Adulthood was brutally thrust upon me. I lived at home while I went to college, so I never had the 4 or so years of weaning off of my parents that most grads have. Instead, almost a year after finishing school, with less than $200 in my checking account – I moved 7 states and 10 hours away, from Boston to Virginia, for a new job.
So yes, the prospect of being financially independent with no “practice” was quite terrifying – in fact, it still is. But thankfully during my time as an undergrad (and even long before then) I got another kind of education. The kind of education that’s beneficial in life beyond being able to discuss the phallic imagery in Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. It’s the kind of education that only two hard-working and loving parents can give.
There are those that say that our generation is filled with elitist, and entitled people, who will soon evolve into apathetic adults glued to our computers and smartphones unable to ever communicate in a face to face situation – unappreciative of previous generations. Well, all I have to say is haters to the left. If there’s one thing that prepared me for embarking in adulthood it was my parents.
Since the age of tweenhood, I’ve worked with my parents at our small little mom and pop sub shop and restaurant located in Allston, Massachusetts – a little part of Boston made up of Hispanic immigrants, college students, young professionals, and delicious Asian food. It was there that I watched as my parents worked over 80 hours a week, spending all day on their feet – in a glamorous, and frankly thankless job.
But all those years of sacrifice resulted in personal achievements for my parents – an education for their only child, a house with a mortgage, a 2-car garage, a dog. In other words, all the signs of successfully reaching the American dream. They’ve achieved something that many Gen Y-er’s and I strive for – the kind of stability that employment, and a family brings.
So maybe I’m inspired to write this ode to my parents because, I’ll be honest, I kinda miss them bugging me all day about when I’m going to get a job – but the best lesson that I was ever taught was the importance of dedication and hard work, and of goals and dreams.
So yeah, while I’m still figuring out exactly how to keep track of the balance left on my debit card – I’m a little less scared knowing that effort and hard work has a big payoff.