Single Girl Diaries: Pearls

Well it’s only been one year and some change since I last took the time to crank out one of these things. Life is a little busy with a full-time gig in New York City. I have a 401K now, so as you might imagine, I have no facking idea what I’m doing. But things are good. My roommates still like me, my cat still hates me and I haven’t been fired yet. Overall, a successful year and some change.

The last time we met, I’d updated the world on my first Tinder date who may or may not have been a serial killer that ghosted me. Guess we’ll never know. Since then, I’ve gone on approximately zero dates. One might say I’m ~killing it~ in the romance department. But come on, these are the Single Girl Diaries. You don’t actually expect me to date, do you?

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As I’ve mentioned, I’m debilitatingly awkward when it comes to the opposite sex. And it’s gone on so long that now I’m 23 and have no idea how to speak to an attractive dude. My mind is like the SpongeBob episode where his brain minions can’t find the information necessary to function. Dat me. It’s awesome.

 

To illustrate my most recent “Someone Stop Her” moment, I take you back to last weekend when my roommate Nicola and I headed over to one of our new favorite dives, Pearls. It’s quiet, cheap, intimate and we get seats at the bar every time. Huge fan. Best of all, the bartenders are always way too attractive for me to function. And Saturday was no exception. Tall, chiseled and flirting for tips, our bartender was the epitome of Brooklyn hip. So naturally, my mind burst into flames.

It started when Nicola knocked over her empty glass. Twice. (To her credit, the coaster got caught. Twice.) But Hot Bartender (HB) saw and smiled at me like we were sharing an inside joke. Obviously I just had to blurt out, “SHE’S AN IDIOT.”

HB gave me a “Girl Chill” look and walked away. I immediately apologized to my dear friend. She’s not an idiot. But I knew I was in trouble. The word vomit was already flowing.

Shortly after my little outburst, Nicola went to the bathroom leaving me alone with HB. He was distracted at first, waiting for some other patrons to order. As they deliberated drink choices, HB glanced over at me. I stared into his dark eyes as we made prolonged eye contact. The kind that’s too long for comfort. The kind that a rational person would look away from. But I’m irrational.

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I. HEAD. NODDED. I UP NODDED AT THE HOT BARTENDER.

Not like a cute, charming head nod, y’all. An up nod that made the entire bar temperature drop 10 degrees. He just turned around and walked away. Behind a bar. That’s 10 feet long. Walked away.

I immediately text my roommates the mayday call reserved for celeb sightings and me embarrassing myself. There was no sympathy, but much laughter. I needed to be stopped. But first I needed another drink.

As Nicola returned from the bathroom, we had to ask HB for another round. He played it cool like I hadn’t just pulled a move straight out of an 8th grader’s cool boy playbook. As he walked down the bar, HB looked directly at me and said, “Ellise, right?” I was so charmed by his ability to correctly pronounce my name that I hadn’t noticed he was actually about to swipe my card when the night was still young. Boo was trying to get rid of me.

Nicola and I flagged him down like street maniacs trying to get on the Today Show, yelling that we just wanted to order more drinks. HB came over laughing after understanding that we were there to stay.

My trashfire of a brain felt it was essential for me to explain that “WE’RE ALCOHOLICS LOL.” (We aren’t alcoholics.)

That was really the last time that poor man would interact with us, other than the check. As you can see, I’ve matured a whopping not at all when it comes to charm and flirtation, something I’m sure my father is thrilled about. Though my grandmas are very adamant about the hot goss (gossip, Grandma) of my New York lifestyle.

While I may still be on the single grind, rest assured I’m not trying very hard. I’ve got the dating apps, but never agree to dates (yeah that person). I’ve got plenty to keep me busy as is between work, social life, a stellar church group, etc., so I guess you just get stuck reading my tales of almosts. I promise I’ll try to be more exciting in the future.

 

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Single Girl Diaries: Tinder love & care

I went on my very first Tinder date last week. I know, I know. Huge deal. Please hold your applause.

I’ve been in New York for nearly four and a half months. I have no idea how time has flown by so quickly. I’m happily settled into my internship, I’ve made several A+ friends and even joined a gym. So now that I’m settled, happy and have free time, I decided why the heck not start taking Tinder seriously.

