Tag Archives: being an adult

Advice For the Class of 2015–Welcome to Adulthood!

Hello Class of 2015!

Congrats on moving that tassel over to the other side and grabbing that diploma. Now I know you’ll be getting tons of great advice about adulthood from family and overpriced Hallmark cards you’ll take the money out of and then pack/throw away, but I’m a true helper.

How? Because I know eventually your idealism will be replaced with realism and if you’re not prepared, life can feel as rough as waking up in a frat house called the “Ass House” wondering how your bra got on the ceiling fan…hypothetically speaking.

Anyway, here are a few bits and pieces about adulthood that may or may not pertain to you, but that you should be prepared for nonetheless. Remember, you’ll get the job and “hopes and dreams” stuff from everyone else. I’m just keeping it real.

exhausted

It’s true. Being an adult is mostly being tired all the time and acting incredulous any time someone tells you what the date it. “What? Where did the summer go? How can it be December already?” Yeah. Get used to that.

And while you think you’re tired now from studying (partying) and working (at a job 20 hours a week), it all changes when you’re an adult. You don’t even have to stay up late, as in, after 10 p.m. One morning you just wake up, look at your alarm clock—the lamest game of Whac-a-Mole ever—and count down the hours until you can be back in your little nocturnal worry pod of overanalysis (your bed.)

So there’s that.

When you do pull yourself out of bed you will learn that “Snap, Crackle, and Pop” is no longer referring to cereal, but rather the sound of your joints.

Coffee seems to be a staple of adulthood, and while you’re probably spending 20 percent of your paycheck on overpriced bean juice in the form of lattes and mochas from Starbucks right now, get used to the plain stuff. Or at least that’s what I’m told.

I haven’t had coffee in more than 12 years because of health issues, which gets the same reaction from people as if I told them I club baby seals (which no, I don’t do either.) 

Anyway, if you drink coffee as an adult, you have to talk about how much you like coffee, need coffee, and want an I.V. of coffee hooked into your arm. At least that’s what I gather from social media, which brings me to my next point.

For every reaction, there is an equal and opposite overreaction—usually be someone on the Internet. Learn to weed through the noise and for god sake, live life offline and don’t depend on the validation from strangers. No one really cares what you look like in the bathroom mirror. Except you. Sorry.

As an adult you will concern yourself with more important things like remembering to put out the trash and the recycle bins on the same day—and if you do it before the neighbors, the feeling of satisfaction is equal to at least, like, five Instagram “likes” or whatever currently floats your boat.

Other notable accomplishments?

Putting laundry away the same day that it’s done, going to the store and NOT immediately making a list of the things you forgot at the store, using up a bottle of shampoo and conditioner at the same time, sneaking an expired coupon past the cashier, bringing in all the grocery bags in one trip—no man left behind!—winding up a garden hose in under five minutes, and making the right decision as to whether or not you should cut the grass now or if it can wait until later. Is it going to rain? Am I safe?

The weather. You will talk about the weather a lot. Or gas prices. 

“Make it a double” will no longer refer to the trendy drinks at the bar—when you’re legally old enough to drink, of course—but rather the Sleepytime Tea you will need to try and relax at night.

And if you’re single and your pilot light goes out more than you do—NO JUDGEMENT I LOVE MY COUCH AND MY COUCH LOVES ME, SO JUST MOVE ON—a “booty call” will only refer to being butt dialed by your gay best friend.

Whatever. I’m in a committed relationship with various vegan edibles and we’re very happy together.

My point is that things change, but don’t worry! Even though this sounds a little bit less than exciting, remember that every day really is a gift. True, some days it’s a regifted package of razors from the dollar store or something you would like to return for store credit or Kohl’s cash, but it’s still better than the alternative.

So go forth and prosper. Delight in your youth and the future that you get to write—yes, write. Don’t just text. Like, pick up a pen and some paper and write. But don’t ever become a writer—they have issues.

Or so I’m told.

Good luck!

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What Happens When You Live Alone

I’ve lived alone for about six years now. And while the only problem with being independent is I have to do everything myself, for the most part, I love living alone.

In fact, I honestly don’t know if I could live with somebody again. I’ve been spoiled with endless opportunities to watch whatever I want on TV, not be grossed out by other people’s fingernail clippings in the bathroom and I can sprawl on my couch every night without judgment.

I get my couch. My couch gets me.

But there are a few misconceptions and/or disadvantages to living alone. For instance, it doesn’t mean I flit around the house naked. In fact, I still find myself wearing a towel when I go from the shower to my bedroom and once in awhile I instinctively shut the bathroom door when I pee.

Why? I have no idea.

And even though I know it’s ridiculous, I still instinctively peek around the shower curtain like I assume a crazed lunatic is in there checking his smartphone while he waits for me so he can attack.

