Image courtesy of the Army Corps of Engineers. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.
This is the fourth time I’ve tried to write this blog post. I had a couple of ideas for topics, mostly centering on this John Green video about becoming an adult, but they all wound up mopey and self-absorbed and awful. They did not begin to approach the level of fun of, say, my piece on bears on leashes.
Basically, I am aware that being 22 sucks for a lot of people, but that does not make it less terrible for me, right at this moment. I feel like I’ve screwed something up by being in Atlanta rather than New York or LA or Tanzania, and even though I know that nothing about this is permanent, and that my life is likely to change more than I can possible imagine in the next 10 (or even five) years, there is a giant gulf between what I know objectively to be true and what keeps me up at night feeling somewhat adrift.
However, it is also totally possible to autopilot my weird bout of self-loathing and sadness–that’s part of what makes it so boring to read about. I am able to realize that I’ll probably feel that way no matter what I do, so it is easy for me to rationalize getting back out in the world to make myself useful. To that end, I went out to volunteer over the weekend.
I’m glad I did, because you know who’s super-nice, particularly after you’ve spent most of your weekend talking to no one but your cat and immediate family? Volunteers.
They are the actual nicest. Rather than being frustrated with me for not knowing what I was doing, every single person who was working with me over the evening thanked me for coming out, helped guide me through what I was supposed to be doing, and then made perfectly nice smalltalk about how I wound up volunteering there. It was really pleasant to be surrounded by kind people who were also not talking about tech support.
Plus there was free beer and cupcakes, which is not a bad volunteer perk.