Inside, my reply was Hahahahahaha!
Outside, my reply was, "There are only 3 reasons to live in New York-"
Before I give you the 3 reasons, let me express to you how much I would LOVE- would love more than I love the Wynn buffet in Vegas- to live in NYC. Or even just East. I prefer East over West as far as the US goes.
Back to the 3 reasons, "#1 If you're a student, #2 if you make a crap ton of money, #3 if you have a very generous friend who agrees to let you stay on their couch for several months because you're trying for your big break as an artist of some sort."
I read somewhere this summer: 'Don't expect anyone to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out on you.'
Just seems in today's world, a Bachelor's doesn't mean much anymore. Work experience means infinitely more. So, the next thing I conveyed to them was the necessity of consistent work experience, and if you aren't able to get a job for whatever reason, volunteer. And put that shit on your resume.
They listened intently. I explained to them my struggle with employment and being employable since my split with husband. Since the days of raising kids and relying on Matt's income. Period.
"You can't EVER rely on someone else to take care of you. You MUST always be able to take care of yourself. And the amount of education plus work experience you can accrue equals your freedom."
That means do what it takes to be a professional, and, HELL, if you have a Master's you can always teach. And, sweet Lord, teaching usually means health insurance!
DO THE MATH.
Back to the idea of living in NYC… I've lived in Southern California, an hour away from L.A., for a year now. Cost of living isn't as nuts, perhaps, as New York, but it's up there. I've been living here in SoCal with none of things that I'm pushing for my girls. And y'all know it's been hard.
I never ever ever want my kids to feel that fear and, sometimes, hopelessness that I felt. Mouths to feed and where's the next meal? What account is going to collections next?
(I have somehow made my way into retail management after only 2 years of really being in the work force. This was a feat. And it took caring about my job and not just a paycheck. I'm unspeakably proud of myself and shamelessly sing my praises. So, don't count me ungrateful. I'm feeling a new sense of freedom that is brand new to my repertoire of emotion.)
I'm not sure if my "Freedom Talks" sunk in…
A couple days ago, I was talking to another teenaged girl about how next year is the time to make decisions about what schools to apply for.
Her reply, "I don't know if it's really worth it."
"UM, WHAT???!!!!!! What is the IT you are referring to???? School???????????"
"What is your plan to be successful??"
"Open a bake shop."
So that was the highlight of that conversation.