Now, if you live under a rock, Tinder is a dating app. I’ve had one on and off for the past couple years, but never took it seriously. I conversed here and there, but as soon as someone asked me to meet in person, my fight or flight mode kicks in and I assume they’re probably a serial killer and Houdini my way outta there. (Honestly, I still think they’re all serial killers.)

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But at the ripe age of 22 in a new, HUGE city, I’ve been warned that Tinder is the number one source for dating. It’s hard not to see it as a “hook-up” app, as that’s how it’s often portrayed. However, I know a surprising number of people who have found amazing relationships via this swiping method. So here I am. Swipin’ away.

I don’t really know the stats for my fellow Tinderers (?), but I probably swipe right (meaning I like dem) once every 30 guys. (MAYBE.) I don’t consider myself picky. I just have high standards (and I’m trying to eliminate as many killers as possible).

So a few weeks ago, I matched this guy. He was cute, had a funny profile and worked for a cool company. Other than his name and age, that’s all I knew about this guy. However, being the ~hilarious, girl-next-door type~ (lol jkjkjjkjk), I asked a corny joke about a drunk egg and that seemed to do the trick. A natural conversation followed and ultimately ended in him asking me out.

Now, if you’ve read literally any of my other Single Girl Diaries, you know that I don’t date much. (Not that I can’t. Folks, I’m a great date.) I just had overprotective brothers/dad, small town pool of guys to choose from growing up and I’m hellaaa awkward. So I was nervous to say the least.

For you fans of irony out there, my date mentioned in text format that he was like Christian Bales’s character from American Psycho (MURDERER). Then suggested we meet for drinks at a place called what? FRESH. KILLS. I can’t make this up, you guys. I said yes to all of this.

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Good news, he didn’t murder me. As for the actual date, it went really well. The bar was also cool. No dead people involved. My date was cute, charming, bought me drinks, was a complete gentlemen and hilarious. I had an AMAZING time. Who am I, right?

After about three hours (it was a Tuesday at 11:30), we called it quits and I walked him to the CitiBike station. (Don’t ask if you don’t know.) As we parted ways, we went for a hug. At least I did. As he pulled back, he said he’d wanted to kiss me.

NOTE TO LITERALLY EVERYONE: Consent is AMAZING. But by him saying this, I felt obligated to finish the night with a HORRENDOUSLY awkward kiss. Please don’t get me wrong. It was sweet. He was sweet. I make it sound worse than it was because I’m shy and weird. After, he told me I was “so midwest” which like, yeah. I am. He kissed me on the cheek and biked into the night.

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The next day, I texted him stating that’d he’d convinced me he wasn’t a serial killer. (This is where it gets really good.) He responded, “Well that’s where you’re mistaken because I definitely AM.” That was the last I heard from Tinder date. I honestly have no idea who ghosted whom in this situation.

While it didn’t turn into anything, going on a date was actually really fun. I met a cool new person in a cool new city. I stepped out of my comfort zone. I felt good about myself. I know not all Tinder dates end this way, but honestly, having a fun night out and a confidence boost has done wonders for me. I don’t know if I’ll be doing it again anytime soon, but I have #noregrats.

7 Podcasts to Overcome Stranger Things Withdrawal

In case you’ve been living under a rock all summer, you’ve probably heard about a little Netflix series called “Stranger Things.” The show is set in small-town Indiana in 1983 where a young boy named Will goes missing. What happens from there is a series of events and mysteries that mix mystery, murder, science and the supernatural. It’s amazing.

However, if you’re reading this, it’s likely you’ve already seen “Stranger Things” and are desperately seeking something to fill that Eggo-shaped hole in your heart. So here you are. Seven delightful podcasts filled with mystery, suspense, ghosts, ghouls, aliens and what have you. You’re welcome.

 

1. Limetown

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Limetown is a fictional podcast mimicking the style of investigative radio journalists. It’s hosted by “American Public Radio reporter Lia Haddock” as she strives to uncover the truth of what happened a decade ago in rural Tennessee’s Limetown where over 300 people vanished.

