Thursday, July 31, 2008

Daddy's Jenniac

Now that my "book entry" posts are done I figure I'd give you some back story on not only "Jenniac", but also on my tumultuous 24th year...well technically 25th because your birthday is really the anniversary of your birth, so turning 25 will mark the beginning of my 26th year on earth. Sorry I tend to go on tangents a lot, get used to it. Back to Jenniac, it was a nickname my dad gave me when I was little. He used to sing that 80s song "She's a Maniac" to me, but instead sing "She's a Jenniac." I started using Jenniac for things when I was a freshmen in high school as my screenname, so I've been Jenniac in a sense for a little over 10 years, crazy! Many of my friends think I used Jenniac because it rhymed with the name of my undergrad, which yes I am obsessed with, but it was just purely strange coincidence that it rhymed. So there you have it.

I also really enjoy Jenniac because it's like a mini tribute to my dad who passed away in November unexpectedly at 58 years old. Let's rewind, just a few months prior to my 24th birthday I graduated with my masters, I moved to Texas to work at a college there and be close to my dad who was only 2 hours away in Dallas. I moved to a new town to start my first full time job ever which was exciting and stressful all at the same time, but my dad was close so I felt okay about everything. My actual 24th birthday was a lot of fun. I went home to New York and spent the day in the city. My sister I went to see the matinee of Rent which had the original Roger and Mark in it - Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp. Being a big Renthead it was really exciting. Then I met with a ton of my friends at an awesome Chinese Restaurant on the Upper West Side to celebrate my 24th birthday and one of my best friend's 25th birthday. This Chinese place served free wine... dangerously amazing. Then we went out and had good times in NYC...not that I remember all of it, but hey it was my birthday. I thought since I had such a great birthday, I'd have a great year too. Well I thought wrong.

Once I get back to Texas my social life picked up, but so did work. I wasn't the biggest fan of my boss and I was loving my job as much as I hoped I would. In late October I was at a conference in Dallas and I was presenting with my boss, who totally talked over me and treated me like a grad student. I was so mad I couldn't function. I actually met up with my dad after my presentation to calm me down. He was always so good at that. I was lucky while I was in Dallas for the conference I saw my dad on 3 separate occasions. Then a few weeks later he came to visit me and we had a great time together, I remember everything about that day. Little did I know exactly a week later my dad would pass away (more on that later). Well from there I pretty much fell apart and sunk deeper and deeper into a depression. So much so I didn't even recognize myself sometimes. Slowly in about late April I started to come out of it, maybe it's because in late April - my dad's birthday to be exact - I interviewed for my dream job. Lucky for my I got the dream job and started in June. I needed to make some changes in my life. I needed to leave Texas because it was so hard being there without him. I wanted to be a job I loved and where I felt appreciated. Good things have been happening left and right in my life the past few months.

Actually last night I was thinking about how happy I am and how I can't believe I could be this happy after the year I've had. I got to thinking about my dad - who I think of often, as a matter of fact a picture of him is on my computer as I type this - I thought about how this is my first birthday without my dad. I thought about how heavy that notion was. Someone who was half responsible for my very existence is no longer alive. I knew the day that he died a part of my died too. Sadly I started thinking about how much of me did die with him. So many early stories about me growing up, so many inside jokes, so many things that were to happen in the future. My life through my father's eyes died and that is really really sad - I'm crying now even as I type it. My first birthday without my dad will be for sure a cathartic one, like so many others firsts without him have been. I only hope it gets easier, but the fact it's so hard just means that I love so much that it makes everything so strangely I do find some comfort with that. Rest in Peace Daddy 4.25.49 - 11.18.07 I love you and thanks for the Jenniac nickname I truly treasure it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wellness and Relaxation

Okay folks, last two questions that I answered for the book (see my first post). After that the real time "cathartic" moments can be posted and just int he nick of time since I turn the big 2-5 on Monday!

