Browsing Tag

twenty-something

20-Something, Featured, Hipstercrite Life

It’s Going to Be OK: A Twenty-Something Tale

 

I have a friend in her early twenties who is beautiful, intelligent and very gifted. She’s the sort of person you spot from across the room and think, “Her. She’s the one I want to talk to. There is something special about that one.”

Everyone knows this except her.

She doesn’t believe it.

Right now, she has found herself at a complete loss as to what to do with her life. This confusion has led to a certain amount of paralysis in creating; where do you start when you’re not sure what direction you’re going? This paralysis can often be amplified by a newfound real world insecurity once you begin comparing yourself to your peers and erroneously, people older than you.

When I talk to her, I find myself getting riled up, remembering the days when I felt exactly like her. The words that leave her lips are identical to the ones I found myself saying at 22, 23, 24.

I try so hard not to project my own experiences upon her when conversing, but it is difficult. I Continue Reading

20-Something, Featured, Hipstercrite Life

Home is Wherever I’m With You

As of today, I officially moved into Geoff’s house.

When I tell friends this, they usually respond with, “Wow! Taking the big step! Are you excited or nervous?”

Because I feel neither, it confuses me when my friends ask this, but I guess it is a legitimate question. Moving into a boyfriend’s house is a big step, but for some reason I don’t view it that way. It just seems natural.

Considering I’ve been staying here almost every day since we first met, there is no fanfare for my official arrival into the house. Instead I have a pile of crap that needs to find a home in its new home.

As I sit here on his couch, a long, green mid-century couch that was oddly in the film Tree of Life, I look around and see very little that is mine because this is not my house. It is Geoff’s. He designed the house himself with his former long term girlfriend. The design and decor of the house doesn’t scream, “Geoff and former girlfriend!”, nor does it scream, “Just Geoff!” The design Continue Reading

20-Something, Featured, Hipstercrite Life

This is Life at 28

I always knew that 28 was going to be a pivotal age for me.

When I still worked in Hollywood, 25 would be the age that the ball really started rolling career-wise, and 28 would be the age that I, for the lack of a lesser cheesy phrase, “made the big time”. I wasn’t sure what “making the big time” exactly entailed, but I knew it involved financial freedom and a certain amount of career notoriety that would prevent me from drinking at home alone and writing emo music lyrics on my mirror in marker.

Of course I never accounted for the fact that I would soon view my career path as repugnant as a public restroom on Venice Beach.

Well, both 25 and 28 were important ages, but not in the ways that I imagined they would be. At 25 I left the film business and moved to Austin and at 28 I left working 9-5 and went freelance. I also fell in love with an amazing person. I also started growing this cool Rogue-esque white patch in the front of my hair.

I’m halfway through my 28th year Continue Reading

20-Something, Featured, Hipstercrite Life

Welcoming the End of the Quarter Life Crisis

2012 marks the last year of my twenties.

Previously, saying that made me collapse into a fit of inconsolable defeat. Once, on the phone with my father about my car being paid off when I’m 30, I fell to the floor during the middle of the conversation. All it took was me saying, “Well, when I’m 30…” and my brain processed that as someone taking a bat to the back of my knees. My father heard heaving gasps on the other line and waited for my two minute bawl fest to conclude before daring to continue the topic at hand.

I never thought I’d make it past 29. Not because I have a craving for horse tranquilizers or a death wish obsession with Kurt Cobain, but because it seemed nearly impossible to imagine a life past that. My brain simply would shut down when thinking about my 30s. Or maybe, much like the Mayans, my internal calendar simply stops on 2012. Being an only child of divorce, I never planned out my future to include things like marriage and children, so a life after 30 seemed Continue Reading

20-Something, Hipstercrite Life

I Believe in a Thing Called Love, Just Listen to the Rhythm of My Heart

Yesterday I took a big chance. I wrote an article about my boyfriend on CultureMap- which gets way more traffic than my blog does. I often find it difficult to write long posts, but I found myself able to nearly write a book about my boyfriend. The post, titled “Do You Believe in All the Cliches? A Sappy Relationship Story”, is about how I used to date douchebags and then one day I stopped. I met the most wonderful person and it made me believe that all those cheesy cliches about love might be true. I nervously watched as my boyfriend read the piece once it was posted. The more he read the more my stomach twisted in knots. He loved the piece and when he was done reading I went and gave him a tear-filled hug.

Enjoy the sap…

 ________

I used to date douchebags, then one day I stopped.

I’m not sure what made me stop acting this way. Maybe I finally grew up. Maybe I became more confident in who I was. Maybe I met the right person.

Or maybe it was all of those things combined.

