Another Post With a Dinosaur in the Title

“When I was a kid, when I was a little boy, I always wanted to be a dinosaur, I wanted to be a Tyrannosaurus Rex more than anything in the world, I made my arms short and I roamed the back yard, I chased the neighborhood cats, I growled and I roared, everybody knew me and was afraid of me, and one day my dad said “Bobby you are 17, it’s time to throw childish things aside” and I said “OK Pop”, but he didn’t really say that he said that “Stop being a fucking dinosaur and get a job…. The point is, don’t lose your dinosaur.” –Dr. Robert Doback, Step Brothers (2010)

As long as I can remember, I’ve been goofy and quirky. I was the kid purposefully dressing myself in mismatched clothes and feeling pretty good about it in elementary school. Throw in the facts that I was super smart, painfully shy, and loved school; I bred myself to be a first-class, Type-A weirdo. And you know what? I love that about me.

It’s the Type-A part that was getting me down recently, but that changed a few months ago.

I broke my mold by deciding to take a trip to Buffalo, NY. Normally ANY trip for me is heavily premeditated. Months of thinking, saving, and packing list after packing list, just to have a little bit of fun. But not this time. I was invited to visit Buffalo, I booked a flight, trusted my gut, and I went. (I did write two packing lists in the process, but I digress). Still, I went, without planning and worrying and perseverating about all of the ins and the outs of the time I would spend there.

I had a FANTASTIC time. I was the most “in the moment” I had been, in a long, long while. One of the highlights of the time I spent there was that I was asked how I’d rate my life. Being a Type-A individual, I decided I should quantify it, on a scale of 1-10, and rated it at a 6.5-7.5, depending on the day.

I’ve ruminated about that rating a LOT since that night. I thoughtfully assigned my life a rating of “mostly a 6.5.” I’d been allowing myself to settle for a “6.5 life” for a great deal of time without ever really knowing it. I decided when I came home from Buffalo, my 6.5 life is not ok.

Sure, there are things about my life that I can’t improve on my own. For example, I can’t fall in love with and then marry myself, and have kids with me. Though I’m pretty awesome, it’d be pretty unfulfilling and impossible.

However, I can start to DO better, and DO more for me, to reach towards my 10.

I’ve been speaking up more, allowing myself to be more emotionally vulnerable, running more, doing yoga, painting and writing, and thinking a lot about how to manifest the lifestyle I want. It may mean taking improv classes or trying my hand at stand-up comedy. It may mean a change in location. It may mean a change in career. This stuff is all TBD, but I’m thinking on it and working towards it. Call it soul-searching, if you will.

I’ve been calling this transitional phase in my life “chasing my dinosaur.” (I just wouldn’t be me if I didn’t grab a life philosophy from a comedy movie.) I just can’t lose my dinosaur. I can’t settle for a 6.5 life. I’m worth a 10. I want that massive 10. I want to get to a point where, when I go to sleep at the end of the day, I feel like I made my arms short and I roamed around the neighborhood scaring kids because that’s what I want to do.

There’s a lot of joy and freedom to be found in chasing your dinosaur. The process is kind of sucky, but life is imperfect. But sooner than later, I’m confident that my imperfect life is going to be rated much closer to a 10.

My conclusion (thanks to Buffalo) is this: It’s not ok to settle. It’s not ok to hope that the “next thing” is going to be better than your now. You deserve great things. You deserve to feel great things, no matter who you are, or how much money you make, so CHASE them.

The point is, don’t lose your dinosaur.

This Morning I Did an Image Search for “Close-up of Rex from Toy Story”

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Bad Rex.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my blog lately.

Thinking, but not doing.

Sure, I’ve been writing up a storm, but poetry and prose just aren’t enough of an outlet for this effervescent extrovert’s ongoing stream-of-consciousness.

I have thoughts, people. (I know, we all do). My thoughts always seem to be enhanced by sharing them. So, I’ve decided as of this morning, to just post more often. I’m going to write these things that I’m dying to share. I’m going to share these quirky little thoughts that live in my head, and I’m trying to carry out, with varying degrees of success. I’m making my best attempt since early February to wholeheartedly embrace (read: hug like a stumbling happy drunk does) the fact that life in my 30’s has not been what I thought it would be. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s awful. It just means that it’s different. And sometimes, when you’re working your way through different, you become more motivated to find your “happy.”

