Well............I'm 28 now. It hasn't quite sunk in yet, but then again neither did 26 or 27. The last age that stuck for me was 25, and 23 before that. I'm not really sure why those ages were the ones that stuck, but for some reason they did.
I'm also just now realizing that 28 is closer to 30 than it is to 25. Oy.................Simple math dictates that -- sure -- but sometimes it takes awhile for these things to truly sink in.
28??? Seriously...............where have the last 6 years gone?
I don't consider myself a vain person.........or I'm at least less vain than your average person for sure.............so getting older in that regard doesn't really scare me at this point. I have no problem going out in public without makeup, and I wear minimal makeup to work -- just enough to attempt to cover my dark circles and make me look less anemic. My hair is crazy and does whatever the hell it wants, and I've accepted that. It's my inner hippie coming out. I aspire to "age like a fine wine," if you will............to be one of those older women that has aged gracefully, and is still beautiful and vibrant, but seemingly effortlessly so. So basically I want to be Helen Mirren. Who wouldn't? Wow.
Side note: I was tested for anemia twice when I was in high school...............by doctors in my own family. What do you expect when people from mostly German and Swedish descent breed? I am not anemic, by the way -- just pasty. Although I'm not nearly as pasty as Will. Irish wins every time when it comes to pastiness. Our poor future children..............they will have to bathe in sunscreen.
Getting older doesn't scare me as much as what getting older represents -- or at least what it represents to me. To me, getting older means that the clock is ticking as far as having children (among other things), which means that at some point in the near future I'll have tiny humans who are dependent on me. That is truly terrifying..........to me. I do want the little monsters at some point, but I've got what............maybe 5 years until I should probably get serious about that? And as I have recently discovered 5 years goes by pretty freaking fast..............
Lately I've noticed certain things about myself that affirm the fact that I'm older. Just to name a few..............
1) I preach to my younger sister about how "college is one of the best times in your life," and "enjoy it while you can -- don't waste it," and other various strings of word vomit. She's probably getting pretty tired of hearing that from me, but it's true! I loved college. You're an adult, but you don't have all of the responsibility yet. It's awesome. What is also true is that I've been out of college for 6 years, and that doesn't seem possible. She's just now starting, and I'm about to have my 10-year high school reunion. Ugh.
2) I complain about "kids and their terrible music these days." To be honest, this one I've done for a long time. But then again, I've always been an old soul and most music today really is terrible. Well, I use the term "music" loosely. It's not music if there are no instruments and you need auto-tune to sing!!!!
Grumble, grumble, grumble...............get off my lawn!!!
3) I clip coupons -- like religiously. I also get really excited if I save a lot of money with said coupons. Will is never more bored than when I attempt to regale him with tales of my expert thriftiness. I'm lame, but I am also very economical, dammit!
4) I used to be able to do shots of tequila and Jameson like a beast (separately, not together -- that's gross), but now after one (and sometimes on the first one) the old gag reflex kicks in. I'm fairly certain it's my body's way of screaming, "You are too old for this!!! Knock it off!!!"
5) I apparently react to salt differently now, and it's SUPER fun. And by fun I mean it totally blows. If I've had Chinese food, fast food, etc............anything that's loaded with sodium............my dark circles are even worse than normal (which is impressive) and I feel poofy. Oh, and sometimes my blood pressure spikes a little bit. It's awesome. And by awesome I mean the exact opposite of awesome. I even bought that weird "No Salt" stuff and use that in my cooking. So I was a 65-year-old man who smoked two packs a day in a past life, or some equivalent, and am now being punished at 28. Not cool.
That's definitely not the end of the list, but I'll stop there for now. Leave them wanting more, right? Yeah..........that's it.
I am definitely someone who has to learn from experience, so when people told me that some of those things would happen, I of course did not believe them. I'm invincible!!! Mostly I was just stupid and stubborn. I begrudgingly apologize to those of you who were right............and I'm going to begrudgingly apologize ahead of time for the other things you've told me that I am yet to learn the hard way. You bet your sweet patootie I will. That stubborn streak runs strong................
Those of you that know me well know that patootie is not my first choice of words, but I've been informed that my language is maybe a little too colorful. They're not wrong............but isn't swearing like a sailor part of my charm? (*bats eyelashes*)
Granted, not all of the changes that have come along with getting older are bad. In fact, there is more good than bad. At this point in my life I'm pretty comfortable in my own skin, which was definitely not the case when I was younger. I have more confidence in myself, which is huge for me, and I don't feel the need to seek approval from people who are a waste of my time anyway. I care much less about petty things and pointless distractions than I did when I was 23 or 25. I've come to appreciate my friends and family more and in new ways. I also feel like I'm getting better at focusing on the joys in life, as opposed to whining about every little thing that hasn't gone my way.
