Two Years Post Grad: Things Are (Maybe) Looking Up

A year ago I shared everything I did in my first year of post-liberal arts college depression frustration bliss.  To recap, I wined, I dined, and I cried. Often. Sometimes I cried into bowls of delicious soup.

Being one of those recent college graduates the New York Times loves to profile is really terrible. It’s so terrible that I would wish this predicament on my worst enemy. (Please ignore that my worst enemy also happens to be someone my age so he and/or she is probably already in this predicament.)

Some good things did happen during that first year after I graduated. I went to the Kentucky Derby and I took an awkward picture with Joe Biden. But mostly I complained, lacked goals, had minor anxiety attacks, and feared for my future. In retrospect, my first-year after college was mostly great and I shouldn’t have complained (too much) about it. Because then year two happened and it was… a year… that happened.

For instance, I went to a free Blondie concert and was yelled at by middle-aged New Jerseyans sitting in lawn chairs… because I was blocking their view.

I spent this past weekend traipsing around my beloved alma mater for my two-year college reunion. I know what you’re thinking. “A two year college reunion? That’s absurd!”

You’re right. It is very absurd.

In addition to being an out-of-body experience, being back at Mount Holyoke made me reflect on what a wonderful shit show this past year was. Literally. In August I found myself wading through feces-infested flood waters during Hurricane Irene. (Sometimes you really need a bottle of wine and no natural disaster should get in the way of that.) Because of that little hurricane, I have forgotten most of what happened last year.

Do you blame me? My house looked like this.

I honestly cannot remember what I did before the hurricane and while it was being repaired. I know I was interning at TheGloss because there is evidence of this on the Internet. I know I spent time with friends because there is evidence of this on Facebook and YouTube. Without my Internet life, I would have really lost my damn mind more than I actually did. (That freak October snow, for instance, turned me into an irrational, crying mess for a few hours.) But c’est la vie. I lived. 2012 has been formally dubbed the Year of Penny (thanks Happy Endings!) and some good things have developed. Here they are.

1. I became a podcaster extraordinaire.

Do you know about the Ally and Joanna Show? It’s great. And I’m not just saying that because I am the Joanna of this duo. Unlike this blog, which I often find stressful to maintain on a weekly basis, the Ally and Joanna Show is fun way for me be a conossieur of pop culture. Plus, I get to hang out with Ally and together we are taking over the Internet. We’ve only been at this podcasting experiment for less than a year and so far, it is working out great.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joeEy3IplJ8]

2. I have spent so much time with my cat that we are now unhealthily codependent.

After the huricane my cat Salem developed a terrible case of PTSD. At least this is what I have decided has caused our inexplicably close relationship. He’s the most important man in my life. (Probably because he keeps all his shit in a box.) Salem and I do everything together. Like right now. Salem is currently suffocating me nuzzled against my chest as I write this post. To avoid sounding like a sad, lonely, cat lady, I will stop oversharing now.

You don’t want to see the pictures I didn’t post.

3. I found a random famous person to take a picture with.

Suzan Lori Parks is this year’s Joe Biden. No, we did not discuss sharing a quesadilla in Cannes. I did, however, get to go on the stage at Porgy & Bess, the first and probably only time I will ever do something like that.

4. I went to the movies. By myself. Frequently.

Two years ago, I would have told you that going to the movies alone was something I dreaded. Today this couldn’t be further from the truth. Going to the movies by myself is one of my favorite activities. I love it. I don’t have to plan a screening around someone else’s schedule, I can tweet snarky things at my leisure, and I don’t have smell someone’s disgusting bucket of popcorn. I can get in and get out with limited hassle. When my life became very hectic and stressful during the last few months of 2011, the movies became a great refuge for me. It was the only place I found peace and quiet.

I saw 11 of these movies by myself. Each time was glorious.

5. I found new ways to be a grown up.

Last year, I went to every winery in New Jersey. This year I stopped eating Ramen noodles. Therefore I am now an adult.

Clearly

6. I embraced the Year of Penny.

So 2011 was rough. I basically gave up on 2011 being a good year around October. But 2012 has been infinitely better. Once I embraced a sitcom’s subplot as my mantra, stopping worrying about everything, and became just a little bit selfish, things started working out.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKDyDfogBaQ]

So far, my twenties have been filled with too many ups and downs. I’ve been told that more ups and downs are on the way. And I am praying my life stops looking exactly like an episode of Girls. But for right now, I am less of  a crazy woman, my hair has stopped falling out, and my cat is awesome . These are good things.

Ew. I don’t like all this positivity. I am going to watch an Elvis movie and tweet snarky things now.

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