This post is a follow up to an earlier post, and won’t make much sense in isolation.
Another one of the issues that surfaced through Abigail is my disappointment at unfulfilled dreams. I feel like many promises were made to me as a child. Big, wild promises like “You can be anything you want when you grow up,” which sounds nice, but doesn’t account for sociology, illness, expenses, the economy, or cultural shift. As a child, I made the foolish mistake of trusting adults, so I believed these lies wholeheartedly, and now? Now, I’ve poured time, money, and energy into studying that didn’t provide me with anything.
College is a waste of time, because you need experience to be hired, but you can’t get experience without being hired. So then it’s just broken promises and massive debts that are hard to pay back. Oh right, and a struggle to get jobs that you’re now overqualified for, so that your degree has made you completely unhireable.
Beyond that, it was supposed to come naturally to me (top of the class, honors student, etc.), but no one mentioned the health issues that would come out of nowhere or the medication that would fog my mind enough to steal several years worth of memories from me. No one told me that it was about memorization, not learning, or that at the end, I would only barely remember anything that we covered (though they may be partly due to my learning style being different and partly due to the aforementioned meds).
So now, I am nothing. I produce nothing. I do nothing. And I have to report to every single stranger making small talk that no, I don’t “work outside the home,” even though that almost certainly triggers assumptions that I “work inside the home.” 😑 But I never agreed to being a domestic slave, so no, I’m not working without pay or sleep to provide every need for everyone. I’m being an adult who chips in with some of the shared work and who needs this chance to catch her breath and sort through all the baggage, scars, and destructive habits that she has acquired.
Thank you so much 1950s for trying desperately to undo and forget the progress that women made in the 1940s while men were away. Thank you for brainwashing a few generations into thinking that there’s only one way to run a household and that only women need to grow up (but men can remain incapable of performing basic survival tasks for their whole lives).
That was a tangent anyway. The point was that if I could say “Thanks to my college degree/graduate work, I am a successful something,” then I wouldn’t feel like I had been lied to about the benefits of education. Or my potential. Or my worth as a human being. But no- the “performance = value” bubble has burst and I don’t know how to evaluate myself without a grade card. Or how I should have evaluated myself when my grades were awful and my medicine was at dangerously high levels.
So… I guess I feel like I have already failed at life, and it’s too late to change it. All I can do is watch fresh high school graduates pour into the same trap and hope (but not believe) that they have a chance to make it through without suffering the same sort of fate.
Until I find a different framework, a better framework, I won’t be able to get past this. I know that alternative views exist- there are optimists out there telling the world that it’s never too late or that if you just follow your passions everything will be fine. I just don’t… I don’t believe them yet. But part of me wants to.
Maybe that’s enough for today.