I found myself perusing the internet at roughly 1 am this morning (it is now 8:55 am EST). This gets more interesting, I swear… but anyway, I frequently go to Forbes.com just for the sheer purpose of reading “the thought of the day.” I figure if Forbes thinks it’s inspiring, well then it’s a worthwhile use of 10 seconds of my time.
So, in browsing Forbes while simultaneously putting off the impending doom of having to get up in six short hours, I decided I would read some of the “Most Popular” articles, and maybe, just maybe, I might read something that would make my world click and I’d wake up in the morning (well in a few hours) thinking, “Hell yeah, I finally figured it all out.” Up until this point, I hadn’t figured anything out – no more than I had figured out five years ago when I left the nest for college. I half-assed my entire college career, and now I’m broke, back living with my parents, unemployed, weirdly content/not content at the same time, and about as single as it gets.
Everyone was always working towards “something” in college. But me? Well I just didn’t really give a shit, because I hadn’t found my thing. My thought was, as long as I walked away with a diploma, I would somehow be given credibility as a professional, and I would be just fine. I switched my major five times in college. Yes, five times. I kept hoping I’d uncover some hidden talent or passion, and overnight become super motivated like my peers. I finally settled on finance mid-way through my junior year. I felt so trapped that I figured I’d just major in something that’s supposed to make a lot of money, so if all else failed I’d have that. I graduated, though I am not entirely sure how. I am 1000% positive I attended no more than 23.576% of my classes.
Despite my relative – okay, fine EXTREME – laziness in college, I’m not dumb. I know I’m not dumb because I was valedictorian of my high school class. Well, almost. It wasn’t until the last quarter of my senior year of high school that I threw it away on a lovely Sunday evening in February. I suppose making Drano bombs and setting them off in the neighbor’s yard had consequences – house arrest to be specific. But it sounds way worse than what it was, I swear!
Thank the Lord, Jesus, Alah, Buddha, and whoever else that I was still a minor at the time of my harmless attack on my neighbor’s grass.
I never was a hell-raiser (I mean I partied on occasion, but I had never broken the law) so I’m not really sure why that February evening I coaxed my friends into engaging in an apparently unlawful science experiment, mixing Drano and aluminum foil to create a series of loud “bang-bangs.”
Maybe it’s because I crave a buzz. Not a buzz you can get from vodka or splitting a cig with a brooding porch-chilling hipster at a dive bar. The buzz I crave isn’t physical, it’s cerebral. I’m addicted to the feeling of being ALIVE. I like to do things that keep that feeling going (though I do try to avoid breaking the law nowadays). The mere thought of a cookie cutter 9 to 5 job makes me feel dead.
Which brings me back to why I was searching the internet in the wee hours of the morning. I was on the hunt for jobs, but was instantly side-lined by about a thousand other more interesting things to be done/read on the internet. I have now been living at home since graduation, which was in May of this year, unemployed, and with no real incentive to try to find a job. Well, until now.
I feel different today. Why? Because I finally figured it out. Well, not everything, but I figured out what I want to do when I grow up. I want to write. I am a writer, and I’ve always been one. I was just too scared – scared of failure, scared to be vulnerable, and scared of exposing myself. Somewhere between last night and today a small flame was rekindled, and it’s burning brighter, even as I type this.
But just because I think I’ve figured out at least a little bit of my life, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. I have no professional experience in writing, no idea how to get started in this new career path I’ve chosen, my parents and friends think I’m crazy, and I live in a small town where I will most likely never “be discovered.” On the bright side, I live a relatively fulfilling life – as fulfilling as it can be for someone who is broke, jobless, and suffering from a very long romantic drought – and thus I have a plethora of topics to write about.
Back to my original point. I’m Googling for answers and sifting through recommended articles on Forbes, when I get to one titled, “10 Best Websites for Millennial Women 2013.” I think to myself, “I’m a woman? Yes. I’m a Millennial? I think so? Yeah, I’m pretty sure I am. It is 2013, right? Yes. I like websites, duh, and I’m bored. Okay, I’ll check it out.” CLICK. Click, click again, and voila, I’ve stumbled upon numerous blogs of people whose stories resonate with me because they beat to the same drum. Well not the same drum, but a similar drum. I found myself swept up with all these articles from people just like me. Reading and reading, scrolling down for more, and reading still more until I drifted off into a restful slumber with the clear notion:
“You’re Not Alone, Alex”
My peaceful stint in Zzzz-land was rudely punctuated with a 7 am headache-inducing alarm clock. I opened my laptop this morning and it was still on Quarterlette.com, stuck on an article that I’m pretty sure I had reread 7 times just a few hours before. I was inspired, so I thought maybe I can inspire someone too. So here I am writing.
Now it’s 10:25 am, and I am no further along than I was last week in my hunt to find a job, but at least I spent the first hour and a half of my day doing something I love and feeling alive. My point is, don’t stop dreaming. Because as soon as you do, you’ll let your fire go out. Trust me, I know.
They should call it the Turbulent Twenties, because truthfully, they are a rip roaring time of uncertainty and change. Stick with whatever it is that makes you tick. Everyone has a thing. If you don’t know what it is, go find it and don’t be shy.