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This is Not a Post About Polish...

Can you not tell my life has devolved? Buzzfeed and GIFs speak truf to me now.
P.S. I also used to date people who got their master's at Harvard, and now I am most attracted to underachievers - fictional underachievers - like Nick Miller and Danny Castellano.

Some of you may have noticed I've been missing. And still more of you are reading this going, "Yes, and? This happens every few months with you, dude." I know, and I'm sorry...again (and again and again).

As you can probably guess - and if not, WARNING - it is not because things have been super awesome. Normally, I wouldn't publish such a cringingly self-involved post (or maybe I have been all along and I'm too self-involved to have realized it?), but it has a slight bearing on how things will move forward on da blog, so if you're interested, read on for a rambling, unstructured peek into my messy life.

If not, TL;DR, things are changing in my life, a blog sale is pending, and posts here may not resume as normal for a good while. Or, yay/fuck, I'm scared; sob/relief; and sorry, man, sorry.

I wish I had known about FUCK! i'm in my twenties when I was a teen - maybe I could have tried harder.
Those of you who are past your twenties or are wise beyond your years probably could have foreseen the clusterfuck my post-grad life has been. I guess I am really freaking naïve because I was fucking blindsided. And, I apologize for the amount of swearing so far in this paragraph, but there really is no other way to put it that so viscerally expresses how ruthlessly I was slapped down to reality in 2013. If I had read Buzzfeed's description of 26 earlier, I would have made a more sincere attempt to have my shit together by then: "'26 is the year that you wake up and realize someday you’re going to die.' Twenty-six is a mortality year — you’re now closer to 30 than you are to 20, and it’s when you first experience genuine pressure to settle down and, like, have your shit together already. This is the year of most people’s dreaded 'quarter-life crisis,' and with good reason. You’re going to die someday, and you’re one year closer to it." What may be even more sad is that for a couple of months I went around thinking I was 27 - that's how much my life failures were weighing on me. I felt psychically aged.

Never - not even when I was depressed. Also, it disgusts me that I if I am honest with myself, I probably am a fucking Marnie.

I hate to annoy people and be all #firstworldproblems when I'm actually a very blessed person (#blessed), but really my overwhelming anxiety post-grad boils down to money. I am not a lazy person. I worked two jobs throughout college and maintained an A-average. I graduated with honors, scholarships, awards, and the admiration of many of my professors. I had a savings account that I put a bit in to every month, and although I wasn't a huge saver, I didn't spend above my means. Fast-forward from May, and now my savings is gone. I've sold books and purses online to make my rent. And the following scene, which immediately turned probably more than 50% of viewers off of Girls, now seems eminently reasonable to me:

Even two months of not landing a job didn't have me down. I was very optimistic. Although, I had not yet gotten an interview, I still felt pretty great. I am a catch! I am smart! Talented! Dedicated! I have ingenuity! Gumption! Connections! I have never not gotten a job after an interview, if you don't count the one time at Anthropologie when we had to put together an outfit and the girl I was paired with wanted and actually found the clothes to put together an outfit akin to Janis Ian from Mean Girls and I couldn't stop her. (BTW, tangent, isn't Lizzy Caplan great on Masters of Sex? Virginia Johnson is my new hero.)

Eventually I got two part-time jobs, neither of which are in my direct field of interest, but which I am very good at and for which I feel rewarding highs and soul-deadening lows. Neither of which has given me insurance or a livable wage. Grown-up life has reveal itself to be terrible so far. (Please tell me your thirties are better?) I had to get my own health insurance because I was 26, and I didn't have a full-time job yet. My car insurance started charging me $200 more because they said I was in a car accident, and when I paid for the DMV records to prove that this was false, they said they would adjust my insurance and refund me; um, yeee-aaah, they still haven't done it, so I had to switch my insurance. Some of my loans started to come due. My dog had a grand mal seizure (we took him to the vet, test results were normal, hopefully it was just a one time thing). My best friend's chemical dependency started to become life-threatening. Another of my friends settled down with the guy who had kept her as a side piece for over a year. Another decided to double down and more permanently entangle herself in an abusive relationship. More people started dying. My faithful and adored companion, the to-do list, started to feel like it was becoming more and more insurmountable. I developed a deep-in-the-stomach, pressing-down-on-the-chest anxiety that cruelly disappeared during November and December only to return with a vengeance this month. It has, of course, made everything harder and also helped common illnesses make me sicker more frequently and severely than ever before in my life. 

I don't say this to complain, although I have had my moments. Like when my brother who's quit 3 post-secondary schools within the first month of enrollment along with undergoing several self-inflicted personal and financial problems said with deepest sincerity, "Jen, my gym's hiring a receptionist - I could get you an in." Or, when I found out my 21-year-old cousin, who graduates this May, already has a job lined up that's going to pay him $125,000/year. (I guess finance is a good field, and it doesn't even require a graduate degree - sorry, my poor soon-to-be jobless law school graduate friends.)

