It has taken me to get to 22 to realise I’m not invincible, but I’m okay with that. Let me tell you a thing:
Last year I had an interview for a pretentious, yet barely heard of company. Without heavily overestimating myself, I was perfect for the role in terms of qualifications and experience (this fact is important for later). Being the savvy journo that I am, I Facebook stalked the guy who had offered me the interview. His profile picture was of him at a beach party. He was wearing a snapback and none of the girls in the picture had back fat or cellulite. My interview outfit suddenly contained a low cut top. This is because:
1. This method has literally got me every single job in the past
2. It gives me the same confidence that false eyelashes or wearing no underwear gives other girls.
3. I suddenly didn’t feel like my personality, accompanied with my CV, would pull me through an interview.
Long story short I didn’t get the job. Why? Because this isn’t 1992 anymore and my boobs being out is 25% disapproval, 45% pervy looks, 5% a woman at a bus stop putting a hex on me, and the rest of the percentage shouting YAAAAS QUEEN! WERK! HASHTAG FUCK YOUR BEAUTY STANDARDS!
Remember earlier when I said I was more than qualified for the job? So, what, if bosses don’t want my boobs or my brains, WTF do they want from me? Football banter? My Nando’s loyalty card? All the Twitter handles of my ‘fit’ mates?
I suddenly realised that I have no idea how to ‘life’. And it made me wonder if this was a personal attack on me, or if other women face this problem? I had graduated and thrust myself into the big bad world of corporate work and finally, after finding my teens so easy, I was stuck and needed help.
I am a twenty-something graduate competing with an infinite number of other twenty-something graduates, all waving their 2:1’s in the air seeing who can be the shout the loudest for enough experience writing online so they can eventually end up at Buzzfeed, the mecca for young hip journalists.
It made me realise that in a world where you need an edge, I am very much a circle.
What the fuck can I do to make myself edgy? Everyone and their Nan has been to Thailand and rode an elephant that was later probably beaten for not being able to breakdance on command. Do I get a pixie cut? Knuckle tattoos? Post pictures on Instagram every time I eat something avec avocado? I don’t like kale, I don’t know how to contour and since I’ve left university I will only go outside if I’m being paid or fed at the destination I’m leaving for. But the longer I lay on my bed and stay there so that my skin starts to grow into the sheets, I see that more and more people are in my predicament, too. But even feeling part of that is a struggle.
Since when did it become trendy to be a lazy, binge eating arsehole? That was my thing. And now it can’t be my thing because I wasn’t vocal enough about it on social media. I feel like if you don’t heavily document your life, you’re almost not allowed to be part of that gang. It seems like, at my ripe old age of 22, I have become a tiny grey fish in a sea of brightly coloured narwhal’s.
My Mum had a child at my age, my Nan was married, other relatives I know owned property, and others could already drive. I’ve not done any of these things yet; I thought I’d feel like an adult by now, but the reality is I’ve never felt more like a child. It doesn’t matter if you’re 22, 35 or 67. You could already have babies, you might not want babies, you might be happily married, or your relationship might have just been torn apart by the most heart-breaking scenario anyone could possibly think of. You might have a plant-based diet; you might sleep with someone new every second Thursday of the month. THAT’S OKAY. I don’t even know if I’ll get into the career I spent so long working for throughout university, because I don’t even know what that career is. What I do know, however, is that’s okay. We can be hard on ourselves, and it doesn’t matter if someone doesn’t see your potential in an interview, because someone else will, and at some point in the future, you’re going to be really, really happy. That’s what matters. I’m not invincible, but I am not broken.
Please let me know if ANY of this applies to you, or how you got out of your rut of being denied your dream jobs <3! Tweet me @sistrhooduk . Tell me I’m not the only one !
Avocado Image credit : Vanessa-McKeown