What I Learned At Real Life Is…

It’s been a while…so long that my last saved draft examines the emotional trials of unfollowing an ex’s ex on Twitter.

I’ve followed and unfollowed so many unnecessary people and pages since then, I can’t even keep track.

…and yet I caved and stalked her LinkedIn, but  am relieved to report I didn’t feel a tickle of envy toward her proclaimed dream-job.

Though childish and of course totally embarrassing, this submission gave me some quality information about myself. Which reminds me of a similarly childish notion in and of itself, is that post-college, we’re supposed to know so much about ourselves, as if we have experienced such profound and monumental moments and have gone down such roads and wound up all the wiser; that 6 months in quickly-gentrifying Brooklyn and having a few bars where people recognize my stupid smug face but don’t quite know my name yet is supposed to make me self-aware. I’m not sure if this stems from entitlement after college (or whatever stint in such an environment with influential spheres and crossroad decision-making), that we DESERVE to know our purpose; or arrogance, that we know and have always on some level known our purpose: a step ahead in self-actualization; or ignorance, for how much can really change in a year, five, your 40s. Maybe we cling to what we mistake for self-awareness to chalk up one too many hangovers, bad hookups, no hookups at all, blundered job interviews, useless internships, senseless arguments that we may or may not regret, but wouldn’t mind a do-over.

Give me a break. I’m so dumb I don’t even realize it — but I have hope, that’ll I’ll continue to learn and that’s what “it’s” all about.

But ok, to prove this, let’s give ourselves a little credit. I think we all must. The little victories let us maintain a degree of humility (I’m talking LITTLE victories, like you floss and now you’re a little less lazy) and honor (but hey, you’re flossing and turning off the faucet in between) in the process. Forgivable, acknowledged foolishness. Nod to the baby steps so we don’t get so self-deprecating and bogged down in doubt that’s we’re cynical self-hating pricks.

In no particular order:

It’s too hard for me to be vegetarian if I’m not Ellen DeGeneres and have the fabulous chefs of LA craft me a cruelty-free edible art. I love breakfast sandwiches – they’re keeping me fat. Hummus is not enough, I’m sorry you had to hear it from me.

I’m a better person to myself and others when I work out. Stress, vanity, who cares. I’m nicer and won’t unduly bite someone’s head off. My boyfriend, namely. Do the Zumba and turn down.

I don’t want to be a copywriter. I don’t want to go to VCU Brandcenter for an MA in Copywriting and I would find so many things wrong with it and would be doing it for the wrong reasons, IF I got in. IF I could put myself through that application process. IF I could quit my job. Live in Virginia for a while.

Living in New York is amazing and not at all overrated. People should live here, it’s like living abroad, for anyone in the whole world. Squandering it to watching Netflix every night would be a waste of outlandish rent and boundless cocktails.

I know it’s better to be honest about everything, even if people hate it and don’t trust it. Be honest about the dish rack being full, about your dreams, about stuff you don’t like, about who you are as a person. The outcome is usually better and people will generally appreciate it in the long run.

I have my limits. I need to go to bed early sometimes, and can’t buy every pair of Vince Camuto sandals on Rue La La.

Not everything is a deal. People say things. They package, embellish, or refrain. Have I learned nothing from Marketing? Don’t be afraid of forming an opinion, first impressions. Just be prepared for them to change.

My favorite brands are Bliss (maybe because the scrub feels like toothpaste for your body, in the best way possible) Juice Press (I know what matcha is and I’m not afraid to use it) Dermalogica (because it works) and Balega (I feel like an athlete, whether I’m breaking a sweat or falling asleep with my mouth open during shavasana).

I may not know exactly what I want to do with my life, but I know working at a vineyard was the best job I ever had, and that I bought some books on sustainable farming. And will do what’s in my power to harness, fuel, and fight for these impulses of joy, because they’re rare and very special.

I know my real friends. They live in South Carolina, right out of Boston, Buffalo but moving to South Korea, Colorado, a few more abroad, a few waiting to land. I know they’re real because though physical distance has grown between us, we are as close as ever, inventing new jokes, planning weekends and believing in the sanctity and sincerity of 3 days together, unfettered by real world rumpus. I know how lucky I am.

And I suppose the best thing we can do when we learn anything about ourselves is trying to take that and build on it.

Go Pescetarian for a month, or more! Wake up early and run and watch those pet peeves melt away.

Try the new pub a few avenues over, just remember 10 Tecate for $20 is only kind of a bargain.


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