“There is nothing I would not do for my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not in my nature.”
-Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey-
Oh, 2017. I just can’t seem to make myself feel sad that you’re gone.
In general, 2017 was pretty crappy. It brought a lot of let downs and disappointments, some strained personal relationships, and a few nights crying alone in my room. I reached my peak of poor physical health, my iPod got stolen out of my car, and one of my sisters moved away.
However, I can’t say that last year was all bad. I now have a new adorably puffy-cheeked niece. I was able to afford a big, comfy bed, as well a shiny new used car named Charlie. I finally conquered my fears by driving long distance on the interstate (Yes, I’m a loser). I got my first tattoo. I took some good pictures. I found a new show, read some new books, and bought some new songs. I also received a sloth doll for Christmas. His name is Noel.
Plus, I can now say that I survived an entire year in the grown-up world.
Yep. It’s official. My first year as an out of college semi-official adult is over, and I don’t quite know how to feel about that.
It’s hard for me to believe that I’ve actually been out of college for a year. Just think about it. It’s been a entire year since I last had to write a paper or study for a test. A year since my last lecture and my last badly misguided all-nighter. All throughout high school, I couldn’t wait to just get the whole school thing done and over with. I thought I would never get out, but here I am. It’s weird. Yet, very freeing. And, also, slightly terrifying as I’m still a complete novice at this whole adult thing.
Those first few months of freedom were pretty great. No school. No waking up early. I could stay in pajamas all day if I wanted to. The downsides of being jobless, however, soon caught up with me. It kind of sucked not having any money. No money equals no fun. That was a hard lesson to learn. Adulthood seemed a lot cooler when I was a kid.
The constant nagging from my mother to get a job also helped to pretty thoroughly destroy any of that post-college, pre-real world giddiness.
My first job offer caused a lot of relief, terror, nervousness, hope, and sadness all at the same time. It kind of made me dizzy. On the upside: Yay! A job! On the downside: Mediocre pay and boring work. However, I accepted it, telling myself that this first job was just going to be temporary. It was a way to make some money while searching for a job that I might actually enjoy, and one that I could actually support myself on (Yes, I still live with my parents. Don’t judge.) But, here I still am. 8 months later.
It’s not for lack of trying. These last few months have been spent applying for job after job after job and receiving denial after denial after denial. I may finally know where I want to be, but I can’t seem to find the road to get there. It’s disheartening. Still, I hope. Hope is hard to kill, my friends. It’s a wonderful curse.
Anyways, I’m just glad that 2017 is over.
If pure force of will can affect how this new year goes, then I can go ahead and tell you right now that it’s going to be amazing.
You hear that strange rumbling noise? That’s the sound of my determination.
Bring it on, 2018.
“Forever – is composed of Nows -“
“It is both a blessing
And a curse
To feel everything
So very deeply.”
-David Jones, Love and Space Dust-
Sorry I’ve been gone awhile. My life has just been so crazy, so much going on. Not really. I’ve just been lazy.
Plus, the writing part of my brain has been seriously blocked recently. I sincerely apologize for the inevitable low quality of these next few posts.
Even though I am currently sitting at my desk, freezing my butt off, I love this time of year.* The leaves are finally (FINALLY) starting to change and fall to the ground; the weather is turning cold (not nearly cold enough, in my opinion); and it’s just the beginning of the most wonderful time of the year.
That’s right. Thanksgiving is in 3 days, and you know what that means: It’s time to start thinking about Christmas.
I usually don’t start thinking about Christmas this early. I’m usually able to restrain myself until at least the day after Thanksgiving. This year, however, I’ve already been stressing out about the gift-giving season.
It started when I received a text from my best friend: “READY FOR FRIENDMAS!!!” This was accompanied by a picture of her already decorated tree plus perfectly wrapped presents sitting underneath. Unfortunately, this text didn’t quite have the effect she intended. Instead of excitement, it only brought only panic. Well, okay, it did bring some excitement. I’m always excited to hang out with my best friends. But, mostly it brought panic.
It was in that moment that I realized that I am completely unprepared for Christmas. Where has the year gone?!
It doesn’t help that my sister, Bethany, has been watching Hallmark Christmas movies non-stop since she got here for Thanksgiving last Friday. I despise Hallmark movies. It’s been torture.
Usually, I love gift giving. It makes me happy to make people happy. And, usually, I’d say I’m a pretty good gift giver. These past few years, however, I’ve been finding gift shopping harder and ever more stressful. I’m in a slump.I’ve just been having so much trouble thinking of gift ideas. I’ve even resorted to pinterest for ideas. It’s sad. My small income certainly doesn’t help, either. Last year, all I managed were some little daubles and some baked goods.
