The Four Things I Learned from 2014 and How to be a Halfway Adult
Two months ago I wrote a blog celebrating the new year and what I learned from 2014. It took me this long to actually post it. So here's my #laterblog.
It’s January 2nd, 2015. I’ve just gotten back to Seattle after a week long vacation in San Diego visiting my parents for the holidays. Looking back, it’s been such a spectacular year that I’m sure at some point along the way I must have learned something…right?
Upon brief reflection, this is what I’ve come up with:
1. Don't Panic
There were many times in 2014 that I panicked unnecessarily. For instance, when my post graduation plan read: “figure out life and self.” Or when I realized that I would come home from Europe with, oh, about 50 bucks. Or when I was interviewing for my current job and they asked me how the internet works.
In all of these moments I was followed by a blinding force field of panic that led me halfway down a carton of Ben and Jerry’s, sobbing unintelligible words over the phone to my friends, roughly translated to: “there is absolutely no way I am responsible enough to be an adult, why god why.”
But miraculously, it really all works out. I promise. You will get a job. You will find somewhere to live. And you will start looking at your bank account regularly enough to notice that you’ve actually been paying for Spotify for the last 5 months. Who knows, you may even get your own Netflix Account. Just kidding. You should never get your own Netflix Account. That’s obviously what other more responsible adults are for.
2. Overcome Obstacles Like it’s Your Job
I’ve had a number of challenges since graduation…you know, the stifling pain of leaving all my friends and hometown, buying the wrong size bedframe twice, not knowing how to use Salesforce… and it turns out more just keep cropping up. Currently, my car, Stan, sprays gasoline through the air when I try to fill the gas tank. To top that off, my first student loan payment is due in a week, and the health insurance card I was supposed to receive 2 months ago is still M.I.A.
And it’s starting to hit me that this is what people are talking about when they say life is hard. Because the obstacles won’t stop coming. Instead, they pile up higher and higher.
So I say - overcome obstacles like it’s your fucking job.
KNOCK THEM OUT OF THE PARK.
You buy the wrong sized bed frame twice - Put your mattress on the floor You need to pay a student loan bill - call the 1-800 number and explain your complete incompetence with the online system Your car rejects gasoline – Take the damn bus You don’t have a health insurance card – Don’t go to the doctor
ANY SOLUTION IS A SOLUTION.
3. Eat vegetables when you get home from happy hour
No one ever warns you about the number of happy hours you’ll be invited to when you:
A. Move to a new city B. Start a new job C. Do anything at all after graduation
And one day you look down at the happy hour menu and realize you haven’t eaten a vegetable in 16 days because happy hour doesn’t have them.
Despite my mixed emotions about getting old, I do want to live longer than 22, so now I actively pursue vegetables in the grocery store, even though they’re so hard to find in between the jalapeno chips and frozen pizza.
4. Recognize that Life is Good
Maybe we’re not breezing through class, eating lunch on the lawn, and going to bars where we know every single person in the room, but post-graduation life is great and anyone who tells you otherwise is doing it wrong.
You are done with everything when you are done with work.
There are no rules. There is no homework. You can do anything you want. You could go to a karaoke bar and rap The Bad Touch from memory. You could go home and watch 11 episodes of New Girl. It’s totally, 100%, up to you.
You go on dates.
Yes, sometimes there is the overwhelming fear that every single person you know will get married and have kids while you wander aimlessly through the streets and adopt homeless cats, but in post-college life people take you on dates where there is food and alcohol and slightly-awkward but enjoyable conversation–and it’s awesome.
You’re completely independent.
One of the best parts of getting a job after graduation is that you can become completely financially independent (ironically, also the worst part). There is something very wonderful about knowing that your money is yours and yours only, and you can spend it however you like. You can spend $65 on mimosas for your hungover friends, or you can invest in Vanguard while perusing investment charts that say you’ll be a billionaire in 2030 if you just invest right now. It’s yours! You can do what you want! I’d say there’s probably a happy balance somewhere in between.