Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year, New Nothing.

I hate New Years. That's a lie. I hate New Years resolutions. Anyone who waits until they have to buy a new calendar to set a goal for themselves is not only lazy, but not going to achieve jack shit. Goals are meant to be set, pursued, and achieved on a continuing basis; not professed right after a new years kiss, pursued for a month, then forgotten, only to have the same process with the same goal repeated 365 days later.
I do, however, find New Years to be a good time of reflection. The holidays are finally over, some people are about to return to the black hole of intelligence that is commonly referred to as school or college (NOT THIS GIRL, MOTHER FUCKERS!!!), and most of us are planning to attend some type of party. Or working. I'd just like to give a quick shout out to all the emergency services personnel and military members working on New Years. It is the most dangerous day of the year for the boys in blue, and I'm beyond ecstatic that this year it falls on my regularly scheduled weekend and I won't be at work. Anyway. Back to reflection. After the last two months of suffering through an overdose of family time and wading through finals I utilized some of this free time which I have yet to grow accustomed to think about the things I learned in 2014. Here's the list I came up with:

1) College is a lie.
2) Enjoy being single. Few men are worth a power-walk.
3) Free time. It's a rare commodity. Use it. Love it.
4) Some things are better with a buzz.
5) Regular adventures are important to your overall happiness.
6) Having a purpose is equally important.

#1 - A lot of the world probably disagrees with me on this one (except for graduating high-schoolers arguing with their parents, using Bill Gates as their examples as why they don't need to receive any form of higher education), but I don't really give a shit. College has its merits, particularly for those who wouldn't figure out how to grow up and move out otherwise, but a degree is not what's going to get you a big bank roll. Everyone and their dog has a degree these days, and a lot of them are unemployed or not working in their field of study. Professionalism and valuable, relative experience can start to get you a job, but I've discovered that a lot of what it comes down to is not even who you know, but rather, who knows you. I've met the CEO of Tyson a handful of times, but I can't say that I really know him very well. In fact, I can't even remember his first name right now. But his family and mine have been friends for years. His kids are the same age as some of my older siblings, my mom is friends with his wife, and he employs my sister. This caused him to hire me to house sit for them at one of their lake houses over Christmas a few years ago. On top of my regular pay, they gave me a hefty Christmas bonus, something I certainly didn't deserve since I'd only house sat for them twice that year, but he knew me. He knew I was trying to move, that I was going to have some extra expenses, and gave me an extra check. The point is, I don't know this man. This wealthy, generous, humble man whose name I can't even remember gave me a job opportunity and some much needed extra income because he knew my name and my reputation; not because I met him at a party once.

#2 - This is simply my personal experience with my ex. Honestly though, if you're the woman in the relationship and you call him "your drama mamma," that should be a sign to run, not walk, to the nearest exit. I relearned my lesson though, I guess. Being single is a ton of fun, and it can be lonely, but it's not as lonely has having a boyfriend who breaks every promise he makes. Don't waste your time. Instead, focus on just doing you. Have fun with your friends, go on adventures, learn a new skill, and just chill the fuck out. If somebody worth having comes along, then fine, but make sure he's worth having before you dive into that. But don't chase. Take Mat Best's wise T-shirt advice and just power-walk.. Preferably after one with a beard and tattoos. And if you don't get that reference, you need to get your life right and become an American. Here's how.

#3 - Oh my God, free time! For basically the last six years, I've been too busy with work and school to even have a glimpse at what the fabled "free time" was. Until this past summer. I was only working one full-time job, and I didn't have any summer classes. Honestly, I've never had so much fun in just a few months. I went on road trips, I had adventure Tuesdays, went kayaking, skydiving, running, mountain biking, hiking, boating, bowling, swimming, and whatever the fuck else I felt like doing. God it was glorious. Then school started back up. Now that I'm done with college forever, I don't know what to do with my free time. I know I want to chill out for a couple months before I dive into my career (whenever I figure out what the next step is going to be), but I'm having a hard time figuring out how to chill again. I'm a fair weather girl, and dead trees are just fucking ugly. So things like kayaking and hiking have lost their allure for the time being. I'll get it figured out though. I'm not so easily deterred.

#4 - Do I even need to explain this? I'm not saying you need to get hammered to have a good time, but a good buzz can exponentially increase the hilarity of a lot of situations. Also, if tequila even touches my tongue I can go from being the wort person to be around to the happiest mother fucker on planet earth.

#5 - Two words: Adventure Tuesdays (probably Saturdays for all you fuckers with an 8-5. Lucky bastards) I guess I discovered this over this last summer when I was finding out what free time was and how it's best utilized. I'd had no idea how miserable I was in school until summer was coming to an end and I crammed in a road trip to Houston/Galveston/San Antonio and a camping trip in one week. #4 also played a big role in that week, and by the end of it I had jumped off a cliff, gotten a sunburn that would make the devil himself jealous, taught myself to surf, vomited uncontrollably in the woods, and I suspect I was nearly eaten by a mountain lion. I regret nothing.

#6 - As alluring as it sounds to just have life be one big party and adventure all the time, you need a purpose. Or at least I do. I guess I've always known that I needed a purpose, and I've desperately searched for one that fits me, one that I can enjoy and make a career out of, but it never hit as hard as it did these last couple of weeks since graduating. Nothing hits you in the face like someone saying, "Oh, you graduated college, where are you working now?" I know I'm very fortunate to have a good paying, full-time job and no college loans to be paying off, but there's nothing I hate more than answering that question right now because the answer is "the same fucking thing I've been doing for the last three years." I love my job, really I do, but it's nothing I want to make a career out of. It was purely meant to get me through college and no further. I'm the kind of person that's always had the next ten steps figured out. Honestly, for a while I did have the next several steps figured out, but not anymore. Life is funny like that. I heard somewhere that life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans, and that's definitely what's happened. The simple fact that I haven't gotten it figured out yet is driving my type A personality up a wall. I do have an alter ego though, my type B side. My type B side is just enjoying the free time.

While I find reflection to be one of the more valuable things about new years, and I hate the "new year, new me" bullshit everyone tries to sell on their facebook posts, I maintain that reflection can go both ways. Resolutions are a good idea, people just don't know how to execute them. Resolutions aren't meant to come around every 365 days, they're meant to come around whenever you discover the need for improvement or change. If it's November, or June or February and you decide shit needs to happen, make that shit happen. Fuck resolutions day. I will, however, concede to the fact that in order to propel yourself forward in life, it's important to set goals for yourself (constantly, not yearly) and while the new year is a convenient time to do that, it shouldn't be the only time you do it.

No attempt at philosophy would be complete without some hippocracy, so here's my goals for 2015.
1) Fist fight a shark.
2) Eat something spicy without crying.
3) Get fired from a trebuchet.
4) Hail a cab (preferably in a foreign country where you're scared for your life as you weave in and out of traffic at neck-breaking speeds).
5) Execute Ayman Al Zawahiri - MERICA.

Set a goal. Work towards it. Achieve it. Learn from it. Up the ante and repeat.