Tristan joined the Peace Corps. Emily did Teach for America. Eric biked across the country building houses for the homeless. And what did I do? I moved to New York like all the other assholes, where I live in a shoebox, drown in dive bars, and complain about the rats and thieves that overrun this city.
To all my friends who are doing good things for society, please stop. You are making me look bad. Maybe not to my parents, who are pleased as punch with this “real job” I’ve managed to hold for a year. Telling their friends I work in advertising sounds a lot better than, “Andrea wants to be a writer/journalist/traveler something.” But this world is a far cry from my naïve, post-graduation Paul Salopek-esque aspirations. It’s like liberal guilt denied.
To make matters worse, I am happy here. Maybe I’m not teaching children to read or building wells or exposing humanitarian injustices, but I am paying off debts and not disappointing my parents.
That’s something to be proud of, right?