I hate playing Monopoly.
When I was younger, at one of my family parties, my older cousin and I were paired as a team to play Monopoly. He insisted we buy everything we landed on. Everything. We immediately went bankrupt. We were the first to lose. I was infuriated. I don’t remember forgiving him, but I probably have—it’s been at least twenty years. That’s enough to have forgiven someone at some point.
I hate playing Monopoly.
It. Never. Ends.
Other than Monopoly, I didn’t grow up playing board games. Scrabble was not there to expand my vocabulary or develop my spelling skills. I didn’t want to settle in Catan. I wanted to eat munchkins.
My distaste for board games could also derive from the fact that I am not competitive. If you ask me to race you, I will let you win because I don’t like running. I don’t care to win. Besides, what is it you gain from reaching the end of the hall faster than me? Yay. You beat me. It’s just me. That’s not a lot to brag about. I’m not Usain Bolt. Calm down. I won’t help to boost your ego that way.
However, I am beginning to wonder if maybe I should have been more competitive. If I had cared more about winning maybe I wouldn’t have to press RESTART every time. I feel like I’ve been working on a fifteen page single-space essay due yesterday at noon but I forgot to save it, only for my computer to freeze and shut down.
I may not care to win, but I keep losing…
Well, okay. I’ve lost. But what have I lost (in no particular order) so far?
- some debt
- uncomfortable shoes
- space in my bookshelves
- bare walls
- empty picture frames
So sure, okay, I have lost. I may return to the starting line over and over again, but now it’s pointed toward a new direction. A direction I had so long denied because I thought I wasn’t good enough to be over there. At this point, I don’t even care if I’m not good enough to be over there. I am going to be over there.
You can count on me to cheer you every time you succeed. Please remind me that I need to do the same for me. I have to remember that the rules apply to me, too.
I’m also privileged. Most people who restart don’t have the same resources I do. I have parents who aren’t kicking me out of the house, and who can support me while I work toward what I want. I have aunts and uncles, and a variety of references who can make glowing recommendations of me to hiring managers. A lot of the opportunities I have taken were practically handed to me, but I am hopeful that I am more grateful than entitled: I know exactly who’s helping me forward, and to them do I owe any admiration others express toward me.
Every time I lost, I had room to gain (again, in no particular order):
- experience (and therefore some great stories to tell)
- knowledge (not yet wisdom)
- empathy (all cliched, but piercingly true)
- interest in new topics and hobbies
- blank notebooks
- smooth-writing 0.5 pens
- teammates/friendships/fellow strugglers
I haven’t got it all (does anyone really?), but I’ve got just what I need for where I am right now.
And just for kicks, an episode of ‘Adam Ruins Everything’ covers a lot of job/career culture. At 1:38 and beyond it becomes really illuminating. Watch if you want. No pressure.
Sometimes being jaded pays off [:
Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back.