Before Continue Reading

20-Something, Blogging, Hipstercrite Life, Social Media

When Good is Never Enough: A Dilemma for the Twenty-Something Blogger

I switched my blog over to WordPress a little over a month ago and I love it. Well, actually my wonderful web designer did because I couldn’t figure out how to do it. I mean, I could have maybe figured it out but I resorted back to that illogical fear that I’ll somehow make my blog implode by pushing the wrong button.

I love the options, the freedom I feel in writing multiple posts and the ability to respond to individual comments that the new blog brings. I still need to add some design work, but all-in-all, I’m very happy with the change.

One thing that stinks is that my traffic took a plummet. I’m still trying to figure out why and trying to correct the problem- if that’s possible. It kind of stressed me out. More than I care to admit. A lot of aspects of my writing have stressed me out lately and I hate to say it, but they’re for fairly superficial reasons.

Writing online is both extremely rewarding and mind-f’ing. One post you get a bunch of feedback or shares or Continue Reading

20-Something, Hipstercrite Life

The Dizziness of Freedom

I recently discussed on my blog how I’ve developed crippling anxiety attacks at nighttime. Crippling is a strong word. More like curling up in a ball and whimpering myself into exhaustion. I’ve become absolutely convinced every night someone is trying to break into the house. Every single night. Like people have nothing better to do than hang outside my house and contemplate stealing the useless stuff I have to offer them every single day.

I know that these fears are irrational, though they are somewhat founded in recent violent goings-on in my neighborhood. Last week, two separate muggings occurred at popular east side bars, one where a young lady was brutally punched in the head. My boyfriend also lives in close proximity to the one intersection in all of Austin that houses every crackhead, prostitute, and pimp. Needless to say I envision a Thriller-like ragtag group parading in on the house as soon as the clock strikes 3AM.

On the surface my anxiety stems directly from these feelings. The feelings of being scared, vulnerable, unprotected. That everyone in the world is planning to kill me (“It’s not all about you”, my mother would say). That I and everyone I love will be violently murdered and I am helpless to stop it. I never felt this way before. Even when I lived in crime-riddled neighborhoods in Los Angeles I never felt such uneasiness. Seeing dead bodies, having police helicopters shining lights into my window, and being nearly shot by a disgruntled driver barely phased me. So why in the heck have I been so nervous lately?

Southerns will tell you it’s because I’m a Yankee and I’m a Jew, but I realized that something deeper than my failed attempts at being Woody Allen have to be at work. Something recent brought on these anxieties. After some heavy conversations with myself, I realized that some of my anxiety could be directly related to the new relationship in my life.

In my adult life, I’ve never really been in love. I’ve never had a person who stood up and say, “You! I chose you!” Someone who stops in mid-conversation to tell me how lucky he feels that I’m in his life. Someone who is confident in who he is and what he wants. Until now. Being in your 20’s you get used to dating people who are confused, indifferent, or downright selfish. People who jump ship or make you feel bad about yourself. You may date them in part because you are also confused, indifferent or selfish. I’ve come a long way from the girl I was seven years ago. A girl who had difficulty transitioning from childhood to adulthood. Who constantly had her heart broken because she propelled illusions. That girl grew up and threw her insecurities to the wind, but as I’m discovering maybe they never fully go away. Maybe they just subconsciously manifest into other fears- like ax-wielding hobos trying to chop off my toes.

This new found awareness made me wonder if the idea of not feeling comfortable when everything is going well is more common than not. Right now my life is perfect. I have zero complaints. I live in a wonderful city, I have a decent job, my creative endeavors are growing, my friends and family are healthy and not-crazy, and I chanced upon a wonderful gentleman. But for some dumb-ass reason I’m the most anxious I’ve ever been. Somewhere deep in my mind I feel that the other shoe is about to drop. That this is only the calm before the storm. None of these anxieties are preventing me from enjoying my life. Neither am I trying to self-sabotage the good fortunes I’ve acquired. I simply can not sleep. A feeling of panic swims through me in the wee hours with growing fervor. Is this a common development in twenty-somethings when they make the transition from fumbling novice to adult? Or am I not even an adult yet, but have just learned to compartmentalize my uneasiness? Or maybe that’s what being an adult is? Learning to stuff your worries deep down until you wake up one day 40 pounds heavier because you’ve become dependent on 8AM martinis to help you get through the day.

Do you get anxious when things are going well for you?

20-Something

The Generation of the Confused Working Class

yay for cheesy stock photos!
I read articles that say my generation doesn’t want to work. That we expect a lot in return for giving very little to a job. We like to run from job to job. That we have no idea what we want to do with our lives so we act indifferently towards our work. We spend too much time socializing at work. We spend too much time on the Internet.  We bitch and moan and complain about how much we hate our job and don’t understand why we dread going to work every morning.

I’m no stranger to these statements. Uninspired, unmotivated, disillusioned, and distracted are all words I’ve experienced at various employments. So much in fact that I’ve had to step back and ask myself, “Is it me or is it the jobs I go after?” (the jobs being in various creative fields, but mostly the film industry).

