Ten Years: A Reflection

I debated between making this a birthday post or a blog anniversary one. I chose birthday since it’s not about the blog.

Today is my 28th birthday. A decade since what was supposed to be my HS graduation year (was forced to take an extra year due to transferring districts). It feels rather surreal. I don’t know how to feel about it.

I know 18-year-old me would be surprised I’m still here, and at the things I do. I dealt with bullying throughout all of my school years. Always had a few friends, but was overall extremely shy, didn’t do extracurriculars, and struggled with schoolwork. Didn’t date at all (because any guy who asked me out did it only as a joke), and I was heavily sheltered, so outside of the occasional afternoon with a friend, my time out of school was spent at home. Wanted to work, but they didn’t want me to do even that. Yet, complained I never went out. Huh.

If you told me at the age of 18 that in ten years, I’d:

  • Almost never spend a full day at home
  • Have a relationship of now 7 years with someone who cannot take his eyes off of my undressed body
  • DRIVE (I failed the class my high school provided us and never tried again)
  • Regularly travel between NJ and NY, and travel all over NJ (I used to do Uber/Lyft)
  • Meet men who deem me attractive, and who flirt with me (I hate this, but it still shocks me)
  • Be in college again, do well, and not hate it (dropped out of college when I was 19)
  • Have money, have credit, get into investing (Budget? In my family? What is that?)
  • Wouldn’t be pregnant (never wanted kids, but family always talked about pregnancy as something inevitable; everyone is a single parent or in a toxic marriage, no in between)

And, finally, the biggest one of all:

  • Be capable of holding down a full-time job and financially supporting myself, even if I struggle for a while. (Everyone from my family to my teachers told me I wouldn’t make it in adulthood if my grades didn’t get better, and my high school pushed college as a life or death thing)

If you told me at 18 this is what I could reflect on in ten years, I’d call you a liar and glare at you like you sprouted a second head. If 2020 hadn’t been the year it was, my boyfriend and I would’ve moved in together, but it’s now in the cards for 2023.

I say often I don’t feel my life differs much from when I was a teenager, but what I listed above is very different. None of that describes me at 18 at all.

But I still want someone to hug me, rub my back, and tell me I’m okay. I still need that.

Things Change, part 3

Three years later. Let’s make this simple and sweet.

  • I’m in college again. For someone who hates debt and school, I can’t seem to stay out of it. Well, 2020 didn’t help, and the jobs I got after leaving trade school sucked anyway. This time, I’m going for an associate’s degree. The transfer credits helped, though. It’ll take only another year to pursue a bachelor’s, if I choose to.
  • I’m on my third car. It’s older than my niece, but that makes me a little less perfectionist about it. No accidents so far.
  • I’ve been with the company I’m at for 2 1/2 years. Too long, but can’t complain about consistency. I wanted a steady job, and I got one. And it pays more!
  • Moving date is set for January 2023. Boyfriend is coming. Oh, and we’ve been together for seven years now. Well, I’m hooked. In more ways than one.
  • Social media bores me now. Seriously. I never thought I’d see the day I’m tired of it, but nothing about it entertains me. I keep it for my friends. That’s it.
  • Started investing, paying down card debt, made a budget, and opened another bank account. In other words, I’ve gotten heavily into personal finance. Let’s see how long this interest lasts. I give it a year.
  • Gym consistently. Only once a week right now, but it was a start. Three times a week off the bat wasn’t happening.
  • Stopped trying to lose weight. I didn’t like my body at 112 lbs at 12 years old, 122 lbs at 14, 130 lbs at 18, 150 lbs at 22, and I don’t like it at 175 lbs at 27. I don’t like the stretch marks, bumps, the look of my toes, my eyes (brown is boring), my height, or my hair either. And a variety of other things. In fact, I want surgery. Do you see where I’m going with this? There has never been a time in my life when I liked my body – even the times I lost weight (hence why I regained it) – and it’s safe to say at this point, there never will be. But the gym is fun, so I do that.

Something I’ve noticed is when I become secure in a certain position, I begin to feel bored and crave something else. Maybe that’s because I’m used to chaos. I won’t ruin the few good things I have. I want things to be secure and consistent. I want to know what will happen, so I can plan for it. And I want my brain to stop fantasizing!

 

Expectations

An excerpt from a passage about educators’ expectations for students, preceded by “Educators expect students to display a passion for learning.”

I think educators need to set their expectations to reality.

This is akin to expecting a passionate answer for why you want to work a minimum wage job. I’d argue it’s worse. At least, you’re paid for the time you invest in that job. College is the other way around. You pay them to invest your time. Not to mention grades are what determine whether or not you pass the class, not passion.

Perhaps if “general ed” weren’t a requirement, educators would see more students with a passion for learning because said students won’t have to get the course over with to get to the courses they have interest in.

I hate essays. I hate being told what to write about and what formats to use. I hate having to pad out papers for the sake of fulfilling the requirements. The fluff has proven to be more irritating than much else. The fact that almost no one would participate in discussion if it weren’t a requirement should say something.

