Monthly Archives: October 2010

Passions or Problems

People who live in Washington, DC either have passions or problems.  Those with passions move to Washington, DC to change the world.  They work for non-profits, City Year, Americorps, Teach For America.  They want to save the children! Save the environment! Save women’s rights!  If you are not trying to get saved, you are trying to do the saving.  They want to work they are passionate about, they make $11,000 a year, claim no interest in material things but they are happy. 

Then there are those working on the problems: military, lawyers, lobbyists, Hill staffers, Congressmen and women.  They are here to fix the problems of our country.  Health care reform!  Education reform!  They all have Blackberries and security clearance and somewhere really important to be.  They drive fast, walk fast, hit refresh on their e-mails every minute and have an R or a D stamped on their foreheads.  Most also own khakis, some salmon colored and boat shoes are a requirement.  Don’t forget to rep your college Greek system. 

I feel like Washington, DC functions in its own contained bubble and a small one at that.  At ten square miles and a professional destination for people from around the United States and world you are always running into your sister’s cousin’s college co-worker who is from the same town as your roommate.   Washington DC is not a destination location.  People don’t move here like they do New York City or Chicago—for the lights, fun and frill of the city, they move here with a purpose.  

I’ve been here almost two years.  At this moment- my passion is to get the hell out of here and my problem is with the city itself. 

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Work fail #3249

Conversation I had with my friend Spano one Friday in May while I was at work:

Me: I spent out an e-mail to every MEMBER OF CONGRESS with a typo.  I win!

Spano:  Yes, you do.

Spano:  I was just asking myself why this woman was staring at me so intently and then I saw the guild dog…

Me:  That made me feel a little better.  I told my co-worker I was going to hang myself with my pearls.  Very WASPy of me.  She didn’t think it was funny. 

Spano:  I’m so proud of you.  That’s going to go on my blog.

And it did.  You may read Spano’s blog (also filled with my mishaps) at http://coasttocoastseatosea.tumblr.com/

As for the e-mail to each and every schedule for each and every Congressional scheduler: RSVP is spelled R-S-V-P, not R-V-S-P.  The best part of this all being that after being approved by 3 other people in my office, it was a kind scheduler who enlightened me to the mistake about 2 days after the invite had gone out.  And again, I hang my head in professional shame.

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I work in an industry full of geeks- bless them all, but they are straight up nerds. One evenin

I work in an industry full of geeks- bless them all, but they are straight up nerds.  One evening as I was getting ready to leave work, a large meeting was shuffling out with me.  A co-worker asked if I’d like to join them for the committee dinner. 

Can’t, I said, but thanks.  I am going to a concert.

One of the committee members asked kindly, what concert?

Bone Thugs, I said, and hung my head in professional shame. 

P.S. The concert was awesome- for the 30 minutes we stayed for it.  Because it was midnight.  And a school night.  And we were drunk.  And wearing cardigans at a hip hop concert.  And we were ashamed. 

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Escalator Mishaps

Have you ever been riding an escalator when it has been shut off?  You know, just enjoying the physical exertion free ride up from the Metro station of your choice while listening to the musical stylings of Jay-Z on a lovely Thursday evening.  Tomorrow is Friday.  The benefit you just went to was super great.  You ate delicious lamb for dinner.  You looked super adorable today.  Life is grand.  And then out of no where, you are so confused.  Your feet stop moving, but your body continues.  In a matter of seconds all of these thoughts go through your mind:

HOLY SHIT I AM GOING TO FALL!

I SWEAR I AM NOT DRUNK!  Wait, am I drunk?  How many glasses of wine did I have- one, two, three….

It’s my heels!  I swear it is my heels!

Damnit, I’m going to rip a hole in my new tights. 

And this is going to be so embarressing.  Is anyone watching?   

HOLY SHIT, I AM GOING TO FALL DOWN. 

Suddenly, you realize, WAIT!  I didn’t fall.  Awesome.  It all makes sense.  Metro sucks.  And the escalator is stupid.  Metro turned it off.  Problem solved. 

