As a 25 year old, female professional, there are days when I wake up, look in the mirror and think to myself: wow, Kirsten, you’ve really got your shiiiiiiiit together. You’re accomplishing things. You’re driven. And your hair looks really good right now. Go get ‘em Tiger.
And then there are other days. Days when I wake up, quite literally roll out of bed as I grumble angry, nonsensical syllables at my alarm; drag my feet to the mirror and think to myself: meh, you could get away with not showering another day. Just put a hat on. But seriously, do yourself a favor and put on a new pair of socks. Oh, and you’re gonna be late if you don’t leave 5 minutes ago.
Days where I feel like I’m back in high school.
Oh yes, despite the fact that I escaped the hallowed halls of Northville High some 7 odd years ago, have since attended and graduated from a renowned university, not to mention the fact that I have a few professional notches on my belt, most days, it still feels like I’m stuck in high school.
Now this feeling (I’d like to believe) doesn’t mean that I’m some stunted, emotionally immature misfit. Rather, like a mature Adult (mmmhmmm, capital A), I recognize that these feelings are an annoyingly present side-affect of being a creative type in her mid-20s, working her arse off to make ends meet. (And in case you were wondering, I composed that last sentence just as much for my benefit as yours. In case you couldn’t tell, I’m having a very hard time convincing myself that this whole growing up thing is really worth it…)
And even though I have a comfortable home (well, I mean, I live with my Dad to save on rent) and a steady job (well, I mean, peddling protein and caffeine), my every day goings on are eerily reminiscent of what life was like in 2004. Seriously. Hear me out.
It’s been a good long while since I lived with my parents. And my 20s, so far, have been pretty awesome sans Adult supervision. When December 2012 rolled around, however, I moved out of my home of the last two years–a home just ridden with the kind of memories that one recounts for decades to come–and I moved in with my Dad temporarily to save some cash. Well, gee, it took the new roomie and me about 24 minutes to fall back into old habits. He harps on me constantly to clean up after myself. I get bored with the nightly news, so I often retire to my room relatively early to call the boy I like. He periodically snoops through my stuff to make sure I’m saying ‘NO’ to drugs. I hide snacks under my bed (which, yes, he finds).
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Most weekday mornings, I open the juice bar in the LA Fitness that I’ve told you about before. And from 7am to 3pm, I’m stuck inside. I watch as it gets light on the other side of the window and check the clock constantly in anticipation of freedom. The workload varies throughout the day, and sometimes, when business is slow, I can work on my blog or a new play. Ya know, kinda like study hall…but the grown up version.
Oh, but that is, uh, also just the tip of the iceberg. It’s not just that the professional expectations of my job faintly resemble high school routine (I’m sure many of you in very different circumstances could say the same thing). No, no, the similarities between my job and high school extend far deeper than that.
Frankly, corporate gyms and high schools might as well be the same thing. Think about it. A gym is a place where people from the same basic community come together to better themselves. They are there to become healthier; though in order to do so, one must commit to a routine that might not always be easy. And there are teachers and resources and tools to aid you. It’s a place where people work towards a goal.
And what goal are they working toward? Yes we call it becoming healthier, but that’s just the PC way of saying becoming prettier. Gym goers are thinking about physical appearance. They are thinking about their own physical appearance, and your physical appearance and my physical appearance. They are constantly talking about someone’s physical appearance. And when that’s pretty much all you can focus on? Well, one of two things happens. If you’re woman, susceptibility to insecurities sky rocket (the kind of insecurities that make chicks go caddy crazy and turn on each other) . And if you’re a man, you suddenly believe you have X-ray vision (and all that implies). Sound familiar?
Believe me, I’d love to tell you that in my 6 or so months at the juice bar I successfully avoided the whole female insecurity trap, but I’d be blog lying and that goes against my blogger morals. Of course there have been days that I reverted emotionally into my high school self. Of course there were days I felt like eating all my billions of feelings (perhaps because one of the trainers “jokingly” called me a fat sow once and then laughed like a pre-teen bully); but, as it turned out, it was those days that made me a little hungrier for success. It was those days that gave me the drive to utilize the gym to get healthier. And it was those days that inspired me to look around and ultimately discover that I’m actually not stuck in high school. I’m on deck to start the next chapter of my life.
I’m about to graduate.
But this time, I won’t be packing up the Lil’ Ghetto Blaster (that’s my car’s name) and traveling the mere 20 or so miles to Ann Arbor. In a just about a month, I’ll be going much further. To play on the West Coast, in fact. And Love and ADD is coming with me.
I hope you’ll join us on this little adventure. The City of Angels is calling.