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adulthood

    Failing is a form of courage

    A few months ago my roommate and I discovered a bat in the apartment for the third time. It was sleeping and we noticed a trail of dark liquid on the wall beneath it. I figured it just had a healthy digestive system. We prepared for the battle of removing it from the apartment and into the woods. My roommate was standing on an upside down laundry basket, on top of the piano stool, wearing gloves and wielded my Toy Story 2 beach towel as a weapon to grab it and wrap it up.

    I stood by with a small trash can ready to cover it and take it outside. We had done this before, except this time, it was dead. My roommate leaped off the top of our makeshift ladder screaming, her arms wide as if she were the bat ready to take flight, but instead fell on me, and began to have a panic attack. Eyes were wide, chest showed signs of hyperventilating, nostrils flaring.

    I wasn’t 100% convinced the bat was dead and lost my cool. Extremely annoyed and concerned the bat was going to have its revenge. I shook my finger at her and icily said “You need to chill the fuck out and get your shit together.” It was a two pronged approach because I was not only angry at her for jumping on me but didn’t need her to pass out from fear either.

    She snapped out of it and we discovered that it was completely dead. My cat must have swiped its belly while it was swooping because we could see each delicate intestine. What I had seen on the wall was just the largest of many blood stains on our walls throughout the apartment. A few weeks later I saw a remaining smear of blood over my bedroom doorway and decided to leave it as my Passover blood.

    I see now that adulthood tries to make you into one of the four upon entering “the real world.” You end up on the floor hyperventilating, super annoyed and controlling, dead on the wall with your guts open for the world to see, or the beast who takes out anything standing in her way and ends the day casually licking the blood off her claws.

    This morbid scenario has led me to realize I don’t want to allow the “real world” to make me into any of the four. I want to be able to bend without breaking, to be sad without despairing, to be vulnerable without being needy, and to be strong without cruelty. In the end it could just mean having the courage to try and fail every day for the rest of my life.

    Parachuting into Adulthood

    As Seen On: That First Year Blog

    Fear and Becoming an Adult

    Adulthood began with the heavens opening, a waterfall pouring over my piano in the living room. A broken pipe (maintenance suspects that it was a sabotaged pipe) connected to the upstairs neighbor’s shower was the culprit. Ceiling tiles fell and broke upon the piano, the ivory keys using their last bit of life to indignantly testify against their perpetrator.  Unfortunately, this is the third time that bathroom has flooded into my apartment this year.

    The same evening, my middle-aged neighbor, who is addicted to a variety of drugs, came to my door asking for a knife. As I stood there, I realized that I wasn’t even worried considering it isn’t even the strangest request from a neighbor I have gotten at 1 am. He claimed someone broke into his apartment, damaging the lock. Somehow, he thought a butter knife would help the predicament and denied my request to call the police to report the break-in. I doubted that the lock was really what he wanted to use the knife on, and I’ve always looked strange in jumpsuits, so I sent him away muttering only to hear him breaking into his apartment through the basement window.

    I can’t help but wonder if these are all signs—the world above me falling in on itself and my neighbor politely asking for a knife to murder me with as I politely stand in my entryway. Maybe I take concrete things too abstractly but I always want to know that I’m making the right decisions. Now that I’m graduating college, the stress to make all the right decisions is heightened. It feels like if I make one wrong step now, people will shake their heads because they knew I would never be able to accomplish my lengthy list of goals. I don’t want to be known as the girl who failed because she didn’t have whatever “it” is.

    If college is like being suspended in gravity, then That First Year is the fall to planet earth. You know you’re falling but you’re not sure when you will reach full impact or what the damage will be. In an effort to minimize what I assume will be utter destruction, I try too hard to pretend my heart has not dropped down to my stomach in anxiety. The mere thought of a 40-hour, 9-5 work week makes me nauseous. I’ve even lost count of the number of times I have woken myself up from a falling dream because my legs jerk up to my eyeballs.

    What I’m beginning to understand though, is that I don’t need to try to make a parachute out of thin air or even get one of those little umbrella hats to wear in my apartment. Instead, I need to lean into those hard times when everything seems to be in mid-air and allow the impact to break my shell and find out what I’m really made of. When I think worst case scenario I am forgetting that I am my best case scenario. Worst case scenario is doubting my resiliency and determination to do the hard work to develop myself personally and professionally. Becoming the CEO of my own company could start by making good little decisions, like not giving away butter knives at my door.