I figured I’d write a little about something I’ve been contemplating now for some time. Now that I’ve been working for a good couple of months and have managed to run into a bunch of other young recently graduated students our discussion fell into the rather interesting topic of work but in a more general sense.
There was a group of four of us and complete strangers at a large gathering over the weekend and we began to get into a discussion of loneliness particularly amongst people our age who recently have left school to get real jobs and enter into the workforce.
None the less eventually one of the people I was talking to started to mention how lonely they were and how even though they go to work and do things they’d come home every day and then wouldn’t do much afterward. I couldn’t help but empathize with the person since often I have felt those same feelings especially since starting to work full time for long periods. Previously when I had worked full time during summers it was something that while I knew was necessary to pay for school, and also to pay for many other things, it would eventually end. However, since starting full time which could possibly happen for the rest of my life it’s come to my realization that often one gets what I call the “Full-Time Blues” which I am going to coin at some point.
As we continued to talk many of the things he mentioned were events I could recall from the previous months such as: working a lot but not really have too much good free-time, being unable to spend time with friends, feeling aloof from work place co-workers, but more importantly feeling like you are in between stages.
That last one especially was something I’d been feeling for some time. For example, you are out of school and you need to work to pay off your college loans. However, you probably aren’t actually making enough money to be able to save very much at all unless you are living quite frugally. On top of this is the compounded problem I’ve come to of the realization of loneliness but not true isolation. You still may talk to many people during the course of your day and it is very like you get along at work. However, the depth of your conversations and particularly the frequency of close relations is lacking. This is something I’ve come to notice when it came to the differences between college and full time work.
At school you are very nearly forced to live around and be around people all the time, especially if you are living on campus. Combined with the fact that by the time you reach your sophomore year you’ve made often close friends, that you’ve shared living experiences with, it makes for an interesting time in your life where people from different backgrounds, fields of work, and interests can be forced to coalesce into a formidable friendship due to necessity. Those friendships allow you to be able to be frank, blunt, or whatever you need to be as a friend but more importantly they’re pure friendships. There is no inner ring or sort of working into these as one might say. Rather they simply happen and as a end result they’re beautiful to behold.
Thinking of this the dichotomy of my predicament became plain. While now working I was enjoying that I was able to have money and pay my debts but more importantly make my way in the world as a responsible adult. However, I lost a little of something, I lost my friends. I’ll never forget the moment I realized that in my frugality and relative lack of riches while in College I had some of the best moments of my life with my friends and a deep contentment from people who likely will be my friends for the rest of my life. But now that I’m working full time I have money. I could go out every weekend so to speak and I could enjoy myself. The only problem is that there are few friends to enjoy it with and even fewer who aren’t up to their necks with either work, familial duties, and also general chores. That makes getting even a few of us together feels like a parting of the red sea.
What once were late night burger runs and deep meaningful conversations that build strong relationships have turned into late nights binge watching TV by myself and thinking about having to go through the daily routine of colloquial barrage of work talk that very rarely is able to satiate most desires for true friendships and intimacy.
Rich in rags. Yet sad in payment. I wonder if anyone else is experiencing the Full-time Blues.