My friend Andrew and I have developed something really quite special. It's not a new term per se, but rather a fresh spin on a tired favorite. Let me explain, you see, Andrew and I are in our final year at a fairly well known university, let's call it, not-Yale. And though not-Yale is known for many things, latent historical racism, classicism, elitism, and general douche-baggary through the ages, the attractiveness of it's student body is not among them. Now, this is slightly unfair to the few students who take the occasional vacation from the library to pant their way over to the gym and the still fewer who make full use of their parent's credit cards to purchase couture instead of drugs and booze like the rest of us, but in general I would say that not-Yale is not where the beautiful people live. While the competition for grades may be cut-throat the competition for best dressed is non-existent. And we are comfortable with that. The overwhelming expectations of our peers and parents is easier to take if you never have to put on real pants. Also, we don't tend to sleep much, hence the rise in sales of adderol and pajamas here in Connecticut. I appreciate all that, in fact, I've come to adore it. The expectations are so low that breaking out a skirt means constant compliments on how pretty and put-together you look.
However, there is casual and then there is homeless. It was the observation of a series of new lows in general appearances which led Andrew and I to our brilliant discovery, and, ultimately, our new approach to life. I'm sure you will have observed yourself that every once in a while you will see someone on the street, not a street person, just to be clear, but a human being who seems to be fairly adequately monied and cared for, and you just want to go up to them and say, "oh, honey, NO. No to everything happening with you and this outfit right now. Just, no". Now, sometimes it isn't about the outfit. Sometimes it's the look in their eyes, the screaming desperation which makes you just want to hand them a paper bag and say "Breathe into this for a while". This, my friend, is a struggle. This person, they are a struggle. They epitomize struggle. They are the platonic form of struggle. And the thing is, the more Andrew and I looked, the more we found. A young lady in heels, pearls, and sweatpants. A sweaty young man taking a running leap over a puddle the size of Lake Michigan. A wild eyed law student literally barricaded into their seat at the library by a fort of constitutional law books. An un-showered hipster attempting to pay for their coffee with their student id. Anyone in a scruchie. The struggle was everywhere.
Now, luckily for me the pettiness within my own vocation, Theater Studies, has prevented much exterior struggle on my part. I tend to be clean, moderately well groomed and mascara-laden here at not-Yale, mostly because theater classes are some of the only places in academia where staring at your classmates is not only encouraged, but required. So I had always thought of myself as someone who, if not totally ideal every day, at least could keep shit together on a regular basis. But as I contemplate my life beyond this university I realize, that may well be a complete and utter lie. I am in every way a struggle.
Let's look at the facts, shall we? No job prospects, as few people if any are even hiring right now, and certainly the term "Theater Major" evokes little to no respect. No interest in grad school quite yet, so there goes that tried and true escape route. As of May I will have no plan, very little money, and my old room at my parent's house. I'm single, I have no chance of a large inheritance, and I stole my bike from my mother. Additionally, I feel totally without shame when I carry my i-pod in my bra should my outfit not have pockets when I am shelving books in my current capacity as library assistant. Yep, sounds like a struggle to me.
And so I think I will be spending some time getting to know and love the struggle that is myself. To all those reading, if there are any at all, please enjoy my ramblings and ruminations on my own mildly pathetic but always entertaining adventures through my struggledom. At the very least, they should make you feel better about your own. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to shelve some books and think of something to say to my supervisor should he notice that there is an i-pod growing out of my right breast.