Earlier this year I reflected on how I've ended up doing pretty much everything I said I'd never do. I've learned not to say such things (I think), but the other factor in those things happening is that very little in life goes according to plan. I've lost count of how many times I've re-calibrated my "plan" for my life. And every single time I do this, I somehow forget that I do not have that kind of control. Life doesn't work that way. But I'm sure each time I make those plans, there is some evil karmic being thinking, "This will be fun........"
At an event I was working recently, a very sweet lady asked me if I was a student at the university I work at.
Me: "Why thank you for thinking I still look that young, but no. I did go here for my undergrad, but I graduated 6 years ago."
(6 years? Ugh. I'm just gonna pretend like that's not a thing...............)
So that lead to her asking what my degree is in and what I'm doing now, which then raised the question, "Why grants?," accompanied by a slightly puzzled look.
Good question. I'm still asking myself the same thing.
Me: "Well, you see...................(*word vomit*)..................something about music being unstable and deciding it was a good idea to get my MBA so I could have some stability, but still pursue my musical passions on the side."
Nice Lady: "Oh, that's very smart. Good for you."
Me: (Is it though? I wracked up a ton of student loan debt and am making about the same money as I did piecing together music stuff. The only difference is that I have benefits and have to get up earlier. So is it smart? Really???? Meh.......................)
Why grants? Because it's where I freaking landed, that's why. Don't get me wrong, I actually do like what I do for the most part, but it wasn't "in my plan." At this point I don't even know what my plan was...........I just know it wasn't to be working in grants at my alma mater. And let's be honest, very few people have a clear career path that actually comes to fruition. For most of us there will inevitably be pit stops along the way. And sometimes you end up miles away from where you initially set out to be, for good or for bad. That's life.
College educated Gen. Y people, like myself, struggle to find jobs that fit what they went to school for. We're either overqualified, don't have enough "experience," or the pay is insultingly low, among many other things.
Yes, I said Gen. Y. I'm not a freaking Millennial. Give me my original title back, thank you very much. People born in the 80s/early 90s versus the late 90s/2000s are a TOTALLY different group of people. We had music with actual instruments and didn't slap auto-tune on everything. We would've killed and eaten people like Nicki Minaj!!!
On second thought, eating a disease ridden (insert colorful word of choice) would not be wise. I'm fairly certain she has gonasyphaherpalaids.
Regardless, our lives start much later than that of our parents' generation. Many of us can't have kids young because we can't find jobs that make it financially possibly to support them. We can't save anything because we're living paycheck to paycheck due to student loan debt. Buying a house and taking legitimate vacations are laughable ideas right now. That's some kind of alternate universe sh*t right there. Had I planned to be doing many of those things by this point in my life? Absolutely. Apparently those things don't fall into the 10% or less of my life that goes "according to plan."
Why the generational tangent? Life is uncertain for everyone. You never know what craziness will fall out the sky and change the course of your life, for good or for bad. Unfortunately, I do think people my age are victim to even more uncertainty in life. I want future kids to be college educated, but there's part of me that's thinking, "No! Learn a trade of some sort. The world doesn't need anymore over-educated, artsy people who are all competing for the same jobs. You'll never make any money, and I really don't want you living in my basement. That's where Mommy and Daddy's music studio is. NO TOUCHING!"
I can work really hard and be awesome at what I do for a living, but nothing is guaranteed. Pay freezes happen, cutbacks happen, political decisions are made, etc. Sometimes you have to uproot your life to make things work. I have before, and chances are I'll have to again at some point. Is that a reality I'm ready to face yet? Absolutely not. Change bad!!! But if/when the time comes, I'll have to face it, regardless of how I feel about it.
There are a lot of things in my life right now that make it very difficult to plan for the future. There I go trying to plan again.........................
I think I like being under the illusion that I can at least plan certain parts of my life.
Granted, not everything is entirely out of my control, but it sure as hell feels like it sometimes. I can control my weight, and I have. I can control my musical ability by practicing and seeking out new challenges. I can control my happiness, in a way, by living each day to the fullest and surrounding myself by people I love.
What really sucks is that I am incredibly organized and am really good at planning. Like REALLY good!!! So I can't even put this skill to use for my own life, because karma will start laughing at me again and go, "Gurrrl.....ain't nobody care about your plans!"
I'm not sure why I turned karma into a sassy black woman, but it kind of seems fitting.
Gurrrl.....you right, you right. Ain't nobody care.
Bottom line is that life doesn't go according to plan. The reality is that you have to take what life gives you and try your best to kick ass in that situation, whatever it may be. It's yet another part of adulting that I'm slowing learning. I'll figure it out some day -- it just won't be according to my plan. And maybe that's okay.
I'm an "adult," or so I've been told. I do "adult" things, I have an "adult" job, I pay bills, and I drink bourbon and wine. I have great friends and family, an amazing husband, and generally a pretty good life. I have achieved many things, yet so little at the same time. I'm 30, yet I feel more clueless than when I graduated college. This is how I "adult."