My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

Questions to my future self

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What was your career like? Did you ever land that dream job and if so, how did you do it? How important did the money end up being? Did you take dreams over paychecks and struggle to follow your passion? Did you create something you loved? Did you work with integrity and honesty and drive? Were you a good mentor, and did you remember to give back to the people who looked up to you?

Did you take risks? Did you ever run that marathon, eat dessert whenever you wanted to, or drunkenly dance on top of that bar table? Did you see the movies you wanted to see? Which books were your favorites? Did you remember to put yourself first sometimes, not for the sake of being selfish, but for the sake of your own sanity?

Do you have kids? Did you ever decide whether or not you wanted to have kids, and if so, how did you know? Was it a light bulb moment or was it more of a gradual thing? Did you see some little girl or boy in the park one day while on a run and realize the pang in your heart was real, and it was telling you wanted to have a family of your own after all? Did you know you were ready or were you apprehensive, nervous? scared? And what were their names? What were they like? What age did you finally introduce them to Harry Potter? Are you proud of them? You must be so damn proud of them, I imagine, the way most parents are proud of their kids, should be proud of their kids. Do they have your eyes? Your freckles? Your left-handedness? Do they love you? Were/are you a good mom?

And if you didn’t have kids, how’d you decide? How’d you know they weren’t for you? Was there backlash when you made that choice? Was it even your choice?

Were you a wreck when your dog passed away? Do you remember how little he was when you first got him, when he was just a pup and chewed everything in sight including your favorite autographed Brewers baseball and snuggled up in your lap when you slept? How old was he? Do you remember the day when you looked at each other very seriously and realized that you were his human more than he was your dog? How do you survive outliving such an important part of yourself?

Did you travel the world like you always had wanted to? Did you explore your city as much as you could? Did you ever move back home? Or was homesickness just a comfortable constant, a small memento and reminder of your roots?

How did you meet the love of your life? Did you ever have one? Or were there many, and if there were, did one stand out? What were they like? What did they do, and how did they take their coffee? Did they prefer pancakes, waffles or French toast? Could they smack talk sports like no body’s business and make you ugly snort laugh? What color were their eyes and did you feel safe in their arms and how and when did you know you loved them? Who said it first?

And if it ended, how did it happen? Was it bitter and full of spite, or was it simply two friends saying one last goodbye? I really hope it was the latter.

Do you regret anything? What do regret? And if you do, do those regrets outweigh your good memories? I hope they don’t. I hope the good far outweighs any kind of bad.

And most of all, were you happy? Maybe not all the time, because that’s the impossible goal, but overall, were you happy? Are you happy now? Did the things you did and the places you saw and the people you loved…did all those things bring you joy and give you meaning and fuel your drive and determination to make the world a better place?

I guess that last answer lies in me. Current me. Present day me. Right here and right now me.


 

Because the things you do now, and the people you love, and the dreams you chase determine whether or not you feel fulfilled in this moment. The risks you take build up larger rewards, and the things you choose not to do in the here and now determine your biggest regrets.

So chase after what you love now. And take your risks and leap off those cliffs and book those tickets to that new city and read as much as you can and love as hard as humanly possible.

And make the answers you’ll give when you’re older the best they can possibly be.

 

 

JOB-ba the Hut

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Being a librarian has its perks, y’all. Working with books every day, getting people excited about becoming forever learners, thinkers and doers, working with books every day, making a difference in the lives of your students/patrons, working with books every day, the opportunity to work with some amazing people, and of course, getting to work with books every. damned. day. That being said however, it does have its drawbacks. A few which include tight budget constraints, strict funding and job security.

The former has made my heart so incredibly full, my life mucho happy. The latter on the other hand have made me something of an expert on the field of staring unemployment in the face like it’s the Reaping, and I, as Katniss Everdeen, have to somehow survive almost sudden death in the Arena of the Crappy Economy and No Jobs. While I’ve always been fortunate enough to find another job, it never becomes any more fun to embark on the risky endeavor of networking your ass off until you find something, anything, to help pay the bills. And not only that, but find a job that makes your heart smile, a job that you’re good at, a job that you’re excited to wake up in the early AMs every morning and go to. But first, before you ride into battle, you have to prepare for war.

