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What You Don’t Realize About Moving To The City

http://dailypost.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/downtown.jpg?w=700&h=Loneliness is an interesting feeling.

Upon graduation, or if you were one of those not-college types, whenever you had the means to do so, there comes a time in everyone’s life where we are expected to spread our poor, little, struggling wings, fly the coop and become devoid of our parent’s protection, guidance, and monetary support.

But that’s totally okay, because we’re moving into the city.

The city, whichever one you choose to call your home, is the true American dream.  Getting out of your hometown is just the tip of the iceberg.  Success in the city you choose is the fulcrum of happiness and the epitome of making it out alive.

So you do your research.

You find the city that has the hippest music scene, the best deals on brunch, those hole-in-the-wall dive bars where everyone becomes a local.  You find that city, and it becomes your dream.  It becomes your destination.

Because moving there is so much better than living at home.  There’s so much to do, there’s so many new faces to meet, and jobs to attain.  But what they, whoever they are, don’t tell you, is that it doesn’t matter how many tall buildings, restaurants, bars, and people there are in that city.

Because you’re going to be lonely.

And you’re going to struggle.

And you’re going to feel what it’s like to be on your own.

And you’re going to realize that feeling alone never crossed your mind or factored into your equation.

Because loneliness is an interesting feeling.  Especially when you don’t plan for it to happen.

We live in a world where we are constantly connected.  Cell phones, applications, social media, and, if you absolutely have to, verbally.

And even though we have all the means to communicate, it still doesn’t shake the feeling of being completely and utterly helpless.  Because at the end of the day, we are on our own, in a new place, and it’s bound to happen.

The thing about being lonely, is it’s actually a good thing.  When you move to a new place, regardless if you know people, but especially if you don’t, you get to truly find what you want for yourself.

You may move to a new city with dreams of becoming a teacher, and end up in the very field your father advised you never to pursue.  Or realize that living with roommates is more trouble than it’s worth, and paying the extra money each month is better for your sanity than the few extra bucks you’ll spend going out to avoid them anyways.

We do ridiculous things to avoid boredom.  The same goes for being lonely.

Because loneliness is an interesting feeling.  You’ll find ways to combat it.

Maybe you suddenly get the urge to take up cooking, join a yoga studio, or train for a half marathon.  You’ll meet people along the way, find a few friends here and there.  Start building up a core group of people with whom you enjoy spending time.

Once you’ve moved away from home, the place where you were forced to spend time with people because you lived in the same place, you get to start over, you have the ability to find the people with the same interests, values, and goals.

You are not confined to a certain group of friends because you’re not popular, or don’t play sports.

Real Talk: No one is popular in the city. And if you think you are, you must be a celebrity or have a very inflated sense of self, and I’m going with the latter, because no one knows who anyone is unless you’re in an immediate circle of friends.

Loneliness is an interesting feeling.  So get comfortable with it.

At the end of the day, you’re making strides to better yourself.  You’re moving out, moving on, and moving into a new city.  Get comfortable with being the person that has to make hard decisions, and take heart that if they go wrong you can only blame yourself.

Get to know yourself, figure out what you want, where you want to go, and who you want surrounding you while you get there.

But most importantly, know that you’re not the only one who is lonely.

We’ve all felt alone in a city with tall buildings, millions of people, and tons of activities.

It’s part of growing up, and that takes time.  No one just uproots their life and has roses, butterflies, and rainbows greeting them when they walk in the door to their new apartment.

Most of us move and are greeted with rainy days, a mattress on the floor and a bank statement with a less than desirable account balance.

Because loneliness is an interesting feeling, but I promise you’ll get through it.

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I Gave All My Friends Breast Implants At My Thirteenth Birthday Party.

You know the saying, “patience is a virtue?”  Well, when I was thirteen there was no capacity left in me to endure my flat chested, baby body, and I decided it was time I got boobs. 

Now, before you all break out your early millenium spiral corded landlines and dial the DCF hotline to file a ten-years-too-late complaint on my mother, just know that any time you put a bunch of thirteen year old girls around things that resemble boobs, they’re all going to jump at the chance to enhance.

Case and point: At my thirteenth birthday party there were water balloons present.  We were all in bathing suits and there was not much going on up top, if you know what I mean. One thing led to another, and all of the sudden there were ten pre-teen girls resembling wet dog versions of Pamela Anderson running around my front yard.

Waterboobloons.

Waterboobloons.

I was thirteen years old, and I couldn’t wait to be sixteen.  To get my license, responsibility, and the sacred freedom from my parents to stay out later than 9pm.

When I was sixteen, I couldn’t wait to be eighteen.  To be legal and able to buy cigarettes and porn, and pretend I knew about politics.  (Aside: I did not buy porn, I wouldn’t even know where to begin in the purchasing process, but the thought seemed scandalous) 

When I was eighteen I couldn’t wait to be twenty-one, to have my first (legal) sip of alcohol, to walk into a liquor store with my real ID and not be scared of getting arrested for poorly impersonating my sorority sister from Virginia.

When I was twenty-one, I couldn’t wait to be twenty-five.  To.. well, nevermind, I didn’t think anything fun happened after twenty-one, but I just wanted to be grown up and out of college.

Looking back, there are so many instances in life where I couldn’t wait for the future.  I had plans, visions, and aspirations for my next milestone.  Sure, it’s exciting to think about the car you want to drive when you get your license, or the way you want to celebrate your twenty-first birthday.  But in reality, we spend so much time wishing for the future, that we never really enjoy the present.

