The 20s are a mad time but there is mad and there is mad. I’ll take you back to almost two months ago in February, which was one of the most difficult months of my post-grad experience and possibly of my life thus far.
As we all know I had been a guest on my brother’s couch since graduation. Not ideal but it was affordable (a.k.a free). So you can imagine panic set in when my brother parted ways with his company at the end of January. Of course disappointments are a blessing in disguise but when you’re caught up in problems, the last thing you’re thinking is “wooptie doo, this is a blessing!”
Being international, you have a limited amount of days to get a new job in your field of study (work visa restrictions and bla bla). Any by limited number of days, he had to get job by the end of February. So for most of February, I didn’t sleep, went through days where I didn’t eat anything and days where I ate everything. I had mini- anxiety attacks, and I was sleep walking, sleep talking, and over-exercising because it was the only thing that provided me with an escape. To the few amount of people who knew what was going on, I played it cool but in reality, my body, mind and most importantly my spirit, felt broken.
My brother had already accepted the possibility that he may have to go home to Nigeria, where we are originally from (but haven’t lived in since we were kids). Of course it put me in a difficult position too because my income wasn’t exactly stable or predictable enough to live on quite yet.
On February 27th, I got a phone interview for a position (that I wasn’t quite sure of). February 28th, I went in for the interview and received an offer. I recognized it would be one of those jobs that would drain me mentally during the day and quite possibly leave me miserable at night. Whatever. I accepted it; I was already pretty miserable. My brother was practically planning his trip back home, because although he has a large enough network that got him interviews weekly the hiring process is not a quick one generally, and especially not in this economy.
We were also moving out of my brother’s condo because it was the financially prudent thing to do. He was going to stay with family friends that he had lived with in grad school and I was going to stay with none other than my friend/boss/mentor –yep, Nicole Crimaldi took this almost homeless girl in. On the night of February 28th, I remember feeling like I was having an out of body experience. Was this really my life?
Nothing in the world prepared me for February 29th
As we moved our stuff (and as I periodically went to the bathroom to cry because I was not about to let my brother see me cry because it would kill him), I still remember having a cluster of emotions – utter denial yet still hoping against hope. That little corner of Lincoln Park was my refuge and though I have always prized myself on not being attached, I had become attached – it was my home and I was leaving it like this. Driving in the car with Nicole, I couldn’t hold the tears back anymore – WATER WORKS (actually, I’m tearing up a little bit as I write).
No sooner did we load my stuff in Nicole’s spare bedroom did I get a call from my brother saying he had just received a job offer. To say I was an emotional wreck after this, is an understatement. I was crying again – this time, tears of joy. Let’s get something straight: I am not a crier, at least not a public one, but this day was an emotional roller coaster. Seriously.
Three weeks later – a lot has happened. Moved into my first big girl apartment back in my little corner of Lincoln Park, MCG Media, Inc. is growing, rescinded my offer at the big downtown company, AND I accepted a new PT position similar to MCG Media, Inc. at a great small business in the Chicago burbs. I will continue to reflect and reveal all but for right now all I have to say is: Utter madness.
So let’s talk – what madness have your 20s brought you? I know I’m not alone.