And then you have to walk up 20 very large escalator steps, all the while thanking god you cut back on those Parliment Lights.  And for Jay Z, naturally.   

WIN!

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School picture day, grown-up style

The first week into my big girl job was rough- let’s just say I was still adjusting.  I frequently felt uncomfortable, wasn’t familiar with the routine, sick of making disastrous small talk.  The office was small and most of the employees had worked together for many years.  They had attended each others weddings, met family members, spent numerous hours together in the office and had a pattern everyone was comfortable with, making it painfully obvious I was the FNG- fucking new guy.

There were many things I enjoyed about my new job- I had health insurance, I got paid every other Friday without fail, I went to a company dinner that involved lobster the first week, happy hour the second week , they were apparently going to teach me to fly airplanes.  But 9-5 didn’t come easy.  I still couldn’t quite make it down the block from the Metro to the office in heels- so I routinely showed up with Chuck Taylors on my feet, my heels shoved in my purse with a haphazardly made lunch and a book for the commute. 

After being unemployed for the duration of the summer and then not starting work as a nanny until after preschool let out at 2pm, I hadn’t been up consistently before sunrise in six months.  I overslept, forgot to shower, got dressed in the dark (read: didn’t match), forgot to pick up my clothes from the dry cleaner, wore a purple bra under a white button down.  It was a slow moving process. 

At the beginning of my first week, they brought in a photographer to take photos for the website and for one of our yearly publications that would be coming out the following month.  It was like school picture day but worse.  The photos were not just for Grandma to hang on the fridge- but for the public.  I wore a cream colored button down shirt, a teal v-neck sweater and my favorite earrings.  I remembered to put on make-up, my acne had decided to take a brief break from entirely ruining my life.  I was going to wow the professional world with my good looks and charm.  But then I saw my hair.  I went to the bathroom and tried to control the curly, frizzy, red-headed mess that I had spent years fighting, managing and then accepting.  I smoothed it, I scrunched it with damp hands, I adjusted and bobby-pinned and prayed. 

As I walked into the conference room turned photography studio, the photographer took one look at me and said, “I’ll give you a minute to fix your hair”. 

“I did!” I responded, feeling moderately rejected.  He raised his eyebrow, looking from the mirror to me with a suggesting look.  “Sir,” I said, gritting my teeth, “this is as good as it’s going to get”. 

He shrugged and started snapping pictures, visibly upset and with only half the enthusiasum I thought I deserved said, “smile and say yesssssss!”. 

Afterward he handed me his business card.  “E-mail which picture you like the best and I’ll photoshop out all that redness on your face”.  I stared dumbfounded.  “And your nose stud needs to be photoshopped out too.  You want to look professional, right?”  Shot down, rejected.  I had no idea how to respond as I just hung my head in shame and walked back to my desk.  Fuck being a grown-up, I thought, and started Facebooking. 

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Like chefs judged meals, we judged funerals

Death is the one grown-up thing I am actually good at, oddly enough.  Another find on my computer:

On Dying

              The last funeral I attended was for Deanna, an elderly woman I was a caretaker for as she lost her battle with cancer.  As I stood peering down at her open casket, my best friend Gigi—who also cared for Deanna in her final days, gripping my hand at my side, I heard my mother whisper to a neighbor “Terrible embalming job.  Look at her mouth!”  I turned slowly to look at my mother, who was standing to my right, my eyes wide as I took a sharp intake of breath.

                “Oh, honey.  I’m so sorry,” she said, reaching out to touch my shoulder.  She turned back to the neighbor.  “It’s terrible, but I can’t help it.”  My mother was the daughter of a mortician.  I knew she couldn’t help it, because if I wouldn’t have been so wrecked with grief, I would have been participating in the conversation.  We judged.  We judged embalming jobs, casket choices, what the deceased were wearing, how they did their hair, the services, music, and quality of the hearses.  Like chefs judged others’ meals, we judged funerals. 


