Adulting as an Adult in the Adult World

Woooah, it’s been a whopping three months or so since I posted in this dusty ol’ blog of mine. Let me tell you, though, that between November and now, my life has been figuratively going off the wheels on a crazy train.

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Random: I also like Bullet For My Valentine’s cover of the song…

So, listen up — if you’re a post-college twentysomething on the adulting struggle bus (or the adulting crazy train) and are about to spin out of control, trust me, you are not alone in this. Just when you think you’re getting your shit together, some evil villain with a ridiculous mustache sneaks in and blows up your train tracks with a few sticks of dynamite.

(Or, if you’re a George Saunders fan and have read “Winky,” someone is shitting in your oatmeal.)

It was in November that I began the long journey of preparing to teach English in Japan via the JET Program. I made it through the first screening quite easily and was scheduled for an interview in the first week of February. As qualified as I am for the position, I felt like I bombed the interview… Maybe that was my anxiety kicking in. Everyone assured me that I likely did just fine. But either way, the wait would be agonizing. I won’t know if I made it or not until April. (It’s the end of February, and this year’s a leap year. So I have to wait a whole extra day for March to come!)

But I still planned accordingly. My boyfriend (now my ex), and I have this cute house in a nice, quiet neighborhood with my two cats, and he was going to hold down the fort while I went away to Japan for a year. And then I would come back with lots of money and work as an ESL instructor. Not exactly my dream job, but it’s not too far away from my college studies, and it’s a stable career. It’s pretty much the natural progression after teaching for JET.

But just a couple days after my interview, shit really hit the fan. Two years’ worth of the non-communicative boyfriend’s simmering resentment had built up, and, long story short, we broke up. And though he had me believe that things were still fine and that he’d still support me me until I could stand on my own two feet, things apparently weren’t fine.

So then, here I am, working a part-time job in food service that pays peanuts, trying to schedule driving lessons and get my license as soon as possible, worrying over the fact that neither of my prescription meds are available in Japan, and then one morning I wake up to find that my emotionally abusive ex had taken to Facebook to slander my name and spread lies about me. And also tagged my family and friends.

Now that was a shit show.

I’m dealing with enough crap of my own without my personal business (and a smearing campaign against me) being put out on the web for the world to see. There is a reason why I don’t announce breakups over Facebook…

So then he decided he wanted to kick me out of the house, which meant I needed to find somewhere to live, and I also needed to find a better-paying job, AND I needed to find a reliable way to get to said job. And a roommate who doesn’t mind two cats.

But I decided I wanted to keep the house, which means speeding up my learning how to drive and applying to full-time jobs like crazy. In the past three days, I have applied to nine. And though I’ve never had to take the bus before (before moving to this house, living on and near campus meant I could pretty much walk anywhere I wanted), I started looking up bus routes and schedules.

I need time to save up money so that he can finally move out. And my cousin could move in with me after she’s saved up enough.

But see, there’s another problem. If I get to go to Japan, she wouldn’t be able to pay for the house by herself, and I wouldn’t have anyone who could watch my cats for me for a whole year.

And say I end up landing a job as a success coach on the university campus (which I SO hope to get) which would pay $3,000 a month. It wouldn’t look good for me to be there for only five to nine months until I have to up and leave for Japan.

This went from the perfect time to time to do JET! to the worst time ever to do JET.

I’ve done a lot of growing up these past few days, and I guess learning that sometimes your huge plans just don’t work out is a part of adulting.

Although I was careful not to go into much detail, this is probably the most personal post I’ve ever published on this blog. I want young adults struggling out there to know that where you are right now isn’t necessarily where you’re always going to be. Some days are more difficult than others, and some days I have to power through the anxiety and depression, but keeping a positive outlook in the back of your mind is way more important than you might think (believe me, as someone who takes meds for depression). We’re all still learning, and we’ve still got a ways to go.

