Advice from my foul mouthed friend

A note from Abby: Another exciting guest post from one of my best friends, Lexy! She is previously known on here for her hilarious dating post about horse girls and is back again to grace us with her presence! Make her feel welcome and be sure to tell her how much you like her in the comments below! Onto the post grad struggle!

I am the kind of guest you never want in your home. For starters, I am raucously loud. I have a distinct laugh that can be heard for a 10-mile radius. Everything about me is big and dramatic and overdone like a New Jersey boardwalk caricature. I’m from the suburbs of Philadelphia, so I say “fuck” almost as much as some other more genteel people say “please” or “thank you.” Which isn’t to say that I lack manners, that’s not it at all. But I do have a crippling flaw that I’ve recently come to grips with: I am a chronic complainer. Maybe in a relatable way. Definitely in a funny way. But I absolutely complain. All the time. Complaining gives me life. It is like I am verbally transferring the weight of my struggles to you, and you, and you. When we all share a slice of my struggle pie, I don’t feel obligated to eat the whole thing myself and then wallow in my shame.

You see, I feel this intrinsic need to complain. I feel that I must.

“Because,” I think to myself, “if I bottle all of this up, I am going to pop.”

The last time I guest-wrote (because Abby still graciously accepts me into her life, blog, and home), I complained. I complained to you guys about how lame being single is, and how lame dating apps are. I complained about how lame the last girl I dated was for breaking my heart.

Here we are, several months and a brand new year later, and the landscape of my life has changed slightly. I met a girl on that dating app I was complaining about, and we’ve been dating now for several months. I complain to her all the time, and like a fucking saint she listens to me and says sweet things like “I know” or “I understand.” She listens to me complain about my two jobs when she also works two jobs, and she listens to me complain about how I want an apartment together. She will read that I wrote this long complaint about complaining and offer nothing short of encouragement.

And you know what?

She never fucking complains. I have never seen someone work with such steadfast, quiet resolve. She buckles down and gets stuff done. While I’m winding up a good whine, she’s thinking about everything she’s gotta get done between tonight and tomorrow.

Here’s the thing I realized: it’s one thing to blow off some steam. It’s a totally different thing to let all of the water vapor evaporate, because that steam is the energy to power your engine.

As newly-minted adults, we’ve got a lot of shit to complain about: we’ve got jobs where we get treated like shit, or sometimes even actually have to clean up literal shit. We don’t make nearly as much as we expected to, or feel that we’re owed (especially when you have to clean up literal shit). Not to mention the seemingly insurmountable precipice of student loan debt threatening to avalanche in deferment and crush us at any moment we stop our frenetic work pace.

But take a hard look for a second: what’s your conversion ratio of complaint-to-action? Do you ever act on the things you complain about? Do you know who is at the source of your unhappiness? Who is actually in control of the how you look at the events in your life?

I’m not saying I meditated on a rooftop and emerged refreshed and swore off complaining and carbs and butter and instead plan to wish everyone “love and light” and eat a “raw” diet. That doesn’t work for me, and I’d complain about it. Instead, I want to try to complain less and do more. Make myself mindful of my complaints and then take whatever opportunity comes my way to turn things around, and in doing so, take action on the things I complain about.

So often, I paralyze myself in scenarios that are ultimately changeable. “I hate getting up for work, I hate going to work, I hate my job.” If that’s your internal mantra, listen to the complaint and then act on it. This job is not for you, and that’s okay. I’m not saying give up a reasonable, well-paying 9-5 to become a subway musician (or do it, I won’t stop you, you’re an adult), but try looking for a different job that allows you more flexible hours. Be willing to compromise with yourself, work harder to accommodate yourself, or accept the things you cannot change. Don’t sell yourself a hard life, because life is more than willing to throw lemons at you ALL. DAY. LONG.

It’s so easy to get caught up in a cycle of complaining. I would know; I literally wrote almost two pages about it. But this year, I plan to make it a year of action. I hope you choose to, too. A year of deliberate thought and purposeful verbiage, as opposed to a year of unleashing your verbal garbage upon the nearest person in some kind of drive-by-word-dumping. It’s okay to blow off steam, but save some to power your engine on to bigger and better things.

