2+2=5 (I know. I don’t get it either.)

Outside patio, day-time:

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This episode in my life begins with me on my suburban home and garden patio, soaking up the midwest sun before it fades into yet ANOTHER FREAKING RAINSTORM which is becoming borderline absurd if not, at the very least, incredibly annoying to my suntan and more importantly, my hair. As the final days of my unemployment draw to close, I reflect on my crazy anti-career victory lap that went entirely too long; though now closing in on the finish line– I can see something that looks like vaguely like a purpose.

I still don’t know exactly why I’m here. I think about that a lot, knowing how much I love LA and being in a big city, and yet somehow, for some explanation, I forge ahead where I’m at. There’s reasons things don’t work out and there’s reasons things do and unfortunately (and also fortunately) those reasons only really become apparent as time goes on.

I think back to 3 years ago and graduating, when I first started writing Leftovers From Friday and what a confused little character I was. Often, I wonder just how much progress I’ve really made. I mean, if I was watching a tv show of myself right now and at the end of the 2nd season I end up back in Denver– living with my parents (the horror, really) I would be sitting on the edge of my couch in suspense. Uh, whoa Walter White. Carrie Mathison. Frank Underwood. Did NOT see that one coming! What else are you capable of? The television version of my life is plot twist after unbelievable plot twist. I can’t stop watching. Because seriously, what happens next?

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Yet, here I am. I continue to surprise, astonish, and shock even myself.

It’s the greatest show I’ve ever seen, this whole not having a 10-year or even a 5-year plan. I like to pretend I’m an hour-long drama at times, but if we’re being real, I’m just a 30-minute sitcom, with no laugh track. I’m the real-life Seinfeld, a show that’s kind of about nothing, but also applicable to everything. Hilariously, I still keep trying to make life plans despite the fact that since graduating college, since leaving formal education, pretty much nothing in my life has gone according to “plan.”

But yet, as time unfolds, as the show goes on, I’ve learned that part of figuring out life is just as much figuring out what you don’t want to do, as what you do. It’s figuring out who you can count on, as much as figuring out who you can’t. Some episodes, I let people down. Others, I’m the one whose disappointed. I’m both the villain and the hero. Because you’re kidding yourself if you think you are always the protagonist in your own story. I can be my own (and my only) worst enemy sometimes. I can destroy myself with just my thoughts. Drive myself insane when things don’t go as I wanted them to, as I expected them to. Throw down mental static interference when 2 plus 2 equals 5.

“But it’s supposed to be 4!”, I scream to no one. Usually in the shower. I was told it’s 4! 18 years of education and my entire life still equals 5 and my commitment remote is broken, and what is that even and I don’t like who they’ve cast as the male lead in this show because… oh right there is no male lead and then I’m just like ok Liz Lemon, drop the hot dog, let’s take a step back and breathe here.

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And it’s here that you find me on my patio in suburb USA. Remembering and reflecting that I can not binge-watch my entire life although god knows sometimes, I try. I can’t speak for myself in 5 years. Just like I couldn’t speak for myself 3 years ago. And maybe there will come a point where I see the point, but until then, all I can do is watch what’s in front of me.

And what’s playing in front of me right now is a new job in a completely new city. There’s going to be a whole new set of stories. And characters. And failures. And success! And personally, I think that’s a pretty good premiere episode to season 3 of Leftovers From Friday.

And so in conclusion, I don’t know about you guys, but I’m definitely going to keep watching to find out what happens next.

Rainstorm begins. Ominously? Refreshingly? Cleansingly? Forebodingly?

Regardless…end scene,

M

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dear dad

Dear Dad,

I thought for a really long time tonight what I wanted to get you for your birthday. I know you didn’t want a gift, and I know we both love gifts and honestly, it makes me a little sad to get you nothing so I thought I would write you this little letter in hopes it can be a placeholder for something much better someday when I can buy you an RV or a monkey, or a monkey-themed RV, or a lifetime supply of donuts, or a dozen Daisies (the dog, not flower… though nothing can compare to the one we already have).