In general, I feel like I know myself much better at 28. For most of us, it takes awhile to become the "true versions" of ourselves, and I finally feel like I'm getting there. I guess it's just another part of adulting.
Meet Mozzie. Mozzie is an 8 week old pug puppy. We've had him for 3 days and I'm in love.
On Friday, Will and Jo and I took a trip to Elizabethtown, Kentucky to meet our puppies. The brother (Mozzie) and the sister (Disney) pair of pugs came home with us that night. All three of us were instantly attached.
It's truly amazing how quickly you can get attached to something. It's been 3 freaking days and I find myself struggling to leave the house. Not that I have experienced it personally, but when you have a child there is an instant bond -- it's biology. Oxytocin is released and you instantly fall in love with that child. It's a really cool thing.
I'm definitely not comparing my new found love for Mozzie to that of having a child, but I'm definitely attached.
I never feel like I get enough sleep, and I hate early mornings -- I always have. I'm not high maintenance, so I get ready pretty fast in the morning, which enables me to sleep longer. There's not much that can get me out of bed if I don't need to be up yet. Apparently when I was around 18 months old, I slept for about a day and a half after coming home from a family vacation to Disney World. My parents kept checking on me to make sure I was still breathing.
Despite my love of sleep and sleeping in, a funny thing happened the past three mornings..............I woke up way earlier than I normally would just to make sure Mozzie was okay. He may not be my child, but my maternal instinct has kicked in HARD core. It's super weird.
So why do I love this wrinkly little thing so much after only 3 days?
Well, first off, he's freaking adorable.
Look at that face!!!
Those are just a few of the reasons why I'm already attached to the little gremlin.
And actually, that's one of them. If you've ever played with a pug puppy, they seriously sound like little gremlins. Their smooshed faces make them snort like little pigs, and when they get riled up during play time they make the craziest noises. Sometimes they startle themselves with their own noises, and you can tell that they're not entirely sure where the noise came from. They look at you as if you made the noise. After a short pause, they go right back to spazzing out and making crazy noises. It's hilariously cute.
One of the main reasons why I got attached to Mozzie so quickly is because he's not just my puppy, he's our puppy (mine and Will's) -- and it means something. I realize that sounds SUPER sappy, but I don't care. Judge me all you want. We've been through a lot in the past several years, and getting a puppy has really been a bright spot for us. We've wanted one for quite some time now, but just haven't had the right schedules, the space, or the money. But things are different now, and thanks to my amazing family, Mozzie ended up being an early birthday present.
Best. Birthday. Ever.
As I talked about in an earlier post, my family recently lost Pug (Pugsley). Mozzie will never replace him, but having Mozzie definitely fills a void. And maybe it's because Mozzie is a pug dog, or maybe I'm crazy, but I swear he kind of looks like Pug. There's something about Mozzie and his personality (besides the fact that he's a pug) that reminds me of Pug. It's actually kind of comforting.
On that note, my 3-year-old niece called Jo's pug (Disney) Pugsley's sister when she first saw her. Ugh...................my heart.
This week I write to you from Portland, Oregon. I'm attending a conference for work as sort of a professional development trip. It's really cool. It's really weird. I think this is what adults do. Maybe.
It's fun to be traveling for work, especially to a place I've never been, but it's also super weird to me. It feels like such an adult thing to do. I've traveled by myself before, so that part I'm cool with. But it's definitely weird to be in an unfamiliar place with a bunch of strangers, by myself. No safety net. No one to whisper inappropriate remarks to when I find humor in something that I probably shouldn't. I guess I could still say those things to someone, but they may not appreciate it and I may have to leave as a result. Then I would spend the rest of the conference avoiding that person because they think I'm weird. They wouldn't be completely wrong........
I told Will on the way to the airport that the thing I was the most excited about was getting good sleep in a nice bed. Does that make me officially old? Probably. Or lame at least. And it also means we need a new bed. Although we wouldn't need a new bed if someone hadn't decided that they wanted to attack me like a giant flying squirrel. Ugh.
It's actually a pretty cool opportunity. I get to travel and stay in a nice hotel for free, eat for free, learn a bunch of stuff, wander around a cool city, and also have a little bit of me time. Not a bad deal. But again, it's weird because it feels so freaking adulty.
There are a lot of big things coming up that are making me realize just how much of an adult I really am now:
1) We're getting a pug puppy this coming Friday. I'm just a little excited. And by just a little I mean, I'M GETTING A FREAKING PUPPY!!!!!!!!!!
2) Will and I are coming up on our 5 year anniversary, which is crazy to me. SO much has happened in those 5 years.
3) Building on #2, I will have a shiny piece of jewelry on my left hand in the near future. Will and I tell each other everything, and he's not good at lying or keeping secrets. Not even a little bit. So I don't know exactly when, but I know it's happening and relatively soon. He keeps saying that he's dying to tell me his plan, and that it's SO good, but can't. Well yeah, because that would ruin the surprise, like completely. So don't do that. And also, stop talking about it since you can't actually tell me! He's adorable........
