It’s the middle of August and it’s 12 degrees outside. I am £200 deep in my overdraft. I worked quite hard for three days, so I obviously deserve a new pair of trainers. Three minutes later, I have minus three hundred pounds. I want to go out but I can’t afford it. But all my friends are going, so I just go anyway. The problem escalates. I keep buying trainers, I buy some plants, assorted overly priced items for lunch each day, maybe I decide it’s time to get one of those micro-pigs people were talking about for ages. This pattern continues for several years. It’s a vicious cycle of spending money I don’t have so I can have nicer clothes, gluten free meal options and the latest trendy pets. Now I am a million pounds in debt and own twelve animals. Before I know it, I have to declare bankruptcy, I go to jail and all my teeth fall out.
This is what I think about, late at night before bed. This is going to be my life.
Okay- most likely not, at least I know for a fact I will not own a micro-pig because everyone knows it’s a scam and most of them grow up to be full size oinkers. However, I am holding out hope that I will be able to retire aged 25, and have a small family of tiny chihuahuas with tiny outfits that I take on tiny walks all the time.
BUT HOW WILL THIS BE POSSIBLE IF I DONT HAVE A FULL-TIME, ADULT JOB?! An arts degree leaves you with no guarantees. It’s like being in a lovely fluffy cloud world for four years and then the cloud evaporates and you fall out the sky and there’s no parachute, and you hit the ground and there’s nobody there to help you up. While people were learning useful stuff like open heart surgery and how to earthquake-proof a building, I was spending hours pondering the role of the surrealist muse. It was interesting as flip and good for my brain, but it’s not as practical as proficiency in Microsoft Office. Lately though, I’ve been thinking that I don’t want someone to help me up from my metaphorical free falling journey. Rejection is hard and it’s frustrating. Especially when you pour hours into a job application which someone looks at for five seconds (that isn’t a figure I’ve pulled from the air, it’s a real life internet fact). That means I spend longer reading my horoscope than someone does my CV. But there are hundreds of thousands of people in this exact same in-between rut. And it might take a while, but I guess this is just adulthood. It’s not like an American movie where everyone’s hair is really neat and all problems are conveniently solved as the camera pans out to a chirpy pop song. For a fact my hair is very messy, and right now I think the ending of my movie would have Tragedy by Steps playing. Things that are straightforward are rarely interesting, and Tragedy is actually a great song. It’s times like these where you learn a lot about yourself, and grow as a person. Even if it means sometimes feeling like you’re standing still whilst everyone else is moving forward. It’s difficult to watch people you know “finding themselves” on holiday in Thailand for three months sitting on a beach drinking brightly coloured alcohol out of fish bowls, when you’re still living with your parents. But I am much less likely to get sunburnt or lose my passport. I’ve also learnt new skills, like how to work a spreadsheet and loads of keyboard shortcuts like ~insert page break~. I’m sure this means I’m pretty much a cool hacker girl now. And hopefully now my future career as ‘someone who can do good keyboard shortcuts’ will simultaneously protect me from the clutches of bankruptcy, keep me out of jail and ensure all my teeth remain safely lodged in my gums.