Question: Health and spirituality - staying happy through exercise, sports,spiritual things

My Response:
Join a gym. Again for the social aspect, but also for the eye candy. I would never join an all women's gym...where's the fun in that. Let me tell you though I just joined a new gym and it was quite a stressful process. In the past I either used the gym at the college I was at or last year a gym membership was part of my rent at my apartment so I've never had to "shop around" for gyms. Well after the year I had I really want to focus on being happy and healthy. So I want to be a "size healthy" to quote Queen Latifah in all the Jenny Craig commercials - I actually said that at my first gym consultation last week with a trainer, luckily he was amused. So once Orientation was over and my apartment was pretty settled I started looking into gyms 2 weeks ago. My 3 best options were a gym/community center and 2 Golds Gyms - one older and one that opened in January. So first I went to the gym/community center with one of my coworkers as a guest and it was cute...a little small, but it had a pool. Then I went online to print off a free day pass at a Golds gym that I was gonna use last week. Well the day after I print the pass I get a call from the Gym asking me when I was gonna come in and they could set up a meeting/tour. I thought it was a little pushy to be honest with you, but I did need a little kick start. So it turns out the Golds that called was the older Golds which was closer to my apartment. I like, but the guy I met with was so pushy, he wanted me to sign up that day sooo bad and he trashed talked the other gyms in town. I was super turned off, plus the parking lot was a little sketchy for my liking. So after my tour/free pass at using the older Golds gym I decided while I was in gym clothes I might as well check out the new Golds. The new Golds was across town - but it is closer to work. OMG the new Golds was B-E-A-utiful. Nice well lit parking lot, tons of cardio, machines, group exercise rooms. So I got my official tour of that gym and they also wanted to me sign that day, they weren't as pushy...but I knew how to play the game. I really did like that gym, but I was acting like I was on the they ended up giving me the 2nd tier gym package for the price of the lowest tier. I'm sure they do that often, but I hate that people don't push more. I like getting a deal...I can haggle when it comes to business folks because they are always looking to make a buck and usually they are charging you too much to begin with! I actually signed up for a personal trainer membership as well that I got for a STEAL. I was on the fence with 1x a week or 2x a week so they are giving me a combo with 2 weeks a month I got 2x and 2 weeks a month I got I still get a discount for going multiple times a week even though it reality only 2 weeks a month I'll go 2x a week. (did all of that make sense?)

Sadly my trainer is gonna be a girl (one summer in college I had a trainer and he was a much so I nicknamed him "The Adonis" and damn that man got me in the best shape of my life...mostly because I was extra motivated since there would be a hot man staring at me doing crunches or something. Sadly "The Adonis" didn't mix business with pleasure...despite my most bold efforts to convince him otherwise haha). Anyway the girl trainer seems cool and she's not like a size 2 barbie I don't think I'll want to punch her in the face as much when she is forcing me to do push ups or something horrid. If you offered me $100 for every push up I did...I would make about $150...sad I know. So we'll see how this gym adventure goes...I really want to get back into taking classes. I loved doing Yoga and "Butts and Guts" classes in college. I usually reward myself for a good week at the gym by allowing myself to like $5 worth of itunes's a pretty good motivator. Plus now that I have standing appointments with a trainer it will get me to the gym. It's not that I do like the gym, because I actually do once I'm's just the getting there that hard - I'm really good at making excuses. But I am serious about making life changes in terms of my mind, body and soul.

Speaking of soul,I mentioned in an earlier blog church can also be a good outlet spiritually, emotionally or socially. And I am on my spiritual kick. One of my friends told her boss about my "religious adventures" and the boss asked why don't I just google the religions instead of church hopping. 1. I am actually "googling" these religions first...I don't want to walk into the doors of a cult or a sketchy basement religion. Plus I also know what I don't want in a religion so I would rather not waste my time at a service if I know I don't want to be apart of it. Like I have no interest in "being saved." I know "being saved" is really special for people who have been "saved" but that is not my ideal type of belief. So really I am going to Churches to check out the the south there a multiple churches in a town for the same denomination. So if I do decided I like Methodist the best I need to decide which parish I want to belong to. This Sunday I'll be home so I will most likely go to the Catholic Church I went to growing up. Don't get my wrong I have a special relationship with that Church, but I don't agree with all the beliefs it has.