More realistic but equally creepy is the fact that bugs are always my problem. I can’t freak out over a spider and delegate removal to anyone else, so either I “remedy” the situation or consider the arachnid to be my pet.

bugbean

A new pet is not in the plans.

And bug relocation isn’t the only thing that won’t magically take care of itself or be done by somebody else.

That tiny twist tie that I dropped on the floor as I ran out to work in the morning is still there when I get home. No one has picked it up while I was gone and I can’t blame it on anyone else.

Trash can Jenga—the act of stacking up the trash as high as you can until something tips over instead of taking it out—is a game to be played only if you’re a) living with someone else who might break first or b) at the office. Much like the twist tie scenario above, the trash fairy does not come while I’m gone.*

*However, the trash man will come once a week, and if I don’t remember to put the big bin out the night before, it won’t magically roll itself out to the curb and will instead fester for another whole week.

Low battery smoke detector beeps are always mine to investigate, and I swear I could live in a house the size of a shoebox and it would still take me an hour to find which one it is.

*beep* Wander around the house looking for it until it beeps 60 seconds later, somewhere that I am not. *beep* Wander around the house looking for it until it beeps 60 seconds later, somewhere where I am not.

You get the picture.

Folding sheets becomes a matter of neatly folding the pillowcases and then taking the actual sheets, attempting to find the corners and align them to fold before haphazardly bunching them up and throwing them in the closet.

Of course there’s also the fear of choking and being found by an emergency crew bundled up in robe with a mouth full of hummus. I imagine it’s just a slow spiral of shame down from there.

It might even start that with the absence of a second opinion in my house, I find that I have a commentary on everything that I occasionally still say out loud. It’s like I always have an audience, and no sane person has as many conversations with inanimate objects as I do.

When putting out a new candle, I might opine to the television that, “Yes, I think that looks nice there,” or “Hmm, I should add paper towel to the grocery list I’ll forget to take with me tomorrow.”

I admit it’s a little weird to notice the self-speak going on, but on a positive note, at least I’m wonderfully supportive of myself.

After all, no one else can do it for me.

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An Inconvenient Truth

Despite what this post might suggest, I would generally describe myself as more self-deprecating than self-centered.

However, I have come to realize that at times I’m a) completely irrational when it comes to how I view reality and normal inconveniences and b) delusional.

Let’s start with the first one and an example, as it often leads to the second.

When storms are raging around the state causing massive destruction, my first thought is rarely, “Gosh, I hope that everyone is okay everywhere in the world” but rather, “Gah! I know we’re going to lose power because of this much-less severe storm in my town, which means I’m going to lose my shit.”

So while I feel awful for people picking up after a tornado—I’m not a freaking monster—I’m also flipping the heck out.  Mother Nature obviously hates me and wants all the food in my fridge to go bad and for me to have to live without the Internet for a day like some kind of contestant on Survivor: Entitlement Island.

While I know Mother Nature doesn’t specifically aim her meteorological might directly at my house, I still see it as a direct “screw you.”

Another example that will lead us into my second point is when I was at the ATM the other day.

I was trying to make a withdraw and got an “error” message. Knowing there was no actual error with my account, I kept trying, manically pushing the buttons with increasing rage at each attempt. No luck.

So I went into the bank like my ancestors used to do and found out they had been having issues with the ATM due to the cold (see “weather” up above, I suppose. THANKS AGAIN MOTHER NATURE.)

No big deal, but I’ve been paranoid about my debit card ever since it was hacked last year, and the “error” message fueled my neurosis. Plus, I was feeling lazy.

Anyway, my first completely irrational thought as she was counting the money back to me was that I would like her to slip an extra $5 into the cash for my ATM troubles.

WTF?

Why on earth do I think I should get a reward for doing absolutely nothing other than not beating the ATM with my umbrella? I swiped three free pens from the bowl on the desk and pondered this thought as I walked out.

Because it’s not just the bank.

The store is out of a product I want? A pipe burst and closed the gym for a day? Obviously there is a broccoli conspiracy closely linked to the sewage system in my neighborhood because the UNIVERSE HATES ME. And for some reason I feel proud for doing the exact thing that normal, civil people are expected to do in society.

Drive by a cop when I’m going the speed limit? Extra credit on my license for those times I might inch a bit over.

Remembering to put out both the trash and the recycle on the right day?  A standing ovation.

Not telling my friend that her ultrasound picture looks like a seahorse holding a chicken McNugget? Some karma extra credit, perhaps.

Now I’m not proud, but these thoughts often take center stage before getting kicked out by that whole, “be a freaking adult” voice that is also in my head (or the voice of my mom.)

So to summarize? I’m not selfish, just slightly irrational, and being an adult can be bullshit.  But at least sometimes we do get free pens.

There is always that to enjoy.

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