I know some of you are probably thinking “Why not just skip the gifts this year?” I will just say to you this: Christmas isn’t Christmas without gift-giving. It’s a must. At least, it is for me.
Fortunately, I had a tiny spark of inspiration the other night. I would totally tell you my ideas, but I don’t want to run the risk of my friends catching wind of it. My lips are sealed, at least for now. I’m just missing that final umph. My friends always show up with something awesome they know I’ll love. That’s what I need. The something special.
And, all that panic was just thinking about my friends gifts. I don’t even know what we’re doing for our family Christmas.
Wish me good luck.
*This may have been posted at night, but I actually wrote it at work this afternoon. Don’t tell my boss.
“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.”
“Her hair was long,
Her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.”
-John Keats, La Belle Dame Sans Merci–
Once upon a time, a few months ago….
No, wait. That doesn’t feel right. Let’s try again.
I’ve always been a bit of a rebel. Sort of. I guess you could call me a…wimpy rebel? A rebel who is also afraid of getting in trouble? Is there a word for that? A…um…you get the point.
For years I was, and admittedly continue to be, dictated by the fear of getting in trouble by authority figures, something that I unfortunately lacked when among my own people. Growing up, I was in a constant state of flux between rebellion and “perfect citizen.” At home, I was a devil child. At school, never a better student did you see.
My at-home rebellion was never anything huge: hiding the vitamins I didn’t want to take under seat cushions, avoiding doing chores of any sort, riding my bicycle around the block without my mother’s permission, etc… Normal spoiled-and-stubborn-youngest-child stuff. I’m sure that my family would say that I am much worse than I am letting on, in which case I would probably have to agree. I blush to think of some of the things I said and did when I was younger. I’m blushing now just thinking about thinking about it. But, still. In the world of rebellion, it would be considered very minor league stuff.
Which is why getting a tattoo is my peak of rebellion.
My family members, once they discovered my rebellious actions, reacted with surprise and exasperation. The surprise came from their knowledge of my needle phobia. The exasperation came from…well, it seems like I’m always doing something to exasperate them.
Aside: It frustrates me that people can’t seem to grasp the difference between syringes and tattoo needles. Yes, it’s true that I despise the terrifyingly long needles that are used for inserting or removing liquids directly into and from my bloodstream. However, tattoo needles, and needles used for piercing ears and such, don’t commit such heinous crimes. Therefore, I have no reason to fear them. Tattoo needles may indeed insert liquid into the skin, causing a butt load of pain in the process, but they’re not nearly as intrusive as syringes. It’s not that complex an idea! Or, maybe it is, and this is just my contradictory personality at work again.
Sorry. I’m getting off track.
Anyway, unlike most television portrayals of such ventures, my tattoo was not the result of a night of wild, drunken, spontaneous rebellion. Well, the timing was a bit spontaneous. There wasn’t any wild drunkenness, though. Sorry to disappoint. The truth is that I had wanted a tattoo for a few years, and I was tired of waiting. Plus, my friend Shawna was wanting one too.
So, one Saturday we hopped in the car and headed to the City.
As soon as we arrived at the tattoo parlor, I felt immediately out of place. The blackout windows, rock music, big bulky guys covered in piercings and tattoos, and slightly inappropriate pictures on the walls did not blend with my middle-class, small-town self. It probably didn’t help that I was wearing a tank top covered in cute little cartoon moons and earrings in the shape of owls.
This alienness greatly increased when I revealed to the tattoo artists what I was there for: a pattern of simple little birds on my ankle. Their dismayed and exasperated expressions immediately informed me what a cliche and teenage-white-girl request I had made. Which, honestly seemed kind of rude and uppity. I mean, I’m sorry, good sir, that I don’t also want the image of a creepy leprechaun permanently etched onto my shoulder. Besides, I wanted birds before they were cool.
Despite their disapproval of our tattoo choices, and obvious doubt that I would go through with it, they agreed to oblige us. Appointments were made, time blurred, papers were signed, money was passed, and before I knew it I was sitting in a slightly creepy dentist-like chair in the back of the parlor getting my first tattoo.
Some of you may be wondering: Was it painful? Well…Have you ever had a tooth drilled when your mouth is only half numbed up? Cause it reminded me of that. For Shawna, it felt a bit different, “like an electric kitten scratch on some parts, and on other parts like he was holding a burning cigarette onto my skin.” Really, Shawna? How do you know what that feels like? Despite the negative, and slightly strange, mental images that I’ve just given you, it really wasn’t as bad as I was expecting it to be.
Still, it’s not an experience I’m likely to forget anytime soon. Especially since it’s now immortalized on the internet.
And, no, I don’t regret my decision.