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My Quarter-Life Crisis

       Do you know that moment?  When you sit right up in bed, staring into the darkness, and realize that summer is almost over.  And you've done nothing, aside from feed the giraffes once at the zoo.  While everyone on Facebook made several trips to the beach, road-tripped across America, and visited countries like Italy and Africa, your summer photo album has remained nearly empty.    
      Instead you've spent the last three months waiting tables, and now you have three weeks until school starts again and your last summer ends.  The last summer before the hardest classes you've ever taken, and an internship for which you're too excited for words to explain, and work work work work work.   
     And then what?  Hope for a job that may never come, a career that you've spent four years and the kind of money you can't visualize to achieve - and now it's just not there.  "I'm sorry, we've filled our only opening.  Perhaps another time....", and discarded resumes, and loan bills pouring in because all that money is coming back to haunt you just like you always knew it would.  

       Do you know that moment?  That fear?  Because with the last few weeks of summer draining away, with binders and pencils piling up in the corner of my room, and Facebook friends making "last trips" to the beach, I do know that moment.  It's in my nightmares, forcing me awake and over to my laptop - typing out yet another e-mail to the same professors who likely don't require the introduction at the beginning of each message anymore, because it's just that senior again.  The one who's freaking out about classes and her internship and graduating and finding a job.  

        My 2AMs lately have been filled with me gasping for air, realizing not for the first time that it was just a dream.  Just a nightmare that was stalking me in my sleep, chasing me through parking lots and the now-empty walking trails of my memory.  Those monsters and faceless murderers are just the Real World, and they'll catch up eventually - just like they always do in my dreams.  They're catching up now, grabbing the cuff of the back of my shirt as I run like hell, run faster than I've ever run before.  


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