Let’s take a moment to appreciate Starbucks and all of the heavenly concoctions it is famous for. It offers so many unique drinks, which contributes to its status as a cult favorite. I am a self proclaimed Starbucks junkie; I’ve tried nearly everything on their regular menu. Recently, I decided to give some of the items on their secret menu a try. After spending some time researching the secret menu online, I stumbled upon something called the Thin Mint Frappuccino. My favorite Girl Scout cookie combined with my favorite drink? There was no chance of me NOT ordering it. This was probably the best decision I could’ve made because this frap was absolutely scrumptious. Broken down, it’s a green tea frappuccino with chocolate chips, mocha syrup, and a pump of peppermint (your barista may not know what a thin mint frap is). The mocha and peppermint elements give a normal green tea frappuccino a refreshing twist while the chocolate chips are just another little indulgence. Top it off with whipped cream, and you’ll be left with heaven in a cup. If this hasn’t been enough to convince you to go out and get one right now, I’d just like to add that you’ll sound like a pro ordering one of these babies. Why not spoil yourself a little? You deserve it!
I spent the past weekend hanging out with my older cousins. They’ve all graduated college and grad school and established their careers, so I don’t see them more than a few times a year. As we were discussing what we’d been up to in the past few months, the conversation turned to our social lives. Of all my older cousins, I’m closest to two, one of whom is a lawyer in Washington DC and the other who is completing his residency in New York City. They both delved into the details of their nightly adventures, and listening to them made me realize just how much the culture of going out changes as we age.
As a sophomore in college, my going out experiences have been limited to frat parties in dirt covered basements that reek of Everclear. After the initial few times of going out and being violated by drunk, grimy college boys, I decided that basement parties weren’t really my scene. This is not to say that I’ll never go to one again, but I definitely associate them with my freshman exploration phase. It’s mildly amusing to see just how much my outlook on going out has changed over the course of the past year. I cannot even begin to imagine what social outings will consist of in ten years time when I’m approximately my cousins’ age.
As for my cousins, they’ve both advanced to becoming the epitome of the terms “food junkie” and “bar regular”. An average evening for either of them consists of visiting one of the city’s newest eateries with their colleagues or dropping by their favorite bar where they’re recognized on a first name basis. They’ve both confessed that more often than not, their nightly restaurant experiments end up being misses. Ever so often, however, they end up striking gold and finding a place they know they’ll return to time and time again. I find their lifestyles fascinating, probably because I love the idea of being a “foodie”.
Being that I am the stereotypical broke college student, I’ve found that my idea of going out has been limited to spending my nights in frat house basements (which cost me nothing, I might add). Maybe this year I can begin my cultural evolution by exploring the restaurants in my area and finding a new social scene. Until then, I’m grateful that I can live vicariously through my cousins’ nightly social adventures.
As of late, it seems that my life is constantly undergoing major changes. I’m newly single, I’ve moved into my own apartment, and I’ve gotten a research position with a well respected doctor. I hadn’t expected any of these events to dramatically impact my life, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.
For starters, I never would have imagined a breakup to affect me as significantly as this one has. Personally, I don’t believe in emotional attachment. I know, I know, it sounds absurd that I’d be in a relationship when I’m so emotionally closed off, but therein lies the contradiction (a reference to the title of this blog). With this particular relationship, I invested a lot of time and energy trying to ensure that things would go in the direction that I wanted them to and the exact opposite wound up happening. I felt very restricted reporting every one of my actions to this guy, so I eventually ended up breaking things off after a year and a half. I’m not going to get into the details of it, but there ended up being a lack of trust, which I’ve learned is one of the key elements of a solid relationship. In the months since we’ve broken up, I think that the hostility between us has begun to subside and we’re slowly beginning to talk and hang out again. However, the latter is another issue I’ve been having mixed feelings about. On one hand, I love hanging out with this guy; on the other hand, it’s difficult to imagine hanging out without rekindling the feelings we used to have for one another. Surprisingly, I don’t have a plan of action on how I want to approach this so I suppose we’ll just see how it goes. Currently, I feel liberated, so I have no complaints thus far.
In addition to my recent breakup, I’ve moved into my own apartment. In short, I absolutely LOVE living on my own, which I hadn’t expected at all. It’s safe to say that I’ve had a privileged childhood. My parents have taken care of my expenses, and more importantly, my meals. As an 18 year old college sophomore, it’s slightly embarrassing to admit that my mother still cooks for me, but I’ll shamelessly confess that I wouldn’t have it any other way. Living on my own has most definitely served as a reality check. I hate preparing food, but there is nothing I love more than eating. I’ve invested in two cookbooks, neither of which has been opened more than a handful of times. At the moment, I’ve been relying on my ability to cook pasta and make sandwiches to get me through the days. Eventually, I plan on putting my cookbooks to use again…or finding a personal chef that’ll work for free. Every other aspect of living on my own (e.g. cleaning, paying the bills, and coming home to an empty apartment) has proven to be oddly refreshing. This may be because it’s all a new experience, but I hope my attitude towards living on my own doesn’t change any time soon.
Living alone has really stressed just how quickly adulthood is setting in. Along with that, I’ve gotten my very first ‘big girl’ internship with a doctor. I hadn’t expected to be presented with such a wonderful yet challenging opportunity so soon in my academic career, but I couldn’t be more grateful to get knee deep into research that I truly enjoy. Over the course of the past few weeks, I’ve been assigned various projects which have included data analysis, writings scientific papers, and writing grant proposals. While these tasks are relatively foreign to me, it’s been a very rewarding experience figuring out what my boss expects of me. Then again, it’s absolutely terrifying knowing that he trusts me to work on the research that both his career and his life revolve around.
I think I can attribute much of my self reflection and realization to the occurrence of these three events one after another. While each has its pros and cons, I can say with certainty that all of these events have caused me to reassess my priorities, value myself more, and realize just how quickly adulthood is approaching. Despite the fact that I appreciate them, these realizations can be overwhelming and they’ve been nothing but for me. Among other things, they’ve made me come to the conclusion that I’m oh so far from being perfect, which I’ve yearned to be for years. The plot twist in this situation, however, is that I’ve begun to see myself as a perfectly imperfect individual. I’m far from what I aspire to be, but every situation I encounter, whether it be negative or positive, is a baby step towards discovering more about myself. I may not be everything I want to be yet, but I come closer each day. I am the ultimate work in progress. I have flaws. I mess up. I get broken and put back together again. I am imperfect, but that is the one thing I always do perfectly.
I’ve been exploring the idea of writing a blog for a while now, but I’ve been hesitant because I’ve never considered myself much of a writer. Don’t get me wrong, writing is something I enjoy very much. I’ve gone through several journal writing phases, but my desire to write has always been transient. It has typically served as an outlet of sorts; I tend to write when I’m overwhelmed or stressed. Recently, however, I’ve been finding inspiration in so many ordinary places and situations that it seems impossible to not write about them. Hence, the birth of this blog. I wish I could say I had a plan from what will come of this from here on out, but instead of over thinking it, I’m going to let this whole writing experiment take it’s course.
Beginnings can be messy, but who’s to say messy isn’t beautiful?