Introducing Your Author (A Walk in My Shoes)
Fun, Young, and Just Trying to Make It
Being 21 years old in today's society is so much more challenging than the average adult assumes. This is the time we are supposed to be reckless, cause havoc, prove that we are irresponsible, and that we don't understand prioritizing. It is possible, if you live at home with your parents who don't mind you stumbling in the door at two in the morning smelling of Jack Daniels and vomit and singing Free Bird at a pitch that should be illegal. I, however, have bills to pay, animals to feed, and a job to attend.
Welcome to my life, and every other responsile twenty-one year old accused of being too mature.
2:30am (Monday - Friday)
While most of these young, irresponsible adults are just getting home from the club or the bar, I am waking up to go to work. By this time, I have close to four hours of sleep. Crack the Diet Mountain Dew and sit down in front of my mirror to spend the next thirty minutes applying makeup so I can look irresistible while baking bread during the next eight hours. My boyfriend is in bed still, snuggled up next to our extremely overbearing black lab.
For those of you who don't know about the weather in Wyoming and Montana, it's cold. When it's warm, the wind is cold, and when it's cold, the wind is cold. After bundling up like an Eskimo I stumble out my door; most people my age are still having problems stumbling in the door. Jump in the car, turn the key and announce to the neighborhood that I'm awake when my engine is cold and squealing. By the time I get to my place of work my windows are icy from my breath and I've wasted a gallon of gas just trying to warm my car up.
By this time french bread is in and out of the oven and I'm ignoring my common sense and sitting in the freezing cold on my second break. Arguments have already come and gone like the New Year. Are rap artists portraying a bad image to the youth of America? Of course not! Should this small town allow a Moonshiner to come and brew his own alcohol and sell it to the locals as a low price? Of course! The waiting game begins here, where there is nothing left to do, yet I must stay around and be productive. the floors are clean, dishes are spotless, counters have been wiped off. Stand near someone who is being productive and make small talk.
Finally, my work day is over. Now it must be time to go have fun. Nope! The house needs cleaned, laundry needs to be done; I have no pants on because none of them are home. I smell like a bakery so I need a shower, but the washer is running. Cold shower it is. Now back to the mirror to apply the mask. By now I'm so tired that I'm ready for nap.
The repetitive song coming from my phone wakes me. There's puppy poop on the floor, she's licking me in the face, and my boyfriend wants to know if I'm coming to pick him up. Get up, use the bathroom and on the way pick up the poop. My recently straightened hair is now a mess and all the time I spent perfecting my eyeshadow is now lost time. When I pick up my boyfriend he reminds me that we need milk and I have all the money. But, I don't have the money with me. I have to run home, find my purse, return to the store, and buy milk because he won't eat a Pop Tart for breakfast the next morning.
Talking myself into going out for the night to relieve some stress. Glance in my wallet and remember that I had just paid rent and the last money I had I spent on milk that my boyfriend would pour down the drain after he ate the cereal from his bowl. Well, a new episode of Basketball Wives is on VH1, but the Nuggets' game appears to be much more interesting, to everyone but me. I'm hungry but there is no chicken thawed out. Have to eat noodles again.
I've just set the alarm on my phone that thankfully reminds me of how little sleep I'm going to get. Everyone else is still out hogging the couch screaming at the opposing team, drinking some sort of beer that makes me drool. Swinging open the fridge door I find that my boyfriend's brother had only brought enough beer for him and my boyfriend. Typical. I give up. It's time for bed. No beer, no bar, no money, and my dog prefers to snuggle with the person who has the beer. Go figure.
Summary of Girl
I am torn between two identities. The young woman who acts responsible, goes to work every day, pays the bills, and keeps her man happy, and the young girl who wants to dance, have a gut retching shot or two, and stay up all night long. Of course, I could stay up all night and instead of sleeping go to work with bloodshot eyes and a pounding headache and still pay the bills. That doesn't seem logical.
My only advice: find balance in your life. I've worked hard all day, the bills are paid, and I still have a little spending money. I'm taking my boyfriend with me to the bar to go dance the night away and be a little irresponsible. The next day I'll sleep in and when decide to wake up on my own time I'll do something productive. Then return to routine the next day.
You can can be young, fun, and trying to make it all at the same time. It takes an effort, but it's proven to be well worth it for me. I have what I need and occasionally get what I want to satisfy my hunger for a brief moment away from responsibilities.