I’ve puzzled over just what I’ve wanted to say in this post for a little while now. I’ve played with witty lines and click bait titles but when it comes down to it this is how living as a twenty some year old in my life situation goes.
What’s my life situation you ask? Not too bad and not too unique. I’ve just graduated from college with my major in a liberal arts field, I live in a city with a huge job market and an even larger population and the highest living expenses in the US. I don’t work full time, at least not in one place. When added to together I’m working on average 33 hours a week. I’m also going to school online for an advanced degree to get the job I actually want. I live in an apartment with a roommate and a cat and have no savings as everything goes to rent, bills, gas, and food. I apply to new jobs constantly and dream of the day I see a book of my own on bookshelves in stores and libraries. I write on my old laptop. I eat junk food because I can afford it and it’s quick. My biggest addiction is that I’m a basic white bitch constantly in Starbucks for my fix.
Now ask almost any young adult on the street the bare basics of their life and they’ll tell you a variation of this same life. Maybe trade in the apartment for still living at home and the multiple jobs to one job that you work burning yourself at both ends to be good at.
The reason I bring this all up culminates in how I make my living currently. I work ten hours a week on contract getting work experience toward the career I want in libraries. And the I nanny for three families. Yup- a stranger’s car seat lives in my car. I take two rowdy girls to school in the morning two or three times a week. I pick up, tutor, and occupy the time of a six year old three evenings a week plus occasional date nights. I am a mothers helper to stay at home mom who works from a home office in a townhouse in the ghetto because she’s a part of the millennial generation too and they can’t afford anywhere else. Now I love children and I love nannying- not cut out for customer service! Introvert alert! But kids and I get each other on a whimsical level.
So then what’s the problem you ask? If I like it so much? It’s not steady. I’m not a teacher or working at the YMCA. My schedule is at the whim of a family, three families. So when I get a text from the mother I help out that yay I get the next week off, my heart sinks. Not because I don’t love sleeping in on a Tuesday morning but because that’s 80 or so bucks my bank account will never see. And that fluctuation of income is harsh on financial planning. So I take the housesitting gig from one family as they leave the country because I can’t afford for them not to pay me something for two weeks even though my commute for my other jobs just doubled, as did my gas, and I have to ask my roommate to take care of my cat or try introducing it to the dog…again. My days can start at five am and end at 10pm. And I work in masters level assignments so that I can get a job that hopefully will afford me a mortgage someday. So no I’m not a work-a-holic. I don’t enjoy less sleep and more coffee fueled days. I don’t thrive on it, I literally live on it. I’m not a work-a-holic. I’m a millennial.