My feet hurt and probably swelled up and turned pink the moment I slipped them out of my tennis shoes tonight. I just got home at 3:17 a.m. after working a middle of the night shift at work, getting the store ready for our April set. I did this last month, and the month before that as well.
As I was driving home, I couldn’t help but think about the types of things that always cross my mind when this time of the month comes around again. I start thinking about how I’m working random hours, can barely get on a normal sleep schedule before it’s disrupted again, am getting paid just enough that I can pay my car payment, put away money for my insurance, and fill up my car with gas (sometimes). Currently, I don’t even have the income to pay for my student loans, my parents are taking care of it, which I’m very grateful for. I can’t help but wonder though, what am I doing here?
I can’t help but feel cheated by the American Dream we all have grown up with. The “you can be anything you want to be in America.” We preach independence, count on being able to exercise it, and have such an individualistic society that living at home with your parents for a certain amount of time starts to grate on you and your own sense of self and accomplishment. I’m working the type of job I would have worked in high school (in fact, most people I work with seem to think I’m a senior in high school, but that’s another story), yet I’m college-educated and have enough of the skills required to perform well at a job that’s actually going to use what I have to offer. I’m trying my hardest to find avenues to either land me jobs or freelance opportunities, but I feel like I keep hitting dead ends or delays. I’m angry that our economy and country is so messed up that companies are using tactics like requiring your Facebook password in order for you to be hired and disregarding tons of applicants simply because of the number of applications. The political climate and legislation and idiotic squabbling going on over the economy, budget, and where this country is going is not helping anyone, other than the super-rich that are sitting comfortably while everyone else suffers from pay cuts, insurance worries, debt, or unemployment. I’d like to know where the America I knew just ten years ago went, or at least rest assured that I’ve been wearing rose-colored glasses all these years, and that I’m going to have to find my avenue to success and stability in a very unconventional way.