I’d spent two years with someone who would tell me the opposite of what he felt and would place all the blame on me when things went wrong, taking none of the blame for the things he’d done wrong. (And my apologies were never good enough.) Someone who saw me as a mentally fragile child and treated me as such, even though I’m strong enough to handle many of the issues he’d withheld from me. (So imagine my shock when I saw he’d resorted to high school-level spitefulness on social media.) After I finished grad school, I’d worked on writing and marketing my novel while he worked to support us both, and that was where we both fucked up. My development into adulthood was stunted by this major mistake — one that we had both naively agreed to do — but I was 22 and he was 23, and we didn’t know any better. Now we do.

I’m 23 now. Just when I start to think I’m getting old, shit like this happens and I realize:

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So what have I learned? No matter how well you prepare for a huge plan in your life, something can always mess it up. And people don’t deserve to be in serious relationships — let alone live together — unless they have their shit together and are at least a little established. And joining the full-time adult world of 8am to 5pm means that I’ll need to survive on coffee (yuck) or energy drinks (also yuck). And romantic love is the messiest abstract thing in the world.

Awkward Sex Dream is Awkward

‘Kay so.

A while ago, I saw some Facebook post that said, “When you have a sex dream about someone and you’re a little in love with them for a couple days.”

Is that really true for some people? That’s cute. Sadly, that’s not how it works for me. With me, it’s always the same damn guy. Typically, he doesn’t even enter my mind, but after these dreams, I hate him with a passion all over again. ALL. OVER. AGAIN.

I’m not going to describe him because our mutual friends will pick up on it right away — and gods FORBID that asshole winds up seeing this and realizes that he STILL gets my panties in a bunch. After all these years. ALL. THESE. YEARS. (Let’s get this straight — I don’t get to choose what I dream about, mister sir. In reality, I don’t want anything to do with your dick. Like. At all.)

Actually, yesterday, I saw him comment on a friend’s post (he and I aren’t FB friends), soooo I was a little petty and commented, too. Not in response to him or anything. But, ya know. My Facebook profile pic is super effing cute and I wanted to make sure he saw.

But back to sex dreams. I just woke up from one. And I’ve literally been lying in bed for an hour thinking, “Aw what the fuck what the fuck what the fuck what the fuck what the fuck what the fuck what in the actual fuck WHYYYY.”

It was a long, vivid, plot-driven dream, sprinkled with scenes of our little escapades. Ugh. What made it worse is that the orgasms… were fucking amazing. And the kisses too.

This is truly scumbag brain at work.

Seriously.

Seriously.

Relationships: Flirting and Celeb Crushes

Hello all once again~!

I don’t really talk about things like love, relationships, and romance, and stuff. I don’t know why – I just don’t. I barely write it into my stories. That said, after binge-watching a few Buzzfeed videos (I have a life, I swear. I’ve just been so busy and on-the-go that I thought a little couch-potatoing wouldn’t kill me) I’ve developed a phase known as THE CELEBRITY CRUSH. And look, I love my boyfriend to bits – he’s the love of my life – but god damn, Buzzfeed’s Eugene is everything. I mean. Damn.

JUST LOOK AT HIM

JUST LOOK AT HIM

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HE’S FUNNY, HE CAN DANCE, AND HE’S STYLISH AS HELL

Can I switch places with her?

Can I switch places with her?

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Sigh

Yeah, as you can see, I have a problem. (I’m not the only one, though. Look at the comments of literally ANY Youtube video he’s been in. This guy has an army of admirers.) But… it’s quite embarrassing for me to admit because I generally pride myself on abstaining from celebrity crushes. I mean, what’s the point? It’s so silly. It never gets anywhere. I mean, you don’t even know the person! They could be a serious asshole or an idiot or a secret serial killer. On the screen, Eugene may seem like this intelligent stylish, super funny, super hot…….. (I’m sorry, what was I saying?)

But okay, I’ll get serious now. When I’m single, I go a little boy crazy because I can. But when I’m with someone, that someone is the single object of my affection. Ideally, anyway. When I start dating someone, I generally loose interest in looking at other guys. And it’s pretty great. It feels secure. But then, there’s always that one celeb that slips through! In my last serious relationship, I discovered BBC’s Merlin and therefore discovered the perfection that is Bradley James:

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THIS VERSION OF ARTHUR AND GWEN IS MY OTP.

