It’s the one-year anniversary of my college graduation, and let me tell you — I’m feeling no desire to take my diploma out to a candlelit dinner. In fact, if my degree and I were to actually go out on a date, I imagine I would yell at it over appetizers, apologize profusely over dinner, and then cry on its shoulder throughout dessert. However, since this is clearly nothing but a super weird extended metaphor, I’m left with all I actually know how to do — buy myself a middle-of-the-road bottle of white, call my mother, and write this list of things I thought I’d totally have in the bag by now.
1. Fancy food in the fridge.
I used to think that around this stage, I’d be cooking for reals — dog-tagging pages in hard-cover recipe books, tossing fresh herbs around, owning a cheese grater, things like that. As it turns out, I do three things and three things only at my local Trader Joe’s: rob them of their frozen food supply, spend 20 minutes staring at their collection of artisan chocolates, and make enough stops at the sample section to eat a full-on free meal. I’ve seen adults shop, and it does not look like this.
2. Less free time.
As college came to a close, I started treasuring my student schedule like it was precious gold — I mean, no class on Fridays?? No responsibilities before noon??? Nights when I had nothing to do other than drink bad beer and casually glance at a book???? This must have been Lazydrunk Heaven!!! Well, flash forward to a year later, when I have whole days where I don’t know what to do with myself. I’ve even started going to the gym. It wasn’t until I bought my first pair of running shoes that I realized how much I was longing for a sense of purpose.
3. Professional clothing.
Let’s put it this way: the only blazer I own cost me 60 dollars at Nordstrom Rack.
4. A clearer sense of direction.
To put it bluntly, I kind of thought I’d have my life figured out by now. To continue putting it bluntly, I don’t. But hey, maybe that’s okay. I mean, if I’m gonna stick to this freelance writer/actress/cheese-eater thing I’ve got goin’ on, my life’s inevitably going to be a bit of a rollercoaster — not in the sense that it’ll have its ups and downs, but in the sense that I’ll be scared to near-death half the time and puking up chunks of glittery joy the other half. I hope to eventually master the art of being in both of these states at once — I imagine that’s what it feels like to be totally and completely fulfilled.
5. Less hangovers.
I drank an obscene amount my last semester of college because I was convinced “I’d never be able to live this way ever again.” After a year spent in the real world, my drinking habits have only changed in three identifiable ways: I get drunk earlier than I used to (thanks and no thanks Happy Hour), I actively avoid PBR because it makes my body feel like a fiery trash pit, and the establishments in which I drink are about 12 times smaller than they used to be. I am not what one would call a responsible, one-glass-of-wine-with-dinner kind of adult.