My FAVORITE meme on the Internet is the dog sitting in the room full of fire and acting neutral about it. Why? Because I think that’s how a lot of us feel.
When I graduated last May, I had four days between coming home and moving to New York for my grad program. These four days were spent unpacking and repacking (not successfully, sorry mom and dad) while trying to do the assignments I left until the last minute. Then, I got to New York City, started and completed my program, and moved to an apartment on the Upper East Side for three months. Finally, I came home. Did I expect to? No. Did I want to? …it’s complicated.
Feeling like a failure is something I’m used to. STOP. I don’t mean I’m wallowing in self pity, so cool your jets. I just mean I’m overdramatic and if I get a B on a paper I’m convinced I’ve ruined my life. (Fun story: in kindergarten I literally hit my head against my desk and said “I’m stupid” over and over when I got things wrong. I’ve been crazy for some time now.) Knowing this, after not finding a job in New York and coming home, you can imagine my mental state. It wasn’t great.
At home I cried a lot. It was good that I could spend time with my family and friends again, and I was saving so much money, but guess what? Seeing my friends on social media living their (probably a little fake) happy lives made me feel worthless. I felt like a waste of space, a waste of resources, and I had no motivation to do anything at all. I worked at my family’s restaurant bartending and serving, but trying to hype myself up to go in? That consisted of me downing at least two cups of coffee, and hyperventilating in my car until I was sure I wouldn’t have a breakdown inside. Fun stuff.
I didn’t want to tell my parents how I felt because they had enough issues going on, I didn’t want to tell my friends because they had WAY too much happening in their own lives, and I didn’t want to tell my boyfriend because I didn’t want to use him as a therapist. Instead, I cried before bed every night and tried to act like it was all okay when I woke up! Shock horror, that didn’t work. I know, you’re just as surprised as me.
Do you want to know what did work? Taking a break from social media. Seeing my friends that will have real conversations with me about real world topics. Not bullshitting my parents about how I’m feeling. Letting go of this need to please or be liked by everyone in my life. Most of all, not comparing myself to people years older than I am. My biggest problem in life is comparison. Unfortunately, I know a lot of people that are 25+ and doing incredible things. Funny enough, I am not 25. If you’re also not 25, I highly recommend not comparing yourself to people that are. In fact, don’t compare yourself to anyone at all! That’s nearly impossible, I know, but I’m doing my best and so should you. Taking about a month and a half break from social media was a huge help for me, and now that I’m back on it I’m realizing that I don’t like what I used to post. I was annoying and a real try-hard. Now, my feed is slowly turning in to something I love rather than something I look at and feel anxious about.
What I miss the most is this stupid blog. I stopped posting on it because I got busy with my program, and then I was busy with searching for jobs, and now I’m busy being a little bitch, whining and complaining when I really have nothing to whine or complain about. I was always so worried about posting here because what if people think it’s stupid? What if someone judges me for writing a dumb post? What if, what if, what if…what if I just stopped caring? So here it is. After almost nine months of ignoring it, I’m resurrecting this thing because I miss writing, and I miss stream of consciousness posts, and I miss feeling like I’m putting something in to the world that might help someone else. Even if you just hate-read this, I hope you enjoy tearing it to shreds. In a few hours, I know I will.
Disclaimer: I’m very lucky. My parents help me, my friends are wonderful, and I really have nothing to complain about. I know many people who are dealing with horrible, unfair situations that I can’t imagine having in my life. However, I also know this feeling of worthlessness and uncertainty after graduation isn’t something that only I feel. While it will come to pass and I firmly believe there is a plan in motion etc etc cliche cliche cliche, sometimes we just need the validation that we are not alone in our, sometimes over-the-top and groundless, emotions.