A Deaf Sounding-Board

8 Jan

Last night I spent an inordinate amount of time on Craigslist, the treasure trove of my biggest fantasy: my own apartment. The urge to rent my own place is become stronger everyday, as my commuting time grows and my connection to the general public shrinks. But perhaps my middle-of-the-night hunting was an omen for what I was going to encounter at home this morning–yet another preachy lecture from the almighty parental units after a gripe session about my job, my constant fatigue, and my frustration in the complete lack of progress I’ve made so far. In fact, it seems I’ve taken some steps back since I started: I’m working less and mostly doing nothing after being relegated to weekend overnights, aka “catching up on my New York Times” time.

Now as some one who has felt intense dissatisfaction with their life and faced an ongoing struggle to 1. be happy and 2. get out from under the eternal cloud since graduation day, I more than anyone else should be allowed to be frustrated. But of course, since my dad graduated college once, and had an entry-level job in a completely unrelated field once, he knows absolutely everything there is to know about what I should and am apparently not doing in my current situation. After berating me for being “the most negative person ever” he proceeded to tell me I needed to be patient, but also aggressive. Don’t expect too much, but set your goals high. Succinct, dad. And the final flourish: “I never got to live rent free in a comfortable house!” Craigslist, are you still there?

I personally find it a bit offensive that he thinks I’m not trying hard enough. All I do is try! I don’t recall my dear old dad having to chase his dream down 9th avenue on a Friday night at 11:53, nor do I recall hearing stories of a senior year filled with a 30-hour-a-week internship and an 18-credit course load while friends were hitting happy hour and making sterling silver cocktail rings. I’m not bemoaning my choices–I’m proud of what I was able to accomplish and understand the rarity of my situation–that I have a job at all. I just would like a small pat on the back sometimes, instead of a beat down.

The thing about parents is that they always “have your best interests at heart” but often that really only applies if your interests are their interests.  I understand I haven’t been a picnic these past couple of months, and perhaps I need to continue tweaking my attitude adjustment, but do I really need to get the “I’m your parent therefore I know all YOU MUST LISTEN TO ME” treatment every time I have a bad day? When will my parents see me as an adult who’s not satisfied with their job instead of a naive college-grad complaining for the sake of it? I would ask, but they’re too busy assembling the lectern.

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