my together.

Being in grad school is weird. It’s weird in a lot of ways that I keep meaning to write about, but keep not writing about, because grad school. I’m 27 years old. I have 4 roommates. Alternately, the three most important people in my life — my sister, my 2 best friends — they’re married, they’re home owners. And I make about the same about of money as teaching assistant as I did working at the mall (I’m not joking. I know it’s not polite to talk about money, but lately I’ve started to realize just how tyrannical this idea is. We act like we don’t talk about it because it’s rude, because money isn’t everything, because it’s best not to brag. But really what it means is that we don’t tell each other how much we’re struggling. We never really get a number on how many people around us, in successful jobs and in cashmere-blend sale-rack sweaters are actually just plain old poor. Maybe this is too political for this here blog, but there seems to be something to this whole ‘not talking about money’ thing that has less to do with being polite and more to do with some aristocratic need to keep us from talking to each other and realizing just how broke we all are and starting the revolution. I make 16k. Okay, moving on.) 

When you’re young, everyone’s life moves at the same pace. High school, first kisses, graduation. Going away to college, graduation again. All the time was marked by the same milestones. But at 22, we start to diverge. There are fast track jobs and finding the one. Traveling the world and finding yourself. There are a million choices in between. And it’s hard, really hard, not to look around sometimes and wonder if you made the right choice. If you’re where you should be. And even though I know that I am, it can be lonely to feel like the only one here. In this place, with this choice.

Sometimes, I just feel left behind. Like I got off track.

Which isn’t to say I don’t have it together. Because I do. as best as anyone does. It’s just that my together looks different than everyone else's right now. More mid-twenties. More on the way than already there. 

Over the weekend I went out for tamales with my friend Whit (this seems unrelated … but stay with me.) My judgement was impaired by two margaritas, so after dinner I impulse purchased an inspirational sweatshirt (less commitment than its close relative, the inspirational tattoo). The sweatershirt says “be honest. stay true.” I’m wearing it right now.

So I guess that’s all this is. Some work at staying true.



(photo) Tyler took this after I got off work one night this summer. My make-up is all under my eyes and I have humidity hair, but I think it must be how I look when I'm not trying to look like anything.
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12 comments:

  1. I love this. It is tempting to paraphrase your first sentence or two for my own blog. So nice to know we aren't alone, isn't it? I feel like I'm starting life over again at 29. But I think I'm on the right path this time.

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    1. "I'm think I'm on the right path this time" <-- love that, Caroline. and paraphrase all you want!

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  2. You are a very beautiful woman!
    Certainly more than once I visit your blog, because just as you are beautiful, simple. I love this place.
    Regards, Karla

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    1. that's such a kind thing to say, Karla! posting pictures of myself tends to wake up those competing voices of yes/no in my head. so thanks for your sweet words.

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  3. Love. It.
    I'm a dirt poor grad student (married to someone who just finished an MA and is now trying to find their way work-wise) and you totally nailed it.
    Jill

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    1. Jill, for the number of people I know in grad school, it's surprising how rarely I hear anyone talk about how truly unstable it all feels!

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  4. I can totally relate Sam. keep it positive, always. HUGS x

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  5. Needed this. Know there are others in the same place as you - you're feeling lonely, but you're truly not alone.

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  6. You are such a breath of fresh air! I always say for change to happen we need to talk about all the banished topics: money, religion, politics! I like talking about all these things:) So hear you on the life track! Have felt the same way as I've taken what feels like a bit of a U turn to travel. Thanks for sharing!!

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    1. Cheslea, following along on your "u-turn" (love that phrase!) has been a major inspiration to me lately. we have a lot of time to get where we're going, we might as well take the scenic route :)

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