September 9, 2009

Oh, bebes

School started this week and it's strange (although a huge relief) not to be going back. It was orientation last week at the University of Minnesota and while walking around I got caught in a sea of freshmen walking back to the dorms. I heard one tiny little baby nervously say to his friend, "I sure hope I picked the right career."

Part of me was really jealous. I wish I could be that young and naive again, my 20s stretching out in front of me, knowing the little choices I made at the time would make a huge impact on my adult life - and actually using that knowledge to do something. Of course I'd only go back if I knew what I know now, otherwise I'm sure 18-year-old me would still stupidly waste her 20s held back by fear, anxiety, self doubt and blind devotion. Trying to find purpose in making coffee for rich people and loving people who don't want to be loved. Finding comfort in predictable unhappiness and postponing fulfillment.

Part of me wanted to burst his bubble. Tell him that 10 years later, he's probably going to be like me - still broke, still lost and only slightly smarter - with a long resume detailing all the ways you've failed. It doesn't matter what career you pick when you're 18. You'll end up where you end up and you'll learn to be happy just to have a job. It's sad, but it really is true. A job is a job is a job. As long as you're doing something where you can make decent money by doing something you don't despise, who cares? The rest of your life is your time, and that's what you should concentrate on.

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