mistakes i won’t repeat

  • Put a book in the suitcase I intend to check and expect to remember to take it out before I get through security at the airport (I won’t)
  • Leave my umbrella at home when the forecast calls for rain and the sky is completely overcast (unless I want to be soaked by the time I get to work)
  • Assume that if I have a GPS, I cannot possibly get lost (I will)
  • Believe that anything heals other than time, chocolate, and good friends (nothing else does)
  • Try to grocery shop at Giant Eagle right before a Steelers game (good luck finding a cart!)

things that make me feel old

  • a younger sibling about to turn 17 years old
  • a third grade cousin talking about using flash drives for school projects and remembering that I used floppy disks at that age
  • realizing that the first Toy Story film came out over 15 years ago
  • hearing 90’s music on an oldies station
  • balancing my checkbook
  • using expressions like “where I grew up” and “when I was in college” in conversation
  • people asking my parents if I’m dating anyone seriously / planning to get married soon
  • a newly developed habit of watching CNN

things i learned in college

Among all of the other things that come with graduating college and moving to a brand new city far away – a diploma, the real world (already??), having to cook my own dinner every night of the week, a paycheck (yes!), rent/other “real world” expenses that require most of that paycheck – there is one thing that comes in spades. And it’s this lovely thing called retrospection.

Retrospection is a sometimes useful, sometimes dangerous, and extremely time-consuming activity. But it’s also very enlightening. They say hindsight is 20/20, and in looking back on the last several years, I’ve figured out a lot about myself and about life. Here are the highlights of those discoveries in bulleted form.

Things I Learned in College
  • Who my real friends are.
  • How lucky I am to have those people in my life.
  • How much I actually love ridiculous 80’s music.
  • Not everyone lives by the saying “if you’re early, you’re on time; if you’re on time, you’re late” like I do.
  • Finding time to read for leisure is critical.
  • “I don’t have time for xyz” is another way of saying “I don’t feel like making time for xyz so I’m going to pretend I have way more going on than I do and will instead spend 3 hours surfing the Internet.”
  • Coffee is arguably the greatest beverage ever created.
  • Coffee is expensive and I cannot/should not spend my entire stipend on it.
  • Following sports is not only fun, it gives you something to small talk about other than the weather (which is important when you don’t keep up with current events).
  • As an adult, people assume you do keep up with current events.
  • You save a lot of money by taking a bagged lunch to school/work.
  • Downtime is actually important.
  • Dressing up gets old quick when you have to wear business clothes to work every day. And no one actually cares if you get coffee / run errands wearing a faded college sweatshirt.
  • Actually, some people think you look prettier that way.
  • I’ve turned into a huge cynic.
  • I need to stop being such a cynic. The few people that make me want to completely give up on mankind are, in fact, a very small percentage of the population. It’s a big world.
  • It’s a small world. And it’s connected.
  • When in doubt, go with your gut.
  • Your best friends aren’t necessarily the people you talk to 24/7 or eat lunch with every day. They might even be asleep when you call them at 2 am. But they’re the ones that call you back the next day and listen to you for hours, even if they’re tired of the subject or don’t agree with how you handled it. They distract you and make you laugh. They bring you coffee and king-sized Reese’s cups when they meet up with you to talk about your relationship troubles because they know chocolate fixes everything for awhile. They’re there for you when it really counts.
  • Sometimes you’ll be surprised by who will do that for you.
  • Sale-shopping is the way to live.
  • To-do lists and calendars are the key to successful time management.
  • If it’s been several months or years and that guy still hasn’t made up his mind, he probably won’t do it soon. So it won’t hurt to go out with that other guy who actually knows he wants you.
  • In fact, it would be a good idea to do so.
  • Mom was right about thank you notes. They never go unnoticed nor unappreciated.
  • Life goes on.

social activities that don’t revolve around food

We are a society of food-centric social gatherings: dinner dates, potluck parties, appetizers after work, pizza-and-a-movie nights, banquets with buffets. When you have a food allergy, these events can be more stressful than enjoyable, as you can never be completely sure whether food is safe unless you’ve prepared it. I’m the type of girl that’s beyond happy to just sit somewhere, sip cherry coke, and chat while my friends eat, but some people get put off by that. Sometimes I just take a rain check when my friends are planning to go somewhere I’m not comfortable eating. But usually, I propose an alternative activity – one that doesn’t revolve around a meal. And there are plenty of fun things that don’t, so in honor of Food Allergy Awareness Week 2011, here’s a list of some:

  • just getting coffee
  • attending a concert
  • going to the beach
  • going to the park
  • bowling
  • ice skating
  • going out dancing
  • going to a sporting event (football game, hockey game, etc.)

To learn more about food allergies, see this blog post or visit the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network.

five things

1. i finally decided on a graduate school and now it’s starting to hit me that i’m really moving in june.

2. i’m back to drinking coffee. originally, i had this whole post written out explaining how my resolution failed but it really comes down to two words: need. caffeine.

(that and making major lifestyle changes [i.e. quitting coffee cold turkey] mid-semester is really a horrible idea)

3. this entire post is in lowercase letters because it’s a monday.

4. it’s spring break week.

5. i stumbled across this mirrored dressing table while looking for apartment-decorating ideas. i’m sort of in love with it. i’m thinking a vintage furniture shop is my best bet for finding something like it.

to-do list

I had a staggering reminder of the fragility of life recently. It was one of those bone-chilling moments when you realize how little it takes and how quickly something can happen. Everyone is fine, but the impact is lingering — two full weeks later. So as I continue to process the incident, discuss the meaning of life with my budding philosopher of a best friend, and mull over the extremely cliché blog entries I could write about making every moment count, I’ve started to come up with a list of things I want to do/accomplish.

The term “bucket list” or “things to do before I die” seemed kind of bleak (especially for a non-smoking college student with no major health problems), so I just went with the classic catch-all heading: to-do.

  • visit every continent
  • read the complete works of William Shakespeare
  • actually take advantage of student rush tickets
  • spend at least a month living in Europe
  • visit all fifty U.S. states
  • become a published author
  • earn a doctoral degree
  • appear in the pages of Vogue
  • go to all four major tennis tournaments (Australian Open, Wimbledon, French Open, U.S. Open) in the same year
  • sing at an open mic night at a coffee shop
  • go scuba diving
  • swim with dolphins
  • read Les Misérables en français
  • have a full conversation in a foreign language with a native speaker of that language
  • travel to space
“We are always getting ready to live, never living.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson