Am I Making It?
If you’d asked me that question in August of last year I would have scoffed in your face before giving you my best mean girl sneer so that you’d leave me alone. “Yeah fucking right,” I’d think to myself, “I’m living at home with my parents, which might be fine if they lived in L.A., or New York City, or Minneapolis, but they live in El Paso, Texas. So now I’m in the middle of the Chihuahuan desert far away from my accustomed intellectual stimulation and sweaty dance parties and familiar radical communities and exhibits worth seeing and concerts worth hearing. Instead I am surrounded on all sides by sand and longing.”
I was adjusting from Liberal Arts Poster Child to Unemployed Live-at-Home Post-Grad. I watched as my classmates started new jobs or Americorp positions, moved into new apartments, and started their lives in the real world. I sank and sank. I felt useless, and hopeless, and ashamed. I had had great potential – high grades, community organizing experience, teaching experience, experience working in an office space. I had received awards, and made speeches, and been toasted to. Professors, bosses, and other peoples’ parents had smiled at me and told me they “couldn’t wait to see what I’d do next”, by which they meant they couldn’t wait to see how I would simultaneously feed myself and be useful to the world. But something deep in the belly of the beast that was my compulsion to “work hard and be successful” had failed. So I sat on the bed of my childhood bedroom, staring at the Tiffany blue walls, and thinking “I am a goddamned loser”.