It's crazy how different my life looks and is soon going to look compared to 5 years ago. I went from dating questionable people, working several part time jobs (including waiting tables), trying to figure out what the heck I was going to do with a degree in music, and trying to find myself in general.........to meeting my soul mate, getting an MBA, getting my first "big girl job" with benefits and normal hours, and soon a puppy and a monumental moment in mine and Will's lives. I also feel like I know myself much better now.
I haven't "arrived" yet -- there's still more to experience and achieve -- but I think I'm off to a pretty good start. I may be an adult, but I'm still pretty young. Although some days I don't feel like it.......doesn't help that I work at a university where the majority of people are still babies. I do get mistaken for a student from time to time though. I will ride that train as long as possible. Oh yes.
So I'm in Portland. I'm an adult. I guess it's pretty cool.
When I was 13, five-year-old Jojo (Or Jo -- my sister) wanted a pug -- so we got a pug. Out of the entire litter, she picked the runt with a hernia. His name was Pugsley Elvis Whetstone. Dad thought it would be funny if his initials spelled "pew." We mostly ended up calling him "Pug." Super original, right?
We lost Pug just a few days ago. He was almost 15 years old, which is an incredibly long life for a pug. Sure he was practically deaf and blind by the end, but his curly tail still flopped from one side to the other, and he greeted you like you'd been away forever -- every single time. He wasn't just a dog -- he was family. That tiny dog had a huge personality. Well, he was a "small" dog, but not so tiny. That runt became a mutant pug -- taller than most pugs and about 35 pounds at one point. Big pug.
I had been telling Will for awhile that I would be a hot mess when Pug went. Not only had he been around since I was 13, but I've also never really experienced the death of someone close to me -- at least not anyone that has affected me in a huge way. I've been really lucky so far. I knew I'd be a mess, but I was totally unprepared for how hard it hit me.
Jo called me right when I woke up to get ready for work, which was a bad sign. She told me that Pug had been having seizures all through the night and that they were going to have to put him down. Another hour and a half later she called to tell me that he had passed. They were waiting in the room for the vet, and apparently he had a stroke and died in her and my mom's arms.
Ugh. My heart.................
So they didn't end up having to put him down. He just went. Just like that.
I cried openly at work. There was no controlling it. Hot mess.
Pug loved unconditionally, as dogs tend to do. Every visit was a special visit, because he was just as excited to see you whether it had been a day or a month since you'd been there. If only we could be more like Pug. And why aren't we? Because we'd look silly or people would think we're crazy? I mean, I don't think people would appreciate it if I jumped all over them every time they walked in the room, or ever...........but I think there's something to be learned from the level of excitement and affection that dogs tend to have towards us. It's completely genuine and wonderful.
Think how good you would feel if every time you came home your significant other was there, jumping up and down, saying stuff like, "It's you! You're here! I'm so glad to see you! I missed you! I love you!" The way we're programmed, you'd probably think they were nuts, drunk, high, or something to that effect. But knowing that someone is that excited to see you and loves you that much would still make you feel really good.
We get busy. We get distracted. We get stressed. We have a gigantic to-do list that is "oh so important" to get done. We come home and complain about work, or jump straight into cooking dinner or working on some other "important project" we have, instead of stopping first to greet our loved ones. I'm guilty of this, and I even consider myself to be a fairly affectionate person. But I definitely get distracted and stressed and will go straight to that sink full of dishes, while simultaneously bitching about something that happened that day.
Oh my life is so hard and awful............I have a roof over my head, clothes, food, a job, and loving friends, family and boyfriend..........................but woe is me. Mehhhhhhhh....................
I'm so dumb sometimes.
I should be more like Pug. I should go straight for a hug, a kiss, or both, instead of whatever the hell else I "need" to do so badly. After all..............aren't our loved ones and the time we have with them the most important and greatest parts of life? Those dishes do need to get done, eventually, but they don't need to be done that moment. I keep trying to reason with the OCD/neat freak in me, but sometimes she doesn't listen. Imma have to check my hoe. She can wait one freaking minute while I love on my man.
I already miss the hell out of that little dog, and it's only been a few days. Pug was around for most major events in my life so far. I don't think it's truly set in that I won't see him again. I know that there will be other dogs -- life goes on -- but Pug was Pug. Pug was awesome. Pug embodied love and affection and all the goodness in the world. I hope that I can learn to emulate even an ounce of that. The bottom line is that the world would be a much better place if we all just learned to be more like Pug.