And while I want to say happy birthday in the best way I know how, I also want to say how grateful and thankful I am to have a father who supports me regardless of how many times I am the human version of a run-on sentence. The kind of Dad that knows his kid is a little on the outskirts of normal town, but still makes it a point to leave a light on when I make it home.

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That I’m not your darling debutante daughter, twirling in frilly academic accolades and basking in the opportunities of the corporate career spotlight.

That I stumbled and knee-crawled through most of my formal educational hallway but the way you smiled at my college graduation let me know you were proud of me regardless of all the Pomp and Circumstance it took to get me there.

That one time when I wasn’t approved for a lease for my first apartment, you left a message on the potential landlord’s voicemail saying I was going to be a famous writer someday and then she’d be sad she missed this opportunity.

That you read an article in the newspaper by a women who had written a book about following your dreams and then you went and bought me that book and sent it to me because you believe I should do the same.

That you’ll read this, because you read everything I write because you’re very simply, my greatest fan.

That there are countless, numerous, endless other ways I could thank you for being there for me and for believing in me and that just saying Happy Birthday just doesn’t feel like enough.

And I don’t want this to get sappy and corny and like some kind of Hallmark commercial or room temperature cheese (though I know we both love both) so I will conclude on this:

My entire life people have told me you are so much like your Dad!!! And when I was little, I would be deeply offended fearing an impending inevitable lady mustache. But now I see a man who never takes no for an answer, who always gets a job done right, who makes those around him laugh effortlessly, who is confident, who is kind, who is bright and who is, above all, a good husband and a wonderful father. And I want to be just like him. Minus the mustache. 🙂

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So on that note, Happy Birthday Dad!

Thank you for being my biggest fan.

Love,

Megan

So I have an announcement….

So on top of the hugely cool honor of being published on Freshly Pressed this week… (thank you to every one who read my piece and most importantly, BELIEVES in me!)

It’s my 25th birthday! Which still isn’t my announcement, though a great day by default because birthdays (at least for me) are a time you can appreciate where you’ve been while also enjoying where you are while also looking forward to what’s ahead. Also gifts and cake because duh.

No, my announcement is something much cooler than turning 25.

So are you ready??

…It’s that this morning I was offered a job.

It’s that this morning I was offered a job.

IT’S THAT TODAY I ACCEPTED A JOB!!!!!!!!

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I don’t know how much my last piece went into getting this position but I like to think it made some difference. What I will say is that I wrote it when I was really, really frustrated and down about job searching and how difficult it is to convey to an employer that you could be worth their time, despite how little experience you have to show on a single piece of paper. But I’m so happy to say that finally someone has!

I feel like an unemployed princess in a linkedin fairytale. And now I finally am riding off into the salaried sunset. At least for today.

Can I wish myself a happy birthday? Is that acceptable? Is this not the best birthday present ever? Pinch me?

WELL. ANYWAY.

LET’S PARTY.

m

TBT: Elle Woods vs. the Haters

Dude. Love Legally Blonde. Love Elle Woods. Next to my mom and Tina Fey, she’s basically my mentor/idol and next to Harry Potter and Santa Claus, I wish she were real/my friend.

This clip though. This is all I want to share today. Along with a few words, because duh.

This is that horribly sad but also necessary to move forward realization that no matter what I do, no matter where I move, no matter what job I get, or the success I reach, or the weight I lose, or the popularity I gain.. I’m never going to be good enough for certain people!

This is the moment where you kind of break a little inside. Because dammit, if that doesn’t hurt. But it’s also at this moment, we rise to our own potential. The potential we see in ourselves, the infinite distance we can go regardless if those people believe in you or support you or don’t.

Screw them. You don’t need them. You really don’t. You may think you do, but anyone who’s in your life right now who’s going to string you around, make you second guess yourself and what you are capable of whether that’s a job or a relationship or what have you is not only someone you need to cut out of your head immediately but also someone you will be so much more successful without.

