What this is all about...

A quarter life crisis is a real thing. I know this because myself, and my best girlfriends, are going through it right now. This blog is dedicated to the day to day banalities/craziness of those quarter life crises. For those of you with questions, the qlc is when you realize that you have to be Responsible. It is when the job you accept is the beginning of a Career Path. It is when the guy/girl you date might be The One. It is when you get pushed out of the nest and you have to flap your wings enough to cushion the fall. Perhaps your thirties are when you get to fly?
The question isn't who is going to let me; 
it's who is going to stop me.
-Ayn Rand

Friday, September 23, 2011

New Friends

Having recently relocated I have discovered how hard it is to make new friends in the grown-up world. No dorms to push you together, sororities to join, or classes with people to study with at the library. When I moved here I kept trying to figure out where to meet my new girlfriends. Would they be at the gym? No, too weird. Kay tried that on a girl and she definitely thought Kay was hitting on her. Hmmm….how about the library? Wait, unlike the ones in college, you really can’t strike up conversations there. I was getting desperate and nobody was finding me just sitting at home. I had to become proactive. Here is the true story of how I met my first friend in my new city.

I actually went to high school with Liv, but I’m fairly positive we never spoke. Not because she was mean, but because we were in different years and both participated in competitive sports that took us out of the mix. A few weeks into my new living situation, I went to a baseball game with one of my best friends from high school and a group of 15 crazy men from Wisconsin. In the suite I was relieved to see another girl and went over to talk to her – turns out Liv works for the baseball team and was checking on our suite. Of course the guys had captured her and were attempting to work their drunk Wisconsin moves, but we quickly realized whoa, we kind of know each other. Let’s exchange numbers and maybe see each other again.

Now this is where it got dicey. In order for me to make my first new friend I had to do what is acceptable in college, but seems unacceptable in the post-grad world: I had to ask her out on a friend date. If you’ve read my earlier post on how I think people should call if they are interested, I have to admit that I texted her. I had low self-confidence and didn’t want rejection over the phone, so I went with the text. We decided on happy hour. Good, there would be alcohol and people watching, aka no awkward silences.

Happy hour went well and I went home excited. Could this be a new friend? We became facebook friends, which I took as a good sign. I decided to make the next move and invited her over to watch my favorite TV show, The Bachelorette. She said she’s never watched it but would give it a try. I made margaritas and we got to gossip all night. It was fun and we said we would do again. Then I made a decision, she had to make the next friendship move and invite me to something. A few days later I got the invite! She asked me to go with her to the baseball game. I was so excited and yes, still nervous. See, with a guy, if they don’t like you then whatever, you just won’t see them again and you still have your girlfriends. I was in the situation where my girlfriends were hours away and I was sitting at home with my dog. I don’t want to sound desperate, but I wanted someone closer who would go with me to events and watch stupid (but great) shows with me. Could this be the start of a beautiful friendship?

In fact, the baseball game was. We turned The Bachelorette viewing parties into weekly dates and learned that we both enjoy attending fun events. She loves wine and I love craft beer, so we switch off between them and try restaurants known for both. Over the summer we hit up the foodie event of the year, attempted to befriend an Italian restaurateur (epic fail, we couldn’t get him out of the kitchen), met Marines during Marine Week (see Sex and the City Fleet Week episode to get an idea!), and drank too much wine at the zoo. I credit Liv for helping me get my new job at Perennial Artisan Ales as she found the Beer vs. Wine event that led me to meet the brewery owners! Everything happens for a reason and now, a couple months after meeting, she is Bob’s aunt, one of my closest friends, and my future baby’s godmother.

One of the most important things I have learned since moving here is that nearly everyone wants new friends. For the first few weeks I was going crazy and felt like everyone’s friend groups were full. Slowly, very slowly, I discovered that although some people don’t want to make the effort, a lot of people do! I met another great girlfriend through some guys, a third through a part time job, and recently a brand new one at a very awkward apartment party. The party was not really a party, but we were thrown together and what I got out of the night was a fun girl who likes to go out and wants to meet people. These types of people are everywhere, you just have to keep an open mind and always be ready to make that awkward first step and ask for the friend date. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Some Have Wings

A friend once told me that I was like a wild horse: I ran far and often, and had to be left on my own to come back. That was years before I left to travel to Asia and Europe; I think he was referring to my proclivity to move from group to group, bar to bar, tastes changing with the weather. I believe that part of me, the gypsy soul inside, has only grown with age. I’ve tapped into the true me over the past year and discovered that while some of us have roots, others have wings.

