When I was younger, based on the world around me, I developed a construct for how I believed adulthood proceeded. I assumed that you graduated high school, began a job, and earned a living. I thought it was only natural to date, get married, and start a family. Having been an adult in the eyes of the law for the past twelve years, I have found that the only way to recognize myself as an adult is by realizing that everything sucks.
My goal was always to attend college, and I did that, earning two degrees. Thus far these degrees have merited me nothing other than a crushing amount of debt and applications that always are received with a response of “Thanks, but no thanks.” When I was younger and finishing high school, it seemed to me that the majority of adults in their twenties and older worked; they may have had to travel to Richmond or Lexington to do it, but they were able to find reasonably good, well-paying jobs. For me, however, there seem to be no opportunities. No matter how badly I want a job, no matter how hard I work or how much I hope and dream and wish, nothing ever comes to fruition. I have felt so desperate lately that I began to Google things such as “Why can’t I find a job?” and “Is Library Science a terrible degree?” I received an illuminating variety of answers, none of which served to assuage my anxiety. Is there something wrong with me? Do I simply not possess the necessary skills to hold down any position? I worked several jobs in college, and I imagine most of my former supervisors would give me high marks. Am I too ugly to be seen in public? If that’s the case, surely there are still behind-the-scenes jobs where I could work.
And when it comes to relationships, I am clearly too ugly to live. I don’t even like what I see when I look in the mirror, so I guess the idea that a woman might find me attractive is a stretch. Some people exude confidence, but life has given me very little reason for high self-esteem or positive feelings about myself. Perhaps a career could provide what I needed, because without a regular income I don’t see how I could ever get married.
This lack of relationships, platonic or romantic or friendly, might explain the happy endings that permeate my novels. I am simply filling in the blanks and creating a world and feelings that I don’t think I will ever know myself. My writing career, the only thing to provide me with a meager income the past few years, has also mostly stagnated. I guess that’s the challenge for anything in life—when it’s brand new, it’s intriguing, but when you try to sustain it, that is where the real work comes in.