Lexy works hard so you don’t have to. She currently resides in Pennsylvania with her Honda Civic, Hazel Grace.

 

 

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Quarter Life Crisis

Quarter life crisis is a term I learned about while I was in college from my friends who had just entered the post grad world. You spend your whole life wondering what your future will be once you hit “adulthood” and you end up looking forward to it. When I was in college, I couldn’t wait to turn 21 so I could go to a casual bar and meet new people all the time because that’s just how I thought it worked. When I was a senior, I couldn’t wait to be graduated because I was tired of dealing with the stress of homework, classes, a job, all of my school involvement, etc. I thought that being an adult would be less stressful because you really only had to worry about your job. OH MAN WAS I WRONG.

249Hence the quarter life crisis. Basically at some point in your twenties, everyone will experience the whole “Whoa wait a sec, what the heck am I doing with my life?” question. Do you live in the right area? Do you like your job? How do I file my taxes? You mean my health insurance and car insurance won’t be covered by my parents anymore??? HUH?

I’ll admit, I’ve been fairly stressed these past couple months between being the Bad Luck Club president, working two jobs and then being hit with both pink eye and shingles. 2015 hasn’t liked me too much so far. However, it’s all about keeping your head above the water. I have no doubt that at this point next year, I’ll feel like everything is smooth sailing- I won’t have to worry about changing insurances, I’ll know how to file my taxes, I’ll be working a job that I’m more content with, and hopefully will be more adjusted to living in a totally new city. I’ll look back and laugh at myself and just be glad that I made it through thanks to the help of my very patient friends and family who have listened to me gripe for the past couple months (and you guys too!).

These types of things are totally normal- so I’m told. Not everything just falls into place magically. You may not always like your job or roommates. You might have to suck it up and live in a crap-hole for a year until you can save enough money to afford a nicer place. You might have to be brave and go out by yourself to meet new people and make friends (which of course, isn’t as easy as it sounds- I KNOW). My advice is this:

Take a chill pill. Take a step back from an annoyingly stressful situation, take a deep breath and know that it’ll be over soon. You can’t afford to internalize the stress; it really does take a toll on your body by not sleeping or always feeling on edge. In my case, it caused pre-mature shingles SOOOOO I’ve been there. This is something I’m still working on too.

Find your people or person, and thank them endlessly. I honestly couldn’t be more grateful to my parents or my roommates because I’d probably be a puddle of tears unable to do anything without them. Whether your best friends are near or far, they’re there to support you and hear you out when you tell them the most ridiculous thing that happened to you even if they want to roll their eyes. That’s true love, right there.

Schedule time for you to do things for yourself. I’ve joined a gym and really pushed myself to go as often as I can. I use that hour or more to really only focus on that one thing, bettering myself FOR ME and forget about everything else that’s too stressful. Maybe your stress reliever is binge watching some Netflix. Hey man, I do that too. My current suggestion is the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, produced by Tina Fey. Totally corny but worth the giggles!

Get organized. Maybe you’re also a Type A personality like me, and really enjoy making To-Do lists and calendars to help organize your life. Maybe you’re like my roommate who is “messy but loveable” who just throws her clothes all over the floor. Pick them up and straighten something that might make you feel the tiniest bit less overwhelmed. Making a plan has always worked for me because I end up feeling pretty horrible if I use one day being totally unproductive.

Make a good meal for yourself. I tend to feel like I’m too busy to make food for myself which is why I end up eating cereal and grilled cheese a lot (yay carbs!). But on that one day where I find that I have an extra hour, I’ll blast some Spotify or put on Netflix while I cook a meal that I can eat for a couple days. That way, on days where you feel extra lazy, you already have some sauteed veggies to eat and keep you from over carb loading and feeling extra heavy.

Overall, I’m just saying BE NICE TO YOURSELF. It’s definitely something that I’m still struggling with and slowly learning in my post grad life. If you don’t take care of yourself, no one else will!
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Things are on the up and up, friends! Nicer weather is on it’s way too! THANK GOODNESS. I could use a little more vitamin D in my life. Check back on Food for Thought Thursday where I talk about secret kitchen lingo!

Until next time!