Giving Up vs. Insanity

The job interview went well. Really well, actually. I’m not surprised that it did – I think interviewing is one of my strengths, typically it’s getting the interview in the first place that I struggle with – but I am pleasantly surprised how much I liked the office and my interviewers and think it would be a good environment to work in. If I get offered the job, I’m going to be incredibly stressed out with this decision, but it would feel nice to be given the power to make that decision.

I’m working on being more positive, but sometimes people just make that impossible.

The family went to The Melting Pot tonight for my birthday dinner. It’s my favorite restaurant, it’s fancy and very expensive (but completely worth the price in my opinion) so I typically go about once a year with my sisters.

I was really excited about this dinner, but first we couldn’t leave on time because nobody was ready. Half of us dressed for a night out, and the other half dressed for a night in. The Melting Pot doesn’t have a dress code, but it has a certain decor and atmosphere that you think would inspire people to try a little harder. It’s like when I need to stop at the grocery store, if I’ve got a dress on or work makeup that day, I go to Target, but if I’m in sweats and my hair is in a messy bun, I go to Walmart.

Then my parents are on their phones the entire night. My mom takes here work literally everywhere with her. It doesn’t matter what time it is or where we are, she is on her phone working. There was some basketball game on that my dad would have rather been home watching than being at dinner, so he was preoccupied with that.

Then my dad turns to me and says, “since it’s your day, would you like to pray?” Let’s think about this. I don’t go to church. I have an extremely hard time praying. I don’t know how to pray. I don’t like praying. I feel like praying is a chore, or something I have to do to prove myself to God, but it’s not something I ever have a desire to do or find fun. I have not blessed my food since my family ate dinner together every night when I was in high school. So do I want to pray? Out loud? In public? Absolutely not. But do I want to say this and have to deal with his reaction to it? No. So I just bless the food.

Our family friends arrive late, which is not a big deal because I love them to death, but then of course the adults are loudly talking over everyone and I’m sitting in the middle not really a part of any of the conversations going on, as if I should’t even be there, and eventually I just move to the other side of the table to sit by my sisters, and it’s just like back in the day when we used to visit family in Omaha: Mom and Dad talk to distant relatives we barely know while we quietly sit on the couch and wait for them to tell us it’s time to leave.

Then the waiter tells me I look 16. I know being told you look young is a compliment, but when someone tells you they are celebrating their 23rd birthday, there is a difference between saying “Wow, you look so young I never would have guessed!” and “Oh my gosh you look 16 I was shocked when you ordered a drink.” It’s just not necessary. It’s annoying. And alarming, because now I’m thinking – did I look 9 when I was in high school?!?

In the midst of the dinner conversation, my dad makes a comment about me not having paid vacation days and how that seems similar to my half sister’s job. My half sister is not someone I consider a role model in any way, shape, or form. She and I do not get along and I have no desire to be anything like her, but my parents just love to tell me how alike we are, including how much money we make.

My parents think I don’t make any money at all. Maybe I don’t. But I’m currently earning the largest paycheck I’ve gotten thus far in my working life. I’m 23. I graduated a year ago. I know tons of people who have graduated and are still looking for work, so I’m thankful that I at least have a full time job. I’d like to point out that my half sister is 33, and by her age I sure hope I’m not making the same amount that I’m making now, but my parents are all about the money, as if everyone just walks off stage with their diploma and is handed a salary and benefits.

Which brings me to the irritating factor of how shocked my parents act whenever they hear someone who was in the same grade as me in high school hasn’t graduated college. They have this huge downcast stigma against people who take longer to graduate or who don’t graduate, and it bothers me to no end because they just don’t seem to understand A) how freaking hard it is to get a job, and B) how freaking worthless many degrees are.

I work a job I could have started when I was 18. Many people who work alongside me have degrees, but far more of them do not have degrees. These people are not lesser than me. We all show up – every day – and do the same work. We’re all hardworking, kind people, who are all in the same place. We took different avenues to get here, but it’s the same place. I originally got my job through a sorority sister who I met in college, so pursuing a degree helped me get the job in that respect, but I don’t actually need a college degree to work the job that I have. The people who don’t have degrees are just as capable of doing the job.

I will never refuse to date a person who doesn’t have a degree. College isn’t for everyone. I wouldn’t even say that college is for me. Degrees do not necessarily help you get ahead. Connections and hard work help you get ahead. I want someone who is hard working who understands me and cares for me. I don’t care how much money I make as long as I make enough to afford the things that I need, which I do.

It’s so amazing how sad and angry I ended up on this night that was supposed to be for and about me. It should not be hard for a family to sit and enjoy each other’s company, but mine can’t do that. We are all so annoyed by each other that we really do need to stay completely separated in our own space and not communicate. We’re not good at it.

I just want someone or something to make me feel good about being back here. I want someone to tell me that I made the right decision and that things are going to be okay – because I cannot convince myself that feeling like a stranger in my own house is better than being an actually stranger in someone’s spare bedroom in California.

Where am I supposed to go from here? What is the point? If I’m offered the new job, do I take it just so I can afford the apartment I want, and move out?

Say I get my own apartment, and then I go to work, and then go home and have my own space, and that’s my entire life. It will be lonely. What then?

How do you find what more is out there for you? Where do you find the people who understand? Where do you find the people who care and who can help? Once you find these people, how do you hold onto them?

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

They also say don’t ever give up.

Does that mean I have to be insane in order to keep trying?

If I do… do I want to be insane?

Or would I rather give up?

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