Due to a series of fortunate events, I have joined the carefree club, the liberated league, the free spirit federation. I am unemployed. Jobless. A vagabond.
At first it was disconcerting. How will I pay for my vanilla chai lattes and weekend fajita excursions to El Rodeo? Kidding (sort-of). Oddly enough, fear quickly gave way to tranquility. Stillness. Freedom. I feel unbound, unwound, and unsettled, but in a good way. I still wake up early and go to bed before 2. I see this as a sign of growth, a positive sign of post-college maturity.
True, it’s only been a week. I suppose I will eventually panic and wonder how I’m going to pay the electric bill, among other expenses. I spend about twenty minutes each day browsing craigslist and other job sites, trying to convince myself that I can mentally withstand another office job. I write uninspiring cover letters and send half hearted inquiry e-mails. I try to try.
The truth is: this is too easy. And by easy, I don’t mean lazy. It isn’t summer vacation, so there’s no pressure to savor idleness. TV doesn’t interest me, so I don’t have to worry about becoming a couch potato. I actually have time to enjoy things. I cook food in the oven instead of the microwave, read chapters instead of a pages, sing at stoplights instead of swear, enjoy breakfast instead of skipping for an extra ten minutes of sleep. I even make the bed.
Mother would be proud, right? Despite 23 years of begging me to make my bed, she’d probably rather me make my rent. I suppose the parents have good reason to be concerned, having just invested time, money, and energy into my college education. And I understand the parent circles are vicious when it comes to comparing offspring. So how’s Timmy doing, Janice? Medical school, how wonderful. My Marsha is just excelling at Julliard.
Luckily my parents aren’t overly concerned with Timmys and Marshas and neither am I. I just want to be happy, as trite and selfish as it sounds. I don’t want to drag myself to a desk everyday to answer phones, check invoices, and type up minutes just so I can have a 401k, whatever that is. I want to play outside, bake blueberry pies, feed baby goats, grow a vineyard of grapes, go canoeing. I want to stop wasting time.
I suppose some it is spring fever, and I truly don’t mind working as long as it isn’t monotonous. Everyone needs purpose and to be needed. I just wish someone would need me to explore, wander, and bake an occasional dessert. The logical part of me knows it is absolutely necessary to find something, anything, as soon as possible. But the other part of me, the part that can’t stop smiling, the part that can’t imagine giving up these warm balcony mornings with the guitar and a cup of tea, sees little reason to rush. When I try to remember part of it is my age, our culture, this weather, I still can’t get past the dreadful nature of white walls, swivel chairs, and bosses with inflated egos and coffee breath. It feels wrong to stay inside and I’m tired of over processing numbers that don’t matter. It doesn’t build character, it builds rage. It builds malcontent and relationships built on who is earning more.
Maybe someday they’ll find a cure to this insatiable desire to explore beyond the cubicle. A little red pill that instills responsibility and a sense of duty to paperclips and meetings and filing cabinets. That would make all this middle class adulthood a little easier to swallow. Until then, if you know anyone looking for a recent college grad with little more than a bacholars of arts degree and a bad attitude, give them my name.