Tired of being constantly stressed and hearing myself complain, I began analyzing my various employments. I began my career life as a personal assistant. I did that for four years working for two different employers. Needless to say, personal assisting is typically not a lifelong job. Agreeing to be someone’s , for the lack of a better word, slave, with the occasional perk is not what most people view as a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. I then moved to Austin where I continued working in film/tv/commercial production. I’d like to add that all my jobs in the entertainment business have been full-time salaried jobs through the respective employers’ companies. I was never freelance.

At various times in between employment I worked odds and ends jobs (mostly retail) because I don’t like not having money coming in. You will never catch me free-loading. What I discovered is the happiest I’ve been with work has been at the odds and ends jobs (particularly working at the Apple store for four months).

The odds and ends jobs came at a time when I would get disappointed with my “career job” and leave. I then would feel inspired that now, now I can work on my writing or whatever personal creative goals I’ve wanted to work on but had been too stressed and exhausted to do. What then happens is that after a few months of doing working a “whatever job”, and realizing that I’m getting older, not younger, I start to feel disappointed in myself for not having a “career path”- even though I’m making headway on my writing or creative endeavors.  I then question if I should have left my previous “career jobs”. I look at my friends working at large corporations with 401k plans and accrued time off and I think, “They are doing it right.” The funny this is, most of them hate their job and think, “I’d like something a little more inspiring, a little more relaxed.” They want what I have and I want what they have. Then we switch and then we want to go back.

In other words, it’s a never-ending cycle of confusion about what to do with one’s work life.

So what is it about my generation that makes these decisions so difficult?

We are the grandchildren of a dedicated working class. We are the children of their rebelling children,  that taught us to ask questions and to seek more out of life. We are the children of a vast and changing technological world. Somewhere deep down we hope that we will love our job, like our grandparents did. We hope that we will connect with a work situation and want to stay there for awhile. We will grow there. We will stay dedicated to our job and we get the same amount of employer dedication in return. That we will wake up in the morning feeling good about the job we do. Somewhere along the way we realize that is idealism. Somewhere along the way, after reading stories of recession, corruption, and disloyalty we realize that the man doesn’t have our back and that they maybe never did. We realize that we’re part of the machinery and our hopes are deflated. Somewhere we realize we have other options, too many options and we get paralyzed. Somewhere along the way we get distracted with constant in-your-face information.

We are the generation of the confused.What we think exists and what we actually want does frequent battle.

So what do we do?

This is a question I’ve asked myself off and on for the past seven years. Do I stay on a path of working at “career companies”, having average health insurance, questionable vacation time, being salaried and working overtime with no extra pay, a steady paycheck and the constant disappointment in the realities that exist nowadays or do I leave it all behind, work to get by, and focus on my true joy- writing- but dealing with the idea that I’m 27 and not working in a “career environment”.

What did you decide for yourself? Or are you one of those lucky people that has managed to find both?

*note- this is not a reflection of my current employment but rather commentary on a broader topic that has been brought up amongst my peers as of late and something i’ve dealt with in the past myself. 
20-Something

The Definition of Friendship

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As I’ve gotten older, I’ve begun examining the words “friend” and “friendship” more and more. Both words have taken on different meanings to me, multiple meanings, meanings I’m still not quite sure I even understand. Our childhood definition of “friend” has one interpretation- you are my friend, I hang out with you, I call you, I include your name on poorly drawn pictorials of my life where we have huge asymmetrical bodies and small heads. There are no networking friends at this age, no social media friends, nobody that you go out drinking with unless it’s juice boxes on the playground. These are people you care about and enjoy sticking marshmallows in the microwave to see what they do and eat tubs of cake frosting with.

Then we go to high school and the friend definition splits- you have your best friends, your friends you don’t trust, and the friends that you partake in social activities with. That ideology roughly stays the same throughout college and then you enter the work force- then you become and adult- and the terms “friend” and “friendship” go ape shit.

You suddenly have your friends from childhood, your work friends, your drinking friends, your networking friends, your social media friends, you might start considering family members your close friends now, your partner’s friends, the friends you make through your children. All of these people are your friends, but all of them fit into dramatically different friend roles than you were used to as a child.

This year will be my ten year high school reunion. I always thought that I would be excited to return home and catch up with my small and relatively close-knit class. However, I’m discovering now that the time is here, I don’t feel that excitement at all. It’s not that I don’t like the people I went to high school with, it’s just that I don’t know those people anymore and except for all but one, I don’t feel a particular kinship with them. This sad realization led me to analyzing how at 27 I view friendships.