Question: cool vacations for 20-somethings

My answers:
Most post grad 20-somethings don't have a lot of money. So my best compromise is visiting friends from college who are living in cool places too! It's true gas prices or flights may cost some money cash, but if you visit friends you have a place to stay for free which helps! If I think about it right now I have friends in cool places like the DC, Boston, Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Chicago name a few. Not to mention that I'm from Long Island...aka 30 min train ride from NYC and a 10 minute drive to the beach. So even though I go "home" a lot...home is pretty cool. In fact when I'm home this weekend I'm gonna be up in New Haven, at the beach and hopefully make it into the city. All while eating good food and being exposed to tons of culture.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Question: Other people - stories about making new friends, staying in touch with old friends, keeping your parents at bay, funny tales about dealing with roommates

God bless facebook. I really mean it. Facebook is such a easy way to stay in touch. You can see what people are up to new jobs, new relationships, new favorite movie etc. Also using gmail chat aka gchat at work - easy way to slyly chat with friends at work. Clearing time to talk on the phone with folks aka phone dates are the best option - but sometimes you have to take into account time zones. I live in the central time zone now and most of my friends are in eastern which is nice for me because I can generally not stay up as late talking if its 11pm EST and only 10 CST when we are on the phone, but then again you could be woken up on a Sunday morning at 9am because your friend in New York is living life at 10am (lets be real I have a rule I give at "orientation to being my friend" that says to never call me before noon on a weekend unless it's an emergency...and most of my friends are great about this, except they call me at like 12:15pm which is really 11:15am in the central time zone).

Also blogs are taking off. I wrote a blog 2 years ago about a summer internship I did and it was my way to keep people in the loop of my life without always having to tell the same story 30 times (although I do enjoy doing that). I see tons of people with blogs these days and actually after answering all these questions for this book (see my first blog post if you are confused) I think I am gonna take my answers and put them on a blog. I had been thinking of starting a new blog and I guess it's serendipity that this can be my first few posts. (There was the "aha" moment I had about finally starting to blog again).

Question: dating and finding love in the real world

My answer:
Honestly I am loving my independence, I just got a dog a few months ago and I sometimes feel smothered by that commitment - don't get me wrong I love my puppy Freddie and no way regret getting him, but he's someone I have to consider when making decisions...while for the past I've only had to consider myself. So with that being said if I can barely commit to a dog how am I supposed to commit to a 6' tall slobbering fool who won't let me sleep the night all the way through. But again being the "waaay out of towner" interests everyone, including guys. I have gone out with a few guys that I randomly met because they overheard me talking (the accent works like a charm) and knew I was a yankee and a conversation sparked from there. The problem with a lot those guys they are big dull dullards and I get bored EASILY. I even dated a guy who really liked me and he was perfect "on paper" (6'4, graduate degree, good job, from the north, no kids or ex wives-all things to consider especially when I was living in Texas...depressing I know) but he was boring, not funny and too nice. I would much rather be single than waste my time on someone I don't really like. Do I want a boyfriend, some days, but do I want just anyone just so I say say I have a boyfriend...HELL NO!

So despite than being 25 and unmarried in Alabama pretty much makes me an old maid, I'm okay with that. Mostly because I can fall back on the fact that in the north most people aren't married in their twenties, but I do notice how much pressure my single friends from the south feel. I admit I feel the pressure when 9 out of 10 people you meet in the mid twenties are married, but at the same time I'd rather not spent 2/3 of my life married...I'd be good with about 1/2 my life thanks. It's funny I never started looking to see if a guy was wearing a wedding ring until last year when I moved to the south because in the northeast most guys under 28 aren't married so it was never a big deal. I also have no interest in being someone's second wife or dating a baby daddy at point in my life...I have enough baggage of my own thanks.

I really am enjoying my life solo because once I do get married and have kids I will be tied...down...forever. (Just typing that made my throat close up haha). But seriously as cliche as Sex and the City quotes are this one always have resonated with me "Maybe some women aren't meant to be tamed. Maybe they just need to run free til they find someone just as wild to run with them." I am not slowing my life down for anyone, they either need to keep up or get left in the dust.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Etiquette and Money Cash

Topic: Adult etiquette - adventures in ... dressing up for big events, interacting with other adults, etc.

