Summer Love Playlist 2016.8

Here is my most recent playlist. While most of them focus upon a time in my life this one more seems to focus around a person in my life, Half Elegant (previously known as R). We were involved for 3 months, most of this time I wasn’t really into it. I was trying to find a balance between friends and lovers, we clearly weren’t friends and I didn’t feel like she was a lover. The balance was never reached. This is why the cd is being release now, it’s the end of an time period, the time period I call “Summer Love.” I can’t say this title isn’t ironically named, but I will confirm that “love” is a complicated thing with our without quotes around it.

1. Totally Confused – Beck

This is what I listened to at the end of Half Elegant and my relationship. Melancholy, raw, disorienting (other songs on the album highlight this). This is how I felt.

2. Skinny Love – Bon Iver

I first heard this in the Wire Tap episode Never Say I Love You. The episode has a segment about people in love, without their lover anymore. People holding on, struggling, feeling sad, and still feeling love. It is followed up by this song. I started to cry when I was biking home, I started to feel. Half Elegant made it hard for me to feel she just wanted too much. Now that we are apart I am able to feel what I wanted without holding back, finally. And I biked home listening to this on repeat while getting teary eyed and feeling love.

3. Betty’s Bomb Shell – Group Love

Earlier in the day (months ago) I felt awful, I tried to cut myself with my work keys, they weren’t sharp enough. I went back to work and when I finally left work I felt the same way. I looked incessantly at the ground looking for a piece of broken glass. When I finally found one I found out just how dull glass from the side of the road is, so I kept biking. I stopped in Arsenal Park and sat on the ground. I thought about what I should cut myself with while listening to this song. I played it over and over again and finally I found a pepsi can. First using the tab, then using a small piece of the side of the can I repeatedly cut small cuts horizontally on my arm. This is the biggest cut on my arm and it happened whilst listening to this song.

4. Signs of Love – Moby

I can’t remember when I listened to this song, but it is one of my favorites. It reminds me of staring at the sky and smiling while listening to another Moby song, it reminds me of biking along the river in Philly and crying to Moby. It’s happy, it’s sad, it’s melancholy, it’s real.

“I fly so high,Then fall so low”

5. It’s Only (feat. Zyra) – Odesza

I am long boarding on Ellsworth near Oakland. I am singing this song so loud. I’m singing this song to Trish, to Kelly. I’m singing this song loud and proud and I feel good, I feel sad.

I’m again on my longboard, it’s 2am and I’m back at it again, I’m in Oakland singing and carving.

6. Not In Love (feat. Robert Smith) – Crystal Castles

Half Elegant gave me this song. She listened to it after we broke up the first time after “dating” for a few days. We listened to it under 40th st Bridge and Half Elegant banged her head all around. She jammed to it when she was drunk and I came over. We were in the hallway of her house where there is a built in shelf that holds records and the music player. The lights were mostly out and she danced like a maniac. This is our song.

7. Sorry – Beyoncé

There are countless memories around singing this song. The one that is most recently and strong in my memory is with Half Elegant. It was the day we hung out with Jesse and tried to go to the pool. She was an ass. We were driving her home to drop her off and this song. I felt this song. I felt pissed at Half Elegant. As I drove my arms were out stretched leaning on the steering wheel with my middle fingers up.

“Middle fingers up, put them hands high, Wave it in his face, tell him, boy, bye”

8. No Role Modelz – J. Cole

“Don’t save her, she don’t wanna be saved.”

This is the lyric I heard when I felt Half Elegant trying to save me. This is why I started listening to this song. That isn’t exactly what Half Elegant was trying to say, but I’m still singing I don’t wanna be saved.

9. For Free (feat. Drake) -DJ Khaled

The beat caught me on this song, while driving around Fight for Fifteen workers to go to their conference. The song also constantly reminds me of Half Elegant. I must admit sex with her was the best sex I’ve ever had by a long shot. So good I thought I should pay her, especially cause she had no income for a while.

10. Panda – Desiigner

The beats of this song are great, the fact that he keeps saying Panda is hilarious. I first listened to this song because a Pittsburgh activist and USASer posted this on a Penn State USASer’s wall with the description, “I broke my bed while listening to this song.” That’s what I think of every time.

