Watching Cops at 2AM: My First Experiences In Post-Grad Living

Posted by Lizzie on Monday, December 21, 2009
Bad boys, bad boys.
Whatcha gonna do?

I'm not handling the prospect of not working very well at all. It's an aspect of the Premature Quarter-Life Crisis that I haven't experienced until now. Which is why I've naively formed this defense mechanism mentality of "Yes, I'm going to get a job right away because I want it more than anyone else and I'm a hard-worker and powerful, independent woman who was born to have a successful career." The power of positive thinking? No, probably just filthy lies to myself which won't get me anywhere. I know how to do things. I don't know how to sit around.


I love that I don't know what's going to happen. I love that I have nothing holding me back. I love that I'm going to have a job which will allow me to save for traveling to all the places I've wanted to go. Maybe not all. I'm not being foolishly optimistic here. But if I can take my two weeks of vacation and head to Peru for awhile, I'm there. I might not see the whole world like I've always dreamed of, but hey, I might make it to Cambodia at some point. Do what you can. Don't let the fact that you can't do it all hold you back from doing what you can. This is my ultimate mental obstacle. If a task seems too huge to take on and complete to perfection, I'm resistant to doing it. Sometimes you just have to dig in and get out what you can. No waiting 'til you have a million dollars and three years to see the whole world. Three new countries with whatever limited vacation time I have is just fine with me. And if I somehow get to see more, we'll consider that bonus.

I love that I still think it's possible for me to do anything. I love that if I find out that I hate what I do, I can do something else. I love that I've learned invaluable lessons from the jobs that I've had even though my work experience looks kind of limited and crappy on paper. I love that I'm willing to do anything and see where I end up. Maybe there's something out there that I love more than how much I love the prospect of policy research. I can't think of one field that I haven't been interested at one point or another so we'll see how many of those areas I end up working in.

I love that I have time to power through books during this interim period. Sometimes I wish I could live forever just so I could read through the whole library. Skipping the romance section, of course. And probably most of the Sci-Fi section. I have my own real-life romance going on and my own real-life sci-fi imagination.

I love that we're all so young and it's tough sometimes because of that. Most of us are struggling to make a reliable living. Maybe the economy's getting better and maybe it isn't. But these are lessons we'll learn that will make us appreciate the times when we're living comfortably. And this will be the baseline for the rest of our lives. I love that even though we don't have money, we still find ways to have a good time and head out on Friday and Saturday night to wherever life may take us. I appreciate those times we have so much more because we work so hard to make sure they happen. Not having what you want and even not what ou need sometimes makes you even more grateful for the surprises. People help you out. We're all still alive (Well, most of us. I'll take those odds). I can think of 10 people right away who've overcome some incredible disadvantages and I can think of 10 people right away who are currently overcoming some incredible disadvantages.

Last Christmas, Nonnie asked us all to go around and say what the best Christmas gift we ever got was. None of us could come up with anything. We had always gotten more or less what we wanted. If we didn't get everything we wanted, it never really mattered for very long because we never really wanted it that badly. We'd all been relatively spoiled. Nonnie proceeded to tell us the story of her all-time favorite Christmas present. She was relatively little and it was during the Great Depression. Her family, just like all the other families, didn't have much money and it was kind of understood that there would be no presents that year. However, for some reason, her aunt (I think it was her aunt. This part of the story is kind of vague) was able to buy presents for Nonnie and the siblings. That Christmas, she got a Shirley Temple doll and a doll baby carriage. Shirley Temple was her favorite then and probably still is on some level. Hearing Nonnie talk about how she didn't expect to get anything and understanding that it just wasn't possible but then being surprised with her most favorite thing of all was absolutely flooring to me. I realized that never in my life had I appreciated anything like that. Everything was insignificant to me.

Ok, wow. Regroup. I have no idea how I ended up at that. This was a very unplanned ramble blog. Well, it's a good story anyway so I'll keep it. And only proceed to say that I'm in love with this not-knowing thing. We'll see if my failure to find a job beats me down to reality. But until then, cheers to full-time employment and being 22 years old and finally a real person. For the first time, I'm not aching to be 17 again. 17 was so insignificant. 22 is where it's at. When I'm too old to have the energy to work full-time and have fun full-time, then we'll reassess. But for now, let's live it up.

PS - Ryan and I live together now. I'll coerce him to blog by threatening to eat his food and things of that nature.

PPS - Upon rethinking this and trying to connect the dots, I guess the Nonnie story was supposed to illustrate that things in our lives will be significant and we'll have histories and memories and experiences because nothing means anything if you always have everything that you want. I can't explain it in words. I hope you get what I mean. Not just financially. It applies to all things. For example, even though it feels like people have dropped like flies in terms of dying and leaving and that sort of thing in the last five years, I've come to appreciate every single person and moment that I still have. And in the struggle of trying to push people out and away to avoid the hurt, I've learned how good people are and how deep you can go with them in the most unforeseen ways. You can either obsess over what you don't have or you can kick yourself out of the pity party and focus on what you do have. And that way, you'll be ready to appreciate the surprises and treasure them. It's hard. I know. I'm guilty of all the pity-parties we fall into. The more you force yourself to kick them, the easier it becomes. I promise. So that I don't sound condescending and like I have it all figured out, here's a disclaimer: I suck at life just as much as everyone else. I hope that somehow I'm getting better and less bitter. Thank you all for making me want to try harder to be better.

PPPS - I love that I've moved out of the 233 house and away from people who haven't learned how to be adults yet. I'm not talking about the termination of painting stupid pictures and frolicking in parks. That's stuff for all ages. Basically, 24 year olds just shouldn't have temper tantrums. I think that's something we can all get behind.

PPPPS - Happy Holidays. Coming soon: Recycling your holiday cards to help some kids and help the earth.

Good Lord, what just happened?



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