2018, college, Humor, Life, Millennials

One year on from graduation: EAT, GAY, LOVE

It’s officially been one year since I graduated from college, and I weirdly felt fine about it. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that I was working that day – nothing distracts you like an endless array of customers screaming about groceries – but it also could probably be attributed to the fact that I spent literal months stressing and freaking out about the fact that I was graduated that I think I exhausted it out of my body.

But the official end of the first year, even without the heart palpitations, made me take stock of what I’ve accomplished since then. Lol! !!

🙂 EAT 🙂

Part of the unspoken (but passive-aggressive) rule of moving back home was that I was going to responsible for cooking dinner. This wouldn’t be a problem (I’d been cooking for myself for over two years !) except for the fact that my family is both rude and not shy about criticizing my cooking.

So I really tried to be better about cooking (i.e. not burning things and calling it “intentional” or “crispy”), and I’m excited to bring that with me in my next iteration: as a gay monster and University of Southern California Annenberg graduate student. My mom keeps saying, “Your roommate will be so impressed!” which for some reason, like, does not inspire confidence. “My mom thinks I’m a good cook!!” doesn’t roll off the mature tongue.

Before this year, I don’t think I knew what “dredging” was, and now it’s literally my favorite thing to do to chicken and white fish. Also, I never cooked white fish before!! Now I love a good sole!! A year ago, I was microwaving potatoes, and now I’m literally so obsessed with finding the perfect method for making sweet potato fries that I’m going to write a blog post about it.

😉 GAY 😉

The second, and skinniest, thing I accomplished is mah body. I feel weird talking about my body for like 8000 reasons, but one is that I’m thin. I’ve generally always been thin, and – thanks to future medicine and the plastic surgery I plan on getting – I’ll probably stay thin. But to combat depression and a freelance lifestyle, I recommitted myself to the gym and lost 20-ish pounds this year.

I knew going into this body journey that it could be a dangerous path: when I was at my most depressed, the gym was a salve that gradually became a crutch. I was obsessed with going, because when I was there I could zone out and forget everything else.

I think I went into this year of fitness a different way, and I set weight goals, yes, but I also set goals outside of weight loss. I’ve written about this before, but I became obsessed with doing unassisted pull-ups. Upper body strength was never a huge part of my workout-life; in high school, I was a long- and mid-distance runner, where the emphasis was put on stamina and pacing (shorter distances place a higher premium on upper body strength). So I never really thought about pull-ups, and kind of dreaded them.

But as I started working out more – and probably aided by losing a few pounds – I began feeling the unassisted pull-up coming into my grasp. Currently, I can do 4×4 unassisted pull-ups (with 12 lbs dumbbells clamped between my thighs) and 4×4 unassisted chin-ups. My new goal is to do 3×8 pull-ups (I’m currently able to do one set of eight, and can maybe do two sets on a good day).

Setting these goals that existed outside of any weight loss put the emphasis not on cutting calories or excessive cardio, but building up my strength. I began feeling like I was training to be some sort of gay, chic spy. I’ve leaned out more, and I can see the whisper of those 11 abs that lady yoga instructors have sometimes. Goals. Also I’d like to hit (however briefly) 169 pounds for the hilarious joke. It will not be funny to anybody but me.

😀 LOVE 😀

Despite the fact that I’ve gone back – officially – on dating apps, this section is not about my quest for a man. I know that my future husband, wherever he is, is probably in his last year of medical school, and has to gather a net worth of a couple mill before we even meet. And I love that for me, and he loves that for me.

I’m talking about self love. I went back into therapy this year, after a tumultuous few months away from it. and while it has not been easy – it’s actively been very hard – and I don’t think I’m nearly there yet, I feel like the work I’ve done, and the realizations I’ve made, have been very positive and very important for me. A lot of therapy is recognizing patterns you’ve engaged in, how they relate to larger behaviors, and what those behaviors mean in the grand scheme of your psyche. It sounds kinda simple, but lol it is tiring y’all.

