Being a young adult

The hardest part about being a young adult is finding out you aren’t important.

When you live with your parents, you objectively know you aren’t important, but how could you really understand what that means when you are living among people who would sacrifice everything for you.

From keeping the house stoked with your favorite foods, to smothering you with love, even when you don’t want it, family make their love known.

When I moved to college, I only really moved a mile away but the change was huge. I was no longer one of kind, my parents only “Honey Bunny”. But even though I was noone’s honey bunny, I was someone’s freshman roommate, and we relied on each other and told eachother everything.

No, it wasn’t until sophomore year that it really hit home. Among a group of friends, drinking and laughing, I realised that none of these people considered me their “best” friend. Then I realised no-one probably considered me their “best” friend, since my highschool friends had probably moved on. I realised that aside from my parents no-one thought about me every day. I realised that I could leave without saying a word to anyone and they wouldn’t miss me. These were my best friends at school, but they wouldn’t really care or notice. And if I ditched the club, they might regret it, or gossip about it, but it wouldn’t make a difference.

This is incredibly heart breaking. When I realised this I went up to my room and cried. And I cried and cried.

Being unnecessary is heartbreaking. I am no-one’s girlfriend or best friend. I have no children that rely on me, nor am I the best at my field. I am only a daughter, and without my parents here I am noone.

I am sure this feeling goes away. When we find a profession, and can tell yourself that you are needed. Or when you find a significant other. Or when you have children. But until then, i’m just floating

I feel useless.

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The day I became afraid.

There was a day when I was 18 when I went to bed as a different person from the girl who woke up. The change was subtle and I hid it from my friends, but when I am on my own it surfaces unbidden. There was a day when I was 18 when I was not afraid, and the next I was.

 

I was standing at a bus stop, very close to my home. I had just said bye to my parents, and carried a big bag of winter clothes to the corner. I leaned over the road to check for the bus. Typical bus people stood there with me, accumulating. “the bus is running late, I’ll text you when I see it” I texted the friend I was planning on having dinner with. An almost middle aged Mexican-looking couple stood next to me speaking in spanish. Sitting on the bench was a large black woman who held a handbag on her lap. In the distance, pacing back and forth was a black man in a pink camouflage sweatshirt, hoodup.

When the man had walked up to the bus station I had resisted the urge to hide my phone.  He looked like the stereo-typical “dangerous” man but I didn’t put my phone away. I remember thinking that if I was colored, and saw little white girls hide their phones when I walked by, I would feel terrible. I remember telling myself that he was probably a decent fellow. I turned my phone sideways to check on my virtual farm, and the next thing I knew the man in the pink camo sweatshirt had grabbed my phone out of my hand, and was running down the street. 

I chased him down the block yelling things like “FUCK YOU” and “I have GPS tracking” but he was much faster than me. I jogged back to the bus station, remembering the bag of winter clothes that I had left there. The Mexican couple whispered to each other, glancing at me, and the woman on the bench had stood up. I was realised I was sobbing.

A taxi that had been waiting at the red light rolled down it’s windows. “Get in!” the driver said “We can circle the block, try to find him.” I did, and while we circled I used the taxi’s cellphone to call the police. The driver kept saying things like “I thought he was your friend at first and that it was a joke. but this is no joke”. I didn’t see much out the window because I was focusing on stopping my sobs. After the loop, I asked the driver to leave me at the bus stop so I could be there when the police arrived. He gave me a piece of paper with his name and number “if I needed a witness”, and drove off.

A few seconds later a car drove up and parked in the bus stop. A tall man came out and handed me my phone. He explained that he had seen it happen, had circled around, found the phone-snatcher, followed him, and when the snatcher had stopped running, the man explained he had gotten out of his car and simply grabbed the shoulders of my thief. It should be explained here that the tall man was quite well built and imposing. The thief had apparently dropped my phone and took of running again and my hero had picked it up and driven back here to return it.

The police then arrived and the tall man and I had to tell the whole story. We each gave descriptions of the thief, and waited around for 15 min while police cars apparently circled the area looking for the pink camo. After that, the police man said they would keep looking but that the chances of finding him were significantly slimmer since he could be on a bus/trolly going anywhere. The police man then gave me a shoulder squeeze, shook my hero’s hand, took the witness’s info from me in case they did find something, and left. 

The tall man then gave me a ride back to campus. At the end of the ride he walked me to my dorm’s door gave me a hug, and drove out of my life.

Please understand, my devastation is not about the phone. I misplace my phone all the time. Ive dropped phones into toilets and drinks. I’ve left phones at rest-stops and in public bathrooms.

My problem stemmed from the violence of the theft. It wasn’t taken from the edge of my table while I wasn’t paying attention or from my coat while I was at a big party. The phone was literally snatched out of my hand. 

