Thursday, January 14, 2016

31 Days: Hardest Thing to Wait For

31 Days of Writing Prompts: What is the hardest thing you had to wait for?

my first thought was to pick something from the past year; obviously it was tough to wait for my chicago weekend and kill hannah's final shows, and it also felt like it would be forever until i saw my first wwe house show. and clearly, back in the day it drove me a little nuts when i was 20 and waiting to turn 21, because otherwise i wouldn't be able to get into any band after-parties at american bars. (i got invited to one when i was in chicago but three weeks away from turning 21, and i was so mad at myself and my stupid birthday and come on, mom, you couldn't have given birth to me a month earlier?)

but on a wider scale, i would definitely say that the hardest thing i had to wait for was finishing school.

my alma mater.

i was never a bad student, but by the time i finished high school and got to university, i wasn't the most motivated, either. four years felt like a long-ass time for someone who had just completed five years of high school and nine years of elementary school before that. i was just so done with the concept of being made to sit for hours on end in a classroom, taking notes and studying for exams, when i felt like there was so much more i could be doing with my young life.

fortunately, the opportunity to live in toronto for the first time took some of the sting out of my post-secondary, but even that reward was wearing thin by year 3 of 4. i wanted to go out and be in the real world. i wanted to have a job that would pay me for my time and work. i wanted to be a goddamn adult, not just a student (ie. still a child). sure, i did everything i could in the meantime - skipping classes to go interview bands, spending my time reviewing albums and concerts, working a part-time job when i wasn't in class to make extra cash, disappearing occasionally to go on brief tours with bands - but i was still tied down to university by essay due dates, tests to study for, and exams to write. i couldn't skip everything, though by my third year i was trying my best to.

it was just this weird instinct, you know? i felt like i was missing out on something important, like life was passing me by without waiting up for me. it's funny how now i can look back and realize that school was actually a pretty decent fallback for me; there were a lot of antics i could easily blame on being young and in school, and i could get away with a lot. not so much so when you're gainfully employed and an adult and you've got bills to pay. but man, at the time, i wanted to scream, i was so tiring of waiting to graduate. and i managed to do it, with honours, in 2006.

ew, my face.

it's not like life suddenly became this giant world of opportunities after i graduated, though. instead, i had to scramble to pick up a second part-time job to combine with my other part-time job in order to pay my rent (since i no longer had those comfy student loans backing me up), and i didn't graduate with a degree that guaranteed me a career job right away. it's not to say i was completely wrong about my life finally beginning after i was done school, though: over the following two years, i would get another job, do many more band interviews, go to lollapalooza, go on an extended tour with a band, leave my job, move to vancouver, and move back to toronto again. pretty much all stuff i couldn't have done if i had still been a student, i can tell you that.

so school was a necessary evil, and i absolutely would not go back under any circumstances (although my father would love it if i did, having three post-secondary degrees himself), and man oh man was finishing those four years the longest wait of my life. it didn't go by in a flash; it felt like a slog, but at least it was helped by the amount of the "real world" i injected into those years. sure, i could have been one of those kids who truly lives their university years, joining clubs and making friends and spending time on campus, but not me. i had the outside world waiting for me, and hell yeah, the wait was definitely worth it. but i wouldn't relive it for anything.