I’m not an expert, this is just an anxiety driven rant:I think that my generation doesn’t have a single clue what to do with our lives. So many of us did exactly what our parents told us to do. We went to college, we got our degrees, and now we’re still working in sub par jobs if we’re even lucky enough to get a job while we drown in student debt. We can’t afford a house. We can’t afford cars. We can barely afford food. We share houses with several other roommates that we never see because we’re all always working. Our dreams that we dreamt up when our parents told us we could grow up to be anything are still dreams and it seems that is all they are ever going to be. The world we were promised by our parents doesn’t exist.
But we’re all still working toward it because we have that tiny little glimmer of hope in our hearts that maybe one day we will reach that point in our life where we can have what we were told.
That’s a lie. We’re all working obscene hours because we need to live and the cost of living is just as obscene. We can’t live on minimum wage. We can’t even live on slightly above minimum wage. I was making $3 over the Washington minimum wage ($3 below the Seattle wage despite working for a giant company in Seattle) and I was still working 80 weeks just to afford to live. I have 0 close friends because all I could do was work and maybe sleep sometimes. I lived at my job. I slept in my car more times than I care to admit. I have gone several days without showering because there wasn’t time in between shifts to go home and shower and sleep. I have lived on Americanos and black coffee from the break rooms because I couldn’t afford to buy food.
I feel like we all felt this harsh reality looming a few years ago. I think that’s also why I got married when I did. It meant a more financially stable future assuming we both worked full time jobs. I know of several couples who have dated for very brief amounts of time and are getting married and buying a house after being together a year or less. Is that because we all think we still need to do that? That’s what our parents did. Is that what we need to do? Do we need to buy a house? Do we need to get married? It’s 2017. Marriage is a pretty outdated concept.
I know I got married. I also got divorced. The hoops you have to jump through on both ends are ridiculous. I have spent more time in court houses than I would have liked to at this point in my life. Other than having the option to file taxes jointly and more easily see each other in the hospital I don’t see what the point of getting married is. The elaborateness of weddings has gotten out of control thanks to Pinterest and reality TV on TLC. I would have been happier with a small courthouse wedding, and seeing as I am now divorced that probably would have been the better way to go financially.
None of us are prepared to take on the financial responsibility of a house. I am barely prepared to take on the financial responsibility of myself.
I think those people I know that are getting married and buying a house so fast are doing it because that is all we know and we are scared of the future ahead of us.
I don’t know what our future looks like. I don’t think we have to try and follow the path our ancestors followed. We don’t need to get married and buy a house and have kids. We can do whatever the fuck we want because nothing is real. We can pave our own path. We don’t have to fit into the mold our parents fit into or even tried to put us into. Whatever we end up doing, we need to make sure we are doing it for ourselves and our happiness and not someone else’s.
Now when we’ll be able to do things for our happiness because we can finally afford to live, I don’t know, but I hope that day is soon. Or, you know, maybe the world can end so we don’t have to worry about it anymore.