I have never been so worried in my life. Most of my peers spend at least seventy percent of the week being studious and spend the rest partying or sleeping. I spend about ninety three percent of my week worrying. The seven percent that is left goes to sleeping and also watching the TV shows I have missed during the week—from all the worrying, mind you—on Hulu.com. I worry about money. I worry about time. I worry about what my degree will be worth after I graduate from this university, sans nine million dollars (and counting by the way). I worry about exams the morning of. I worry about lunch. I worry about what will happen if I don’t stop playing Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook. I worry about my parents. I worry about my friends. I worry about my appearance. I worry about my gas tank. The responsibilities of a young college student—I have found at least for myself—turn out to be nothing that a little bit of $60-night cream to postpone the worry wrinkles can’t fix. I have found as a college student that the worrying never stops, which is why, I assume, there is so much drinking that goes on.
Of course I go through normal human feelings. Happiness— homework done, sadness—no one to have dinner with at school on my twelve hour days, anger—drivers who refuse to stay in their own lanes, helplessness—Econ 100; these are all feelings I experience throughout the week. I am one of the most emotional people you will ever meet and delve deep and submerge myself into each emotion as they come, but under my skin lies a layer that has been residing there since I graduated high school. It is a layer of constant worry originating from the responsibilities one was given the moment a whimsical childhood ends and a harshly realistic adult-life begins. Yeah okay, I had a nice and smooth transition from my childhood to my adult-life, but I still feel the burdens of being a full fledged adult. To be perfectly honest, just today, I was driving with my oldest friend in the world, and I told her about my current desire to pack up a few of my vinyl records, traveling gnome, and favorite scarf and move to Australia; leave the worry for the U.S. to handle. For the past week all I have been able to wrap my brain around was the dream: I would work odd jobs to get by, find a nice little room to rent, maybe go to my Aunt’s house for a home cooked meal once in a while, hook up with a few sailors, and eventually become an au pair like someone with a little class. Life would be good if I could live it. Being in college, as a sophomore, in the month of November, in the year 2009, is frankly just not cutting it. I seem to have found myself in a rut—with everything from my grades to my appearance just a little below average.
It seems the dreams I have myself are forever changing. And right now the only thing stopping me from pursuing my current dream of quitting school and taking care of Australian children would have to be my parents. Bear in mind, I have not actually told either of them about this current dream. To be fair it is only about a week old, and I’m pretty sure Daddy will not appreciate the sailors-part, but they have not literally said, “No, Kimmy. You cannot drop out of school to mooch food off of Auntie Virgie in Australia.” The reason I say that they are the ones stopping me from pursuing this premature dream is because I owe it to them to get an education and receive a degree. I owe it to them to finish school. I owe them all of my anxious and worried feelings I have experienced since entering adulthood. I owe them that because all they have ever done was worry about me. At one point my mom was a single mom who cleaned hotel rooms so my brother would have something to eat for dinner every night. When my dad first came to this country, he worked odd jobs like installing automatic garage doors and laying down cement bricks in Motown. They both did these things so that my brother, sister, and I would have an opportunity for something more than washing dishes or taking care of someone else’s smelly baby in a foreign country. You ask what I think about most? My responsibilities. How I feel most of my days? Worried. I worry because they worried. Another thing to add to my responsibilities? I guess so.
The Conchada Family circa 1945ish