Nobody Likes You When You’re 24

Me and Sparkles

As much evidence as there is to the contrary, I do actually make an effort to not make this blog full of whining and complaining. Generally, the last thing anyone wants to read is someone else bitching, so today you have fair warning. There is going to be lots of privileged white girl complaining, but I’ll try to make it cool.

I have always taken issue with the phrase “supposed to”. It is applied far too liberally, encourages pigeon-holing and stereotyping, and limits thinking, which probably bothers me the most. I am a big fan of thinking. If society, or your school, or your boss, or your mom tells you that you are “supposed to” respond and behave in pre-determined ways then there is no need figure those things out for yourself; and too many people, when given the opportunity, will choose not to think or make decisions. Perhaps it’s ridiculous, but I believe that even if what you do ends up being the same as if you’d simply done what you were told, motivation matters. You should always be able to answer the question – why did you do that? Maybe it’s because I’m a control freak and over-thinking everything gives me a sense of ownership over my sad life, but let’s over-analyse that later.

I have been dealing with some stress and tension in relation to the fact that I am doing my life wrong. For some reason the “supposed to” list I made for myself has far more hold over my psyche than any and all others. Judge as you will. Everyone has expectations for their life – even the assholes who hit on me claiming they live in the moment and would like to offer me the distinct privilege of fucking them silly – or so I have to assume to preserve what little faith I have in humanity. And inevitably there are things on that list that are subject to change, and elements you are bound to give up due to circumstance (I accept that I will never ride a Pegasus – really, I do) but there are some that you count on, that if you satisfy all of the pre-requisites for, you expect to happen in accordance with the laws of logic and your tiny universe. For me, this included employment after graduating from a very expensive private university. Granted I got a taste of my dream job, which is more than most people can say, ever, but the vision for the year I turn twenty-five had a house in it that only I lived in. With a room with words all over the walls for me to write in, an extra car in the garage just for weekends, and a puppy. Maybe a little much, depending on what you’re comparing it to, but I’ve never lacked confidence.

It’s all well and good to wax internet poetic with your take what you want/seize the day/kick the world’s ass memes, but in my experience all of those require money (or maybe that’s only the things I want – not that I want to be a dragon with a pile of money, though a dragon would make all the travelling I do want to do more cost-effective). And because of…oh let’s just blame the world and you can apply whatever spiritual/ political/ financial/ etc. nuances you like to it… so, because of the world I mostly write things that no one reads in the back bedroom of my parents house, working as a mildly inappropriate substitute teacher, desperately trying to show my gratitude for all of those things by being polite and accommodating and helpful, when really I can’t stop mentally re-evaluating how I ended up here, with no puppy. And it’s no one’s fault, not even mine. I send out more resumes than I’m going to admit to, and interview for jobs with health insurance (some of which I actually want), and I’m super nice, so I just have to tell myself that they are only hiring inter-galactic alien robots and thus I have no reason to feel inadequate and panicky about not meeting their criteria. This existence simply is. For no reason.

Everyone’s go-to comforting comment is that “You’re so young!”, or at least it was. I try not to talk about depressing topics with people, so I don’t talk about myself much lately thus making the placating comments less necessary. But the reality is I am very quickly coming to the transition from “you’re so young”, barreling straight into “God, you’re no spring chicken, get your shit together”. Even if I do all the things I wanted to have done by now, no one will be nearly as impressed by them as they would have been. Alexander conquered the known world by the time he was 25, everyone is going to remember that; Hillary paid off her Corolla by age 24 simply does not have the same ring to it.

This means that my real problem is chilling the fuck out. And acknowledging the need for frolicking in perfect joy over parents who semi-enjoy me living in their back bedroom (despite how much more together their shit was at my age). And to continue sending resumes to everyone and begging people to read things (and mentioning my future plans for space travel and a bionic arm) and making strange phone calls because that’s all there is for an over-educated group babysitter to do combat this “world” problem we’re having. I also get to tell my recently college graduated sister that her new life choices are graduate school forever or the beautiful example of bitter hagdom I have set while making any money you can doing whatever someone will pay you for that won’t make it necessary to stop using forks. No one cares what you majored in. Or she can get married and have babies and get food stamps – it’s totally on trend again. I also reserve the right to hate her and her entire graduating class forever if things actually work out for the little bastards.

Of course I’m not quite so jaded that I don’t still harbor a tiny pearly, shiny, sparkle of delusion that one day soon I will be the exception to all this crap and get everything I want all at once. At which point I will deny I ever wrote this. And fly away on my Pegasus. Just like Lena Dunham.

