Above you will see me, a childless 25 year old whose only acceptable life accomplishment at this point is being 200k in house debt, enjoying a blonde beer as many DC universe superheroes are hanging from the ceiling by their necks. I am newly 25. Twenty four hours earlier, I was 24, I burned myself with my curling wand. I braved Publix for bread and milk. I bought a raspberry air freshener that, unfortunately, actually smells like cherry medecine and now my house smells like a doctor’s office. This is my life.
My mom says this is a milestone birthday. When she was my age, she had a toddler (me) and was already on her second marriage. It’s strange to compare.
Oftentimes I feel like I’m floating just a little bit outside of my body – the feeling can be described as lofty and I can say that I pretty much always feel half in / half out of myself. But not recently. I’ve been withdrawn and under my skin. My relationships are suffering. My professional life is cracking.
Truth is, I want to write. I want to write articles, essays, humor pieces, novels. I want to work from home. I want to spend time with my family. I want my own family. So much of my time is spent at a job that I’m not passionate about but I’m chained to it – healthcare, 401k, ect. Why is it fair to be like “well when you retire you’ll be thankful you stayed” when retirement may not be a thing when I reach that age or god what if I die before that and I wasted all of my time with a job and a life that didn’t fulfill me? As a member of the working class, it isn’t practical to abandon a 9-5 with benefits. 8-5, 9-6, what have you. There are portions of my life that I need to be able to afford. Why do I have to choose? Why isn’t the standard “afford happiness” instead of “afford your things” ?
I’m married. I have two cats. I have a house. I’m responsible for things, I can’t just do what I love. I can’t live minimally when there’s different kinds of knives for different kinds of cheeses and specific glasses for specific wines and gnomes to collect and home theaters to be built. Some of those things do make me happy. But what does it even matter when I’m only home for a third of my year and I’m asleep for another third of that. Is this the American dream?