What I’m saying is this: I’m going to write here more, but I’m going to do that in a way that puts less pressure on me. I’m just going to put pen to paper and share what’s going on in my life, for better or for worse. Hopefully, it’ll give me the good feels: the happy rewards that come from being quirky, nerdy, sometimes awkward, often inappropriate, and super emotional me. Unapologetically.

What My Make-A-Wish Would Be

Maybe I’m an awful person, but I had a pretty in-depth conversation a while ago about what my ultimate wish would be if I only had a short time left on this planet. Granted, they would NOT grant a “wish” to a 30-something woman with a terminal illness, but if such a tragedy were to enter my life, I think it’s important to be totally prepared. (Sidebar: they should totally grant wishes to terminally ill adults. Does anyone do that? Someone should do that. Adults have wishes, too.)

In order to fully embrace my narcissism and get really specific, this is what my “wish” would look like:

An episode of Saturday Night Live wherein:

  • Jimmy Fallon is hosting
  • Taking Back Sunday is the musical guest
  • Tina Fey makes a cameo on Update
  • I get to do one of those side-characters on Update

Truly, at that point, I could indeed happily shuffle off of this mortal coil.

But as a bonus, I would’t mind hanging around 30 Rock with the writers and co during the week while they hash out the show.

Dream. Come. True.

What I Really Think About Idioms

I recall writing an editorial for my college newspaper, years ago, about personal etiquette. A rant, if you will, no doubt written whilst recovering from a lengthy night out drinking. I referenced the phrase “gets my goat” as being a vague, unclear idiom.

Recently I used the expression “have a leg up,” while speaking with an incredibly hilarious friend who quipped that the expression seemed kind of slutty. As a result I took to the internets to find some of the finer idioms that are part of our advanced American vernacular.

Here, my friends, (and by friends, I mean the 4 bots that view my page as code), are the highlights of the idioms that struck me:

  • “Hit the sack”
    • Dirty. This one reads as double entendre. If you use this with me, I will most likely fail at stifling laughter.
  • “A penny for your thoughts”
    • If we are friends, my thoughts should be worth far more than a penny to you. Don’t say this out loud to people you care about.
  • “Blessing in disguise”
    • Don’t be a dick. Never use this while someone is going through bad shit, wait until you see the merit of the situation and it is far, far in that person’s past.
  • “Caught between two stools”
    • What is this one? Where did it come from? Are they bar stools? That’s a really bizarre visualization – someone spread eagle on two stools at a bar. “Seat’s taken….This one, too.”
  • “Don’t quit your day job”
    • Best used in a biting comedic sense. As in “don’t give up your day job to write in your blog.”
  • “Take it with a grain of salt”
    • Since when is salt a measure of how serious something is? And why?
  • “Ball is in your court”
    • Stoppit, don’t say “ball.” “Ball” beings me to “balls,” which brings my mind directly back to “Hit the sack.”
  • “Cost an arm and a leg”
    • I use this one. It’s violent, a little gory, and quite frankly, the perfect idiom to describe the financial fuckery that is my education. As in, my degrees cost an arm and a leg.

After a brief review, I have arrived at the conclusion that my problem with idioms is ME. The problem, quite simply, is that I’m either too literal, or have the critical reasoning skills and sense of humor of a 12 year-old-boy.

Why Being “Eighteen Forever” May or May Not Be Appealing

Pandora is awesome. I listen to it in my car almost every day and let it feed the questionably unhealthy nostalgia I cling to, through my music choices. If it didn’t come from 2001 – 2005, I’m probably skipping or “disliking” the song.

Driving along, just as I made a left, passing both my high school and middle school, one of my old favorites was playing. Brand New’s Soco Amaretto Lime, a quiet acoustic song tied to many fond old memories with longtime friends. I sang along, as I always do. I am an aficionado of loud car-singing.

I’m gonna stay eighteen forever/so we can stay like this forever/and we’ll never miss a party/cause we keep them going constantly…”

In spite of myself I laughed. I just turned thirty-two. Eighteen was fourteen whole years ago. As I sang the familiar words, I thought of what it was like to sing this song at twenty-two, when its album was only four years old. At twenty-two, I didn’t quite get the appeal of being “eighteen forever.”

Cool things were happening in my life at that point in time. I’d graduated from college, started a job, and felt the infinite freedom of living in a place where the beach was ten minutes away, and late nights turned into morning sunrises. I thought at twenty-two, I knew just how life was going to play out. Everything was made of awesome, then soaked in booze, and resulted in little-to-no consequences. I didn’t even get hangovers back then. I thought I was some kind of medical miracle. An anomaly. Or a superhero, with a strange, somewhat useless super power. I was blissfully unaware that when I reflected on twenty-two, my feelings would be a little bit different.

