Recently I received a message of woe containing 140 characters or less:
Now this may seem like your run of the mill what-am-I-doing-with-my-life whine, and with an impending graduation looming over so many young and oh, so hopeful people with only que sera, sera to go by and this economy to go in, maybe you’d simply shrug it off as a little dramatic, but nothing new. And maybe I should, too. But I happen to know the source, the damsel in distress, if you will.
And let me tell you (and more importantly, let me tell her) that first of all, nobody knows what they are going to be when they grow up. Frankly, I’ve ditched the whole business of growing up and this wild idea that we are supposed to know what career we want when we are five years old. If that ever worked, the world would be just be a giant mess of zoo keepers and fire fighters. Based on the fact that that is not the case, the answer to the question posed is a pretty resounding: No. And, just to cover my bases, the only people I can think of who knew what they were going to be and what to expect were monarch and slaves and based on the teen fic that got me through most of high school, nobody is ever happy when their lives end up being just what they thought was going to be.
But I don’t want to write about embracing the unknown and going all Pocahontas even though that “just around the river bend” song is super catchy. Anyone can write about that and as far as I can tell, a lot of people already have. The mystery of life is pretty much old hat at this point.
Instead I’d like to write something of an ode to the lovely lady that sent that dismal tweet because it hurts my heart to think that she feels that everyone is doing just about everything better than her. And even though through regular Google chat sessions I remind her how fetch she is, it looks like I need to up my game and do some hardcore convincing.
First of all, let’s take a moment for this girl’s dream. She wants to be a writer. Correction, she is a writer, she wants to write books. This is something that, although I write all the time, and although I’ve always entertained the hope that I’d publish one day, I’d never say out loud. But she owns it.
As far as getting it, her resume is phenomenal. Seriously, my resume is flimsy in comparison and not only because she prints on fancy Eller-School-of-Business-quality paper and I print on bottom shelf printer paper, but because it is absolutely loaded with writing and reading based experience. It is literally chock full of library jobs and editing positions that I wouldn’t have even had the guts to apply for in the first place. I am fairly certain that her resume, just by being turned in at the same time as my own, got me a job one time.
And when all those apparently oblivious potential employers don’t hire her on the spot, and we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt since our hero hasn’t graduated college yet, she works out new ways to gain experience and beef up her body-builder of a employment history with a double major, a internship as a correspondent with a national paper, and by organizing, founding, and carving out a spot for in the internet a certain, ahem, lady blog.
Oh, and she has me using the (dreaded) Oxford Comma. Four years at a university and blood red papers couldn’t do that.
So, you think you are falling behind, dear friend? Because I wouldn’t be surprised if you had a manuscript already finished. What were you expecting anyways? Because I was expecting that Benji of Good Charlotte would marry me and I’d run a zoo and have a pet cheetah named Dottie. As you can probably guess, I don’t have any of that.
And frankly, I think that is where I got lucky.