Twentysomething Thoughts

The following post contains twentysomething thoughts unique to my own experience, inspired by a real-life middle-of-the-night existential crisis. 

Enjoy!

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Does anyone still feel like they’re perpetually sixteen? Or is it just me?

Should I know how to do [insert random thing you don’t know how to do] by now? (For me, personally? I don’t know how to change a tire. Or the oil. Or fix a toilet or a toaster. Or anything.  Isn’t that what AAA is for? And management? Or am I pathetic?)

Do I look “old?” Or could I pass for a college junior/senior? I mean, I am in grad school… it’s still school, am I right?

I think I look old. I spot crow’s feet. I need moisturizer, stat!

I remember when I was in high school and my friends and I were just sittin’ around chattin’ during lunch about our futures, and I remember thinking, okay, by the time I’m 24/25 there will definitely be a guy I’ve either married or am about to marry, and I’ll have a real job, and maybe a little house and for sure a dog or two, and I’ll be thinking about kids by the time I’m thirty, for sure. 

Isn’t that hilarious?

I mean, if you do have that–good for you. Truly. That’s awesome.

I just can’t imagine that right now. For me, at least–it’s scary. So permanent.

I do have a dog. Ellie. That’s something. My goodness, I love her. Do you want to see a picture? You do? Okay, then! Here you go:

Back to this permanence thing–I think that’s what scares me most. As I’ve grown older, I’ve discovered I like things to change, I like to move around and mix it up. My dreams change, my address changes, my taste in clothes changes, etc.

So when it’s time to “settle down,” will I be ready for it? Could I live in one place forever and ever? Could I do the same thing every day forever?

Is anyone ever really ready for it?

Shouldn’t I be content with permanence? Shouldn’t routine be a comfort? A joy? Only some are lucky enough to have it, I guess.

Okay, this next one is serious:

Do I need a signature shade of lipstick?

The thing is, even though I’m mostly just a chapstick kind of gal, there’s a part of me that loves the idea of a signature lip shade, perfume, scarf, etc. Having a signature anything–now that’s something, isn’t it? Isn’t that the epitome of being a grown-up, a woman in charge?

Maybe I’ll look into it. The signature lip, I mean.

What if I always feel unsure of everything? Why do I always say, “I’m sorry,” or “I don’t know,” after every dang sentence? I’ve noticed I try to qualify everything that comes out of my mouth. I know what I think; why do I feel like I have to apologize for thinking it?

You know what’s sad/funny? I’m obsessed with presentability. I want every aspect of my life to be presentable. Acceptable.

It’s funny because I claim not to be.

I want to be acceptable. Normal. Me. My apartment. My clothes. My car. My bag. The stickers on my laptop.

Am I too old to have stickers on my laptop?

Is anyone ever really “too old?” I mean, whenever I say, “I feel so old,” to my mom, she just rolls her eyes and says, “Kaila. You are not old.”

And I don’t think she is either.

Don’t we all want to get super, super old? Isn’t that the goal, ultimately? So why do we worry about the whole age thing? Shouldn’t people just be people no matter the number of years they’ve lived?

So there’s no “too old,” or even a “too young,” right? Or is there?

I don’t know.

There I am, saying (typing), “I don’t know,” again. Oops.

One thing’s for sure: I am in my twenties, and I have no idea what I’m doing most of the time.

Except for quesadillas. I know how to make quesadillas. And pasta. And scrambled eggs.

And that’s something.

 

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Little Things: 2.0

One of my very first posts (seriously, back in 2014!) on this blog talked about “the little things” in life. It’s unanimous that we humans love talking about the little things, no matter how cliche and trite our discussions of little things can get.

I’m here to write a “Little Things: 2.0” post, simply because I just can’t get enough of freakin’ little things.

I love the feeling of my sister’s dog as he lays on my derrière in the mornings. (Weird, I know.)  Kasper’s routine: wake up. Eat breakfast. Go sleep with Kaila on Kaila’s behind. He snores, and when my alarm goes off at 5:45, he groans.

