I went out to Downtown recently, and it ended up being a really fun night. Or at least, that’s what my friend told me. Apparently, this is how the night went:
*dancing in a bar*
My friend who came Downtown with me: Megan, we are leaving.
Me: Don’t leave me!
Friend: *places both hands on my shoulders, looks me in the eyes, and says calmly* …but you’re having fun.
*friend leaves, and I’m left dancing Downtown by myself*
In her defense, I am a person who is easily influenced. This is one thing I know quite well about myself. But I’m not sure how to change it, or if I should change it. Because in some ways, it makes me look like I give people the benefit of the doubt. In other ways, it makes me look like a complete idiot, and then I find myself in really uncomfortable situations.
I recently read an article about things retailers don’t tell you. I’ve worked in retail, so I thought I would know everything on that list. Turns out, there are some things I didn’t know. Okay maybe not some things, just one thing that I did not know. That is that the cameras in the store can recognize your face. Once recognized, it keeps track of how much you purchase in the store, how many times you visit, etc. This got me scared. Honestly, I don’t want people to know my shopping habits. Especially in Sephora.
Sephora is the place where I try to score free samples, err I mean, get samples of things I want to try out. Because seriously, who has the time and money to go out and buy every new thing and try them out, only in the end to possibly return those items because they break you out, or it smells weird, but then you get super lazy to go back to the store to actually return the items, and then they just sit in your bathroom, untouched? It’s like free money you can’t have. However, if I were to be completely honest, I don’t always get samples of things that are new. I usually get samples of things I have tried before and know that I love, because I don’t feel like paying for that whole bottle of face wash for $25.
When I go to Sephora, I have to be strategic. I have to space out my visits, and make sure I ask for samples from workers who don’t remember me, or who have never seen me before. Occasionally I buy the $12 moisturizer (which is amazing and THAT is totally worth my money!) so that no one gets suspicious. But no matter how sneaky I think I’m being, after reading that article about the cameras, I am positive everyone in that store (and at both locations) knows who I am. I bet they have a picture of my face in their break room that reads, “Watch out for the free sampler girl. Contact your MOD if you see her.” So whenever I walk into a Sephora and the workers smile at me and say “hello,” I don’t know if it’s because they have good customer service skills, or they’re simply letting me know that they know who I am, that they know what my intentions are, and that they’ve got their eyes on me.
I’m starting to do that creepy thing again. No, not where I reach that awkward part of YouTube! Geeze, that was last week! I’m talking about stalking old high school peops via LinkedIn. It rarely crosses my mind to follow up on what others are doing via Facebook. I’m all obsessed with everyone else’s HASHTAGwhatsyourbigboyjob type of life now. I think I’m more so obsessed, because I’m trying to find one myself. You know, that good ‘ol full time job. I want those benefits, man!
It’s a little sickening at times, because all I begin to do is compare compare compare. And then things in my life start to become a competition with little Miss So-and-So, when she doesn’t even know who I am, or that we are in a competition, or that there is no real prize for the winner but pride…and possibly a cookie…mayyybe even a little dance party. It’s so easy for me to justify all the things I have not done or accomplished, by putting down others…and that gets me nowhere but to the music store, where I purchase the tiniest violin, and find someone who knows how to play the violin, so they can play it for me…or maybe I should invest in a music teacher. It gets a little difficult trying to motivate myself, without any external factors getting in the way. I want to genuinely do things and accomplish things for myself. I don’t want to do something, because it’ll make me appear “better” when compared to blank. I don’t want to be superficial, and it’s a struggle I come across every day.
It’s so easy though, to make those comparisons. The social media apps are right there at my finger tips. They ask to be open, and they whisper how I’ll never be good enough. I don’t want them to control me. I downloaded them. I made the conscious decision to make those accounts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., so don’t tell me what to do! You don’t own me! You don’t know who I am! You don’t know mah lyfe! (Besides how hard I really try to only post the “good” stuff that will make others perceive my life to be awesome!)
I like school. A lot. But I can’t figure out if it’s whether or not I use it as a security to prevent myself from actually facing the realities of life and a career. After I graduated college, I moved back home. I no longer had the financial aid to help me pay my month’s rent, or utilities, or water bill (thank you financial aid!). It was all gone. Now I have to use my own money, that I make from babysitting, to pay my cell phone bill, car, and insurances. Being in school, or more specifically, college, was the best! It gave me my freedom and independence, without having me work so much for it.
I find it embarrassing having to move back home, that I want to move out already. No one is forcing me to. My mother is very generous. She doesn’t even make me pay rent (which I am super grateful for). But I want to move out for myself. I want to move out to prove to myself (okay, and my peers) that I am not a dud or dependent. I know a lot of people move back home after they graduate, but in reality that is what people like me (who have moved back home), tell others (who have moved back home), to make them feel good about themselves. And do I feel better about myself? YES! But only for a hot moment.
I’m proud of myself, because for the past year, I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to do. I’ve stuck to babysitting, and holding myself back from really finding a legit career. People tell me, you don’t have to have it all figured out now, but in a way we do. Or else, we remain stagnant and continue living at home and being miserable because you can’t host a party, because your mom has work in the morning and your siblings are sleeping because they have school the next day. Oh, right! Going back to why I’m proud of myself. I am proud of myself, because I now have something to work for. The next step is grad school, and in order to get into grad school I need to study for the GRE (then obviously take them…eventually). It’s nothing big, but it is to me, because I get to go back to school! And hopefully be able to move out anytime soon.