The following is a list of suggested activities in which one can partake so that the first 24-48 hours (or in my case, three weeks) of impending unemployment don’t feel as unproductive as a “Holy chocolate-covered potato chips, Batman! I’M UNEMPLOYED?!?!” pity party.

  1. Mentally plan for the worst case scenarios first. How much could you make by selling your Brewers collector bobbleheads on Ebay? What if you sublet your bedroom and just slept on your own couch? Would your parents agree to “bankroll your groovy lifestyle” and therefore be awesome in your eyes even though, let’s face it, they probably want you moving back home with them as much as you want to move back home with them?
  2. Stare into the fridge as if you will never see it this full ever again. Good bye, six dollar bag of organic Kale salad greens potato chips from Whole Foods. It was nice knowing you, leftover Magnolia cupcake from that one time you decided to show moderation and only have half a cupcake. Soon, take-out containers and greasy bags of drunken pizza cravings will be a thing of the past because you are Unemployed and thus cannot afford to eat more than canned chicken-noodle soup with a side of misery.
  3. Eat other half of the Magnolia cupcake. Decide if you’re going to be poor, you’d better get as many calories in you now before you have to revert to living off of your own body mass. Debate going to get another cupcake, because one half really is never satisfying, like ever.
  4. Call your parents and let them know you’re out of a job because hey, it’ll make them feel appreciated and wanted and if you do have to beg them to pay for everything, at least this will give them prior notice. They, in turn, will console their baby — because you are still their baby, after all — and while you, blubbering and telling them that you’re “Trying To Make It Work!” and “You’ve got Prospects!” and “Ideas!” as to where to find a new job, might actually feel a sense of comfort you haven’t had since your favorite blankie was finally donated to the rag heap in the sky.
  5. Have pity party anyway. Dance around to some Hall and Oates and rock the ish out of said pity party. Invite some friends. And tequila. Just all of the tequila.
  6. Reconnect with anyone you might have ever known who could help you get a job. Become one of Those People who asks how somebody is only to follow it up with a “SO THIS IS WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR ME!” kind of remark. Don’t they want good karma? Won’t helping you find a job make them feel like a good person? Also, you should size up everyone on the street as to whether they work at a company that might employ you, or could possibly employ you themselves. Debate striking up conversation, because it’ll show you’re gutsy and outgoing and a go-getter! (Isn’t that what companies want from their employees, anyhow?)
  7. Update about it on Facebook and Twitter, because this is Reality and when you’ve got a cushy job with severance and slash or tenure 15 years later, you’d like to scroll down your timeline and remember those quaint days when you weren’t sure how you were going to make rent or pay your Spotify bill. Also, go through Twitter and rabidly delete any content a future employer might find unsatisfactory. Yes, even that 140-character rant you crafted on last Tuesday morning’s commute about how that bacon and egg sandwich from the street cart is going to eff you up so good.
  8. Break down your monthly expenses on a microscopic scale. Budget $40 a week for food, if you really make an effort to cook everything — and by “cook,” I mean, make half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for each meal. Call up your cell phone provider and explain that because you’re losing your job, you need a discount or even a free month of unlimited service because how else are you supposed to find a job (or play Words with Friends in your first few days of unemployment and doing less than nothing) if you can’t put a phone number on the top of your resume?
  9. Rationalize that you’ve worked really hard for a long time, so maybe a few weeks to yourself will be a good thing. You can mentally decompress. You can go to the gym you’re too busy to use, and you’ll impress your interviewers with a newly chiseled physique, wrought from the combination of making the gym your new place of pro bono employment and following the Too Broke To Really Eat diet plan.
  10. Watch too much television with characters that have jobs they constantly bungle, and wish life were that glossy. Because it’s not. Instead, you gloss up your resume a little, make sure your one blazer is lint-free, and take your risks with LinkedIn even though those emails reminding you to add Tommy with whom you worked on one project in Ethics class back in college to your contacts have driven you batty ever since you both graduated. And then you buy a cupcake. Because if you’re going to hoof it all over and be friendly and polite during your interviews, it’s probably a good idea to avoid being hangry while doing so.

