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

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!