Getting Heavy With Some Life Stuff

by K.E. Brown

I realized something this morning.

This is my last week as a student. After Friday, I won’t just be an unemployed 21-year-old who lives with her parents, I will be an unemployed 21-year-old with a BA in English who lives with her parents. I lay in bed staring at my Matt Smith poster and all I could think was “So when does my adult life start?” Cause it sure as hell isn’t starting next Monday.

I’ve spent my summer doing the quintessential young adult thing- going out to bars, crashing on friends’ couches, and concerts concerts concerts. I’ve blacked out in traditional Japanese karaoke rooms because Soju does not actually taste like alcohol. I’ve puked into empty Starbucks cups because I was late to work and barely had enough time to rinse my mouth out before teaching drama camp. I have been an excellent college student. And now it’s time to be done.

I really thought that by the time I got to this almost degree having point in my life, I would also be ready to launch the career having part of my life. When I was graduating from High School I was so sure that I would be at New York by this time, ready to become the next Broadway star. And then about halfway through college I decided that by the time I graduated, I was going to be in the process of getting my first novel published. As I got more realistic in my goals I figured I would be some sort of freelance writer or copywriting intern when I graduated.

Today, I applied to work at Jamba Juice, Best Buy, and Barnes and Noble.

But I think I’m okay with that. I had all of these grand plans for after graduation and all of them have fallen through but I’m not spazzing quite as hard as I was this morning.

Life is a weird thing, you know? I think that as far back as I can remember, I’ve had plans for the future. It was elementary school then high school then college. I never had to ask the question “what am I going to do next year?” or “where am I going to live next year?” And all of the sudden, those questions are slapping me in the face.

Here’s the thing though, there is something releasing about the not knowing. The ability to be spontaneous, to not be dealing with due dates and grades or lesson plans or parents, to be able to roll out of bed and go to work and then have the rest of the day to figure out what it is people do when they have nothing to do.

It’s time for me to explore. To find my balance between fun and responsibility, to find what it is that gives me meaning in life while still making enough to live on. I have time to write now but no pressure to get it done because my livelihood depends on it. I get to teach dance classes without the stress of being the one in charge of anything and on top of that, I get to keep being 21. I get to the non-school related bar hopping concert going socializing thing. And right now, there is nothing about the situation that stresses me out.