These are all great tips to employ (pun intended) in your current state of pending joblessness, but probably the most important thing you can do during this suckier than a vacuum time my friends, is to never, ever never ever give up. Ever. If there’s one thing I’ve learned during my time in the Arena, it’s that it’s okay to get frustrated, it’s okay to be scared and nervous, but you can’t lose that hope. You can’t take rejection as an end-all, be-all. Learn from every application, every interview, every time you came so close but weren’t close enough and use that as motivation. You’ve got this. You’ve totally and 110.9999784% got this.

And always, always eat the full cupcake.

Just a few things…

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Hi kids.

I hope you’ve all had a fab week so far. Mine–as indicated by the empty bottle of Moscato  and trash bin full of just as empty Ben & Jerry’s pints currently residing in my disaster of a kitchen–has been, well, a tad on the stressful side, to say the least. The school where I work has just two weeks left before it closes its doors for good, which has put even more pressure for the staff and the students to figure out what their next plan is; my brain is a confuddled mess of transcripts, school records and library inventory lists.

On top of trying to make sure each an every one of my students gets hooked up with a school where they can successfully finish out their degree and graduate, I’ve been dealing with the ever fun task of trying to hook myself up with a job.

Spoiler alert: It’s not so fun.

I am currently 0-5, guys. Five great interviews, five declines, don’t pass go, don’t collect $200 emails. Each and every one of them have told me that it was a great pool of candidates, that I was their second choice, which is great! Flattering. But second choice doesn’t get you the job. I was offered a position at a public library yesterday actually, a job that while an entry-level position, also sounded pretty damn incredible. I did however have to make the difficult decision to turn it down. They were only willing to pay me half of what I’m making now, i.e. I would’ve had a job, but I also would’ve been living in my car.  So there’s that.

Seriously, y’all. I feel sometimes like the only thing, the formative glue that’s holding me together right now is that massive Costco-sized jar of peanut butter (which I may or may not be eating out of with a spork as I’m typing this).

I know things are going to work out okay. I do. But right now, I’m a hot mess. Emphasis on hot because although my life is a bit out of control at the moment, my hair and eyeliner are ironically on point.

I just have to keep on keeping on, and have faith that this right now is just a blip in the bigger picture. A hiccup, a minor flesh wound.

This right now is only going to make me stronger and wiser in the future (and possibly in need of some new jeans because sooooooo much wine and ice cream and peanut butter!!!!!)

Anywhoozers, moving on to something not so Donnie Darko…..

Driving home last night, I was listening to a random podcast I found while scrolling through my i-tunes library. The topic of the show was things that didn’t make any sense, everyday things that would make you or me stop and think, “I just don’t get it.” Some of them were hilariously relateable; “Overalls”, “Braille on drive-through ATMs”, and my favorite “Fun-size candy bars.” There’s nothing fun about mini, itsy-bitsy candy. Nothing.

It did get me thinking, though. What are some of the things that I still don’t understand? I’ve been around the proverbial block and then some a few times my friends, but there are still things that make me scrunch up my nose with wonder.

Here are just a few things that I still don’t understand:

  • Tipping. It’s a seemingly simple social rule, yet I still feel like I do it incorrectly. Sure the wait staff needs a tip, but what if I’m getting an order To-Go? And do restaurant staff get the same percentage as say, hairdressers? Or my auto-mechanic? So many questions, guys.
  • Why we have to have it all. What if I’m perfectly happy having just some of it right now?
  • Fine wines. Ahhh yes, I believe I’m getting an oaky hint of…alcohol.
  • What is so wrong with knowing that you’re a tiny ball of goddamn sunshine — and saying so, and ignoring anyone who tells you otherwise.
  • Cross Fit. Oh, that’s that cult where everyone jumps around and throws medicine balls at each other, right?
  • Investing. Let’s see, I need some stocks, some bonds, a 401(k), and…a pool of gold coins?
  • WHY DOES THE LOOKING/APPLYING/INTERVIEWING FOR A JOB PROCESS TAKE A MILLION KAJILLION YEARS??!! But for reals, guys. I’m starting to get grey hair.
  • Why always wanting what you can’t have means pining over the person you always have to text first.
  • Doing taxes. I know. I know! I’ve been doing my taxes for more than 10 years now and I still don’t quite fully know what I’m doing. But that’s what TurboTax is for, right?
  • The whole “we’re talking” culture. Just fucking own up and go for the date.
  • Why people hate on loving cheesy, popular, mainstream things. Hanson is a delightful band with some truly catchy songs, okayyyyyy?!
  • People who prefer the movie to the book. But why, tho?
  • Mayonnaise.
  • When it became cool to not care. Caring is the best!