What I hate most is needing to pretend I have something nice to say when I don’t. No, this essay about songbirds doesn’t make me want to learn about songbirds. It’s too long, nearly put me to sleep, and I’m relieved it’s over. No, I don’t want to tell you where I’m taking my classes from. These classes are online and my location is not your concern. I don’t care you like roller coasters and you don’t care I eat too many sweets.

The essay I completed is not due for two weeks, but I did it on the first day because I wanted to get to the point. And the point was “complete this assignment”. I didn’t turn it in, but I completed it. Now, I wait. In the meantime, I’m still trying to come up with a sugary, fluffy introduction for the discussion boards. As this post may suggest, I am only good with the sugar that goes in my mouth. Faking sweetness? Not so much.

There are classes I’m interested in required for my degree, but “English” and “First Year Experience” aren’t on that list. I would prefer Spanish and a class about finances. Unfortunately, not options at the moment, so I’m doing what I need to do to get to them.

On the upside, it seems these classes are providing sufficient material for my blog. I can’t remember the last time I did back-to-back posts.

Time For School!

Yesterday was my first day of returning to school. I now remember why I never liked English or “general ed” classes. I can’t think of anywhere else there is so much fluff and fakery. I think I’d be willing to pay more in tuition if everyone would get the point and I didn’t need to read five paragraphs of fluff to care about what the heck you’re talking about!

I realize the irony of this when I keep a blog. But my blog isn’t mandatory. It’s something I keep for my feelings. Since any response less stuffed than my teddy bears isn’t acceptable, I’m putting my real answers to the intro questions here. I’ll fake something for the teachers later.

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Starting At The Bottom

There’s a rap song my uncle likes with that lyric… Huh.

Anyway, there is a subreddit for employees of the company I now work for, though it’s not very active. I replied to one topic that asked if anyone enjoys their job (the person who posted the question does not, though they’d started only a week prior to asking, and it’s their first job ever). Most of the users who commented expressed disliking the job, though that doesn’t surprise me because the company itself has a terrible reputation. My location is good, however, and I enjoy it, so I added my own comment. Unfortunately, there was a user who doesn’t think I should like it:

I’m sorry but leaving the jobs you got from a degree to start a bottom level manual labor at Amazon doesn’t seem like the best decision…if you already have a degree apply for higher levels, it doesn’t make sense to waste a degree on a entry level job anyone can do, imo.

This is stupidly funny to me for more reasons than I care to count, mainly being if it’s a job anyone can do, why are so many people complaining? Putting that aside, this person thinks they know the best decision the life of a total stranger. Sounds like my family, actually.

It’s worth noting this user apparently didn’t read my full original comment because he/she had the idea I voluntarily left the former jobs. At least, read everything before giving unasked for advice. My reply was as follows:

As I said, [company] pays more than both of those jobs [I was fired from], so it’s not a decision I regret, especially since both bored the living hell out of me anyway and one proved to be the adult rendition of high school. “Anyone can do” retail too, yet I fucking can’t stand it.

I don’t really care about being at the bottom level. It’s more satisfying than the other jobs because I don’t have to pretend to be busy for almost nine hours. I actually am busy (and I work for six unless I choose otherwise; I hate long hours). School isn’t going anywhere, and neither is my “degree” that proved to be more of a waste (I really don’t give a shit about it at this point) of my time and money. If I’d known high school clique and seat warming jobs were all I’d get from it, I never would’ve pursued it. I didn’t voluntarily leave. I got fired, one of which, as I said, was for not having a new BFF within four days. But that’s a much better environment… /s

Obviously, some people enjoy office jobs and that’s cool. To each, their own. I, however, do not. I don’t like pretending to be busy and I’d rather my job not depend on how fast I make friends (ironically, I have made friends at [company]).

I haven’t even hit ninety days at [company] (79 days), so I’m not comfortable applying for something higher yet. I’d rather stick around for at least a year before I do. I’m also not a fan of management in any industry (management positions have too much stress and too many restrictions), so even if I wanted a higher position, that’d be out.

No job is a waste if you actually like it.

I’ve yet to receive a reply, and I doubt I will. It seems to stun people others may not share their view what of life’s goals should be for each and every person. While I doubt I’ll stay at this company for the rest of my life, I’m happy with it now and I’m not looking for a new job or another position. Frankly, I wish it were more common to recognize everyone lives a different life and sees things differently, and what’s a bad decision for one person may be better for someone else. Someone’s life choices don’t have to make sense to you. They’re not yours and they’re not affecting you.

Do not use your life to judge’s someone else’s. You have your life. Let them be with theirs.

EDIT: The user did reply, and to sum his responses, he doesn’t consider himself an asshole for telling someone they should live their life according to his standards. Of course. Well, that’s part for the course for Reddit. Or really, for humans in general. If one job made someone miserable, it must make everyone miserable. Isn’t that called “crabs in a bucket”?