That morning I hadn’t really understood how little control I have over my life. That day I realised literally every boy/man over the age of 15 could do whatever they wanted to me. It is only because men have not rapped me that I have not been rapped. It is only because men have not mugged me that I have not been mugged. I could not defend myself against any attack.

It terrifies me because that man, that thief chose me as a victim and any other man could do the same, and I would be stuck. The theft happened in broad daylight, a block from my HOME. Maybe if I had been in a different city, I could just not return. Maybe if it had been in a different neighborhood, I could have stayed away. But this happened at 4pm a block from the place I feel safest in the world. 

And now I’m not just scared when threatening men walk by, I’m afraid when they drive by. When they sit in a restaurant and I walk by or when I sit in a restaurant and they walk by. I never feel afraid when I’m with others- something about having other people around makes me calmer. But yesterday on my way to the wawa (24/hour convenience store) to buy milk at 1:00am, I thought a car was going extra slow next to me. The walk to wawa is less than a block, well the car parked at the top of the block, and I freaked out an spent 30 minutes in the wawa, afraid to go out. 

When I did leave, I saw the car was still parked, and empty, as parked cars usually are. The men had probably just been driving slow to find parking, and then had. But even while I consciously understood this I speed walked back to my dorm. 

Now I understand why my mom seems so bitter sometimes. Why she has such a poor opinion of most men. Why she thinks so very many things are sexist. She is in her 60s, that is 40 years of feeling like a victim to various physical and social abuses.

I understand it because life wears down the naivety of youth- and in its place are raw wounds that don’t heal. And despite the fact that within 10 minutes of the theft I had been helped by 3 honest men (taxi, hero, cop), it is the thief I remember at night when walking past strangers.

I don’t want to be a victim.

And I don’t want to be afraid.

 

Bucket List: Before I graduate College

Bucket List : of things I want to do before I graduate.

Pee on the Benjamin Franklin statue.

My school has this lovely statue of Benjamin Franklin. Cast in bronze, he sits on a bench reading a newspaper. Traditionally tours around campus involve taking pictures with this statue, which makes the tradition of peeing on Mr. Franklin that much more hilarious.  I have often seen a trail of liquid leading away from the statue on my way home from parties at 2am. My plan is to go out on a warm night in a skirt, and no underpants. I’ll squat over the poor fellow, pee, and then make a mad dash.

The other tradition of this type at my school is that people have sex under a statue of a huge button. At first I thought that might be fun too, and even more exhilarating. I have since gotten a good look at the underside of the button. MAYBE on a super nice summer night it would only be 98% awful. No Thank you.

 

– A Smoky Hookup Session in a Library.

I imagine stressing over a book, studying hard. Its 2am and the halls are quiet. The final coming up in a week will be the death of me. My boyfriend/hookupbuddy/whoever comes by with coffee as a surprise. He gives my shoulders a short massage and then the books are forgotten. I don’t even care that I loose my page as I push the book aside to sit on the desk and pull him closer to me…

 

A Threesome

As someone who finds girls infinitely more beautiful than men, but finds men more sexy but also more threatening, I think a threesome would be a lot of fun. With like, a girl and guy who I know pretty well and am comfortable with. I’m not really into strangers. Ever.  Also..when else will I be able to have a threesome…

 

– Make a friend from a Class.

It is very hard to make friends from class. For some reason, I never seem to have the chance to talk to classmates, let alone become friendly enough to invite them over to study and eat lunch. The closest I ever got was first semester freshman year. One of the boys in my Russian Lit class sent me an email saying that he thought I was interesting and he wanted to get to know me. The reason he had to email me his phone number is because he didn’t have a facebook. We flirted a little bit, but I knew it wasn’t destined to last. There are only three types of people who don’t have facebook: A) They are so cool/popular they don’t need one. They would instantly have 3000 friends. The type of kid who literally everyone in a 300 mile radius knows. “oh you’re from California, do you know _____ ” “oh of course I know ______”.  B) They are so uncool/unpopular they think they wouldn’t have any facebook friends or are a parent/grandparent and are worried they literally wouldn’t know anyone on facebook. C) They are so cocky/pretentious that they really think they are too good for facebook. While the rest of us maintain a Love-Hate relationship, deleting and re-activating ours. Visiting every hour, or only once a week. This person literally has never had one. He also carries a record player instead of an iPod and when asked what his favorite books are, he names his favorite publishers. Those are not books. Those are publishers. I would like to make a friend from a class who is normal and fun; who I can laugh about the teacher with, and stress about assignments with. Someone who won’t think its weird when we keep hanging out after that class is over.

