I sit at my desk job every Monday through Friday and wonder how it got to be this way. I’m dead sure that a lot of 20-something year olds do the same thing. I am now an adult, with the adult degree, the adult job, and, sadly, the adult bills.
I remembering wanting to grow up so badly. Being the youngest of five kids makes you believe that growing up is the best thing that could possibly happen to you. You are allowed to be left alone or there isn’t a bed time anymore (more book reading for me at night! Score!).
You learn how to drive. Go out on dates. Then, it finally happens: College. The ultimate freedom. Time to spread your wings and fly so high and all by yourself. No parents asking where you are going or monitoring the men you date or the parties you go to.
I wanted to be a writer. I always said, “I am going to be the youngest editor-in-chief of Vogue Magazine!” I couldn’t wait to start my communications degree. But I got sidetracked. Mainly by men and the fear of being alone the rest of my life. I started to have boyfriends leave me, with no idea why. I was struggling to make friends because I was more of an introvert than the “Girls Gone Wild” type of party girl. I also got sidetracked by money. Money was always a huge issue since I went to a college where kids came from money. They had the credit cards mommy and daddy paid for them. They went shopping on a daily basis and had bodies that only shouted “expensive diet pills and not eating!” I wanted the life they had.
So, I decided, as a woman, that I needed to make money to support myself in case a man never chose me to be his trophy wife. If a man never let me be the stay-at-home mom with the fancy car and hot yoga classes every morning after dropping the kids off at school.
So I needed to figure out the next plan, because writing “didn’t pay the bills”. I played around with the idea of med-school (too many years and by the time I got out I would be old and no one would want me). Then came law school (too many people going there and I was an introvert, so how was I going to be ok in front of a judge and jury?). Then, I finally landed on accounting.
Accounting: the perfect combination of critical thinking, not too much people interaction, and a lot of money that would make me an independent woman. There is only one problem with going to school for something that you never had any interest in: you lose all sight of any dreams you have.
Yes, I make good money. I somewhat enjoy the work I do and I do enjoy the people I work with. But if someone was to ask me my dreams? Hell if I know? Pay off all my debt? Be able to buy a house? Move out of my parent’s basement? The saddest part is I can’t afford to do anything because I live paycheck to paycheck on my “great job”.
I pay a crazy amount of student loans, plus my credit card bills, and of course on my dog, because he needs to eat too. So why did I choose money when I am still broke as hell? It’s sad, depressing, and it makes me wonder where the girl went who had so many crazy dreams about becoming someone who didn’t value money but experience.
That’s the exact reason I had to start writing again or depression was going to take over my life. As Cher said it, “If I could turn back time”, I would have done it all different. I wouldn’t have dated those guys who made me feel like I needed a man. I would have gotten my communications degree and be making pennies at a magazine right now. But at least I would be fully happy. Money, Men, and Marriage aren’t everything. I lost myself in those 3 “M words”. What happened to my dreams? What happened to the biggest “M word”: MARISA.
So as I sit at my desk to make money to pay off student loans for a degree I didn’t want, I think about my dreams. I want to get married. I want babies. I want to write a book and freelance writer for websites. I want to travel all over the world, experiencing other cultures and what other people’s dreams are.
I want to die one day, not rich in a monetary sense, but in a memory sense. To smile and know that I conquered my fear and did what other people rarely dare to do after childhood: dream. I need to look past the terror of being broke and look to the future of crazy, extreme, amazing, glorious possibilities that are waiting for me. Money comes and goes, regrets last forever. It’s time to follow my crazy dreams, no matter the outcome. I will be ok. I will be alive. And most importantly, I will finally FEEL alive.