                My grandfather lived about the funeral home he once owned.  Walking through the basement, we’d pass the dead bodies on gurneys or in caskets.  We liked to look at their socks.  The medal of honor goes to a small, blue haired old woman wearing rainbow striped toe socks. 

                This was my second funeral in ten weeks, fourth funeral since fall and would round out to an even seven deaths in the course of twelve months.  They happened in threes and almost always during midterms or finals.  When my uncle and old soccer coach died within two weeks of each other, I tiptoed around waiting for the third.  When Health Ledger died suddenly, I quickly counted him as my third and declared that chapter closed. 

                Shortly after turning 22, I sat down at my computer one day to write my last will and testament.  I had just started working for a Foundation in Washington DC that not only promised long hours for very little pay, but as I learned upon my first day of training, life insurance— a whole $10,000 dollars.  I laughed at first as I realized how little I was worth to my new employers and then looked blankly at the line marked “recipient”.  I got to choose who got the money, which I found even more amusing. 

                I considered for a moment before filling my best friend Louisa’s first and last name on the line.  I could break it up into percentages.  Next to her name I wrote 75%, allotting my mother the rest to cover the cost of my funeral, figuring my uncle Danny—who took over the family funeral home from my grandfather—would allow for a sizable family discount.  Louisa had enough money in student loans to buy a very expensive car.  I figured she could pay off a small chunk and buy herself a very nice pair of shoes.  This way she could remember me fondly as she pursued her desired career path of academia and as she tramped down the streets of Chicago in what would undoubtedly be an impossibly high pair of black stilettos or a new pair of Frye boots. 

                I wondered frequently about my impending death.  More so then any other 22 year old girl I had met without any immediately life threatening illness or impairments.  I blamed it on my family.  My grandfather and handful of my mother’s cousins were funeral directors boasting three Dougherty Family Funeral Homes throughout the state of Minnesota.  After my uncle took over the family business, my grandfather sold him the family farm and my grandparents moved into the large, remodeled apartment on top of the funeral home.  As a child, when we told our friends we were going to visit our grandparents at the funeral home, they stared at us in horror that we could be so casual about our beloved Papa or Grandma’s deaths.  They didn’t realize that was the location for holiday dinners.

                As children, my cousins and I used to traipse around the funeral home after business hours playing roller hockey in the chapels and daring each other to climb into the caskets in the show room.  During wakes, my grandmother would hush us as we ran around their apartment as to not disrupt the events one floor below us.  If we held our ear to the beige carpet underneath the coffee table in the living room, we could overhear the sentiments of the decease’s loved ones.   With all of this, it was undoubtedly that my cousins and I formed an odd fascination and respect for death.

                I wondered as I sat cross-legged on my friend’s futon staring at the blank document screen on my computer, what was it that I wanted when I died?  I had no doubt in my mind that it wouldn’t be for a very long time, but if anything, I could never be accused of not being organized.  I wondered, as most people did I assumed, who would come to my funeral?  What would my mother, bless her heart, choose to be sung at my funeral if I died at a young age?  At 22, I had lived across the United States—raised in Minnesota, spent my summers during high school in Santa Rosa, California, college in Chicago, seven months in Washington DC.   Would my friends fly to Minnesota?  How would they even find out that I perished- most likely in a freak accident at my age?  They were thoughts that consumed me for an entire day at least once a month.  It was worse when actual people in my life had died in that time period.  And I say actual people because I made a habit of reading the obituaries for my local Minneapolis newspaper online once a week to make sure no one I knew, even remotely, had passed away.   A ridiculous habit, I will admit, but something that I felt I could at least blame on my family.  I still remember sitting across the kitchen table at my mother’s one morning in high school, the newspaper flapped open in my lap as we sipped our coffee and finished off breakfast stating, “Oh wow, a 24 year old died in a car accident in Maplewood”.  She shook out the Business Section and laughed replying, “oh god, sweetheart, you are so much like me”. 

