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Now what?

My 4 readers are probably thinking, “With all this great experience, you must have gone on to do something amazing that I’ll never achieve and shouldn’t even attempt to reach for.” You are correct in that assumption.

Upon my return, I floated back and forth between home and Pittsburgh for a little over a month. At home I relaxed, hung out with friends, and indulged in the sweetness that is free food and no rent. While that was nice, I knew my parents wouldn’t let it happen too long, so I also began applying for jobs.

When I visited Pittsburgh, I mostly hung out with my friends that I hadn’t seen in a few months. It was great seeing everyone, but when asked “How was California?!” for the 27th time, I gave up any hope of expressing emotion in my answer.

In mid-September I took a job with the company I had been working part time for all summer. The office is in Pittsburgh, so I moved out and got the ball rolling. At first I lived alone, but that sucked and was really expensive. So I moved in a with a friend.

Since then, I’ve been working two jobs and trying to figure out the transition into adulthood. It’s harder than it looks. Sure it’s tough to graduate, but afterwards is plain weird.

Which brings me to my next point (and title of this post) – now what? The trips are over, which means no more reading about me galavanting across the United States. I want to keep writing, but I don’t want to write aimlessly. As much as we all like surprises, a blog post that you can’t relate to is less useful than men’s nipples.

So, over the next week or so I’ll be deciding between a couple of themes I have in mind. Try to keep your pants on while I pick.

 

There’s Not Enough Hours in the Day. Or Life.

I think about travel often. Places I want to go (Alaska), places I’ve been (San Diego), places that I never want to go (Kansas – unless it’s for a KU Basketball game, in which case I will fly in as close as possible to campus and leave immediately following). I’m sure you have places you want to go, I mean, who doesn’t?

Obviously, traveling has its setbacks. It’s expensive, there are a ton of logistics, it can be dangerous – luckily all of these can be easy to overcome with some good planning. One problem that everyone has though is time – when will I ever be able to see these places? I’m so busy with my job/kids/kickball/underwater basket weaving that I’ll never be able to find the time to travel.

I’ve thought these same things. However, a few days ago, I heard a really interesting speaker. Actually the speaker was painfully boring (I dozed off), but when I was awake and listening he had a great piece of advice about traveling – to travel when you have “breaks” in your life. These breaks can be between high school and college, college and the real world, grad school, between jobs, retirement, etc. Whenever there is a time that things are changing or slowing down, and there’s free time in your life, travel.

This advice is great because it solves the biggest issue many of us face when traveling – not having time. These “pauses” work perfectly for traveling not only because you now have the time, but, let’s be honest, chances are you have a huge decision in front of you soon and traveling will most likely allow you to relax, straighten out your priorities, and make a good decision about what to do next.

Or it could make you totally forget about your decision and stress you out even more. Who knows. What I’m saying is travel when you can! It opens your eyes to so many things, gets you out of your bubble and allows you to appreciate the vastly different facets of life around us.

That being said, over the past two years I’ve done a lot of traveling – in particular a cross country road trip from Pittsburgh, PA to Los Angeles, CA where I’m currently living – and I’m going to chronicle this experience with a “mini series” of posts over the next few weeks. It will culminate in my return cross country trip to Pittsburgh early this August.

Stay tuned! Hilarity to ensue.

Probably not though.

“The person who says something is impossible should not interrupt the person who is doing it.”

Buckle Up

Driving in LA is my new favorite sport.

I moved to LA a few weeks ago and thought to myself “How bad could traffic really be? They’re probably just being overdramatic.” Well Wrong. It’s nuts.

Think back to the worst traffic you’ve ever sat in, now add two more lanes and overly aggressive drivers, and you have a taste of what it’s like driving here on a good day. Not only are all six lanes always full of cars, but if you’re not sitting in stop-and-go plans-ruined traffic then you’re going 80 mph look-out-I’m-crossing-five-lanes-without-looking madness. Every time you drive. I like to think I’m good at texting and driving. Now I put my phone in the trunk.

Merging onto the highway is even more fun. If you’re not gonna cut someone off then here’s hoping your lane doesn’t end. Or you’re driving a Hummer and not a two door Honda Accord.

Growing up in small town Pennsylvania, I got excited when a highway had three lanes. Here, if a highway has less than four lanes I refuse to use it because it doesn’t put my life in enough danger. Who needs coffee in the morning when you have the median to your left and an 18 wheeler merging into your lane on the right? My 25 minute commute is a rollar coaster of emotion.

Basically what I’m trying to describe is summed up perfectly with this clip from the comedic geniuses over at Family Guy.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKcSZfY1sf4&w=420&h=315]

Be safe out there friends.

Blinds

My bedroom window looks out over several levels of outdoor walkways that other tenants in my apartment building use to get their units. Not the best view, but nothing to complain about.

Here’s the thing: I keep forgetting that windows work both ways. I like to keep my blinds open to let in natural light because I’m pro-ultraviolet radiation, but then I start doing things like changing my underwear or picking my nose or making faces at myself in the mirror if I have a few minutes to spare.

And by “I like to keep my the blinds open” I don’t mean turning the little rod so light comes through the slits. I mean balls-to-walls-no-BS-the-sun-is-free-electricity blinds drawn so there’s nothing but a glass pane separating the world and me trying to put my foot behind my head.

I keep the blinds open out of pure lack of awareness that the people I can see walking to the elevator can also see me talking to myself. It’s only a matter of time until I make eye contact with a passerby. And when it does, I will smile, wave, and continue smell-testing my dirty clothes.

I guess what I’m saying is make sure you’re aware of your surroundings, unless you want your neighbors to know that you still watch American Idol.