11. FUCKMYLIFE666 – Against Me!

I was getting gas on the Northside and I looked hot. Grey tank top, maroon tube skirt, brown knee high boots with grey leg warmers sticking out. This guy walked about 20 feet from me looked over at me and turned around. It puzzled me, but it made sense when he and his friends walked by and yelled, “that’s a dude.” I was mortified and eventually just put on my middle finger and stewed over it. The person next to me muttered, “She doesn’t have a choice.” which felt nice to hear.

I got in the car pissed and I put on Against Me! and started screaming along to them. As I was about to turn them off and then this song came on from their live album. The beginning of the song just caught me and I couldn’t stop listening.

The song also reminded me of an important fact, I had been trying my damnedest to “pass” as a woman for about 2 years. I’ve been slowly realizing I am a woman. But Against Me! reminds that I am a gender warrior. I am a woman and a man. I am here to fuck with your concept of gender. I am a trans-tomboy. As the shirt that Laura Jane Grace wears states, “Gender is over (if you want it)”

12. The Writings On The Wall – OK Go

Half Elegant gave me this song. I feel this song, this song often feels like our relationship.

“It seems like forever since we’ve had a good day, the writings on the wall
But I just wanna get you high tonight, I just wanna see some see some pleasure in your eyes”

I would listen to it most when I was sad. Because OK Go was staying to me, that it’s horrible, yes it is, but “I just wanna get you high tonight.”

My most recent memory and the one besides watching drunk Half Elegant dancing to this song is as follows. Half Elegant biked off in an agitated hurry to go no where and I stopped. I couldn’t handle the frustration she was expressing towards me so I stopped biking. Instead I listened to this song. I felt sad I was having a hard day and I just wanted to get high tonight, to feel some pleasure. Half Elegant came back and said in a accusatory tone, “Why are you listening to that song? Are you trying to say something? You know that’s a break up song.” The next day we broke up for the second time.

13. I Hate Hate – Reagan Youth

This song is amazing to sing along to. I song along to this endlessly along the bike path. I remember biking up past Millvale on the bike path, I remember biking down to the northside on the bike path, all the while I would sing this song for the haters. Because I hate HAAAAATE!

“I as in M, E, Fucking Me, Hate as in H, A, T, E, Hate… HAAAAAATE!

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6/16: A Day Filled With Despair and a Bicycle Crash as experienced by Jenny

I wake up early at R’s she’s still sleeping. I think about how I’ve hardly gone to work this week. It’s Thursday I should to go today, for the money, and to finish the two projects I’ve been working on. As I lay in bed thinking about this I slowly begin to fully awaken. Eventually I’m awake and energized enough to leave.

I’m at my house before 7am, I shower and shave, dry off and meditate. I’m already half way through my morning routine. I’m relieved because it’s been hard to complete this routine in it’s entirety and I think I’m going to complete it and get to work before 9. I’m on fire! Except when I’m done meditating I don’t have the energy to get up for my meditation cushion… I don’t have the energy to leave my room.

I sigh, frustrated and disappointed I know what’s going to happen now and not much can stop it. I lay in bed half dressed and sleep for 2 more hours. I can’t sleep anymore I can’t really do anything so I just lay in bed. I text R, she doesn’t respond, looks like just me and the bed today! At 11:30 my mom calls to finalize her plans for her visit this weekend. This distracts me enough to get me out of bed. I make breakfast while talking to her on the phone. Egg sandwich and a fruit smoothie. My morning routine is complete as I finish eating my breakfast in bed.

I text R again, she hasn’t responded I hope it’s because she’s actually doing something. I get a response this time, she is also home, she’s also not doing anything. she wishes she could apply for jobs but her computer doesn’t work. Mine wasn’t working last night either but I fixed it this morning. I’m glad that I did because as I text her, “Now it’s easier to kill time.” “I want to kill time dead right now.”

R suggests distracting myself by reading or yoga. I realize I don’t know where my library book is so I decide to listen to a podcast. She’s right it distracts me enough that I find my way out of bed, not yet out of my room but I’m half way there.Then R asks me if I want to donate plasma today. It used to be a ritual of ours every Tuesday and Thursday. but I’ve been deferred recently and didn’t have time last week to donate because of work. I don’t want to donate but I do want to leave the house and accomplish something today.

spots at 4

A half an hour later we meet in the park just as the rain begins. We wait for it to slow in a gazebo. Our appointment is at 4, we have to get there by 4:30 or we aren’t going to be able to donate until at least 5pm. It starts to rain again, R doesn’t have a fender and her ass is getting covered in mud.