THIS VERSION OF ARTHUR AND GWEN IS MY OTP.

I had to stop and wonder why I felt like I needed to make his face my wallpaper and fawn over pics of him. Most importantly, I came to the realization that I wasn’t secure enough to handle that idea that maybe someone I’m dating might have these silly crushes as well. My immediate thoughts generally go:

Oh my god he thinks she’s prettier he’d rather have someone who looks like her she’s skinnier than I am I could never look like that if he ever meets her my relationship is over help

I spent so much time Googling this dilemma to see if it was common. Normally, people say, “Yeah, but you’ll never meet them. So it doesn’t matter.”

Yes! Yes, it does matter – in a way. It’s not impossible. Celebrities have dated non-celebs before. It’s not entirely impossible to meet one. What if they do meet and hit it off? So, saying “they’ll never meet” doesn’t make me feel any better whatsoever.

Before I had my anxiety issues under better control, my current boyfriend made the mistake of mentioning his attraction to Asli Omar to me:

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Isn’t she positively gorgeous??!! And she’s a lovely singer; she’s the vocalist for one of our favorite bands, The Tontons. But at the time, when I still let my anxiety and depression get the best of me, I automatically assumed that I’d lost, and that she’d won. Rationally, I knew that that wasn’t the truth and that my boyfriend loved me, but… it just made me feel less than. Since then, I’d resolved to continue to pretend celebrities weren’t all that hot and that the Asli Omar incident never happened.

But it’s human, isn’t it, to have a bit of a wandering eye? That’s the only explanation I can think of. It’s very complex to think about. If I saw someone like Eugene out and about, and if situation permitted, I would flirt like hell. (Probably. I’m really shy and would probably talk myself out of it…. But I’d still daydream about flirting with him.) And I would do this knowing quite well that at the end of the day, I’m going to bed with the best bf I could ever ask for. What is this cognitive dissonance?

Do you believe that flirting is disrespectful in a relationship? Some people do. I don’t make a habit out of it. Normally, I just admire from afar. But when I ask myself questions like these, I generally flip it around to see what I would be okay with dealing with.

For example:

What if I saw the bf fawning over pics of Asli Omar or Janelle Monae?

What if I jokingly commented on a Buzzfeed vid: “Eugene = bae.” Would I be okay if the bf did something like that?

What if we were watching a movie, and he just randomly said, “Wow. She is hot.”

Okay, present-me would be a little irked, but I’ve also learned that there’s more than one kind of attractive in the world, and that liking the looks of one person doesn’t cancel out the looks of another. I also know that he loves me and that that’s all that matters. It also helps tremendously that my bf is extremely understanding and compassionate – I mean, he’s a nurse, and he learned a thing or two from mental health courses – so he weathered this rough journey with me… from me being jealous and anxious to me just being a little irked but okay overall.

In fact, I was recently proud of myself for acquiring the guts to ask him if he ever had fantasies. Was I in them? Were other women in them? Stuff like that. Much to my surprise, I wasn’t irked or hurt at all. I guess that shows my progress.

That said, I still have a long way to go. I’m not going to go posting Eugene pics on Man Crush Monday any time soon because if the bf did anything like that on Woman Crush Wednesday, there would probably be some problems.

Or not.

Who knows? Maybe I’d surprise myself and only be a little irked.

SO! Ladies and gents – how do you feel about flirting and celeb crushes? Where do you draw the line? Do you care? Does it bother you like the dickens? Do you go a little overboard?

Let me know! 😉

Big Swedish Heart

‘Kay don’t judge me for this one. But get ready for a feel trip.

Shortly before I was with the wonderful boyfriend I have now, I had a thing for Japanese and Swedish men. Oddly specific, I know. Let me explain why. I’d studied Japanese language and culture for years, for fun, and had been to Japan and made Japanese friends. I watched Japanese tv; listened to Japanese music. So naturally, I developed a fondness for Japanese men.