                There was something about death that seemed to final to me.  Obviously, these people were never coming back—whether it be the day Kurt Vonnegut died or my own grandmother.  Final, finite, finis, the end. 

                I started to jot down a list of requests.  In my young life, I had yet to master the art of walking in high heels—despite my lovely collection, so bury me in my scuffed brown Frye boots and that turquoise dress I wore to my college graduation.  If the undertaker tries to blow-dry my hair, it will get all frizzy, so let it air dry and use a booby-pin to clip the hair back on the left side of my head.  My preferred make-up routine is mascara and Chapstick.  My favorite song of all time was “I Sing the Body Electric” from the old movie Fame.  I would like that to play as my casket leaves the church on the way to my burial and under no circumstances can it be wheeled—you all must carry my dead weight while doing a little dance. 

                When my cousin died, they buried him wearing a flannel shirt and khakis, a pack of his favored cigarette brand—Camel Lights— on his chest and a truck made out of Legos by his two year old son at his side.  I felt that I needed entertainment beyond the veil and would like to request a pack of Parliament Lights, a bottle of Jack Daniels and my new Ray Ban sunglasses.  A book of something light and my Ipod would also be nice—for at no matter what phase in life, everyone needs theme music. 

                I wondered who would take my things.  My friend Kate, whose couch I was still sitting on, came home as I was writing down my ideas and demanded that she inherit my journals.  “They’ll be hilarious to read as I sob because I miss you so much,” she said. 

                “Holy shit,” I replied, “no one should know what I wrote in those things.”

                “We have the same size feet,” she replied, “so I get your shoes at least and don’t expect me to give back your trunk”.  She had agreed to store my old fashion steamer trunk a year earlier while I was in Europe and had yet to return it. 

                I wrote down her requests, left her and Louisa to fight over my clothes and my books to my father.  My two younger brothers could split what little I would have in my bank account and Tara could get my snowboard.  My mother my artwork and frequent flyer miles, my roommates my furniture.  My American Girl Dolls, stored in my mother’s basement since I was a child, could be given to Sage, the four year old I had nannied for most recently. 

                I considered the mass of people that I had adopted into my life during my short years: family, friends, neighbors, roommates, teammates, extended family I considered immediate, friend’s parents, former employers.  I had expanded my heart to allow each and every person into it, but with that, the knowledge of their inevitable death consumed me.  My mother was one of twelve children, my father one of three—that alone amassed to twenty-eight funerals for my aunts and uncles in the next fifty years. 

                It seemed to me as of late that death was frequent.  A handful of celebrities had died in quick succession at the start of summer—my childhood celebrity crush Patrick Swayze (circa Footloose, not Roadhouse) included.  My friend from Washington DC, “Other” Rachel, had recently learned her father was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.  A couple of months later, as her dad laid in hospice care, her mother suffered a terrible stroke that left her unable to speak.  As she flew home for Christmas, her parents were in a shared room in a Boston hospital.  Rachel faced the disaster and inevitable death of her parents with passionate denial, choosing to pretend that everything was fine, as opposed to dealing with her own personal and family issues.  She gave the counter of everything I tried to not do when faced with grief. 

                Rachel’s situation launched a series of conversations among our group of friends—almost entirely behind her back of course, about how we individually had dealt with similar situations in the past and how we envisioned our family role if the same situation—heaven forbid—were to ever befall our own families.  Many of us couldn’t imagine the sudden loss of faith that Rachel was feeling in the world, but her hands-off approach to the situation, refusal to talk about her feelings or even answer her family’s phone calls, left us all stunned.  I considered my own situation.  Not many people had attended funerals with the frequency I had, nor spent their childhoods playing in funeral home parking lots, judging embalming jobs or washing the Cadillac hearses as a favor to our grandfather.  Despite my knowledge that I was for lack of a better word jaded to death, meaning that it wasn’t a infrequent occurrence in my life—whether it be a funeral I attended or simply listened to with my ear to the floor, I knew my process of grieving was pro-active.  I didn’t do denial, I did problem solving.  Making the phone calls, dropping off casseroles, mail cards, offer favors, pass along information, vacuuming the house etc.  

