Note from Abby: Perhaps Lexy will become a more than once in awhile guest blogger because she’s one of my best friends who also likes to write and I happen to find her extremely hilarious. She’s also sometimes full of sage old woman advice. For all of our fellow post grads out there, this one should hit home!
This May, I will be two full years out of college. Two whole years! That feels like a lifetime to me. When I was accepting awards and handshakes and congratulations from my undergraduate program, I knew that two years out, I’d be settled into my own classroom. Making a difference. Being the One To Watch, as I had been my entire educational career. It seemed like nothing could hold me down. For years, nothing could.
Now, I haven’t lost hope entirely on this dream. It’s just that the sunrays of reality are shedding some much needed light on the path connecting my current vista to where I want to go, up in the clouds. And let me tell you, it is all uphill. I’m no stranger to hard work: I worked three different jobs simultaneously in college, double-majored, and still found time to volunteer. I work two jobs now. I know how to work and still find time to live, even if I feel like I am barely clinging to life. But somehow, I did not ever guestimate that it would be this hard out in the “real” world.
It’s almost like nothing that happened in my life prior to age 23 even mattered. It’s just this unaccounted for time in my development into a post-baccalaureate “real” person. Like, might as well have popped out of the womb wearing a pantsuit or something, because nobody is going to hire me based on anything that happened prior to my college acceptance. It’s not like I founded my own start-up at age 12, or was a computer genius at age 3. According to my mother, it was most miraculous that I started speaking at 18 months, but then I never shut up, so even that’s not super exciting.
I suppose it is exciting that I’m currently employed, and even though my jobs make mediocre use of my talents, I get paid money. That’s cool. I’m sure in 15 years, I’ll look back on my current foolishness and wish I was more grateful. And I am grateful. But I find myself frustrated often at the Universe that my life doesn’t look like My Life did in my head, despite my best efforts all along to be realistic and practical. I fear frequently that the narrative of get-good-grades-go-to-college-get-a-job is horribly inaccurate and only serves to make money for the people who write and promote that narrative, but that is a radical idea that makes me unpopular at dinner parties and in certain political circles.
I know that I am talented. I have this innate talent for teaching and a sincere love of young people, however complex their background or what brings them to me or my classroom. I am patient and gentle and kind, even though when not in the presence of young people, I swear A LOT. I just don’t know yet what type of job will pay me to be these things. Or worse, I will have to work a job that never pays me to be these things, and these qualities will become my “after work hobbies.”
Abby: For the time being, we’ll all have to live in this in-between state of knowing what we’re doing and PRETENDING like we know what we’re doing. Does being an adult get any easier? Do taxes become easier to understand year after year? Every day presents a new challenge and most likely, a new Google search is enterted to figure out how to fix a situation. But at least we’re in it all together, right? All aboard the struggle bus!
Who else is out there feeling the same way? Any suggestions on figuring out your passions and how they can fit within a fulfilling career? On Food for Thought Thursday, I give an update of our winter dessert menu at the Taj Hotel in Boston! You won’t want to miss it!