I think I'm turning into a nomad.
Maybe not completely a "nomad", being that the definition is as follows:
Nomad: noun. A member of a people having no permanent abode, and who travel from place to place to find fresh pasture for their livestock.
I don't have livestock.
However, I have been a member of society who has no permanent abode for what seems like forever.
So, where is my "home"? I feel compelled to say that home is where Mommy and Daddy are. It's where I can open the freezer and eat a spoonful of ice cream out of the carton. It's where I have years of dusty memories hidden under my bed and stashed in my closet. It's where my childhood toy named Pig stays (yes, still). But, when I think about it, I haven't been at this home for more than a few months at a time.
Before that, I lived at my college house with some of the best people alive. We called that home, but when we went to our other home where our families lived, we called that "home home". I promise we're not the only ones to use this term.
And now, I'm in what used to be my aunt's room in my grandmother's house. I'm basically a freeloader for the next few months during student teaching.
For the most part, this doesn't bother me too much. Sometimes the driving from here to there back to here again gets kind of annoying. I think I'll survive.
I think that being a 20-something is very weird when it comes to stuff like this. I read something recently that mentioned how an actual adult (by that, I mean someone who is over the age of 30 and knows how to do taxes) said that the worst year of his life was at 23. He went on to say it was because of the inconsistency and unknown of what is to come. I think that it would be a little cruel to even consider agreeing with him because that's just not in my personality and I think life can be good at any age. But he has a point. Us 20-something-year-olds are basically nomads, crashing on someone's couch or getting a job to get some extra money or learning how to cook basic meals or applying to a zillion and a half jobs or just trying to figure themselves out in one way or another. It's weird.
So for now, I'll continue being a nomad. It really isn't bad. Maybe one day I'll have livestock and find a fresh pasture for them. That'd be nice.
Alright. Everyone needs to chill. Last week, Facebook was exploding with "23 Things To Do Instead Of Getting Engaged Before You're 23". Now, there's a response to that called "24 Things To Do Instead of Getting Married Before You're 24". Before these two, I'm pretty sure I scrolled through about 1,529 lists a day having something to do with 20-somethings and "living life to the fullest".
I get it. As 20-somethings, we have our "whole lives ahead of us". And somehow, we find ourselves sitting, staring at a screen reading lists about what we should be doing with our lives. These lists typically contain a vaguely inspiring plan that consists traveling the world with a random stranger while eating a sleeve of Oreos, telling a joke and trying something new.
I have a few problems with this...and I may be being a bit hypocritical as I sit, staring at a screen writing a list about what we should be doing with our lives. Oh well.
Numero uno. Why all the articles about being a 20-something? What about teenagers? And kids? Are they just waiting until their twenties to be able to finally boom into their life and start exploring? I think there's an episode of Full House where one of the girls talks about graduating middle school or something and how her life is "finally starting". Danny (probably) explains not to wait for life to start because that's wasteful. He's right. It doesn't start after a graduation, or when you first move out, or when you get a job, or when you find a passion, or when you fall in love. Life started already. Get moving now. Get moving yesterday, for that matter.
Numero dos. Similar to numero uno. What about the 30-somethings and 40-somethings and 50-somethings and so on? Why limit the ability to be vivacious to ages 20-29? I understand everyone has responsibilities and I would be pretty confused if my 50-something parents decided to uproot and go live in Indonesia to learn about a new culture. But it doesn't always have to be something so major. Everyone, all ages, can live the way a 20-something does (or should). Everyone can live with curiosity, heart, and passion.
Numero tres. DO WHAT YOU WANT. Don't refer to a list made by someone else who's only similarity to you is your age. Do what makes you happy. If it's something fantastically selfless, like starting a charity to save the world, go for it. If it's something a little less dramatic, like painting your nails, sure. I literally do not care what you're doing as long as you feel fulfilled.
Numero quatro. I'm not entirely sure why these articles have labeled marriage as a time when living practically stops. The vibe I get from articles like these is that an individual who says the dreaded words, "I do" can never do anything fun or exciting ever ever ever again. It's as if they put a ring on it and immediately go hide under a rock. I'm not married, so I don't have full credibility to say this. But I think life goes on after marriage. Take my parents, for example. Literally one hour ago, we were talking about going to Costa Rica for vacation. If that's not living, I don't know what is. Yes, marriage requires a high level of commitment and more responsibilities and maybe even little creatures one day called children. But in my mind, that's living. I just don't understand the strange symbolism between marriage and jail.
I'm not sure if that sounded like a rant or if it was my attempt to make myself feel better from my frustration with these posts on Facebook. I also need to inform you that I did enjoy reading both these lists. I actually laughed out loud several times on the first one and found myself shaking my head in agreement with the second. Maybe this is my tiny attempt to stop the madness. Regardless, please, everyone, chill with the 20-something stuff. And all you 20-somethings (and 30-somethings and 40-somethings and 90-somethings and six year olds), GO DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY.
That's all. I'm done now.
Each December 31, people eat, drink, and are merry with those they love. Some spend time at home with a few; others spend a zillion dollars to go to an upscale venue in some major city. Last night, I spent one of my favorite New Years Eve celebrations with some of my most favorite people. As we counted down, I looked around the room to see friends I made as long as twelve years ago. When we got to "zero", I got a solid smooch from Ryan. I can confidently say I checked off a great New Years Eve ... and had probably the best buffalo chicken dip of my life.
As the night winds down as it does and we wake up the next morning (some with worse headaches than others), the new year begins. And now, almost 20 hours into 2014, I sit on my boyfriend's maroon couch. A fire is crackling in the corner of my left eye. Football is on but I don't understand a thing about the game yet. A beige blanket covers my legs. And Ryan's head is leaning on my arm...literally right now as I type. He sleeps. I type. I couldn't be more content.
I can bet you weren't dying to know the color of my blanket or the fact that my man is snoozing. I've been working on recognizing things that I am thankful for. Little things. I urge you to do the same right now. Maybe it's who we're with or the fact that we have time alone to relax. Maybe we have a cold beer or a dog cuddling next to us. Maybe it's the fact that your toes aren't cold because we're lucky to have heat. Maybe it's an old friend we reconnected with. Whatever it is, we're lucky.
Here's to the first day of 2014 being a lucky one. Let's all make a little more of an effort to make the other 364 days great as well.
Happy 2014, all. May your nights be filled with cozy blankets and good leftovers.