Shuffling down my block at 6 a.m.–it’s only me and my adorable neighbors (I say that respectfully), and I savor the darkness and the quiet. My neighbors are so cool; the woman runs and runs and runs at the same exact pace; she sometimes walks with her husband and carries teeny pink weights as she pumps her dainty arms. I’d bet money that those arms, as slight and petite as they are, could still pack a punch. She just keeps going and going and going. I go, but I can’t go and go and go.

Not yet.

“BAHHH BAHHH BA BA BA BAAAAAAAAAAAH BA.”

That’s me trying to emulate the opening track of any Star Wars film. The soundtracks are often my running music of choice; might as well gain inspiration from the Jedi, the rebels, and the Empire. Sometimes I don’t want to listen to words at 6 a.m.; I have to stare at words all day. I just listen to epic music and, in turn, I feel pretty darn epic.

Coffee. Coffee was mentioned in my first “Little Things” post, and not much as changed since 2014.

Lunch. I have about a 10-15 minute lunch break between two [wonderful] jobs, and those moments spent in silence driving from point A to point B while nibbling on a turkey sandwich, a handful of chips, and string cheese are often just the right amount of fuel I need to conquer the rest of my day.

Finally falling asleep after a restless night. That’s what I’m about to attempt, so wish me luck. Thanks for sticking with me, friends. It means a whole lot to an aspiring writer for real actual humans to read words that I hastily type into WordPress’ handy word processor area thing. That was eloquent, I know.

Seriously. It means a lot.

Good night, and I hope you all take a little time out of your busy days to find and appreciate those stinkin’ little things.

 

 

 

 

Real People Clothes

Welcome to the first installment of a brand-new category: “Adulting!” (Word first penned by the glorious Kelly Williams Brown; her book Adulting is seriously one of my favorites). I know I have a category entitled “College,” but I think it’s time to begin writing about my misadventures in the adult world.

As I began two bigger-kid part-time jobs this week (both involve actually using my English degree; I’m over the moon and I am enjoying learning two different aspects of the writing biz), I realized something:

I have never worn “real” clothes for an extended period of time.

Let me explain. I was a Catholic school girl throughout my primary and secondary years; I experienced K-12 in more or less a plaid skirt and an assortment of polos and pinafores.

When I arrived on the college scene, I was a college athlete who was fortunate enough to get a whole different kind of uniform–team t-shirts, team sweats, team shorts, team shoes, team everything. Most days I wore athletic gear to class, give or take the few “cute” outfits I would wear on the weekends or a precious day off. I could get away with just having a few favorite items in my closet.

At Disney I wore my blueberry costume on the daily; on my days off I would wear my Disney-fied tanks and a few Disney bounds and my worn Tevas.

When I got home from Disney a couple of weeks ago and began applying for jobs, I realized that my “adult” closet was scant. I had a few thoughts for society as I skimmed through my closet:

“What do you mean I can’t wear my sparkly silver Mickey Ears everywhere I go? They’re neutral; they go with everything.”

“Could I get away with wearing my tiara to an interview?” 

“Hot Topic disney items aren’t acceptable office wear?!” 

Of course I knew the answers to the questions above. I’ve looked at Pinterest; big-girl jobs require big-girl clothes.

I had a few things, sure. A skirt. A few plain tops. One pair of black ballet flats that I really do adore.

I just didn’t feel Pinterest-worthy.

The challenge of my two new jobs was not the job itself–I knew I would learn my way around the offices and find my voice. I found the challenge was figuring out what to wear.

Shopping commenced. The other challenge: find budget-friendly items because your home girl wouldn’t be paid for another week or so.

That’s when I discovered the beauty of purchasing a few key items in which you could mix and match with the stuff you already own. I found a gorgeous dress to pair with a black cardigan, a black skirt to pair with a variety of tops I own, and a poncho that was just too good of a deal to not pass up. It also reminds me of the flying carpet from Aladdin. That was possibly the deal-breaker, but we won’t say it was. All outfits could be paired with my ballet flats I love so much.

I think I’ve started building a pretty respectable adult wardrobe.

If you’re having trouble putting together a respectable adult wardrobe, don’t fret my friends. I was able to put together something decent and survive a whole week of work. I also have some pretty cute things to wear for the coming week.

