Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Nearing the End of the End... of My 20's

Dear whomever,

It is with deepest regrets that I must inform you of the approaching demise of Alicia's 20's. The prognosis is bad -- I'm afraid her 20's have only one year left to survive, after that... gone. They will live on in our memories and in our hearts. In these next few months let us reflect on this period of youth and what it means to move beyond them into the after youth, otherwise known as "the 30's." If any of you need someone to talk to in order to grieve this loss, please know my door is open and I am always available -- except after 9PM, because I will be in my jammies, drinking cocoa and watching the tellie before my early and maturely responsible bedtime.


Alicia -- one week before her 29th birthday.

Ok, maybe a bit dramatic, but funny nonetheless. As I approach my last year as a twenty-something I find myself reflecting quite a lot on the last decade. At first there was the typical self-flagellation -- "I wasted so much of my time! Why am I not a wealthy successful blah-blah-blah?" Then I stepped back. In the last nine years I have fallen in and out of love (a few times), and in doing so have learned what I want from a relationship and have developed healthy standards for myself and the people I surround myself with. I earned a degree. I moved clear across the country for an internship --  this was my first experience being completely on my own. No family, no friends, just me.  I reconnected with my parents and have developed a more healthy relationship with my family. I rescued a cat. I moved A LOT. I found a group of friends that I call family. I sold over $1000 of my paintings. I started (and not quite maintained) a blog. I flew in a small airplane for the first time. I obtained credit card debt and have nearly paid it off. I made mistakes and I learned from them. It was a very eventful and progressive nine years.

I'm not afraid of my 30's, I think they will be a fabulous decade. I am nervous about aging -- I have my share of silver hairs already and have a hard time imagining my face creased and sagging, but I'm nowhere near there yet. I hope I can live my life in such a way that near the end of each decade I can look back and say "I grew."

How about you? Anyone else going through a similar reminiscence? Or perhaps some advice from those who've made it through a few decades and never looked back with regret? I want to hear from you.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Unemployed (Or: I Learned How to Play Skyrim Last Night.... and I'm Kinda Okay At It)

I've worked a minimum of one to two jobs at all times since graduating high school -- never taken a break -- I even worked full time while attending college. I'm not going to say that I love that busy lifestyle; I'm not one of those buzzing little worker bees. I just never considered not working as an option, and learned recently that, for many people, it really isn't an option at all.

Four weeks ago I was laid off from a job I REALLY liked, working with people I still do really like. I knew it was a risk working for a small independently owned business. At the end of the day, they were losing money by keeping me on deck. I can hardly blame them, but I'm still angry. Not at them, and not at myself (I did nothing wrong), but I am angry about all the time I have to fill and the minuscule amount of money I have at my disposal to enjoy that time. If you aren't making money you're spending it. Or you're hiding in your apartment trying hard to be frugal like a pale, shrivelled, protein and booze deprived hermit.

I love my leisure time. Sometimes I just like to take 20 minutes and stare at nothing. Absolutely nothing. The best is when I lie on my back with my legs parallel to the wall -- toes stretched to my cobwebbed popcorn ceiling -- until I lose all feeling in my lower extremities. This is my idea of fun. However, lately I've had a little too much time on my hands. Of course I fill much of my day with job hunting, but this doesn't fill my whole day. It's really just a part of my morning routine now. Craigslist and a cup o' joe.

Last night my boyfriend, tired of seeing me constantly check my email for a response to the million and one resumes I've sent out, decided I needed to be introduced to the oh-so-charming land of Skyrim. It took me almost an hour just to master walking in the game -- I'm more of an 8-bit, eagle's eye view kind of video game person, if you can call me a gamer at all. Once I mastered walking and not looking at the ground or walking into walls and getting lost, I started my quest (for anyone wondering, I'm an elf. And yes, I enjoy the fact that I now have a little more in common with Felicia Day). Subsequently I lost an entire evening in a fictional world. There's nothing wrong with a little escapism, and I sure do need it now, but man.... I really do miss working.

How about you? Do any of you have a hard time filling your day? Anyone else a fan of wall staring? I would love to hear your stories.

The Sweet Life

I have a friend: a very dear, very sweet friend who has decided that I am her pet project. She wants me to write. It's true that I have a blog, but I really have never considered myself a "blogger." I know, a blogger literally is just someone who blogs, but I do it so infrequently, and honestly sharing what I think in such a public forum, even if its about food, feels awkward. Yet this friend insists that I have "voice" and that I'm "funny." Her blog(s) are becoming pretty well known and she's branching off into publishing some short stories, so maybe I should listen to her and at least give this blogging thing another try. But something's going to change. I just can't talk about food ALL OF THE TIME. It makes me hungry. And I don't really own a digital camera (who wants to read a food blog without those high-res, gorgeously back-lit, reach-through-the monitor-and-eat-it photos?).

The Sweet Smith wants to talk about something else. LIFE. Primarily mine. If you're a close friend, maybe sometimes yours.

Let's cross our fingers and see of this works out better.