Saturday, December 4, 2010

On Going with the Flow

I have a life update, but first I 'm going to ramble on for a bit. The update will come in a few paragraphs...

I've always been a planner. I had my first semester of college courses scheduled before I even signed up for orientation and planned out the next four years shortly thereafter. I knew how I wanted to spend my summers, what internships I wanted and when, what organizations I would participate in, the list goes on. I had plans for after graduation. The sorts of jobs I would seek out and the cities that I would live in.

I've spent my entire life thus far knowing what was coming next. One grade in high school was pretty much like the next. And college? Well, it wasn't too much of a leap in the end. Then I graduated.

In May I was left plan-less. Left not knowing. I spent the summer finishing up the lease on my apartment and working the last days of my on-campus student job. When August came I did the previously unthinkable. The definitely-not-part-of-my-plan. I moved back home. My discomfort with this move was largely superficial. I'm a definite home-body and I have a deep sort of affection for my hometown. I had time to breath and think about my health and to learn to cook and read books and start knitting projects. It was fine. But the anxiety that I felt just thinking about running into my friend's parents and having to tell them about what I wasn't doing was ever-growing. Not to mention the idea of visiting with friends from home and having to answer questions like "So what do you do all day?"

The worst part, though, about my current 'in-occupation' of sorts was the lack of a planning. The complete inability to even try and plan. For the first time in my life I was certain of nothing. I couldn't even begin to tell you what the next 5 years of my life might look like. The plan of 'get a great job and move' revealed itself to be naivie and dreamy. Reality, I came to find, was a bit more unfocused and unreliable than that.

Alright. Update time. I'm moving to New York City. I've found a temporary job in admissions at a top notch university (all through the good graces of my amazing sister-in-law). I'll be working that job full time for the next 8-10 weeks. I'll be living with my brother and his wife during that time, commuting in from Jersey City. What life will bring after that 8-10 weeks I'm unable to tell you. Perhaps I'll just be coming back home and adding another line to the resume. Or maybe. Maybe. I'll be able to find more work after this job ends and then find a place to live on a more permanent basis. Maybe this is it. Maybe I'm leaving forever.

This is where my new life motto comes in: GO WITH THE FLOW. I haven't really spent my life being a very 'flowy' sort of person. But this is the time in my life where I need to embrace the flow. I need to take opportunities that I wasn't expecting and let them take me where they will.

I'm leaving on Tuesday and starting work on Wednesday. I'll let you know how it goes.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday Favorite: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

I can see you rolling your eyes. I can feel the judgment radiating off of you. I can hear the thoughts flitting through your mind: "Buffy? Really? The vampire slayer." And for you I feel pity. That's right. Pity. Because you are apparently not privy to the genius that is Joss Whedon. You have not been witness to the pithy dialogue, the heart-crushing plot twists, and the magnetic characters that make up any universe that spills from the mind of Joss.

Buffy fills up a small corner in my heart. A corner that is nestled between fluffy blankets, hot tea, and snuggling (my heart is a strange sort of thing). I was skeptical, if not completely unaware, of Buffy when it was originally airing on television. I have a vague memory of stumbling across an episode where no one could speak (Hush!) and then shaking my head and flipping away.

It wasn't until my sophomore (or was it my junior year?) year of school when my lovely roommate finally introduced me to the Wondrous World of Whedon (actually my very first Whedon was Firefly--a story for another time). We watched it in huge, random binges. I think that the entirety of season 5 was consumed in one glorious weekend. It always served as an escape. A much needed escape.

Buffy still serves that purpose for me. Feeling stressed? Lets watch Buffy! Bored? Buffy! Depressed? Buffy! Excited? MOAR Buffy!

I recently acquired my very own copy of the complete series on DVD and have been re-watching the entire thing. I simply can't get enough. I hope that if you have, until the present, lived your life without Buffy, that this will be your last Buffy free day. You can watch the second season ENTIRE SERIES on Hulu. *ahem* Nothing is stopping you. GO.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Favorite: Stargazing

Every Friday I write about my favorite things. So far I've covered, well actually, this is my first Friday Favorite post!

I am continually amazed by the night sky. There is nothing like the feeling that exists only in the middle of open grassy fields after night has fallen. When the air is still warm and thick, but the grass is cool and it sticks to the backs of your knees. And the sky is both dark and crystal clear.

It is in those moments that time stops and my mind reels from the enormity and timelessness of the vista. If there is one thing that I have trouble comprehending and accepting it is the idea of eternity. Stargazing makes me face that head on. The night sky that I see is the night sky that all people have seen before me, it has existed always. The stars that I'm seeing existed in a time that is too long ago for me to comprehend and are at a distance that I can't even begin to conceive. It is every magical, fantastical, science fiction dream I've ever had except it's real.

The stars calm inconsequential fears and anxieties, they make my daily dramas seem like the silly things they really are, and they remind me to take advantage of the days that I have. Most importantly, they give me hope that there is always more. There are things we can't even conceive of out there and that's the reason that we should keep on going. The reason that humanity should keep on plowing away despite our gross failures. Because there is more for us to see and learn and know and in that is the promise that we will keep evolving and growing. Here, right now, for this tiny little blip of time, we get to influence that. I'll take it.

Image Source: Flickr user, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. You can find the image here.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

25 avant 25

As we begin I have lived for approximately 22.3 years. I am at that awkward sort-of-life-stage where there are lots of dreams, but there isn't very much action. In my lack of years and wisdom I find myself intimidated by 25. It is the age that means that I can't be lost anymore, that means I should be more aggressive in life, that means I should embrace independence, that I should own the life I've created as one that is purposeful and my own.

I have expectations you might say and I'm anxious that in two and a half years I won't be meeting any of them. That I'll be right where I am now at 22. And so I've created this list. The '25 things to do before I turn 25'/'25 goals that will make me feel better about myself if accomplished'/'25 things that I have been thinking about doing for ages, but haven't done' list. Or rather, 25 before 25. 25 avant* 25.

These items are goals. Some of them are things that I want to make habits, that will take time and patience. Some of them are things that I hope to do for the rest of my life, but want to start now. Some of them are intangible while others are more black and white. Some of them are a bit out of my comfort zone. Some of them are silly. Some of them dull (but those seem to be the most important to me). Some of them are unrealistic. All together they make up a basic sort of outline of my hopes and dreams.

This list was inspired by the life list phenomenon started by Maggie Mason. My list is not a life list (I have one of those going as well!). These are not my wildest dreams, nor are they all of my dreams, nor are they even necessarily my most important dreams. Rather, they are things that I need to give my life focus and they are things that I can see myself accomplishing in the next two and a half years. The nature of a life list is such that all of the items on it may never be accomplished and that's okay. It isn't really comprised of goals as much as it is hopes. Whereas 25 avant 25 has a deadline and I intend to accomplish all the items on it in that allotted time.

My plan is to update the list as I accomplish different things. I will link to posts where I will record my accomplishments or failures and cross things off as I go. I'm also going into this with the awareness that I might need or want to add or remove items from the list and, depending on the circumstances, that will happen. Some of the items lend themselves to additional lists and I hope to add that content as I go (lists of books I've read, shows I've seen, etc.).

I'm excited. This gives me a mission and tools to accomplish that mission. I think that it will be fun to pursue 25 avant 25 and to track my progress. Get to my list by clicking the button over there on the right. Thanks for tuning in!

*I'm not French, nor do I speak French. Blame 'avant' on Coco avant Chanel. I was debating what to name my quest and the phrase floated through my head and that was that. It stuck. Sorry if it seems pretentious. I'm pretty sure that it seems pretentious... I just think it rolls off the tongue nicely!*