I’ve never been one for reaching developmental milestones in any sort of timely manner, and I’m pretty certain my days of walking the line of overachievement peaked in elementary school. I’ve occupied the time since then with trying to figure out how to live the dream, whatever that dream is, because short of winning the lottery, I’m not even sure anymore. The end of a year is a time for reflection and self-assessment, a time when you should look for ways to improve yourself in the coming year. As I look back on 2014, I’ve begun to realize that I didn’t grow up at all.
I’ve always taken issue with adulthood, especially now that it’s supposedly my reality. I didn’t particularly want to leave high school (something “adult” me thinks is utterly ridiculous) and I really fucking didn’t want to leave college (something “adult” me still thinks). Grad school was a last-ditch effort to avoid what this year finally brought me: the real world. Let me tell you something all you PGPers already know — it sucks more than your local truck-stop lot lizard. So, throughout this year when my world should have been full of growth and maturity, I look back at every 2 a.m.-er on a work night, every weekend-long bender, every inadequate paycheck and subsequent poor spending decisions, every mistake made in the daunting task of luring potential suitors, along with numerous failed attempts at resembling a self-sufficient human being, and I’m starting to think I’m just digressing at this point.
For one, I still love to party. I’m not talking just getting a little tipsy at happy hour — I mean I still love to be told to please exit the bar, then proceed to the “after-party” until either the sun rises or it is physically impossible to continue. “After-party” is in quotes these days because it’s likely not really a “party” as much as it is just a couple people ensuring they’ll feel like absolute dog shit the next morning. But I do it anyway, even if it’s by myself, because that’s what young people do.
Engagements, weddings, and babies still weird me out. I know I should be excited for people moving into the next phase of their lives, and I suppose I am, maybe. But all I see is a slippery slope of fun-killing. I know, I know, I’m a horrible person. Whatever. I’ll work on it in 2015…or 2016.
I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I went through a slew of majors, from computer science, to accounting, to industrial safety, to biology, then back to accounting, to finance, to pre-law, to [insert any other potential money-making venture], and I wanted to be it. However, I’m not sure I really wanted to be any of those things as much as I just wanted to be rich, and hopefully like what I was doing to get that way. Now, my negative net worth and I are sitting in my office trying to come to terms with the fact that I enjoy writing internet smut and live-tweeting my boxed wine adventures more than just about anything else. I’m not sure that’s growth. I also recall my dad calling the liberal arts “More tea, sir?” degrees, and, unfortunately, I imagine that’s still truer than it isn’t.
The ways I feel I have grown are likely frowned upon by societal standards. This year, I discovered that I’m perfectly capable of having a nice evening in — just me, my liquor cabinet, and my Netflix and/or Spotify. My neighbors can think what they want, but my solo drunken dance parties are the shit. I also discovered it’s okay to not be happy with your current state of affairs, whether it be a job you hate, a level of singleness that is borderline concerning, or just a sense of indirection in general. I may not have grown up at all this year, but I think that’s okay. If everything was perfect, it would be called “Post Grad Perfection,” wouldn’t it?.