I’m not sure whom it was that decided we had to stay in one place, have the 2.5 children, a white picket fence and a fancy car to be happy. Why is that part of the American dream? What about those of us who want to explore and discover? I feel like such an outsider dreaming of a life beyond the job, the house and the family. People consider me selfish. How can I be unhappy when I have so much? I think about it everyday and wonder the same thing each night before falling asleep. No answers come to me. I feel like my attempt at growing roots is failing miserably.

I look at those of my friends who have deep roots and try to understand how they are intrinsically different from me. Is it that they have a large family nearby and feel nowhere would be as good as home? Do they love their fantastic jobs so much that when they smell oysters they simply wonder how they taste, instead of fantasizing about the faraway ocean towns they came from? I’m not asking for luxurious trips to Bali. I can start with my own country and explore the U.S. I would be satisfied contemplating life while staring at the Grand Canyon. I want to dance at the South by Southwest Music Festival. I want to drive down the coastal highway in the Pacific Northwest just to see, smell and hear the ocean. I want to sit and read in the mountains of North Carolina and appreciate the stillness of those forests. Having wings doesn’t mean spending zillions on cruises and private villas. To me it means I need to experience more than living to work. I want to work to live, and live everywhere.

I don’t want those who love their towns to think I am belittling their own feelings and dreams. I have close friends who want nothing more than the perfect suburban home with the kids and the pets. When I was travelling I was definitely homesick. But I was homesick for people, medium rare steaks and baseball games. I never once thought I needed to get back to a specific location. I wanted to be where my mom and my friends were – it could have been anywhere. So now that I have a Here, I find myself wondering what’s next. I’ve given up on the perfect job. At this moment it doesn’t exist and I have exhausted myself trying to find it. Every failed attempt makes me feel worse inside and wonder more and more what I am trying to do. I do understand that I am lucky. There are people without jobs, without food, and with real illnesses. Is it ok to be selfish? If this is my one life, shouldn’t I get what I want out of it? The scariest thought however is that I am not 100% positive of what I want out of my life. One wrong choice can bring the house of cards down. All I know is that today I am terrified of losing what I have, but also of losing myself.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Productive Days And What I Have Been Up To

I know everyone has been missing me terribly. I apologize, especially since I think I promised I would not disappear again. I’ll promise again though – I will not disappear again! Please keep reading!

The reason I have been M.I.A. is because I have been doing extremely important things such as missing my best friends, reading by the community pool, cultivating an impressively low-yielding vegetable garden, painting my bedroom, and landing desirable part time jobs in lieu of that all too elusive dream job. I have also taught my 65 lb puppy dog new tricks, such as chew on a stick instead of flip-flops, and bark at everyone. That small child in a wagon could be a robber. Trust no one.

I have also learned that the best way to get rid of the Why is Life so Hard Blues is to have a very productive day. The amount of pleasure you will feel after going to 3 grocery stores, baking a cake, cleaning the kitchen, and vacuuming the floors really does make you forget that the reason you have all this time is because you are not working full time, or you do not have a special someone to canoodle with. This past month I have been extremely productive in an effort to remind myself that I am awesome and the job market does not control my happiness.

My puppy is also making me forget my woes from time to time. Before there were record setting temperatures outside, Bob and I would go for walks and I got to see him experience all sorts of new and exciting things. He likes to chase squirrels, but is confused by storm drains. He likes to eat grass, but forgets it makes him sick. Great things like that. Bob also reminds me how happy I should be to be alive. You see he brings me possums and birds as presents. Dead ones. There’s nothing like dead cute animals to make you remember your life is worth something, and it is even better with a margarita.

Painting the bedroom really made me feel like I was a true rockstar. My mom came over to help since I had no idea how to even start painting a room. I had chosen the color of course, but that was as far as I had gotten. Turns out you have to do a base coat and Spackle if needed. Thank the Lord for moms. They have the answers to everything.

