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“I’ll Be There For You”: Post-Grad Life is a Sitcom

January 19, 2012 1 comment

So no one told you life was gonna be this way?

Flash back to to Spring, 2011. I am a senior at a well known college (at least in the Bay Area), graduating with honors, and have accumulated more extracurricular activity, professional experience, and academic endeavor to fit onto one overly priced piece of resume paper.

I was at the top of my game. Becoming a big grey fish in a small Catholic pond didn’t require any more effort than simply being myself. And what better gift could my senior year have given me than a partner in crime to match my sardonic wit, appreciation for the right balance of intelligence and superficiality, and unyielding bloodlust to establish classroom dominance. She was me in red lipstick, pumps, and cheetah. We were each other’s greatest competition, and knew that we would be Friends for life. We were ready to take the world head on on our path to lawyerdome. Tassels and all.

Snap to January, 2012. At this point I realize I share a bond to pop culture far stronger than my tie to Will & Grace. There is no understatement that I, along with my Friends, have not lived every line of the Friends theme song–and I don’t mean the short TV version. Job’s a joke (but suddenly you are too scared of Maryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada), we’re broke, our love lives have hit DOA at many points. And maybe it was not necessarily our mothers who warned us of days like these–we have a plethora of mentors, professors, extended family members who can only serve as council–but nevertheless, the only thing it seems we are getting better at is not letting every single over-sized lemon that is thrown in our way knock us out.

At 22 I thought I’d have it all figured out: the job, the grad school, the apartment, the new car, wrapping my mind around student loans and the daunting ARP Monster. Boy, and Girl, was I wrong. It’s not that I forgot everything my major, sociology (split with women’s studies), taught me. I have a tight grasp on the concept of “social location.” For the recent college grads vigorously fighting to outshine each other on Craigslist job responses, life seems…grim. Do I Occupy Oakland, San Francisco, or Marin County because I am a jaded member of the 99%? Or do I Occupy my day job so that I can continue to build experience for some destiny that I conceived at 16; and so that I can keep the APR Monster from growing larger than me.

I think to myself every day, “There should really be cameras following me. I’d give Jersey a run for its money.” I believe that my life is a sitcom. There have been too many nights out where I would have to work with Friends the next day to collectively piece a story we can all call “memories.” “Did a stranger really call your cheetah print thigh-high boots tacky? How?!” “Is that vomit on your Sperrys? It’s only 6:45 p.m.!” “I can’t believe you were escorted out of a club because you were mad that someone called you cheap–then cried about it on a stoop for an hour.” “You chased a thug two blocks down and football-tackled him, in boat shoes and a blazer, because my clutch was too cute to be stolen. Then a comp bought me a back of cigarettes”

It’s true what they (whoever “they” are) say: you just can’t write this stuff. But what happens when you should write this stuff?Your car radio was stolen two summers ago so you spend your long drives thinking about how much you would love a chance to re-make the Power Rangers for an older audience, how much you want to create and star in the next X-Men movie, or how you are convinced that all of the employees in a bordello-turned-restaurant in Oakland were turned into vampires in the heyday of their overpaid careers as prostitutes or prostitute staff–80 years ago. Can you write this stuff yet?

It is times like this where one has to ask oneself, “Is the life you’re living the life that the life inside of you wants to live?” At least that’s what I learned in a college leadership class one January. Who knows at 22? At what point to you try to juggle prestige over creativity until the scales tip and you realize you are either happy, or you are not. The moral of this paragraph is this: When at the very least you’re young, smart, and charismatic–albeit at the bottom of the corporate totem pole, over worked and underpaid, and living beautifully and dirty rich (Gaga)–life isn’t that bad when you have Friends, and even loved ones (most of the time in that order).

My resolution for 2012 is to simply take what life has to offer, literally squeeze those lemons dry, and write about it to the Friends theme song. Since I was thrown into the adult world I haven’t had my day, my month, and 2011 certainly hasn’t been my year, but who knows, maybe someone will see my life as a sitcom they also live–would it all be worth it?