On Upward Mobility, at 23.

[this is a really pathetic post. If you’re not in the mood for serious self-pity, please don’t read any further…]

It has been a rough few days. Right now, I feel like the part of me that feels anything but that strange apathetic misery has disappeared.
I’ve been prone to bouts of tears. They come at random times.
Last night, Kevin brought home Chinese food (I’d been camping out on his couch, feeling sorry for myself and watching Mission Impossible) and I cried. So that was awkward. For a man who has no idea how to deal with the waves of feminine emotions, it might have been too much to handle.
“Is there something you’re not telling me?” he asked.
Well. About that.

But let’s rewind.
5pm Friday.
I was seriously excited to see Katie, who was in town for the weekend. We were going to meet up, grab drinks, and meet up with her/our friend Mark after he got off work.
I’m driving home. 6th and Colorado (I always get held up at the light.) One of my Gmail accounts dings. Mail. I open it.
UCD rejects me swiftly, before the light changes.
I catch my breath. Humiliation sinks in. Shame.
I had considered many scenarios. Many. None of them included being rejected. Flippantly, I’d been saying that if I didn’t get into grad school, I’d have no idea what to do with my life. But those statements were made with the underlying assumption that I’d get in.
What?!?!? The email said that while they couldn’t tell me why, blah blah blah, something about recommendation letters. I may have ignored one of their requirements that I have two letters of recommendation from former professors. I had one. It was a beautiful letter, but I neglected to get the second, and instead used a family that I babysit for.
Idiotic move, in hindsight.
But regardless of my disregard for the stated process, I am still not good enough for UCD. So, wow.
Of course, I handled it incredibly maturely and proceeded to get absolutely, ridiculously drunk. Classy, I know. Sloppy. And to make matters so much worse, I wore heels.
Now, if you’ll remember the incident in Chicago in mid-2010…the one where upon being denied entry to a club due to my status as a “liability”, I told the bouncer that I wasn’t drunk, I just had double-jointed ankles that prevented me from walking straight. (I actually do have double-jointed ankles, for the record. Should probably stay away from heels any time my BAC is above .08.) It was basically like that.

I’m now a walking failure. Just completely lost. Doomed to pull a tiny salary for the rest of my life. I’m so upset. I can’t even tell you the last time I felt this lack of optimism. (Actually, I can. The last time this happened, I got a cat. So about two years ago. But don’t worry, I have enough cats [one is always enough cats] and I don’t have the cash for anything wild.)

I know that life is a funny place.
I get that.
But watching everyone else around me find contentment and success professionally, personally, romantically, academically…it’s all just too much.

I’m just in a position in my life where nothing is going right. When Heidi Klum and Seal announced their divorce last week, I was uncharacteristically shaken. If they can’t do it, who can? My own relationship is shaky, at best. It’s not meeting my needs, and it’s frustrating. I so badly want it to work. I don’t think he’s willing to meet me halfway. I don’t think he quite understands what I need and I’m not sure how to tell him. My job is fine. I love my company, I really do. But it’s hard to see a future where I still only pull $1800 month after taxes. It’s hard to make a life like that. I want to own a home. My future is uncertain. I hate that uncertainty. That’s the worst part.

And don’t start with the “but you’re young” bullshit. I’m almost 24. I get that I’m young. But when you were 24, did that seem so young? No. It’s that precarious time where the shedding of our adolescent predilections is finalized and our adulthood settles in. I was out with a friend and he started in with the “you’re young” business. Well, I’m not young enough that you can’t take me home with you, so don’t patronize me. I can and will play ball on your level. You just need to realize that your level is the same as everybody else’s.

I get that I’m foolish and full of thoughts. But I don’t think that those stem from my youth. I think that some of us are eternally doomed to steep in our emotions, in our thoughts, in our heads. There are plenty of people at all ages who are just as lost as I am right now. And there are plenty of people at all ages who will never have the qualities that I have. At my core, I am a beautiful person. I know that I’m fiercely intelligent. I’m open to new experiences; I’m polite (situationally, of course); I’m beautiful; I’m funny; I’m kind-hearted; I’m sarcastic; I’m an excellent maker of French toast; yes, I’m hyper-aware of my emotions – it’s the greatest gift and ultimate worst curse. I’m constantly growing and changing, becoming more and more the person that I want to be. But at my core, I’ll always be a little wild. And I like that.

I’ve been making a list of things that I can be instead of a therapist, because the door just got slammed hard on that one. But I won’t list them here, because they’re basically the primetime lineup for A&E and History channel: logger, pawn shop owner, swamp person, etc. (I’m way too much of a girl to be a swamp person, just for the record. And I refuse to eat squirrel.)

And please don’t think that I’m not grateful. I may be wallowing (I need a few days to really embrace the depths of the sadness before I can kick my way out), but I’m still aware of the blessings in my life. Sort of. Mostly. Maybe.


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