When we get off the bike path we keep getting split up taking slightly different routes and them finding each other again before splitting up once more. We’re almost there and it begins to rain harder. The rain is coming down and the wind is blowing. I turn around to see R take a side street, she’s going the back way. I’m jealous and wish I was taking back alleys. I’m on the sidewalk on Western ave. It’s a nice wide sidewalk with no pedestrians and better than my other option to the right, a long line of traffic going the same direction as me. Well at least that’s what they’re trying to do. They are facing that direction but I wouldn’t say they are really moving.

I look ahead and see a silver car’s front bumper emerging from behind a building onto the sidewalk, right in front of my path. I press down on my brakes, but I’m only feet away at the car at this point and combination of the rain and my poorly adjusted brakes only slow me down and I keep getting closer to the car. I stare at the front bumper and decide where to aim. I’m going to aim for the front bumper just to the left of the lights. I’m going to hit it with a slight right angle so I’ll bounce slightly to the right enough that i won’t go in the road but I also won’t slam into the car at a 90 degree angle.

I’m on the ground
I’m standing up with my bike between my legs.
I see the driver get out and run around the back of her car. I hear people asking if I’m okay and don’t know where there voices are coming from. I look to my right and some people in the long line of cars have their windows rolled down.

The driver of the car I hit runs around the side of her car. She’s in her 40s, glasses, black hair in a pony tail, baggy white t-shirt on. She looks like she didn’t really get dressed today. She’s manic right now.

She asks me if I’m okay and if I’m hurt what feels like a dozen times. I stare at her blankly and say, “I’m fine.” one time.
“Are you sure?”
I feel my body moving my arms and legs and briefly looking down at my legs. I have a two cuts on my right knee and a scrape on my left ankle. My arms feel fine, my legs don’t hurt at all. “I feel fine.” I just want to leave, I’m a block away from the plasma place and I just want to go meet R there. I don’t want her waiting in the rain wondering if I got hit by a car.
Someone walks across the street from the bus stop and asks me if I’m alright, I can’t see their face but still respond, “I’m alright.”
The woman asks again, “Can I give you a ride somewhere? I’d really like to give you a ride somewhere, where do you need to go?”
“I’m just going right there,” and point two blocks away to the plasma place, “I’m fine.”
“Are you sure, I’d really like to give you a ride.”
“I’m fine”.
“Is your bike alright?”
I glance down at my bike and try to remember what to check, I can’t remember but I tell myself I checked the handlebars to see if they were twisted I tell myself they weren’t, and then I pick up the front of the bike and kick the front wheel to see if it spins alright. It’s got a slight wobble, the kind of wobble you get if you hit a curb hard or get in minor car crash, fine but needs tuned soon. “Yeah it’s fine.” I reply dismissively.

I just want to leave. I don’t want to be here anymore I’m surrounded by people who are all staring at me I just want to go see R. I don’t like it here. “Are you sure you don’t want a ride? I’d like to give you a ride.”
“I’m fine, I’m almost to where I am going.” I begin to back up to leave. She walks back around the back of her car and before she opens the door I say. “Thanks for stopping to check if I’m okay.” I had to be polite and tell her that, too many drivers hit cyclists and drive away. I appreciate that she didn’t make me a hit and run.

I get to the plasma place and R isn’t there yet. It starts pouring down rain and this wind starts blowing so I wait around the corner of the building occasionally checking the bike rack for R. I’m soaked, and a drop of blood is trickling down my right leg. Finally R arrives and we lock up our bikes.

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The Holidays

This holidays, since I’m still not working, I travelled all over and had a great time seeing everyone. Firstly I went to Philly, then State College and finally a solo backpacking trip on the Laurel Highland Hiking Trail. I’ll briefly tell y’all about all my trips and show some pictures.

Philly was nice, I saw all the friends I had hoped to and updated them all about my news of going on hormones and that (starting this Friday!). I also got to tell my Aunt and Uncle I was transitioning who were quite supportive. I even got to see a good friend from my first year of college and spent the solstice sunrise with her.

Sunset in Fishtown, Philadelphia

Sunset in Fishtown, Philadelphia

I spent the solstice in Philadelphia and spent most of my time in a brick cabin of sorts called “the compound” owned by Half Dread. It has a rain water collection system, electricity and a wood fire to heat it. The day of the solstice I spent time at Philly Aids Thrift and lots of time meditating in the sun. That evening I was with Guac for a while and even got to see Juju briefly. Anxiety overtook me that night and when I saw the sunset I felt myself working through and flushing out old problems. It was a cathartic experience and has made me exciting for 2015 a year of powerful enlightenment, awakening and openness.

