Impulsive Inquiry

uncontrolled questioning of the world I perceive.


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Ancient Adult Mythology

I love blogs like Pinterest fail and cake wrecks. Not only are they hilarious, if a bit cringeworthy, but they demonstrate the inevitability of life’s imperfection. Even when turning to a professional, one can’t be be assured of the outcome.

To me, these examples are just further evidence supporting my hypothesis that being an adult is actually just accepting that “an adult” doesn’t exist. The adult is a mythical being who magically balances working and life, while keeping an immaculate home and throwing picture perfect parties for their not neglected-because-I-am-to-tired-to-function friends.

This is who I keep expecting to morph into. One day I will wake up and realize I am An Adult.

Not so much.

And I thought I was pragmatic. Ha.

If I have learned anything in the past seven months (or so) it is that being an adult is waking up and going about your life. Some days will be miraculous and some days you will get home and have potato chips and skittles for dinner. Either way, when you wake up the next morning, you are still an adult.

My life at 26 is so different than what I always pictured it to be. But, lying in bed tonight, listening to my roommates try to quietly eat potato chips (impossible), having originally fallen asleep at 9:30 on a saturday night, all I could think about was how content I am.

The idea of extended adolescence or millennials putting off adulthood is as misconstrued as the myth of adulthood itself. Being an adult is just a byproduct of our creation of childhood in the midst of the industrial revolution, or teenagers in the 1950s. The common thread of all these constructs is the lessened expectation that you have it all figured out.

Which, honestly, applies to everyone, and if someone says they have it all they are lying.

This fairytale of adulthood dictates when a person is supposed to have their life figured out, what happiness looks like, and that at 26 I shouldn’t be calling my daddy for help when I can’t figure something out. It says that If I haven’t checked those boxes, then I can’t truly be  an adult.

Conversely, it implies that once someone is an adult they stop learning and growing, which is possibly the most laughable part of this whole conspiracy. When you stop learning and growing, you aren’t an adult, you are dead.

Instead, I call shenanigans. I can have lucky charms for dinner and stay home or go out or cook a gourmet meal or get married or get pets or have kids or be single or work or not, without compromising my status as an adult. And I can always call my daddy. Being an adult is accepting that adulthood is what you make of it, and it is nothing like the movies. or pinterest.

“And she lived happily ever after” is three words too long.

“And she lived” is much much better.


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The Art of Procrastination? Perfected.

I have recently been hit with an odd  Catch-22 about blogging. If you don’t know what a Catch-22 is then read the book. Once you have done that and STILL don’t know that that means look here.

My problem is not that I don’t have anything to blog about, but rather, I have SO MUCH to blog about that I am rendered incapable of blogging at all. Thus, the events and topics pile up and I get frozen in a loop of wanting to blog but not knowing where to start.

Well, no one has ever accused me of being short on words, and when I get an idea I tend to be a bit stubborn. I don’t want to give up on that blog entry! But then something else happens, and something else, and it spirals out of control.

The solution, of course, is to write. Not about all the events and topics I have thought about posting about, no, that would be to logical (and waaayyy to time consuming). Instead I will write about my posting dilemma. This simultaneously negates and exacerbates my problem. While on the one hand, posting anything at all is liberating me from:

I CANT POSSIBLY POST THIS UNTIL I POSTED ABOUT THAT BUT IF I POST ABOUT THAT I MUST POST ABOUT THIS OTHER THING FIRST.

On the other hand, it is really just extending my posting procrastination as it pertains to the actual happenings or thoughts that have occurred. Either way, I’m screwed.

The upside is, this is my blog and I can do what I want. I have no obligation to post about certain things right when they happen! I have thoughts and opinions and experiences to share, but sharing doesn’t have to happen RIGHT THIS SECOND.

And this, my dear readers, is precisely my style of procrastination. Mix of ADHD distractibility with Anxiety Disorder induced panicking that I won’t get everything done and poof! Stress with a side of binge-watching tv shows.

Luckily, the anxiety inevitably wins out and I finish whatever I have been putting of, usually with time to spare. Thus, I have procrastinated and yet, I have not.  Procrastination perfected.

I knew it was time to stop procrastinating when I started having the dreams. Whenever I am putting something off for to long I have stress dreams that always contain the same three elements.

  1. I have to go/move somewhere far away right that minute and
  2. I haven’t packed. It is time to go and NOTHING IS PACKED!!
  3. My sister is yelling at me to hurry up OR yelling at me about the fact I have nothing packed OR yelling at me in general.

 

The settings/trips/what is actually going on changes, but those three elements stay the same. And when I start having those dreams, I know it is time to get a movin’ on whatever I have been putting off (usually packing oddly enough, I am quite the literal dreamer).

To cross blog entry off that to-do list here is a highlights reel of what has been happening in my life/random thoughts/other things, that I may or may not expand upon in the future. Pictures included when applicable.

