August 11th, 2014
You graduated college with wide eyes and dreams that extend beyond the panorama setting of your phone screen.
Travel Europe? Cute. See Africa? Cute. Change the world just because you're special? Sooo cute.
You resemble something like a newborn bunny when you graduate college. In that darkened cap and gown--with sashes and honors that translate to another morning of Craigslist job searching--you look like some idyllic goodbye "Friends" episode. You're a soft, innocent, wide-eyed bunny.
Fifteen months after graduation, your dreams grow mold and start to taste sour. Europe? Funny. Loans? Sooo funny.
You start looking disheveled. Unpaid internship? Bills. Living at home? Not in the manual. Your reality? Applications, cover letters and resumes; all resting on an employers overcrowded desk, in the Junk Mail section.
It's cute, the entitlement that's bred into each diploma that's handed out. And at first, it's endearing. But, fifteen months later, even you want to hammer yourself in the foot. Even you realize the dreams were hollow; weightless, white, an insignificant cloud passing by.
The loans, weight, frustration, self-pity. At some point, you have to have that burdensome foundation. Things that weigh you down in understanding and truth and reality.
What they don't tell you at graduation is how bitter sweat tastes when it hits your lips; the salty realization when you finally understand that good things don't sprint to the privileged with college educations.
No one's smiling at your lack of direction anymore. Your lack of paycheck, and salary. Your growing interest rate. Your whimsical hunger to "just live", "be free", "be happier than my parents", "travel", "write", "make art for the sake of art", "be uninhibited, and uncommitted".
Shut up. It's not cute.
Lack of sacrifice, lack of responsibility, lack of perseverance; those aren't "qualifying" you for anything. They may look nice and adventurous on your Eharmony profile, but that's about it. You can't hide behind high school, or academia, or elusive, "future" bills anymore.
What that diploma taught you, gave you the right to, is adulthood. Pain, suffering, insurance, dental costs, oil changes. Your parents didn't settle; they found a way to survive. They fought.
And how cowardly, for us, to look down on such warriors. How disgusting, demeaning, and insensitive to call such lives "uninspired, uncreative, and unfulfilling".
There is character and worth and fire built into the struggle of hard work. It's time to strengthen our backs and put down our books. To stop talking theory and metaphysics. Stop looking for jobs that are "just right for me", and start working. To stop having the time to say #thestruggleisreal while instragramming pictures of food and beach days and getaway vacations.
And please, by all means, make art; write; seek more; travel; look for "that job". But don't sit in the bleachers, waiting for your name to be called, to be handed, to be rewarded--for sitting, waiting, expecting, doing nothing.
Get up. Fight for your "every day". Because you're not a bunny; you're an adult.
(Now excuse me. My open, peace-sign Craigslist tabs are freezing the computer.)