Throughout my 20s and having lived in three states and two major cities, I’ve met a lot of people. These people get placed into different friend categories without conscious intent. Sometimes the friend is accidentally placed in or they nudge their way into a category they don’t belong and it becomes confusing, so, periodically I do something I call “cutting the fat”. I don’t clear out my Facebook friends or make any grand gesture in cutting ties, I just simply decide to reexamine my relationship with certain people and make sure they’re redirected into the correct friend category. I tried explaining this to a young man fresh out of college recently and he couldn’t understand what I was saying. “I’m friends with everyone!” he said to me cheerfully and then I felt like a huge dick for referring to people as lard.

I tried defending myself by saying that once you get older, you’ll realize that you can’t be close friends with everyone, that life is too short to try and devote time to every single person that you meet, that you’d never get anything done otherwise, and that you end up having to become selective. As the words left my mouth, I thought about my views of friendship as a child and wish they still existed.

Living in a town where socializing is the city’s M.O., I’ve been forced to utilize this unfavored ideology more frequently. This behavior has led to disappointment in the past and the awkward task of trying to explain without exactly saying it- “I don’t view our friendship in the same light as you.” When these times occur I’ve had to reassess whether my methodology is appropriate or fair. No one likes being essentially “demoted” in your life. I’ve been quietly downgraded by friends myself- friends in different states who do not reach out unless I’m physically in front of them or friends who used to call and hang out all of the time and now have moved on. I’ve taken these occurrences in stride and understand that as an adult, this is what has to happen. Friendships come and go, or they stay and ebb and flow. Sometimes a friend is with you from the very beginning and all the way to the end or they challenge your patience and understanding. On the homestretch to 30, I guess I need to realize that being selective doesn’t necessarily mean bad. That being a friend can take on different meanings and that managing each relationship to the best of my ability is all I can really do.

20-Something, Hipstercrite Life

Try a Little Tenderness

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“I haven’t been in love in a long, long time,” she said to herself in the best Otis Redding impression she could muster up. Heightened emphasis on the first “long.” Eight ‘o’s’.

“I haven’t been in love in a loooooooong, long time,” she kept repeating just enough so the purpose behind the sentence meant nothing anymore.

“Hell, I’m not even sure I’ve ever been in love,” she laughs to herself. “I’ve been in infatuation and then something thereafter, I think?”

This prompts her to sing the Rod Stewart song of the same name, but it’s not as enjoyable as her made-up Otis song.

She takes a moment to think back on them all.

It started with Adam. He was the only one to run the course of infatuation, to post-infatuation, to end of the road.

Adam is married and lives in Kansas City and has a second baby on the way. Three weeks after he ended their four year relationship seven years ago, she stopped thinking about him. It scared her how quickly she got over him. It was then she realized how she had been trying to keep a dying connection alive for much too long.

She had moved to a new city and he stayed behind. Their relationship wasn’t important enough to outlast these two truths.

The reason she got over Adam so quickly, the person who helped her do this, will forever remain an important character in the story of her life. A novella could be written on just the Freudian undertones of the short, ugly, but inevitable liaison. However, for now, it will be labeled away as one of the few secrets a woman may have.

In the big city, she dated a handful of men and the little girl in her innocently believed it was all something more than it was. For as self-aware and intuitive she likened herself to be, the truth was, she was completely childlike in her dealing with the opposite sex. Her development arrested by the fact that she grew up with no male figure in her life, and a lack of examples on how a relationship works. What she knew best, what made her most comfortable, was to be inactive player, one who stood in the forefront with a smile and a twinkle, but completely motionless. Though it’s easy to look back and romanticize the histrionics of her dalliances, it was not an enjoyable time in her life. It was a time where she watched tiny chips of her heart float away in the wind.

She watched again and again as she gave a piece of herself to someone who didn’t really want it in the end.

The filmmaker who watched her from behind the camera for six weeks. Studying every nuance of her personality and deciding at some point that he really liked his subject. Or the poet, who lived in the woods, who could open his heart in words, who would hold her close every night, but couldn’t give anything else.

That’s not to say that she didn’t have boys who wanted to take care of her. To give her the world. The problem was, she didn’t want them. They scared her. It was combination of the game being too easy and the idea being completely lost upon her. To not have to grieve for a man, to not have to wait by the window for a father who may or may not show up just seemed… foreign.

She was aware of her actions, but only partially. Over time, she learned to be objective of her behavior in relationships, but not enough to release her.

Unbeknownst to her at the time, leaving the city would bring her closer to that freedom.

She’s 27 now. Years ago she would have been considered an old maid. Now, she’s still carrying the “kid pass”. She’s not really expected to be thinking about settling down or finding the one quite yet. And neither does she want to. She’s focused on her career and her goals. However on certain days, not on days like today, but on days like the one yesterday, where she watched a movie about love conquering all, she thinks, “That’s it! That’s what I want!”

Because at the end of the day, though she may believe love is a privilege, she looks forward to the day it could happen- to me.