As adults we’d like to believe that we’ve done away with the fears and worries of our youth. To some extent we’ve grown old enough to see that some of those earlier worries were irrational and were truly a result of us not knowing just how the world works. In other cases, youth has a naivety that we often wish we could still have in our adulthood. We look back at old photographs of ourselves and try to remember what it was like to be that person again. We wish we could eat what we once ate, were as active as we once were, and sometimes, we wish that we had remained just as ignorant. The thing is, I believe it’s okay as adults for us to admit to ourselves that there are still things that we’re afraid of.
I worry about my job. I think that we all have concerns along these lines from time to time. I’ve been fortunate to have worked for the same employer for over a decade. In that time my skill set and experience have grown. Although my profession is as a librarian, my expertise is not just in libraries. I am also proficient in computing resources, web and staff development and whole lot more. When the economy went into free fall a few years ago I knew that its effects would be felt for many years. I also knew that some industries would be impacted immediately while others would feel it much later. I work in an industry that is now in the midst of feeling its effects. Now that we’re coming out of the recession, academically speaking of course, there are still those industries that are in the midst of chaos. So for my second admission, I worry about the sheer lack of accountability and penalty imposed on Wall Street. While Main Street, USA was made to suffer, Wall Street and other industries walked away relatively unscathed and in some cases with golden parachutes. For the first time since I began working in libraries, I worry about how long, through no fault of my own, I will remain in them.
I worry about healthcare. All Americans have these concerns from time to time. However, with the upcoming tangible changes to healthcare I can’t help but to be more concerned about my own health issues and my ability to afford managing them. If you’re looking for me to bash “Obama Care,” you’re looking in the wrong place. Government often does any number of things I don’t agree with. However, I’d still like to believe that it’s possible the government is still attempting to work for the people. What I don’t like is that all these changes are going into place during a time where the economy is still in recovery and unemployment is still high. Everything in life is a matter of timing. I’m among the fortunate. For the past decade I’ve had the same insurance provider and despite yearly changes, I felt as though it was still all worth it. Next year I’ll see my provider change and premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket limits increase. I’m a 32-year-old with the health issues of someone a decade or more older. As such, I am very concerned about my healthcare now and in the future. Will I be made to choose which condition to treat? Or will I be put on lesser medications for the sake of cost?
I worry about consumer debt. Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually really great at making budgets. And, outside of my own, sticking to them. Actually, it’s one of the services I provide through my personal business. However, I’m tapped out. I’ve committed one of the biggest sins, I’ve used credit cards as if it was money I actually had. Now, for the first time in my life I’m maxed out. Completely. I’d like to believe that I am fairly intelligent. I know right from wrong, I have a good ability to make informed decisions, I’m generally very adept. However, in the past year things have gotten away from me a bit. It’s frustrating because many of us use some form of retail therapy to cope with the stresses of life. And while I’d like to specifically say what it is that I purchased that somehow made my life that much better, it really just amounts to me eating out more and purchasing other trivial things that I can’t remember or show any proof of. At least with eating out I can show you that I’ve gained weight!
I just worry. It’s a daily challenge to remain optimistic about the perils of life. Don’t get me wrong, I love being an adult. There are just moments where the magnitude of it can be extremely stressful. It really is all worth it, though. When I’m able to take a step back and breathe, I know that I am blessed and that life is more than just the responsibilities and stresses we have. Academically I’m very accomplished, I’m happily married, I have a job that I enjoy with people I care for, and I have a close-knit family. However, I do know that it’s okay sometimes to cry. It’s okay to not always be in the best of moods. It’s also okay to acknowledge that there are still things that I’m afraid of. I am afraid of the big bad wolf but I also know that I’m not alone.
This article appeared on page 5A in the 8/28/13 issue of The Union-Recorder.