My Answer:
Wearing black is always safe. I would rather be overdressed than under dressed, but it's okay to ask what the attire is. Casual, business casual, business attire, church attire, pin attire, semi-formal, formal just to name a few. If you don't know what one of those types is, ask for clarification. It's better to be safe than sorry. Also just at work in general it's better to be dressier (is that a word) at first and then notice office norms in terms of what to wear. Plus dress codes can change based on the time of the year or day of the week (i.e. casual Fridays).

At work functions or other events in general I try to tone my exuberant personality down and also not talk about all my college drinking least right off the bat haha. I tend to take in the tone of the event or group and work from there. I don't want to be known as the 25 year old yankee ego maniac - which might be true - but that's not always the best first impression. In a new group of people it's important to not be afraid to start conversations or say hi, but you don't wanna to be overly extroverted right off the bat. I'd say it usually takes 2 or 3 months for people to fully come into their own full personality at work. It's important to gauge where you work, who you work with and who you work for. Clearly we all want to be ourselves, but a part of my personality is that I curse pretty frequently in my "private life" yet I am not going to do that a work, it's not appropriate. And again I may share drinking stories in my personal life, but talking about your hangover from this weekend is not also a very work friendly topic. I think there is for sure a struggle between colleagues, work friends, friends. It's important not to blur certain lines, which can be one of the hardest lessons new professionals can learn.

Topic: Money matters - getting started in the right foot, interesting stories about college debt, BUDGETING for college grads

My Answer:
Don't ask me about money. I don't balance my check book. I thank the banking gods for overdraft protection. Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to my checking account balance, but I also believe that you can't take your money with you so spend it while you can enjoy it. I'm not saying I support working yourself into debt because I don't, but I do support spending the money you have to spend - therefore I guess you can say I don;t support savings accounts.

I have debt - college loans, car loans, a credit card - nothing major. I think last time I checked my credit score was fair, but I am working at raising my credit score to the next bracket. (Sidenote: It's important to keep an eye on your credit score it affects more things than you know...there are plenty of free credit score sites...well they claim to be "free" but they enroll you in something and you have to call to cancel your enrollment. I didn't mind taking the time to cancel enrollment because it did technically get my credit score for free). I learned I could raise my score by just closing out credit card accounts at stores. I think I used my Old Navy credit card once - when I opened the account to get a discount, then paid it off and never thought about it again. In fact I cut the card up, but I learned that those open account do affect your credit score even if you aren't using them. So I am in the process of (well it's on my to do list) closing 2 open, but inactive accounts. I also just last week paid off my credit card debt entirely. I actually do have some money in my savings that I inherited and as much as I like seeing it on my account balance it wasn't worth paying interest on my credit card debt. For the record this is the 3rd time I've paid off my credit card debt entirely. The first time after college with graduation money - most of that debt was from text books. The second time was after grad school with graduation money - again most debt was from credit cards. Now this third time after my first job - but that debt was from when I was first making a real paycheck, but needed to pay for moving expenses, setting up utilities, buying a couch, bed etc all those things I had never done before. So it feels good to be credit card debt free..let's hope I can keep it up.

I don't mind paying my college loans back because I loved every second of college and I kiss my loan check every month because it was money well spent! Same thing about my car payment - was it smart to buy a brand new car right after grad school, maybe not- but I drove the same 1994 jeep for 6 years and I figured I paid my dues. A note about
cars - it is SO easy to haggle, don't be shy about it. Car salesmen want to make a sale, right then and there. You need to play coy and hard to get (something I happen to be an expert at). They will make price cuts and adjustments just to make sales. I also heard that like Monday/Tuesday are good days to buy card because lots are pretty quite. Another time I've heard is days with bad weather rain or snow are good days to car shop because they want a to make a sale.


