Life Lessons

Life lesson #58: OMG packing is boring.

But seriously. I’ve even got my iTunes on random, so you’d think that would be entertaining me.

The best thing about shuffle-mode is that you hear songs you’ve either a) forgotten exists or b) you would normally be ashamed to listen to, even though you secretly love them. Which is why I’m glad I’m the only one home. (Hel-lo Britney, Mandy, and all things showtune. I’ve missed you.)

But the point is, of course, that I’m procrastinating. It’s not that I don’t want to be all packed and ready to go (ON THURSDAY! EEK!), I just can’t get motivated. Well, to pack.

My friend Michelle and I were recently discussing how when we’re putting something off, we suddenly feel motivated to do everything else we’ve been putting off or would put off. So, in the spirit of optimistic procrastination, here’s a list of things I’ve accomplished today:

1. Exercised. I ran four miles and walked two around Gray’s Lake. Champ.

2. Lunched. Now that my days in Iowa are limited, I’m trying to cram in social meals wherever I can. Today, Tyler and I ate at Jason’s Deli and TCBY. (And since I have no food in the house, I have to make these meals count.)

3. Packed. (ish.) I mean, my sweaters, long-sleeve shirts, dishes, shoes, purses, belts, and some kitchen stuff are now in boxes whereas they weren’t before. So get off my back.

Plus I graduated a couple of days ago. So that seems like a big enough accomplishment to warrant me a few minutes of laziness.

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Sigh. It will all get done. …right?

Life lesson #50: In times of panic, it’s important to breathe.

So yesterday was a hoot and a half. Turns out the apartment that I was supposed to move into in, oh, just over a week is not going to be ready until June 1st. And since two of my roommates need to move out of their dorms by Friday, my other roommate has a non-refundable ticket to NY for May 21st, and I start work May 25th, that just wasn’t going to do.

Cue panicked scramble to find a new apartment in 12 hours.

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Fortunately, Erica (one of the new roommates) is a goddess and found a new place tout de suite. Unfortunately, it costs a bit more than the first one. And she and Vanessa (other new roommate) needed our down payments, well, today.

Cue panicked scramble to find $2,025 in eight hours.

Fortunately, I was able to scrounge up most of it. The rest I will have by the end of the week. But holy emotional rollercoaster, Batman.

On an unrelated note, if you know any single millionaires looking for a wife, let me know. K thaaanks!

Life lesson #44: Write everything down. Now.

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I’m losing my mind.

I mean, sure, I’m not going literally insane (I think.). But I have noticed over the last year or so that my short-term memory is equal to that of a mosquito. Maybe worse.

For example, at work I have to make up a lot of schedules for each issue of the magazine I intern for. I do this by looking at the last schedule and making sure each event (send pages to printer, receive fact checking materials, etc.) is the same number of days apart in the new schedule. It’s thrilling, as you can imagine.

The hardest part of this task is counting the days on this little calendar I have. Seriously. That is the most challenging part of this task.

And yes somehow I can’t look from the old schedule to the new calendar sometimes without forgetting how many days I’m supposed to be counting. I’ve officially become one of those middle-age women who walk into a room and have no idea why they’re there.

It’s not just numbers, either. I forget people’s names faster than you can say “nice to meet you.” I forget homework assignments by the time I walk out of the class. And I forget what I was intending to Google by the time I open my browser.

Basically, I’m a very old person. Or a toddler on pixie sticks.

Which is why it’s important to follow this lesson. Writing things down comes with a two-fold reward. Not only do you not have to tax your brain by actually remembering things, you also get the satisfaction of crossing tasks off when they’re completed.

Kind of how these lessons are a way of remember everything I’ve learned this semester. Now what was I saying…?

photo courtesy of mwoodard via Flickr

Life lesson #41: You never realize how many friends you have until you have two and a half weeks to say goodbye to all of them.

Ok, so that life lesson sounds kind of braggy. The irony is that I’m probably one of the least popular people you know (or, rather, don’t know). I have a solid group of maybe 15 to 20 friends, and most of them live at least 2 hours from me during the school year. So now that I’m packing up my life to move roughly 1,108 miles away, I’m realizing that there’s a fair chance I won’t see these people again for quite some time.

At least until everyone starts getting married. Or *shudder* having kids.

I hate good-byes, but I guess that’s another part of growing up. (Don’t worry, I’m not springing another life lesson on you. Just observing.)

The point is, I have a lot to do in the next couple of weeks, but I’m going to try my darndest to see everyone before I go. In case we don’t get our timing together, I really appreciate all the people who have loved and supported me thus far. I’m going to miss coffee dates, late-night Jumbo slice runs, 4th mealing, Mario Kart tournaments, whiffle ball championships, Hu-Hot bitchfests, Biggest Loser workouts and everything else. If you’re ever on the east coast, definitely look me up. I’m always up for reminiscing.

So get this: It’s my last week of classes. Potentially forever.

I feel like I should be getting weepy or nostalgic or at least panicking or something. Instead I find myself wanting to skip class and creating funny themed days for the ones I actually go to. (Hint: Thursday is “Funny Accents/Graduation Cap Day.” It will be epic. Or as I’ll say then, “It-sa gonna be ep-ic!” Yes, that’s Italian. And mildly racist.)

Today’s theme was “My Life is Running Off the Tracks,” as you can note by the most recent life lesson:

Life lesson #40: The train might run off the tracks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the ride.

And therefore, funny hats/accents day. You’re welcome.

Life lesson #38: Shameless self-promotion is still a little shameful. (Hey kids! Check out justinelorelleblanchard.com!) See?

I am, in general, not a braggart. I hate cover letters because they make you explain why you’re the most awesome applicant. I was hesitant about starting a blog because who the hell cares what I think? I’m bad at accepting compliments; I always tack something onto my “thanks” that undercuts why I’m deserving of compliment. (“Oh this dress? Oh thanks! It was, like, a dollar at Target.”)

The problem is, I’m in an industry where simply doing good work and hoping someone notices just doesn’t cut it. You have to sell yourself, and you have to sell hard.

If you clicked on the link in the life lesson above, you can see where this is going.

My school is on this kick of getting all the students to buy their domain name and create a site to post their résumés, clips, etc. And so, being a good little student, that’s what I did. Gag.

It’s not that I’m not proud of the site. In some ways, I am. I mean, it looks ok. When you click on stuff, it generally takes you where I intended it to. It’s more the idea of “look at me! look at me!” that I’m averse to. But hey, a starving journalist’s gotta do what a starving journalist’s gotta do.

So who wants to hire me?