Grocery Shopping Sucks – Grad School Problems

I went shopping on Saturday and spent $60. I went again on Thursday and spend another $30. And I still feel like I have no food!

It is really hard to stay on budget shopping for one person when you literally have nothing in your kitchen. I had to buy stuff like salt, pepper, oil, mayo, mustard, and salsa – none of which can be eaten as a meal. I hate that cooking requires so many ingredients. Even a peanut butter and jelly sandwich takes three ingredients, and that’s as basic as it gets. I have the necessities to make PB&J or cheese sandwiches, pasta with marinara, rice with soy sauce, or toast. That’s about it. And it gets old so fast!

Breakfast is easy. I can eat yogurt, fruit, or cereal. All of which require no effort and are quick and reasonably affordable (my idea of a perfect meal).

Lunch and dinner are a little bit more complicated. Not only do I have to make some sort of sandwich or boil some noodles or rice, but I also feel like I need a side dish. Apparently the only side dish I can make is… carrot sticks.

So basically every single meal is a sandwich and carrot sticks. Since my tastes are about as sophisticated as your average six year old, I really kind of like this combination. But not every single day (sometimes twice a day). I’ve gotten so bored that I’ve started putting salsa on my cheese sandwiches – and I totally love it!

The other sucky thing about grocery shopping is the actual shopping! I don’t really know anyone here yet and my apartment-mate might be invisible, so I have to go alone. The first time I went it took me a solid hour. I’m a pretty introverted person, but I just don’t enjoy walking around alone for that long feeling lost and confused. Every grocery store seems to have their own way of organizing things, and none of them make sense.

I’m pretty sure this is one of those things that will get easier (and cheaper) with time. And I’m already improving: tonight I got really adventurous and had a frozen pizza… with carrot sticks.


22 and Still Growing Up

Every day I am learning that there is a lot more I have to experience. And I’m not talking about big milestone like marriage and kids; those are too far off for me to even think about. I’m talking about relationships, career searching, and facing the reality of moving away for real – not just for college.

I’ve always been a late bloomer, but I think this is about more than just that.

I had my first “adult” job interview just the other day. When I woke up that morning I was suddenly filled with dread at the idea of moving to a big city all by myself. And I was a bit perplexed by my alarm.

I lived in England for 5 months, but I’m afraid to move four hours away? Yes! England was temporary, and I always knew that. And everything was arranged through a university, so I had loads of support. Moving away this time would not be the same. I wouldn’t be coming home at the end of the semester. I would be signing a lease, making a commitment, and doing it all on my own.

The interview itself actually went awesome. I bought myself a fabulous interview outfit and felt like I was ready to take on the world. I was invited back for a second interview, but I called them back and told them that I wasn’t interested because the job wasn’t a good fit.

Never in a million years did I think I would be turning down job offers, but I’m still 100% certain that it was the right decision. I’ve never really rejected anything like that. It was terrifying, but also empowering. Yes, I still have a dead-end job in a deli and live with my parents. But I’m closer to knowing what I want and knowing how to go after it.

So much for all my stress about moving to a new city! But it got me thinking about how hard it will be when I move away, and about how difficult it is to interview for jobs in a city four hours away from where I live. Am I really ready to take on a new job and a new city all at once? And does it even matter if I’m ready or not?

Later that same day, I had another wake up call. For the first time in my life a boy told me that he likes me. I know, welcome to the third grade, that’s what you’re probably thinking. But, even though I was anticipating it, I had an adrenaline rush like nothing I’d ever felt before. Thankfully, he did not tell me face-to-face but over the lovely internet (don’t judge, it’s a long distance thing) because I was shaking uncontrollably, my heart was about to explode, and my body temperature rose about six million degrees. It got me thinking, if this little thing feels so intense, what the hell is kissing going to feel like?! And I might just roll over and die the first time we… you know. If it ever comes to that.

