I remember when I used to think I was Carrie Bradshaw. I was 17, and I used to walk around in 4-inch heels from Frederick’s of Hollywood and Charlotte Russe (which was hell on my ankles! You would think as expensive as shoes are from Frederick’s that they would have some kind of cushioning–but no. Charlotte Russe was not so surprising).
I used to take those quizzes, the “Which Sex and the City Character Are You” ones, and I used to tailor all of my answers so that–surprise! Carrie!
Every time I met three other people I wanted to hang with, we would immediately designate who was who in the SATC character equation, with me gently nudging myself in the Carrie Bradshaw direction: “Well…I mean…I am a writer….”
Every time I had an unstable relationship, he immediately became my Mr. Big.
And this went on for years, until one of my mentors put it in perspective:
“Oh, believe me honey, you do NOT want to be a neurotic 30-something woman who is obsessed with men.”
And ever since, I have been deconstructing the character of Carrie Bradshaw to find not a strong, fashionable woman, but a silly, man-obsessed girl who spends her money unwisely and has no relationship with her family.
And it has occurred to me that Carrie Bradshaw may just be the opposite of the type of woman I want to grow to be on every level.
Except in fashion. I admire any woman who can get away with the things she gets away with.
…and OK…the writer thing. I really want to be a woman who lives in the place of her choosing and has structured her days around the successful practice of the career she’s passionate about.
I really wish they would make some sort of TV show that covers the time in the life of a woman that’s before she’s 33 and desperate for a man and successful in her career but after freaking high school or college. I can’t relate to either of those yet! How do other people like me live, Hollywood?
And don’t give me that One Tree Hill “we all graduated in 4 years despite having babies, launched successful careers, tired of them and moved back to our hometown and bought houses by age 22/23” bullcrap.
I watched like two episodes of that smut and had to turn it off.
I’m just saying, I wish I knew what was expected of me at this point in life. But, you know, REALISTICALLY (I’m still pissed at One Tree Hill). Do any of you think people would watch a TV show about a group of young women who were ages 23-25, who were just graduated from college, who were NOT looking for men to define who they are, who were working jobs outside their degree field, who were still trying to get on their feet financially, who just lived in normal ass apartments with little furniture and drove the same cars they had in high school or were trying to save to get new used ones?
WOULD ANYONE EVEN WATCH THAT SHOW, for crying out loud?!?!
I doubt it.
I have this ex boyfriend from when I was 18, and he still stays in touch with me despite the fact that I was extremely rude to him when I was 19 and am still pretty snappy toward him to this day. He used to live on the East Coast, but he moved across the country for a job. He’s 28, and he has some great career that I know nothing about, he has his MBA and overall he’s a pretty responsible, settled guy.
He called me last night because he was on my coast and wanted to know if I could be where he was. But I can’t because my car is not good for long distances right now.
So then he asked if I could meet him in Vegas over spring break. But I can’t because I’m buying a car within the next month and starting grad school and paying rent and paying off my undergrad student debt. And feeding myself. And slowly furnishing my apartment.
And by slowly, I mean like snail’s pace.
I was one of the lucky ones: I found a full-time position within my first two months of finishing undergrad (and by lucky, I mean blessed beyond measure).
I try to remember to thank God every day for that.
But up until recently, I have been experiencing a great deal of frustration with my post-graduate life because for the first time in my life…things are hard.
I mean, they’re not like ill-health, hungry belly hard but they are “I have to find a way to obtain everything I want on my own in very small increments” hard. They’re “what’s the point of even saving this $100/month when I’m paying down this massive student debt” hard. They’re “yeah, I would love to meet you in Vegas but the reality is I’m sleeping on an air mattress that my friend loaned me and I can’t even start saving to buy a bed till I get this car situation situated” hard.
And for a little while, I was pretty mad about these tiny troubles because up until this point, things have been very easy for me in my life. I originally moved out of my mother’s house when I was 19. I took a cash advance on my credit card (which I’m still paying for due to 19.8 percent interest rates on cash) to pay for moving expenses, got my apartment, applied for a promotion AFTER getting the apartment, got it, applied for a second job, got that too, and was able to live and sleep on the furniture my mom so graciously donated to my teenage rebellion.
It was EASY, except that I didn’t like my jobs so I decided to give up all of that life and go get my degree so I could make my life even sweeter and easier by having a job I love. So I did that. Applied, got in, applied for housing, got it, applied for financial aid, got it, and came to college.
Other than the patience it takes to go through the processes that these things require, it was all still very EASY. And even though paying for college got to be kind of worrisome at times, and even though managing the classes I needed to take for my transcript became kind of worrisome at times, and even though balancing classes with activities with work with partying became kind of worrisome at times, it was all still pretty easy because there always seemed to be somebody I could call who would swoop in with $100 when I was short on rent or whatever (and by “somebody” I mean my parents).
…but now I’m 24 and edjumukated and working and nobody wants to give me money anymore and I destroyed all the furniture my mom donated to my teenage rebellion and so I have to get all these things I want and need…for myself.
And that took a lot of mental adjustment. I was so frustrated at first because I expected things to continue to be easy and given to me, but I’m not a kid anymore. I really had to make myself think the thoughts that put my situation in a perspective that could be viewed with a sort of wistful pre-nostalgia, if you will.
I just finished school in August.
I’m JUST starting out.
There will come a time when I will reminisce about this stage in life with my friends, laugh about how we all had to sit on the floor and long for the mornings when I was off from work and could sit alone for as long as I wanted, blogging and watching SATC reruns on the TV I juuust acquired (i.e. took from mom’s house). Life was simple then.