Adulting… It’s not a trap

Adulting… It’s not a trap

Here’s what I’ve learned thus far:

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Adulting is trying to navigate the partly sunny dirt path that never seems to ends.

Being an adult is making huge decisions that will ultimately benefit you ten years down the road more so than the immediate present.

Adulting is trying to figure out what classifies as good health insurance. And for that matter, trying to save money while drowning in student loan debt where the total number you owe, visibly, never seems to change.

It’s also about making memories, taking wild adventures and “see[ing] the world” while having to (presumably) support yourself almost 100% for the first time in your life.

*Cue scream*

I can’t be the only one who is terribly scared of adulting, right?

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When I graduated in May, I had this idea of what was going to happen: I would work one last summer at Chautauqua Institution, come back to Ithaca, find a job and save as much as I could just to pay my student loans. Sounds reasonable, right?

But as everyone knows, life doesn’t always work out the way we have it in our heads or what we want to perceive.

I came back in August and applied to some jobs in Ithaca, nothing. I continued to look online for various jobs in and outside the Ithaca area, nothing. My bare savings was running out, my student loan payments were going to begin in December and I had no job to my name.

Something needed to change.

All my college friends were in Buffalo, finding their own personal success in each of their endeavors and I thought, hey, I can do that. I should be doing that. Why aren’t I doing that? Finding success.

So, I did something.

I found myself in Buffalo by the start of the New Year.

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It’s been absolutely insane. I threw away over 7 garbage bags full of trash, clothes to donate, things I had no use for in bags to donate and I headed 121 miles west to Buffalo. I have just enough room in my apartment just outside the city, with access to all shops and stores which are only a two minute drive down the road in all directions. If I want to go to the mall (read: LUSH), it’s at most 15 minutes, depending on traffic.

In Ithaca, I would have to drive, at most, 15 minutes to get to the grocery store and over half an hour to get to the gym or post office. If I wanted to go to a larger mall, it would take me almost two hours to head north towards Syracuse. Living closer to things and places is a whole new world.

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Now, my main reason for moving to Buffalo was not because my college friends are here or that there are more jobs to apply to, although those were major perks. I was becoming too comfortable in Ithaca.

So many people stay in Ithaca forever, in this bubble of our liberal college-town, with the same annual events, with the same beautiful gorges, with the same people you pass by on your everyday outings. Staying in one place is definitely not a bad thing, but I’ve realized that I can’t live in a place that is always… the same.

Ithaca is a beautiful place to visit and definitely to live in. And I do I have my friends, family and my favorite things to come back to. Trust me, I miss all of my favorite people and places, a lot… Oh, lets be honest, I miss my dog, Jack, the most.

But I don’t want to live in the same.

I’m 24 years old with so much ahead of me. I’ve realized that if I want to better my life, I need to start making the choices in order to do that. I can’t sit in what’s comfortable waiting for the opportunities to magically appear before my eyes. If I want something, I need to get it myself. I can’t live in comfort because it’s safe.

I don’t want to live in what’s safe or comfortable. It’s not a life worth living, being comfortable and never embracing life changes or taking the opportunities that come our way.

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If I succeed, I succeed. If I fail, I fail. But at least I tried. I can say I did it. I can say to my future children, “I did this. I found success and I failed and I learned from it all.”

We don’t succeed when we stay safe. We succeed when we do something risky. When we push our own boundaries to the edge to see how far we can actually go is when success presents itself.

The twenty-fourth book of my life is underway, and we’re almost through the second chapter. Right now, nothing can stop me and there’s no challenge that will defeat me.

NaNoWriMo starts in less than 27 hours!

NaNoWriMo starts in less than 27 hours!

Have you ever tried to commit to something for an extended period of time and when you’ve actually done it, you’re impressed you even got that far? Same for me too. I’m the kind of person who becomes very particular in what I invest in. I give 100% or none at all. So during the month of November I, along with my close friends, will be participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short).

Apparently, this is a huge event.

If you don’t know what that is, it’s exactly what it sounds like. The challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel in just thirty days, give or take. There are no restrictions; the author can have the novel be in any genre with however many chapters and can (of course) be longer than 50,000 words. Each day you track your word count and earn badges along the way. You can chat with other writers in your area for support, help, advice and everything in between.

