Wait, June is Over?: Path Dependency vs Security

I didn’t realize June was almost over until I reluctantly admitted that July fourth occurs in the seventh month of the year. I didn’t want to acknowledge that 2015 was half over because I didn’t feel like I had accomplished half the things I had wanted to. Graduation from college? Pffft. Publications? Whatever. I haven’t done much outside of that “path dependant” course that many college students stumble into, and I know it’s within my ability to do much more than simply find then do a job (which is, admittedly, my priority right now).

I’ve technically found some sort of work, as I spent three-ish weeks helping at my friend’s company. IMG_0351-0Though this ate up most of my afternoons and early evenings,  I’m glad to have done so because I got to buy extra things for my Otakon costumes. Probably most importantly, I got myself some gym accessories. I am now the proud owner of the most crazy-cool sneakers in the world, and I actually use them (gasp!). I’ve been going to the gym about three times a week (double gasp!), and it’s coming to become a great pleasure; I can put on head phones and use my body without much care for what is going on outside the gym. The temporary work was lovely, but I’m glad I have more free time between now and my next money making endevor. 

Hobbies and projects like this allow me to have a fuller life, or at least give me something to write briefly about in my Twitter bio. Priorities, people. Meanwhile, those Path Dependent people pick a career path– be that school then career, or moving upwards in one company or another, or holding a singular goal– that is linear. No switching jobs or going back to school for these people. This lifestyle certainly has its merit: security.  One doesn’t need bravery to follow a path, and given how hard it is to find a job, it might be better to be cautious than brave. Despite this, I don’t want that kind of security.

When I took my trip to Philladelphia early in the month, it was as if the secure life spit in my face while I became well-acquainted with the side of the Schukill Expressway. Alexander’s car broke down in transit, a different adventure than the one planned. He already wrote about the car trouble, so I won’t beat a dead engine. Once we made it to our eventual destination, it was wonderful. I ate many good eats and drank many good drinks. The bars were cozy and much friendlier (and quieter, suprisingly) than their Harrisburg counterparts. Instead of seeing the Stoppard play as intended, we visited the Mutter Museum with all of its freakish, fetishistic medical curios. It was certainly worth the car trouble, though I’m sure others in similar situations would disagree.

Young people have the opportunity to live more bohemian lifestyles. No kids, no mortgage, (usually) no horrible sicknesses to fight. So, I shouldnl’t be so worried about things, right? Nope. I’m 23 and feel old thanks to societal pressures to “grow up.” I’m officially older than the target audience of most entertainment, old enough to be outside of youth culture (Phew, made it out alive), yet not ready to pick a career. I’ve spent a good bit of July feeling wasted and spent. I remembered all of the unsolicited advice clients have given me about the swift decline one’s life and body takes after 21. This limIMG_0350inal space makes makes me feel homeless.

Perhaps America’s obsession with youth could be rooted in the belief that being an adult necessarily means kids, 9 to 5 job, car payments, and a lack of freedom. I would have to disagree. I still like money (everyone likes money) and in order to have it one needs to work, but a job shouldn’t feel like a prison. (If anyone reading this wants to give me a job, please do)

 All things are more enjoyable without stresses; to prove this, Alexander and I went to the PA Renissance Faire’s Celtic Fling. I wanted to be frugally opulent to make up for last year’s opulent frugality. It was hot and miserable and more tedious than fun. I hadn’t wanted to look at the stands because I had convinced myself that I couldn’t buy anything. This time last year, I thought the world would end if I couldn’t buy a car so I manically saved my money. Currently, the world is still intact, even considering my lack of wheels.

I did enjoy my time more when I didn’t worry. We did a beer tour of the fair, with our commemorative refillable mugs in tow, we hopped from pub to crab shack to pirate ship sampling the different beers of the Mt. Joy brewery. We walked away from the fantasy land with matching outfits; black leather corset and red skirt for me and a black leather vest for Alexander.  

So, with a more relaxed demenor, I had much more fun. Perhaps this is indicitive of some of the class-based emotional strains I’ve read about. When worried about money, one’s brain cannot process other things. I’m nowhere even adjacent to wealthy, but I don’t have too many pressing responsibilities; I’m more bohemian, so to speak.

I’ve started two new projects this month, and am almost done making my costumes. I’m generally contented, though there’s always room for self-criticism. I don’t have a path, but I have an idea of what I like and what I’m capablel of which is even more valuable to me.

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