 

Probably the biggest thing I still yet haven’t figured out is why it feels like you have to have everything figured out by the time you’re an adult. What if you’re a little late to the game? What if you never really feel like one? What if sometimes, just sometimes, you really don’t want to? Sometimes you call eating Lucky Charms straight from the box a late breakfast…at 1 pm. Sometimes you’re a little irresponsible and impulsive and get a new tattoo just because you can. Sometimes you reach out to that one person you know you shouldn’t. But sometimes you’re still trying to figure out how to live your life — and what a life even should be, and what it really is. Sometimes we’re all just stumbling around, hoping we don’t make a mess of it.

But sometimes, making a mess of it is proof to ourselves and everyone around us that we’re actually alive.

Things may be a bit messy right now, but you know what? I’m alive!

Alive and with a giant jar of peanut butter.

What more could you ask for, really?

QOTD: What are a few things that you still quite don’t understand?

 

 

fear

Fear is a funny thing, guys. A funny thing, but also very necessary. If you go back in history, fear was what enabled the cavemen (and cavewomen because I’m pretty sure they were out there kicking some serious mammoth ass along with their male counterparts) to identify a dangerous situation. Fear heightens your senses, pumps adrenaline into your system, and it helps you survive whatever it is that’s scaring you.

And since we no longer have mammoths IRL–our lives are a lot less difficult and fewer stakes are raised–our fears tend to be the things we manifest inside ourselves. They’re the things we let fester, the dreams we never pursue, the chances we don’t take, the places we never visit, the people we never admit to loving, and the jobs we never apply for. There are so many things to be afraid of, but most of these things reside inside our own head. Because what if we fail? What if we never recover? What if, what if, what if?

But what it we don’t?

What if we do the scariest thing of all–what if we actually get everything we ever wanted?

I had a former track coach who would always tell me that you should get uncomfortable, because being uncomfortable is where you begin to see changes. (If only I had a dollar for every time he lovingly barked this sentiment as I sweated through 200 meter suicides, my snazzy new Nike Frees would pay for themselves.) And it’s true–not just in the biological sense that your body responds to harder work by adapting and becoming stronger, but because your mind becomes stronger, too. You begin to withstand the scary things, the things you never thought you were capable of. And in this, you become more resilient.

Because being scared is uncomfortable. Being afraid is supposed to be uncomfortable–it lights that metaphorical fire under your ass in order to tell you to work towards being more comfortable. But there are two ways that you can do this: either retreating, and avoiding the thing in the first place, or working through it to the other side. Riding out the uncomfortable and the scary until you’re stronger and things aren’t as scary anymore. Fight or flight. Do or die.

Laughing in the face of fear and doing the damned thing anyway.

And of course, in order to really understand how to withstand the scary things life throws at us (relationships, jobs, failure, spiders and a serious Chik-fil-a craving on a Sunday afternoon), you have to get to the bottom of why you think it’s scary. Why it gets under your skin, why it terrifies you, why it dregs up memories of all the other times you faced scary things and didn’t come out stronger on the other side. There’s a whole host of reasons, really, and each will vary from person to person. But I think one of the things that connects this fear we all experience isn’t all that unique.

We’re most afraid of being happy. Of having a good life. A great life.

Not that we don’t want to–oh, of course we do. But we wonder if we deserve a good life, a great life. This doubt creeps in and we’re left second-guessing ourselves when we have to stand up to the thing that is in the way of our happiness. Of whatever it is we want. After all, what would happen if we wound up getting everything we wanted? What if it all got taken away?

But I guess that’s a risk with everything you do. So you might as well face the scary parts head on, because chances are, the outcome you want least to happen, might happen anyway. Whether you tried or not.

And if you don’t try, the what if–the magical, fantastical, best-case-scenario–will never happen at all.

Do the things that scare you. Get uncomfortable. Get really uncomfortable. Stand your ground. Speak up and go after the things you want, no matter how scary it is. Apply for that job, tell the person you’re crushing on that you like them, take that risk.

And if you do wind up with everything you ever wanted it’s because you did that work. You put in the effort, you found the grit within yourself, you realized that the scariest things in this world can sometimes be the most wonderful.