Sunrise in Philly - exhausted and relieved

Sunrise in Philly – exhausted and relieved

Next was State College. I saw mostly my immediate family, it was especially nice to have my brother there. He missed x-mas last year, which while it’s not an important holiday for most of us it felt like the conscious choice of work over family. My family worked on calling me my new taken name and worked a little on using female pronouns too. This felt validating as though I was transforming into a woman in their eyes, and in my own.

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My final trip was to hike along the Laurel Highland Hiking Trail (LHHT). It’s the same trail that I hiked over Thanksgiving and I was happy to hike it again. This was the most intense of all the experiences. Including two opposite by equally astounding experiences.

The first being hiking two days to come upon a winter paradise. Suddenly there are houses covered in snow, even their roofs (there was no snow to be seen where I was hiking). People are skiing from house to house and then I see a ski lift. I’m at Seven Springs Ski Resort. I laugh and take a silly selfie and continue hiking. Whereupon I realize this is only the beginning, the LHHT cuts directly across multiple ski slopes. From serene woods to dodging skiers and snowboarders. I hike across the slopes taking a couple of pictures as I laugh at the insanity of what I am doing. Finally after 20 minutes in this winter paradise I quietly return to the woods.

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Now my third and final day. I decided that morning to cut my trip short early because there is freezing rain, I forgot my rain pants and I’m running low on food. I spent the day wandering adjacent trails in Forbes State Forest. The weather is beautiful with everything coated in a thin layer of ice. After hiking for several miles I realize I want to bike back to my car (I dropped of a bike two days hike out so I could ride back to my car). I also realize that I am lost and can’t comprehend where I am on the map. Luckily I see my footprints in the ice and simply retrace them. Three miles later I make it back to my bike and realize I have 20 miles left to bike.

At this point I am tired and woozy and have been for the last two miles of hiking. I eat two chocolate bars and start biking. First I bike down Laurel Hill, peak elevation 2,994ft, on Route 31. Next I bike up and down a series of hills on some back roads before turning onto Route 653. At this point I am exhausted and my pants are drenched, I can even feel the water sloshing around in my boots. I reach pinnacle after pinnacle as I climb the mountain where I parked my car. Having just read Start Where You Are by Pema Chodron (I’ll talk more about this soon) I try to stay focused on the present and not let my mind wander.

This experience is wet, exhausted and laden with mild muscle pain. Not as bad as I imagined. The whole experience was actually beautiful, being present in the now even if it is miserable it calming and fun. After miles up hill I start seeing fog and familiar signs. I make it to the summit in a state of serene peace. I was very present and remained so the following day.

A wonderful end to my trips and a great memory to have as I embark on my job search and continued quest for my true self.

Some small steps are huge

Small slow steps when I’m ready and feel comfortable. That’s how I’ve been expressing myself and the woman I am. But the small step of wearing a bra, has opened my options and altered my reality. I’m happy to think of myself and my acts as womanly and happy to put the word of my last blog entry into action. Confidence in who you are can lead to a world of change.

After wearing dresses around the house, and bras around the house I decided to stop hiding and take my clothing choices outside. My first day was going to the GLCC in a bra and a dress. The responses I got riding all the way downtown: minimal if any, I was almost disappointed. I’m used to people telling me I’m a dude or receiving weird stares. Instead I didn’t get any and didn’t look to see if anyone was, because I didn’t care.

Nov 7 2014

I was comfortable with who I am and didn’t need any validation. I was quite anxious but it ended up being for nothing. So I continued, wearing a bra the following three days. One of those days I had stubble from the previous day and had to talk to numerous people when running errands. Again, no one cared.

Reflections, that’s all people are. They reflect your insecurities and you reflect theirs. We are all too in our own head to see what is actually occurring around us, our world is the only world we see and everything revolves around our head. As soon as you are comfortable with yourself so is everyone else. It’s hard to believe but it’s true. Only a few people will have the courage to say anything to a confident person. When you see someone acting as though it’s normal it must be, right?

Months ago I saw people spray painting these lovely ladies on the road.

