Growing Pains, Taco Bell & You

How can anyone stand me right now?

I mean, like, in a loving way. The way you love your new puppy that just shat upon your Manolo’s.

What I mean is, what the hell kind of human being am I shaping out to be?

I mean, look — let’s start over.

It has to be a twenties thing — a twenties thing mixed with a Gen-Y thing.
I feel like an unquenchable ball of energy, and not in the fiesty, 7-going-on-19 Disney-Channel way. I feel like when you can’t stop jiggling your leg in a waiting room. I feel like when you squish a Slinky together between your palms.


I feel like…

Yeah, you got it, Taco Bell.


I’m in a great place, I’ve got great people around me, and I’ve lucked out & got a great job. This I know to be true.
(My name is Katniss Everdeen, I’m seventeen years old…)

But I feel like someone has time-released a sack of Mexican jumping beans inside of me.
Suddenly I’m composed entirely of contradictions and adult-onset ADHD. I dig into one task, and four seconds in, I’m thinking of four other things I should be doing. I open seven other tabs and draft forty TBD e-mails. I end up hardly fully engaging in anything, feeling exhausted and anxious and itchy somewhere between my bellybutton and my spine. I cross a ton of things off a list, but still feel like I need to poop out a blog between clenched buttcheeks at 2:00am to feel done with my day.

Then I’m out like a light, halted only because my body literally can’t go on, and in the morning it all compounds and I feel like…

I mean, yeah.


And then when I ask people about it — both fellow twenty-somewhere’s and those who’ve survived — they seem to know exactly what I’m talking about.
How come the only warning we got were from tired, jaded college grads waving their margs at us and mumbling to “Live it up”?
How come the only documentation of this time is largely sad and, to put it in less graphic terms, self-touch-urbatory?


I realize it’s those perfect storms of mid-twenties angst just rolling in the goddamn deep:

You’re optimistic and confident.
But you’re just now realizing and rubbing up against your own limitations, and you’re afraid that accepting them is next! Gross!
You’re unstoppable and full of energy.
But you’re not sure you’re goin’ the right way and you’re hella sleepy!
You’re a dreamer, with so many dreams to dreamily dream.
But you’re realizing that the scary, jaded realities you thought your generation could disprove might actually be legit things!
You’re a boundless whippersnapper, yes-yes-yes-ing at anything thrown your way.
But no one told you the weight & politics of a real-world job could feel this heavy and awkward!
You’re starting to realize what the world is really about.
And you’re not super psyched about it!
You’re pretty sure no one else knows what they’re doing either.
But no one’s admitting it, goddamnit — nobody’s saying anything!


Why can’t we admit to each other that this is really, really, weird, you guys?
Why isn’t anyone else talking about how ridiculous and hilariously clumsy we are?


(And furthermore, how are people entrusting us with salaried positions?!
Don’t answer that.)

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