We’re scared of change, is all. But change is good for us. Great, even.

Change is how we learn, how we grow, how we overcome those mammoths.

And there’s nothing more fulfilling or badass than that, my friends.

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Well hey, guys! I hope your hump day is going super fantabulous so far! I thought I would take a moment to talk shop with y’all. As many of you know, when I’m not out fighting crime and eating my weight in ice cream, I spend my every days as a librarian.

A very cool and kickass librarian.

I absolutely love my job, and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. Well, maybe forever good hair days and season tickets to the Milwaukee Brewers for life. But since those things probbbbbably aren’t happening anytime soon, I think I’ll stick with this gig I’ve got going on. I mean, a booknerd getting to work with books all day long, inspiring other people to become booknerds, in a building FULL OF BOOKS?! Kind of, most definitely dream job territory.

My first foray into the library world was working as a Children’s Librarian intern at the Milwaukee Public Library (which was awesome sauce) followed by my current position as the head librarian at Westwood College. And soon, I hope to get my booty back into the public library sector (and by soon, I mean within two weeks because homegirl is going to be out of a job). While the two areas–public libraries and academic–are vastly different, they both feed my love of working with people, encouraging them to become forever learners, doers, thinkers and readers.

Both jobs also involve so much more than just ‘Shshhhhing’ patrons, checking out books and rocking a mean cardigan sweater. I could go on and on about what me and my fellow kickass librarians do every day, the cataloguing processes, the weeding of collections, the programming and budgets and reading advisories, but I don’t want to spring too much excitement all at once. It’s best given in small doses, much like seeing your Aunt Carol, or kale.

What I want to talk to you today about is what goes on behind the scenes, things that may go against all Librarian Code (which if found out, will cause me to lose all street cred which is why this goes in the vault!)

Secrets from the stacks.

Here are my librarian confessions:

  1. I dogear my pages, even though I tell my students/patrons to use bookmarks.
  2. I borrowed and lost my public library’s copy of A Wrinkle in Time when I was 5. I’m likely still banned from borrowing. #oops
  3. I sat in the inside bookdrop one time…and couldn’t get out. That was the epitome of a good time.
  4. I eat at my desk, sometimes while handling and cataloguing new books for the collection. Because hangry is a very real thing, y’all.
  5.  “50 Shades…”why read it when you can live it amiright?! Kidding. Totally kidding on that one.
  6. I’m completely okay with you violating copyright laws by ripping our DVDs and CDs (and might even show you how).
  7. I dropped a cupcake on a book…in the staff lounge.
  8. If there’s a new book I want to read, I hoard it in my desk drawer so that no one can check it out before I get to it. I know. I KNOW!
  9. I deface library books by circling errors that weren’t caught by the proofreaders before the book went to print. In pencil! (But still…)
  10. An employer recently asked me in an interview: ‘What have you read and enjoyed recently?’ I listed some best sellers and local fiction instead of saying that I’m currently reading Harry Potter for the tenth time.
  11. It hurts me, like in my soul, how willing my library is to throw away old books.  Donate them to a good, loving reader’s home or school. Someone, somewhere, will read them.  I promise!
  12. You will get briefer reference desk service if I can smell your breath from across my desk. Sorry not sorry.
  13. I encourage people to be loud. Not too loud, but I hate stuffy libraries. I want patrons/students to feel comfortable coming in, hanging out, and dare I say it…having fun.
  14. I Google.

Like I said, this is in the vault.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some books to hoard.

QOTD: What are some of your profession confessions?

 

 

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I’m a firm believer in staying (and feeling) forever young for as long as you possibly can. After all, life is wayyyy too short to be all-consumed with the stresses and worries and overall adultness 24/7. You gotta let go and cut loose every once in a while; eat Cocoa Puffs for dinner, run through the sprinklers in your backyard and stay up all night having epic Rugrats marathons. It’s good for the soul.

That being said however, it would be nice to do all of the above things while still actually looking my real age. Y’all if only I had a dime for every time a stranger asked me what grade I was in (I’m 11 years post-grade thank you very much). Or when an instructor at my college told me to get to class (Nope, not a student). Or when the cute guy at the bar goes to buy me a drink but then reconsiders after he realizes he could go to jail for serving a minor (I’M 28!!! I’m probably older than you for Reese’s Pieces sake).