The seven-part series follows Haddock as she investigates the former research facility’s eery hidden past. It’s part developing mystery, part “Holy crap, Limetown is actually Hawkin’s Laboratory. Someone save Eleven.” (I haven’t finished yet though, so don’t spoil it for me.)

eggo-waffleeggo-waffleeggo-waffleeggo-waffle /5 EGGOS

 

2. Serial

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While I’ve only listened to the first season of Serial, I can attest that the mystery of 17-year-old Adnan Syed’s murder trial is one that is just a little too…strange. The real-life case begins when high schooler Hae Min Lee, Syed’s ex-girlfriend, goes missing one day after school in Baltimore (sounds like Will, right???) in 1999. A month later, her body is uncovered in a city park and fingers are pointed at Syed.

The podcast is hosted by journalist Sarah Koenig as she attempts to uncover the truth of Lee’s untimely death. While a part of Koenig doubts Syed’s innocence, she refuses to give up on him, uncovering twists and turns of the complicated trial not seen by the public. While it may lack the fear factor some Stranger Things fans crave, it definitely provides listeners an in-depth, investigative piece of prime journalism to enjoy.

eggo-waffleeggo-waffleeggo-waffleeggo-waffleeggo-waffle_half /5 EGGOS

 

3. Lore

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I could probably talk about Lore for five days straight, but I’ll save you the time. Aaron Mahnke released the first of his award-winning podcast in March of 2015 and produces a new episode every two weeks. As the name suggests, Lore is a collection of folklore, scary stories, and myths. However, unlike other tale-telling podcasts, Mahnke provides backstory to the legends we’ve heard for centuries.

Thrillers, ghosts and ghouls, vampires, murders, mysteries, witchcraft, etc. You name it, Mahnke provides. The series is so popular that Lore is even being turned into a television show. If Demogorgons and tragedy are your cup of tea, take a listen. Just maybe not before bed.

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4. Welcome to Night Vale

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If you’re looking for something a little different and off the wall, fictional podcast Welcome to Night Vale could be the one. Presented as a daily radio show based in Southwestern United States desert town, the host Cecil Gershwin Palmer delivers the bizarre “news, announcements and advertisements” of Night Vale.

While it doesn’t tell a direct tale, it provides listeners hints and clues to the outlandish events of the town. It’s a podcast that could be any everyday newscast, unless your paying attention. Glowing clouds, UFOs, fugitives dragons, and more. While it’s not exactly a Stranger Things-esque story, it’s definitely strange.

eggo-waffleeggo-waffleeggo-waffle/5 EGGOS

 

5. The NoSleep Podcast

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What first appeared as Reddit.com forum “Nosleep,” a place for community users to share original scary stories, quickly took the podcast world by storm. A group of Reddit users proposed the idea of narrating the top stories audiobook style. The first episode was released in June 2011, so you have a bit of catching up to do.

While host and producer David Cummings’s voice may remind you of Will Ferrell’s Zoolander character Jacobim Mugatu, the variety of eery stories told send will chill you to the bone. So if you’re a fan of mystery, terror and jump scares similar to that of Christmas light communication, The NoSleep Podcast just might become your pre-bedtime ritual.

eggo-waffleeggo-waffleeggo-waffleeggo-waffle_half  /5 EGGOS

 

6. Criminal

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Though Criminal lacks the paranormal draw that Stranger Things fans yearn for, it’s certainly not lacking in mystery. Each episode of Criminal follows a single topic, telling stories of complex crimes. If Serial and Lore were to have a baby, Criminal would be that podcast. With it’s high quality production, stellar storytelling and real-life crime, Criminal sucks listeners in for each 20 minute episode.

I don’t know if it’s the fact that the stories told are real or that most of the stories revolve around average people that get caught in the middle of a mess, but the podcast is mesmerizing.

eggo-waffleeggo-waffleeggo-waffleeggo-waffleeggo-waffle_half /5 EGGOS

 

7. The Black Tapes

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I’ll be honest. I hadn’t listened to much of The Black Tapes before this, but after two episodes, I was hooked. This paranormal docudrama seems to has rave reviews and I can attest that it sucks you in. With two seasons of 12 episodes each, journalist and host Alex Reagan seeks the truth of whether or not the supernatural ghosts and ghouls that haunt us are real while also battling the figurative ghosts of a debunking Dr. Strand.