                When my new roommate, Risa, came home from work in early December and said her grandmother had passed away after a long downturn due to Alzheimer’s, the other roommate Megan and I first consoled her and then regaled her with stories of our own family bouts with the disease.  My great-grandmother threw her shoes at the nurses; Meghan’s grandmother used to run away, shouting about how the “damn Italians” ran her family store out of business.  One of my cousins, Thomas Bretto, passed away suddenly when I was in the eighth grade.  I was late getting to the wake, arriving after our family and many friends had moved from the chapel to my grandparent’s apartment for dinner.  At 13, I was stunned that my cousin’s peers sat in a circle in the living room, beers in hand laughing while telling stories about Thomas.  I thought it was a time to grieve, to be silent and reflect, but learned that day that grieving should be a celebration of the life, in addition to a chance to mourn it. 

                Dying, death and then grief cycle through people in different ways.  The Kubler-Ross Grief Cycle states that we begin with denial, move to anger, then bargaining, depression and finally acceptance.  Within that cycle develops new habits, tradition and routines.   My family tends to eat, drink and tell stories.  In the summertime, we participate in a family ritual known as commandoing—pencil diving off of a motor boat going full speed in honor of the deceased.   My grandfather recently turned 93 years old.  As the only surviving husband from him and my grandmother’s peer group, he takes the widowers out on dates.  My aunts and uncles throw a party every year on the anniversary of my grandmother’s death. Gigi and I go on “Deanna Dates” having lunch at her favorite restaurant Lucia’s in Minneapolis before visiting her headstone. 

                People have many things to live for, goals to obtain.  My grandfather goes fishing in Canada every September.  We joked during the summer months that trip alone would keep him alive through the fall.  When the trip came and went this year, we set a new goal for him to reach—the birth of a new great-grandchild due in late November, the last Christmas on the family farm before it sold, a wedding.  I know my mother will live a long life, if only to peer down at my first child on the day of her birth and say to me, “what a beautiful baby, I hope she is just like you” and then wait by the phone to field my hysterical phone calls with a sense of satisfaction.

                People say that life is short—but life is as long as you can stretch it.  Some days will be fair, some great and some a disappointment but allow for each day to be stupendous in its own individual way.  We make aspirations, obtain them and then set new ones.  When I go, whether it be in my thirties or my nineties, I hope it is swift and dignified enough to allow me an open casket.  I pray my parents are not alive—as no one should have to bury a child, that there are people in attendance to confess my secrets, retell my mishaps and most importantly— float the keg. 

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The Job Hunt

It’s 9pm on a Wednesday and I am in bed.  Sons of Anarchy DVD cued (what I would do for a Harley and the life of an outlaw), pajamas on, teeth brushed- it’s a school night after all.  Digging through my old documents on my computer, I found something a wrote almost a year ago.  At that time, I’d been looking for a big girl job for almost six months.  Reading it now- 10 months into the one I landed and to be honest, searching for another one, it was interesting to take another read at my perspective. 

The Job Hunt

My friend Sparks and I met my first year of college when I joined the rugby team.  A year older and a year wiser, Sparks took me under her wing not only to school me on rugby regulations, but life as well.  It had been almost two years since I had last seen her on the patio at our favorite Chicago bar before we went our separate ways.  After graduation, I had taken off for Europe, spending 2 months with a backpack, a map and good faith before moving to Washington DC.  Sparks had set sail, spending the last 2 years working on tall ships sailing around the East Coast, The Bahamas, Mexico and Florida. 

