Month: June 2014

Oops

Have you ever had one of those tiny moments that just feels like everything is about to go wrong? Like, you stub your toe harder than usual, and suddenly everything you’ve done up until that point in your life has been a complete and utter disaster and a total waste of time? Because you stubbed your toe, and everything is now terrible.

That was me, these last two weeks—constantly on the cusp of that feeling. 

It all seemed to start when I sat in pee on the bus. I had every intention of getting “back on track” (whatever that means), of collecting myself, and working hard at maturity and responsibility and planning and blah blah blah blah blah. And then I sat in pee, and everything went to hell.

Remember those goals I had? Those minimal goals that were so easy a child could do them without parental supervision? The hope of making my bed and not binge watching TV like a shut-in? Well folks, I am here to finally admit that I achieved almost NONE of them.

Now before you write me off as an ambitionless disaster with no potential, let me explain. While I will fully admit to what my manager refers to “falling down,” I think I started this project with the wrong mentality.

Every writer has a list of things they have to do before they start writing. For me, it’s “I have to have a clean room to write.” Totally idiotic, right? I know, objectively, that I don’t need a clean bedroom to write, but I will procrastinate personal writing for so long when my room is a mess. Why? Because I am convinced I will be distracted if I see that beer can out of the corner of my eye, or the dirty red wine glass (yes, I am a slob). The motivation will sap right out of me if I have a messy room. Is this always the case? Of course not! But it is something of which I have fully convinced myself. I can’t write in a messy room.

When I sat down on the bus that day, ready to take on work and get excited about the “rest of my life,” I kind of got slapped in the face by this pee. Sort of like trying to work in a messy bedroom, the pee felt like a step backward. I had tried so hard to mature and be an adult and get my life together, that when I had to work in pee-covered pants, I just felt like everything I was doing was a sham. I’m not an adult. I have someone else’s PEE ON MY BUTT FOR GOODNESS SAKES. I mean, what am I trying to do? Just quit already, because clearly what you’re doing is all a joke. You’re not an adult, I told myself, you are a disaster just waiting to happen.

Over the weekend, my cat had to get rushed to emergency. There was a problem with his bladder (there is a theme of pee in my life…) that could have been fatal if we didn’t treat it immediately. This ridiculous adventure has me and my roommate out WAY TOO MUCH money. I laid down on the fake hardwood of my apartment and cried for him and my brand new credit card debt.

A week ago, when I told a woman she couldn’t use our bathroom without making a purchase, she returned to my store twenty minutes later to berate me about not being a “good Christian.”

On Wednesday my OkCupid date bailed an hour before we were supposed to meet, messaging me while I was in the shower shaving (for the first time in like a month—it’s slow around these parts).

And guess what? I have focused on these tiny disasters so acutely that for a few weeks, I convinced myself that this WAS all a sham. That I wasn’t a “real” adult, that my whole plan to fake it until I make it was actually not working, and that of the successes that I thought I was experiencing were really just luck of the draw. That being an adult was something you could just bail out of. I quit, I’m moving to Cincinnati with my sister and never trying again. 

Oh the naiveté. I can probably do a backflip sooner than I can bail out of being an adult (which, mind you, I don’t think I will ever have the flexibility to do). 

But I have to do it.

So now we will try to focus on the positive aspects. It will feel impossible some days, of this I am fully aware. Some morning I will miss my alarm and sleep until 1, but I am still an adult. I can’t ignore it, there is no escape hatch. We are growing up, getting older, forcing ourselves into maturity. We can let it drown us, focusing on all of our failures, or we can accept the failures and move past them. We’re all just trying, very hard, to be better versions of ourselves. We let other’s have a break now and then, so let’s do it for ourselves.

This week, I failed. I fell down, I didn’t get to the point I want to be at. I’m about to drink a beer that a fly landed in—but I’m trying. I’m trying so very hard, because I don’t know what else to do. I am going to fail a lot. I am going to spill my coffee all down my front and face the reality of the farce I’m putting on. But I can’t bail out. I need to focus on the positive.

We are all growing up. We are bumbling through this madness like dancers with no coordination. I’m sorry if we bump into each other. But let’s embrace and help each other with the steps. I am a walking disaster most days, but some days I can convince myself I’m a real dancer. I’ll keep your secret if you keep mine.

I Sat in Pee

Hello, internet. It’s another week, and while I did have some lofty goals, I thought I’d share with you some of my more embarrassing moments, just so you don’t think I have my life too together.

When I first moved to back to Minneapolis, I had some major nerves about getting around in downtown. In college, I lived in the suburbs, and very rarely ventured to the city. It was scary and hard to manage. And this, of course, was all before smart phones and GPS so my mother had me fully convinced if I got lost my car would break down and I would most likely get robbed and shot (cities are terrifying! was the message). When I moved back I had grown more confident (and had an iPhone), but downtown parking was a remarkably steep $9 a day. As someone with a coffee shop income, I couldn’t make the math work. Enter: Minneapolis Metro Transit.

The first day I rode the bus, I had some major swass. Yes, you read that right. For the unfamiliar, swass is a combination of two words. Can you guess them?

With a sweating behind I watching the dot on Google Maps slide up the screen through the blocks. Was it 3rd or 4th Ave that I was supposed to get off at? How do I tell the bus driver I want to get off? Does it just stop? What if it doesn’t stop? Can I stand up while the bus is moving? Which door do I leave out of? Does the door shut on me? What if something gets stuck? What if I leave my wallet? What if I can’t get off in time? Do I say something or wait until the next stop?

As a kid from the ‘burbs (where my experience with buses was limited to a bus picking me up at my house and me getting off once it stopped at school), riding the bus terrified me. I worried about everything–from not having the right change, to which which side the street to get on. In this tiny moment were so many strange stresses. And you want to know what? I haven’t thought of any of these stresses in almost a year.

A few days ago I got on the bus and sat down, and suddenly my butt was wet. But it wasn’t the swass (which I usually now only have before a date or an interview), but it was something else. On a good day, I would have pretended that it was a wet grocery bag. On the day it happened however, I walked into work and announced “I SAT IN PEE” probably louder than I should have at a quiet coffee shop. As awful as the experience was, I can’t help but find it somewhat hilarious, and a little comforting. (Hear me out!) While it was absolutely gross and terrible that I sat in pee while on the bus–that was the only awful thing that happened to me on the bus. I got on at the right time to get me to work, heading the right direction. I knew which stop to pull the string for, and which direction to walk once I got off. I knew where to pick up the bus again when I got back on (in my pee covered pants–GENTLEMEN, I’M SINGLE), and I knew where to get off. And I haven’t had to worry about these things in over a year.

I wish I could have told past-me about this experience. That someday she’d sit in pee and it would somehow be both awful and hilarious. And that she’d survive all of the tiny stresses that seemed almost impossible to overcome when she started this adventure. Maybe I knew it objectively, but until you live it, you can never really trust yourself. Adventure and new experiences may initially give you nerves, but someday they won’t any more. It is important to put yourself into new moments and to experience new things. Someday, it might not be so terrifying.

Now. Let’s talk again after this swass-inducing OkCupid date on Wednesday.