this, my 24th rodeo

The conception of this post began with me thoroughly bothering the sweet barista at Starbucks (the only place open in this town after 6 pm on a Sunday, don’t get me started!) about the difference between an americano-misto and a decáf misto, which is obviously like the difference between the earth and Jupiter, so needless to say if it wasn’t for this great view of 4 older men reading their books/newspapers/stocks, I would be very on edge right now, so let’s all take a deep breath and remember: YOLO.

And since you only live once (this expression is so obvious it’s comical and annoying all at once) – well, you better make your 24th year THE BEST EVER. No pressure, silly.

And now that I’m 24, I’m alive and kickin’ on the ol’ Twitter, the Book (like a good neighbor, Facebook is always there), and actively using Instagram as the new Photoshop, because hello, Photoshop is expensive and confusing. I also got a grown-up job and I intend to work to live, but hopefully not live to work.

Props to Instagram. Insta-glam! Insta-awesome! Insta-frenz!

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there is NO subliminal message whatsoever

When I was 18, I thought that by the time I was 24, I’d be President of the United States and if that didn’t work out I’d maybe be married (I was a lot thinner then) and if that didn’t work I’d just have an awesome blog. So now it’s clear which path I took. (What is that poem Frost wrote? The path less traveled is littered with blogs?) The Presidency seems overrated anyway. I mean living in a WHITE house,  ALL the time? You can’t pull that stuff after Labor Day.

So on this here birthday I am celebrating with Swarovski crystal earrings (by default, wearing Swarovski makes me officially trendy-elegant), gorgeous flowers, and the fact that I’ve made it to 24 with no regrets.*

Goals for my 24th year:

1. Visit someplace new (like a new city, not like a new public restroom)

2. Get accepted to a graduate school of decent repute. NOT high repute. I’m not snobby.

3. Live the normal Christian life, day by day, bit by bit.

4. Have a “green tea month” and do yoga. Publicize it. Massively.

5. Wear patterned scrubs that would make Florence Nightingale proud.

The possibilities are endless, but the years are not. YOLO, y’all.

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My girl AC did this for me. This is why I’m friends with smart people.

*Regrets, I think, are just things you can do better next time.

 

#203: it doesn’t take a big city

Taking jabs at seriousness isn’t my forté but it’s Saturday and you are all out being leisurely so someone’s gotta wear the pants! Enter…me.

Let me show you something!

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If we can all be cool and not make a big fuss about how I favorited my own tweet, we can move on.

I got a job this week. That’s right folks! I’m gonna be bringing that bacon HOME.

That’s enough tooting of the proverbial bedazzled horn, let me get to the point.

So now I go around telling people, oh, me? I got a job in LA. And in small-town central Texas, that’s like, a BIG deal. That is to say that somehow because you decided it was a good idea to move to a smoggy metropolis filled with eccentric (weird) and rude people (okay, I’m sure there are some good people too), you are better at life.

Living in LA (so far) has not been glamorous. I have found a niche, a place to call home in the church where I meet, but apart from that, LA is just a huge city with a lot of problems and tacos. And some museums. Which I’ve never been to.

So when I’ve visited my friends this week and have seen their lives, I got a little fuzzy inside. The small-town ones: the mom with two kids whose life revolves around the playground and mac-n-cheese, my sister-friend who is now serving the church full-time (kudos, kudos), my elementary school bus-mate who is now MARRIED and fabulous, my favorite group exercise instructor who followed her dream and opened a gym – I just want to say – their lives matter. They matter just as much as my job offer, just as much as my application to grad school (!!), as much as getting stuck in traffic on EVERY FREEWAY IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. (I’m not upset. Really.)

To say that “because you do everything in a bubble that has a population of 30,000 instead of 30 million” means you are somehow “less than” – well, it’s not only mean, but it’s ignorant and insensitive.

I went to a new restaurant in my hometown and saw a girl who went to high school near me and also went to UT Austin. She lives in Seattle now and I live in LA. We are both visiting home. In our short exchange I realized – we aren’t better for leaving, we are just…gone. Lovers of leaving – that’s what we are. In a different place, at a different stage.

In my matchy match scrubs and my nursey clog shoes…I’m just doing my best to follow my Lord. Whatever that looks like – for now it looks like metropolis and tacos – I will say amen. I will say yes I do want lime and cilantro with that.

You, dear, you may be doing it big in another city or town, with another set of struggles and reasons to pray. But I salute you, wherever and however you are, because life is too short to compare ourselves, and we are loved regardless of geography.

 

#202: everything you see I owe to spaghetti

Truth is I don’t come from money but somewhere along the way I started liking nice things, like whole wheat pasta and brown rice and – dare I say it? – couscous.

I was reminded of this yesterday as I swiveled my hips freely and with concentrated sass in my first Zumba class in months…maybe a year. What I love about group exercise is that there is a corporate sense of energy, and if not energy then at least some guilt from everyone’s overeating. Let’s face it: this is America, overeating is a favorite pastime. We overeat like we check Facebook. Or as we check Facebook. Multi-taskers!

Group exercise also reminds me of back in the day (yes, I talk about back in the day now, I’m that old) when I used to be the instructor and I could boss people around AND get paid for it. I just feel like, because I got to tell people what to do and make them sweat AND GOT PAID FOR IT at the age of 19-21, well then my life has more meaning.

Speaking of meaning,  my mom is pretty much the hotness at getting dressed up, and she gets all puffy when I don’t wear mascara. Which is why I look like the mom in this picture and she’s the one wearing the hot pink pants. I just don’t have the blazing boldness (or small waist to hip ratio) to pull off pants like that, so I say “¡olé!” to my mother, because she is this.close to 60 years old and still shopping like, you know, your looks matter. ¡Olé, olé!

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*The title I found in an “artpiece” in IKEA. Even I, EYE, am not that clever.

**I am going to start a category called “pointless but true.” Which, honestly, is more than you can say about most things on the internets.