My Grandmother turned 100 years old last monday (may 5)

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I have a new baby cousin (as of this morning!)

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My whole paternal side of the family was in town for said grandmother’s birthday party (here are me and my sibs)

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My dad (who was born on his mother’s birthday) also had a birthday.

I am learning how to pick locks (for fun!)

I have been on multiple dates with two specific men. One from the internet, one from the science fair.

I had the necessary ‘returning stuff to the ex’ meet up

I chipped my front tooth by wearing my new night-gaurd and had to get it filled in with fake tooth (hilarious story. really. Ask me about it.)

I had a wonderful day in the sun

I am midway through my second to last week at ILABS

I have 3.6 weeks until I head to northampton

I have to move

Now that the chaos from the family whirlwind is over I can finally take some time to focus on these important facts:

  • I have to move
  • I have to read all of the ‘suggested’ reading articles for the first week of class
  • I have to move
  • I have to wrap up things at work and clear out
  • I have to move

As you can see there is one particular issue I am struggling to grasp. And thus, the dreams.

I know I can get it all done( just as soon as that panic kicks in) 😀

oy.


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I am not good at waiting.

Fun fact. I am not good at waiting. I am a planner. I like to know what is coming around the bend three miles down the road. I knew where I wanted to go to college when I was 12. This is who I am.

I am not a spontaneous trip taker or a spur of the moment change in plans girl. I like to know what is happening, where, when, how we are getting there, how we are getting back, what we will be doing while we are there and any other details about it no matter how small.

This is why waiting to hear about my grad internship placement is killing me.

On Facebook, other people are announcing they have heard (another reason I hate Facebook). Some of them only know the geographical area, others also know the agency. I KNOW NOTHING!

Thus, I am cracking up. I am refreshing my email every minute. I am reading the posts and counting how many people are placed in Seattle so far and hating them for existing.

As time marches forward and I start arranging flights and last days of work and goodbyes it is even more imperative i know where I will be come september. I want to be able to say “I am leaving for northampton for 10 weeks then I will be back in Seattle, or moving to the Bay Area or moving to Chicago or moving to Colorado.” I am so tired of saying “…and then I have no idea!” AHHHHHHHHHHHH! Lord.

So now I have a last day of work (May 16th) and a going away party day (May 17th) and a flying to Boston day (May 27th) and a moving in to the dorms day (May 29th) and a start of orientation day (May 30) and a move out of the dorms day (August 16), but no idea what comes after that.

hoo-boy.

now, if you will excuse me, I have to check my email.


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Set This House in Order

I am taking this week to start the process of moving out of my house. But really it isn’t a whole week.  Monday and Tuesday were Passover seders (more on that later) and so it is really three days. Which is a ton of work. The point of the exercise is to winnow down the amount of my junk lying around the house so that it is only the every day type stuff that is cluttering all the door and hallways. (Lord have mercy  on me for my convoluted run-on sentences).

Beyond the physical packing, I am taking time this week to organize my mind. Well, at least try to. In a single week my entire reality shifted, and, in classic Abbie fashion, I have been barreling on full speed ahead. No time to stop, let alone process the changes, deal with the gains and losses, or figure out what exactly I am feeling verses what a normal, mentally healthy person would be thinking. So now is the time to Set. This. House. In. Order.

The phrase comes from the book Set This House in Order: A Romance of Souls by Matt Ruff. A spectacular story about the power dynamic between one man’s multiple personalities, I recommend it to all. While I have no proof of multiple personalities, organizing my mind is a chore,which, much like cleaning my room, I have let fall by the wayside.

So now, in these three days (plus the weekend I guess), I will attempt to:

1. Pack up all the books that I read over and over again to be kept at my parents’ house.
1a. Actually take those books out of my car and put them in my parents’ house.

2. Sort the rest of my books into:
A. Books to be read.
B. Books to be swapped. (if you don’t know about paperback swap it is amazing and I will give it its own entire post someday!)

3. Sort my clothing into four categories:
A. keep to wear now and over the summer.
B. Pack to store for winter and keep at my parents’ house.
C. Try and Sell. (Ha, like people want my old clothes :P)
D. Goodwill.

4. Actually distribute said clothing to its proper location.

5. Sort through all the random objects in my room/around the house and throw most of them away.
5a. If it can’t be thrown away pack it up and store it at my parents house unless:
i. I will need to use it now or over the summer, or
ii. It belongs to someone else (If this is the case then)
iii. Return all borrowed objects (or items of clothing) to their proper owners
iiii. (if I can remember who those proper owners might be…)

6. Take a moment or two to blog and/or journal in an attempt to set my mind in order (ooo, checking part of that one off now)

7. Spend some time with my brother who is in town (and can conveniently carry heavy boxes…hmm…)

8. Let myself relax with a book or tv show or puzzle or cup of tea without letting it take over the productivity of an entire day.