I hope you have a wonderful week, friends. Crush the adult world. Do all the adult things, like laundry and organizing and conquering tasks at work.

I know I’ll be trying to.

Please enjoy my wannabe fashion-blogger photos of three of my favorite “adult” outfits: 

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Spirit Animals

I love books that help me feel as if I am normal.

I received a few of these kinds of books for my birthday last week, and I wasted no time in reading two of them cover to cover. These were just the first two that I picked up to be read eagerly, hungrily, and obsessively: Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse by Alida Nugent and Mindy Kaling’s (I am just now discovering how awesome she is…how am I just now discovering this?) Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). 

Both were a comfort that helped quiet that little voice inside my head that I assume every twenty-something encounters: Despite all my weird tendencies, am I a normal, functioning, perfectly capable human being? Is this feeling of inadequacy and abnormality that I am sure I exude just a “me” thing? Do other people lay awake at night to contemplate the direction of their life, or do they just worry about the normal things? You know, the unknowns such as which Starbucks drink they’ll order in the morning instead of “What if all my dreams and hopes and other vague titles given to the future don’t work out?”

I have a very talkative inner voice, as you can tell.

Lets start of with Don’t Worry, It Get’s Worse.

Alida Nugent is a Spirt Animal of Mine


Let’s just talk about her bio at the very beginning of the book:

“A graduate of Emerson College, Nugent majored in writing and is as shocked as you are that, in this economy, she is able to find a living doing that. She currently resides in Brooklyn, where she stares at dogs and eats sandwiches and stoops and isn’t in a band.”

This style of writing–honest and funny and just plain awesome–continues throughout the entire book. There are moments that bring the audience back to heart of the book: what it feels like to be a twenty-something and struggling to find the balance between careless youth and thriving adult dominate the subject matter, but Nugent mixes in hilarious asides that exaggerate the awkwardness we all feel as ignorant “grown-ups.” There are chapters that are mostly rid of the jokes, but that doesn’t make them any less poignant and memorable.

My favorite chapter has to be “On Panic, or Conquering Fear Like a Child.” She recounts her struggle with recent panic attacks and compares it to her fear of sharks when she was younger. She was deathly afraid of those monsters of the sea until a fateful trip on Universal Orlando’s Jaws-themed ride. Once facing her fear, little Nugent wasn’t as afraid. At the conclusion of this chapter she decided that instead of masking her anxiety problem with pills and failed attempts of yoga and alcoholism (you just got to read…she does an excellent job of making light of scary situations) she decides that in order to conquer her fears, it was just time for her to just get in the water and take life day by day instead of incessantly worrying about the unknowns.

I loved this book. Do me a favor and go buy it.

Mindy Kaling is Also a Spirit Animal


I’ve always loved books written by the textbook “funny” women of the world: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Ellen DeGeneres, ect. Even though I had loved these books, I never really felt a deep connection to any of these women; there were no “She’s just like me!” revelations. Mindy Kaling changed the game for me–I feel as if I am very much like this adorable Hollywood misfit after reading her book.

Kaling grew up in a normal home, attended Dartmouth, failed miserably at a few jobs, and seemed relatively normal throughout her life, even after she found success writing and acting on The Office. Normal in the sense as no drugs, no underage drinking, and all of the awkwardness accompanied by adolescence and twenty-somethingness. She says in her book that her group of friends were the type to talk about going to grad school when they were only freshman in high school–she grew up relatively sheltered, as did I.

Being sheltered, however, didn’t stop her from writing one of the funniest and relatable books I’ve ever gotten my hands on. I loved this book, and I makes me want to binge watch every project she’s ever worked on. I even want to get my hands (or eyes) on the production of her first sort of success, her two-person play entitled Matt and Ben. You rock my socks off, Mindy Kaling.

In Conclusion, Being Scared and Odd is Completely Normal

There you have it, folks. While everyone thinks they’re odd and out of sorts every once in awhile, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t someone out there who is feeling exactly the same way you are. Picking up these two books helped me understand this, so I highly recommend them to you.

Happy reading, my friends!