This is the true story (true story) of one young woman, who chose to live in an apartment, work hard and have her life changed; find out what happens when life stops being ‘fun’ and starts getting REAL. The Real World: My apartment.
I’d normally be sitting on my porch sipping a glass of cheap wine, previously purchased from the drugstore down the street, as I write– but being the responsible young adult that I am, I’ve put myself (however involuntarily) on a strict budget; thus, I am sitting at the dining room table nursing a nice glass of ice water (no lemon or mint) researching fairy tales and wondering if it isn’t too late to move to Neverland and return to the days of my carefree childhood.
A few weeks back, a good friend of mine asked how things were going out in the “real world,” and just before I could rattle off my usual “Great, everything’s so good, I love my job and San Diego is amazing, etc.” I had a quick soul-searching moment followed by the realization that I was full of poppy cock! Imagine, if you will, a photo montage of a bright-eyed, enthusiastic young-adult just getting her feet wet in life’s ocean, then imagine her face when she realizes it’s time to pay student loans and car insurance and all of her best friends are getting married and having children and she’s spending date night hang drying her pantyhose and drinking ice water. Oh, and check out her face when she opens up her near-empty fridge to decide between a peanut butter sandwich or ramen noodles for dinner, and her face when she decides to have both, because who needs to fit into the little black dress that she bought for previously mentioned best friend’s wedding which we’re now learning she cannot attend due to work, with “Ain’t It Fun” by Paramore playing in the background.
Not wanting to taint a light-hearted conversation with the harsh realities of my young-adult life, I offered my usual ‘life’s all sunshine and daisies, I’m living the dream’ answer, to which she responded, “Oh how fun that must be.” Que track one on the soundtrack to my life.
Later on in my journal the conversation got real. I, as I’m sure many other young adults have, have had many a moment when I’ve just wanted to curl up on my couch and sulk (replay photo montage) until someone else comes to fix my problems, but then I hear Hayley and the boys chanting in the back of my mind,
Don’t go cryin’ to your mama, ’cause you’re on your own in the real world.”
To which I roll my eyes and tell myself “fine!” and set to work out my next steps in life, which usually include writing in my journal and calling one of the besties for some bad advice I probably won’t take and trying to figure out what would mommy do?, followed by, what would Jordan and Lauren do?
Truly, this song has been my anthem since I first heard it on the radio on my way to work. And, while filled with sarcasm reminding me just how different the “real world” has been from my expectations, each time I hear it, I find it ever more empowering. “Ain’t it good to be on your own, Ain’t it fun you can’t count on no one,” meant to imply that in this world, you may end up facing life all on your own and there very well may not be anyone to whom you can turn when you need it most, actually reminds me just how well I really am doing so far in this whole growing up thing. As I’m feeling my way through the world and molding myself into the productive member of society I’m supposed to be, I’m realizing that I can handle most of these things, on my own and it’s actually okay if I’m all I’ve got, because I am actually capable of making it in this world.
So yes, Hayley Williams, it is good to be on my own and fun I can count on no one.