It’s Friday. And in the words of Tom Haverford, Treat Yo’ Self.
Everyone seems to be putting out lists of regret sorts: “25 Things I Wish I Knew…”, “10 Things Someone Should Have Told Me”, etc. And I for one, am sick of it. Why reflect back on life with wishes? Regrets? So here’s mine:
25 Things I’m Damn Proud of and Glad I Did By the Time I Was 25
- I studied abroad out of the college setting. In today’s world, it seems like you’re a rarity if you don’t study abroad in college. But going in high school was quite the wake up call. Living in a city where you don’t speak the language at the age of 17 is mortifying. Living in an apartment with 6 other people is hell. Using a “hose” to bathe with really makes you wish for the days your biggest problem was the shower ran out of hot water.
- I quit a job. And not like a part-time job (because I don’t think I ever “formally” quit the Dairy), but like a full-blown grown-up job complete with a resignation letter. And yea, doing it during the downfall of the economy just made it that much more exciting. I felt like an adult. An adult who knew what she wanted and was going to go and get it.
- I got fired. And again, like a real, full-time-with-benefits kind of job. Talk about an ego blow. Talk about knocking you off your high horse. Talk about a moment of “Holy Mother what do I do now?!” I learned you can lean on people you never imagined. I learned life goes on. And I learned that if you’re going to be unemployed, Chicago in the summertime is the perfect place to host the event.
- I made a lasting impression. After helping Louise secure funding for her sculpture, there today, at one of the busiest LUAS stops in Dublin stands my Summer 2007 work. It will be there forever. Carrying with it graffiti from hooligans and snapped in tourist pictures as they make their way to the Guinness Factory for a tour.
- I read. Even after the 600-minute club stopped, I still had a healthy appetite for books. And I still do. I’m so glad I learned how a book can cure any ailment.
- I answered the volunteer call. I don’t remember when it happened, but at some point during childhood, I learned that volunteering isn’t volunteering; it’s just doing what’s right. I’m still so amazed when people are like “Oh my gosh! That’s so great you volunteer!” When my reaction is just simply, of course I do!
- I realized the benefits of a public library. Public libraries in Chicago are insane. Books for a month, DVDs for a week and museum passes for a week good for up to 10 people. Seriously, thank you ChiPubLib for satisfying my culture palette.
- I do activities you would never do alone. This includes movies, eating at restaurants, going to events, etc. Learning to just be with yourself is scary and so rewarding. Opens your eyes to new ideas, people and more importantly, who you really are.
- I moved away. While others still wonder why I have yet to move back to St. Louis since I left in 2004, I’m proud that I haven’t. I would have fallen back into a groove I already created. Instead, I’m exploring new cities, new time zones and new people.
- I drove cross-country. Granted, Katie and I nearly killed each other in Western Kansas, we made it. And we learned a ton about each other in those few short days than we’ve learned in our 3-year friendship. I know that girl inside and out. And I know that the sweet sounds of Enrique Iglesias can elicit euphoria in two gals.
- I lived without a car. After being fortunate enough to have a car early on, I’m used to the luxury. After moving to Chicago, the luxury became a hassle. A costly one. And then…
- I mastered public transit. Growing up without public transit and all of a sudden having to use it takes a bit to get used to. But now I know how to map my route (with the help of Google Maps) to anywhere in the city. I’ve even grocery shopped with it and lived to tell the tales.
- I asked a boy on a date. Man, that seriously is so nerve-racking. And I now have a new appreciation for all boys who continue to do this. The guy I asked said yes, we had a great time and then things didn’t work out. We’re still friends and he still says that’s one of the things he’s always liked about me, my assertiveness.
- I asked for help. After getting fired/let go, I realized I lived in one expensive city. So I asked for help from my mom, who fortunately could help me. And while it was hard to swallow at 24, I think it made me humble. Made me appreciate what I’ve known was always there. And made me more willing to help a friend when they need it, even if that just means buying them a bottle of wine or some Ben & Jerry’s. Because I’ll probably be there again too.
- I didn’t change. Some people might think that when they hear, “God you’re just like you were at 17” is an insult. But I don’t. I’ve stayed true to the person I was. I’ve always shown my true colors. And I will always continue to do so. I now the kind of person I am. I own her. And my interests at the age of 13 are pretty similar to interests today. That shows passion, not the fact I still might be immature.
- I tried seafood. I’m not a huge fan. But I’ve tried it at various points of my life. And with enough sauce, butter, salt, you totally cannot even taste that fishiness. Sometimes something you thought was so scary younger (eating things that could potentially rise from the dead and swim in your stomach), isn’t all that bad these days.
- I never lived alone. I know everyone harps on how you need to live alone, but frankly, I’m glad I never did. Yea, I’ve had terrible roommates that make me wish I lived alone. But then I remember the few amazingly awesome roommates I have had. And then I remember how if you live alone and start choking, you could potentially suffocate and die and no one would know. Yea, I’m pretty glad I never lived alone.
