growth

Sit. Stay. Gooood, Adult.

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When I was a child, I believed being an adult meant that I would have a career, I could buy candy when ever I wanted, and I would be awesome. I had a picture in my head of having a lovely home, only seen in glances, as I always pictured myself running out the door to work, but looking pretty professionally cool as I did so. That’s how I viewed my parents as a kid: loving, but always on their way to work. And they did it because they wanted to give my brother and I as good a life as they could; I just didn’t realize how hard it was for them. In my mind, you grew up, you had a job you liked, you then earned enough money from working so much that you had a nice home, and I would be physically fit because I had been forced to be on a diet since as far back as I can remember.

But that’s not what this whole “Adult” thing is about. I have to make decisions and live with those decisions, which is suddenly a very heavy thing to do. The odds of the average person being in a career that they love is slim to non-existent. Buying a house is filled with as many smiles as heartbreak. And you can’t eat candy all the time, because you hit twenty-four years of age and your body goes to shit – even more so than it was before. So, as an adult, I spend most of my time figuring out how to become an educational coordinator from the professional choices I’ve made, fixing my house or throwing money at past repairs we’ve made, working out, paying bills, and cuddling my loved ones when I get a second here or there. This all accumulates to cause me to over think my life. Daily.

I have a real draw toward beauty in natural surroundings. I can be alone for months if I look out and see beauty that makes my heart swell. But I’m adult now. So, I can’t just pick up and leave to admire another part of the country, getting a job where ever I land, because I need to be on a career path. And I’m an adult now, so suddenly where I choose to live means that the schools have to be decent, because I want to have a child one day, and I want that child to have a fighting chance. And I’m an adult now, which means I’m fortunate enough to share my life with another adult who supports me. And in turn, I support him, which means that out of respect for him, I have to be sure he is onboard for my insanity. And all of this comes down to accepting that I can’t leave Austin.

I struggle with living in Austin. Sure, it’s cool. And from certain parts of town, it’s even pretty. Find a list of Best Places to Live and somewhere amongst Portland, Seattle, and AnyWhere, North Carolina will be my little city upon the river they call a lake. Be young here, start a company here, retire here (try telling that to my folks). But, in a way, it’s also like living on an island in a sea of crazy. If you can focus on just your island, let yourself go, you’ll have fun, it’s chill, just flow with it. But remember that scene in Labyrinth, when Sarah is being wooed at the dance? Then Agnes is in her bedroom, giving her toys, and lipstick. But slowly Sarah comes to, remembers what’s important, and it’s just not fun any more, and she has to claw her way out. It’s a scene that makes me nauseous every time I see it. But, then, I’ve never been very good at the whole “relax” thing.

When I lived in Arizona, I was awed by the beauty outside my door every day, and when I wanted a change of scenery I drove an hour up north to Flagstaff, or an hour south to Phoenix. The politics and the schools there weren’t great there either, so I have to learn to let that go. But I loved the earth there. I loved the smell, the wind, the change in temperate zones, like it’s an area where the world is smiling. So why not just move there? Well, because I’m adult now and right when you have all the freedom in the world is right about when making changes seems impossible.

I moved here and got a job. Then I bought a home. Then I made a couple of friends. Then I made a few more. And these aren’t just “buddies”. These are people that I’m still surprised to have only known for a few years, because I could’ve sworn they were family. We support each other emotionally. We share and learn and play together. Sometimes we have Sunday dinner together the way we did as children with our blood relations. We give honest advice to each other, spend holidays within the warmth of each others’  homes, and, as many of us are far from our families, we have created the support of a clan within each other. It’s not a replacement, but it’s very tangible, and not something I ever expected at this time in my life. There are a number of things we still have to figure out in our lives, the two biggest ones being should we have a child (where? When?! HOW?!) and what the fuck are we doing with our lives? But one thing is for certain, it doesn’t look like we can leave Austin.

So, in that vein, I’m going to start really chronicling our Austin escapades, I’m going to remind myself as often as possible why exactly I live here, and learn, as best I can, to chill the fuck out and live in the present rather than the unforeseen future. If any of you have figured out how to do this please don’t hesitate to tell me how. I will continue with recipes and I will pick back up the pace on the Pop Bytes. I’ll nerd out more often on here. And we’ll make the best of what we’ve got.

Because that’s all you can do as an adult and these are the decisions we can live with.

On Being 30

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This isn’t for you. It’s for me.

This is me, prior to turning 30.

Now I am 30.

I am female.

I like my hair, which is almost black with some gray and a single pink streak.

I live in Austin, Texas.

I like to think one day I will move away and work for America’s Test Kitchen/Cook’s Country.

I do not believe this is actually true.

I am not thin. The opposite of thin. What’s the word? Fat? Yes: I am fat. That’s not self-deprecating, merely true.

I am self-deprecating.

I never thought I’d have 2 degrees at 26.

I never thought I’d be a home owner at 27.

I have two (2) cats, which I blame on other people.

When my boyfriend exits a room and the cats look longingly after him, I like to tell them “Daddy’s gone for cigarettes and he’s never coming back.”

I do not smoke.

I have two (2) degrees, a BA in history and an MA in Secondary Ed.

I am an Executive Admin. I tell people I administer Executives.

I feel I have no direction.

I have been to Canada and Mexico.

I want to fit in.

I do not have cable, but I watch an incredible amount of television.

I have a very good sense of humor; it is very easy to not take things seriously.

Many times my joking makes people uncomfortable, which deeply amuses me.

I may make people laugh, but no one makes me laugh harder than my loves.

I enjoy cooking and writing.

I have been told that as a child I cried a lot. I do not cry as an adult.

I have had no less than twelve (12) bad hair cuts.

I have had no more than seven (7) good haircuts.

I am rough-and-tumble, and wonder what it’s like to be delicate, in a slightly envious way.

I own no less than eight (8) black t-shirts.

I get off topic quite regularly. Generally because I don’t care about the current topic.

I am horrified by the change in women’s rights that has occurred in 2012 alone.

I have zero children. I have been pregnant once.

I swear like a sailor. I don’t mean to.

I claim to hate people in general. This is not entirely inaccurate.

I hate people who turn down education.

I think baby ostriches are fucking adorable.I think adult ones are crazy as shit and would probably die due to provocation if ever I encountered one. Like ex-dinosaurs, those things.

I like Star Wars. Entirely too much.

I like Star Trek. Entirely to0 much.

I like to play games. I periodically cheated at Monopoly as I child, though I now care only for playing and not ever winning.

I like jazz more than I’ve ever let on.

I am stupidly opinionated. I even dislike me half the time.

I can poach an egg like a fucking champ.

I want constantly. It’s horrible and by far one of the traits I dislike most about myself.

I have never known my father without a mustache. I tell people that baby “pinky” mice live underneath it, the mustache being their protective shelter.

When I was a child my mother had braces, as did my brother.

I have never had braces.

I worry constantly. At night the worries become anxiety.

I amazed and entertained by the fact that some American’s bleach their anuses.

I find writing, especially poor writing, to be the most self-indulgent crap that’s swirling around the interwebs. (I’m looking a you, current post.)

I truly love joy. I find it exciting, and easily the best part of life and laughing.

I am immensely fortunate because, if nothing else, my boyfriend “gets” me. He truly does.

I am 30. And that’s just fine with me. For now.

This is me today. Not much has changed.