Wearing orange construction vests, they frantically spray painted their cardboard stencil before moving it and the cones out of the way so that cars could pass. It was 11 am on a weekend and they painted at least a hundred of these all over Pittsburgh and no one stopped them because they acted as though they were supposed to be there. Cars simply waited for them to finish and went on with their business. I knew they weren’t supposed to be there and I knew that people did this thing, yet even I was convinced by their confidence.

If people can spend hours spray painting bike lanes on the road and not get in trouble then anyone can wear a dress, bra, beard or whatever you want with the same amount of confidence with little harassment. So far I’ve gotten none. And the worst I’ve gotten is a WTF face that went away as soon as they realized I was serious. If you believe it, it’s true. And very few people will have the confidence to say otherwise.

With transwomen being beaten and injured occasionally in the news I originally felt fear and anxiety on every street. But I have since realized the scarcity of these occurences. I’m wary of this happening, but I’m more concerned with being happy and confident with who I am. I’m happy to say that this increases each day. I feel like a women when I put on tights, bras and dresses, but I also feel like a woman when riding my bike, taking out the trash and doing so many other acts. The mask is starting to come off and she’s starting to come out. Second life here I come, excited to live it as the woman I’ve always been.

States that begin with an I, and some that don’t

Captain Andirus and myself recently went on a trip out to some of the I states. Crossing through Ohio and West Virgina, we finally made it out to visit Anthro Cook, Majesty, The Durn and an unexpected trip to Madison. The trip was quick fun and relieving to finally see this farm of sorts that Majesty works on. Everyone seems to be doing pretty well, everyone was very welcoming of the new me, oh and I can’t forget all the delicious food.

Our first stop is Anthro Cook who now lives in Champagne Illinois with his wife who both work at University of Illinois. They got lucky and found a program that hired the both of them for the same department. They live in a pretty nice house in suburbia right now until they feel out where they’d want to buy a house. Champaign/Urbana is very nice, wide streets, nice campus, but there isn’t a hill in the entire place. No, not even a little one, it is flat flat flat. This is where my dad went to town and while he loved the program he was in he hated the town. I think the town has improved somewhat since, but it certainly hasn’t gotten any hillier since then.

And of course can’t forget the most important part about Illinois, corn. Like the Morrow Plot the second oldest continuously used crop rotation plots, first planted in 1876. Corn matters so much here that then built the library underground because the didn’t want to shade the Morrow Plot.

Morrow Plot

Anthro Cook caught us up on life in Canada, South Carolina and expressed much more glee in living in Illinois, not nearly as cold or racist. And he obviously didn’t and never disappoints with the food and cooked us both delicious food that filled us to the brink every day. It was great to see him, hopefully it won’t be another three years before the next time.

Next stop was outside of Iowa city, The Durn’s house. A favorite, awesome anth professor of many and his equally radical wife who was managing editor of Voices of Central Pennsylvania (progressive magazine in SC). I also hadn’t seen them in 3 years and was happy to know that I was one of the several students The Durn had hoped would visit him. He was on some medication for a recent brain surgery and was a bit slower moving. But he gave a couple of impassioned rants and his wife made up for him by being super talkative and a great tour guide of their property. The property was very cool and large. They are working on bringing back some prairie land from invasive species and planting some fruit trees and a nice garden. We had a great time with them, spending our first night drinking with them and some other middle-aged ladies, wasn’t even a tad weird rather it was a great great time.

After a night and day at The Durns we finally saw Majesty, who (to our relief) wasn’t starving or beaten down but happy and upbeat as he planned his housing situation for the winter in Iowa. The stories of Versaland got scary the closer we got, describing a Lord of the Flies type farm with everything but the pig heads on sticks. The following day we saw the school bus Majesty was living in and all the trailers and all the trees that had worked to plant at Versaland. We met their fearless leader, The G Man, and all the other guys staying on the farm.

The farm was very nice, with a lot of cool projects being headed up by The G Man. The two other farm workers were very nice and friendly and The G Man was very intense but cool, the type of person who would buy a school bus and let Majesty live in it. Sadly our schedules didn’t align so we only spent a little time with The G Man but he certainly has a bunch of innovative projects going on there, and most of them are right up Majesty’s alley.

Versaland Parking

Bus

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Our furthest destination was Madison, Wisconsin. This is where Big S went to school and I completely understand why she tried to go to grad school there too. The town is very spacious and not at all cramped like State College. There are tons of bike lanes and even more people biking around. I swear they even have more trees than Dark Forest, or at least just as many. And then we stayed at Nottingham, a coop on the edge of one of their two huge lakes. The place is beautiful, so beautiful. I even considered moving there for a couple of days, especially after hanging out with the people at Nottingham and after being offered a job at a bike shop that was a huge version of the shop in my basement.