Because you may never be good enough for them. It’s true! But you know what? They’re not good enough for you. Remind yourself that every time you see them. Either you believe in me, or you don’t. Either you support me or you don’t. Either you care about me and want to be there for me, or you aren’t. There is no grey. There are no excuses here. There is no half-way communication. No last-minute indecision. No second-guessing, no lame limp noodle lack of response. If you approach every relationship as such, you will know your value every time. Simply, I can do this. You can support me. But if you don’t.. I’m still going to win.

Maybe this is corny. Maybe this is silly. Maybe it’s an Oprah moment you’d just rather not. But like hell we all don’t need to hear this at least at some point during the disappointments this life presents. And for some of you, that’s right now.

This Thursday support group brought to you by Elle Woods and all her imaginary strength. May we all take some for our own today.

 

 

An open cover letter to that person possibly reading my job application

To whom it may concern,

Thanks for taking the time to read this letter!

I assure you, at least in terms of breaking up the monotony that is hiring a new employee, it’s the best decision you’ve made today.

 I’m sure you’ve received dozens like it, promising exciting job-applicable traits like “Team-Player!” and “Hard-Working” and “Dedicated” and “Passionate!” I’m sure all of them have various examples of such traits like “That one time I saved a several hundred thousand dollar deal from falling through the cracks just because I spell-checked every word in a 200-page memo (showcasing their dedication, attention-to-detail, meticulousness, potential brilliance)” or “That other time I was involved in landing an account that you may know of by the name of HUGE TECH COMPANY (demonstrating their perseverance, persuasion, competitiveness).” I’m sure they are well-spoken individuals, promising longevity, increased revenue, innovative ground-breaking ideas, extensive connections and above all, a personality like a glowing ember, able to light up a room and provide optimistic warmth to even the darkest of situations and workplaces. 

And with such prospective candidacy, how could you possibly decide between any of us? We’re like a litter of adorable puppies begging for attention, pleading you take us all. What an incredibly difficult decision you have before you. I for one certainly do not envy your position!

And so by now I’m sure you’re wondering. Say Meg, enough about your competition. Tell me. What is it ABOUT YOU that sets you apart from all these inherently perfect corporate robotic life forms? What makes you so much more stellar in the planetarium that is our email inbox of shining super-star future employees? Why should I keep reading this letter?

Well. I’m glad you asked! Because I’ve thought awhile about my answer. And it doesn’t lie in experience. It doesn’t lie in a laundry list of personality traits, or accomplishments. In the grand scheme of things, I suppose I am the runt of the potential employment litter-box. My mark on the world is chalk-status, in that it’s visible but slightly uncertain, brush up against it and I often feel I’m just a smudge of foggy possibility. There’s never been the word manager, or senior, or executive in front of my name. I don’t have 4-5, 6-8, 10-12 years experience. I’ve never been in charge of any multi-million dollar accounts, I don’t have a masters degree, I haven’t saved any living thing from a burning building and I speak exactly one language.

So by this point I’m sure you’re thinking alright, wise gal. Wrap up the reverse psychological babble. We have a lot of people who can do all of these things waiting in the ranks. Applicant number 6 can speak 4 languages and regularly saves newborn kittens from trees. You’re out of your league here sweetheart.

And maybe I am. If it comes down to what I’ve done so far in terms of creative accomplishment, I suppose I don’t have too much to bring to the interviewing table. And that is always the struggle I suppose. The battle between what I have already done and what I could do if given the right opportunity.

And so I sign off with my one shining accolade. Potential. That is what I offer. The promise that despite my rather short resume, my youth, my inexperience, my lack of prestigious titles and lengthy accomplishments, I am untapped talent and endless capability. And I say that with absolute confidence. Without flowery statements or grandiose declarations.

Very simply, I believe in myself. And I think you should too.