I wanted to also mention as a side note in terms of "what denomination are we sporting this weekend?" as asked by my friend Kelly. I went to a Methodist Church yesterday. I'm glad I decided to wear a skirt for the 11am service because a lot of people were dressed up, more so that the church last week. This service has A LOT of singing - there was in a full blown choir on the altar. There was only one reading and it was directly from the bible - there were some bibles in the pews, but a lot of folks BYOB (bring your own Bible). Along with the church program an outline of the sermon was included and people were actively taking notes and references their Bibles which was interesting. At this service there was no sign of peace and no communion. I wasn't completely surprised about no communion because I read how a few denominations only do it monthly or so. Next week I'll be home in NY and will most likely go to the Catholic Church I went to in my youth, although it would be interesting to go to synagogue - not that I plan on being Jewish, but I think it would be fascinating.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Technology, first jobs and cooking

- technology: video games, facebook, myspace, the internet in general, email and you (in the real world)

A good place to meet people is through your alma mater's alumni connections. Most colleges have online alumni databases that can search by city. I hung out with a few people from that, but even just e-mailing older alumni asking for places to
eat, shop, doctors, vets, etc.

A piece of advice on email. Only use your work email for work related things. Lots of companies monitor e-mail so be mindful of what you send and open. I have 2 personal emails account I use. Both are gmail aka google mail that allows your inboxes to be HUGE. So although I don't need 2 e-mails I like to use one email for personal and one for business. Meaning I give my friends and family my personal account. My business account is where I have online bills sent, it's the address I give businesses, it's the email I use for those types of things to keep them safe, but separate from my personal things.

- first jobs out of college from hell - how to survive and move to the next step in your career

First jobs from hell aren't always a bad thing, I rather learn what doesn't work first than be unpleasantly surprised later in my career. I had the supervisor from hell, but I learned what to look for when interviewing and to look back on the red flags I should have paid attention to. I stayed a year at the job - in my profession it's "frowned" upon to leave before a year is out. I'm at my new job and it is fantastic, but I also learned a whole lot from that job from hell.

- adventures in learning how to cook, advice

True life: I burn things in the microwave. I am a terrible cook. But eating out is a lot of money and also isn't always the healthiest option. Everytime I go home I try and learn one new recipe from my mother - one at a time is about all I can handle. Vegetables, deli meats, soup, cheese, eggs, and pasta can also get you pretty far in life. I also watch the foodnetwork - I'm hoping that maybe osmosis works, but so far I haven't tried anything I've seen on tv.

Friday, July 25, 2008

New City

Second question: finding a cool city to settle in - how to choose, how to be adventurous, etc.

My Answer:
In my opinion it's really important to live close to an airport, especially when you are living far from home. I lived 2 hours from an airport at one point and between traveling myself or picking up visitors it was a lot of driving. With gas prices where they are it's important to think about that. Plus after a long flight it was a big pain to then get in your car and drive a few hours. I know a lot of the time my flight would get in at like 9pm and I wouldn't be home until after 11pm.

It must be my journalism background or just common sense, but I research a lot about areas. When you are moving to an new area of the country it's really important to look at cost of living. The cost of living in TX was nearly 52% less expensive than NY...but it's reflected in salary as well. The same goes the other way, it may seem awesome to be making a higher paycheck in a city, but realize everything is more expensive there. Perfect example I was living in a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom 1,000 sq ft apartment and paid $695 a month for it in TX. My sister lives in a studio in Queens and pays $1,000 a month. Making in the $30,000s in TX is doing pretty well...making in the $30,000s in NY is just getting by.

I also am a big fan of Wikipedia - Wiki the city or town you are moving too and then check out the links the references are from. Also go to the town's website and visitor's bureau. Since I work in Higher Education there are at least always things going on at the college - sports, theatre, speakers. But I am lucky enough to now be living in a pretty fun college town with lots to do and see. Plus Atlanta isn't too far. That's along thing, if you live over an hour from a big city it may not be as fun if you don't know people that live there. It's a pain to drive over an hour to do something and then have to turn around and drive back, especially if you wanted to go out to the bars. Having friends in or closer to the city is helpful so you can crash there and will probably increase you going.

Third question: settling in to a cool new city - how to meet people like you, find
good places to hang out, restaurants, etc.

My answer:
Once in your new city - I suggest looking at craigslist for community events/classes/volunteer opportunities. Also looking at the town's official website, local papers and listening to the local radio stations.

