no. (roses_rejoice) wrote,

helpless helpless helpless helpless

Every day, various things I read online or see on TV remind me of how little control people in the U.S. around age 16-20 have over their lives. Remind me of how little say I had in my Own life at that time, too.

Unless your parents are rich, you have very little money because the only jobs you can get are low-paying part-time things. If the economy in your area is bad, you probably can't even get those and you are just S.O.L.

Society has decreed that if you don't want to spend the rest of your life pushing a broom, you're pretty much required to attend some form of college. It doesn't matter whether you like school or not, or whether you do well in school or not, or even whether you WANT to go to school or not. You have to go and you're supposed to WANT to go, or you are a brain dead loser. College costs money which you may or may not have. If you wanted to spend that money on something else, too bad for you. The cost of college also ensures that you will be living in some kind of forced financial bondage, either to your parents or to a loan company, for some years to come, while you attend a school you may or may not want to go to, studying something you may or may not really like, that if you are very lucky and have chosen well and conformed your thinking to the economic laws *might* get you a job at the other end of the rainbow. *Might* because the whole market can change in four years, plus picking out what you want to do is a big job for somebody who's been permitted almost no freedom of thought their entire life.

Any hobby you want to take up, whether it's music or weaving or collecting stamps, is going to cost money. Half your life is going to be spent figuring out how to get money for whatever it is you really want to do. So you might as well get used to it. Your parents, unless they are rich, probably won't give you money for stuff because (a) they don't have it themselves so can't give it to you, (b) they don't want to spend money on something you might get sick of inside of a week, according to them - Many of them will use that excuse even if you're the kind of person who pursues stuff faithfully for three and four years and doesn't get sick of whatever it is!, (c) they'd rather spend it on something else. Also, if you take money from your parents, be prepared to deal with six kinds of arguing about the amount and whether you are properly grateful and whether you need to pay it back and when and whether it is more or less money than their own parents, or your other parent in a divorce situation, gave you. Emotionally, this is the equivalent of a visit from Guido the knee-breaker, but until you can make your own (or find an SO to cadge money out of, money having taken on the very dimensions of love through the difficulty in getting it), what choice do you have? It's not like the bank is going to give you a loan.

Assuming you somehow got the money for whatever you want to do, just getting to wherever you need to do it (the store, the venue, the college) might be a gigantic hassle, depending on where you live. You likely don't have a car. (In the worst case, you're like me and can't even drive because your parents decided not to let you try it until you were older *rolls eyes*, or you're like some of my friends who put off driving because they had too many other life problems going on and no access to a car anyway.) Without a car, unless you live someplace with great public transportation (i.e. New York City), your mobility is probably limited in terms of where you can work and where you can go. If you do have a car, you probably have to put a lot of the money you make, assuming you can get one of those McJobs, into gas. And maintenance, because cars break and yours probably isn't new. And, because of the cost of gas and maintenance, you probably can't just drive anyplace you want either. Maybe your parents will let you use their car. Fine, another thing to "pretty please" your parents about. Lovely. Oh, btw forget renting a temporary car. Even if you had the money, even if you drive more carefully than many 40-year-olds, you're considered too young.

You will probably spend your spare time socializing in hopes of possibly finding some kindred soul who will understand you and help you and provide temporary relief from the fact that you're beaten down by existence. Socializing is what you're supposed to do. I mean, MTV runs specials on Beach Party Weekend, not on Sit Home Alone With Your Record Collection Weekend. Besides, socializing is (probably) fun. If you don't feel good about it, don't worry, there are probably substances around that make you feel better about it, just have some and you will be fine. You may end up with a severe lack of coping skills and an addiction problem on top of your other problems, but let's worry about that down the road, shall we?

If you are lucky, you are naturally physically attractive, which will help you be popular, if not actually find Love (as opposed to 357 soulless orgasms). If you are less lucky, perhaps you can still scrape together enough of the Monopoly chips (sexy makeup and clothes for girls, date money and a car for boys, notice how all this is requiring more $$ that you have no means to get) that make a person more attractive. Perhaps you will hit the jackpot and find someone you really enjoy and have that box checked for a couple years, or a couple months, or a couple weeks. If you are not finding anyone, it's probably because you're ugly. Be sure to consult all the major magazines and beat yourself up about your looks on a regular basis. Magazine staffers and cosmetics companies and stockholders of the Gap need to eat, and it's not like you have much of anything else to do but beat on yourself because you're stuck in this rut and it's hard, hard as hell to get out.

I hate the way this country is set up. And I'm so glad I'm not 18 anymore it's worth all the lines on my face.
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