Yes. I remember you. I know who your kid is. Chances are I’m still friends with them on some form of social media platform. If I thought about it hard enough, I could probably tell you where they went to college or who they ended up marrying. I understand the small talk. You recognized me when you walked into the bank and I greeted you and asked “how can I help you today?” It happens often. I work near the community I get up in. I see a lot of people I know, not just you.
But “Hi, how are you? How are your parents?” just didn’t cut it for this conversation. I understand. I’m not super open about all of the reasons my original plans didn’t work out. Last time you saw me was my high school graduation party where you wished me the best of luck at the Big 10 school I was getting ready to attend and gave me $20 because my parents did the same for your kid. I appreciate you, I do. Please don’t assume I’m trying to be rude. Its just that I get this a lot and I’m really tired of it to be honest. It has been at least 5 years since I willingly told you anything about my life and I am not in any position to let you in now.
I think its awesome that your kid graduated college, got a high paying job, married their high school sweetheart or whatever their most recent accomplishment is. Chances are, I probably congratulated them on Facebook because I’m not a complete jerk who distanced myself from everything I have ever known. This is important because what I am about to say might conflict the previous statement. I’m still not a jerk. But STOP. Stop with the “that’s too bad”, “what do your parents think?”, “at least you finished your associates degree”. What is “too bad?” I found a job I like that I did not have to put myself $100k in debt for. Why the hell do you care what my parents think? They think its pretty cool that I’m going to Iceland. And yes, I did finish my associates degree, as well as a few other certifications. But if I didn’t, that would have been okay too. And for the love of God, do not throw me a “you can always go back to school”. At any point in this mostly one sided conversation did I tell you I was dissatisfied with my life? No. I didn’t. Because I’m not dissatisfied with my life. You may think you know me because you watched me grow up from a distance. But you don’t. I barely know me. I didn’t know myself 5 years ago and I barely know myself now. But what I do know that I didn’t know 5 years ago is that everything I thought I wanted for my life, I don’t want.
I can tell you are looking down on me because I’m a bank teller and your kid is an engineer whether or not you’re trying to portray it that way. You feel sorry for me. Please stop. I’m not insecure about the way my life turned out. I like my job. I’m in love. I have a house. I travel the world. None of those statements seem negative to me so why do you think they are? I know you weren’t trying to be rude, just inspirational. But from now on, please stick to asking me how I’m doing TODAY.