Everybody Knows, it Hurts to Grow Up

 “One day down, infinity to go”, that is what I said to my sister on the train ride home after my first day on the job. Unlike school, working doesn’t have an end date. Don’t get me wrong I like my job, but it looks like my company doesn’t observe Columbus Day, Flag Day, or Summer Vacation. This could be a problem. I guess at least us women have maternity leave to look forward to. Sorry boyz. 

It has been almost a year now since I graduated college. In that year I have been forced to begin to grow up, and let me tell you, it’s not easy. There have been many obstacles and hardships along the way. Joining the workforce comes with its own set of challenges. Two of those challenges I encounter on my walk to and from the train: Pigeons and slow walkers. They are both equally annoying and I feel like giving both parties a good kick in the rear to get the lead out of their pants. Many days I want to scream, “Get out of my way stupid pigeons! Not all of us have the luxury of flying everywhere they go! Some of us have a train to catch!” But I know if I said this I would look like a crazy person, so I have refrained from yelling this thus far.
Another challenge-picking out an outfit each morning. For me, the bottom part is easy because I pretty much own just two pairs of nice pants, a grey pair and a black pair. I rotate the pants every week-Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are grey pants day, while Tuesday and Thursday are black pants day. I wear the grey pants an extra day because they are comfier than the black pair. But picking out a top is like trying to solve a math problem. “Ok today I’ll wear the striped sweater. Wait I can’t wear stripes, I wore a striped shirt Tuesday and I can’t wear stripes two times in one week. Ok I’ll wear this blue shirt. Wait I wore that at the beginning of March what if people remember?!”
Yet another challenge-Lunch. Lunch can make your day a good one or a bad one. If I have a bad lunch I have nothing to look forward to in the mornings. If it were up to me I would eat salsa and chips each day for lunch but that’s not socially acceptable in the workplace so I usually settle for a sandwich. Sometimes I’ll make myself a salad. By that I mean I put iceburg lettuce in a Tupperware container and douse it will ranch dressing. Salad days=bad days. I’m sorry but salads just don’t keep me full and satisfied. I’m not a bunny.

In working I have learned that you can’t come into the office without watching the weather on the news, otherwise you will have nothing to talk about. Thank goodness for the Polar Vortex this winter. It really provided me with a good “ice-breaker” (pun definitely intended on that one) in starting conversation with my new coworkers. Some of my favorite go-to phrases include, “Cold enough out there for ya? (chuckle)” and “I think we may only have one season this year-Winter! (another chuckle)” But the Polar Vortex did come with its disadvantages. You see, everyone who knows me well knows I get cold very easily, thus my lips and nails turn purple. When your lips are purple, people ask questions like “Do you have purple lip gloss on?” Many times I’ve had to stop myself from saying “No I don’t have purple lip gloss on! This is not 1998 and I’m not a spice girl!” Luckily my office doesn’t keep the thermostat as low as my father does so I have been able to avoid this awkward encounter.
I have also learned about things I never wanted to know about. 401K? More like 4-0h Hell no! You’re going to take money out of my check and put it into an account that I can’t touch until I’m 59?! I could be dead by then, I don’t take a daily multi-vitamin! And tax day? When I was little tax day meant hamburgers at McDonald’s were 39 cents and cheeseburgers were 49 cents. Now I actually have to do my taxes. So upsetting.
In a way though, a part of me will never grow up. At least while I’m still living with my parents. I mean our upstairs bathroom has hippo wallpaper covering it. We all love this wallpaper so it will never come down.
"It's probably just water weight...right?'

“It’s probably just water weight…right? and my slippers add a few pounds.”

Pictured above is a hippo from our bathroom wall. I like to call her “College Girl Hippo” Maybe she had a little too much fun going out celebrating that Physics test she aced. Maybe she ordered a late night pizza because she got a little hungry after the bars. Now its Sunday, she’s feeling guilty, she steps on the scale to see how much damage she did, and she doesn’t like that number she sees. Now that I’m a college grad, older, wiser, and more mature, I want to tell her “Oh honey we’ve all been there, just have fun and enjoy your college years. You’re more than just a number on a scale!”
This Mama Hippo (center) is thinking what I'm sure my own mother has thought numerous times, "Why the hell did I have all these kids for?!"

This Mama Hippo (center) is thinking what I’m sure my own mother has thought numerous times, “Why in the hell did I have all these kids?!”

In addition to our childlike wallpaper, I still have glow in the dark stars on my bedroom ceiling. This is not by choice though. When I first wanted to put them up my Dad didn’t want me to for fear it would ruin the ceiling when we tried to take them down. Finally he relented and I put them up. Years later when I tried to take them down, pieces of drywall kept coming down with them- dear ole’ Dad was right. Therefore those stars will remain up forever. If you read this, sorry Dad! In my defense though, there is no feeling quite like sleeping under the stars.

How lucky am I to have this be the last thing I see before falling asleep?! Is that the big dipper in between the smoke detector and the light fixture?!

I have been having a hard time coping with the fact that I have been out of college for almost a year. I can no longer tell people I JUST graduated college, and this is hard to come to terms with. But I guess we all have to face the facts and grow up sometimes. I’ll grow up, eventually, but I still have some fun left in me before I do.

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