Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"Whaaat am I doing with ma-eeee la-eeef"

Whenever someone realizes I'm close to graduating, they say something along the lines of "Oh, are you excited?" 

Usually I squint at them for a second while I try to figure out if they're making fun of me, then say "I guess."

 But what I really want to say is "Um, are you kidding me with this noise right now? Of course not. It's just as stressful once you graduate, trying to find a job and make a life for yourself and figure out how to pretend you're a functional adult, only it's now a form of stress that I am completely unfamiliar with, having only now adjusted to college stress."

And people keep telling me it'll all work out, and I'll find a job and all that, but I still spend 95% of my time singing a little song in my head that goes "What am I doing with my life, whaaaaaat am I doooooing with mah-eeeeh lah-eeeeef, what the %@!# what the %@!# what the %%%%@@@@!!!! I doing with my life" (to various tunes. Some days it's a jaunty ragtime tune, others its a mournful gospel hymn. Depends on the weather, I think).

And sometimes I have moments where I realize what I must look like to other people, and in those moments I am one hundred percent absolutely positive that no one will ever give me a job. I don't even think it in a self-pitying way, it's more a moment of clarity when I realize "I would not hire me either."

For example, Stephen walked in the front door earlier to find me standing in the kitchen on the phone, hair done up with a red bandana in a loose interpretation of what it would look like if Rosie the Riveter spent her weekends as a cagefighter and was not particularly good at it, wearing overalls that I swore no one outside my immediate family would ever see me in, drinking sweet tea out of a measuring cup. It was the measuring cup, I think, that really drove it all home. He stood in the doorway for a minute while I got off the phone, then cautiously asked "Whatcha dooooin? You look you've been up to something."

And while I pondered how to best answer his question (in reality, I had spend much of my day chasing a fly around the apartment like the neurotic that I am), I realized what it must be like to realize you live with a person who, when left alone for an hour, turns into one of the local townsfolk from Deliverance. And, future employment being on my mind as often as it is, my next thought was that no one should ever pay me to do anything of importance, except maybe egg a house or catch a greased pig.

Then I realized I was being unrealistic: a good employer would care about my abilities, not the strange and juvenile life I lead on my own time. Also there's no way I'm athletic enough to catch a greased pig. So the moment passed.

Anyway, the next time someone asks me if I'm excited about graduation, I think I'll answer, "Sure, as long as I don't end up in pig wrangling" because an honest answer is always a good answer.

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