Being an Adult?

Today I took down my Christmas tree.  It was my first real Christmas tree that was all mine- I picked out the ornaments and the lights, I decorated it, and every night I plugged in the lights and sat in it’s glow (usually while watching television and/or answering emails).  A friend actually bought the tree for me because I’d mentioned that I wanted a mini-tree to put up in the condo since I would be spending most of the month of December here.  She had my name for Secret Santa at work and showed up to our Christmas party on December 11th toting a 2  1/2′ tall live tree (that’s an estimate- I didn’t actually measure it).

Full disclosure- she did text me a day or two before the party to let me know she bought the tree so I didn’t end up buying one for myself and so I’d have time to get some ornaments for it.

I’m sorry for the bad picture, but it’s the only one I have.  I actually added some larger ornaments to the tree a couple days after this was taken, but I forgot to take another picture.

I decided I’d take the tree down today because it was getting very dry and I didn’t see the point in watering it again when I knew I’d have to take it down by the 30th anyways (the owners of the condo come home from their Christmas vacation on December 31st), plus the cleaning man is coming tomorrow and so I have to straighten things up as much as possible (I know, it’s completely ironic that I have to clean before the cleaning man comes, but so it goes- also, full disclosure, the owners of the condo pay the cleaning man, not me; I could never afford a cleaning man.  Or this condo).

As I was removing the brightly colored shatter-resistant (a very important feature when you live with 4 cats who like to swat at anything and everything) baubles from the tree, I got to thinking about how it really was my very first adult Christmas tree.  This is the third year I’ve pet-sat over the holidays and during the previous two years I didn’t even consider getting a tree.  I knew I’d be spending Christmas Eve at my grandmother’s and Christmas day at my parents, ant they both have trees, so why would I need one?  Especially when I’d be the only one looking at it and there’d be no gifts under it.

I think I’ve spent a good portion of my adult(?) life waiting.  Waiting for the right career.  Waiting for the husband and family that is surely inevitable.  Was I waiting to put up a Christmas tree until I had someone to enjoy it with?  Probably.  And that’s just stupid.  No one gets anywhere by standing still and waiting.

I think I was probably also waiting to go back to school until I had someone to support me through it.  Not financially.  I can take care of myself in that respect (well, I try and as I’m still eating and filling my car with gas and don’t have creditors hunting me down in the street, I feel like I’m succeeding).  No, I mean to support me as in give me the encouragement I need when I’m having a shitty day and want to say “screw it, I’ll never be a writer.”  Support me as in, drive me to campus/work when my car is broken down and needs to be in the shop for a couple of days.   Support me as in, just saying “Hey, you’re awesome and I love you.”  Well.  That support isn’t coming from outside sources, so I guess I’ll have to do that, too.  And I can do that.  Because I am awesome.

All that to say, hey!  I finished my grad school applications!  Yay!  Lots of exclamation points, yay!!!!!!!!  I have this dreadful feeling in the pit of my stomach that I’m not going to get in, but at the same time, I feel this wonderful sense of empowerment that I actually completed the applications and sent them in.  I’ll never get in without applying, after all.  And if I don’t get in, oh well.  I try again next year.  Or I take it as a sign and get serious about trying to find an agent for Twenty-Five (I know I say that a lot, but hey 2012 is almost here and I see it as an amazing new start.  Who knows what can happen?).

My friend, Jaclyn, wants to write a book, so we’ve made a pact that we are going to meet once a month for a couple of hours and just write.  We won’t talk or distract each other- we’ll be holding each other accountable and making sure that we are writing something.  I’ve really missed the community of writers I had back in my TNBW days, and maybe this will bring back some of the motivation I had then.  I’m really looking forward to it.  And Jaclyn- now that I’ve put this out into the internet/blogging universe, you know we actually have to do it.

Wow.  So this is the most I’ve written on this blog in a while and I hope it’s been worth your while to read, if I even have any readers left.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  This 27 1/2 year old envisions a fabulous 2012 and a lot more, “Hey, I’m an Adult!” moments ahead.  I’ll keep you posted…

If You Don’t Follow Lua Yet, Start Now

Seriously.  She is wise beyond her years.  I’ve been following her blog for two, maybe three months now, and she always has the most profound, yet entertaining, posts.

This Monday’s post (which I just read today) was all about finding happiness in the little things in life.  I know that this isn’t a new concept, but it was something I really needed to see in print.  She listed all the little things in life that make her happy and since my birthday has really gotten me down, I think it’s something I should do, too.

So here you go, little things that make me happy.  I’m going to try and conclude every post with one from now on, but here’s a list to get me started:

1. The first sip of an ice-cold sunkist, straight from the bottle.

2. Geico commercials

3. Christmas traditions with my family

4. Writing my name and the date on the title page of a recently read novel

5. Seeing my freshly painted nails flying across the keyboard of my laptop

6. A perfect stranger asking me where I got my laptop because they’ve never seen a purple laptop before

7. Anyone telling me they’ve enjoyed something I’ve written

8. The minister announcing “I now pronounce you man and wife…” regardless of who’s getting married

9. Dancing with the Stars

10. Quoting lines from Friends

And to conclude this post properly, a little thing that made me happy today: A kid from the ortho’s office brought the whole staff churros from Costco because I had never had one.  And they are delicious!

What I Miss the Most…

I truly understand the term starving artist right now.  I’m so completely broke and stressing every day over how I’m going to pay my bills.  Financial troubles are the absolute worst kind of stress.  I hate going to work because I feel like its pointless, I know I’m not really making any money by being there, because its never enough.  And I hate that.  I’ve always been a Give 110% type of person and I haven’t been lately because I’ve been so exhausted and stressed.

I was never extravagant with my money when I had it, because I never had much.  But now that I have none, I really miss the little things I used to do or buy.  For example:

Manicures and Pedicures. I’m really more of a pedicure kinda girl, but I have been known to get the occasional manicure as well.  There is just something so luxurious about having someone else scrub and polish you til you are smooth and pretty.  Plus, I really hate cutting my own toenails.  Weird, I know, but I simply don’t like doing it.

My last manicure and pedicure, for my sister's wedding
My last manicure, for my sister’s wedding.
Oh, feels sooo good!
Oh, feels sooo good!

Sunkist. I freaking LOVE Sunkist soda.  I can’t even begin to explain to you how much I love this drink.  And I haven’t had one in MONTHS.  They only cost like $1.49 for a 20 oz, less if you buy a 2 liter or a 6 pack, but that’s how broke I am.  I can’t afford Sunkist!  Ah, I miss you orange goodness.

Christmas Gifts. One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is buying gifts for my family and friends.  I love going shopping and finding something that I KNOW the person is going to love.  And I love seeing their reaction when they open the gift.  Sadly, this year, I will be either making gifts or giving hugs for Christmas.  Still in the spirit of the holiday I guess, but doesn’t give me an excuse to go shopping!

Books. Buying new books was once a small thrill in my life.  I can’t even remember the last book I bought.  On the plus side, I read all the books I want online for free at The Next Big Writer And these are books that haven’t been published yet!  So, I’m ahead of the game there 🙂

Little things, really, I know.  But when I finally pull myself out of debt, the first thing I’m going to do is head to Barnes and Noble, buy a deliciously long book, then go to a gas station or grocery store and buy an ice cold Sunkist, then head over to my favorite Mani-Pedi place to get pampered, and then I’m going on a shopping spree to make Christmas up to my lovely family and friends.  And it will be wonderful.  Absolutely wonderful.