These days, a lot of our most intimate conversations happen in the car. After I got back in the car after depositing my check, I mentioned that one of the new tellers at my credit union had graduated from the film and theater program that I dropped out of the first time I went to college. She’d put a lot into moving through the theater program, and I know she didn’t want to wind up as a teller at a credit union. I felt a pang of empathy for her.
I’ve been a little sad lately about the state of things—still staying with my folks, working so much and still not getting ahead with money, plugging away at school, and so little time and energy at the end of the day for creating something. We’re happy enough—We’re making progress! The end is in sight! We have each other!—but this stuff can be such a drag! Really!
On top of just feeling sad that I don’t have a lot of control over my day-to-day life lately, what’s been nagging at me lately have been unfavorable comparisons I make between myself and former-peers: for example, friends from high school who have stable, grown-up jobs—careers!!—and here I am trying to wrap up my undergrad. Steve knows that this has been an undercurrent in my thinking lately; it comes up whenever I have to see extended family or whenever I run into someone I used to know.
I mention the young woman at the credit union, and don’t have to explain much for him to know what I’m thinking.
He says, “Don’t you feel like you’re better off being in school now than when you were younger? You have a better idea of what you want to do, and a more honest and intentional reason for being there. I mean, when I think about it without any preconceived ideas, the route I’ve gone makes a lot of sense. It’s only when I compare it to what’s considered the standard that it seems odd at all.”
It was what I needed to hear.