When you're in a new city you need to put yourself out there, my best tool is my accent. Being from New York and living in the south has afforded me the opportunity to be noticed just by talking...and yes some times I lay the accent on a little thick, but it works!

Another way to network in a new city is if you were in a sorority or fraternity in college - contact a local chapter and they will take you under their wing. I joined a sorority AFTER graduating from college - a big plus for doing so was the network I would then be apart of. A bunch sororities will allow you to become an alumni initiate, so look into it if that appeals to you.

Don't disregard religion. I'm not the most religious person in the world and I don't plan to be. But after 12 years of Catholic school and a 5 year hiatus from religion as a whole - I am taking a peek around. Again living in the deep south may be an influence as well - but I find I am more inspired by the level of spirituality here than overwhelmed by it. Lots of folks seem to have a sincere relationship with God and I think that's pretty cool. Either way church is another social outlet where people can be pretty friendly. I can't really speak of the success I had had yet, but as of last week I started exploring different denominations of Christianity. I am going to a different service for a two months or so to see if I like any and then from there hopefully find one that "fits" then get involved and meet folks. So I started my "spiritual journey" with going to an Episcopalian service. Based on what I read about the religion, I felt on paper at least it seemed most in line with my beliefs. I'm really looking for a liberal Christian denomination, but one that still have the tradition type of service with all the pomp and circumstance. I was really surprised how similar the Episcopalian service was to Catholic Mass. The prayers were very similar if not exactly the same. There were more singing and it was a little more laid back that Mass. When it came to the sign of people everyone in the whole church moved around and like shook hands with everyone else. There were only like 60 people there and it was a small church - which was different than Masses I have gone to. So everyone pretty much knew I was a newbie and the Pastor? Reverend? (I still need to learn all the vernacular) made it a point to talk to me. I'm even going to go to a Southern Baptist service - I don't think Baptist is the denomination for me, but I'm curious to check it out, especially since a lot of people I know in Alabama are Baptist. I will be sure to keep you up to date on my religious happenings.

PS - I'm going home to NY next Friday for a few days and I'm super excited!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


The first question I answered was:
Moving as a twenty-something - best adventures, advice, what to take, what to leave behind, etc.

My response:
Ahhh moving, the bane of my existence. In the 3 years since graduating from college I have moved 3, no 4, no no no actually 5 times if I'm being honest...darn no technically it was 6 times. First to eastern Connecticut for grad school, which wasn't bad since I only had to move from my undergrad in southern Connecticut. I did it in 2 car trips. Grad school was 2 years, but in the summer between grad school I had to move my stuff into storage. I split the cost of a storage unit with a friend from grad school which was a smart move, but had to get a rental truck to get my stuff from my apartment to the storage unit. We were late to act in terms of a storage unit so the unit was 30 minutes away from my apartment. I would suggest acting as soon as you can to get a unit. I also suggest a indoor unit - safe from weather and had temperture control. After the summer I had to move my stuff again from the storage unit to my new apartment with a rental truck. PS - me driving a rental truck was QUITE an adventure. Anyway what I should have done was rented a van because I did not need the rental truck, I didn't have that much stuff. Then after grad school I was off to Texas, but first I had to move my stuff home to New York for a month until I was ready to head to Texas. For my move from CT to NY...I had my parents take 2 cars when the came for graduation and each took a carload and I had to do 2 trips to get the rest of my stuff (after throwing away anything that couldnt fit - which I must admit was rather sad). Move number 5 was from New York to Texas, I used a "relocation cube" much like a POD. Which they dropped off in my drive way I packed it up then they picked it up drove it to Texas and dropped it off where I had to unpack it, then they came back and picked it up. It was expensive and exhausting. My latest move was from Texas to Alabama - which I hesistated about because I didn't know if I couldn't bare another physical move within a year. This time around I went with a moving company. GOOD DECISION. I went through the process of getting moving quotes from about a million companies, but was able to find some really reasonable ones. With movers they do all the sweating, move all the stuff twice as fast as I could even with the help of friends and it was actually cheaper than my cube from my past move. Bonus my new job even paid for me move...holler! Plus I hopefully will stay put in Alabama for a few years and won't have to worry about moving again for a while.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My inspiration for this blog

Last week I got an e-mail from dear friend from grad school asking us to answer some questions as part of a post-college guide for twenty-somethings that is going to be published. Well I can't resist my name, or pen name at least, in print. For the purpose of this blog and most writing I do I use "Jenniac" mostly to avoid groupies stalking really although many of you reading this know me, I like going incognito as Jenniac when I write. I promise I'll explain where Jenniac came from in a future post, but back to the e-mail there were about 12 questions and finally yesterday started to write my answers and I was "in flow" typing my little heart out.

