Monday, 13 November 2017

What they don't tell you about working in your late teens/ early twenties

I remember it just like it was yesterday, nineteen year old Edwina, fresh out of her first year of university. Exams were done and dusted and just in case you were wondering, those were my stronger academic years, my results were above average and I was basking in the glory of my academic success. The long awaited long holidays were finally here, four months of no school. I was ready as the last few months leading up to this were one hell of a roller coaster.

Hit the rewind button one time. 4 months of no school sounds good when you say it, when you see it written down on paper and when you can nearly smell it when you are writing your last paper. What it actually means though, your parents aren't sparing any expense towards you outside of the bare necessities, so that means you are tethered to one spot, home. The same four walls day in and day out. Unless of course you have a stash of a few shillings to ferry you from point A to point B then just ignore that scenario I painted out up there, or better yet your parents are how do I say, liberal? Regardless of whether school is on or out they make it a priority, no, their priority to make sure that you are well taken care of, inclusive of wants and not just your basic needs.

Want to take a wild guess of where I was not too long ago? If it isn't obvious by now I was the miserable, same four walls day in and day out chap. Oh, the misery.

These were also the pretty naive years of course more naive than I am now, at least one thing has changed and I believe my mantra at the time was, "If I don't like something then do something about it". So what did I do you ask, I went on a job hunt. Every morning after my sketchy morning routine I would sit cross legged, put some Mtv Base on and watch Too Fat for Fifteen while scouring the internet for part time jobs, internships, volunteer programs anything that I could sink my hands in. That year,I found two internships and one job, the current one I am at now.

 The Jeffersons had nothing on me, I had moved on up and I was finally going to get a  piece of that pie.

Except my vision was clearly blurred, the irony. What no one told me about joining the workforce this early, was the sacrifices I would have had to make. I was purely geeked out over the money that I would be making. A regular flow of income, my money, not my mom's, not my dad's, not birthday money or graduation money but money that I went out, on my own and got. I was imagining shopping trips, buying my dream phone, going for live concerts, oh, the joy.

I've talked about the sacrifices here before so you can go to town on that article.

However, the more I sit behind this desk the more jealous I am of all the cats who I see on the other side who still look to and can rely on their parents for financial support.

One time, I was on the bus on my way to work just minding my own business, when I looked out the window to see one of our regulars, early twenties guy comes to my place of work when he is on break from school. I am  horrible with cars but the seats were a cream, maybe, off white luxury leather seats and the body may have been of a Mercedes but with me all cars are a Mercedes. Sitting back left, earphones in and just looking on to the distance. His life, so far removed from mine. He was probably in an Uber, I was on a bus. He had his afternoon to himself, I would be working a six hour afternoon spilling over into the evening shift. Our worlds couldn't be further apart. It bothers me that I am jealous. There's a small part of me that thinks I'm as deserving of that lush life  as they are yet I'm stuck here.

Yet another pity party is thrown when when I log in to my Instagram Saturday afternoon and I catch what my agemates were up to Friday night, you know when the feeling's right. Hair did, freakum dress on, turn ups before the turn up and that's just before they hit the club. These guys work the regular and favourable 9-5 or are creatives so when the weekend peeks its head around the corner they were born ready for it and its shenanigans.

Sure, I could take the risk one Friday to paint the town red and party into the small hours of Saturday but I like to get a decent amount of sleep before my 9 a.m Saturday morning shift, think responsibility trumps lituation.

Go out Sunday then, that sounds like a logical enough course of action, right? Look, I work a six daysout of a seven day week I think I deserve just the one day to stay in and be a bum. The truth is I read the week's paper while taking a late breakfast, like a sixty-something year old whose learning the ropes of retirement.

The two times I tapped into the last of my energy reserve for the week was for Blankets and Wine which you can read about here and here. Although I come out beaming complete with an adrenaline rush it takes nearly a week to recover from a mere few hours of having me a grand old time.

If that doesn't do it for you, more times than one I have opted out of going for a concert because I had no one to go with. An aspect of independence has developed or been introduced, probably introduced. You got the job and have now acquired a new found financial status that none of your peoples are on, congratulations, you played yourself. In as much I am a strong, independent black woman who need no man in her life and all that mumbo jumbo, that is not to say that company will get old. As liberating as it is going for concerts alone going with friends just tears past the roof.

Your heart has to be in the right place, so does your mind, if you are embarking on this thing called employment. The most valuable lesson that has come with the jealousy and sense of entitlement is allow yourself to feel, the faster you feel even the slightest pinch of jealousy feel it,soak in it a while then move on. I always like to take comfort in the hopes that my work is not all in vain but my future kids can have the life I coveted so much, then they can be the envy of the kid behind the desk.

Have a good one!

No comments :

Post a Comment