Just so many dimes, guys. So many dimes.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m Benjamin Buttoning, but without the whole never looking old part. I posted a picture of myself a few weeks ago in honor of #tbt and despite the crimped hair and ridiculously amazing stirrup leggings I was rocking, I looked exactly the same. I wish I was joking.

And I know what you’re going to say…”You should feel lucky that you look so young!” But when you get mistaken for a pre-teen Belieber on the regular, it can get old very fast.

Pun intended.

If you’re like me and forever look like you should be on your way to your Wednesday morning yearbook club meeting instead of work, you can probably relate to these struggles only a person who appears ridiculously young for their age deals with.

1. Strangers automatically refer to you as “sweetie pie” or “cutie,” which was fine 15 years ago, but now it’s kinda suuuuuuuper fucking weird.

2. When you reveal your actual age, people reliably say “Oh!” with a mix of confusion, admiration, doubt, and pity.

3. You have to literally prove your age to some people, especially annoying nonbelievers. Examples used in the past: You know every lyric to every Backstreet Boys song ever, you’ve at one point owned Jnco jeans or jelly shoes and/or had a Trapper Keeper full of Lisa Frank folders (with matching pencil bag).

4. You cringe whenever high school students are confident enough to approach you and ask for your number. Flattered, but still a little ubered out.

5. You’re also really concerned when older people hit on you. Is it because they think you’re as young as you look??? Because ew.

6. You’ve never not been quizzed about your address, birthday, and astrological sign when purchasing alcohol at a liquor store. Weirdly, you never had this much trouble with your fake ID.

7. You will literally set your hair on fire if one more person tells you that you’ll be thankful when you’re older that you look younger than you actually are. Huh. Maybe the singed hair look will make me look older?

8. All you want in life is to walk into an R-rated movie without the cute little old lady at the ticket counter asking you for your ID and/or the whereabouts of your parents.

9. Wearing makeup is maybe one of the few saving graces in helping you look your age…if you actually knew how to put it on without looking like a cute [underage] raccoon.

10. People find it ~*~adorable~*~ and ~*~precious~*~ when you’re passionate or angry about something. It’s like an endearing temper tantrum to them.

11. Small talk with strangers often involves clarifying misconceptions about why you’re “out of school this early in the day.” Yeahhhhh…about that. You haven’t stepped foot inside a high school in over four eleven years.

12. People assume you’re the “baby” of the group, but in reality you tend to be one of the more mother-henny, the DD on a Friday night (mainly because you left your ID at home and NO ONE thought you were even close to being able to legally down those Fireball shots). It’s all an optical illusion.

13. You fully appreciate just how much of a blow to the ego it is to be mistaken as your younger sibling’s younger sibling. Not just some of the times. Always. Just every damn time.

Ahhh yes. The very real struggle of looking ridiculously younger than your age. The good news is crimped hair and stirrup pants never looked so good on anyone.

 

 

So there’s this boy…

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Y’all, there’s been this silly, goofy smile plastered across my face for the past 24 hours and I can’t for the life of me seem to make it go away. But I’m pretty positive I don’t want it to. Like, ever. Despite the fact that I may or may not look like this (actual selfie I took this morning):

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The reason for this recent sense of ridiculously ridiculous yet amazingly amazing pure giddiness? Well for one I finally (finally!!!) got that popcorn kernel delodged from my tooth. And the Broncos’ win over the Patriots in yesterday’s AFC Championship game was pretty fuckkkkking awesome (Tom Brady’s face post-game alone is cause enough to be deliriously happy). But the big reason why I’m walking around with this annoyingly cheesy grin on my face is because, well…

….there’s this boy…

…and while things are kind of very new, they’re also kind of very incredible. We met a few weeks ago at a Wisconsin dive bar during a Packer game. Our eyes met over an incredible Aaron Rodgers Hail Mary pass and a plate of cheesecurds, and the rest as they say, is history.

I think we’ve established that I’ve never really been all that great at this whole relationship, dating, feel-all-the-feels thang. It’s hard for me to lay it all out there, to feel comfortable being myself without fear of getting handed that rejection card, or worse, the ever-dreaded friend card.

Been there, done that and then some X a kajillion, my frannnnds.