It’s an amazing production. Eery, creepy, and mysterious to infinity and beyond. If you’re the type that seeks supernatural, loves ghosts stories and are desperately searching for a Stranger Things surrogate, listen to The Black Tapes. Start with number one and work your way through. You won’t regret it.

eggo-waffleeggo-waffleeggo-waffleeggo-waffleeggo-waffle_half /5 EGGOS

Single Girl Diaries: Tall Buildings and White Knights

Quite a bit has happened since my last post, so I thought you’d all be super interested in knowing what’s going on in my life since I’m so cool and hip and popular.

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As of August 1, I began working at Inc. Magazine/Inc.com as their Digital Photo Intern. It was a whirlwind of a situation at first. I got a response one day after applying for the position and had an interview at 7 World Trade Center the following day. The whole “pinch me, I’m dreaming” had never felt so relevant.

I interviewed with my now boss and she’s a rockstar. On top of being the Digital Photo Editor for Inc.com, she is the Creative Director for VUU Studio, her own Brooklyn-based studio that publishes amazing new photography. So you could say I got pretty lucky on the mentor sitch.

For the past three weeks, I’ve gotten to work in the hub of NYC’s Financial District just 100 feet from One World Trade Center. I have my own computer, my own inc.com email, and my own Mansueto Ventures phone extension. (I know. It’s YUGGGEE.) I get to spend my days doing things I love: looking at photos (sometimes of puppies!!!!), editing photos, meeting new awesome people and getting PAID to do it. (Not a salary, but enough to survive.)

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I don’t know how long they’ll keep me around, but I have at least a few months to make connections, learn the industry from talented mentors and get involved as much as possible. I hope to take the internship beyond photo editing and learn all I can.

I’ve been so fortunate since arriving in NYC. I have an amazing support system back home sending prayers and love, the perfect roommates (ily Nikki and Caitlin), a demonic cat that’s cute sometimes, a ton of NYC Mizzou Mafia members just a phone call away and I haven’t died from undercooking chicken yet. Things are working out and I’ve never felt so at peace with my decision.

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*Parents stop reading here.

But of course, it wouldn’t be my life without the occasional (less occasional than I’d like) “Why Me?” experience. In this week’s episode of being a female in NYC, I bring the tale of the White Knight.

Last night, my roommates and I attended a gathering of Mizzou and new friends just a 25-minute train ride from our apartment. However, because the world loves to play jokes on us, our train wasn’t running and we had to take a bus. Now there is nothing wrong with the bus. It’s definitely less convenient and trying to pack a trainload of people onto one city bus is less than ideal. But that was it. Just an inconvenience. We got to the house party with ease, had a lovely night of hanging with pals and arguing about Ryan Lochmess, then left. All was well. The train took us to our bus stop and we prepared for the last leg of our half-hour journey home.

While we were waiting at the bus stop, a young man approached us with concern. He looked at us and then behind us before saying the last thing I expected.

“I don’t want to freak you out, but the man behind you has his penis out.”

I KID YOU NOT. ON A CROWDED STREET CORNER WITH 30 PEOPLE WAITING FOR BUSES AND ALL THE STREET LIGHTS IN THE WORLD, THIS MAN DECIDED TO PULL HIS BUSINESS OUT FOR EVERYONE TO SEE.

Without looking, we thanked our heroic White Knight. He walked away but stayed closer than before as a precaution. We made the immediate decision to Uber home, but as soon as we requested a ride, the bus pulled up. Being the broke, 20-somethings we are, we sucked it up, canceled our Uber and took our two stop bus ride home.

But the dirty man followed. And I saw IT.

Once on the bus, we sat and avoided all eye contact as not to attract him. However, that didn’t stop him from standing next to my sweet roommate, junk at eye level before she yelled “NO NO NO,” causing the man to walk to the front of the bus. But within one stop, he was back at it and only feet from me, moving closer and closer, until I could bear it no longer and pushed past the man to stand next to the driver.

