April 4, 2015 by From the Alli Files
It’s highly possible that a blog using my own journal entries is the epitome of egocentric–but let’s face it–I write best about what I know. And for me, I know that in the past 7 years there have been moments in time where I was more mature and spiritually in-tune at the age of 19, or 22, or 17 and-a-half than I think I am most days now within the dull complacency of day to day adulthood.
Now, don’t get me wrong–I’ve carried my years of lesson-learning with me–I haven’t forgotten that girl with a radical view of her future. Though I’ve had some hard knocks of reality since my days of furnished apartment life and campus meal plans, sometimes I think the naive college girl with dreams too big to fit inside her faded Polo ball cap was on to something.
She saw the world in its purest form, undiluted with the sludge of every day chores and petty stressers. Complacency and mediocrity were her fears, and I often look back in shame, terrified that I have disappointed her. What would she think of me now? Sorry, Allicat. Your 24 year old self isn’t off crafting documentary-worthy adventures and giving away all her shoes and moving to Africa next month.
In fact, sometimes I am an ordinary American millenial who listens to cliche, overplayed music–I swear I don’t know how it happened. Can we blame it on the fact that I work with teenagers? Yes, lets. And Allison…I’m so sorry sweetie. Sometimes I even wear leggings as pants. In public. (cue collective gasp).
It is on these days that I must remember that not every story, grandiose or otherwise, camps out in a climax. Movies and sitcoms and even novels are crafted from the highlights of purposeful moments. Artists coax us into a lovely relationship with their heros and heroines, slowly making us adore them and even portraying the character’s flaws somewhat admirable…while all the while they’re climbing with us to the top of a mountain of literary action–then BOOM! They emotionally push us off a cliff, baby bird jumping out of the nest style–and speed us toward near death, saving us right before the saga ends with a satisfying denouement. We leave with popcorn grease on our jeans and possibly teary eyes, blinking in the sunlight as we emerge from the dark theatre–somehow wishing our lives were crafted just as perfectly.
We get in our cars and drive off towards what we believe to be hum drum existences, while the characters we left on the screen remain in their perfect endings: Why can’t I be like her? She snagged the strong and capable, yet emotionally aware man that loves her deeply despite her intensely scarred past. Or him? The stressed out dad that was handed the new job right before the house got taken away. Or even those dogs? You know the ones– the dogs that all ran back across the autumn landscape to the famliy and home they got lost from weeks ago. (And, they also talk without their dog-mouths moving in sync with the words. That always really bothered me. But, I digress. This is not a 90’s movie criticism blog.)
We forget that even characters have monotony. We forget that real life is made up of really sucky hours of lesson planning and laundry folding and ordinary-ness.
I guess what I’m trying to say is this–my former self, in all her secret journal entries and heartfelt outpours of spirit and mind, had lot of beautiful ambitions concerning adulthood–and, a lot of those thoughts were 100% on point. Allison dreamed with abandon about the person she wanted to become, and planned on fighting to become her. I love that Allison for her bravery, and I cherish the part of her that remains in my soul.
But, I’ve also forgiven the part of myself that has to sometimes sit at work and key in piles of somewhat meaningless data on a regular sunny Tuesday afternoon in October. I’ve allowed myself Saturdays in PJs with Netflix that involved zero plans to save the world– or even save my dying house plant.
I mean, even Wonder Woman had to take off her city-saving spandex to wash it every now and then.
When I was nearing the end of my undergraduate career, I told myself that my graduation gifts to myself were going to be an espresso machine and a dog. I was to welcome myself into adulthood with these two items, and therefore begin the path to achieving individuality and independence.
What really happened was that I got a retro-looking, yet regular-kinda coffee pot from Dirt Cheap that broke by February after I had just graduated in December. By March, the puppy my parents had adopted (that I really didn’t even take care of myself at all) had run away, and we haven’t seen him since. The other two dogs they had at the time banded together and ate my diploma when it came in the mail, and my mother tried to pack my lunch for me on my first real day of big girl teaching. Dreams demolished in 60 days flat.
Life is mundane, y’all. And, sometimes mundane is far from beautiful. But you know what? That doesn’t mean the dream still isn’t ahead. Adventure doesn’t happen all the time, and you don’t always catch the bad guy. But, somewhere in the future there is a denouement. It may not be the one we planned, and we may not get the job or the guy. Unemployment and broken hearts happen every day. They really, really do.
So, here you are, friend (all 2.6 people that will read this, I mean): Permission to be boring. Now, don’t go overboard with this, or I’ll be highly disappointed in you. But here I am, one jaded adult to another, giving you a trump card to be completely uninteresting at least one day out of the week. All you are allowed to do is exist and survive–for one day.
Guess what? It’s okay if I’m a little boring sometimes. And mundane, and lazy, and on occasion even egocentric. Because remember that pre-adulthood Allison? She was a darn good writer with stuff to say, and I believe we painfully dull adults can learn a lot from her.
So after your boring day, put down the snuggie and let’s get started. The dryer just dinged, and my spandex is ready.