The year of the Monkey: A little lost and extremely broke
So this is the bit I was REALLY looking forward to. Working, living, having a good time. Straight out of Series 3 of Gossip Girl and taking on the world.
Eighteen years of having the label of ‘student’ and having a definite (ish) point to work towards; going to ‘big school’, getting to secondary, choosing a college and getting your degree. Now it’s time to step out and make it on your own.
But alas, reality is not that easy. You are not Serena van der Woodsen. You are poor and petrified. Each day is jam packed with uncertainty and confusion. Your dancing shoes have gone from being out every night to squinting in the light of day as your slippers are nearly worn through. Your phone bill is driven up from calling to organise electricity bills, with this annoying and harsh reality of adulthood being a key talking point over tea with the girls who are facing the same hardships. Your news feed is jammed with pictures from friends that ‘adult’ waaay better than you, the engaged people, the uber successful people from college including the asshole from your year that now has his own brand of high tech watches, fitness pages you appreciate but don’t replicate and, of course, countless food videos. Yep, you’re in your early twenties.
But that’s okay. Because so are lots of people. And that’s what makes it bearable (she laughs in a hysterical and slightly deranged sort of way).
Earlier this year around my birthday we were having a discussion about the Chinese New Year in work. Thanks to one of those calendars you get free with your Chinese take-away, I knew this, the Year of the Monkey, was my year. Great things were on the horizon! (right?) Apparently not. One of the people in work said they heard that it’s actually a bad thing and (me being me) I’ve been reminded of this interpretation with each new complication life has thrown at me. (And of course I looked it up and of course he was right…https://www.travelchinaguide.com/intro/social_customs/zodiac/monkey/fortune.htm)
So it’s been a tough one, no doubt about it. And I’ve felt it in my head and in my heart. With a head that’s both my best ally and worst enemy I’m fumbling through the good and bad with an army of good people and plethora of coping strategies.
After so long of reading stories from people similar to my own, of smiling and nodding at each line of a piece that makes me feel understood, and after challenging myself to do something I’ve never done before, I write the first little piece of my own story. I want people to smile and nod at my words as I depict my own pretend version of adulthood and share what helps me keep my head above water.
Maybe it’s a tough year for the monkey, but an important one; the good fortune is seen in the chance to grow and change. So here’s to changing today and everything that comes after. I begin my story and I hope you enjoy my contribution :).