It’s May 18, 2011, my three-year anniversary of graduating from Berkeley. I’m not gonna lie—I kind of thought I’d be way more successful by now. I think we all did. I won’t lament the economy I graduated into, because, you know, that’s been done to death. Obviously things would have been easier if I’d finished school at a time when jobs were more readily available. Or hey, some time before print journalism became obsolete. JK, you guys, but seriously, dying industry.
I’m not necessarily dissatisfied with where I am in my career right now, because I’m lucky enough to write regularly and have my writing published by some awesome publications I really admire. (Humblebrag? Brag brag?) It would be nice to have even more regular work (or a salary or benefits), but it’s kind of my b for choosing a notoriously tough-to-break-into career. Being a journalist was always hard. Being a journalist in this day and age is a suicide mission.
I’m not even sure what I expected exactly, aside from vague delusions of fame and fortune. (They’re not that vague. I’ve already got some memoir titles lined up. Holler at me, publishers.) And I definitely haven’t given up hope yet, despite my penchant for cynicism. But there is something disconcerting about the date—I can’t not get a little mopey on my three-year graduation anniversary. And that’s only on the career end. We won’t even talk about the personal side of things. (Did you know some of the people I graduated with are getting married and having babies? Guh-ross.)
Whatever. It’s just another day, right? It’s not like tomorrow my aspirations will be any different than they are today, or that I’ll suddenly feel either more professionally secure or professionally anxious. My graduation itself wasn’t all that special—an archaic, overly long symbolic ceremony that didn’t make me feel like any more of an adult. (Weirdly, moving my tassel did rush me through puberty!) So why should the anniversary of melting in my black robe and listening to an exceedingly boring commencement speech mean anything?
I guess the worst part is thinking about where I’ll be a year from now. (If I’m blogging here to lament my four-year anniversary, please convince me to make something of my life. Thanks!) My career path could change a lot over the next several months, or maybe not at all. Such is the excitement of being a freelancer. I’m always on the lookout for new opportunities, but they don’t always present themselves. And while I’ve mulled over taking on new writing jobs, I’m reluctant to give up what I have now.
Good thing today is the first day of the rest of my life! That always makes me feel like I have plenty of time to figure this shit out. I’m going to be 25 this year, and while that seemed really, really old to me at some point, it now strikes me as distinctly young. When I think about how much time I have ahead of me, I feel something resembling hope. But when I reluctantly turn my mind back to 2008, it’s hard to convince myself much has changed.
Maybe I should just be celebrating. I’ll take myself out to a nice dinner, celebrate my BA in English. You can put a lei on me and tell me how great I am. I’ll let you take my picture. And I’ll focus on everything I’ve done, instead of how quickly time passes and how much I still have to do. Besides, the world is ending Saturday.