🙂  😉  😀

I’ll be honest, I’m sure I would feel very differently about this year being up if I didn’t have my next step planned out. I’m excited to go onto my next step, and I can breathe a little easier on this anniversary knowing that I’ve got at least one thing in the future planned.

It also matters very much to other people. It’s socially acceptable, in what I’ve witnessed, to have something coming down the pike. People like knowing that you’ve got some sort of plan that fits into what they think you should be doing.

I had a customer the other day lean over and say, eyes kind and completely unaware of how condescending her question was, “Do you know what you want to do with your life?” In her eyes, working at Trader Joe’s was not good enough; it had to be a transitional station and not a destination. So I can’t pretend that part of my chillness about being a year out from graduation is the fact that my plan lines up with societal expectations on me.

This took a turn, but it’s all connected in my mind. This year out of school has been emotionally trying; facing professional uncertainty, rejection and trials have really made me think about what I want to pursue. And while I’m currently so excited and happy about where I’m going, it’s important for me to acknowledge that this year was not just about passing time or waiting for the next thing to come along. This year, in its entirety, was meant for me – it was meant for me to grow and to challenge myself and to experience new, sometimes uncomfortable, things.

I’ve included this because it’s a bop and it’s what i’m listening to as i’m editing this. 

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Life, Rambles

I’M NOT AN ADULT, LET ME DRINK MY CAPRISUN IN PEACE

Written immediately after watching a BuzzFeed video that included a “confidence and style coach” who had put his dreads up into tiny Miley Cyrus/Princess Leia buns, so know that that has deeply affected me and all that I will be doing for the rest of the day.

SOS ADDENDUM: After I went to sleep, #KimExposedTaylorParty happened and I didn’t have time to comment. Now I’m writing this on my way to work. I WILL BE devoting an entire post to this but my workplace doesn’t recognize “Pop Culture Hangover Mental Health Days” despite my lobbying, so I can’t rn. Long story short, Kim released a video via Snapchar proving that Kanye discussed the lyrics to “Famous” with Taylor Swift, who had said previously that the lyrics were a surprise to her. THIS IS MY WATERGATE.

I feel like I’ve spent the last four days just repeating “Writing is the only thing I’m good at” to people. Which, I mean, is basically true. I can’t do math, or science; I have yet to grab the concept of “stocks” (so you buy them, and then what?? You just keep them?); and I lack the patience to learn any other sort of trade. If I weren’t good at writing, then I would be Darwinned out of existence.

I think that if I didn’t have a blind self-adoration and narrow focus about my writing, then I might be deterred to being a little bit more realistic and proactive. As it is now, I just pretend that me having no job and writing with my laptop on my chest and my chin doubling is me “struggling” for my “art.” Also I get to refer to myself as a “creative” which omg is the literary equivalent of saying that you’re “studying kabbalah”.

It’s weird, because I’m being influenced on two fronts. On the personal peer front (the PPF) I’m being bombarded with friends and acquaintances with internships and (what’s another word like “internship” but not? Apprenticeship??) and omg even this girl who I hate/don’t know has her Twitter picture as something obnoxious like “I Won An Award”—I only hate her because she refused to follow me back on Twitter and now Twitter reminds me of that fact constantly by putting her in my “People You Should Follow” bracket; I also hate her because she’s one of those “ugh, over it” people—and people like that can suck an egg.

But on the other side, I’m being heavily buoyed by podcasts and Internet people and writers who are already successful and doing their thing. And usually that would make me want to body-check someone or roll out of a moving car, but for some reason I actually find it very inspiring. These are people who just grabbed what they wanted and decided to do it. And that makes me feel a little less like a loser; and it makes me feel more like “Hey, I could do this; other people did this and aren’t dying on the streets.” My greatest fear is dying on the streets/living with my parents forever. I Rihfuse to do it.

People put intense pressure on themselves and—more unfairly—on others to have things together at a young age. Things aren’t the way they used to be (to be fair, I’m only, like, twelve and a half, so I don’t know how things “used to be”). But here’s a general rule of thumb: if I’m not old enough to drink (legally)*, you shouldn’t be allowed to ask me what my plans are for the rest of my life. Let me drink my CapriSun in peace, you mutant.

