It took me a long time to figure out what to write about this week. I’ve been racking my brain, pulling stuff out of my butthole that I think will be funny, but nothing is there. In an effort to cure my block, I tried to remember what any English teacher has ever told me. Like probably everyone else, I’ve always been encouraged to write about what I know and I hated when they would say that. What does that even mean? What’s the fun in that? Lots of authors write about what they don’t know; it’s not like J.K. Rowling wrote a book about her good ol’ mems at witchcraft school. Now, writing about what you know doesn’t necessarily mean writing about your life—That is, of course, unless you feel your life is worth being written about—which I never have. Yet somehow, it's different this time. I finally feel like I'm at the stage in my life where I want everyone to understand how amazing it is...and how much it can suck. So, that’s precisely what I need to do at this very moment. I’m going to write about my life and what I know. I hope somebody out there can relate, and I'm sure many will. (Maybe even Taylor Swift. On a boat. With a Kennedy or One Directioner.)
Here's What I Know About Life at 22:
I know what it’s like to be excited, liberated, upset, and inexplicably terrified at the same time.
I know what it’s like to lie in bed at night feeling so frustrated that I find myself blinking away tears before I fall asleep.
I know that I do the same thing every time I drive back home after visiting old friends out of town, not because I miss college, but because I miss having them around like I did in college.
I know that I spent the better part of four years of college so certain about who I was going to be, what I was going to do, how I was going to get there, so READY… and how all that certainty disappeared in a whoosh the instant I graduated.
I know that I feel a sharp twinge of resentment every time I see another friend on Facebook or Twitter post about their brand new “big girl” job and I’m over here trying to figure out what I’m doing wrong.
I know I laugh every time someone says to only include "relevant experience" on my resume...as if I have enough experience to omit something irrelevant.
I know that it keeps me up at night hoping that somebody will decide to take a chance on me.
I know that I am constantly at war with myself over my indescribable gratitude to have parents that let me come back home and my need—almost to the point of pain—to get out as soon as possible.
I know that I am afraid far more than I wish to admit.
I know I’m deathly afraid of settling.
I know I’m deathly afraid of getting hired and hating it every day.
I know I’m deathly afraid of getting hired and completely letting people down.
I know that people tell me that I’m supposed to hate my first job.
I know my heart refuses to accept that every time.
I know it's pretty hard to hate something I don't have (yet).
I know that people tell me a lot of things about life that they expect me to understand or accept and I don’t.
I know that I’m going to have days at work where I hate it and I’m totally okay with that.
I know that all I want to do is work really, really hard and pay my dues (whatever those may be) and for somebody out there to let me (soon).
I know that all I want to do is spend my time doing something that I actually like doing, along side people with whom I like doing those things.
I know that I’m often idealistic.
I know that I’m glad I am.
I know I kick myself every single time I hear myself complaining because I know I'm so damn fortunate.
I know I worry and I pretend not to.
I know I worry about making a decision because I feel I have to right as something better comes along.
I know I spend too much time over-thinking the "what ifs."
I know that I still have almost all my things still packed up in my garage—even after six months—because I convince myself that this is all temporary and I'll be off on my way tomorrow afternoon, even when I won't.
I know that I treat most situations as if they’re temporary and worry that accepting it otherwise may potentially hold me back.
I know that it’s a dumb way to live and I will try harder not to.
I know that I spend far too much time looking up successful people to see how they got there and never being able to find what they did right out of college--the one thing I desperately wish to see.
I know that I'm still comforted by the fact that every person I've ever looked up to has felt the way I feel at this very moment.
I know I have more good days, the days where I feel confident and optimistic, than the ones where I don’t.
I know that I am really, really young.
I know that I actually don't know anything and that's okay.
I know that I’m good and honest and funny and kind and creative and this big, weird limbo stage in my life won’t last forever.
I know I’ve got a lot of people looking out for me and I’m far more thankful than I let on.
I know that one day down the road, I’m going to give another 22 year old, with the same resume they hope is enough but probably isn’t, a chance to show up in a pencil skirt they’ve never worn and give them a break. The break that probably keeps them up at night hoping someone will give them.
After all, I would know.