The Instagram proof! Behold, some Bucket List highlights from my last month in the D.C. area:
The Instagram proof! Behold, some Bucket List highlights from my last month in the D.C. area:
(“work” in the sense of grown-up, paid professional-type work and “last day” in the sense of…you know…the foreseeable future)
I think my last 2 years have been the happiest, most fulfilling phase of life thus far and, while many components have contributed this lovely period, it’s definitely helped that I’ve woken each morning with the magical feeling of “Ah – yes, another day at work. I love my job. I love my office. I can’t believe I get to do this for a living”. After all, if one has to wake up early and face the day (and the D.C. metro system), it’s nice to have a spring in your step, a smile on your face, and a general sense of purpose coursing through your veins.
I think this time in D.C. has been my very own Sabrina-like excursion in Paris (minus the cooking, French culture, and pixie haircut). As I clear out my desk and make plans for the future, I can’t help but hum La Vie En Rose and channel my inner Audrey…
Because, you know, I am no longer reaching for the moon…
I have exactly one month until I move. How is that possible? Wasn’t I in North Carolina just yesterday?!
Anyway, despite my long history with the D.C. area, I find myself reluctant to leave. I’ll miss the pace, the history, the professionalism, and the quirky cultural finds. I’ll especially miss the Arlington area, though maybe not always…
Over the next few weeks I’ll have a lot of packing and grad school preparation to do, but I mustn’t allow myself to be swept away entirely by busy work. To insert some fun between the stress of moving and to insure that I give D.C. a proper goodbye, I’ve compiled the following bucket list*:
Notice how I threw in a few practical ones near the end? Sneaky, right?
Sure, Joceline is the med student/smartypants among us, but she’s not the only one with skills! I might not be able to correctly diagnose skin diseases, cut people open, or casually deal with above average amounts of blood, but I know a thing or two about the comforts of fiction, the sometimes necessary escapism into other worlds, and the inexplicable bliss that can be extracted from a story that seems to perfectly speak to the mood or situation you find yourself inhabiting against your will.
Below I’ve compiled a list of quarterlife crisis antedotes-via-fiction (both on the page and on the screen) which I have found to be particularly helpful during those very specific, hard-to-describe adultish times of woe.
MOOD #1: The “Everyone in the world is a phony. Facebook is a lie. Why must I participate in this charade? I want to build a cabin in the woods away from your snap chatting. LEAVE ME ALONE.” mood
FICTION PERSCRIPTION: If you are a male, read Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. If you’re a female like me, read The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. Sure, The Bell Jar is a semi autobiographical novel about a young twenty-something girl with extreme depression, but hey – the more you read it, the more your life starts looking like an animated Disney movie in comparison. Also, it had some darkly funny parts to it that are reminisent of a better, more honest version of Girls.
MOOD #2: The “I just got in a car accident or similar adult-like emergency and, wait, now I have to be an adult and DEAL WITH THIS like an adult?” mood
FICTION PERSCRPTION: After you’ve gotten off the phone with your insurance claims agent (aka, your newest BFF), pop in an episode of Gilmore Girls – more specifically the one where Rory gets hit by a deer. The irony will bring you back to earth.
MOOD #3: The “All my friends are getting married and I’m eating a grilled cheese sandwich – BLERG!” mood
FICTION PERSCRIPTION: Arrested Development, season 4 (as explained in this previous post)
MOOD #4: The “Men don’t offer their seats to pregnant women on the metro! No one says thank you! People shouldn’t talk so LOUDLY in public places. WHY ARE YOU WEARING FLIP FLOPS TO WORK?! The human race is doomed” mood
FICTION PERSCRIPTION: When you find yourself mad at the world, read A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. The antics of Ignatius J. Reilly will make you laugh and soothe your bitter soul. I sometimes wish I could get away with being as ridiculous as him.
MOOD #5: The “It’s raining outside and my mind is wandering through a series of bittersweet memories…Where’s my snuggie?” mood
FICTION PERSCRIPTION: Easily fixed. Watch Sabrina (the one with Audrey Hepburn, duh). See this post for a further explanation.
MOOD #6: The “It sucks to be a woman.” feeling (you know, if this is even applicable to you…)
FICTION PERSCRIPTION: Skim your worn down Judy Blume novels from yesteryear and you will remember how it used to suck more. Perspective, right?
MOOD #7: The “This deadline is stressing me out. WAAAA I’LL NEVER GET EVERYTHING DONE ON TIME and when will my heart stop beating at this CRAZY fast tempo?!” mood
FICTION PERSCRIPTION: When you’ve jumped through the last hurdle of your time sensitive to-do list, watch The Hangover. I know this sounds strange, but trust me - it will make you feel better. Your deadline might’ve sucked, but at least you didn’t get roofied and have to retrace your steps while meeting it, right? Plus, it will obviously make you laugh.