Two years out and none the wiser about what we wanted to be when we grew up, we went through the list of potentials: law school (for her), grad school (for me), Peace Corps, Americorps (not in a million years), Teach for America, a real job.  Both of us had recently been offered staff assistant positions in our various fields.  She was debating a move to Maine, while I was coming to terms that if I accepted the job, I was stuck in DC for at least a year.  Neither of us knew what city we want to live in, what we want to do or any idea where we saw ourselves in ten years.  After hashing out our options until last call and the bar turned their lights on, I solicited advice from my cab driver that night about what to do.  He told me to follow my dreams—seemingly excellent and clear advice, but I wasn’t sure what my dreams were…or are, for that matter.    

Six months after I graduated college, with a 2 month whirlwind tour of Europe and 2 month spent on my mother’s couch under my belt, I moved out to Washington DC to work for the Close Up Foundation.  I knew 4 people in the greater DC area all over the age of fifty, had convinced two girls in Friendship Heights to let me move in sight-unseen and hopped on a plane.  Landing at National on the 1st of the year, I watched my luggage circle toward me and considered crying. 

Moving to DC was a series of small victories and missteps.  I had to make friends, navigate a new city, learn new rules and expectations, figure out the metro schedule, buy khakis.  I suddenly lived in a place where people wanted to you to answer the question what do you do? As opposed to what are you about?  There were many things I hate about DC—and still do.  I have yet to find more than a stretch of 4 days where I am in love with the city.  But I love how everyone is from a different place and we are all mashed together.  There is something phenomenal about getting lost and winding up at the Lincoln Memorial, watching the 4th of July fireworks on the National Mall or having friends whose parents hold fancy positions in the US government. 

I jumped ship in July after being in DC for seven months.  I was recently laid off, homesick and had seen the expected high temperatures for the rest of the summer.  I stole away to my mother’s cabin where I laid on the dock, read books and spent time with my family.  Each morning I would awake with a panic attack forming in my chest and the thought of being unemployed.  It took until almost noon to unclench my jaw, a glass of wine before dinner to relax my shoulders and by 8, I would be comfortable with my situation. 

I have always been a planner.  I knew I went from high school to college, what assignments were due next week, exactly how many days I had before I ran out of clean clothes.  I was organized, could multi-task and rarely dropped the ball.  Yet, I never planned for after college.  I never thought about it because in retrospect, I couldn’t rationalize the end of college and that lifestyle in my mind.  When people ask me—well, what did you want to be when you grew up?  What did you see your life as?  I don’t know, I respond, but surely not this. 

I am 22 years old, a year and a half out of college.  I have essentially have no viable skills or natural talent, had no idea how to even go about getting a job, a degree that cost well over $100,000.  After being in DC almost a year, I have learned things, tricks of the trade if you will.  Through trial and error, I figured out how to write a cover letter, how to improve my resume, how to expand the truth.  I now excel at awkward situations—also known as networking.  I collect business cards like old men collect stamps, go on informational interviews, can hold conversations with relative strangers and pretend I care. 

I nanny to pay the bills, volunteer on the weekend, intern at a healthcare lobby shop (unpaid of course) to bolster my experience—an internship I got after 3 glasses of wine at a reception my mother dragged me to, work for a foundation that teaches at-risk kids how to snowboard on the weekend.  I am consistently doing things that will make me more marketable as a candidate.  I feel hopelessly straddled on the fence between education and actually using my political science degree.  I don’t know if I can see myself in a traditional classroom setting but at the same time, I don’t want to be one of those K Street stiffs—besides, I still feel like a little girl trying on her mommy’s clothes every time I put a suit on.

I have finally become comfortable being a second class DC citizen working as a nanny, as opposed to some fancy job on the Hill or one of the departments—Treasury, Justice, etc.  The stress of being a big girl had subsided, I was comfortable trading my dry clean only pants for blue jeans.  I was going to stick it out with my 4 year old Sage until June and then come hell or high water start some sort of teaching program whether it be Teach for America or a Fellowship program.

