the adulthood

So I will have at least four Arizona W-2s for next year’s taxes, because I work so many odd jobs. And I swear I’m trying to save money, but I’m also stocking up on things I will need for grad school (a winter coat, dishes) and trying to thoroughly enjoy my hometown before I leave it in July (went to see the play Oedipus El Rey last night, want to go to Biosphere 2 and the Botanical Gardens, etc), so I’m not saving a ton. But in general, I would say I’m being fairly responsible. And today I’ve vowed to work on my scholarship applications. I’m determined to get a decent amount of grad school paid for so that I don’t need loans.

Anyway, I keep running into friends who ask me what it’s like to be out of school. And I have to say, even though I often feel mentally understimulated at one of my four jobs, on the whole I’m thoroughly enjoying this taste of adulthood. It’s nice to know that it’s not terrifying, since I’m not sure if I will go for a PhD or not, which means that three or four years from now, I might be looking at a job with benefits and a salary. And in the meantime, I work at great agencies and feel as if I am doing good things that benefit both me and other people, even if I make far less money than someone who works as many hours as I do at one job that pays them five figures. What’s great is that even though I’m hourly, I’m being treated as if I am adult with valid opinions and thoughts and ideas and qualifications. I’ve been offered job interviews in different states by people I’ve never heard of, I have people at my old high school encouraging me to apply for the librarian job even though I don’t yet have the degree….glass ceiling? What glass ceiling? It’s all air.

At my newest job, I had to attend orientation/professional development, even though a lot of the trainings didn’t directly pertain to me as an on-call, non-clinical employee. And throughout those meetings, I met people who assumed I was a professional, asked my opinions, took my lead, and cared about the job I had been hired to do. For all of those times when I think that my ideal life would be one in which I could just write books and make music and be famous, experiences like this solidify my decision to go for a career in which I can really effect change, teach, and influence. Even though I won’t stay in behavioral health after I finish my part-time tenure at this job, just being around other professionals who care and want to make changes (and just being around people who understand that college majors don’t have to be in so-called professional fields in order to make you a qualified, smart, capable careerwoman–unlike the people you meet who say “Creative writing? Spanish? What are you going to do with that?”) is invaluable and gratifying. Graduating early was definitely the right decision if it means I can do so much else and learn so much about life experience and get a preview of adulthood. Growing up is so, so awesome.