This is one of the worst movies I have ever watched. It doesn't even have the resourcefulness to be so-bad-it's-good. But, like me, it is trying.

I'm a chronic perfectionist. When I was younger and there was less on my plate and things came so easily, it was something I was hopefully only slightly unbearably smug about; over the years I have realized it's not something to be proud of. Sometimes it drives my mom crazy. She doesn't understand not wanting to get started until all your plans are made. Or feeling stuck until things are lined up. Or freaking out about things that you have no control over.

I'm probably just as overly-dramatic as this infamous Dawson GIF, but please still like me, okay?

So, that's where I've been. Scrounging and begging and scraping by. And overwhelmed. And frustrated. And sad. And stressed. And guilty. Because I feel so aware of how obnoxious it is to be a person of privilege who can't function at life. And yet, I feel like I am trying so hard.

When I transferred from the U of M, my new school wouldn't take my bio credits - and it took me 3 years of fighting for them to finally accept it. I took it as a sign that I - always torn between two very disparate paths - should choose the other one. And now, after all this, after so much internal Sturm und Drang, I've decided to go back to the beginning. I'm moving back to California (I started college at USC). I'm applying to post-baccalaureate programs, so that I can go to med school. I'm trying to take control of my life. And it's still scary and stressful and overwhelming. It's hard to not feel like I've wasted time and money and energy. It's hard to be positive and focused and diligent. It's hard to grow up.

I haven't found a place yet. I don't know where I'll live because it depends on which school (or, hopefully, schools) I get into, and the programs all have different start dates. But, I'm packing. I'm studying. I'm excited - and nervous. I'm preparing. I'm hopeful. 

And, I hope you'll wish me luck. This means, I don't know how much I'm going to maintain this blog for a while. I have a lot I want to post, but time has never felt more ephemeral, more fleeting to me. I can't make promises right now. But, it also means, I'm finally going to be cleaning out my Alex. I'm pretty proud of myself for maintaining a no-buy since October - me who has probably 50 mint creme nail polishes because in the beginning I thought I could compare. Them. All. It makes me kind of mournful that I'm never going to accomplish the dream and have all of my polishes swatched, cataloged, and compared on this blog. But, I can't take 1,000+ polishes with me across the country, or at least, I don't want to. I'm slowly putting things together for a blog sale (and if anyone wants to drop me a line of advice, I would love to know what's worked for you), and I hope that when it's ready, you'll find something that you want me to send home to you.

Even more, I hope, if you want, you'll leave me some encouragement. I'm sorry to those I lost touch with because I couldn't handle my life for a while. I'm sorry to you readers who faithfully checked the blog for new posts. Eventually I'll get there. And in the meantime, your support will help give me a push forward. Tell me I'm not alone. I'm pulling for you guys too!


Rach said...

You're so much more right than you know. 26 was, in fact, the year shit got real. I'm off to work, so I can't dash off as long of a comment as I'd like to, but I'll try to email you this weekend. I've been thinking about you! I know you'll find a way to make things work. <3

P.S. I totally will be happy to rehome some of your polishes when the time comes.

JDV said...

It'll get better. I see a lot of myself in this post when I was in my 20's. (I refrained from saying "when I was your age"... I swore I'd never say that!) It gets better, we're promised so much while we're young that for most people the reality check is not what we expected. We expected to be rewarded for hard work. It took a while for me to recalibrate to the real world and get the hang of it.

It's funny you mention that episode of "Girls." I was talking to a friend of mine (I just passed 40, she's mid-40's) and we SO relate to that show. That was us in our 20's, we get it. We were poor but we were happy. We knew who we were as students, it took us a while to figure out who we were as working adults. Find what makes you happy even if that happy thing isn't job-related and hold on to it.

You'll get through it!!

J. said...

Rach - I am planning to email you back (finally!), but I'm at a funeral in a small town with no internet/spotty coverage through Tuesday. It's coming though! Thanks so much for your support. Even when I didn't write, I felt good vibes coming from the east.

JDV - Ah, this comment helped me take a nice deep breath. What you said about knowing yourself as a student but not as a working adult is where I'm living right now. Thank you for the encouragement and kind words - they are a big comfort!

Gaming Nails said...

Life is really tough sometimes, I'm sorry you're going through this and will keep my fingers crossed you get un-stuck and things gain momentum and you know, work out. It's hard to avoid comparing yourself to others but please don't, just focus on you for a bit, you ARE all the good things you listed and then some!

J. said...

Gaming Nails - Thank you so much for the kind words. I finally feel like I can move forward with purpose again, so the future feels brighter to me!

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