It's hella windy, but I'm inside. Thank goodness. I sit down at a table with a Co-worker. She's 26 but doesn't look a day over 19. Her shoulders are slumped and she looks worried. Very worried as she punches numbers into a calculator.
I look over at her and smile. I can't help but wonder, "what the hell is she obsessing over?"
After a few moments, she turns to me.
Co-Worker: "I'm wondering how I can pay all of my bills this month. It's never going to happen. Or, I fear that it won't. That wouldn't be good."
Aww, she's so cute and awkward. I feel like giving her a hug.
Me: "Well, I'm sure this job will be enough with the hours they give us."
Co-Worker: "Yeah, but I have another job. I can't leave them high 'n dry."
Nothing like some guilt.
Me: "I'm sure they'll understand if you take a day off or two since this job is temporary. Plus, it pays good money, so you gotta consider that. But, you should be fine because we'll be working on the weekends. Your other job is during the week, right?"
Co-Worker: "Yeah, but I need two days where I can relax. Just for my sanity...ya know? Like, I have to take care of myself."
I lean in closer, making sure to listen and not seem like I'm judging.
Me: "You ultimately have to do what's best for you. But, gurl, the reality is you need money, right?"
Co-Worker: "Yeah, I do."
Me: "Okay. So, if you're taking two days off a week then you aren't making money, which can be the reason why you aren't able to pay your bills, what good will that do for you? In the end, you aren't really taking care of yourself since your basic necessities won't being covered."
She takes in my words, thinks.
Co-Worker: "I guess that makes sense. How many hours do you think we'll get here?"
Me: "Well, up to 36 it sounds like. And that's a lot of money if you calculate it."
She punches into her calculator again, reminding me of WALL-E in a strange way. As she does that, I begin mingling with other peeps. After a few minutes, she taps my shoulder.
Co-Worker: "I've figured it out, Lauren."
Co-Worker: "You're right. I don't need to be taking so much time off. I have to focus on working and, if I make more than I need, I'll just save it for the next month. Or, something may come up that I must buy."
Me: "Sounds like a good plan you got there."
Co-Worker: "You think?"
Me: "Hell yeah, gurl, you're smart."
We smile at each other, feeling like we made a huge accomplishment. Maybe we did...
Let's break it down --
Facing reality ain't so easy.
It requires seeing the truth and forcing yourself to move those dark clouds of denial and fear to another sky. It's uncomfortable and allows No room for any type of fantasy.
Being in yours 20s, or just someone who is still struggling to figure out how to survive, requires patience. Some of us will continue on the path of I-got-no-idea-where-I'm-going while others will take another route, also called:
I got this.
Because, the reality is, that's the truth. If you believe, just f-ckin' believe in yourself, the world has no other choice but to eventually accommodate your ass.
Who really knows if you or I will make it each month. Maybe we won't, maybe we will. And yeah, some peeps are lucky and land an amazing job that they never leave. There are also many folks out there who don't even work hard, (Lindsay Lohan) but make a ton of money. Yes, this can be tough to swallow as we struggle, at times.
Ultimately, I think it's about the journey and the steps we take in our own big sky. No one knows the outcome, or has control over what happens. However, we do have control over whether or not we enjoy those steps that we do take.