The more people ask me what I’m going to do now that I’ve graduated college, the more I realize just how much I was banking on that whole 2012 apocalypse thing.I don’t think I did the best planning for life after turning 20.
I’m not saying that I believed in the whole Mayan prophecy thing, but part of me totally believed the whole Mayan prophecy. This was not the rational or even coherent part of me. This was the part of me that also often battles the fear of ghosts and enjoys watching “Pawn Stars.”
When I was in high school, I would laugh at the doomsday prophets, but deep down I was doing the math. I’d be cleaning the bathroom when I would get that glazy eyed thousand yard stare and wonder, “If the world really does end in 2012, how old will I be?” 20 years old. So I started planning for what I could accomplish by the time I turned twenty and subconsciously forgetting that, “hey, maybe you should figure out what’s going to happen when you turn 21 or 25. Because you know, the world was not going to end you dumbass.”
Even on December 20, 2012 I kept walking around thinking, “The world might end today.” I wasn’t quaking in my boots or anything. I was stocking up my End of Days bunker although I did happen to have a ton of cans of tuna at home. Just in case. I kind of felt like I should do the whole “Last day on Earth” hoopla. Carpe that diem. Do all the things I’d always wanted to do. You know, just in case. But I looked around my room and realized that I did have a bitchin’ Buffy the Vampire Slayer collection so I felt accomplished enough to take a nap.
I was a little surprised to wake up on December 21. The new year came and it felt weird to see dates that said 2013. I mean, John Cusak made a movie about how I was going to die. It takes some time to recover from that. But after a day or two the shock of living in this world that shouldn’t exist wore off and I went on being a normal person who wasn’t crazy. And it was refreshing.
Until I graduated college and realized that those decisions I made when I thought I was gonna die at twenty had to carry to being an adult. I mean, it’s not like I went on some crazy meth bender or robbed seventeen banks in Missouri. To be honest, for someone who kind of thought the world was ending, I lived a remarkably boring life. I ate a lot of pizza. Probably should have done a few more push-ups.But now it seems that I have to make my little foray into art school actually payoff and that fact has a tendency to stop me in my tracks.
Every once in a while I’ll just stare off into the distance as I do the dishes and think, “I spent how much money getting a writing degree?! Why would I do that?!”
It’s hard coming back home and being showered with questions like “So what are you going to do now?” and “What does one do with a writing degree?” I sit at home and read Aquaman comic books. That’s what I do with a writing degree.
I want to come up with grand, oddball plans when I get these questions. “Oh, I’m moving to Spain to become a bull fighter.” Or, “I’m going to reshoot the film ‘Free Willy’ on my iPhone with my neighbor’s cat.” But then I just feel bad in comparison when the real answer is much less exciting. “I’m just kind of seeing what comes my way. I tell people I’m writing a book but I’ve been stuck on chapter 16 since February.”
But the funny thing is that I haven’t stopped fearing the end of the world. I just think I’m living in it now. I keep worrying that my world is falling apart around me, because I don’t have a plan for what comes next. It’s not the end of the world, though, no matter how much easier that would make things. It’s the exact opposite actually. It’s just the start. And it’s time to no longer be content with just having a bitchin’ Buffy the Vampire Slayer collection.