MOOD #8: The “I’m an IDIOT most of the time and I have NO IDEA if I’m doing this life thing right. I wonder if anyone else noticed what a HOT MESS I am?” mood
FICTION PERSCRIPTION: Read anything by Charles Bukowski. Seriously, in comparison, you will feel like the most together person on the planet and you will realize that there are a miriad of other ways you can be acting like an idiot – ways you have yet to explore (and probably never will). Relax and pat yourself on the back.
MOOD #9: The “I’m just plain cynical right now. All I want to do is mock something while simeltaneously cheering up in the process” mood
FICTION PERSCRIPTION: Grab your best friend and some snacks, then watch Warm Bodies together. Emily and I did this on Tuesday night and I swear it worked like a charm. I honestly can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a movie that much. I wonder what that says about me/us…
MOOD #10: The “Boys are dumb. Let’s throw rocks at them.” mood
FICTION PERSCRIPTION: Anything Jane Austen will meet your needs.
MOOD #11: The “I feel professionally/intellectually insecure and, hey, is this the right direction for my life?” mood
FICTION PERSCRIPTION: This varies from person to person. In my case, as a policy-oriented professional and soon-to-be graduate student, I heal myself with The West Wing (the opening credits alone make my heart soar with a sense of purpose…). If you’re an athlete, you should probably watch Rudy. If you’re a teacher, make it Dead Poets Society or Mr. Hollad’s Opus. If you’re a law student/young attorney, make it To Kill a Mockingbird. You get the general idea…
(Alternate Post Title: ”Why I will likely be alone for the rest of my life…”)
Me: Hey! Hope you’re having a good week.
Boy: Yeah going by fast. Yours?
Me: Slowly! I can’t wait for the weekend!
Boy: What’s with chicks taking 24 hours to reply to a text
Me: “I don’t understand the question and I won’t respond to it.”
So…it’s been a while. Oops.
But seriously, it seems like each time I consider writing a post, something pressing intervenes.
(This is the part where I binge blog with random tidbits and instagrams to make myself feel less like a slacker for ignoring this blog for most of spring.)
Emily, in her infinite wisdom, forced a group of us to read this book:
Never in my life have a felt such a crazy cocktail of emotions. I read this book in a 36-hour, stressful window of my life filled with flights and major life decisions. Timing? Not great. Wisdom? Undeniable. Meg Jay, I want to high-five you, but I won’t because I should be acting more grown-up, shouldn’t I? I’ll shake your hand instead. Firm grip, firm grip.
If you are in your twenties and want to know why you should be forming your narrative, leveraging weak ties, being personally/professionally intentional and facing the realities of your biological timeline before you get a reality slap, then you should read this book. It’s worth your time.
Also, in related news, you can read about my “Quarterlife Crisis” here.
Speaking of literacy, I’ve been reading more than writing these days. I have a large bucket list of books to tackle before I once again enter a lifestyle where my reading is no longer selected, but assigned (more on that later). While I still have the luxury of choice, I want to take advantage of it. Suggestions are welcome!
Kind of kidding about that last one (maybe?).
I’m enjoying the short window of spring loveliness before the full blown D.C. swamp weather encloses us all in a giant steam room for the summer. This area of the country is so pleasant during transitional seasons. I’ve been loving all the lunchtime walks, sunsets and picnics. I wish I could press pause, but I can’t.
I’m currently debating whether I will still hold my vegan label in any official capacity. Basically, it would be nice to eat vegan 95% of the time without having to explain myself for offer up a disclaimer on my eating habits – especially to people I’ve just met. Can’t I just be a secret vegan in plain sight? Can’t I just eat whatever the heck I want without having to talk about it?
This topic deserves a post of its own. More later.
Not yet, but soon! Huzzah for my new label and my upcoming academic adventures! I’ll let my spirit animal, Tina Fey, tell you where I’m going.
In case you were wondering, the previous title for this [long overdue] post was, “Cue Quarterlife Crisis.” Ugh – I know…so dramatic. I’ll spare the Internet the uncut emo, nonsensical ramblings of that now dead draft. Just know that, when I wrote it, I was processing my next life steps and, frankly, feeling a bit overwhelmed; I’m almost twenty five years deep into my life, yet there are grand questions I am far from answering and still others which are nipping at my heels demanding immediate attention. During times like these I cling to sanity by saying a prayer and listing the things that I know. So, here goes -