I would like to draw attention to the magical veil that lies silently and gracefully dormant over your hometown. For the first 18 to 22 years of your life, it makes you believe that this right here is what you want, and that it couldn’t possibly get better than this. You know what I’m talking about, right? You have your old high school friends, Friday night football games, the sketchy older brother of your friend Garrett who buys you beer and peach schnapps, your room is exactly the way you worked so hard to make it, and although you hate your parents, they still buy the mass amounts of groceries you consume and pay for the roof over your head. Life was perfect.
Then you’re forced out into a world cloaked in booze, drugs, and shack shirts for a solid four years, if not more. They are the lost years–the years you will never get back, no matter how desperately you cling onto them. Before you know it, you’re right back in your hometown with your old high school friends, Friday night football games, Garrett and his older brother, the room that looks exactly how 18-year-old you left it, and your parents.
The one thing that seems to have changed is you.
Your high school friends, with the exception of the small handful of those who managed to get out and stay out, are exactly like they were when you parted ways after senior year: immature, unmotivated, and still wearing their letterman jackets. They still hang out in the back of that Walmart parking lot for fun after each and every Friday night football game. These are the same Friday night football games that makes you cringe just thinking about them, because you know that the moment you step foot through the gate, you’re going to have a small reunion with every person you’ve ever met throughout your entire existence, including Garrett. Where is his sketchy older brother, you ask? His sketchy older brother is in prison for the next three years for felony possession and distribution of an illegal substance. But that’s cool with you, because now that you’re old enough to buy alcohol yourself. You’ve also realized he cheated you out of a small fortune on piss water and disgusting peach schnapps. You hate your room now instead of your parents, and wish they’d pay for the new roof over your head and the mass amounts of groceries you either have no time to eat or binge on during your Saturday Netflix screening.
As far as that magical veil lying silently and gracefully dormant? It awakened the moment your diploma came in the mail, and you are now drowning in it. It feels something like a reverse lobotomy. You have a college education and live in a town where people either name their kid Paizleygh or say things like, “I’ve never caught the pregnancy, but…” I’m sorry? You’ve never what now? You believe people can’t possibly be this stupid, yet here we are.
Whereas your life was once obscured with adult bevarages, recreational drugs, and the latest homecoming gear, it is now a seemingly endless pit of job applications, interviews, and living vicariously through that Facebook friend who somehow always ends up doing the coolest fucking shit for his or her job.
This is the beginning of adulthood. You may have also heard it referred to as hell. Welcome.