A few weeks ago I saw the most amazing thing lying in the snow. It was a square Gameboy cartridge of Pokémon Red! If you’re a millennial male you’ll probably understand the intense nostalgia that overcame me. If you don’t know the Pokémon games, I am, simply, very sorry for you…
Your twenties, they say, are supposed to be confusing. Especially the early half, when your college days are over and the ominous “real world” starts slamming doors in your face and dangling you by your feet.
I can’t really complain—I mean, I will because this is my new blog, and what, if not complain, do you use a personal blog for?—but I think I am coming to terms with the realization that life may not be as exciting as I thought it would be. I am, no doubt, in a lucky position. I mean, I went to art school (!) and while I know now that this often makes you employable only at your local coffee shop or grocery store, I sure as hell did not know that going in. In spite of this, I have, while not a job I love to death, a job that I can survive off. I’m not dog walking or babysitting (which, by the way, no shame!) like some of my friends. So while I have a brief period each day of wanting to self-immolate at my desk, considering my college major, I’m lucky.
Speaking of, today I called the loan office to see if I could make an early payment. That’s student loans. And a lot of them. I know that I’m liable to have someone calling me a dirty, entitled millennial, but I don’t think I knew at all what I was signing up for back when I graduated high school and entered college.
In New York (where I went to school), I just couldn’t hold on to money. I don’t know where it went! (Actually, it was mostly feeding myself and school supplies.) I remember passing blocks like I was walking through purgatory, waiting for my life to begin. After college, I would move into an apartment with friends, have a great job working at some great company, and my life would play out more or less like some updated version of Sex and the City with a quartet of gays instead of gals. Needless to say, it didn’t go as planned.
Fast forward thousands of dollars in loans, one dead lover, a year of post grad freelance working, and moving back into my parents’ place in Boston and we have…my life. It turns out, the secret life of a young gay millennial can be a lot like the life of any other clueless 20-something, with a few notable exceptions. I guess your twenties are mostly about survival.
Anyway, In the Pokémon games, you begin by leaving your hometown with a little animal (basically this is what a Pokémon is) that helps you explore the world beyond. The game map expands as you go forward and you meet all these people and complete all of these tasks in a fun, gratifying succession. And I think maybe now I know why they’re still so popular among kids. They basically reflect your view of the world as something you would one day get through swimmingly. The reality, not so much.