But maybe that’s not you. Maybe that’s not today. Maybe this is merely as I say above, a chance to break up the tediousness in another 9-5 Monday morning. Maybe potential isn’t enough here. Maybe you need more. And that’s ok. Because someday, sometime, someone will read this and believe it. Believe me.

And then, at that point, I’ll go down to the great chalk board of life, grab a sharpie and write my name in big black permanent ink.

And that will be merely the beginning.

But in between now and then, thank you once again for taking your time to review my application and I wish you the best of luck in your search for your next great employee. May they really be all that they promise they are.

Respectfully,

M.N.R.

My bartending interview (aka how I got a reality surfboart to the face)

I’ve been meaning to tell you guys about the worst interview I’ve ever had.

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When I first moved back to Denver, aka like 1.5 months ago, which might as well be a century as far as I’m concerned because I feel like I lived in LA during a dream hosted by Katy Perry and narrated by Snoop Dogg, and keep pinching myself back to the reality of my current life, BUT ANYWAY I digress.

The interview was just 2 days after I returned from my California Girlz Dreamlyfe and I was feeling pretty proud that I nailed something down so quickly. Go team Meg! This particular establishment was at a ComedyWorks in Cherry Creek, Colorado which if you know anything about anything in Colorado, that’s just a nice way to say where rich people go and politely laugh at up-and-coming comedians. And most likely get wine drunk and hit on the bartender which is where I was supposed to come in because my brilliant plan was to serve drinks at this particular establishment while I figured out my next life steps.

I must once again emphasis how badly this particular interview went. Not to stay so topical but it actually was “comical.” In like a watch a hamster try to eat a piece of cheese on a string out of it’s reach kind of way. For reference, I’m the hamster here.

The interview went as follows:

Interviewer: “Ok, so I’m first going to tell you about the position and then I want you to name some kinds of alcohol, how to make a few drinks and then finally pour a shot for me.”

Me: *IMMEDIATE PANIC AT THE REALIZATION THAT MY MIND HAS BLACKED OUT EVERY SINGLE ALCOHOLIC BRAND EVER* “…Ok, yeah, cool.”

Interviewer: “The sound the teacher makes in Peanuts comics because no one is listening to anything they are saying…”

Me: (inner monologue). “Ok Meg. You can do this! You’ve been drinking since you were technically 18 years old. Probably before that. Sorry Mom. You can name a few brands of alcohol. How hard could this possibly be? Vodka. Ok Vodka. Svedka. Grey Goose. Uh.. Skyye? GREAT. I have vodka down. I hope he asks about vodka. Ok what about rum? Uh.. Bacardi. Captain Morgan….

Interviewer: ” So, that’s the job! Now ok these questions. Let’s start with bourbon. Can you name three brands for me?”

Dammit. What is the difference between bourbon and whiskey again? One is nicer? One is smoother? Shit. Who am I kidding? I don’t know.

Me: “Knob Creek.”

Interviewer: “Nice. That’s not one people normally name.”

Me: “My dad drinks it.” Lies. My dad drinks one kind of drink and that is Miller Lite. Which is actually kind of LAME dad. But it’s ok. I just know Knob Creek, because duh the word knob. Hilarious. Also I like the label. Minimal with a kind of vintage feel. Good work Knob Creek.

Interviewer: “Can you name any others for me?”

Me: “Uh… no?”

Interviewer: “That’s fine. How about three kinds of red wine?”

Me: “…Cabernet. Um. Uh.”

OH MY …..GOD!? This is possibly the most eye-openingly embarrassing experience in my alcohol-related adult life. I kid you not, I literally could not name 3 kinds of red wine. Am I a girl? Am I human? What have I been doing for the past 5 years? What is going on? Is this the matrix? Jesus Christ…. Would be embarrassed right now.

Me: “Sorry.. I don’t know three kinds. I mostly drink whiskey?”

Not an excuse. I know ok. But I was grasping at straws here. Melting a la frosty. Hey interviewer, do you want to build a snowman?

Interviewer: Laughs awkwardly. “Ok.. what about the ingredients in a mojito?”