I have several glamorous part time jobs these days. My favorite, because the people are so much fun, is handing out free shots of American Honey. Now I have been a liquor promo rep for 4 years and I think I have actually seen it all. I have heard all the lines and pride myself on knowing how to handle drunkies. I am now an expert on forcing people to accept honey flavored bourbon shots. In interviews I talk about how I am terribly convincing and extremely personable. No need to mention the late hours or cowgirl get up we wear.

My next favorite job I just started two weeks ago. I work at the fantastically fabulous Pei Wei Asian Diner. As a lover of all things Asian food, I was a bit nervous I would be above their menu. Remember I did eat street food in Vietnam, and even went to a Thai cooking school like Ames from the Bachelorette! However, their food is amazing! The dishes use all of my favorite ingredients and nothing that I am allergic too. Plus the people are nice and the work could not be easier. Keep the place clean and be nice to people. Done and done. I hate a mess and could talk to strangers all day if you let me. I am a natural.

When my mind wanders to important questions like, “When will I have enough money to take a vacation to Iceland?” I try to make myself busy. Today I made a batch of pasta sauce and went to the gym. I am also reading Tina Fey’s new book, Bossypants, and laughing all the way though it. Seriously, pick up a copy if you need a laugh. She is hilarious as always. I also have a rotating schedule of important phone dates. This morning I got to talk to Kay about her new beau and her wild weekend in Milwaukee. I have tried to distance myself from Facebook stalking because my newsfeed couldn’t update fast enough and I saw the same stories over and over again. That just made me more sad so I waste time with weather websites, stumpleupon.com, and world news. The world news makes me sad most of the time, but I also feel inspired. How can I make the world a better place? If I don’t have a full time job then volunteering here I come. I joined Young Friends of Habitat and am trying to join a local hospital fundraising committee. I will build up my experience whether someone hires me or not!

Thanks for coming back and reading about my life. I have lots of great stories to post and some new friends and their own woes to introduce. Also, everyone applaud for Isabella – she is taking a great new job down in Louisiana! That story to come. Also on deck are stories about Marines, karma, Bob, new boyfriends, new jobs, failed interviews, and online dating. See you soon!

Bob says hi!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Girls Nights and Man Caves

Recently I’ve noticed a spike in relationship spats amongst my friends and their significant others. It’s a known fact that more people partake in relationships during winter months, most likely due to the fact that you want someone to cuddle up with while waiting out the blizzards and ice storms. Break-ups soar in the spring when people realize they can go outside again and do things other than drink at a bar and order in pizza. I’ve read about this in Cosmo for years, and now I’m seeing it play out before my very eyes (and Facebook statuses).

I have a theory about how to remain attached AND happy during the excitement of Spring Fever: Don’t separate forever, take a night or two off!

I’m sure there are several women reading this thinking, “I could never leave my baby for an evening with the girls!” and a few guys saying, “But I want to bring my girlfriend to poker night.” I’m guessing these people are far and in between – or have been dating for less than a month. The truth is, we need space. You can still love the hugs out of someone while having a fantastic night out with friends.

I am a champion of Girls Nights and the Man Cave. Most people who know me will understand that I need time alone, but that I also want to gossip my socks off about everything from The Bachelorette to secret make-out stories. I learned a long, long time ago that straight men are not the best audience for these conversations. Straight men you are dating usually will entertain mild gossip, or interesting tidbits that involve their friends, but they have their limits. They cannot be the sole ear for every nail polish color you love and favorite Khloe & Lamar moment. Would you want to be the only person they talked to about sports and video games? If so, you are special. I personally have a limited amount of space in my brain for baseball statistics and Xbox game moves. Don’t be selfish – remember that it goes both ways!

One married couple I know designates one night a week for their night out. The husband plays on a sand volleyball team and has plenty of time to swear, drink, remember the good ole days, and vent. She goes out with girlfriends to see a chick flick, drink margaritas and vent. Everyone is happy at the end of the night and there is always something to talk about when they get home. You need an outlet from your sweetie once in awhile, and he or she probably needs one from you too. It doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy each other’s company, in fact many of my friends tell me they realize how much they care about their partner after being away for awhile.

I have a few couple friends who have instilled Man Caves in their homes. One room just for the guy to do whatever it is guys do in their own rooms. To me this means leave socks on the floor and play video games. I really don’t care what goes on in there because odds are that it’s what I wouldn’t want going on in my living room. Go for it, knock yourself out, have a great time. I fully support the idea of A Man Cave for Every Man. That should be a show on the Do It Yourself Network. Maybe I’ll pitch that idea and make millions. Don’t steal it.

