I remember the time when I thought the grown-ups had life all figured out.
Yesterday really wasn’t that long ago, after all.
But I can no longer lie to myself. The forty-year-old that stares at me from the mirror is actually me –– in all my fading glory. I’m the grown-up. And I don’t have life figured out.
In 2010, I accepted a job at a local army installation. For the first time in the fifteen years since receiving my undergraduate degree in history, I was working in my chosen field. I was an archivist assistant. The title sounded appropriately drudge-and-dreary. And I was being asked to research and write about history. I know, right? I had managed to snag a dream job. Well, my dream job, because I’m strange that way.
It only had one catch. Two, actually.
The first –– I had to be in school. No big deal. I would just get a master’s in professional writing. A second degree to bolster my climb up the civil-service ladder.
The second –– the contract had to be renewed every year. No problem. It was all routine. Student hire contracts were always renewed. Student-hires always stayed in the program. Student-hires always advanced into a permanent position.
I thought I had life all figured out.
No promises were made, of course. Every possible contingency, every possible if was explained.
But the ifs were irrelevant. After all, always is, well, always.
And then one of those oh-so-carefully-explained contingencies ripped my dream job right out of my hands, leaving me with a half-finished master’s degree and no real employment prospects.
And that is how I got to where I am today.
I’m home, in case that wasn’t clear. I’m home today. And tomorrow. And probably next month.
I’m the grown-up…
But I’m just pretending I’ve got life figured out.