Alphabet Soup: Y is for Yeah…

This segment titled Alphabet Soup: The alphabet according to someone with very little shame and a lot of time on her hands was inspired by blogger Mandy Wallace and the Writers of Kern A to Z challenge. Enjoy!

Happy Friday, readers!

I know I’ve been a bit AWOL recently, I’m trying to get better! The road to recovery is long and arduous, but I’ll do it for you guys. Because I love you.

Y is for Yeah

This week I ended up at an impromptu hangout with the wife, a friend of ours, and a Frenchman who is here visiting. The wife and I were out book buying and figured we’d be sociable because, why not? When we get to the place, we find that the Frenchman is wasted, our friend is soberly feeling uncomfortable, AND they’ve got an almost catatonic Brit in tow. Having just written it down it sounds like the beginning of a terrible joke, which it was and wasn’t.

The atmosphere was relaxed as it can only be when you’re somewhere doing something you’ve done many times before, spending time with people who are already familiar to you. That is, until you came to the Brit, staring off into space. Saying absolutely nothing. At some point we all tried to make conversation with him, but it was too painful.

“So, how are you liking the island?”

“Yeah, fine.”

I nod, look around for inspiration.

“Is it your first time here?”

“Yeah…”

“And you’re here by yourself?”

“Yeah…”

“Wow, how was your flight?”

“Yeah…okay.”

I looked around. Eyes wide and pleading, hoping someone would rescue me. And rescue me they did, because thankfully my friends are only dicks sometimes. As the night wore on, he managed to scare off a girl my friend had gotten to talk to him. He told a lady she couldn’t bring her child into the bar. Which granted, you’re really not meant to have children in bars, but also you probably shouldn’t be telling people what to do when they’re hanging out with the bar’s owner. This was followed by him coming up to us and saying he couldn’t find his money and so we had to buy him more beer. Yeah….

By the time our friend and her Frenchman ditched us, leaving us stranded with a demanding and wildly plastered Brit, the wife and I were ready to call it quits. We were figuring out how to get out of the situation when he waved us over and introduced us to a couple he was talking to. It turns out, they were really, really cool people. Funny, smart, charming, we had a blast just chatting with them about everything and nothing. The Brit left at some point, leaving behind him a wake of “Who was that guy?” and “He was so odd”.

It was one of those chance encounters that leave you feeling energized and happy because you realize connecting with people doesn’t have to be that hard. All you need is a little luck, the willingness to try, and a wasted Brit to quicken the pace.

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Rangent: The Fear of Missing Out

Welcome to Wednesday, you guys! The Sun is out and the sky is blue. Everything is beautiful and so are you. Paraphrasing The Beatles is more satisfying than it should be.

Our generation is constantly afraid of missing out. The term is Fear of missing out or FOMO, as it’s affectionately called. We consume information at an astonishing speed – current events, music, movies, books. We’re so scared of missing out, like being out of the loop will leave us stranded in empty space. We all vibrate with a need to be everywhere, a subconscious desire to separate our particles and scatter them to every corner of the world.

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Hopefully the split would look more elegant and glamorous than this…

I’m one of those people. I feel the need to be everywhere at once, especially when I travel. The months before my trip I spent them combing the internet looking for events. The thought of being somewhere new and missing out on things, not out of disinterest, but because I didn’t know about them was pretty awful. But, the thing I felt I was missing out on the most, was my best friend.

We were traveling at the same time, but in entirely different places. I felt like I was missing out on her experiences, just as she felt she was missing out on mine. It’s a very particular feeling that fear of missing out on someone else’s experiences. Although, I suppose that’s the essence of missing out, isn’t it? Someone else is experiencing things you wish you could be a part of. You feel adrift, instead of feeling anchored to shared moments with someone else.

That’s life, though, right? We can’t be everywhere at once, so we’re destined to miss out on things once in a while. It’s impossible to have it any other way, but that’s ok. Because life isn’t about being at every party, reading every book, watching every movie. It’s about going the parties that matter, reading the books that make us feel something, watching the movies that give us a new perspective or make us laugh.

And for that, there’s a whole host of things you can do! Let’s all breathe a collective sigh of thankfulness for that. Things like social media and newsletter subscriptions are invaluable for that. Two years ago, during my internship in D.C., I found out about Eventbrite and it became my go to for events. In a city that was constantly in motion, bristling with conferences and book readings, Eventbrite gave me access to more events than I knew what to do with. Which meant I ended up going to the events that truly interested me, rather than random events that didn’t make me happy.

I don’t think this generalized anxiety of ours is necessary. We shouldn’t be afraid of missing out on everything, rather we should be afraid of missing out on the things that matter. So, let’s all make the most of Facebook, Twitter, Eventbrite, and as many newsletters as we can get our hands on. Instead of suffering from FOMO, let’s make the most of GOMO! Fight the fear of missing out by making sure you’re always where you want to be.

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Be as happy as Rapunzel going out for the first time.

Let me know how you keep up with events! Have a good one, readers!

Throw Some Beer At It

Today I finished my bachelors degree. That doesn’t happen every day. It doesn’t feel so much like an achievement, but rather as something that I’d obviously do. You don’t get praise for doing something that was already your job, today feels a bit like that. And yet, deep down, I know it’s pretty monumental. It wasn’t obvious and it shouldn’t be taken for granted. They were years of work and frustration, but also years where I learned, changed, and ultimately became the person I am today. Therefore, like anything worth celebrating, I threw a ton of beer at it!
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As soon as my final was over and done with, I headed down to the nearest bar with my classmates. Beer and shots were had in order to celebrate what was the last day of summer school for some and the end of their degree for others, including myself. I talked to old friends, I made new ones, we were loud and probably crazy looking, but I hadn’t felt as relaxed and at home with a random group of people in a really long time. It’s strange when you consider how fleeting moments like those are. You end up thrown together by chance and it’s quite possible you might not see any of them again, but for an evening none of that mattered. It was pretty cool.

Before you ask: that tower was built by the young man staring adoringly at it, with help from all us! I offered up some building blocks, but it was a team effort through and through. I don’t think I’d be able to walk, much less type this, if I’d had that many beers!

In the end I feel proud of what I’ve accomplished, even if it doesn’t feel monumental. Years ago today seemed daunting and now that it’s here I have enough confidence in myself to feel ok leaping into tomorrow and it’s lack of a definite plan. This is not to say that I’m not terrified, only that I feel like I have the strength to walk down this new path and deal with the obstacles it might hold. She said as she stared into the distance while the credits rolled on the screen….

Tomorrow is a brand new day readers, but today is all about feeling satisfied. Congratulations to each and every one of you, for having accomplished things you never thought possible. It feels pretty good, right?

Until next time, stay excellent!