 

– Ask a Boy Out

There is something to be said for tradition. It is very nice. But a girl has got to ask a guy out, especially if she really doesn’t know what the answer will be. Boys are expected to go through that shit all the time. I’ll give some boy at least a story to tell and an ego boost, and I’ll earn my right to complain about my guy friends being pussies about asking their crushes out.

 

– Road Trip

There is so much about america that I don’t know. I’ve lived in East Coast cities my whole life. Even vacation was always in a north-east town. I want to take a road trip west. And not one where I drive through real quick. I want to take my time, spend a week-a month in different places. Meet people, understand them, have an experience. I’m picturing Bon Fires, and guitars. I’m imagining stars and country accents and farms.  Backpacking across Europe/the world goes on other bucket lists. But those are more expensive, and take more time.

 

Write and try to Publish a short story.

Well this one is kind of obvious. Who doesn’t have stories in their head all the time. Little crazy things, like day dreams on acid that create a story so fascinating you have to share it. But then it fades, or you try telling a friend and it comes out all wrong because you’re rushing it. I could probably publish a story in the school newspaper, and even though I know no-one really READS the whole thing, I would feel accomplished.

 

Live one week thinking WWJD

I am not a catholic, I am agnostic, but as a religious studies major, sometimes you have to wonder how acting and believing, as those who are members of that religion do, could change your life. WWJD stads for What Would Jesus Do. I would like to spend one week living by Christian Values. (real christian values- not the hate stuff).  Again, I am not a Christian, but I think empathy is important, I would like to try to understand how deeply Christian people think. One week is not enough to really know, but thats all I’m committing myself to. Maybe if I love it- I’ll convert. Who knows.

 

– Live one week thinking WWBD

This one stands for What Would Buddha Do. I won’t go all nerd on you hear, but suffice to say that contrary to what you might think you know, Buddhism IS a religion, not a lifestyle. It comes with real, and deep implications concerning morality and suffering. Buddhism does not just mean meditating and t certainly does not mean being vegetarian. Sorry for the rant but people can be so woefully uneducated about Buddhism. Maybe during that week, I’ll spread lots of knowledge via. blog, and bore you all to death and into your next life. (get it? haha).

 

– Try 1-4 New (safe) Drugs

I have tried a couple, weed, molly and MDMA (which are arguably the same but not quite. Molly is in a capsule, with shaved MDMA, and sometimes filler powder. MDMA is the pure rock.), and I tried acid once, but I don’t know if it worked. Story another time. I am not saying drugs don’t fuck people up, but my parents entire generation was basically on ecstasy for a decade of their lives, and most of them turned out OK. The import thing in my opinion is to be smart about it, same with drinking. Never to take drugs lightly, always have a plan, be prepared, let someone know your plan, ext. Drugs are fantastic, the same way really modern ballet is fantastic. Perspective, new ideas, new experiences, and fun is what I’m after.

 

Not washing or brushing the ends of my hair for 6 weeks

This doesn’t mean not washing my hair and body. This means that when I shampoo, I’ll only shampoo the roots. Instead of brushing my hair, I’ll finger comb it. I hear all the time that natural is best and all my friends with the best hair advise not brushing. I figure I’ll give this a try. Really find out.

 

– Three Weeks of going to the Gym every other day

I have never been super in shape. I can run a mile- barely. I’d like to know how painful it would be to actually be one of those people, and also how differently I might feel. By putting this on the bucket list I am committing myself to it.

 

Two Days Barefoot

This one is weird, I know. I just want to. I like being barefoot.

 

Free Hug Day

This one is weird too. I want to make a shirt that says free hugs, and then stand around. And give strangers hugs, and tell them they look beautiful. And maybe it will make them feel great and make a difference in their lives, and thats great. But it will also make me feel great. Like charity, but in a pure form. Free Hug Day will be heart on my sleeve day. It will be free hugs, and free love. I will give bliss. Raw and unadulterated acceptance and warmth for any human who decides he/she/they want a hug.

 

Build a Snow Man

I want to build a snow man! A great snow village! Snow Monsters! I want to be a kid again, and take pictures of what I make, and feel accomplished for organizing frozen water in artful ways.

 

Ace A Midterm/Final

I want to ACE a midterm/final. Not that I don’t do well, but I want to do so well. I want to get my test back and scream a little by accident, because its so great. Nothing is quite like academic success.

 

Take an art type class

Pottery, drawing, painting, storytelling. I want to take one of these classes as a minor, and really feel like I learned something cool. Maybe even something like smithing or glass-blowing.

 

Write letters to famous people

I’m going to start writing letters to famous people, and including those “hi my name is: __” stickers. The idea would be to collect the signed stickers in a notebook, and then years from now be able to show my family like imagine if your parents had something signed from say..Shirley Temple! I’m sure most of them wont write back, but maybe they will! I had a dream I was married to Billy Boyd, so he gets to be first. Whenever I start.