My mother and I are very close. We have television shows that we watch religiously (Desperate Housewives, ER, Girlfriends) and we typically discuss a lot of issues, personal and social. Additionally, she frequently gives me great advice when I’m deciding something crucial. Several friends have commented that I'm lucky to have a good relationship with my mother since many of them are left beneath the judgmental and disapproving glare of their parents. However, I don't exist in a land of roses and bluebirds. And because we are close, our arguments and disagreements tend to be particularly tense and deeply affect me.
Last night, we conversed and my mother challenged my work ethic and decision to leave my job. I'm attending school in September full-time and the plantation company I slave work for now won't permit the hours I require. Subsequently, I've decided it's time to move on, especially after five years. They are downsizing and I fear I may be next to get the pink slip. Furthermore, I think it's time for a change since I'm extremely bored and miserable here.
My mother questioned my plans following graduation. I told her pointedly that I didn’t know what I was going to do with the degree once I got it. That's why I'm considering an internship and trying to make connections. She stated that I've always had things come easy and that “magically obtaining a job within a month is naive.” I kept my cool but started to get slightly defensive. After all, this is my life and these are my decisions; what I do doesn't affect them physically or financially.
Well, we came to an impasse and I showered before bed. A half hour later, I found my mom sitting on the front porch with The General (my lazy ass dog who thinks he runs the house). I joined her and launched into a justification of my reasons and decisions. I told her it was my life and that while I understand her concern about my future, I have to live my own life and figure everything out for myself, mistakes included.
Her main reason for feeling this way? She sees me following in her footsteps. She obtained an art degree from UMass Boston and never did anything to establish a career in that field. Her voice faintly choked as she told me her educational regrets. She never had a career plan after college and sees me going down the same path.
We managed to smooth our conversation over and I went to bed. Admittedly, I'm feeling more anxious after that conversation. I'm freaking out! I was so determined to acquire this degree after years of sitting on my ass. I'm extraordinarily close to finishing but honestly don't know what I want to do after college. Most young boys dream of being in the NBA but reality dictates that most will never succeed. The same in the music industry. Everyone dreams of being a star but reality has set in and I know I have to consider other alternatives within the field (i.e., teaching or A&R). I always hear that as young black men, education is necessary to achieve life goals and I'm doing just that. I'm proud that I've been exceedingly ambitious but what next?
All these changes make me uneasy. I'm scared of what will or won’t be. I am generally content with my life. Nevertheless, departing my job, and ultimately school, will be huge. Moreover, I eventually hope to move out. And while I don't want entertain this thought, my dad has become elderly very quickly within the past few months. He can hardly walk, uses a cane and he sleeps most of the day. His health isn't excellent and I’m worried for him over the next few years (i.e., nursing home). I've always prided myself on being tough and putting up a facade, that everything in my life is under control but I'm deathly terrified because at this point, my future is beyond my control.