Adulting, Part 1
“You know, I just don’t get it,” my friend mumbles, “I work from 9:00am to 5:00pm each day. Everything I need to do, everything, like making a dentist appointment, a doctor’s visit, or bank errands, are within those hours. How can I get anything done when I’m busy at work?”
I stare at my childhood friend from Connecticut and see the frustration in her eyes.
“My job wants me to do this training in September but girl, every morning I wake up and think about putting in my two weeks now. I’ve got things to do girl, okay? I can’t commit to September! It’s March.”
I reach out of my chair and give her a high five.
“I hear you! It doesn’t make sense. Are we supposed to just work until we die? How do adults look so put together?!??!? Remember when we were 16 and thought we would own a house and be married? Are we doing something wrong??” I almost yell these things at her.
… These are the weekly conversations I have with other 24 and 25-year-old somethings. The adulting chronicles begin.
This next blog series is dedicated to my daily interactions from thoughts that I have, that make me feel weird and out of place. Come to find out, everyone feels the same.
– Monday, March 13-
* wakes up at 5:00am, exhausted, ready for a 12 hour workday, force feeds self, drinks two cups of coffee, listens to 21 Savage on the way to work, but makes sure the last song on my Spotify playlist is smooth jazz*
What types of medicine can I take to have more energy? Vitamin C? Why am I not using my 24 hours like Beyoncé and Michelle Obama? Am I selling out and just working for the man? Who is “THE MAN?” Is the workplace ready for my natural hair? Why does my email keep spell checking my name? Can’t I have anything? Does Microsoft Outlook not like ethnic names? Does the lotion in the bathroom make everyone’s hands ashy or is it just me? Should I put different soap in there or have I been working here long enough to do that? How long will this tank of gas last me? Maybe I’ll meet my future boyfriend at Whole Foods. What are my weekend plans? I need to go ahead and schedule them tonight. Does that guy at Whole Foods in the meat section like me? He calls me miss and laughed at me once when I ordered a pound of party wings. “What kind of party are you having with only ONEEEE pound,” he says, dramatically waving his hands in the air. “I’m not having a party, it’s just my dog and I,” I don’t say as I just laugh along with him instead. I hope those kids playing in the park are truly enjoying their childhood. Yeah, that house is nice, yeah, but how much is the mortgage? Who is cleaning this seven bedroom house? What kind of debt do they have? Does anyone here really care about how my weekend was? Do I just tell them good or tell them what I did? Am I revealing too much here? Do they care?
– Tuesday, March 14- *wears natural hair twist out to job*
“Wow! Your hair looks so different! What did you do?” comments from white women on the elevator. The workplace was not ready. I wish men would stop giving their opinions on my life The bags under my eyes have begun to add a cute aesthetic to my face, I kind of like this. Today I was asked what my top 5 hockey players of all time were, does anyone here know that I’m Black? Did I take that meat out of the freezer? Should I be happy that they still asked me? What is the difference between wakeboarding and waterskiing? Wow, Bobby from FedEx noticed my hair. He’s so nice; I truly enjoy our interactions every Tuesday around 10:15am. Can I truly afford Whole Foods? Do I have enough time after work to exercise, walk my dog, cook dinner, read a book, study, and then take a bath? How does Beyoncé do life? Did I budget correctly? Nobody will know if I eat ice cream for dinner.
-Wednesday, March 15-
*Pretends to know a large vocabulary word, goes to bathroom 5 minutes later to Google it, and write it down in the back of my planner*
Do my coworkers think I’m cool? If I tell this joke will they get it? Am I funny?
-Thursday, March 16-
Thank God March Madness started because now it’s easier to start conversations with coworkers. I’m trying to fit in here. Is that exclamation mark at the end of my email seem excessive and forced? Will I get 6 hours of sleep tonight and pretend I got 7.25 when I look at myself in the mirror in the morning? Is my puppy fully enjoying her time as my pet? Is this even my real voice or is this my work voice? Do I sound like me? Am I selling out to the man and corporate? Shouldn’t I be changing the world? I wonder if the cute guy at Whole Foods is working tonight. *Gets home from home, drops purse, and lays in the middle of living room floor, exhausted. How do people work 9-5pm and then come home and interact with their children? *Wow*
Actual things I’ve said today-
“No, I don’t want to be a doctor, sir, but thank you…” (For giving your unsolicited opinion.)
“Yes, I speak Spanish. No, I’m not Latina.”
“My parents are African-American. No, no, nobody is Dominican.”
“Yes, I’m sure.”
“Hmmm, not sure if I can make these last minute plans tonight because I need things planned in advance now. I’m tired.”
“No, I’m not married.” “Why not?” “Oh, there are some things I want to do first… Like what, you ask? Well, I truly would like to enjoy my life before adding someone else in it. These are my selfish years.”
(Man slowly backs out of the office)
-Friday, March 17- *blasts trap music on the way to work*
I swear if one more person over the age of 40 lectures me on the importance of saving for retirement when I ate a bag of kale for dinner last night. Is this outfit acceptable for work? If another Black woman worked in this office, would she comment on my twist out and give me tips? Hmm. Should I start this email with “hello” or “good morning?” Is a “I hope you are doing well” sound too friendly? Did I do payroll yet? Do I really need a new couch? That joke I told at work the other day wasn’t funny. How do people text back so quickly? Shouldn’t I be going out tonight?
*Goes out*– “Why am I checking my work email in the club?”
Saturday, March 18-
Do I go back to grad school for my MBA and incur more debt just to make more money but then still have loan payments? Is this getting ahead in the long run? My knees hurt. Do I want $40,000 worth of debt? Can I last the next 40 years on being a double minority and being a bilingual Spanish speaker? Is that my edge? If I went to Chicago Booth’s MBA program, that’s $100,000.00+. That’s a house. Wow, that guy from Whole Foods no longer works here. Why does making new friends cost money? Is Drake from the Caribbean now? Will my Bachelors Degree mean anything in ten years? Okay. Should I just move to Australia? How long is an appropriate amount of time to stay in the bathroom at work? Is 4 minutes too long? Does that signal to everyone that I’m pooping even though I’m not?
Sunday, March 19-
I just spent 35 minutes in Claire’s talking with an employee named Kim. Kim is such a kind woman. Why am I in Claire’s at the age of 24? I don’t know. Okay, upstairs neighbor does Zumba from the hours of 7:30- 9:00pm. I hope she is having a blast. I should befriend my neighbor. What will next week bring? How is it 11:15pm on Sunday already? How is my 401K doing? Why haven’t I gone grocery shopping yet?