This time last year I was at a Halloween party (dressed as a zebra), full of excitement and hope. Today, I feel too old for fancy dress. The drunk guy in the crocodile suit on the tube does not make me laugh. The old feeling of comradeship has been replaced by a sneering superiority, which I can’t justify. I can imagine only one reason for my dramatic change of character – I am having a mid-twenties crisis.
In two weeks time, I have an interview for my dream job. Two years of working unpaid internships and four years at university will be evaluated during this half hour meeting. Two strangers will decide whether I am ready to enter the adult world of work, or return to application forms and rejection letters. The pressure is on, and I am not coping well.
After making a list of interview preparation tasks, organising them in order of priority and neatly timetabling them into my diary… I thought ‘sod it!’ and made a series of terrible decisions. I called my ex. I drank five energy drinks. I went to an all night rave.
The 6am walk of shame – smeared lipstick, caffeine comedown shakes, drunken ex hanging off my shoulder – was a hell I never wish to return to. I remembered why I had broken up with my ex. I could see clearly why I had vowed never to drink Redbull again. I understood why I’d stopped pulling all-nighters.
Reverting to behaviour from my teenage years dispelled the nostalgia I often felt towards it. The walk of shame is not proof of a good night out. Working nine till five is not capitalist enslavement. Avoiding my responsibilities is not a rebellion against society. I was diving into the past to cope with fears about my future.
I’m happy to say this crisis did not last long. After three days of sleeping till lunchtime, watching repeats of Friends and eating take-aways, I was thoroughly bored and ready to rejoin the real world, though the consequences of this lapse had to be dealt with.
Whilst washing up a huge pile of dishes, I thought about my life. I am twenty-five, single and unemployed. Last week, my activities were tainted by feelings of agitation, restlessness and discontent. I felt unsatisfied by life. I wondered ‘Do I have a plan, or am I drifting onto the road to nowhere?’
Now, I see things differently. I have worked hard to get qualified for an interesting job. I’ve ended relationships that weren’t right for me, and have made the most of my independence. Most importantly, I’ve discovered that self-esteem comes from the knowledge I have done my best – not from what others think of me or how much I earn. With this attitude, I believe I can live a happy and drama–free life. And the job interview? Que sera, sera.
Hania Agnieszka, of Sound-Art-Text.tumblr.com