I’ve had a great life. I don’t let things stress me out too much. I didn’t struggle in school and I’ve never had pressure to get a job. Often times, my friends would question my lifestyle, not able to comprehend it’s luxury. So wait, what do you do all day? I would get asked during summer vacation. You don’t have a job? Do you ever get bored?
I can’t explain to you the amount of people that would ask me these questions. Adults, teenagers, even the kids I babysat knew something was weird. I thought you were a grown-up. Grownups have jobs. Grownups also don’t have to babysit children, but look, here I am.
I would try to come up with things in my head, spitting out unimportant errands that I ran, trying to prove that I was doing something of worth while I wasn’t working. I put pressure on myself. Come on, sound impressive. Make excuses. Say you applied for jobs but no one was hiring. Something. ANYTHING.
I felt embarrassed to have free time. Any time I relaxed I felt a pang of guilt. People my age were on their feet working and I was tanning outside and then taking a nap.
However, in my mind, the embarrassment of being unemployed wasn’t half as bad as actually being employed. Trying to come up with activities that I did during the day surely wasn’t as painful as having to be somewhere and do work.
I never could understand the people who would work all day and then go out with their friends afterwards. Where is their energy coming from? Why are these people punishing themselves? But that’s how everyone was. No one had a similar situation to mine.
Moving to Canada kept me in the same situation. I didn’t have a work visa so I couldn’t actually get a proper job. I still volunteer twice a week and babysit occasionally, but I have lots of free time. Time to read and go online and play video games. Time to go on walks and bake and window shop. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but I don’t think I’m wasting my life by enjoying myself. I’m just one of the lucky ones. I’m no longer going to feel embarrassed for having something that people wished they had.