And it’s not the capital of Fun Town.

It’s because of this that I have this not-so-great habit of going into a new relationship already guarded, expecting that maybe not right away, but eventually, something is going to happen that will end up eventually breaking my heart. So when I do end up finding myself in a situation where all of these fears seem to make like a baby and head out, when I meet someone who not only seems to accept my dorky, nerdy, and dad-jokey self, but actually likes me even more because of that, who’s weirdness compliments mine perfectly, who gives me that pterodactyls in the stomach, blush-inducing, happy-like-a-clam feeling, I have the damnedest time wiping this silly, goofy smile off my face.

I also spend way too much time awkwardly trying to deal with all of these new feelings. The biggest emphasis on hella awkward. On any average day, my level of awk is a solid 12 (on a scale of 1-10). But throw a new crush/relationship into the mix and it’s safe to say I go from 12 to off the charts real quick.

Here are just some of the things I awkwardly do, say, and/or think when I’m crushing on someone hardcore.

  1. I spend far too much time convincing myself I don’t have a crush. Everything is just peachy-keen! And I def don’t feel like my heart is about to bust through my chest and send me straight to the emergency room. Nope. Never ever. I’m seriously good, guys.
  2. I may or may not be consumed with an overwhelming amount of the nervous sweats whenever I see that person I definitely DON’T have a crush on. Note to self: Deodorant. And lots of it.
  3. I get stuck in between this weird place of wanting to talk to them, but also wanting to run away and hide in my blanket fort. Forever.
  4. They say hi, and I respond, “GOODTHANKSHOWAREYOUILIKEYOURFACE!”
  5. I replay what I just said for the rest of the day. What the fuck was that? Great job, Forrest Gump.
  6. Okay, I’ve finally admitted I’m crushing hardcore. I then proceed to stalk all of their social media accounts. And maybe “accidentally” ‘like’ all of their Instagram posts from over a year ago.
  7. I find out that we have sooooo much in common and geek the FUCK out. Well, geek the fuck out more than my usual geekage. Which is seriously saying something.
  8. I try to bring up said commonalities (the Green Bay Packers, Indian food, a good belch) the next time I hang out with him, but instead just stand there. Smiling. Creepily af. Not saying anything.
  9. I hold full length practice conversations with myself in the mirror so I’m better prepared for the next time. But HAHAHAHA like that’s ever going to happen because awkward…
  10. I realize that I’m basically Jess from New Girl. But with much more uncooperative bangs.
  11. My heart drops and I have a 3 minute victory dance whenever I see my phone light up with their name, complete with air humping/hip thrusting and killer first pumps…but only in the privacy of my own home, obviously. Or in the car. Or in aisle 5 of Target.
  12. I overthink everything they ever say to me. Okay, so like when he said, “Yeah, I’m hungry too,” was that code for, “I don’t currently have a girlfriend to go eat meals with and I would love for that person to be you.”…?
  13. I’ve started actually putting in more than minimal effort when it comes to the clothes I wear. And doing/washing my hair. And y’all….I WEAR MAKEUP. I KNOW! I don’t even know who this person is anymore!!!
  14. Whenever I hear a song that has even the tiniest bit of annoyingly sweet and romantical vibage, I instantly think of the boy. And it simultaneously makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little bit and run through a field of wildflowers with the wind blowing through my perfectly caufed hair ala a Taylor Swift music video.
  15. I say seemingly unrelated things at the most random moments when talking to the boy. What they don’t see is that my mess of a brain is still focused on crafting a joke based on that thing they told me an hour ago. Get your ish together, girl!
  16. I make damn sure that whenever I go over to his place, I use the, erm, facilities beforehand. Pooping in cute boy’s apartment is not even an option. Do not break the seal, do not collect $200.
  17. I wake up every day with this foreign feeling, this feeling that maybe, just maybe, everything that I’m doing, saying, thinking is completely normal. That maybe, just maybe, I should just the awkward happen and not be afraid of allowing myself to ridiculously and annoyingly happy. Because as silly and goofy as this damn smile I can’t take off of my face is, it looks pretty amazing on me.

I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. Or a week from now. All I know is that right now, I’m sickenly happy. And I’m finally allowing myself to be sickenly happy, silly, goofy smile and all.

So there’s this boy….

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