There’s this song by Rise Against, Swing Life Away. Its lyrics always seem to make their way to me when I’m thinking about Manhattan and its power to suck you in and spit you out. One lyric popped into my head tonight while I was doing my budget for June (why didn’t they tell us being an adult would be soooo fun) and all of a sudden I heard: “…they get by just fine here on minimum wage.” And I laughed. Guffawed actually.
Where is this magical land and how can I get a one way ticket there?
Don’t get me wrong I love Manhattan. But as a lesbian I’m really sick of getting fucked in the ass. Rent. Phone bill. Liquor prices. Whenever I’m at my grandparents house they like to throw around this word “savings”. I’m like the only thing I know how to save is the last few sips of my whiskey.
I really like my life. Scratch that. I love it. Until I get to the ATM and I’m like BUH REALLY DOUGH?!? I will be the first to admit that I’m a princess. I like to eat out and drink out. I’m just not cut out for the homebody life. I’m not in debt up to my eyeballs in student loans and I don’t plan on purchasing any from of property for at least 10 to 15 years. When my grandparents got married at the tender age of 19 and 21 they had a plan. Buy a house, have kids, retire at a reasonable age. I just don’t have that mindset. My plan goes something like: write, eat amazing food, drink, make friends and network, host parties, fall in love.
I’ve never had dreams of becoming something that would steadfast out the gate ensure that I make a shit ton of money. Doctor, lawyer, accountant blah blah blah. Not that I’m knocking them at all. If I could have survived med school I would absolutely be in it. But I’m this kid with some learning disorders and a knack for taking the hard way. I’d rather write and drink than study.
I’m not necessarily worried about our generation. But I’ve got questions for it. Maybe because my life is so gay centered I have a totally different perspective. My gay friends in their 30’s are still single and living with roommates. But than again so are a lot of my straight friends. Some have graduated. Others are still working through school. While others have realized (short term at least) that jobs like bartending will more than pay the bills for now.
I didn’t graduate college. Not to say that I won’t some day. But as of right now it isn’t my priority. I fucking hate school. I will sit and watch The History Channel all day. I can read anything for hours. But put me in a classroom and I’m dead on arrival. Granted I have grown up quite a bit, and been in the working world for a few years so I do give myself a little more credit at being able to get through school but as of right now I simply don’t want to. I also really have no fucking time to. Going to school means having a normal schedule, which conflicts with my night life and promoting schedule. Am I miserable without a college degree? Not so much. Am I naive enough to think that there aren’t certain opportunities that I can’t take advantage of because I don’t have a BA ? No.
We are a generation that wants everything done before we could have even thought about it happening. The future to me is tomorrow. It isn’t a year or a decade from now. Maybe I need to grow up. Maybe my priorities are all wrong. Yet as I write this, I sit in my dads office. A Carnegie Mellon graduate with a house and two kids. He is yelling at his two computer screens, blueprints are scattered all over his office floor. He has been here since 8:00 am. He will go home to a marriage that is less then perfect, eat dinner while attempting to forget his work day. Followed by him doing his jobs around the house, check a few emails, and go to sleep ready to do it all again tomorrow. NO FUCKING THANK YOU. Yes I know not everyone’s job is hell, but seriously only a lucky few skip their asses to work everyday. I’d like to be that minority. So maybe my lifestyle is a bit off kilter. But so far I’m enjoying it.
I lived an adult life for quite some time. I’ve been on my own since I was 17. For years I was angry. But one day I woke up and literally said “fuck it”. Fuck my families issues. Fuck people who call me a dyke or a fag. FUCK IT. We may not get here just fine on minimum wage, but we get by.