Overall, I think spring means it’s time to get out and do things. Find community calendars and look for interesting events. I love beer festivals and independent movies so I drag people to those. You can join a scuba diving club or learn to basket weave. Possibilities are endless and you can use the time to get out of the house and take a breather from your loved one. Most of the happiest couples I know do a lot of things together, but also have their individual hobbies. Jen’s dad has a tree farm. My mom goes to book club. Be yourself and do what you love! Remember: You can’t miss someone if they are always around!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Technology and the Dating Scene - Remember Real Phone Calls?

After talking with some friends these past few days I realized something completely obvious: There are too many ways to contact people, and dating is less personal than ever.

Let me walk you through several methods of contact that people are using these days and how they have complicated the dating scene.

In my opinion Facebook has ruined the dating world. I remember the days before Facebook became huge and guys actually asked for your number and called you. (Texting wasn’t that huge yet either.) I also remember the first time I was asked out over Facebook. I responded back with my phone number and told him to call me and try again. Now however, getting asked out on Facebook is completely normal. A friend told me her little brother asked his date to prom during a Facebook chat. I really don’t think I would have accepted an AOL proposal back in my day, but times are a changing I suppose. I don't even want to talk about inferring everything from the type of girl someone is interested in to how long he dated his last girlfriend through Facebook photos. Say it with me: Facebook stalking ruins lives.

I was thinking about Facebook’s affect on relationships due to a discussion I had with a good guy friend of mine last night. Mutual friends set him up on a date with a girl, and they had a great time. He called me and asked when it would be appropriate to Facebook friend her. After an actual in-depth discussion, we decided on the next night or two mornings later. I ran it by another guy friend and he agreed with our plan. Then it hit me: Is when to Facebook the new 3 Days Rule?

If I hear one more story about people flirting over Twitter I may cry. Who does that? Can’t other people read what you are saying? I’m confused. Please stop.

Gmail is the new AOL as far as I’m concerned. Remember the nights when you pretended to be finishing homework, but actually you were talking to a boy and simultaneously all your friends about what you two were saying? We twenty-somethings are doing that on GChat now. The only difference is we don’t print out the conversations and bring them to school. Now we just email them.

I know several people who tend to keep their flirting on GChat instead of texting. I understand that you are not supposed to use your phone during business hours so the computer makes a fantastic cover. However, has anyone noticed that you can become obsessed with a person that you talk to all the time online…but then in person it’s a bit awkward? So then my question is: Is it awkward because you created a deep, yet isolated relationship that flounders in real life situations…or is it awkward because you aren’t used to speaking to each other in person and so it’s like meeting them all over again, even though you know their favorite ice cream flavor and most embarrassing high school moment?

BBM/WhatsApp/Skype - Texting
These are all forms of texting. I will admit it right now; I love to text. I am hooked on texting and prefer it to actual phone calls the majority of the time. Do you know who I do not text? My boyfriend. When I am dating someone I call him most of the time and avoid texting. This is mostly due to the fact that – and this is important – you CANNOT convey tone in a text message. I am at a loss to think of how many arguments my girlfriends and I could have avoided had we actually spoken to our loved ones instead of texting.

Texting makes everything impersonal. It’s like email, but even more instantaneous. You have the ability to tell someone your thoughts right then and there, and I’m going to venture to say that this is usually not the best for relationships. We take out our insecurities and bad moods on loved ones, mostly because they are right there, but also because we know they will forgive us. While I can know that someone is in a bad mood because of something else, reading a message written in the heat of the moment still has an impact. Don’t even get me started on drunk texting. Drunk text fights are probably the leading cause of stress in twenty-something women involved in relationships. I even know people who have broken up though texts.

Why can’t we talk with each other anymore? Where did the romance go?

