“I’ll have a Shirley Temple.” -me to every bartender
Busy and happy about it
I now have three jobs. In one I help other students get jobs by having them write down transferrable skills (I’ve been doing it for a while). The other I round up at least four undergrads in one room, pair them up with each other and ask them how they feel about it (I’ve also been doing this one for a while, but am now getting paid for it). For the final and newest job I pour coffee on the weekends (hello, high school classmates, raise your hand if you thought I would be a barista at some point. All of you? Okay (so, I guess, I’ve been doing this one for a while, too, just in everybody else’s mind)).
Cool story, Joh, why should I care?
Well, you must be invested in some way since you’ve read this far, right? Also, I wrote a blog awhile back whining about how difficult it is to make friends as an adult, and then promised to tell you all the awkward moments of my attempts at interacting with other people. Then I wrote a post explaining why I took so long writing it (by which I mean the post I was writing (whoa, this is getting meta)) and then one about what I want to be when I grow up and then I remembered that I said in the explanation post that my next post would be about the friends I made. Since it wasn’t, this one is.
‘K dish the goss on the friending
I’m not so sure how awkward I come across to people. I think I’m a spaz, but others don’t (seem to (at first)). So, I’ve had to really take stock of my life to make sure I was never bitten by a radioactive whatever or that that one time I almost died trying to act like my brother (it seemed like an easy stunt when he did it, but I nearly suffocated on my attempt) didn’t dislodge some hidden ability to interact with other humans well. I haven’t and it didn’t (unrelatedly, I wrote an essay in high school about that near-death experience, and recently found an essay Jeffrey wrote about the same thing (and here I thought I was the only one who was traumatized)).
All that is to say, I made friends by being in close proximity to them and talking to them and obviously wasn’t awkward enough to put them off.
Since then, I’ve been out. Mostly to bars. But here’s the thing: I don’t drink. I mean, if I’m not driving I’ll have one (and maybe half of a second one). Otherwise, nah. In spite of this, I would get my favorite drink (read: the only one I feel confident ordering) then drink less than half of a half (a quarter doesn’t sound extreme enough, but in the end that’s what it comes down to, right?).
One of the lovely new friends, Virginia, asked why I didn’t just order a soda. I stumbled through saying how weird it would be if I didn’t order alcohol in a bar. Then felt the familiar stomach churn of cognitive dissonance, because one thing about me that I’m proud of is that I don’t bend easily to peer pressure. Yet, here I was ordering a drink that I took a few sips of for fear of social judgment from human beings I will never see again (who may or may not be drunk enough to even see me).
I now order Shirley Temples whenever I go out (Virginia gets offended for me when not enough grenadine is put in it, that’s how I know she’s a true friend).
Letting go of caring
Alright, I’ve successfully friended while juggling being an Adult, and told you about it. Moving on to what I actually want to talk about: letting go of shit that isn’t helping me (and that maybe is holding me back). Like a bartender’s judgement (honestly, worry of stranger’s judgements is a leftover from my younger days, so that’s not actually actually what I’m talking about).
Here’s the thing, I’m pretty good about letting go of physical belongings. Emotional stuff… Not so much. I’m not talking about super petty stuff (like that embarrassing thing I did five years ago (I mean, those things (specifically the one that I just mentioned in the first parentheses) do still come to haunt me on nights where I can’t sleep, as though my brain is determined to shame me into unconsciousness))). I’m more talking about moments from five years ago that are so precious to me that I linger in the past.
Are you expecting words of wisdom? Cuz, I don’t have any. I do have some choice ones for people who say “just let go” and then don’t tell me how. Like, physically, how. Is there an incantation I need to say? An ancient god I need to sacrifice in the name of? They never know (or maybe they do…).
Here, have a list
What I’m saying is here’s another thing to add to my list of stuff I’m trying to do and report about in this blog. Sure. Let’s see…
- Make friends with minimal awkwardness (Check)
- Write on the reg (Check (for today, this is a work in progress fer sher))
- Show off that writing (I sent in a short story to a literary magazine, does that count???)
- Figure out how to let go of that thing that’s holding me captive in a time in my life that I can never return to (assuming time is linear)
Okay, well, two and half out of four seems pretty good. Oh, but wait.
- Figure out what to do after I graduate
Yeah, that one’s pretty important, too (and also coming up fast (8 weeks left of classes, not that I’m counting or anything)).
It’s that time of the post again
Question and A time. If you had to change your name, what would you change it to? Obsidian Blackbird McNight. Or just chop off the last four letters of my first name and be governmentally sanctioned as Joh.