Here is a brief transcript of a conversation I had today. I have this identical conversation with someone–family, friends, my mother’s soccer teammates– at least once a week. Nearly word for word. It goes something like this:
“So…Pam, you’re still taking care of the kids?”
“But this isn’t going to be forEVER is it?”
“Uh…no. I’m saving up to go back to school.”
“Oh good. Gonna get your Master’s?”
“Maybe…I’m sort of thinking of going to culinary school. So I can be a food writer.”
“Well, that’s the plan right now.”
“Well, don’t wait too long or you’ll be 30 and wonder what happened to your life.”
Yes, I understand that sometimes people do makes plans and then…forget. I know some people plan on going back to school and then don’t. They just…don’t. But here’s the thing: they are not me. And even if I was the type of person to abandon my goals because I’m too comfortable in my mediocrity–which I am NOT–I don’t think anyone should be throwing time in my face just yet. It takes time to save money. If I could forgo eating and heating my house so that I could go back to school sooner, believe me, I would, but then I’d be dead, and then it would be really hard for me to get into school.
But anyway, I personally feel, threatening a 22-year-old girl with the decay of her future is a little heartless. Don’t they know I’m already afraid? Don’t they realize with every page-turn of the calendar, I internally panic. On the anniversary of my graduation from college I think I might have had an actual seizure because that’s the only explanation for the spasm that rocked my body when I saw the date on the screen of my cell phone. Well, maybe a seizure, or perhaps PARALYZING FEAR!
I want to rock the world. Always have. I didn’t get all A’s as a kid to make my parents proud (as long as I was sober and without child they would have been happy); I got those grades to get the fuck out of Warren and finally be able to shine, baby, shine. Well, am I shining now? No. No, I wouldn’t say that I am.
So, yes, I know the clock is ticking. Yes, I am well aware that every day I keep doing this is one less day I could be doing something else. And it freaks the hell out of me. But I am a pragmatic being and the fact of the matter is, even if I get grants and loans, having a little monetary safety net will never, ever hurt. And I’ve made it this far in life without a dime of debt, so if I can avoid it now, shouldn’t I? So I’m waiting. I’m saving. I’m being patient. As much as I want to dive headfirst into the next phase of my life without thought or care, I’m lingering on the diving board for a few more months.
Now, I would just appreciate it if everyone could be patient along with me.