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Last year I took a step back from almost everything in theatre to focus on my journalism classes and writing for the school paper. I’ve gotten insanely better in just a short period of time but even though I’ve improved I can always improve. That’s how we get better, with practice and experience. That’s why I am challenging myself to write a 50,000+ word novel in 30 days.

I’ve never been a writer let alone would I picture myself participating in NaNoWriMo. English class and writing overall was never my forte in middle school, high school and even in college. Let’s put it this way; growing up I couldn’t articulate on paper a cohesive sentence. That was my reality but overtime I have battled mountains in order to get to this point as a writer.

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With all of that being said, I decided to title my young adult novel as “One Last Chance.” I’ve named my main character Jaclyn, a 22 year old college student who has survived an attempted suicide just six months prior. We will follow her journey into self-acceptance, heartbreak, devastation, triumphant victories and difficult choices as she gives her life “one last chance.” I have begun writing my prologue to this story which brings us to that moment six months ago where everything almost ended. We pick up the story to the present time as she begins her senior year.

I don’t know what direction this novel will necessarily take me even after making a rough outline. I know where I would like the story to go, which I will be keeping to myself, but realistically it might not be the same as what will ultimately be written. I am currently at 446 of this post which is already a great start; I want to have the prologue completed before Nov. 1. That’s where I am currently at with my NaNoWriMo endeavors.

My friends who inspired me to do this have really great novel ideas that they will be either writing from scratch or will be continuing further in just a few short days. No matter what, we’re committing to a 30 day challenge which we will all accomplish.

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Will my novel be good? … Maybe? I don’t know yet!

Will I become a better writer? All of the yes.

Will I reach my goal? I am sure as heck going to try.

Bring it on National Novel Writing Month!

If you’re reading this and want to be buddies on NaNoWriMo, zoedkiriazis is how you’ll find me.

Because we’re always starting over

Because we’re always starting over

So I am the literal worst. I graduated college, bought myself a domain and was like, “Zoe, you’re going to keep up a blog!”

Fast forward a few months later and I haven’t posted anything. It’s wicked hard when you’re trying to find a job, figuring out how to pay your student loans, pay for all the other things life has to offer, have a social life, binge watch “How I Met Your Mother” before Nov. 13, understand the meaning of life and being this scary thing called an adult. Girl, I am exhausted from just typing all of that. GAH. MER. MAH. ARGH. BLAH. AAAH!

Okay. Cleansing Breath. Hakuna Matata.

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There’s no real reason why I haven’t been writing, it just hasn’t happened. I got promoted to full time adult back in May and life has been anything but calm. I had a cool summer job at Chautauqua that brought alongside homesickness, loneliness and a lot of adventures. I worked at a summer theatre camp for two weeks and that is the last time I have been involved with theatre (excluding seeing performances). I moved back home to Ithaca in August and have been on the look out for some sort of job since while also taking care of my mom, cleaning, cooking, shopping and living the life of a 23 year-old college graduate.

No matter how neat my resume is or how articulated my cover letters are (side note: job hunt it going great, absolutely no interviews or responses), I’m still finding myself at one of life’s moments when you think you might have hit a dead end but need to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I can tell you right now that there is a light, a faded light that illuminates a pale yellow peaking out of the tiniest hole imaginable, but it’s there. I can barely see it but it still counts!

Even through all the chaos, mayhem and anxiety towards the future, a lot of great things have happened.

I’ve taken a few random adventures by myself. I’ve become more savvy in social media. I’ve witnessed my first wedding as an adult and was in one for that matter. I’ve made a few wild decisions. I’ve started to focus on myself. I’m slowly losing the “square” and “box-like” personality associations I gained during college. I’m trying to branch out from what I am so used to in order to grow.

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I’ve gained new friends, I’ve lost friends, I’m heading back towards my roots, I’m doing what I want to do and I’m putting together the pieces in a never ending puzzle while taking my life one day at a time.

I’m becoming a better me, at least I’m trying to be, but there will be more mistakes along the way, bridges to be crossed, situations to handle and adventures to be had.

Sometimes you gotta go through some tough shit to grow through it all. And sometimes that means starting over.

And starting over is just a way of life saying, “It’s time to move on.”