It’s been a while. No, I have not been abducted by an adorable pointy-eared Vulcan (fingers crossed, though) nor have I forgotten my WordPress password (well, it depends on how you interpret the term “forgotten”. Personally, I favour the open-minded approach that involves resetting the password twice in a row because you misspelled it. It happens to a lot of people, so wipe that sardonic smirk off your face, Reader.). I have been really busy with school. Actually, as far as my parents are concerned, I’m working on my thesis right now. I chose not to tell I’m writing for a blog (of whose existence they are blissfully unaware) so as not to make them even more disappointed in me than they already are. You know, I think it’s hard for parents to accept their child is a socially unadept numskull, but after a lifetime of scoring poor results on various aptitude tests, they can’t pretend that they didn’t see it coming. However, it’s sunny in Paris, so all is well with the world. I ignore the source of such panglossian optimism in the face of bleak future, although an empty box of double stuffed Oroes might provide an invaluable insight into my seemingly vacant mind.
In truth, hiding behind this façade of carefree buoyancy is an anxiety-riddled mind. I’m finishing my studies and like the majority of my generation (or at least that is the lie that I keep telling myself) I’m currently in the process of re-evaluating my entire existence. It is all very disagreeable. For a long-time I knew exactly what I wanted to become – a wisecrack feminist with attitude, but I’ve asked around and apparently there are no vacancies for this particular job at the moment. So much for that dream. However, if you know anyone who’s looking to hire a person whose resumé is as varied as the daily diet of a supermodel, please, let me know. All of a sudden I find myself facing the harsh realities of life. What city should I move to? Would it be wise to continue my studies? Is one supposed to eat apples before or after breakfast? All these are issues that won’t let me sleep at night. I’m at a crossroads and instead of excellent career prospects, all I see is warning signs. Stop! Severe Unemployment ahead, or Careful, Begging is right around the corner and, of course, my personal favourite: Beware of having hopes and dreams! High Risk of failure.
I’m serious. Everywhere I go these days, there’s only talk about recession, redundancies and the rapacity of rotten CEOs. To be honest, it’s a wonder I’m not already on antidepressants. Thanks to news programmes on every second-rate network, we get to hear about the economic calamities 24/7. Believe me, I’m not denigrating people who listen to the depression generating media. I simply choose not to spoil MY days with reports of impending financial doom (it seems we haven’t hit the bottom yet). Therefore, my last visit to the bank besides leaving me financially empty also left me feeling emotionally distressed. I was patiently waiting in line to deposit a dishearteningly small amount of money on my bank account when a senior citizen engaged me in conversation.
In my experience, people jump to the occasion to offer advice. Well, on a Wednesday morning at eight o’clock I was the only person under the age of retirement to wait in line at the local bank. My presence caused quite a stir among the bank’s regular clientele. One dapper gentleman, in particular, found my being there peculiar. He showed an interest in my studies (a sign of good breeding) and after a few polite inquiries I was made privy to his personal philosophy (a sign of bad breeding). I particularly enjoyed the part where he over-emphasized, or so I thought, the utter unemployability of teachers. This was merely a follow-up to his remark about me never finding a job. His words really got me thinking and I’ve decided that from now on, I will only be hitting the bank just before closing time. I have grown used to demoralizing encounters with my relatives (they almost always give me fair warning), but how was I to anticipate a rhetorical ambush with dyslogistic intent at the break of dawn? Not cool. I guess that is just another crippling aspect of the ubiquitous Stranger Danger rule.
I am aware of my proclivity to exaggerate facts and events, but this encounter really had quite a cataclysmic effect on my well-being. To be told by a stranger with an arguably objective viewpoint that 5 years of continuous examination and studying was pointless can be a disconcerting experience even for the super smart. I don’t know about others, but apart from injuring myself in creative ways (sorry, but I call that a skill) I have no talents worth mentioning. My options are limited. I know about the outrageously misleading initiative behind you-can-be-whatever-you-want speech. Despite the fact that it has a very demulcent effect on pre-school children, this belief system is completely bonkers. For countless reasons having to do with the genetic wheel of fortune and one’s social and cultural environment, not everyone can become an astrophysicist or Australia’s next top model. It doesn’t matter what others say, sometimes you just cannot make it work.
Then, there is the ruthless competition. Is it just me or are the universities spewing out young bright students? It’s so annoying, right? The only reason they’re so exceptional (apart from the enormous talent and the hard work yadda yadda yadda) is because there are mediocre people like you and me. But does anyone ever think of that? No… Therefore, in behalf of all the mediocre individuals in the world, I demand an acknowledgement of our contribution to progress from the academic community. We matter. Remember that the next time you will get turned down on a job interview – and you thought I wouldn’t find the silver lining.
Even though this post won’t solve anything, it feels nice to spew abusive drivel every one in a while.
Until my next rant “Live long and prosper”.