Everyone had such high hopes for me. Now I feel like I’ve let everyone down, including myself.
I have to make a conscious decision to strive against expectations. This next quote is so important to me. It has literally changed my life.
You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your fucking khakis. || Fight Club
You’re not your fucking khakis.
That means the things about you don’t define you. They’re just facts on a sheet of paper. Impersonal bullet points.
That means circumstances and external factors don’t have to affect who you are.
That means you can lose your job and still be okay.
You can wait tables and not BE a waiter.
You can have alcoholism in the family and not become an alcoholic.
You can fail a test and not be a failure.
You can get a parking ticket and not let it destroy you, because you’re not that stupid parking ticket.
And it doesn’t have to be a microcosm of the rest of your life.