Saturday, January 26, 2008

Quarter-life Crisis

Mali wasn't ready to grow up. She was living a world of free gas, expensive clothes, and her mom's credit card. Her freshman year in college had greeted her surprisingly quickly after high school and the transition to college was an easy one filled with boys, a new SUV, and all of the fashionable clothes that the magical credit card could hold. The years of late night runs to Taco Bell and hours spent gossiping with girls was going to end in a few months at college graduation, and life would be great, wouldn't it? For the first time in her life, Mali wasn't sure. Was she really expected to just grow up? 
Her mother had asked her about jobs that she'd applied for, but she just hadn't had the time between shopping, cramming for tests, and attending school parties. What was a job anyway? She'd never even had one. Just over two months to graduation and no plan in sight, her mother had begun to tell Mali that she would need to be responsible for her own life after that summer. She had known it, but she hadn't prepared. 
All of a sudden, she felt a lump in her gut and began to feel sick. Was the money going to stop? How would she ever live? What about her nice car? Where would she get money to go shopping and go out with friends. She hadn't thought about applying for jobs, but she didn't like the idea of dressing up. Maybe she could charge enough on her mother's credit car in July to last her until December when Christmas would bring more clothes and money. Maybe her parents would let her move back in and crash until she could find a real job. They wouldn't kick out their own daughter would they?
The day after graduation, Mali moved back home. Now it is October and her life looks something like this:

2pm-wake up
3pm-eat some leftovers from the fridge
4pm-watch TV
5pm-surf the internet
6pm-go shopping and covet everything in the store windows
7pm-call mom and beg for money to buy everything she coveted all afternoon
9pm-party with friends, watch a movie, or sleep some more

Mali's mom calls it depression, and gives Mali whatever she needs, including attention and zero accountability. In the mean time, Mali learns to be lazy, selfish, and is allowed to be a loser. When does this vicious cycle end? What would happen if she moved out? 
Culture shock.
However, this may be the best thing for her. It wouldn't take her long to realize how to hold a job would it? How to work and sleep and cook. How to have some responsibility. All she needs is a nudge some might say, but what happens when our culture has so trained people like this with spoiled habits that their lifestyles are irreversible, causing only more debt and emptiness?

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Living in the period of life when my friends attend college and do the latter identified in this narrative, I see examples of your writing daily.

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