Archive | January, 2011

Freedom (and Europe), I Miss You

16 Jan

Today is a bittersweet day–it’s been two years since I left to study abroad in the Czech Republic for a semester. I’m sad the experience is over, and getting so far away, but it’s nice to relive those great memories.  What a semester it was–by far the best four months of my entire life. When people talk about a time when they had no responsibilities, that was mine. Reality existed in a totally different realm while I was abroad–our most important decisions were where we were going to travel on the weekends, what restaurant we were going to eat at, and how we could avoid doing laundry for another week.

I vaguely remember stressing over whether I was going to have enough money for a trip to Poland towards the end of the semester, before realizing my parent’s American Express card was sitting in my wallet, for “emergency purposes.” Seemed pretty urgent to me! And while that seemed like a big decision at the time, it’s nothing compared to today, where “worry” and “stress” have replaced my first and middle names.

When I came back from Prague, I had made some of the greatest friends I will ever have, and shared so many trips and laughs and good memories which we still talk about constantly. An obvious word of advice: if you haven’t taken the opportunity and still have the chance, you better start packing! So many people say they’re going to wait until they graduate and then backpack across Europe, but by then, it’s too late. Once graduation rolls around, most people are focused on one thing: getting a job. For those who don’t have one, it’s hard to remove that fear and anxiety, and for those who do, I don’t know too many employers who will wait for you to finish your joyride. (But if you do, PLEASE GOD TELL ME! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!)

Once you graduate, adulthood hits you in the face and your priorities shift. But wherever you end up, the great thing about that time is you never forget it. I have such an emotional attachment to those four months, and I think about them so often. That semester wasn’t just about the travel, or the bonds, the new best friends or the innumerable experiences. Those four months gave me the overwhelming feeling of just being free. And while that’s something I’ll probably never get back, it is something I will never let go of.

To all my friends, you are wonderful, and I’m so lucky to have shared these past two years with you. Na zdraví!


I’d Forgotten That I’m 22…Until I Went to Canada

15 Jan

Yay, I’m young! After a fabulous vacation to Canada, I realized that contrary to my current lifestyle, I’m actually 22 years old and not a 45-year old spinster with a penchant for red wine and eye bags. How refreshing it was to hang out with people my age, dance the night away, wear denim, and drink bloody-Mary’s with dinner. Ok, so maybe that last one is more senior citizen than party animal, but they were 2 for 1, so why not, right?

It was just really nice to let loose this week. The past few months have been tough, and I’ve lost some of my sense of how to relax and have fun without dragging my stress into the picture. Plus, hanging out with college kids reminded me that I was there just six months ago, so I’m not as far from that time as it often seems.

Bottom line: I had a lot of fun this week! I skied a lot, met some really great people, watched silly movies, and most importantly, ate a really big crepe. I also stayed out late, got up early, and was generally pretty bad-ass. What I didn’t do was check emails, answer my phone, or stress and worry at all. All that Canadian air cleared my head big time.

Now that I’m back at work, I feel really refreshed. I’ve been busier today than I have in a while, and am ready to face the music: I need to work harder, speak up, and get what I want. I actually have a pretty good idea how I’m going to go about that, and it doesn’t include hysterical tears and venting through gangster rap on the way home.  Right now, my head is screwed on straight for the first time in a long time. I should have taken a vacation months ago!


9 Jan

It’s finally time for my much-awaited vacation! No work, no thinking about work, and no life-obsessing for five marvelous days! For five marvelous days, I will be shredding it up in the mountains of Mt. Tremblant, speaking bad French, and eating fondue. I’ve packed my ski pants, my red lipstick, and a digital camera.

People of the world: GET READY FOR IT.

A Deaf Sounding-Board

8 Jan

Last night I spent an inordinate amount of time on Craigslist, the treasure trove of my biggest fantasy: my own apartment. The urge to rent my own place is become stronger everyday, as my commuting time grows and my connection to the general public shrinks. But perhaps my middle-of-the-night hunting was an omen for what I was going to encounter at home this morning–yet another preachy lecture from the almighty parental units after a gripe session about my job, my constant fatigue, and my frustration in the complete lack of progress I’ve made so far. In fact, it seems I’ve taken some steps back since I started: I’m working less and mostly doing nothing after being relegated to weekend overnights, aka “catching up on my New York Times” time.

Now as some one who has felt intense dissatisfaction with their life and faced an ongoing struggle to 1. be happy and 2. get out from under the eternal cloud since graduation day, I more than anyone else should be allowed to be frustrated. But of course, since my dad graduated college once, and had an entry-level job in a completely unrelated field once, he knows absolutely everything there is to know about what I should and am apparently not doing in my current situation. After berating me for being “the most negative person ever” he proceeded to tell me I needed to be patient, but also aggressive. Don’t expect too much, but set your goals high. Succinct, dad. And the final flourish: “I never got to live rent free in a comfortable house!” Craigslist, are you still there?

I personally find it a bit offensive that he thinks I’m not trying hard enough. All I do is try! I don’t recall my dear old dad having to chase his dream down 9th avenue on a Friday night at 11:53, nor do I recall hearing stories of a senior year filled with a 30-hour-a-week internship and an 18-credit course load while friends were hitting happy hour and making sterling silver cocktail rings. I’m not bemoaning my choices–I’m proud of what I was able to accomplish and understand the rarity of my situation–that I have a job at all. I just would like a small pat on the back sometimes, instead of a beat down.

The thing about parents is that they always “have your best interests at heart” but often that really only applies if your interests are their interests.  I understand I haven’t been a picnic these past couple of months, and perhaps I need to continue tweaking my attitude adjustment, but do I really need to get the “I’m your parent therefore I know all YOU MUST LISTEN TO ME” treatment every time I have a bad day? When will my parents see me as an adult who’s not satisfied with their job instead of a naive college-grad complaining for the sake of it? I would ask, but they’re too busy assembling the lectern.