- I don’t have regrets. Looking back, there are definitely dumb things I’ve done. But I’m not wishing it never happened. They provided life lessons. And some hilarity (but only when looking back, at the moment, not very funny). Besides, wishing and hoping doesn’t lead to a whole lot of doing.
- I started a journal. I’ve got a lot of journals, from travel to Ireland to happiness to quote to texts…It never ends. And man, they provide the best laughter in my day. When I’m struggling to find something that made me happy on the day, I flip back to that day in past years. I find that I got excited over a phone call with Jeremy. Or the fact Grey’s was on. Or the fact a class got cancelled. Really puts things into perspective for you.
- I went on a blind date. And now I don’t have to waste my prime dating years on ever doing that again. Seriously, that can really make you zero in on what you want from the dating world and in a potential partner.
- I achieved some goals. I firmly believe that writing down your goals makes you more determined to meet them. So I started doing that. And I started achieving some. Which is an awesome feeling of self-worth. And a great practice to continue throughout your years.
- I found a mentor. I have many mentors in my life, but this was my first stranger, real world mentor. After reviewing my favorite paper store on Yelp!, the owner contacted me and thanked me for my kind words. That was a year ago. She helped me work through my unemployment. She kept me to continue my path of excellence in this world. She continues to inspire me.
- I wore my confidence proudly. Starting in the real world takes a certain air in a person. Moving to a new city where you know no one takes a certain kind of boldness. I’ve always worn my confidence on the heart of my sleeve. I’m glad I realized the importance of this characteristic early on. It’s definitely gotten me to where I am, and more importantly, where I’ve been.
- I got a disease that can’t be cured. Getting Rheumatoid at a younger age made me really value life and my life and things that I can do, while other sufferers can’t. While I know my road ahead is a long one, I’m thankful that I get to spend years managing this disease. I have the time to constantly search for a new medicine to try out. I’m confident that whatever comes my way, I can find a solution, both a short-term and a long-term. I lost my fear of needles, which was huge.
- I plunged a toilet. Growing up with just a mom around, I have seen a woman figure out how to catch a mouse intruder, plunge a toilet, kill bugs and mow a lawn. These factors have made me very desirable as a roommate. Also, Lisa legitimately called me to come over in college to kill a spider. They’re things my friends truly admire about me.
Your turn! What do you think is something everyone should do by the time they’re 25?
An ex flame from college sent me an email with the subject: “Wow Look At You Now.” Despite not really enjoying this person anymore, I was intrigued so I opened the email.
He put in the lyrics of Travis’ “Watch in the Window.” I’m 90% sure this wasn’t ever a “song” of ours, so I was still intrigued.
He followed up saying this song is so beautiful and he heard it this morning on the way to work and immediately thought of me.
Weird. This song is about happy couples and the mark they can leave on the world together (i.e. children). And he and I are not a happy couple. Nor making babes, anytime ever.
At any rate, the song is amazing and it’s on repeat today. But I’m a bit creeped out by the fact HE sent. So I picture running through a flower field to Mr. Fifth Floor who rode the elevator with me this morning.
Wednesday night’s concert was amazing. Nay. It was better than amazing. It was unlike anything I have ever been to.
First off, the venue (Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park) is one of the coolest places to watch a concert. Why? Because you’re surrounded by Chicago skyline, right off the lake and that big shiny bean is on your immediate left. It’s like you’re in a symphony hall towards the front, and just lounging on the lawn in the back. Totally fantastic.
Second, a David Gray/Ray LaMontagne co-headline tour is heaven. It seriously is. Take two guys who have some of the best lyrics in music, tons of hits and raspy voices and you have yourself one hell of a show. Granted Ray did not play my favorite song (Hannah) but that’s okay, because I probably would have peed myself considering he moved me to tears on “Let It Be Me” and David Gray did the same on “This Year’s Love.”
Third, these guys boast quite the song collection, but they still managed to play nearly every song you would ever want to hear. I love when artists do that. Despite both of these guys coming out with new albums last week, they still got up on that stage and played the songs we all know and love. No self-serving prophecy, just giving a nod to all the fans they’ve had over the years.
Fourth, the weather was perfect. Thank you Mother Nature.
Just try to tell me this video doesn’t give you chills…
Yesterday, The Frisky continued their Nerd Girl Porn series with Funny Men. Basically, funny men who are hot. I must say, I agreed with nearly half of their picks. There is something about someone who can cut a joke (especially if it’s at their expense). I feel like girls always say, “I want someone with a sense of humor.” But it takes a real gal to truly appreciate the gift of side-splitting. And this gal does.
There’s a lot to be said for making people laugh. Did you know that that’s all some people have? It isn’t much, but it’s better than nothing in this cockeyed caravan. ~Sullivan’s Travels
Where in the world was Seth Meyers though?! He’s definitely my #1…Oh and Ben Stiller too…
Here are the ones I whole-heartedly agree with. Thanks The Frisky!
