Before I start anything else, before I bust out all my life affirming facts and ponderings of a late twenty-something, I just want to put down something here that I was told not that long ago that was genuinely life affirming. In theory I don’t think it’s much, it might not sound like much, but it helped me a lot, so I’m paying it forward.
You hate your job, you hate what you do for a living, you don’t feel like you’ve achieved anything you should have by this point in your life. That’s okay. It’s not your fault. Your job is awful because the economy is awful right now. It doesn’t mean you’re undeserving or lazy or not as good as the people who were lucky enough to step out of education straight into the perfect job. That’s the dream, sure, but it’s far from the reality of most people our age.
We’re in the biggest recession for a century right now. We were unlucky that we graduated at a time when companies are saving money every way they can, not by laying off staff as they used to when times got hard, but simply not hiring.
That isn’t your fault. Your current situation isn’t your fault. You’re taking any job you can get because you have to, even though it makes you miserable, it’s necessary. You have to. In no way does the job you do define who you are or determine your worth. If you go out every day and work in a shop, or in an office, or behind a bar that doesn’t make you any less an artist, or an actor, or a writer, or a musician. You make money however you can so that you can be the person you are. Fuck what you do for money, you’re doing that for you. You’re never too old. Period. You’re never too old.
Things will change for the better sooner or later. History tells us that. Recessions have to end and things have to pick up and people will be desperate to employ again. It’s not your fault, you’re a victim of unfortunate circumstance. It isn’t because you aren’t good enough. You are. You’ve just been dicked over. And it doesn’t help with the thousands of various social media outlets mean that you are constantly allowing yourself to be bombarded with pictures and words of people who you think are prettier or skinnier or more successful than you. But no one posts about their failings and their anxieties, and you can bet that most of them are doing the same thing, looking at other people, wanting other things. We’re being programmed to be discontent, and if you’re already being gnawed at by bigger things, the little things can worm their way in much easier.
Don’t set your bar by other people. Even if it’s people you know who have everything they wanted, sometimes that’s just down to plain old shitty luck. Some people have it. But only some. You aren’t the only one in debt, unmarried, living with your parents, feeling like you must have done something wrong. You didn’t.
You’re unlucky to have graduated in this limbo place between people who went into work before the economy went bust and the kids younger than you who are now being encouraged into apprenticeships that will open doors for them in the future.
This isn’t your fault. You aren’t to blame. Things will get better. But for now, remember, you are not what you do for money, you are everything that surrounds that.
And, also, you’re not alone. Maybe that’s what I took most out of this. That’s why I started this blog. So you know that I’m here, too. I’m in the same place. It sucks. But I’ll happily remind you you’re worthy of your place in the world. You’re brilliant.