(Part Two) Diary entry – December 31, 2008

I can’t believe I am here. I can’t believe I am sitting here on New Year’s Eve already in my pjs and it’s not even close to midnight yet! And at my parent’s house for no less.

Is this seriously what my life is going to be like now? I’m 23 years old and living at my parent’s house. This is ridiculous. I did the school part. Hell! I even did the graduate school part! And yet here I find myself barely pulling part-time at a local wine-tasting room and applying to jobs day in and day out, and getting zero response. This damn recession. If it had started just six months after I graduated instead of week of. Then I’d be in Washington where I belong working for State or some awesome non-profit. Not here doing nothing. This isn’t right. This isn’t what I had planned!

I feel so lost. Just adrift in some god forsaken sea of misery and failure without a rudder. I hate when I run into old high school friends in town and they ask me what I’m doing. It’s not like I can lie or fudge some make believe story. Nope, Facebook sure saw to that. Why did I even join that stupid networking site. Now everyone knows that I lived in Rome. Everyone saw my posts and stupid status updates about what I was doing and all the cool policy work I hoped to do once back in the states. It’s so embarrassing. Sometimes I sit in my room and cry silently. I don’t want my parents to worry and I definitely don’t want their pity and words of encouragement. Those have been worn thin. I can’t hear another “Don’t worry Kat, something will come along” one more time. It doesn’t make me feel better – just more of a failure. My parents have been wonderful too. They supported me going overseas for school, they helped pay for it, and they were so helpful when I needed advice or just wanted to talk. Mom especially was amazing. It was so scary going to another country by myself where I knew no one. Scary and exciting, but it would have been a hell of a lot more scarier if I didn’t have my parents. And now look at what they’ve got! Some academically successful kid without a full-time job. Yeah, I bet that makes them proud.

Everything was going as it was supposed to. I got the right degrees and I did the volunteer thing and even did the internship thing at no cost over the summer. What the hell am I supposed to do!? I can’t work in this wine-tasting room another month, I’ll go insane. It’s so boring. I can feel all that crazy policy knowledge and book-learning just fall out of my head. It’s not like I can chase it and put it back in. It’s just one big messed up blog of information crusting away from lack of use. Maybe I should just move back to Rome? Or join the Peace Corps? It’s better than just sitting here doing nothing. If I can’t find a job doing what I love and want to do here or some other place in the States than maybe I should just leave again. The world’s pretty big, there’s gotta be something out there for me – right?

Shit. Mom’s calling me. Gotta run to dinner. Wish me luck!