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.