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It's the money that moves us PDF Print Email

I’ve been thinking about money and bubble worlds.

The ultimate bubble world is education; it’s like a mini-utopia for young adults putting off reality. Where else would you be asked to consider the saying, “Eagle’s son is eagle,” and be told to write 2,000 words on the statement?

But then the bubble bursts.

By Catherine Brunelle
Monday, June 8, 2009

We’ve moved through our education before a cold breeze hits us. Our transparent rainbow sphere breaks with a soapy "pop."

Next is the real adventure: move out, find a job, find a life, find a home, and keep chasing those dreams.

Keep chasing those aspirations – if you can afford it, if your student debt isn’t too heavy, if your parents are willing to support you, if you have any idea where to start, if you have the patience to continue – then keep chasing that ambition.

But I’m afraid it’s the money that really moves us. Sink, swim, or get a job at Wal-Mart. Just so long as you pay off that debt.

Example one: My friend (I’ll call him Bob for the sake of privacy) graduates with an English degree. Bob now wants to work in publishing. First, he moves back home because he can’t afford to live independently. Then Bob sends out resumes to almost every publisher in The Writer’s Handbook. Next, Bob realizes he’s more than broke, he’s seriously in debt. Eventually, he settles for a job outside of publishing and hopes the money hanging over his head like a blade will finally go away.

Example two: Me. I’ve graduated with an MA in creative writing and now want to write, write, write. I have no pressing student debt, thanks to my parents. Instead I have pressing rent, utilities, and taxes to pay. Every month there’s a slashing of bills into my bank account that bleeds it of the dollars I’ve saved.

I want to write, but I also need to live. Now that I’m married, my next step is to find part- or full-time work. Other authors have managed to build their careers while working other jobs, so why not me?

Why not me? Well it’s what I want, but deep inside I feel a sort of complacency that isn’t ambitious enough, isn’t desperate enough...and I’m not positive that my writing will make it.

I need to work and I’d like to enjoy my job. However, I’m afraid that, like Bob, I’ll throw me off track.

The money moves us...that’s scary to consider. It’s distracting, too.

Maybe I’ll go for a Ph.D. and stay in the bubble longer. But it’ll pop again eventually – you can’t hide forever, right?

I guess it’s time to step up to the challenge. Sink or swim.

Hopefully I’ll avoid the job at Wal-Mart.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, September 13, 2011 )
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It's odd that you can get so anesthetized by your own pain or your own problem that you don't quite fully share the hell of someone close to you. —Lady Bird Johnson, former First Lady
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