When I started teaching myself Swedish (for fun), I mused about the idea of finding a Swedish guy. Then the inevitable thought popped up. “But… do they… do they even like black girls??” There was only one thing left to do.

TO THE INTERNET.

Some sort of weird dating profile thing came up for Swedes wanting to date blacks, so I clicked to look at it, for shits and giggles. It was mostly Swedish women wanting black men.

But there was one older Swedish guy. He was bald and looked like he was in his forties. His profile said something like: “Would like to meet a beautiful black woman to love. I have two children, and I have a big, warm heart.”

I closed my laptop, and I walked away.

I did not ask for those feels.

It kind of struck a chord with me because of a poem I read in one of my poetry workshops in undergrad like three years ago. I can’t find it now, but it was a poem of about four verses. Each verse was written like a singles ad in the paper. The first three were just screwing around. Business man not looking for anything serious. Biker looking for a good time. You know, that kind of thing.

But the last stanza was pretty serious. It was a Jewish mother looking for someone to love; she had three kids who she said needed a father figure.

Can you imagine? All these business men and bikers and Swedish women on ads like these get one night stands for fun, but people (with children!) who really want to find someone to connect with, and who couldn’t meet someone face-to-face, and had probably had accounts on sites like E-harmony, had been reduced to advertising the love they’re willing to give away in the newspaper (or in weird ass, oddly specific personal ad sites).

Meshed in with these “no strings attached,” “looking for a  good time” advertisements, the real love that these single parents are offering has been cheapened. They’re not looking for a night of clubbing and drunk sex. They are, first of all, looking for someone with enough love to give a partner, along with said partner’s children.

Look. I’m only 23. (I just turned 23 yesterday, actually). I’m childless, and I don’t plan on ever having children. So, I can’t possibly understand what these singles are going through, but I can somehow feel a sense of melancholy emanating from them. Pain, hurt, desperation, hope.

The woman in the poem may not be real, but the inspiration to create someone like her must have come from somewhere.

And I hope that Swedish man and his children, wherever they are, are happy.

My Chinese Boyfriend

My junior high was like, 99% black – or something like that – but every weekend, I went to a college prep program.

Formed a huge crush on a guy. We talked on the phone every day for hours, even though I was pretty sure his whole family hated me… For reasons I was never able to find out.

But I liked when he spoke Cantonese. And we were both interested in Japanese things. I liked to draw, and he’d admire my drawings. Oh! And we both played violin! We liked each other as people – I just happened to be black, and he Asian.

And I really was infatuated with this eyes – huge and brown and completely adorable – and his hair – jet black and shiny.

One day at school, all the girls were talking about their little boyfriends, so I decided to chime in. They all looked at me like I was Bigfoot.

You have a boyfriend? LOL. Yeah right.”

(You see, the teachers loved me. The students loved to torment me. I was the weird kid who liked Japanese things and rock music. I had a 4.5 GPA both years of junior high… due partially to my book smarts, and partially to my pathetic lack of friends.)

Anyway, as soon as I told them he was Chinese, they were just floored.

(lol wtf is wrong with her where do you even find chinese guys what a loser)

You know, after a couple years, when me dating became a regular thing, whenever my family found out I had a boyfriend, they would ask, “Is he white or Asian?” It was with a joking air, of course, but there’s always some truth to joking. Is it really that big of a deal? Did those girls really have to laugh so hard? You almost never see black women/Asian men represented on television, so whenever it happens in real life, people think it’s bizarre.

Anyone remember that show

Anyone remember that show “Flashforward”? No? Probably because it didn’t get a second season.

And is it really so hard to see people as people? Seriously, when my college prep program took a zoo trip and invited the parents, his mother kept calling him away from me. And when he and I sat on the bus on the way back, his mother glared at me. I was 12 years old! (I’m 22 now. Weird to think how that happened so long ago and how much it had affected me then…)

Sigh. I guess that was just as well. When he and I went to high school together, he turned into a complete douchelord for reasons that remain a mystery to me.

But that’s fine. No more death-stares from his mother – whoo!