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Thankfully, White Knight came to the rescue for Nikki and Caitlin by letting them stand next to the back door and using himself as a barrier from the disgusting man.

We made it off at our stop without incident. We thanked our knight in white t-shirt armor and walked the half block home. The whole event lasted no more than 10 minutes, but it truly shows the diversity of men in this city. There are those that seek to harm and those that seek to help.

I can honestly say that I have never felt unsafe or in danger the entire time I’ve lived in this city. I’ve had bizarre incidents, this one topping the cake, but I’ve never once felt scared. I don’t know if it’s the street lights, the amount of people, the proximity my home from the station at night, but I felt more in danger walking to my apartment at 9 p.m. on a weeknight in Columbia, Mo. than I have here. There may be more people here, but I like to think the good outweighs the bad.

So that’s it for me. Not a lot going on. Working, binge watching Netflix, making excuses not to work out, making new friends and overall loving life. I miss home. I miss my family. I hate that plane tickets are so expensive and that I live 1200 miles away. But this feels like the right place to be for me right now. I don’t know how long I’ll stay. I miss the trees and hills. I’ve never been to the Pacific Northwest. There is still so much adventure out there, but I’m here and ready for it.

Thanks for all the love and support, fam. Y’all are the best.

 

*P.S. Dad, I told you not to read past that point so when you inevitably call, I’m fine. My roommates are fine. I’m not moving home. I don’t walk alone in the dark. Often. I love you.

Single Girl Diaries: Limbo

No, I’m not talking about that stupid party dance where you try to contort your body to fit under a stick, although the limbo I’m referring to feels the same.

lim•bo(n): an uncertain period of awaiting a decision or resolution

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As many of you may know, about a month and a half ago, I moved to New York City with some of my best friends. I’m happy to report that it’s gone remarkably smooth. We survived an Airbnb basement that not only lacked windows, had two beds for three adult women and 6’2″ ceilings, but was also haunted (yet to be confirmed). We survived moving via Uber. Our parents (God bless them) brought us our furniture and knickknacks after living like squatters in our new apartment. And we’ve survived our first three weeks as official residents of Brooklyn. All in all, things have gone well.

Now here’s where the limbo part comes into play. If you follow my Twitter at all, I’m sure you’ve encountered one of my many whiny, GIF-ridden posts about unemployment. I like to make light of the situation, but here’s the deal. I’m going insane.

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While I understand that the average amount of time between graduation and employment is six months, I was really hoping it wouldn’t apply to me. But thus far, it’s exactly the case.

I knew moving to New York City cold turkey wasn’t going to be easy. I left everything I’ve ever known 1,206 miles away. I left my family (all of which live within an hour of my childhood home). I left my best friends in the entire world. I left the hills and trees of southern Missouri and traded them for towering buildings and smelly subway rides. I traded the archery range in my backyard for high* neighbors shooting compound bows on my roof.

But the thing is, everything feels right. While, as of today, I’ve applied for 98 jobs and haven’t secured anything, I can’t help but feel as if something great is coming. I may end up working somewhere I’m less than thrilled about for a while, but nothing is permanent. (Figure of speech, y’all. Don’t start listing permanent things in the comments.)

So here we go. As a new month begins, I drop $900 on rent and utilities, and I remain unemployed, I ask that you pray for me. Send good thoughts if you’re the type. Or just like, puppy videos. Those work too.

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Thanks for all the love and support you’ve given me as I transition into this new and exciting part of my life. I’ll keep you updated as I go.

P.S. I’m no longer single. I am, in fact, engaged to an Irish gentleman I met at a bar called Boobie trap. But that’s for another time.

 

 

*Confirmed smoking marijuana. Not just high due to the distance from the ground to the roof.

 

The Single Girl Diaries: Windswept and Waiting

As some of you may have seen via my recent Snapstories, I’ve made the ~adventurous~ decision to move to New York City with no job, no apartment and no money aside from what I made selling my car.

You may be thinking to yourself, “Wow. That Ellise girl is an idiot. Didn’t she get a degree so she wouldn’t be an idiot.” I mean, yeah. But stay with me.