Then, still singing, I began to think about what being “eighteen forever” means at thirty-two.

Thirty-two means “eighteen forever” is a lot more appealing.

At thirty-two, being eighteen seems to mean less of everything. At eighteen, there was less responsibility. Less alarms being set. Less bills. Less worries. Less concern about how awful it would feel in the morning if I ate a heaping plate of diner mozzarella cheese fries, while I was too drunk to feel feelings, at 4AM.

Of course, eighteen did mean more time with friends, and a faster metabolism.

So, what’s awesome about NOT staying eighteen forever? About aging awkwardly and ceaselessly?

At eighteen, I drove a crappy car, whose belt screamed like a banshee every time I approached my friends’ homes to drop them off late at night.

At eighteen, I lived with my mom, and had to sneak alcohol into the house when she went to bed early.

At eighteen, nothing I owned was really MINE. It was all borrowed. Borrowed living space. A car registered and insured under my dad. A collection of Christmas and birthday gifts. Nothing that I truly worked for and OWNED myself.

In my thirties, as much as I try to deny my “advanced age,” I’m coming into my own. I’m finally completely comfortable with being goofier and quirkier than most. And I OWN stuff. I own my car. I have an apartment. I own my furniture. I own my career successes. I take CARE of things. I keep a clean home. I discuss finances and futures with my wonderful friends.

Given the chance, I’d still try to talk eighteen-year-old me into not signing those student loan contracts! Woman! Go to community college for two years! Save your thirty-two-year-old self from the crushing weight of educational debt!

But eighteen-year-old me would have never listened. She had no worries, no concerns, and she was listening to her music full-blast in her 1986 Nissan Sentra with the cassette adapter and a primitive MP3 player.

I still sing as loud, if not louder, than eighteen-year-old me sang. And I’m cool with that.

Why Living Alone is Fantastic

I’ve come upon a really fortunate period of time in my life, wherein I have been once again emancipated from the domicile of my parental units. I, glorious, gleeful I, am living on my own once again. One of the things you get when you’re on your own two feet again is the ability and the time to actually think about things whilst your dog lays snoring contentedly on your couch, with his eyes open just enough for it to be somewhat creepy.

As someone who lived free of my parents for approximately 8 years of my life (19-27 for those of you being nosy) I’ve found that in only 12 weeks of being on my own again, I’ve fallen easily and happily in to some of the old patterns that I became oh-so-used-to and had to “unlearn” when I returned from my adventure in NC to live with my dad and brother former roommates.

For one, when you live alone, you have free reign of your space. So, if you want to leave your currently uninstalled bathroom shelves on the top of your toilet tank, you CAN. You’re the only one who is going to have to look at the unsightly-ness of it every day.

Hypothetically, you can enjoy any or all of the following activities:

  • Fall asleep on your bed face-down after your post-gym shower, wearing only sweatpants and a towel which is artfully wrapped around your hair
  • Talk to and reason with the dog, as if he has a higher understanding of all of your explanations and language, without judgment or looks of concern from other family members
  • DVR as many shows in as many genres as you would like (though let’s be honest, it’s mostly 30 Rock and Doctor Who)
  • Eat whatever you would like for whichever meals you eat in the privacy of your kitchen…or living room…or standing by the sink to prevent spillage.

It’s funny, because when I moved in, I thought, WOW, wouldn’t it be great to have people over, to entertain again? As much as I want?

In 12 weeks? No people. Not even once on purpose.

Why?

Because tonight’s dinner will be a Magnum Double Caramel ice cream that I eat on my couch in panties and a t-shirt. Please don’t knock if you stop by. I still haven’t gotten curtains and I’m not in love with wearing pants.

I’d be remiss…

…if I didn’t take just a few moments today to take some time and say that I’m so deeply saddened by what happened at the Boston Marathon this afternoon.

I’m preparing for bed, but finding myself equal parts angry and sad that so much hate continues to exist in a world where we are educated and exposed to enough to know better.

I’m not quite sure where to go with these emotions, so, I brought them here, to a blog where I try to approach things with a touch of humor, but today is no day for that.

Today is a day that no matter how broken we feel in light of the event that took place; we should remember that, like Mr. Rogers said, there are always helpers in dark times.

And those helpers, well, they are the people who I am eternally grateful for.

Mr. Rogers was one smart man.