*And when I turn 21, the rule will become “If I’m not old enough to rent a car (25), don’t ask me about my life plans.” This will keep updating until A) I figure out my life, or B) I die in a sample sale being half-Nelsoned by an Olsen twin. At this point, I’m open to anything.

Any successful creative will tell you that they probably didn’t know what they were doing at twenty, either. If they did know, then stone them as witches. And you’ll never hear anything from unsuccessful creatives because the Applebee’s where they work doesn’t have good cell reception. Applebee’s or bust.

Takes an eight-hour break whilst writing post.  

I don’t really know how to end this article. In the past eight hours, I have eaten an entire personal pizza, cold brew coffee and an ice cream cone, and somehow the mass-consumption of food has not elucidated any life answers. But I have realized that in order to maintain sanity, I need to eschew successful peers in my life. B’s only, B+ and above need not apply.

I think the weird/frustrating thing is that I do have goals—write a book, be funny, not die on the streets, have enough money to live on, write cool commentary—but I don’t know what is the best way to achieve those goals. Again, I really cannot stress how much I do not want to die on the streets/live with my parents forever. I could just wing, I guess. I don’t really have the easy-going nature to wing it, or the good skin to weather that kind of fiscal stress.

In other news, I have a crush on a boy who doesn’t get a lot of Instagram likes, and I have to admit that I briefly considered whether or not that was a dealbreaker for me; I saw two guys at the gym and had a brief internal debate as to whether they were dating or related; also I was able to lift a wooden pallet over my head (I s2g I almost blacked out though).

I coerced/encouraged/thinspired my coworkers to read my blog and those leeches immediately asked if I could write a post about them. I told them that I don’t write blogs about people in my life (complete lie, omg such a lie), but really I just think I’m prettier/more interesting/I’m not romantically into them, so what’s the point of writing a blog post if not a thinly veiled attempt at flirting?? If you, coworkers, actually read this, then maybe I will. (I won’t).

Also I took an Instagram (@dnnymccrthy) today (Sunday) and I looked so tan in it that I was filled with white-hot rage and an insatiable desire to actually look that tan all the time. also I need to start teeth-smiling in photos because I don’t do it (it’s a sign of aggression in the animal kingdom and that’s the rule I live by) but when I don’t do it, if the angle isn’t exactly right, I end up looking like a mental patient. I mean, I essentially am a mental patient, but I sure as fuck don’t want to look like one.

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Inspirational, Life, Rambles

BAD DIVING BOARD METAPHOR

(Written in front of Tatte Bakery while shivering violently and pretending that I’m not)

Today in the last British Literature class I’ll ever (hopefully) take, my professor asked us if we write in journals. He did, and he said how fun it was to look back on journals from years ago and read what he thought. I had to bite my tongue to avoid plugging my blog (because not even I’m that obnoxious to do a shameless plug in British Literature)—

I should point out, legally, that I have actually put my Twitter/Instagram handle on the blackboard in this class; but that’s less of a shameless plug and more of a public service to my classmates. @dnnymccrthy on Instagram and Twitter.

—and thought back on when I had my old, horrific teenage blog—The Amazing Unicorn Files—where literally all I did was talk about boys I had a crush on, Honey Boo Boo (she was big in 2012), and vaguely offensive satiric “articles.” I have since shoved a stake into that blog’s heart and started this wonderful old broad. And this Elaine Stritch of a blog—shocking, funny, elderly—has morphed to be greater than TAUF. I get to write about politics and pop culture and what’s happening in my world.

But when I look back on this blog in a week, or a month, or a decade, I don’t think I’ll care about Donald Trump—unless he’s Il Duce Trump by then—or Lemonade or what queen went home on that week’s RuPaul’s Drag Race. I’ll still care about the Kardashians obviously, but that’s because I’ll be curious to see how Kris Jenner manages to outlive everyone else in her family.