And then came a phone call at 4:30 on a Friday.  I was halfway through my work day with my Sage, stirring homemade spaghetti sauce in the kitchen at what my friends had dubbed “the big house”, the dog walker had just shown up with their seven year old Veshla who was vying for dinner, Sage was demanding cranberry juice and then my phone rings.  “Can you come in for an interview?”

The call came from  a company my aunt had submitted my resume to over a month ago.  They were hiring for a staff assistant position—fancy DC speak for making coffee and answering the phones.  The following Monday, I put on my business suit and marched down to K Street (ironic, I know).  Two interviews and an hour later, I was out the door.  I handed over my references, waited outside a busy Panera during lunch time the following afternoon to have a phone interview with the CEO and president and a mere 3 days later, was hired. 

I suddenly had benefits, a job that required me to dust off my black slacks and high heels.  I made a solemn promise to myself to erase “potty” from my vocabulary, make a solid effort to control my unruly curly, red hair and declared myself a grown-up.  I was no longer a second class DC citizen.  I had a job with a retirement plan, health insurance and stress.  I was a big girl!  Wait, I was a big girl?  What. The. Fuck. 

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Gift from a co-worker.  I’m either concerned for my work image or incredibly impressed she

Gift from a co-worker.  I’m either concerned for my work image or incredibly impressed she knows my feelings so well. 

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Making decisions: what’s the worst that can happen?

Before jobs and responsibilities ruined summer, my cousins and I loved nothing more than spending our time between school years up at the cabin in Northern Minnesota- swimming all day, going on boat rides to drink stolen beer and getting high and watching The Breakfast Club at night. 

Our last summer of freedom, we were enjoying a sunny July day out on the boat waterskiing and tubing.  I’m sure a couple beers and a couple of bowls in, my cousin Sam suggested we commando– a time honored family tradition in which we pencil dived off the boat sans life jackets at full speed. 

“We’re pretty high, Sam,” someone very logically pointed out.

“Well, what’s the worst that could happen?” he asked.

“We could die”.

“At least we know,” he said, before jumping out of the moving boat.  We all followed. 

And we didn’t die.  We lived and it was super fun.  We assessed what’s the worst that could happen? and decided that we were OK with potentially dying at that very moment.  And it is how I’ve assessed a large majority of life choices ever since.  The thought process:

  • That doesn’t sound like a good idea.
  • What’s the worst that could happen?
  • I could __________ (die, get fired, get arrested, be poor, not have clean clothes).
  • Decide if I am OK with the worst case scenario (I’ve got a grip of life insurance, mom would bail me out, mom would bail me out, I’ll buy new ones)

And if I am comfortable with the worst possible outcome I can think of, I do it.  Sometimes it works.  Sometimes it doesn’t.  Either way, I do know this is not how grown-ups make life choices.  But I’m sticking to it.  I think.  At least for now. 

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doin’ the grown-up

There is a pivotal point in every young person’s life in which we are forced to trade our Chuck Taylor high-tops for high heels, leaving the dive bar at sunrise for a 9-5 and embrace the fact that our glory days of day drinking and making irrational decisions in regards to our own life, liberty and pursuit of happiness are gone. 

For some, this transition comes smoothly.  For those that had the sound decision making skills to attend career fairs and have a really great college internship on Obama’s campaign and show up to class not only sober, but with their homework done and hair brushed, can morph from ripped jeans to perfectly pressed business suits like lightning. 

For those kids- who managed to get their law school applications in during fall finals and knew exactly what they wanted to do after graduation and had never entered public with the +21 hand stamp from the night before on their foreheads, becoming a grown-up was a metamorphosis they welcomed with ease, shielded with their fancy resumes and smart phones. 

For me, it has been a far different story, one that has spanned months of wardrobe and verbal malfunctions.  You’d think I’d learn and to be fair, progress has been made.  But each and every single day is still an adventure- my motto being win some, lose some.  While at this point, I think I’m finally winning more then losing, most days are a toss-up, in which it is really anyone’s bet. 

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