My entire life I have been told to dream.
“You can be anything you want to be.”
My eager, childish mind was filled with hopes and aspirations which stretched further than imagination itself – a rockstar life, pools filled with Jell-O and hundred dollar bills, a unicorn pony in my back yard – all backed up with the notion that the world would welcome adult-me open armed, bursting with opportunity and no career out of reach.
Ok, so maybe I had big dreams to begin with, that’s not the point.
What childhood failed to mention was that every job has some sort of prerequisite – whether it be a high school diploma, a college degree, a talent that was discovered early and improved upon over time, or simply the ability to be an asshole all day long.
Customary side note: If I show up at the coffee shop before 6am, excuse the fuck out of me for forgetting what your specific shop calls a large.
I’m up before the fucking dawn, my friend. Just put some caffeine – espresso, coffee… hell, I’d take a redbull at this point – in any cup behind your ivory counter that’s big enough to cure my ZZZs… I think there’s a common word for “big” that’s sometimes used in the restaurant industry, I just can’t quite… LARGE. It’s a large. Survey says… LARGE! And the Jarvis family gets to play Fast Money!
I know it’s not that hard. I know that you have special terms for it, but you know that you’re not the only coffee shop in this area and you know god damned well that hipster shop doesn’t give me this crap – the only reason I’m here is that you’re closer to where I need to be at this painfully early moment.
I filed in here with the rest of these sleep depraved zombies looking for my morning fix, and we’re all lucky I was awake enough to manage clothes. Your pious, bright-eyed attitude is enough to make me want to rally up these zombies for the attack.
So, I had dreams. Some of them did not turn out, but that’s ok. It wasn’t really logical for me to become a country singer, because I don’t have a southern accent. And it was silly of me to think I wanted to work as an entertainer, because it isn’t as exciting as it sounds to a child – blinded by innocence, I never thought about the creepy old men who spend entire pension checks at those places… eew. And, going to Harvard was never a realistic goal – mainly because I didn’t really know what “Harvard” was, I just figured if I went there I’d make a fuckton of money.
I didn’t understand that I would first need to have a fuckton of money to even be accepted.
After learning a bit more about the world that we live in, I decided to zone in on one dream – a bit more realistic – and that was to become a teacher. I have always loved learning and helping others learn. My stuffed animals had an amazing AYP, and they did story problems better than most of the kids in my third grade class.
I was born to teach, because I love to inspire. This seemed like a reachable goal; all I needed was a degree and a certification. That would be like taking candy from a baby – if the candy was a degree and certification and the baby was an established university.
… and “taking” was paying tens of thousands of dollars (not including interest accrued on loans) and devoting years of my life to schooling.
After spending the most recent part of my life chained to a no-degree-required cubicle with a handful of overly energetic micromanagers barking orders at me every five minutes for 50 mandatory hours a week and pressuring me to work nights and weekends (yeeeeaaaahhhh, we’re gonna need you to come in on Saturdaaaaay), I have come to suspect that I can essentially wipe my ass with the piece of paper that has plunged me into debt for 3 – 4 times the number of years that I was in college in the first place – and the only thing college was good for in the end was being irresponsible and making friends.
If I would have only suspected this sooner, I would have been involved in way more shenanigans, worried less, spent all of my grant money on booze, and put in just enough effort to pass – because no recruiters look at your GPA anyway, so what was the point?
Something that my high school counselor failed to mention? Our country is in a rut, and there are basically 5 open teaching positions in the entire United States. There would have been a few more, but some asshole decided to fire a ton of great teachers and increase the average class size to about 200 to one. They killed education… those bastards.
So, degree and certification in hand, tail between my legs, I have turned to Corporate America for a paycheck in order to pay back the sickening amount of loans which I have amassed. Even though my country is in debt up to its ass, they will come after me, the painfully deceived citizen, if I neglect to repay the debt that I was told I needed to accumulate to become a successful part of society. My so-called “realistic” dream has died, just like all of the childish ones.
I’m just hoping that dreams are like zombies; they come back after death with more strength than they had when they were alive.