Here's a little back story: I had been toying with the idea of writing an observation about life/the life and times of me blog, but I wasn't sure I could commit or not to doing. I've actually had a blogger account since 2004. I was in a creative non-fiction writing class in college and our professor wanted us to post them on blogs so our classmates could read them. Then in 2006 I did a summer internship across the country and wanted to keep my family and friends in the loop of my adventures as well as document the summer for myself. Well my little blog in 2006 had quite the following and I really enjoyed writing it. After my internship I started submitting "comedic entries" if you will for a blog I was introduced to by a friend called unsorted mail - check it out it's good times. I've haven't written in a while, but my older posts are in the archives. Then last year when I started my first job I started another blog, but last year was tumultuous and I didn't have much time to blog (more on that at a later date).

Well here I am a little over a year out of grad school working at my second job after just over one year at my other job and I figured since my other blog was essentially titled my first job if I was was going to blog again I needed a new start, a clean slate. I swear all of this blogging is out of the blue, I had no master plan or intention - even when it came to a title for the blog it kind of popped up in head as a play on words and then flourished in about an hour into a direction for this blog. Which is perfect timing because in a little under 2 weeks I will be celebrating my 25th birthday - which I am looking forward to immensely because 24 was a rough year, but I had a lot of life experiences which will give me plenty of fodder for this blog.

So back to that e-mail I got with the the questions I got so wrapped up in. Thinking about my answers really inspired me to share my thoughts with not just friends and family - but hopefully with strangers too. Is that weird? Well it shouldn't be...I think this blog would be a good resource and/or comedic relief for anyone who is a twenty-something or has ever been a twenty-something. So please pass this blog along to anyone that you think would enjoy it!

Starting tomorrow I will post one or two questions a day from that e-mail for the next 10 days or so leading up to my 25th birthday! Then from there out I will be sharing the ups and downs of being a twenty-something and I hope to hear from you, if you want me to post of your experiences feel free to e-mail me at

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What is a Quarter Life Catharsis anyway?

I'm sure many of you reading this have heard the term "Quarter Life Crisis" or maybe some of you have read the book written by the women first identified the phenomenon. Perhaps you may have even been forced to go to a workshop by those authors in grad school and left early - and later got in trouble for doing so. For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, it's time to come out from under that rock you have been hiding under and get with the times.

Let's start with a simple vocabulary exercise: crisis versus catharsis.

According to the gods of the the Internet, more commonly known as Wikipedia:

Crisis is defined as a traumatic or stressful change in a person's life, or an unstable and dangerous social situation, in political, social, economic, military affairs, or a large-scale environmental event, especially one involving an impending abrupt change.

Sounds scary right. Personally I think every moment of every day of your life could result in a crisis, it's not just some horrific time between the ages of 21-29. But I chose to look at the positive aspect of these years.

Now onto catharsis. Catharsis is actually one of my favorite notions every since I learned about in high school when we were studying Greek theatre.

According to Wikipedia a catharsis is a Greek word meaning "purification" or "cleansing" derived from the ancient Greek infinitive καθαίρειν transliterated as kathairein "to purify, purge," and adjective katharos "pure or clean."

More specifically the term catharsis in drama refers to a sudden emotional climax that evokes overwhelming feelings of great sorrow, pity, laughter or any other extreme change in emotion, resulting in restoration, renewal and revitalization in members of the audience.

And seeing that I am writing about the ups and downs of being in my mid twenties as well as the trends and issues that come with the territory. I think catharsis is a much more fitting way to explain what I'm going through rather than crisis.

I find clarity when I write and that in itself is cathartic.