Coming of age story about being in your twenties
|All of my teenage life, I eagerly awaited the day when I would reach my twenties. I had this delusion that on May 18, 2002 that I would wake up and be this strong independent adult who really had it all figured out. I can safely say that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Now I am 22 and more confused than ever. I am taking care of racehorses, a job I swore on numerous occasions that I would never do again. However, I have very little choice since my social ineptitudes limit me to working environments in which I do not have to maintain intelligent conversation. In weighing my alternatives of a sign language instructor, or a professional mime, I decided that racehorses were the best choice.
Although the horse business did build character in some ways, it certainly stunted my intellectual growth completely. Considering that most people in this business have, at best, a ninth grade education and an average IQ still in the double digits, you can imagine my predicament. I let myself sink to their level. Before I knew what hit me, every other word out of my mouth had four letters, and the ones in between were contractions used out of context.
The positives in the business were all about the horses, not the people. Patience and courage were the two virtues I gained from this experience. After grooming, jogging, training and communicating with these beautiful animals for the last year I learned that they have personalities, just as people do. The only difference, they don’t speak! Being able to assimilate without verbal banter is the blessing of my job; the other is the adrenaline rush of turning a horse loose at the end of a training mile, a joy that I just recently experienced for the first time.
It’s not the worst thing that could happen. Taking care of animals is a respectable profession. I make sure I keep telling myself that when I am in the company of my friends, with their college degrees, as they check their weekly appointments on their company provided palm pilots. I’m not going to lie, it does bother me immensely. I screwed up, I’m stuck, and I have no one to blame but myself. (That blaming myself thing is between you and me. I still have to outwardly blame my parents, at least until I turn 30.)
In an effort to get myself out of this rut, I turned to writing. It is the only other area in which I am somewhat competent. Then I encountered that college degree problem again. With an outstanding student loan for my previous two semesters of college and 11 hungry horses to feed, the hope of achieving the $18,000 a year position at the local paper, which requires a bachelor’s degree to even be considered, seems pretty much lost.
This is, by the way, a joke, since I have met plenty of college graduates who cannot read or write at a grade school level, let alone process thoughts and conversations into copy. As far as I’m concerned this is hard evidence that education does not equal intelligence or intellectuality. I digress.
I tried so hard all my life to grow up faster The only place my efforts landed me, it seems, is right where I started. Maybe I am still a kid. Maybe it is time to grow up. Unfortunately they don’t hand you guide books at yearly milestones that tell you what to do next. You have to do your own thing, and make your own mistakes.
Even if you mess up a lot, you will trip over the good things in life, even if it is completely by accident. So what if my career isn’t what I dreamed it would be. If it weren’t for the horses, I wouldn’t have Pete (my fiancé) or Josie (my cat). I think I’ve missed too many years worrying about what the future holds. For now I think I’ll just be 22.