Daily Prompt 5/24/2016 | Quarter-Life Crisis

I am closer to 30 than I am to 20, and while I have been for over a year, technically, it is really just starting to hit me now.

In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt | Phase

I am 26 years 0 months 27 days old.
I am 312 months 27 days old.
I am 1360 weeks 4 days old.
I am 9,524 days old.
I am 228,576 hours old.
I am 13,714,560 minutes old.
I am 822,873,600 seconds old… well, roughly.

I am closer to 30 than I am to 20, and while I have been for over a year, technically, it is really just starting to hit me now. I’m at the age now where, not only have many of my friends graduated with a 4-year degree from college, but some now also have Master’s degrees. Many of my friends have reached their goals as graduates, and go to their dream jobs (or something close to it, at least), and make money, and then go home to their house, that they own, and drink wine, while watching Netflix… or whatever it is functioning adults do. Even if they didn’t go to, or graduate from, college… everyone seems to be doing better than me in life. Everyone. Because of this, I’ve become withdrawn, bitter, and angry. I’m sure people are tired of my whining and complaining, since the advice and tough love that I used to receive from friends and loved ones has been replaced by absolute silence. But just for fun, let’s reach into my mind for a moment.

I have no degree, but still owe my old college money, 7 years later.
I have no job (granted, that’s because I stay home with my son, but before that, it was endless, dead end jobs).
I have no house, and constantly get stuck renting horrible places, because that is all I can afford, because of the previous two things.
I have no car, I don’t even have a license. This makes remedying ANY of the precious three things much more difficult.

I am going nowhere. I am getting older, and my life is going absolutely nowhere. I had such high hopes for myself when I was younger, and everything went wrong. For a long time, I blamed everything falling apart on other people/things. I was in such a hurry to grow up, and prove that I was an adult, that I forgot that I was just a stupid, broke kid. I refused to accept help, or listen to reason, because I wanted people to think I had it all under control. But I didn’t.

I had to drop out of college after one (terrible) year because I could no longer afford it. I thought I had my student loan situation handled, but I didn’t, and it all fell through. My mom gave me a loan to cover my first semester so that I would be able to finish the year, but then I couldn’t pay for my second semester. I still owe both my mom, and the school, money. As I said… it has been 7 years, and thanks to my track record of moving every year, and landing nothing but minimum wage jobs, I haven’t been able to make a dent in that debt. I hadn’t gone to school out of the country, to go to school with my then boyfriend, and get away from my family, I could have gone to the local community college, and probably have graduated. I could have gotten my degree, and maybe saved some money by staying at home, and gotten my own place.

Everything that I have done in my adult life, I’ve done for the wrong reasons. For love, for a guy, for convenience… I never thought of the consequences of any of my actions, and now I am stuck dealing with all of them at once, at a stage in my life when I should have my shit at least somewhat together. I wanted to grow up too fast, and now I’m stuck feeling like a helpless child, unable to move forward with my life because I don’t have any of the means to do so.

I am tired of it. Despite my thirst for even a shred of independence, I am always stuck relying on other people just to survive. To help bring me to work, to help bring me to the store, to help me with money when shit goes wrong, to share my space and help me pay the bills because minimum wage just doesn’t cover it, even in a slum. I’ve had to rely on other people throughout my entire adult life, up to this point, and I am ashamed. I have a son now, and while he depends on me 100%, I still depend on everyone around me. I don’t want him growing up knowing that his mother was useless. That she never finished college, and never had a decent job, and never did anything important with her life. And I want so much more for him, so he does not turn out like me, but how do you instill those values in your child, when you are hardly an example yourself?

I try to live without regrets, but when it comes down to it, I feel like I regret everything. I am torn between wishing I could have done everything differently, and wishing I had done nothing differently, because it would have changed my present 110%. Would my life be better? Would it be worse? Would I even be alive?

I don’t sleep anymore. When I do sleep, I hardly dream. I am always tired, despite doing nothing with my life, and I am always sad. I am sad, and angry, and tired. Sometimes, I wonder why I even bother getting out of bed. Everything feels pointless. And I don’t know what to do about any of it. I am stuck.

Is this what they call a quarter-life crisis? Or is this an existential crisis? Either way, it sucks.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Daily Prompt 2/21/2016 | The Road Less Traveled

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/21/2016 | The Road Less Traveled

Pinpoint a moment in your past where you had to make a big decision. Write about that other alternate life that could have unfolded.”

In June of 2008, I graduated high school. In the months prior to my graduation, I struggled with deciding where I wanted to go to college. My mom was the only person who ever went to college in my family, and she only went to the local community college, and I felt like that just wasn’t an option for me (no offense at all to anyone who went to community college, I was an ignorant child who thought community college was below me, but now I would be thrilled to be able to attend classes as our local community college). I had had four years of extra help, tutoring, advanced classes, and college tours, thanks to the Upward Bound program, but I still struggled. I think, deep down, I felt like I didn’t belong in the area that I grew up in. I had applied to many good schools in the area, and had gotten accepted into all of them, but I wanted something more.

During this time, I was dating a great guy named Matt, who I wrote about a bit here. Matt lived in Missouri, I lived in Maine, and we had met online. Matt was determined to go to school in Canada, so we applied to the same schools, and I ended up getting accepted to the Memorial University of Newfoundland, the Grenfell Campus. After springing this information on my mother, and packing my life up, I left for Canada, leaving everything behind, and changing my life entirely.

But what if I hadn’t?

What if Matt and I had stayed in a long distance relationship, or even went our separate ways, and I attended one of the several universities in Maine that I had been accepted into? Let’s talk about The University of Maine Farmington, for example. This is an excellent school, as well as my top choice school that I applied to, for local schools. Many of my friends from Upward Bound applied, and ended up attending this school. If I had chose to go to UMF, I would have qualified for so much more in financial aide, as well as scholarships, and probably would have been able to stay in school. I would have had more opportunity to make more friends, and become closer to the friends that I knew who went there. I have two good friends that I met in Upward Bound, Barbara and Kat, who both attended UMF, and who I have grown closer to in the last couple years, despite our distance. I would have loved to go to school with them. I would love to have friends that know me, and know where I came from, who I can talk to, face-to-face, and have a good time with. In the 8 years since I left home, I haven’t had that. At all. And it is so lonely.

I love my fiance, and I love my son, and I love our life that we have built… but all of these What If? questions tug at me daily. What if I had stayed in Maine, went to UMF, and had gotten my degree? Would I be married to someone else? Would I be single? Would I have any kids? Would I have a cat or a dog? Would I have started my career? Would I have a house? I don’t know. I have no way of knowing.

Heck, maybe on the day I would have left to go to UMF, I would have crashed, and died, and none of those questions would even matter. Who knows? What I do know, is that I love my life currently, despite financial difficulties, or family drama. I love my life, and I wouldn’t want it to be any different.

This prompt has inspired me to reach out to my old university, to see how much I owe them for tuition, and what my payment options are. I can’t afford to pay anything now, but it will be nice to have a number in my head to work toward.

Thank you for reading, friends.

Jan