First of all, I didn’t make this decision alone. I have two of the most wonderful women in my world to accompany me on this journey: Caitlin Busch and Nikki Dall’Asen. These two brilliant journo minds have allowed me to take part in this life transition with them. About a week before our self-declared move day, we snagged an AirBnb for a month. (If you’re like my entire family and don’t know what an AirBnb is, it’s essentially a rented room in someone’s home/apartment/hostel. Not a “brothel” as my grandma told everyone.) We share a bedroom in a windowless basement with two full beds and 6’2″ ceiling. It sounds worse than it is, really.

Everyday here is new and exciting. With only one of the three having locked down an internship for the summer, we spend several hours a day at coffee shops around the city applying for jobs. My official count is 71. When we aren’t at our local dig, Variety Coffee Roasters, we’re exploring the city. There is no sense of urgency as we wander the streets. This isn’t a month long vacation. We moved. We live here. We can piddle-fart around, peak in shops, sit in the fountain at Washington Square, unironically eat at Guy Fieri’s restaurant in Times Square, walk the entirety of Central Park, ride the trains for the hell of it, go to rooftop parties, eat 99 cent pizza, etc. This is our new home and these two beautiful women are my family.

Now, to say that I’m not freaking out a little about the job prospects would be false. As mentioned earlier, I’ve applied for 71 jobs and counting. I’ve had two interviews with one company and I’ve been waiting nearly a week to hear back about the position. It’s driving me mad. But another prospect appeared in my inbox just last night and I know that more will come. Even if it’s a job serving or working in a book shop or making bagels, I know that I’ll be alright. I’ve never felt more confident in that.

So hold onto your seats, kids. You’re in for a wild ride. I plan to keep those interested up to date via my blog. The Single Girl Diaries are far from over.

 

 

No Money, Mo Problem$

Money has never been important to me. From a young age, my parents taught me that money doesn’t make a person happy and that you have to work hard to get what you want. I got my first job at the age of 14. I bought my first car at 15. I’ve paid off two loans. I’ve had seven paying jobs, several overlapping. I’ve been a cave guide, a Boys & Girls Club staffer, a server at a dinner a show, a photo assistant and more. I’ve managed to maintain a 3.5 GPA in college while working and taking over 15 credit hours each semester. And yet, I owe $50,000 and have $184 in my bank account.

A month and two weeks from now, I’ll be moving to New York City in what some deem an “adventurous” move. Others might consider “idiotic” or “insane.” I’m terrified and exited. I have no job, no source of income and no apartment (yet).I’ve applied for at least 30 positions, most I don’t consider myself qualified for.

Last week, I spent four days in New York exploring the city, looking at apartments and meeting with stellar, successful Mizzou alums. It was amazing and completely affirmed that the city is where I want to be come June 1. But the reality of money hit hard.

Although my parents love me more than life, they have three other children and their own household/debt to take care of, so expecting them to wave a magic wand and have $37,429 deposited into my account is unrealistic. (For those with parents that can, that’s amazing and I’m not saying you’re spoiled or lucky. Just different situations.) Therefore, I have to sell my car, work my butt off and borrow MORE money so that I can eventually make money.

Living paycheck to paycheck isn’t a huge deal. I’ve always expected it for the lifestyle I plan to lead. But right now, as a soon-to-be-graduate with zero dollars and no sense (see what I did there?), this whole “money” thing has become an all-encompassing, daunting, horrific nightmare. I’ve never worried how I’ll pay my rent. I’ve always had the option to go out for lunch. Grabbing a beer with friends after work never made me nauseous. But here I am, freaking the f*** out.

I know it’ll all be okay. I know my parents will take care of me. I know I’ll get a job and have a place to live. I know that I’ll make it. But as my school career comes to an end and impending adulthood grows nearer, my anxiety has skyrocketed. I’m sure this is normal, but it’s difficult to articulate what’s going on internally. I want to spend time with  my friends, I want to enjoy my final few weeks here, I want to breathe. So if this is something you’re also enduring, I’m so sorry. We can do this. It just sucks right now.

 

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