Let’s Eliminate: The Overt and Innate Feeling of Being Overwhelmed.

The vacation eventually ends. The Earth begins to rotate again and the world around you becomes privy of your existence. And just like that everything comes surging back to the surface. Bills, relationships, responsibilities; everything you have been avoiding comes down on you like a torrential downpour of utter misery. Do you grab an umbrella? Do you swim through it? Do you allow yourself to become drenched from head to toe in nothing but sadness and misery? The decision is up to you, but I’m here to tell you that the answer should be no.

The world is a scary place and it gets through to everyone in some way, shape, or form. The first thing you must do is cry. Yes, cry. Let it all out. Buckets and gallons and aqueducts. If you didn’t already know, the actual function of tears is to preserve and hold all of the anxieties and sadness and misery and keep it tucked very neatly in your brain. The more tears you hold back, the heavier the emotions become. So I say cry. Release your body from all of the negativity and emotions. Scream and shout and bang your fists against a pillow, because if you don’t then these feelings will remain within you forever.

Next, I want you to breathe and to not panic. Simple, I know, yet you’d be surprised how little people think when they stop breathing. So, breathe. In and out. In and out. Everything will be okay, because this is just one moment in your life. It doesn’t define you. Your moments of weakness, like the one you’re having right this second, will pass. They will evaporate and cease to exist. You will get through this, I promise you that much.

When the vacation ends, it’ll hit you hard. The world is ruthless and relentless like that. We can’t change that. All we can do is cry, breathe, and take it one small step at a time and know that it will get better. We may not be able to change the world, but we can change how it affects us. Let’s not let it.

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Let’s Change: The Title.

Since it’s creation back in April, this blog was, has been, and always will be dedicated to taking a different perspective on the world and the situations that occur within it.

However, I feel that my posts have shifted on the weekly from looking at certain societal aspects to personal problems back to societal aspects and then an awkward foray into cutting my own hair. All of that being said I feel that this blog deserves a new title.

*drumroll*

“Let’s Discover”

Isn’t it clever and only slightly different than its original title? It’s brilliant, it’s lazy, it’s perfect. In keeping with the ‘let’s’ aspect of the blog, I feel that making it an active journey of discovery (whether it be discovering more about the world or more about myself) is not only accurate, but much more fun. It also has an added benefit of bringing you, the reader, along for the ride. I hope that my writing and experiences continue to evolve and I hope you all enjoy the ride as it goes on!

Let’s go, we have a lot of ground to cover!

Let’s Experience: Closure.

You’ve locked the door, you’ve thrown away the key, and now you sit alone in your living room finally free. Now what? Like everything else in this world, everybody experiences it differently. They go through different processes, explore their feelings in different ways, but ultimately and deservedly achieve closure.

While I won’t claim it to be the best feeling in the world, it does feel pretty damn good. But what does it look like? What does it feel like? Should you be cheering at the top of your lungs or crying your heart out? Should it feel like you’re actually closing a door or like you’re opening a new one? Should you still care about who is on the other side of it? These are questions to consider and questions that I cannot and will not answer for you, simply because I am not you. If your road leads to unabashedly singing Taylor Swift at a karaoke bar or mindlessly writing about your ex in a way that shows them as they truly are, then so be it. I’m not here to judge you. I don’t know you, so that’s not really fair. Regardless of how you answer those questions, there is one thing that is nearly certain to occur: waiting.

If anything, closure isn’t immediate nor is it a panacea for the broken heart. I’m sorry if I’m the first one to tell you this, but I highly doubt that I am. There really isn’t anything worse than having a stranger tell you something that is “truth” and also something you don’t want to hear. Yet here I am, dropping some honest-tea on you (you can than the internet for that horrible pun). Like any death, you will grieve. The stages are similar, but in the end the last thing you must do is relent in moving on. You relationship ended for a reason. From experience, I’ve opened my heart out one too many times for the same person. In hindsight, it was for the same reason every time. And every time I got hurt. And every time it was for the wrong reasons. I never trusted my gut. I never truly moved on. I kept hoping that something different would happen and that there would finally be a happily ever after. That’s what I told myself; I was bargaining for something that wasn’t truly there anymore or ever truly was.

Everyone saw it but me.

I always say that no situation is universally applicable and there isn’t one in existence. But I will say to trust your gut because it’s almost never wrong, but it’s always annoying. Closure is sought after and expected, but it comes with time and patience and doubt. When it does, I urge you to be prepared for tears, for shock, and for relief. It will come in waves with small moments of relief between the crashes. Just know that it will come soon enough and bring with it a much needed and well deserved relief.

Let’s Explore: Thoughts While Buzzing My Head.

It starts with a whim.