I’ll care about what I felt, and what was happening in my life. What boys I liked, and what friends I had made, and how good I looked that day. I plan on getting extensive plastic surgery when I turn 40, so it’ll be nice to be able to look back on that youthful boy that I’m desperately trying to recreate.

So I just finished the last day of classes in my junior year. I still have finals and papers to write and loose ends to tie up, but that’s next week and an eternity away. Right now I’m sitting in front of a very chic café, watching cars go alongside my table and shivering from what I’ll say is the cold but might just be the coffee that I’m sucking down but don’t want to acknowledge because coffee shouldn’t make me spasm like a dying fish.

I’ve just finished my junior year of college and the long slab of summer lies ahead of me, but it’s weird, right? It’s odd. Suddenly, I’m about to reach this huge milestone—21, senior year of college, the world beyond—and it feels like it’s all happening too soon. I’m a kid. I don’t know how to get a job. I just figured out how people get cake pops to stick together. I can’t provide for myself. I can barely provide a hilarious one-liner response to cute cashiers.

I have friends who are graduating in a few days. I have friends who are engaged, or are in relationships that could blossom into long-term situations. I can see people going into jobs that lead to careers that lead to the rest of their lives. I can see it all, and it’s making me want to break a table. Because my life is one big sexy, messy black hole.

I feel like I’m always referencing my Brit Lit class, but bear with me. we read Gerard Manly Hopkins this week, and his poetry stuck in my brain like a half-remembered song. He writes like I write, adjectival and messy and complicated and complex. It’s a structure compounded words and thoughts, weaving together to create a parts-of-the-whole thing. And that made me flutter. Because here was someone who did what I want to do. Who was a writer and successful (I mean, he died at 45 of typhoid or something, and all of his poems were published posthumously, so I don’t want to do exactly what he did, also he was a priest which is so not my MO, but still) and loved what he did.

I can’t see my future and I can’t see what the next step should be, but I know what I want my narrative to be. I want to be able to get a job where I can be weird and funny and write in my voice. I want a cool life. I want to not find love right away and be able to have one of those twenties where I can have a shit ton of content off being a twentysomething. I want to live somewhere warm. I want to laugh until I cry, and choke on food and cackle-scream. I cackle-scream now, but I want to keep cackle-screaming.

(I had to move inside because I was cold and can’t pull off that “artist suffering for their work” mentality.)

I want all of these things and it’s weird that they’re beginning to be possible. That in a year, maybe less, I’ll have to start making big-boy-out-of-Pampers decisions. What a horrific image. Maybe I can pull a Lisa Rinna and make my money off adult diapers. That must be my rock bottom, but no one says you can’t make bank on the bottom (insert filthy joke here).

raw

Source: riffsy.com

I don’t want this to turn into one of those fucking annoying feel-good posts, or one of those “Don’t make me adult” travesties. I want to adult. But it feels a little like being a kid at my grandma’s pool club. There was this huge dive—literally massive when you’re six—and one day, I decided to conquer it. Obviously this is a metaphor—pay attention.

I was—am—a total chickenshit, so I don’t know what made me think I could confidently pull this off, but maybe even then, I was trying to self-destruct. I climb up, and I’m eager. I want to be at the top; I want to make the jump. And suddenly, I’m at the top, and the breeze is stronger up here than it was on the ground, and everyone looks tiny, and that water looks like it’s going to hurt an awful lot from this high up. And so I’m torn, because I want to jump, but suddenly I’m thinking about the very concrete logistics. What will I look like as I fall? Should I tuck my arms in? Fling them out? How deep into the water will I go? Should I scream?

Then the lifeguard and my sister hovering on the top of the ladder are letting me know that I’m holding up everyone and I have to jump. I have to disregard all the questions and queries and potential situations. And so I curl my toes over the edge as the diving board wobbles underneath my weight. And almost before my brain can become okay with it, my feet make my decision for me and step off the edge.

The way down is as ungraceful as I feared, and the primitive instinct within me is making me flap my wings but if I’m a bird, I’m Big Bird, and I’m plummeting to the earth with the help of vengeful gravity. And I hit the water like a cannon, and shoot deep into the depths. My palms sear from the impact, but I float upwards without thinking and start swimming.

