Since moving back home, New Year’s Eve hasn’t had the same appeal as it did in college. The party invitations sound fun, but they’re from near strangers whom I haven’t spoken to since high school. At the same time, my friends from college who fill the memories of “remember that time!” and “did you see that?” grow stranger all the time. We text salutations and congratulations when Facebook updates remind us that we used to be bestest friends, but it’s getting harder.
Our lives are oversaturated with communication, but it gets harder and harder to just talk. The memories will always be there, but the miles between us relegate them to the back of our minds as jobs and families and new friends need the space.
With those melancholy thoughts, my new year was bittersweet. I spent it with my family, whom I am so lucky to have. We watched movies and drank champagne, but even the happy, fizzy buzz from my wineglass couldn’t turn my thoughts from the simple fact that I am 24 years old, and instead of being out with my friends, who all seemed to have awesome jobs and boyfriends and apartments, I was sitting at home—where I still live.
I felt like a Taylor Swift song, all what-ifs and never-beens and hometown sad stories. Woe unto me, the women-childe unemploy’ed, for the kingdom of my parent’s basement shall be mine now and forever. Amen.
It took a week to snap out of it.
The fact of the matter is this: I am still young and awesome and I have my whole life ahead of me. Sure, I am still living in my childhood bedroom, but so what? Plenty of people are, and it’s a smart economic decision: I do the shopping, cooking and cleaning and I save about $800 a month. I shouldn’t be ashamed to admit that I come home to a family that cares about me and lives in a 20 minute radius to my work and university.
That’s another thing to be proud of: Not only am I an MBA candidate, I am an MBA candidate paying her own way through school by teaching dance, tutoring kids and working for the Alumni Office. That’s pretty kickass, if I may use language I can’t use in front of the kids. I get to do something I love while I earn my Masters so I can do even more things I love.
I may not be where I expected to be in my five-year plan, but the place I am in is pretty awesome. I have a supportive family, part-time work I enjoy and the belief that I am going to get somewhere, even if it takes a little longer than I expected.