If you actually know me, you know a pretty good portion of my life is spent in what we’ll call an anxiety whirlwind (because spiral sounds too negative). I’ve come to realize my General Anxiety Disorder is pretty awesome, though. I mean, aside from the times it feels like there’s a body builder on my chest because my printer isn’t working and I’m late for class, it can be pretty cool. It’s like I have a super power that I need to harness for good instead of evil, and truthfully nothing could be more badass. Provided I don’t let things get out of control or too messy, it keeps me motivated and ensures that I produce pretty outstanding work. I’m organized and I communicate insanely well because of it, even though it’s always still there, kind of running in the background. But, despite a constant fear that I might be doing something wrong and things are going to spiral out of control and end terribly at any second, there are little things about my life that serve as happy reminders that maybe, just maybe, I might be doing something right at least some of the time. Here they are, in no particular order:
1. I have no kids
First let me start by saying: I absolutely commend people my age who are parents, whether they planned to have a kid or not. If you’re doing a good job of parenting and your child is still alive, bravo! I mean this entirely seriously. I love kids and I’m excited to have them some day in the distant future. But for now, my single biggest accomplishment in life is being responsible and smart enough to get through high school and college child free. This is only because there is no possible way I would ever be able to handle that kind of disruption to my plans. You may have missed the part earlier about me crying when my printer doesn’t work. That’s something that’s actually happened. More than once. My greatest fear is my luggage being missing at the airport. I don’t do well when things don’t go according to plan. Not to mention, I have to ask my parents for gas money usually more than once a month. I am truly, truly impressed with people under 30 who deal with mother/fatherhood, whether your baby was planned or a surprise. I would love to have it as together as you, but for now I’ll just commend myself on remaining child free for 21 years. (If you have a kid and you’re not doing a good job of parenting, I don’t commend you and you should be ashamed of yourself and know that you’re an idiot)
2. I was not only accepted to college, but will finish early.
My whole life is about planning. I’m obsessed with time. Technically speaking, scheduling is the number one trigger of my anxiety (not that anyone who isn’t me, my family or my doctor cares). I need to know when things are happening and the order they’re happening in. Any disruption to that could be a big problem for me and my special brain. So, for me, going to college was only the next step after high school. There was no other option. That was just always the plan. Again, I’m weirdly envious of people who make their life work without a college education just because I don’t understand how. But, I digress. Because I always just viewed college as the next step, at this point in my life, it’s truly amazing to me the number of people I know who chose to not finish. Now, choosing not to finish college and choosing not to go to college, I think, are two very different things. School is not for everyone and that’s perfectly fine. However, I can’t justify finishing three full years and then deciding not to go back, especially when you’re talking about a private school. It makes no sense and is an enormous waste of your time and money. At that point, just finish and get your degree. You know after year one if it’s not for you. Drop out then! It’s shocking to me how many people I know that started college and didn’t finish. So, because I’m judgmental and I think people who do this are incredibly dumb and impractical, knowing that I’m graduating a semester early makes me want to pat myself on the back a little.
3. I have never once smoked a cigarette.
Growing up, my dad smoked as did my grandpa, so I always kind of liked the smell of cigarettes. My grandmother died of lung cancer, but I was too young to remember that. I mean, I had years of health education telling me they’d kill me and also, they’re incredibly expensive. But, as I got older most of my friends turned into social smokers anyway. Everyone smokes at bars. Except me. It’s probably some voice in my subconscious telling me my 4th grade teacher will come out and yell at me if I smoke. But, I still stand outside in the cold with my friends and they’ll pass a cigarette around and at this point, they even know to skip over me. Resisting that level of peer pressure is pretty awesome, even at 21. Not to mention, it’s a killer during Never Have I Ever.
4. People refer to me as honest and reliable.
There are a lot of other things people can and I’m sure do call me. But, knowing that my friends and the people in my life that matter think of me as these two adjectives is maybe my favorite thing about myself.
5. I’ve never been fired from a job.
I’ve been working, basically, consistently since I’m 15 years old. I’ve left every job on my own accord and on good terms with my boss. Not that any one of them is related to my field of study so my references are basically irrelevant, but they exist which is more than a lot of people can say.
6. I have never once in my life left a bar with a stranger
This is just something that, as a woman, I’m proud to say has never happened to me. That is not the person I am or the person I ever want to be. I don’t necessarily judge people who do this (to each his own and whatnot), but I just hope they understand the gravity of their decisions.
7. Finishing menial tasks/making official phone calls/sending emails
Sending a professional email or taking my car to be washed or calling and dealing with the financial aid office over the phone probably shouldn’t cause me to be as proud of myself as they do. But, most of the time I still feel like I’m 15 years old. Not a tremendous amount in my life has changed since I’m 15. I still live at home, I go to school locally, I work locally. So, when I handle adult-type-things without needing help or crying, it’s a big day.
8. my resume/cover letter
The amount of anxiety creating my resume caused me is something I can not even begin to describe to you because no normal person could comprehend it. I had it checked by the career center literally ten times before I sent it out to even one potential employer. So, when I get interviews based on that resume, it’s the strangest combination of swelling pride and immense relief. But, hopefully the first job I get, I will be there forever because the thought of revising my resume makes me want to live in a hole.
9. When my little cousins do things that I do
It is with no hesitation that I tell you that every one of my cousins (including my younger brother) is brilliant and not just the younger ones. I come from an incredibly smart family. When taking both sides of my family into consideration, of all my first cousins, I’m the third oldest. If you could combine my two older cousins, they’d be the perfect human. I’ve thought this for as long as I can remember. Then there’s myself, “the twins” and my brother, in descending order of age, all basically of college age and doing alright. And then the little ones. I have six younger cousins, all on my moms side, ranging from ages 3-10. I am absolutely confident one or more of them will win a nobel prize or walk on the moon or do something just outstandingly awesome with their lives. I realize every person thinks the little kids in their life are budding geniuses, but I’m being realistic here. I don’t just think this of them because I love them. Every last one of them will be smarter than me. So, when you’re dealing with kids that smart it’s pretty incredible when you realize they want to be like you. I mean, if I were a train wreck, they’d probably be less anxious to imitate my favorite color. But, when a four year old girl in a tutu tells you she wants to go to the same college as you , it’s pretty reaffirming.
10. I can count the number of times I have puked as a result of drinking on my fingers.
Ok well admittedly, it has happened but I bet you’d be hard pressed to find an average 21 year old who can honestly tell you alcohol has never once made them puke. In some senses, it’s a right of passage. But for some of my beautiful peers, it’s a weekly occurrence and that’s just something I’ve never understood. I had my first beer junior year of high school and it is with absolute sincerity that I tell you I have not thrown up more than 7 times since. That’s less than twice a year on average. I can recount every single time with detail, but no one wants that.
and those are the top 10 reasons why I think my life is not a failure yet.