(Plus going back to school allows me to delay that dreaded and mundane life called adulthood).
This is my next step. I now have something I can work towards. Something I can look forward to. Who knows if what I’m going to grad school for is something that I truly want to do. But it’s something. Who knows if this means I will eventually have it all together, but I’ll know when I get there. I’m tired of trying so hard as to what it is I want to do. Let me just do something, and hopefully everything else in my life will fall into place. I’m done chasing what will make me happy, because that’s what I’ve been attempting to do so far, and it has led me to be miserable. By being realistic, maybe this is me thinking like an adult, but not fully emerged into acting like one.
I am afraid of leaving my friends, known places, and familiar feelings, because I fear of being uncomfortable. I am afraid of loss and change, because I fear instability, chaos, and the unknown. Dang, just call me one big scaredy cat!
I have established a life (let’s be real…a “social” life) here in Southern California, which makes it harder on me whenever I consider leaving it. I want to leave and experience everything! I know that I am young, and I understand that there is a bigger world outside of my little world that I live in right now. However, I continuously find myself in one place, attached to this comfortable community.
Let’s be real, making new friends at this age is kinda tough, which can go under cons on my “If I Were to Leave SoCal” list. I am told that I should travel. I should live in different parts of the country. I should (blank) because I can, and I can always come back. I don’t have any commitments, or any real long-term goals here in SoCal, but there is one thing that I just can’t escape. And that is change.
It’s odd that I’ll allow myself to change and grow as a person. But it makes me sad at the idea of others evolving and growing into all that they can be, without me. I just don’t want to miss out on what my friends and I can learn with one another. And for some reason, if I stay, we can continue to grow in experience and in age, together.
Maybe it’s a part of growing up, maybe it’s a part of life, but we are always wanting to improve our experiences, and travel to new places. I am scared that if I leave, there won’t be anyone beside me who truly understands the emotions that come with growing up. I know that we cannot be together forever, but I don’t want to lose the connection with my friends, and I don’t want to lose that support.
In order to get a better idea of who I am and what I want out of life, I’ll eventually have to leave the place where I am most comfortable. It’s scary, and I’ll admit that I’m one big scaredy cat! But from what I’ve heard “your life begins, where your comfort zone ends,” and my first step to making that happen is embracing what scares me, and walk through the door.
So…I still don’t know what I want to do when I “grow up.” Right now, my biggest worry is whether or not I get to eat ice cream for breakfast. You might think that it’s kinda dumb, and if I wasn’t in such a “positive” mood, I would agree with you. However, I’m not going to…today. It’s not dumb, because it’s what’s important to me at the moment. Woah, for those that know me, look how much I am progressing by this whole living-in-the-moment kind of mindset.
I know what I want to do, ie. sleep, eat ice cream all day, shop on a million dollar shopping spree…but career wise? Hmmm, give me a sec…
23 years later…
Yup! Still trying to figure it out. It’s even harder when I’m still trying to figure out who I am. I have found comfort in the fact that there are a lot of other people that don’t know what they want to do, but I was hoping for a little more direction in my life at this point. When a good amount of the public ask me what I want to do and I say “I don’t know,” their next question is always “Well, what do you like to do?” I like to do a lot of things! But I don’t know if those things are “things” I would still like to do in the future. Or would benefit me career wise. I’m a very indecisive person. My opinions and likings about things often change (except when it comes to the color Orange. I love Orange! It seriously is…the new black). So how do I expect myself to know what I want to do for the rest of my life?
Don’t get me wrong, I have involved myself in various activities that I thought would help put me on the right path, but I somehow end up not enjoying any of them. It always turns out to be boring, and then I start to question if this is something I want to continue doing every single day.
I want my life to be exciting! I dream about being a superhero! I want to show off some really cool martial arts moves and show others that I’m not ordinary. But it’s only a dream, because who really has the time to plan out a science experiment that goes wrong, where I fall into a puddle of hazardous material, somehow survive, and wake up with electric powers, or with the ability to turn into silver liquid and transport to anywhere I want (ayyyye, if she doesn’t get that Alex Mack reference…she’s too young for you).
The other day, I was babysitting for a new family. The mom wanted to know more about me. She asked the usual questions: “Are you in school?” “What was your major?” and “What do you want to do with that major?” And my answer went something along this line, “I don’t know. I’m still trying to figure it out.” She then responded with something, that I believe will stick with me forever (well knowing my indecisiveness, I don’t know/haven’t decided if this is something that I want to have stick with me forever…because it could either go good or bad). She said “You don’t have to have it all figured out right now. People change their careers on an average of 7 times throughout their lifetime.” These words quickly made me feel better. However, it still made me feel like I was running out of time. Plus, I don’t know how long my lifetime will be.
I think I have about 4 more tries left to change my career (if you count working as a Sales Associate, a Babysitter, and a volunteer at the Natural History Museum [I seriously thought I wanted to work in a museum my whole life. Turns out, it’s not for me] as careers).
I feel like it’s easier for those who appear to have it all figured out, to tell you that you don’t have to have it all figured out this instant. But at the same time, I feel the pressures of society pushing me to believe that I have to know who I am and what I want to do right nowwwwww, because if I don’t start working, I won’t ever be happy.
Ugh, but I don’t know…