I suppose it just stems from an inability to care and a want to do something so relatively nuts that you, yourself, isn’t sure what the next step is. A piece of you realizes you have the tools and the means to do it, but you sense something is holding you back, a latent fear or the idea that it can all turn out so terribly wrong.

“It’s just hair” was something that went through my mind and to most, cutting your own hair isn’t that big of a deal. It’s a chore and nothing more. But, I typically care about my looks to a certain extent, definitely more than the person sitting next to me in a movie theater, so this was a plunge. The idea that was stopping me, was sight. I saw myself hesitating and saw myself thinking about how bad it’ll turn out.

I say it starts with a whim because it did. A piece of me wanted to do something drastic by myself, in a space that was all my own while I still had it. I guess this was the act that won above all else. So I did what anyone else would do in the event that sight got in the way.

I closed my eyes and pushed.

I opened my eyes and realized how easy it was and that, well, I can’t stop now lest I want to look like someone who should belong in prison. It’s funny though, you never realize how much hair you actually had on top of your head until it’s at your feet on the floor (there was a lot). But as I kept going, the more fun it got. It became a game for the obsessive compulsive, making sure that every bit is neat and every strand is cut. Granted, I’m not the best barber and will have to get fixed tomorrow morning, so I can’t do it all alone.

But, in some awkward attempt to pull out some life lesson from this impulsive, yet mundane act, I will say this: you never really know the outcome of something until you go for it. It all begins with a whim and you just have to let it overtake you and run with it.

Never in the subsequent twenty-two years of living did I ever think I would do this (let alone do this of my own volition and means) and yet I did. While I’m not the biggest fan of this particular result, I do think it’s becoming of me. As a matter of fact, I look pretty damn good. I’ve had worst cuts and hey, it’s just hair. And I’m not regretting one tiny bit of it. Why would I? It’s only temporary.

It’ll grow back.

the face that doesn't regret his decision.

the face that doesn’t regret his decision.

Let’s Be Angry: Good Lord, I Think I’ve Snapped. 

While I realize that I’ve only recently posted an article on the job hunt (I also realize how uplifting and positive it sounded), I actually wrote that one about a month ago and scheduled it to be posted when it was posted. I’ve since grown a tiny bit bitter.

Why are so preoccupied with the successes and later chapters of those around us, when we ourselves are only at our relative fifth chapter? Why are we so consumed with the future and less privy to the now? More accurately put, why am I so obsessed with it? I say, I, because I am in no means an accurate representation of the whole. I am one person attempting to decide my happiness; a happiness somehow hidden deep within the incorruptible and impenetrable mystery of employment. In my lifetime I have tethered this thought of happiness to a career, to stability, to knowing my future because I thought that it was the one thing I could control. Of all things I can and cannot control, I choose the one uncertain thing that I’m not even sure I can grasp, let alone control.
I’ve spent the last few months yelling into the faceless masses of employers whom have received countless cover letters and resumes from other recent college graduates, of whom I am one. That’s just it, I am ONE of thousands. Yet I get angry at my competition and I get angry at HR representatives who don’t email me back and I get angry because I feel no one will give me a chance. Even friends and family tend to bury themselves precariously beneath my skin with their meaningful affirmations of “hang in there” and “stay positive.”
Damn, do I hate that phrase. “Stay positive!” I’m a twenty-two year old who wants to have a life but not a dime to lead it. All the while, I’m unemployed because I have an English degree that employers don’t give two fucks about. But hey, at least I can “stay positive.” Do you see my bitterness now? Can you smell the black coffee traveling its wispy bitter notes up your nostrils to your olfactory bulb? Can you feel it go down your throat, leaving behind a trail of slow burning caffeine? Add some sugar, it’ll go down smoother.

I understand that I need to re-route the anger and attempt to look at it differently; add some sugar, so to speak. I get it. But the reason I get angry at these people is because I’m too proud to be angry at myself. I shouldn’t be angry at myself or them. In fact, I shouldn’t be angry at all. It won’t solve anything. All it will do is bring about a throbbing pain to my temples. Anger is like the little kid who throws a tantrum because he’s only recently discovered the word ‘no’ and has electively decided that it’s a naughty word, up in the ranks of poopy and broccoli, and that it shouldn’t exist. I don’t like being angry, but sometimes it just happens. There’s only so much you can take at a time before you snap.

So this is it, folks. I’ve snapped. And now please give me the benefit of the doubt as I try to tie myself back together and move along my merry way.
Hopefully to a job.
Hopefully to a chance.
Hopefully to happiness.

Let’s Endure: The Job Hunt

The Job Hunt: It’s as inevitable as growing old, as necessary as breathing, and as annoying as the kid who always raised his hand in class with the right answer. In my experience (which has so far been three months in “the hunt”), I typically receive the same three responses from relatives:

1) Where have you been applying?