I know, this whole post has been rather scatter-brained, and you’re probably thinking “get to the point already!” Well here’s my point: No matter how old you get there is more to be experienced. No one has been through it all. Any day could bring something new. “Growing up” isn’t something that happens up until you’re eighteen (or twenty-eight!) and then stops. Growing up takes a life-time. No one is ever really done growing up. And that’s probably one of the coolest parts of life.

Senior Year Panic – Everything is Ending! Forever!

I don’t know what I’m going to be doing or even where I’m going to be living in two months, but the fear of that is finally being drowned out with the thoughts that it’s almost over. It hit me today when I realized that I had played in the Pep Band for the last time.

It was a damn good last time, cheering on our men’s basketball team as they won the Big West tournament and advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time in six years. It was one of the best moments of the past four years. But there won’t be any more moments like that. I might never play my clarinet in any sort of band every again. And I will never again cheer and stomp and shout as fiercely as I did that night.

Maybe that’s part of why it was such a special moment. But it also brings a lump to my throat when I think about it. And I can’t stop thinking about it because I chose not to travel with the Pep Band to the NCAA game because I didn’t think I could afford to miss three more days of school. And now that seems like such a stupid decision. But three days ago it hardly required any thinking at all.

This is all I’ve been thinking about all day and I had to get it down into words. But this time, writing doesn’t seem to have made me feel any better. I want my classes to end, at least the homework, but I don’t want everything else to end. This has been my life for the past four years, and it has been the best four years of my life so far. And in 46 days it will be over forever and I will never again experience so many of the things that have become part of my life and part of me.

Being 20: Thongs, Coffee, Seductive Cigarettes, and Growing Up

            Today I acted my age for the first time in my life. I’m always shocked to find that I am older than most of my friends in college (whether by a few months or a few years) because I perpetually feel like I am sixteen, when I am actually twenty. I honestly do not know why I feel this way, and I’m not going to try to figure it out. But today I decided that I’m going try to change it.

            Today I bought a thong. It’s times like these when I remember why I love having a completely anonymous blog. There is no chance in hell that I am telling anyone about my little shopping venture. I realize that this shouldn’t be a big deal, but it is to me. And I even purchased them without blushing, although I did go out of my way to find a female cashier and I couldn’t quite make eye contact.

I suppose this landmark achievement on its own isn’t enough to make me a real adult (or even a real college student – I don’t think I’ll be a real adult for a while), but it got even better. At the end of class – the last day of my favorite class of the year: creative writing – after our professor had left, several of us sat around drinking soda and just talking. Well, not just talking, we were actually all making out with each other… Just kidding! We weren’t even touching, I just couldn’t resist. But we were in fact talking about mushrooms and promiscuous teachers. Definitely not my typical conversation – as such, I wasn’t really contributing, just listening and looking thoroughly surprised.

I left class with one of my close friends and I guy from class. As we all talked he smoked a cigarette and I drank soda from a paper cup. In that moment I couldn’t help but feel like I could be walking back from a party drinking beer from a red plastic cup. That’s just how it felt. Every step full of possibility and energy.

I could suddenly see why it was possible to romanticize cigarettes. The smell, which would usually make me cough and roll my eyes in disgust, floated lightly through the air and I was mystified by the fact that I hadn’t even noticed him pull out the cigarette and light it. It was just suddenly there, between his rough fingers, as if it had always been there. And there was something seductive about the way that he held it to his lips.

I said goodbye to this guy and felt like we were on even turf. I never feel like that with guys, ever. I always feel like they are these otherworldly beings who know so much more than me. Tonight, I felt like we were just two college students. I can’t believe I felt like this with a guy who smokes cigarettes, talks about mushrooms and acid, studies philosophy, and towers over me by at least a foot. Not that all any of those things are something to aspire to.

After we parted, I went and bought a cup of coffee and returned home to blog. And I haven’t spoken to my mother in two whole days (kind of a personal record). So, I’m feeling pretty mature right now.

I kind of like the feeling of being twenty. I think I would like to feel like this every day.