Earlier this year I reflected on how I've ended up doing pretty much everything I said I'd never do. I've learned not to say such things (I think), but the other factor in those things happening is that very little in life goes according to plan. I've lost count of how many times I've re-calibrated my "plan" for my life. And every single time I do this, I somehow forget that I do not have that kind of control. Life doesn't work that way. But I'm sure each time I make those plans, there is some evil karmic being thinking, "This will be fun........"
At an event I was working recently, a very sweet lady asked me if I was a student at the university I work at.
Me: "Why thank you for thinking I still look that young, but no. I did go here for my undergrad, but I graduated 6 years ago."
(6 years? Ugh. I'm just gonna pretend like that's not a thing...............)
So that lead to her asking what my degree is in and what I'm doing now, which then raised the question, "Why grants?," accompanied by a slightly puzzled look.
Good question. I'm still asking myself the same thing.
Me: "Well, you see...................(*word vomit*)..................something about music being unstable and deciding it was a good idea to get my MBA so I could have some stability, but still pursue my musical passions on the side."
Nice Lady: "Oh, that's very smart. Good for you."
Me: (Is it though? I wracked up a ton of student loan debt and am making about the same money as I did piecing together music stuff. The only difference is that I have benefits and have to get up earlier. So is it smart? Really???? Meh.......................)
Why grants? Because it's where I freaking landed, that's why. Don't get me wrong, I actually do like what I do for the most part, but it wasn't "in my plan." At this point I don't even know what my plan was...........I just know it wasn't to be working in grants at my alma mater. And let's be honest, very few people have a clear career path that actually comes to fruition. For most of us there will inevitably be pit stops along the way. And sometimes you end up miles away from where you initially set out to be, for good or for bad. That's life.
College educated Gen. Y people, like myself, struggle to find jobs that fit what they went to school for. We're either overqualified, don't have enough "experience," or the pay is insultingly low, among many other things.
Yes, I said Gen. Y. I'm not a freaking Millennial. Give me my original title back, thank you very much. People born in the 80s/early 90s versus the late 90s/2000s are a TOTALLY different group of people. We had music with actual instruments and didn't slap auto-tune on everything. We would've killed and eaten people like Nicki Minaj!!!
On second thought, eating a disease ridden (insert colorful word of choice) would not be wise. I'm fairly certain she has gonasyphaherpalaids.
Regardless, our lives start much later than that of our parents' generation. Many of us can't have kids young because we can't find jobs that make it financially possibly to support them. We can't save anything because we're living paycheck to paycheck due to student loan debt. Buying a house and taking legitimate vacations are laughable ideas right now. That's some kind of alternate universe sh*t right there. Had I planned to be doing many of those things by this point in my life? Absolutely. Apparently those things don't fall into the 10% or less of my life that goes "according to plan."
Why the generational tangent? Life is uncertain for everyone. You never know what craziness will fall out the sky and change the course of your life, for good or for bad. Unfortunately, I do think people my age are victim to even more uncertainty in life. I want future kids to be college educated, but there's part of me that's thinking, "No! Learn a trade of some sort. The world doesn't need anymore over-educated, artsy people who are all competing for the same jobs. You'll never make any money, and I really don't want you living in my basement. That's where Mommy and Daddy's music studio is. NO TOUCHING!"
I can work really hard and be awesome at what I do for a living, but nothing is guaranteed. Pay freezes happen, cutbacks happen, political decisions are made, etc. Sometimes you have to uproot your life to make things work. I have before, and chances are I'll have to again at some point. Is that a reality I'm ready to face yet? Absolutely not. Change bad!!! But if/when the time comes, I'll have to face it, regardless of how I feel about it.
There are a lot of things in my life right now that make it very difficult to plan for the future. There I go trying to plan again.........................
I think I like being under the illusion that I can at least plan certain parts of my life.
Granted, not everything is entirely out of my control, but it sure as hell feels like it sometimes. I can control my weight, and I have. I can control my musical ability by practicing and seeking out new challenges. I can control my happiness, in a way, by living each day to the fullest and surrounding myself by people I love.
What really sucks is that I am incredibly organized and am really good at planning. Like REALLY good!!! So I can't even put this skill to use for my own life, because karma will start laughing at me again and go, "Gurrrl.....ain't nobody care about your plans!"
I'm not sure why I turned karma into a sassy black woman, but it kind of seems fitting.
Gurrrl.....you right, you right. Ain't nobody care.
Bottom line is that life doesn't go according to plan. The reality is that you have to take what life gives you and try your best to kick ass in that situation, whatever it may be. It's yet another part of adulting that I'm slowing learning. I'll figure it out some day -- it just won't be according to my plan. And maybe that's okay.
I'm an "adult," or so I've been told. I do "adult" things, I have an "adult" job, I pay bills, and I drink bourbon and wine. I have great friends and family, an amazing husband, and generally a pretty good life. I have achieved many things, yet so little at the same time. I'm 30, yet I feel more clueless than when I graduated college. This is how I "adult."