2) I’m sure something will come up.

3) You know, it took me ‘X’ months and ‘X’ job applications to get my first job. It’ll work out.

My responses, all held dry underneath the umbrella of politeness are as follows:

1) Literally everywhere, but I’m sure something will happen in time.

2) Oh, most definitely! It’s just a matter of patience.

3) Well, I’m only on month three. I suppose I have a long way to go.

In my family, politeness is probably of the utmost importance, perched up in the ranks next to cleanliness and dental hygiene. It’s sufficient to say that “talking back” won’t only result in complete, familial shame, but also an immediate removal from the family newsletter that exists only through tacit consent and word of mouth.

What they don’t know and will soon find out, is that i’m screaming in my head for everybody to stay quiet and let me do what four years and $65,000 taught me to do: work under the stress of society. As of right now, I am seventy-two applications deep, have accrued eight rejections, and sixty-four non replies.

And they wonder why the job hunt is stressful?

I am finding myself in the most peculiar and perhaps most common situation in regards to this hunt; I am stuck in the phase where I have begun asking myself even more unanswerable questions: What if the first job I’m offered is that one I pounce at, thus shutting out all other possibilities out there? What if there are better ones? How do you know? Will someone please tell me, because I am scared. The answers are out there, but they’re hiding. Hiding beneat the doubt and uncertainty and the unknown. A part of me understands; I understand why it’s selective and why it is the way it is, but at the same time I want to dismantle it bit by bit just so I can get an inch through the door. Yes, my cover letter is a template and no, that doesn’t mean I care any less about the job.

Between the onslaught of questions from family burrowing into the dura over my temporal lobe and my imposed narcissism on behalf of these unknown employers, I’m at my wits end. I can say that it’ll get better and that something will work itself out in due time, and it will, i’m sure of it; but those same responses get tired, tired to the point of ineffectiveness and redundancy. It’s so overdone that I can play backwards and forwards the exact mannerisms associated with the responses:

A tilt of the head, a gentle touch on the hand, *cue subtle sigh*:

Friend/Family Member

“It’ll work out. I know it will. You just have to give it time. Life will out, my friend. Life will out.”

I understand this initial response to it, I do. But despite all of the reassurances, let’s not pretend that you didn’t just steal that phrase from Grey’s Anatomy. From someone who is a fellow hunter, I will start my stating the obvious: the hunt is hard.

It’s harder than a Rubix Cube and rarely yields the same “satisfying” results. But, there’s a reason why the cliches are cliches and the phrases are redundant; it’s because they’re true.

So, I’ll say this with a tilt of my head, a gentle touch on the hand, and I’ll *commence the subtle sigh*:

It’s a tough world out there. But I’m tougher. You’re tougher.

And it’s hunting season, so gear up.

Let’s Redefine: The Villain. 

Once upon a time, a small child grew up thinking that life was simple. Life was merely saving the damsel, slaying the dragon, and living happily ever after. It was black and white, right and wrong, heroes and villains.

Of course, we all know that life is anything but an odd mixture of varying dualities. We realize that a middle ground does exist; some may say that there are an even number of shades of gray. There is always room for reason. That being said, we can’t judge the small child for being disillusioned or misled. Mostly because it’s only a child and very much fictitious. But it really does get you thinking: Who really are the heroes and villains in our lives? Are heroes always draped with capes and are villains always distinguished by the horns protruding from their foreheads?

Short answer? There are no clear, tell-tale signs for either.

Real-life answer? You never truly know until you get to know someone. That’s where life deviates from the fairytales. Figuring out the villains isn’t as easy as The Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Andersen made it out to be. As much as we hate it, it is only through becoming vulnerable that we realize who will hurt us. The only thing “right” with the idea of the villain is that they’re someone who hurts others regardless of reason.

This is where I feel that the entire concept of fairytales, albeit traditional and clean-cut, shouldn’t be the monolith for all relationships. We all see villains as something or someone different. Just because someone is complicated and vindictive doesn’t mean they deserve the title of villain. A person plagued by circumstance and poor life decisions shouldn’t be held down by that.

Maybe we do so because we find it so much easier to hate someone, as opposed to understanding their situation? It certainly makes logical sense. To hate someone, all you have to do is delete their number and walk away; but to understand is to become vulnerable again, this time in a situation in which that vulnerability can be exploited.

I feel that’s a risk worth taking.

Vulnerability, in this sense, can be a good and powerful force. It can almost act as a sixth sense, being able to let you know who is going to hurt you. It’s scary, sure, almost like being naked in public. But that also makes it liberating, in that you don’t have to hide beneath anything.

Think it over and realize that there are other possibilities. Close the storybook and open your mind; welcome to reality, we’ve been waiting for you.