As it is 12:43 and I have been watching Dr. Who all morning (now with a pot of tea)  the productivity of the rest of the day that is in jeopardy. Though, I am 6. blogging…and 7. my brother is supposed to come over later…and this is 8…. and yesterday I did a bunch of 1. (though no 1a) and 2.

Progress, mostly in the right direction, if I do say so myself. Which is pretty darn good for me. As it is now 12:53 and I probably won’t finish editing and posting this until after 1, maybe I will just dedicate the rest of the day to the self indulgent part of this moving process and do more of the heavy lifting stuff tomorrow…I can talk myself into anything I swear!

 

I would like to add an upcoming attractions segment: “Things I have half written blog posts about and will eventually finish”

  • Paws on Science
  • Women’s Wellness Weekend
  • Grief and its unusual forms
  • The seattle freeze and why you are wrong
  • Passover
  • My new adventures in dating (I know y’all can’t wait for that one!)

Don’t touch that dial!


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You do, or you don’t, don’t. You will, or you won’t, won’t.

I have a decisiveness problem.

It isn’t the big life choices, but the little things that trip me up. I can not for the life of me figure out what I want for dinner. Or whether or not to throw something out. Which brings me to my other major problem.

Coming from what is probably an extension of my inability to make a decision, mixing with a ridiculous sentimental attachment to everything I touch, is my tendency to NEVER THROW ANYTHING AWAY! And thus I am overwhelmed with Stuff.

Now, I have plenty of useful things such as books and clothes (yes, books always come first) as well as some genuinely sentimental objects, my cousin’s wedding invitation or the triplets’ birth announcement. But mostly what I have is Stuff.

Random things that have made their way into my life via purchase, gifts, migration from my parents’ house, limited length nostalgia, etc.

It is this debris that is cluttering my room, many parts of my house and my car. The problem is, when I pick up an object that is Stuff classified I don’t think “useless, throw it away.” No, I think “hmm, where did I get this? Will it be useful in the future? Does it now or has it ever been sentimental? Will it in the future?”  The answers should be ” Does it matter? No. No. Does it matter? throw it out!” but I inevitably put it somewhere and promptly forget about it.

Normally, swimming in my world of quasi-useful debris isn’t that big of a deal to me. It isn’t dirty, just cluttered. But now, as I face the expedited necessity to pack up and move out, the sheer volume of crap has overwhelmed me.

I am stuck floating in a sea of indecision facing the need to sort what is really useful or important from what is junk.

And I suck at this.

So I haven’t started.

Throw in that I HATE folding my laundry (not doing laundry, just folding it) and it is immobilizing. People trying to help ask me what to keep, what to throw away and I don’t know. I decide something as simple as ‘want?: I do or don’t, Need?: I will or won’t.

Luckily, I think I have found a solution thanks to Beth Wolsey at Five Kids is A Lot of Kids and her 5 simple steps to decluttering.

Time to start digging.

 

*The title comes from the song ‘no more’ by 3lw


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“I mock you with my monkey pants” or why I speak the way I do

OK blog-world, I think our relationship has reached that special point where I can confess one of my deepest secrets to you.

All those clever, hilarious things I say? I didn’t come up with them. Well, that is not entirely true. If I am ever clever or hilarious is up for debate, and much of what I say, I do come up with, BUT, a good portion of what comes out of my mouth (or pops into my head) is straight out of a tv show, book, movie, or song.

More importantly, the way I in which I speak, my cadence and word choices are hugely influenced by my media consumption.

Still there? Haven’t given up on me?

Let me explain.

I really enjoy both confusing people and entertaining myself. These joys can be found by inserting quotes or paraphrasing ideas that I have retained from consumed media into conversations. Look at it as a private joke with myself. Sometimes other people get it, sometimes not, but I love it.

Now the real question is “What in the heck kinda media influence taught you to speak in such an odd manner anyhow?” The answer to that, ladies and gentlemen, is two brilliant tv shows: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Gilmore Girls. Yes, I am stuck in the 90s (well, early ’00s too).

Every time I rewatch those two shows (yes, they are both seven season long, and yes I have rewatched them both in their entirety multiple times) I am shocked by how much influence they have had on my speech. It gives me the wiggins. For serious.

The thing is, this is not an “OH MY GOD THE MEDIA HAS TAKEN CONTROL OF MY THINKING AND WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE OR MOVE TO HOLLYWOOD” scenario. I am sharing this because I believe that these two shows helped me to speak better.

let me repeat that. TV helped to improve how I spoke. It is true. The shows I latched onto in my vulnerable teen years are two smart, witty shows. They modeled how to speak well and never dumbed their dialogue down.