The generation younger than us faces a strange moment in dating history. They grew up with texting, Facebook and Twitter. They have attention spans of goldfish and think in 130 characters or less. When I coached high school girls their dates asked them to Homecoming via BBM or Facebook Chat. Are they headed for an entire dating career of electronic headaches??? Perhaps the reason myself and my friends have so much trouble is we weren’t born into the technological dating world. Trying to infer tone from text messages, and understanding if he likes you if he Facebooks you after one day or two is just too hard. We remember what it was like to get actual phone calls after the first date, and so we compare new relationships to those from the past. Now if a friend gets a phone call after a date we all shriek and say, “That is SUCH a good sign!” As in, it’s not exciting he called to ask you out again, it means he likes you enough to forgo Facebook, email, and texting bullshit to speak with you. I’ll go out on a limb and say that if you call someone after a date it means you like them A LOT. Not a little, not like you think you may want to run into them next weekend, like you want them in your life and you are going to make that happen!

Do you love dating with technology, or is it frustrating? I personally like how easy it is to contact someone, but I think it’s made us all over think interactions and undervalue personal contact. My guy friends tell me that if a guy wants to get to know you, he will. He will call and he will find a way to see you in person. He will not GChat you all week and disappear on weekends, and he will not confuse you with Facebook photos. As for us girls, I say we take matters back into our own hands and call the boys who leave us message-less after a great date. What do you think?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Call Leaders to Stop Hate in Uganda!

A few days ago I got an email from Avaaz.org asking me to sign their petition against the gay death penalty bill in Uganda. Today I received another email asking for more help. I have copied the email below. If you agree with this mission PLEASE click on the link below and either sign the petition or call your leaders. On the site you can find the number you need to call - no matter what country you are from, Uganda needs your help!


The Uganda gay death penalty bill didn’t pass on Wednesday. But in an unprecedented move, Parliament has bought more time, and will debate it inan emergency session this Friday.

President Museveni can stop the bill and we have a unique chance to influence him -- today he is being sworn in for another term in office and in the next 24 hours world leaders will send him welcoming messages. Museveni is sensitive to views on his statesmanship, and relies heavily on the support of many governments. If our Heads of State tell him that they reject this heinous bill and expect him to step in -- the bill could be scrapped. 

We've done it before -- last year the bill was shelved after a global outcry pushed President Obama to call it 'odious'. Now let's flood our Heads of State with calls urging them to send a clear message to Uganda to drop the bill and protect human rights. This is about life or death for the brave gay activists on the ground, and they deserve our full support. We have only 24 hours -- click below to take urgent action now: 


This fight is down to the wire. Wednesday should have been the last day of the current Ugandan Parliament, and throughout the day the bill was taken on and off the agenda. When the religious extremists got it back on, human rights champions countered to get it removed. The Avaaz petition against the bill grew at lightening speeds of nearly 3000 signers a minute and was reported by media all over the world, and our brave friends on the ground, regularly updated members of Parliament on its progress.

But at 7 PM in Uganda, the Parliament agreed to an extraordinary move -- they pushed the bill into an emergency hearing on Friday. Now it is crunch time. If the bill doesn’t come to a vote on Friday, Parliament closes and all unfinished business is scrapped, but if Museveni allows this to be voted in, gay Ugandans could be sent to jail for life and “serial offenders” could be executed. President Museveni is the one person who can stop this, by either vetoing the bill or pressuring Parliament not to vote on it.

Our close friend and Ugandan gay rights activist Frank Mugisha just sent us this message: "If this bill passes there is going to be more harassment, and more bashing and violence in the streets. This anti-gay bill will turn Uganda into a police state where we won't even be able to live here without being thrown in jail or hanged. Please help!" 

In the last week over 1.5 million of us have signed the petition calling on Uganda to throw out this bill. We can’t stop now-- our best chance to prevent the bill is for world leaders to urgently and forcefully condemn this bill and push Museveni to act. Stand with Frank and call now!


All life, no matter what creed, nationality or sexual orientation, is equally precious, and the Avaaz community has consistently stood with activists around the world fighting injustices. We’ve proved that, when hundreds of thousands of us come together in solidarity and with purpose, we have the power to change the world for the better. As this fight in Uganda enters its final moments, let’s continue to fight for equality and stand with our courageous friends on the ground. 

With hope and determination,

Alice, Iain, Emma, Morgan, Brianna and the rest of the Avaaz team 


Ugandan parliament yet to debate bill that would jail gay people for life

Uganda anti-gay bill stalled after global outcry

Uganda's parliament set to debate anti-gay death penalty bill on May 13, reports Human Rights Watch

Uganda bill dropped for now