On the way home we stopped at Anthro Cooks again, and made it back home to Pittsburgh the following night. What a whirlwind of a trip, I must say that Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin have it going on. Though Illinois is really really really flat, and most of Iowa isn’t to hilly either.

Current Summer Plans

I’ve been frustrated and over worked at my job at the bike shop, and now I’m doing something about it. I’m currently saving $3000 for travelling and life expenses after I quit bike world for good! Plans are going well so far and I should be quitting in the end of July. Then I can work on finding myself and being myself and seeing so many great friends all over the country!

Right now my plan is to ride the Greater Allegheny Passage (GAP) on my bicycle down to D.C. and then up to Philly. There is a USAS Alumni event so I’ll go back down to D.C. for that and then I suppose I’ll shoot up to State College and back to Pittsburgh before my longer distance car trip. I’m guessing this trip should take me most of August to complete.

The car trip is much more tentative. I may or may not being going with Captain Andiris. And the trip will first go to Ann Arbor, Michigan where a friend recently moved, then to visit Majesty on an Iowa farm. Next stop is Colorado where Beer and Malibu live as well as the Intern. I’m hoping to borrow one of these people for a short side trip somewhere. After that I have no plans.

I don’t need to look for a job until at least November. And I hope to use that time to transition into a job that fits me more and a job that I enjoy quite a bit more. I’m currently thinking about doing working in the LGBT community. That would also encourage me to truly embrace and learn more about my trans self. But that’s not at all what I’m thinking about.

Instead I’m thinking about biking down to D.C. and thinking about visiting friends, exploring pittsburgh and lolly gagging around. I’ve had responsibilities for over two years now time to have none for a few months. Just pure unadulterated freedom.

Book Review: The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter

My Mom gave me the book The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them Now a few months ago. After getting the courage to read it the whole way through I discovered a great deal and it has propelled me to move forward with my life.

The book is by psychologist, Dr. Meg Jay. She seems to have wrote the book after realizing how many of her clients had misunderstandings of what their twenties were all about and found themselves caught in ruts unable to move forward with their lives. My Mom gave me the book to help me get out of the ruts I was in and to get the most from my twenties. She is really into reading and understanding these things through books and has given me books before about finding out what I want to do with my life. I haven’t gotten around to reading most of the books she gave, but I’m happy I made it through this one.

I started reading this book and put it down after a chapter because it freaked me out too much. At the time there was a couple of other things haunted my thoughts and the last thing I needed was to think about how I wasn’t seizing my twenties. After a long hiatus I finally picked the book up and was able to read it all the way through despite the stresses it brought me at times.

The book talks about people’s twenties by examples of Dr. Jay’s clients. They each have something holding them back or making them unhappy. From working crappy jobs to dating crappy people. Dr. Jay explains a great deal of the twenties and how to enjoy them and make a good solid life for yourself.

One of my favorite clients is Ian, the bike mechanic. He doesn’t want to enter the real world (much like myself) and instead is working a job he doesn’t get satisfaction from. He in particular helped me realize that I need to break out of this rut and move on with what I actually want to do.

Ian viewed himself as being in an endless ocean, he didn’t seem to know where he came from and what he did enjoy doing and didn’t have any idea where he wanted to go in life. I felt much the same way, I had tried community organizing and hated it and found myself lucky enough to know how to work on bikes and be able to use that as a backup job. That backup became a real job and I found myself in the very same ocean. Until I had the courage to look at what I had wanted to do before, what I enjoyed as a kid and still enjoy today.

I spent the weekend in my home town stewing about all of this. I talked to old friends and professors and began realizing what I actually want to do with my life, counselling. This is something that I enjoy doing with friends and have been passionate about for a while. This book was instrumental in this realization and it will assure that I take steps towards this goal.

Before all of this I figured I was feeling things no one had felt before and related only to other people trapped in the same situation. But that isn’t true. Everyone who is thirty made it through their twenties and I’m sure they loved it but I’m sure it was also hard for most of them. My Mom reminded me of this fact when she once again told me the story of how she worked at a bank after college. It wasn’t until she took the leap into joining what is now called AmeriCorps that she broke into doing what she enjoyed. I finally understood this story and how difficult (and fun) being in your twenties really is for just about everyone.