And that is precisely how I speak. I learned to love big words, pop culture references, and crazy slang from these shows and I choose to emulate that model. I won’t dumb down what I say, but I will define words when people ask.

It is true that I come from a well spoken family that values education highly, but that is not why I speak well. I speak well because it is cool. I know it is cool because Buffy, the Scoobies, and all the residents of Stars Hollow speak well.

While it might be argued that the main characters in shows like these don’t “speak like high schoolers” the truth is, they speak how high schoolers should. And what is wrong with that?

 

PS:

For all those not in the know, the quote in the title is from Buffy, Season 2, Episode 10 ‘Whats my line: part 2’.

The full quote is one of my favorite exchanges on television ever, and if you spend any amount of time with me, you probably heard me quote it.

Oz, eating animal crackers: Oh, look! Monkey! And he has a little hat. And little pants.
Willow: Yeah, I see!
Oz: The monkey’s the only cookie animal that gets to wear clothes, you know that?– You have the sweetest smile I’ve ever seen.– So, I’m wondering, do the other cookie animals feel sorta ripped? Like, is the hippo going, “Hey, man, where are my pants? I have my hippo dignity!” And you know the monkey’s just, (French accent) “I mock you with my monkey pants!” And there’s a big coup in the zoo.
Willow: The monkey is French?
Oz: All monkeys are French. You didn’t know that?

 

Some time I will share how Buffy was the first television show I ever watched (due to my tyrannical no screen upbringing) but that is a different story.


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Unexpected friendship

I know that everyone always say that they have the greatest friends ever, but with me it is true. For serious, my friends are the most amazing, supportive, goofy, brilliant, wonderful (I could go on and on but I will get to the point) human beings that anyone in the history of the world could ever imagine. And now you have to believe it because you read it on the internet.

Today I am writing to recognize a friend I found through a random act of the universe.

I am talking about the person who inspired me to start a blog in the first place. The credit (or blame) for this creation goes to Michelle, mother to the triplets I used to nanny for, and a friend found in a very unexpected place. (Her blog is called Maple Leaf Kitchen)

Before beginning my job with the triplets (who I will call Jam, Roo, and Peanut) I had worked in preschools, day cares, and as a nanny, in two states and three countries. Most of my nanny positions were for twins, so I thought I knew how to juggle. Emphasis on the word THOUGHT.

What I didn’t take into account was not only would I be watching three babies (they were almost four months old when I started) but I would be spending 50 hours a week with their mother as well. Additionally, I was applying to grad school and adjusting to life after college. I thought I could handle it all.

I was wrong.

That year turned out to be one of the most challenging, frustrating, disheartening, and wonderful years of my life so far. By end of my time with their family I had:

  • Lost love
  • Found love
  • Moved out of my parents house
  • Applied to grad school
  • Learned how to feed a baby while jumping up and down
  • Got rejected from (most) grad schools
  • Had approximately 200 five o’clock dance parties
  • Decided not to go to grad school
  • Survived the loss of my grandfather
  • learned how to take three babies out at once
  • Reconnected with old friends
  • Made new friends
  • Ate a million humus, cheese and pickle sandwiches
  • Celebrated the babies 1st birthday

and found a friend in the most unusual place.

In my previous experiences as a nanny, I connected with the kids but not their parents. Except for one other wonderful exception, parents don’t usually encourage me to maintain contact with their families. Also, I was usually leaving to go back to school.

Luckily for me both Michelle and Alan opened their hearts and have continued to do so. Which I appreciate more than I could ever express. Also, if I had to cut off contact with my three loves cold turkey, I probably would have just shriveled up and died.

Instead I found inspiration and support. I figure, if someone has to spend 10 out of every 24 hours, 5 days a week with me, either one (or both) of us will end up dead, or, more optimistically, we will become friends.

And here we are both alive and kickin’ almost three years later.

It is way to late to make a long story short.

Michelle has been, and continues to be, an inspiration, role model, confidant, support system, editor, book recommender, teacher, cheerleader, and friend to me. I honestly can say, I don’t know how I would have gotten through the past few years without her.

And you have to remember, while doing all of this for me, she is one of the most amazing mothers I have ever seen.

For triplets.

Take that in for a second.

Really this post is a huge thank you to her and her entire family all of whom I love. (Even Rich :D)

So I leave you with this ultimate cuteness:

Peanut, Roo and Jam

Then:                                                         and                                  Now:

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Edit: 3/31/14: I would like to add that Michelle received an honorable mention in the ‘Family and imperfection’ writing contest over at Five Kids is A Lot of Kids. Follow the  link to read her amazing writing!

Edit: 12/6/15: Sometimes I feel like this just isn’t written well enough to express how much I love Michelle (and of course the rest of the family), or how much I value her presence in my life and her support, or how freaking awesome she truly is. Honestly. I want to be her when I grow up.