Are you EFFING kidding me right now!? I don’t think I have ever drank a mojito in MY ENTIRE LIFE. I don’t like that bitch sugar bish. Alcohol gods, why have you forsaken me?? Lord. Mercy. Help.

Me: “Uh.. no. No, I can’t.”

Well, why don’t you just wrap me up with a bow and feed me to the unemployment sharks now, asshole.

Interviewer: “… ok. Well, that’s about it! Thanks for coming in today Meg.”

Me: “Yeah, of course! When will you guys make your decision do you know?”

Why am I even asking this? I am never getting this job. Like ever. LIKE EVER.

Interviewer: “Next week sometime.” (You’re never getting this job. Like ever.)

And so concludes potentially the worst interview of my existence. I spilled out of there like a flubber. Like green toxic slime. Wow. That could not have gone worse. I’m an idiot?

And also apparently know nothing about basic?? alcohol preparation.

I got to my car and I burst out laughing. What a performance ComedyWorks! There is actually so many hilarious components to what just happened I didn’t know where to start. I guess, I mean, I wasn’t like walking in there with my alcohol pistols slinging like a bartending Annie Oakley but I’m not like an exclusive sprite drinker or anything. I drink regularly, and I’ve been to liquor stores before and ok, whatever, I get it. I’m not explaining myself to you guys. I have much to learn. And much shame.

And which I suppose this leads me to my bigger point, which if you know me at all won’t be the least bit shocking. In that, you can think you know something so well, but really you just know what you think you know and nothing more and it’s just a piece of the picture but hardly the whole truth.

For instance,  I have lived in “Denver” for almost 16 years of my life. I should know A TON about Denver right? Well… I don’t. It’s the bartending interview equivalent of previous city dwelling experience. Somehow, despite my many years of being in Colorado, I know almost nothing about Denver anything. I know the stereotypes, that flat-bills reign supreme and that everyone get stoked wearing their Merrells while drinking their micro-brew beer. And when I first came back here, it was my lack of knowledge about this city that made me so opposed to it. I assumed I knew it. I assumed I understood it. I didn’t and I don’t. And that’s a lesson in itself.

You can think you understand a job, you understand a situation, you understand a relationship. You understand your own plans, your own life. You understand an entire metropolitan city. You get it. You have the upper hand here. You’re in control. Driver seat. Walk in like Beyonce. Sit down like Jay-Z. Like a boss. But then, BAM. Knowledge Surfboart. To the face. Makes you completely reconsider and reevaluate yourself. Makes you look at everything from a new angle. Makes you realize you know nothing at all. And you just can’t help but laugh. Because life man.

And it’s good for you. Those little life zingers. Maybe I don’t have this figured out. Maybe I don’t know this as well as I could. As well as I should. And then you stand up, shake it off and then, most importantly?

Well.

3 kinds of red wine: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec.

Mojito Ingredients: Rum, Lime Juice, Sparkling Water, Sugar, Mint

Bourbon Whiskey is a kind of American whiskey, aged in a barrel, made primarily from corn. Maker’s Mark, Evan Williams and Wild Turkey are all types of Bourbon.

….just be better next time.

Cheers,

M

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Chug.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.”

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Yo Charles Dickens though right?? Who knew that dude was such an unsung hero for 20-somethings! What a bro. #RealTalkLiterature

I’ve always struggled with moderation and extremes. I’m a tale of two Megs, if you will. Either I’m on top of the world, or holding it up by my shoulders. Somedays I walk around with air under my feet, and others I can barely breathe from the pressure of the atmosphere around me. I tend to go off the deep end on my quest to keep the good times going, and it’s definitely led to the best of times. But it’s also led to the worst.