I’m hoping that life after college will start like that. That my body will move ahead of my over-agonizing mind and my palms will sear from the pain but that I can rely on muscle memory and start swimming towards something, anything.

I just had a really good conversation with a friend—let’s call her Libby—and she basically said that after college you just look at what the next best decision is, and you take it like that. Step. Step. Step. Evaluate. Step. Step. And if that’s not exactly what you meant, Libby, frankly take that up with my lawyers. Creative license. I’ll have my day in court.

I’m on that diving board and the wind is picking up. It’s fucking terrifying, but I’ve seen all my friends jump, so I have to assume that there’s something spectacular in the deep end. At the very least, there’s got to be something spectacular in the fall. And maybe that’s all that we can be promised at this point as soon-to-be functioning people. The fall is fun and shit-scary and your palms with sear with the impact but you’ll start swimming.

That seems like enough metaphors for today. This was fun. This was right.

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Source: Giphy

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Life

EW, YOU’RE BECOMING AN ADULT

It starts slowly. A trip taken by yourself. Paying for that cute bomber jacket with money that you earned at your job. And then it gets bigger. You start cooking for yourself. You buy plane tickets by yourself. You can remember things that happened five years ago.

Suddenly, you’re standing in front of a stovetop in Venice, stirring spaghetti and making sure it’s the perfect amount of al dente because that’s important to you, and realizing that this might be a moment that you tell your kids, or your cat, about in twenty years. When you were a twenty-year-old with wild hair, bare feet against cold linoleum in a rented apartment that you think is quaint but will probably realize later looks a little bit like a very upscale prison, cooking pasta and burning the pancetta.

And you realize that five years ago, you were fifteen, and you were just as cognizant as you are now. Because five years before that, you were ten and you couldn’t cross the road without getting hit by a goddamn car.

And you realize that your friends are seniors and juniors in college, and they’re all getting “jobs” and you have an internship where no one tells you when not to have your phone or when to take your lunch break. And that’s scary.

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Because you’re still a kid. You still eat ice cream out of the carton and leap-frog across the white stripes of the crosswalk. You still can’t decide how exactly planes stay up in the air because how the goddamn fuck does a giant metal soda can with wings fly in the sky and why aren’t we calling that magic? You still haven’t registered to vote, but you’ve registered for the draft. You can drive a car, but you can never remember if milk cartons are recycled or just thrown out.

You realize that the daydreams of yesterday are the reality of tomorrow and suddenly you’ll have to start thinking about what it is you might do with your life, and that makes you really want to watch Netflix in bed forever.

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I went to the first day of my internship today. For the first hour, I didn’t even touch my phone. I was afraid to. I thought that someone would tell me to stop. Then I began tentatively checking an email. And then I realized that no one really cares what I’m doing unless I’m doing my job and doing it well. And then I realized that I’m doing a job.

I went to the supermarket after work. I made a grocery list. I daydreamed about what I was going to cook with my kale. Peppers. I’m going to cook peppers with my kale.

I like getting older because I looked tragic in high school and I’m finally starting to look cute—maybe next year I’ll hit a second puberty and pull some sort of Duckling-Swan thing (unlikely)—but today was the first day where I was like, “Wait, I’m living a real, human person life, and that’s gross.” So I’m in a little bit of a upward spiral. It’s upward because technically this is a good thing, but it’s a spiral because I have a weak stomach and a propensity towards motion sickness on amusement park rides.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that just because someone graduates college or has a job or pays “bills” doesn’t mean that they’re an adult. Because I don’t know if I want to be an adult. Adults can’t throw temper tantrums because that’s just called anger issues. Adults can’t lie around all day and eat Maltesers because they have to earn money. So I want to be an adult but also a kid and also a teen, but not a tween because that was a gross time for me. Truly, truly, a gross time.

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Age doesn’t make you an adult. Responsibility makes you an adult. So I plan on avoiding that like the plague. Which I also avoid.

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