Rock Bottom

Ok, so can we talk about hitting rock bottom? What and who defines rock bottom? According to popular movies,  autobiographies, Spanish soap operas, my dad’s family history and Avenue Q, rock bottom usually consists of at least one of the following: losing your job, a bad relationship break-up, moderate to heavy drug use, suicide attempts, losing a game of Monopoly, a death in the the family or close friend circle, frequent bouts of crying, weight gain, depression, hopelessness, losing a championship sports game and any other kind of negative thing/event that goes on to negatively affects your day-to-day life. According to Webster, rock bottom is “the lowest possible level.”

During RAFA’s Peter Pan production weekend, I was told by an intoxicated individual who is rather involved in the organization that I was at rock bottom. Now I know it was meant as a joke and there was no intentional malice or insult intended and though I am not one to accuse anyone else as being too dramatic (in the wise words of Lady Gaga on the Simpsons “There is no over the top!”) I think thats just a bit too dramatic. I mean, I have a job, a degree, a car, a place to live, both my parents are still alive, I’m pretty enough to show my face outdoors during the day and not just at night (sometimes my hair is not so hot – but you win some, you lose some), my physical condition is great – I am not at rock bottom. However, it has been hinted at by several individuals, while not intoxicated that I am at the lowest of the low.

Some people think that by “just working at a dance studio” and living at home, I am wasting my life away. In fact, I thought that for a while, but in reality what does it actually matter? I just started reading a book called The American Dream: A Short History of an Idea that Shaped a Nation. One of the premises of the book is how the ever cliche American Dream of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” which frequently translated into a picket fence house, a paying job, religious freedom and a family has morphed into this horrific social and narrasistic fame, fortune and glory lifestyle. And I have obviously witnessed this shift. This idea of the “New American Dream” was infested in my brain until I realized  how misconstrewed it is. Moving to another state/city, or going to the most prestigious law school, or even just moving out of my parents house is not going to give me fame, fortune or glory. I’m going to be poor (since many schools don’t allow you to work your first year of law school), miserable, lonely and stressed out. Plus I have almost all the things now that the old American Dream stood for – why get too greedy?

I’m not going to shrivel up and become worthless if I don’t leave my current job at RAFA  this fall – in fact I really love working here even if its not the studio featured on Dance Moms (and let me tell ya, the RAFIA would be much more entertaining). I’m not giving up on going to law school – I am going to do that no matter what – but does it actually matter if I do it this year, the spring or next year? I’m 21 years old and in all honesty being an adult sucks. I’m not at the age where its weird for me to still live with my parents and I’m not interested in going out to fend for myself. Could I do it – absolutely I could live on my own and be completely responsible for everything – but why should I do that yet?

Basically the moral of this story is that the generations coming up (and even part of mine) are being exposed to unrealstic excpectations and are nearly certain to have a misconstructed view of themselves, their goals and what’s attainable. Basically, they’re screwed. And sadly these new ideals are more quickly than we’d like to believe becoming the accepted norm.

But that still does not mean I’m at rock bottom (I’m sure you are all thinking that the first sign is denial…)

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