A Rambling on the YOLO Life

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So you have dreams, who doesn’t. Dreams change, they stay the same, some make it, some don’t. Some say, “Failure isn’t an option,” but life dictates another reality. There’s something to be said for those who don’t give up, but there’s also a degree of clarity for those who’ve arrived at that narrow corridor of the status quo. What’s giving up anyway? For you it might mean never having achieved New York Times best-seller status, for some it might be falling out of the routine of writing, singing, or whatever it was that moved you to pursue something greater than what was expected from you, or what you had expected of yourself.

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What I Think About at Work

If anyone ever tells you, “I’m completely devoted mind, body, and soul to my job while I’m at work,” this person is likely the biggest, fattest liar you know. Why? People daydream while they’re driving, while they’re having family interventions, during sex, the moment one realizes someone is staring at them in an extremely close and uncomfortable manner. We all daydream. My job is typically, almost always, quiet and most time the only way around it is to talk to my co-worker, raise some hell, or think up pleasant or horrifying scenarios in my head; my favorite on being finding a huge stash of money while I’m walking my dog, in all honesty it’s my most replayed fantasy.

Since working in a beige box doesn’t provide much of a jumping point for creative stimulation, I have reliable sources of mental inspiration. Here are some thoughts that help get me through the day.

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Normcore to the Rescue?

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Now that the riff-raff loser look is posh, there’s no need to fake it till you make it. Closeted shame over your thrifted, uncool wardrobe need not knock on your psyche anymore. Poor Writers everywhere have been saved by Normcore.  Gone are the days when one’s mocked for sporting funky fanny packs and New Balances, Fresh Prince inspired geometric prints, or saddlebag inducing denim. This is the age of self-expression’s inability to express anything. Now that much of popular culture has been reduced to a fabrication of the 1980s, what’s left besides hipsters hijacking J Crew for a more neon, bearded storefront. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Here are some pieces you should be sure to rock this spring.

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A Pep Talk From The Not So Peppy

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Every now and then a feeling of absolute dread comes over me. I start with the I’m never getting a real job, never ever going to buy lovely Diane Von Furstenburg wrap dress, and always going to cry myself to sleep with my yellow lab Clyde licking tears from my face. It’s an inevitable feeling. One hellbent on crushing my soul and driving me towards Hershey’s Symphony bars, but then I figure “If this isn’t the perfect time to be a poor writer, when else would be?” When else would be? If you’re young, broke, and full of the postgraduate mopes, this is an excellent time to throw yourself into your work and make things happen. Inventiveness isn’t a thing of the past, but the way of the future.

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The Millennial Meal: Granola Bars

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There was a time, long, long ago, that I was excited about grocery shopping. I had just moved out on my own, first time out of a dorm and with no meal swipe card, when meal planning felt like a statement. I felt in charge. Adult. Inspired.

That lasted about two days. Maybe five meals.

I soon realized how much I ate. I mean, I’m hungry all the time. I eat breakfast, and then I’m hungry again, lunch, dinner, second dinner, etc. It gets to be a lot of food. A lot of money. A lot of time and energy.

And so I, as so many of my comrades before me, have fallen to the granola bar meal. If you find yourself in a similar situation, here’s a handy dandy guide.

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Politeness is Weird

I’ve never believed all of it about our generation: the attention span, the laziness, the rudeness. But yesterday I was taking the train home for Christmas and I sat next to an old man.  As he moved his bag from the seat next to him and I sat down,  his phone started ringing. He answered, and then, after he had said hello, pulled the phone down from his ear and mouthed at me, “Sorry. I’ll be only a minute.”

I had no idea what he was talking about and I guess my face showed it, because he motioned towards his phone before continuing his conversation. Oh. And this is what I’m saying: I was taken aback. He was apologizing to me for talking on the phone.

“It’s fine,” I whispered, two minutes too late, “It’s really fine.”

I turned my headphones down and tested them to make sure no music was leaking out. I sat up straight. I smiled at the chair in front of me. I can be proper, I thought. I can be nice.

I never would have thought to apologize to someone for briefly talking on the phone on the train next to them. And maybe now I will, or maybe I won’t, but I think maybe it says something about me and about kids these days. Maybe chivalry is dead. I mean, I really felt my heart melting a little bit, and that’s just pathetic. Maybe we are the worst. Maybe I can’t be proper and will have to spend the rest of my life as someone who routinely puts her feet up where she definitely shouldn’t.

I tried to find a lesson for this post but couldn’t find one I could stick with. I tried politeness, but I’ve never been a huge fan of politeness for its own sake. For me it falls under the umbrella of niceness and just general humanness, but that seems too broad and abstract for a blog post about an apology on a train. There’s always phone etiquette, which I guess we could go with, but it might not apply anymore, for our generation. (By our generation I’m starting to think I mean any generation at all.)

Maybe it’s just nice that on my train ride home for Christmas my hear melted a little bit, and leave it at that. Merry Christmas Y’all!

-Devin

Oh also–when I got home I had two days worth of laundry to do. TWO DAYS. It’s OK though because this means I’m saving my quarters for a Starbucks when the holidays are over and I’m depressed and don’t find hidden meanings in train convos.