If there is one thing we can take away from childhood photographs, it is to remember to take each day as it is.  If you’re twenty-five waiting for thirty, you’ll miss out on all the opportunities and advantages your twenties have to offer.

Don’t be that thirteen year old girl wishing she was sixteen, then eighteen, then twenty-one. You’ll regret caring so much about your appearance, wasting time, your allowance, and your sanity on clothes that are too expensive and won’t fit in a year.

You’ll eventually get boobs and own as many bras as your little heart desires.  You’ll get that womanly shape you see on television, and you’ll critique it just like you do to the women in the magazines.

Don’t wish for things you don’t have.  I promise you the girl who actually got boobs in fifth grade cursed her mother’s mammary glands until all her friends caught up to her three years later.

Remember that life is a gift.  Cherish it.  Revel in it.

Next thing you know you’re twenty-five and are looking at pictures of yourself when you were thirteen wondering why you took growing up so seriously.

And you also hate your boobs. 

IMPORTANT UPDATE: I Am Officially Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman.

amen. preach. yup.

amen. preach. yup.

Well kids, it’s the beginning of the end; my twenty-fifth birthday is on Monday.

Yup, the big quarter-century label is coming for me faster than the cops who are hassling me to pay all my parking tickets.

I’m facing my last weekend as a twenty-four-year old and forcing myself to look back and reflect on how exactly I got here. You know, in life and stuff.

I don’t even remember anything that happened before third grade, so let’s start there.

I was six-years-old, sitting on a rock outside my grandparent’s barn holding a stray cat my uncles had taken in thinking I wanted to be a veterinarian.

It was that easy.  You just grew up, found something you loved, and did it. 

I loved animals; I owned a hamster, liked petting cats, and frequently wrestled with dogs; so I was going to be a vet.

When I was eight, I got pissed off at my parents and decided that I wanted to renounce my position in the family and live off the land like Pocahontas.  I gathered up all the belongings any eight-year-old would need, put them in a backpack, and left my house in a fury to make a statement.

My mother didn’t notice I was gone for over four hours, she just thought I was playing outside like a normal girl when I returned home for dinner because I had forgotten all about the food and shelter portion of survival outside a house. I did, however, bring an extensive collection of cds for my battery operated discman, and a slew of J-14 magazines.

At age ten, I remember falling so deeply in love with Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic to the point where I was determined to become an actress.  I joined the school play in fifth grade; I did anything I could to sabotage my family’s home videos and get experience in the spotlight.

The only issue was I had no acting talent, which was evident in my being cast as ‘stage crew,’ and my mother was not supportive in my newfound endeavor to become rich and famous before I could correctly spell the word ‘business’ on the first try.

this is how you look when you're 25. i think?

this is how you look when you’re 25. i think?

Which, in hindsight, my adolescent track record with drinking and recreational drug use would have landed me in the same position as Lindsay Lohan right now.  So thanks, Mom.  You did me a solid on crushing that fifth grade dream.

I actually blacked out all of middle school and don’t remember anything except for when Mrs. Townsend gave my friend Jocelyn and I a detention because we purposely put our left hands instead of our right hands over our hearts one too many times during the pledge of allegiance.  Apparently that was disrespectful.

All throughout high school I was almost certain that I wanted to go into marketing and advertising.  It was what my dad did.  He had season tickets to the New York Rangers and frequently used us kids as pilot testers for his agency’s commercials.  It seemed like a pretty badass career field.

I never listened when he told me how much he hated his job, never saw how overworked and overtired he was, and I conveniently never remembered how often he wasn’t there for the most formative years of my life.

It wasn’t until college that I realized I was extremely lazy and wanted summers off for the rest of my life.  The stark reality of the real life work force haunted my dreams and made me gain over thirty pounds.

That last statement was false, I gained thirty pounds because I was in college and drank handles of vodka after eating two-hour dinners at the all you can eat dining halls.  And I refused to exercise because the gym was too crowded and stretchy pants were in style.

I was twenty-one, fat, and going into my senior year at UConn when my mother pointed out how much I loved working with children.  I decided I was going to switch my major with four credits short of a Media Communications degree and pursue teaching; a field in which I had absolutely no idea what exactly was entailed.  But it had summers off.

At the end of my schooling, I had collected a Masters in Teaching, a Bachelors in Media Communications, and a Bachelors in English.  I wanted to be a middle school English teacher in Boston.  So I moved;  because finding teaching jobs in a city at a reputable school, with nice kids, and good pay is really easy to do.

It wasn’t.  I was twenty-three and unemployed.

I do have a job now, though.  And I like it.  But I didn’t use any of my degrees to get it, which is just both comical and completely depressing all at the same time.

Ultimately, I learned it was never going to be as easy as finding something you love and doing it.  

With three days left until twenty-five inevitably smacks me in the face like my hangover will on Sunday, I am humbled by all the failed dreams I’ve had, and cling to the ones I still have.  There is no way of knowing which will come true, and which, if not all, will be epic failures.

I can say wholeheartedly that I have not a goddamn clue in the world where I will be in five years.  None of my previous ambitions really panned out the way I wanted or wished, but I can only hope that with this birthday, I will magically be gifted the knowledge of what the fuck I am supposed to be doing with my life.

Until then, we can always thank the high heavens and my mother that I did not become Lindsay Lohan or Pocahontas.