I Hate That Question

“What are you going to do when you graduate?”

My hatred for that question runs to my very core, but I think what I may hate just a smidge more is the look that people give me when I answer “I don’t know, so I’m just going to wing it”. If you don’t know what look I’m talking about I’ll do my best to explain it. I don’t even have to finish the sentence (usually I get out the first two words) and their body languages changes. It goes from being erect and interested to slightly slouched. If they talk with their hands, their hands go from being in the air to together, either on a table or in front of them, or they cross their arms. They’re already shutting me down. Their face and voice change from intrigued to bored, embarrassed, or filled with pity. I. Hate. It. I don’t want your pity or for you to feel bad for me. I can do that on my own, thank you very much. I’d rather you offer me suggestions on what I could do, or better yet, just don’t react at all.

Why exactly is it so important for me to have my life planned out? Don’t get me wrong I think having a general plan is important, but to have our lives planned out by the time we graduate is stressful. We’ve already got enough stress as it is, have you seen some of our debts?

For me, personally, I just have no idea what I want to do, that, and I have no idea where I’m going to be this time next year, not to mention where I’m going to be in five years. It’s kind of unrealistic to ask or expect an employer to take someone on that will more than likely be moving quite a bit, and, therefore, quitting not too long after they’re hired. I don’t want this to sound like I’m blaming the Man-Friend, because I’m not, but I have to work around him, which is an added issue I’m facing. So as much it may annoy or disappoint people, my options are limited to winging it and figuring it out as I go. Now if y’all could just stop with the pity, disappointment, and boredom filled reactions that would be fantastic. If you aren’t prepared to hear the reality of my situation, something you deem negative, then don’t ask; it really will be better for everyone.

I, surprisingly, don’t see my situation as a negative one…anymore. It’s become this weird sort of adventure for me. It makes me feel stressed and worried and fearful about how I’m going to help support my weird, cat-filled family, but at the same time it’s become a somewhat freeing thought that I can do anything anywhere. I haven’t limited myself too much yet. I have the freedom to try things out until I find something that catches and keeps my attention. I know I’ve fallen into a beach-bum like attitude of “Dude, you just gotta go with the flow, Man,” but I don’t think I’ll be there forever. Why, you ask? I cannot stand feeling like I’m not pulling my own weight. I don’t think I could be a home-maker/stay-at-home-mom/hausfrau/whatever you want to call it because I don’t feel like I’m contributing enough. Working from home, sure, as long as I’m doing something to put money into our account and adequately pull my weight in the relationship. I wouldn’t have a problem with that. Actually….I think that would be ideal. I’m kind of a homebody and I would be able to take care of the animals–we’re thinking about getting a puppy in a year, maybe. Back to the point, as interesting as this freedom to figure things out on the fly is, it’s temporary. I’ll try to enjoy it while it lasts. Now I just have to try to limit the stress of the unknown. Easier said than done, right? My first step should probably be to focus on the present and graduate. Gotta get that degree before I can get that dough! After that, terrifying freedom here I come.

[Edit] It has come to my attention that this post can lead people to believe that my boyfriend is limiting me. He most definitely is not limiting me. I am the one that decided to move with him, wherever that may be. He would never ask me to give up my entire life and move to be with him if that meant I would be denying myself something. He would feel awful. The situation we find ourselves in is one many couples, military and non-military, find themselves in.

Sometimes couples split their time between two different locations, other times one partner can work from their new home, telecommute (I think that’s what it’s called), or their job can transfer states or countries, but most often one partner chooses to make a sacrifice for a greater good, keeping their family together. After all, relationships are filled with sacrifices. Sometimes both partners have to give up things, and other times only one has to give something up. We make sacrifices because we want our partner to achieve what they’re working for and because we know that they would willingly make the same sacrifice for us. It’s part of being in a relationship, and while it may be stressful and inconvenient I wouldn’t give it up for the world.

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2 thoughts on “I Hate That Question

  1. Hallelujah! Yes, and it is just as bad after you graduate too. Not too mention, people who don’t know what it’s like to have a significant other in the military will never understand. I’m so glad you wrote this. You’re spot on!

    • Even my counselor had a slightly negative reaction to it. I know it’s not meant, usually, to be a bad thing. I feel like it’s been pounded into people’s brains that they HAVE to know what they’re going to do. It’s nonsense, especially if you’re with someone in the military. I mean if they’re active you’re moving, period, end of discussion. It can be a huge pain to find a job when you’re moving every few years. People just need to stop with their judging.

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