I Am Lame.

6 Jan

I’ve found the reason why people get jobs: so they are not bored out of their minds! Because of some weird scheduling snafus at work, I’ve only been on the schedule two days over the past week and a half, which has left me with hours and hours of uninterrupted time. I don’t have to remind anyone that I HAVE NO LIFE–I’ve pretty much beaten that fact into the ground both on this blog and elsewhere. But at least last week, I had the distraction of the holidays and a quick jaunt up to the Catskills to keep me busy. This week, I’m one second away from drowning myself in alternative 90s music and watching chick-flicks alone on the sofa until 3…well, maybe more like 1/2 a second actually. Ugh, I need a hobby.

Fortunately, I have enough of a social filter and a firm grasp on what would keep me from sinking to new lows of lameness that I stopped myself from participating in several events that would have made this two-week sabbatical truly pathetic:

1. Seeing Blue Valentine by myself: I really want to see this movie, but I figured it couldn’t get much worse fantasizing about a failing relationship that I don’t have while watching people in a failing relationship, probably with people in relationships (failing or otherwise). Do you see my logic? Ok, basically, I didn’t want to go to a movie alone. Yea, now you get it.

2. Listening to Alanis Morissette: See also “drowning myself in alterative 90s music.”

3. Staying in my pajamas all day: I changed from pajamas, to sweats, to leggings, then back to pajamas. This counts, right?

So basically, I need a serious social intervention. Next week is my ski trip to Canada, which might be complete overload after these past couple of weeks, but at least it will get me into pants without an elastic waist. It’s the little things.

Things That Are Making 2011 Look Like 2010

2 Jan

On the bus ride to work today, I spilled coffee all over my face. This burn, which encompassed most of my left nostril, actually helped to even out the scalding burns from the  other 10 billion times I’ve done this. While I was dabbing off the dripping coffee and cursing under my breath, I realized that since 2011 started, perhaps things aren’t changing as instantaneously as I typically anticipate of the new year. Other such examples:

1. I sat at many red lights on the way home from work:This goes against my resolution to no longer sit at red lights on the way home from work.

2. I woke up late: I thought 2011 would be my year to actually GET UP when my alarm goes off. But it’s not.

3. People are still freakin idiots: Ok, so it is Saturday night, and people are nursing/adding to hangovers.  But it’s the new year! Shouldn’t all of these people have made a resolution to not be freakin idiots/take up the entire sidewalk/meander around like FREAKIN IDIOTS?

4. I still want to punch 90% of the world in the face: Yea, maybe I need to work on my patience a tad bit more…

See, this is the problem with New Years–you expect to wake up on January 1st and have this perfect, rectified life. All your faults gone, all of everyone else’s faults gone, all the little glitches in your life system magically smoothed out. This is probably why people don’t keep their resolutions, because it’s just too easy to slide back into the bad habits of yesteryear (well, actually, yesterday). But I haven’t bitten my nails since 2010, so I’m one for five baby!

I think I’m being too hard on myself….and the world. So it was almost like a sign when I saw this video and realized how small/unimportant my life really is. Nothing like an ego-smash to start your day.

Obvious but Necessary: A Resolutions Post

1 Jan

Ah, New Years. Where to begin? Should I reflect back, look forward….cry some more? No, definitely no more crying in 2011. I need to get a grip, hold myself up high, and focus on the good things in my life. Perhaps the glass of champagne that greeted me as I walked into work tonight can be the first of such positives?

Now of course, 2010 wasn’t a bad year. Challenging seems a more fitting phrase, but it had its share of good moments. I graduated from college, had a great internship which at the time exposed me to some pristine life-clarity, and made some new friends. I also learned a lot about myself–I have a penchant for road rage and breaking down into hysterical tears, have become an expert on managing life with constant, often crippling self-doubt, and realized my life’s work is better without that pesky second word. But the positives! We’re focusing on the positives. Let’s see….I made some money? Ugh, I give up.

Naturally, I love New Years, because I am the queen of the “fresh start.” Every Sunday signals a new week, every Monday a new work week, the first of the month, the first hour of the day….all of those times I get to wipe my slate clean, whip up another list and plow through my day. So my New Year’s Resolutions are like the ultimate list, and like every other bullet point scratched on a post-it, most of them never get done. But maybe this is my year. Positive. THIS IS MY YEAR. And so, my resolutions:

1. Travel: Maybe if I just stay out of the country long enough, I can come back and my life will be perfect.

2. Move out: After being informed by my father in a random, totally out-of-the-blue conversation that my sister has nabbed the  “favorite daughter spot for the 10th year in a row”, I think it’s time to scour Craigslist, buy a futon, and resume life as a poor, penny-pinching 20-something.

3. Stop biting my nails: Standard. For the past 22 years.

4.  Find a social life: Texting my friends once a week and having one-sided conversations with the radio DJ does not a social life make.

5. Move forward…or move on: So far, I’m six months into chasing my dream….and I haven’t gotten very far. Hopefully I can move up and far away from these overnight hours and trivial work and towards something I actually want to be doing. Not my dream job, but something within the wide net of it. If not, 2011 maybe the time to take a step back and re-route this road I’ve been stumbling down since May.

6. Wear more red lipstick and listen to jazz: 2011 is going to be a classy year for me, dollface. I’ll be pulled together, refined, and stylish. And everything will all work out.

So we shall see what this year brings. I’m visualizing perfect hair, a male model on my arm, and a car service taking me to and from work. Hey, can’t fault me for really, really trying to be positive.

Happy New Year everyone!!