I don’t know how to sip liquid. I chug coffee. I chug water. I chug beer. I was quite a hit in college, but these days, that often ends in more pain than pleasure. I was binge-watching tv before that biz was commonplace. I’ve never been good at committing to a show on a weekly basis. I’m the original netflix series. The definitive, “But why should I wait, when I can have IT ALL RIGHT NOW??” And at the time it makes sense, it’s that instant gratification, it’s that kid in Matilda who has to eat that whole damn chocolate cake. At first he’s like eff yeah cake man! But at the end.. well it nearly kills that poor little chunk.

So as I’m sure you’ve guessed, I struggle with patience. I’m a slave to my own pursuit of the best time ever. And dammit if I don’t have a lot of fun. I’m a fun girl. Confirmed. I bet that’s an adjective you would definitely use to describe me. Oh that Meg! She’s a hoot and a half. If you say things like that. Otherwise maybe you just say, oh meg. And leave it there. That’s probably more of the truth actually. Anyway, in my constant never-ending pursuit of fun.. I’ve found myself occasionally financially, physically and yes.. emotionally drained.

Driving away from LA a month ago, after diving head first into a plan that people looked at me with awe and also concern, it finally hit me what I had done. And that’s not a bad thing. I believe in my own plan, my own destiny. But aww, perspective. You sly little bastard. The teach me how to dougie of the life lessons world.

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And if you’re wondering why there’s been radio silence on Leftovers From Friday.. it’s because this shit has been HARD. And for someone who has a sentence, a statement, a thought, an opinion on just about everything.. I can tell you that sometimes, words just aren’t enough. You just have to live through tribulation. You have to wake up some mornings and tell yourself, today is going to be a good day. And really hope and pray you are correct.

It’s been a little over a month since I moved back to Denver. I moved back with my parents in a suburb outside the city in a neighborhood that is suspiciously similar to an undercover retirement community. I’m the youngest person here and I think my existence has brought new vitality to an otherwise cookie cutter sidewalk sing-a-long that is Lonetree, Colorado. Or at least I would like to humbly think so. At the very least, my new neighbors are really benefitting from my daily shower concerts involving the entire Frozen soundtrack and an occasional Mariah Carey “All I want for Christmas is You” (A classic that never gets old regardless of season).

Another thing. I still don’t have a job. I debated sharing this as it is a major point of contention in my life right now. I mean no one LOVES getting up and going to an office and sitting in front of a computer all day. At least I sincerely hope you don’t love that. I guess if you’re a passionate graphic designer or a professional video game tester or maybe you’re in love with someone in the cubicle next to you, THEN yes ok. That’s fine. But otherwise, a job is a job is a job. HOWEVER, it’s still your livelihood. It gives you purpose in a weird way. You make money, you buy things, you do things with your friends and family, you make memories, I’m pretty much summarizing life but you get the point. It’s incredibly frustrating not having that.. structure.

But hey little fat kid from Matilda, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. You make choices. You make rash decisions. You grow impatient. You deal with the consequences.

And before you go and think this is a poor, poor pitiful meg tale, let me remind you that I’m a peaks and valleys girl. The best of times and the worst of times often go hand in hand like a really good first date. And I’m currently of the mindset that you going through hell at points in your life, because going uphill makes you appreciate the view from the top.

The most successful people in this life, in my opinion, are not those who merely had their dreams handed to them. They are not the richest or prettiest or most powerful. They were failures. They were losers. They were freaks. They made bad decisions. They said yes too soon. They went on really bad dates. They invested in situations and relationships they shouldn’t have. But they also just kept going. They kept believing the best of times was right around the corner. That the worst of times can only be for so long. And occasionally you get to sit down in front of a giant piece of cake, eat the entire thing and leave with a smile. Throw your napkin down and say you know what perspective, this time I’m going to teach YOU how to dougie.

Life is ying and yang, good and bad, best time ever and worst day yet. I hate the world today but yet I believe that tomorrow could change everything. I’m impulsive, I’m spontaneous, I’m currently STILL unemployed, I live in a sea of chain restaurants and two car garages and my roommates are named Mom and Dad but if you think this is me throwing in the towel, well then YOU, my friend, just don’t know me well enough.

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Summer is coming….

m