Instant Boyfriend Powder

Coming from a not so envied position of semi-recently graduated and barely employed, a goodly number of my friends and I are well primed for a little instant gratification. I’m supportive of the fantasy insofar as something falling into my lap would be a nice change from scrabbling up metaphoric jagged cliffs to chase taunting golden mirages of boyfriends, promising careers, and a living space my parents don’t also occupy. But I can’t really embrace the entitlement that my generation refuses to see past. Yes, it would be nice if perfect scenarios presented themselves right in front of me, but I don’t expect that to happen and it’s not something the universe owes me. Capitalism, on the other hand, made some promises that haven’t been kept. I don’t mind working my ass off to get what I want, but putting in all the work only to suddenly realize your goal isn’t there when you reach the end is more than a little infuriating.

In this line of thinking, I was considering conversations I have had with my friends that seemed to end on the same note of dissatisfaction: “Why can’t my ideal someone/something magically appear”. And god knows I sympathize, but what worries me is that they seem to mean it. If they can site even one example (and there is invariably at least one) of someone stumbling into their dream with perfect timing and circumstance all they can think is that it should have been them. All I can think is that it would make a very boring story, but I’m fully aware of my masochistic and opportunistic tendencies. In any case, comparison is not a good verb on which to base your life. You will, without fail, come up short every time. Now weighing things against your own expectations can be equally dangerous, if not more (entirely dependent on your level of self-delusion), but it’s ever so slightly healthier to attempt to live your life on your own terms and based on your own perceptions of reality, morality, success, failure, and happiness. In my opinion. Of course it would be bloody fantastic if you could go to the boyfriend store and pick out a packet of Tall, Handsome, Debonair, Will Let You Name the Children, Comes with Puppy and just add water. Or to go to the Work building, get in the Dream Job Line, and pick up your envelope of…well, you get the idea. But we can’t. And maybe that’s a good thing.

It definitely doesn’t feel like a good thing. Being an adult is hard and often awful, but when the big things work out it’s that much better when you’ve fought for every step towards the goals you want the most. With any luck you’ve reached a place where you can enjoy this massive piece of the puzzle falling into place. Not that I’m in possession of any of these puzzle pieces. I’m still trudging along with one eye on the clouds – just in case my dreams decide to suddenly fall from the sky.

5 Ways You Know You’re A Hollywood Assistant

As if it’s the kind of thing you wouldn’t notice…

1) You have spilled coffee…all over the roof of your car. And the passenger seat. And every floor mat you own, including those in the trunk. When you do a coffee run almost everyday with anywhere from 4-14 orders and you transport them in your car a fair percentage makes it outside of the stupid containers. Doesn’t matter how much you think you’ve perfected the art of balancing the trays and making them all support one another while you drive, it’s going to end up everywhere. Speed bumps arise out of nowhere and all your planning is for naught.

2) You have forgotten how to sleep. This is not to say that you don’t sleep- we’re not some breed of insomniac vampires. But you no longer get that way under your own power, with any kind of forethought, or with any regularity. You work more than twelve hours a day – how much more being entirely dependent on your boss(es)- which means that the moment you get somewhere where you don’t have to be alert to the needs and whims of everyone around you, you basically collapse. You’re body has run the marathon and there is nothing left. I’ve woken up a few times (luckily, I seem to make it to my bed most of the time) with one leg of my jeans still on and my bra unhooked, but still more or less in place. This is because sleeping becomes an involuntary and sudden loss of energy and control that results in unconsciousness as opposed to anything you’d actually get ready for. Thus, the art and practice of ‘going to sleep’ is lost on you entirely.

3)All of your stories about going out and seeing your family start with “So there was this time a while back…” because you haven’t actually seen anyone on a social basis that wasn’t also an excuse to network in years. Or at least the equivalent of years because you’re awake so goddamn much.

4)You’ve done things deemed ‘strange’  by the world at large because it’s your job. Jack (of all trades) is a lazy asshole compared to all of things that you do. Feeding, dog walking, nursing, typing, calling, faxing, cleaning, running errands, answering phones, running for no apparent reason, researching funny names for cat shelters, filing, coddling, and coloring. And then there’s the odd tasks. Somehow all of it is entirely normal until you realize that other people’s ‘water cooler’ stories actually have something to do with a water cooler.

5) You have regularly scheduled nervous breakdowns. Your main focus is to organize and operate the lives of others, therefore, taking care of your own life is tertiary at best. I’m lucky if I have time to deposit my own paycheck. The stress levels, sleep deprivation, and constancy of awareness all add up to an unavoidable nervous breakdown – most likely more than one. But you can’t afford to have that kind of loss of control when you have other things and people to worry about. So you find ways to stave them off and very conveniently schedule blocks of time in advance in which to irrationally cry and break things and imagine yourself being sucked into a void of blackness. And then you get over it and go back to work.

Because we are the future of LA goddamn it. And one day we will have our own assistants to subject to all of this while we concentrate our obsessions and intelligence verified by $100,000 degrees on worthwhile problems like why our characters keep cheating on one another. And we love every minute.