It’s the big bad world. And according to Time, my narcissistic tendencies are the only reason I spend hours on social media and I have been in my parents house since March. Truth be told, I am stuck and have been stuck since I returned to Colombia. I thought I had a job in Texas. I really did. Finally an interview, and a 6 hour one at that. It was moving forward, though sometimes felt like moving backwards. I am still confused where I want to go, or where I can go in this economy.
But apparently me even trying to figure this out or my entire generation trying to find out who we are in within such constraints as a crumbling economy, a government that is broken, the social services our parent’s generation was guaranteed us are being taken away by that generation, we are strapped with debt that cannot be settled, and our jobs and training are being by held hostage by people who are so afraid of not being hirable if they are let go that basic information and knowledge is not being transferred to the future.
But me wanting to share what I do in during the day to prove to myself that I am not useless. Yes I sit here on my parents couch, no place I ever thought I would be this long, connecting with social media. Trying to make connections on Linked In, finding people from college on Facebook to see if they know of any job openings, or building houses and gardens on Pinterest board because I cannot afford them in my life.
Every time I hear my computer ding from an email or Facebook message I still get this small pang of hope inside that maybe, maybe it was a job offer or someone finally responding about even a volunteer position. It’s not, at least not normally. Normally it is a friend responding to posts about applications for teaching English somewhere or someone posting pictures with motivational quotes. When I get up in the morning, if I can get myself to leave the bed having absolutely nothing to look forward to, I say I will just spend a few minutes looking for a job or a few minutes on Facebook. It always ends up being hours and hours. Searching through job posts, reading status posts, looking at pictures of your friends’ children, houses, and everything you do not have. I make myself walk my dog and garden for my parents, but when the weather is not pleasant I do not know what to do.
The hardest part though, is the most narcissistic If I cannot be an Engineer because I am too qualified or under qualified, or I cannot get a part-time job because my last 8 years of experience is all professional experience, what do I do? If I spend all my time figuring out what I would do if I could do anything and then get a “real job,” can I give up my dreams to replace them with the dream of paying my student loans of and having a beautiful garden? The dream of settling down and having a family was always unknown for me, I never saw me in a conventional life. But, now that future for me, and many other people in my same shoes is inconceivable. The “normal” life path is unable to be achieved in the near future.
So, us narcissistic Millennial’s focus on what we can to get through the days and dream of what we can have in our out-side-of-the-box futures. What can get us by and is it that we want? What can make us a generation that does not need Prozac to be happy? I sold most of my stuff to get rid of the expenses of materialism. It helped. I traveled to the number one place on my bucket list. It helped. Just in this brief amount of letting go, I lost 40 pounds. It helped too. But now what? Now where?
I need work, temporary as it might be but seem to be stuck in a rut that even I am having problems crawling out of. No one wants to hire me in case I leave them for a job that is in my field, which is plausible. If I cannot find a permanent job, how do I pay my loans? We are a generation with more questions than answers. Sometimes it is exciting that we mostly have a blank slate to make what we want out of. Sometimes it is overwhelming, like jumping off a cliff into an ocean. Are you too high? Is the water deep enough?
For me, I have an opportunity to travel to Spain in the fall to teach English, if I can find enough money to get me by until then and for my first few months. The Camino de Santiago is next on my bucket list so it works out well in that regard. Money will be tight, but it is already. It will be stressful, but it is already. So, until them I am going to pour my energy into figuring out what to see in Spain, when to do my camino, what I want to eat, places to volunteer for board. And, hopefully, if I follow something I know I like and I want, more pieces will fall in place. I have followed the rules my entire life and those rules are now useless and broken. So, I am making my own. And that might make me entitled, but I think it is better than blindly following the most narcissistic people who thought creating these rules to get rich off of was worth the loss of so many people’s livelihoods. I don’t think we are any more narcissistic, I think we are awakening.
Our elders are really the victims, we have a wide open future to fix the mistakes, their livelihoods are falling apart, what they believe is found to be a world-wide hoax. Yet, this is apparently what they think of us.
Either way, if you are in Madrid in the fall, we can be narcissists together.