“You get one ‘Get out of Jail Free’ card from me during your 25th year. One. And you used it within two weeks. 50 more weeks mistake free.” ~Maggie
I don’t know what was my favorite moment of yesterday, so let’s just give a brief recap and then take it to the comments:
1) Augustana played for 2 hours. And they started it off with a cover of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” Heaven. And their new songs are pretty stellar. (Shameless plug) Album drops in October.
2) Free drinks and food. We literally ate a piece of Shake ‘N Bake Chicken off a cucumber that rested on crushed peanuts. And the specialty cocktail was “The Regal” and it was lemonade. All great, great things.
3) River East Art Center. The venue is totally cool, modern, chic and then boom, you walk outside and you sit along the river. I really hope one of my friends has a wedding reception there. Or Buick has another launch party that I’m invited to.
4) Meeting Augustana and then a birthday serenade. After I tell him how we used to sit in the dorms listening to “Boston” on repeat when we were in fights with our boyfriends, I then follow-up with “It’s my birthday!” They chose to focus on the latter part of the information I provided.
5) Text from Papa Wern at 11:59 pm: “Happy Birthday to my bonus daughter!” If I had the capability to cry, I probably would have.
6) Zac’s computer bag. He came straight from work and had to carry it around all night. The only other people at the party who had bags had book bags and were over the age of 50. I enjoyed pointing this out throughout the evening.
7) Birthday mural on the wall from the Roomie. She’s too fantastic for words.
In a nutshell, the last night of the 24th year couldn’t have been any better. And clearly 25 is about to become one stellar year. Per Kelly’s suggestion, I made my things to do in the 25th year. Think it will help shave off that quarter-life crisis.
Note: When I informed Zac that I now will have a quarter-life crisis he responded with, “Well, I bought an Audi to stay young.”
Where: River East Arts Center
What: Umm a launch party for Buick Regal, with free drinks and apps from some of the city’s finest as well as a set list from Augustana
Why: Launch party!
I. love. Thrillist. Because of Thrillist, I’m looking like a baller as I roll into this party tonight with Zac (like that Mols?). So basically it’s a huge launch/roll-out/Mixer on Acid kind of party (but sans like real acid). The River East Arts Center is a space I’ve been dying to go into so I’m pretty pumped. Should be interesting folks to say the least (Buick Regal drivers perhaps?). But nonetheless PUMPED for Augustana. I think Todd introduced them to me, he’s been trying to pay me back ever since I got him hooked on Something Corporate….
Wait dear, a white horse is walking down my street here
A few years ago, Kelly made this rule called The Seven-Year Vault. In it, locked away, were deep dark secrets, dumb mistakes and things we just wish we could forget. In theory, you are not allowed to ridicule a person based on a past memory or anecdote if it falls more than 7 years ago (it’s vaulted). And seeing as we’re coming up on our 25th bdays, that means, most of our high school shenanigans will now be vaulted. Sigh. Whatever will we do to past the time now?
Thankfully, this group of guys made up a similar vault (via Glamour’s Single-ish), The Vault of Crushes. The premise is simple, when a guy (let’s say Dan) is dating someone (let’s say Brooke) and another girl (let’s say Sarah) tells one of Dan’s friends that she thinks he’s cute, Dan’s friend vaults this crush confession. Then, when the day comes that Dan and Brooke break up, because everyone breaks up, the dude friends “Release the Kracken Crushes.”
I wish gals had a system like this. So during the mourning period, we just sit around and say who your new potential suitors should/could be. I just couldn’t help but laugh at multiple times throughout this video (note: Mom, you might not enjoy the daily banter of 20-somethings…). But seriously, gals need a break up video similar to this. No tears, no Ben & Jerry’s. Maybe a little Burning Ceremony (though don’t do it in a bathtub…) and an opening of a vault.
Another great one from The Frisky…
Meet Brian. He just moved to NYC from Milwaukee and instead of the typical dating path, he’s doing something to stand out as the alpha male in the largest U.S. city. He’s going on 30 dates in 30 days. He set up a Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and website. Basically, EDtv just birthed on the dating scene.
Here’s why I want to date this kid:
1) Clearly, he thinks in a whole different realm. If he’s putting this much thought in the strategy of dating, can you even imagine what his dates would be like?
2) I can get pointers for my new documentary/book “30 job interviews in 30 years”
3) I’ve been hesitant about traditional online dating. I’m glad Brian upped the ante on this one.
4) You know someone’s going to make a movie off this kid. Maybe a TV show? He seems like he would still be grounded in the glitz of it all. Another reason he’s sane.
5) I always loved those Coca-Cola commercials with people running with their friends on the train to a song. I’m sure we could get Brian’s friends to tape on our dates (yes, I would totally be asked back for more), edit in Final Cut and lay a fantastic track down.
Thoughts on Brian? And Chicago, step it up! Brian starts his dates on July 19. I can only imagine more commentary on the matter later this month.