uncle

This one goes out to the people who never quit. photo 3

The people who stick it out. Who stay around. Day after week after month after year. The dejected soldiers of routine, they trudge on through a grey world, where they are bound like prisoners of their own resilience.

And yet, you never hear the freaking end of their ongoing, monotonous, self-absorbed victimized battle. They play their perseverance to their insipidly toneless cause like a never-ending song on the most out of tune piano ever. Look what I’m putting up with! Listen to what I’ve been going through! Look at me! Feel bad for me!

And I’m unfortunately about to lay some real life truths down right now. For the love of all that is various social media cries for attention, please stop complaining and make a freaking move already. Stop venting about a situation that you have the ability to change. Quit. Just quit! Quit whatever you are doing that is making you so very unhappy that you feel the need to fill each space that you are in with your incredibly palpable negative attitude.

You want to know why I can say this stuff? Because by all definitions, I am a quitter. I couldn’t take the heat. I couldn’t weather the storm. I couldn’t handle the pressure. Whatever cliche you want to staple to my forehead, go the hell ahead. Seriously. Label me a quitter. A loser. A drop-out. A failure. Nothing anyone can say about me is anything worse than what I’ve already at one point labeled myself.

But here’s the difference between you and me. While you’re out weathering the storm, fighting the good fight, keep on keeping on-ing, I’m actually enjoying my life whereas you’re just surviving yours. I’m over the labels that you create your very identity by. Because guess what? I could quit a hundred more times and no one’s really going to be sitting at home thinking, man that Meg, she just doesn’t have her shit together. And you want to know why? Because we’re all way too self-absorbed in our own quittings and winnings and self-actualizations to even consider how many wrong turns someone else is really taking.

One day, I hope you wake up and make your happiness your number one concern. Follow what gives you joy. Because if you do that, and stop worrying about fullfilling some societal unspoken code to follow through at some shit job you hate that’s essentially a dead-end gig full of people who could care less what your next career move is, maybe you won’t be such a kill-joy to the people who surround you who DO want you to succeed. Maybe you’ll actually be, I don’t know, happy! What a novel idea.

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So go on, say what you want about me. But I get shit done in my own way. I do what’s best for me. I know myself. I know when to keep fighting and when it’s time to move on.

I’m always moving. I’m always thinking. I’m planning and plotting and considering my next step and then you know what? I’m taking it. If I don’t like something, I stop doing it. If I’m good at it, I pursue it. But you won’t see me sitting around complaining and moaning about something I have the power to change. You’re going to see me going after it, or leaving it behind. And if that makes me a quitter, so be it.

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To all the people who never quit, this one’s for you.

m

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gimme the beat.

Friends, lovers, strangers, random men who are reading this from Tinder–

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(Not to be confused with the hacked app)

Every single day, I have about 300 bizarre ideas pop into my head. Most I keep to myself. Some are far-fetched entrepreneurial plans that I know I will never put into action. Many are songs. Some are stories. Often, it’s an outfit or a food that I desire. (Just now even, I left this post to make myself some pickle toast. Which is toast with pickles on top. No, I am not pregnant or high. Yes, it IS delicious!)

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I have book ideas, and television show plots, and intricate plans to win the affections of Evan Peters from American Horror Story (who I know is blonde and that’s UNNATURAL and feminine or something but I’m into it, so buzz off), little lists to read certain books, sad nostalgic letters I write to previous friends, sudden reminders to call so-and-so back, grandeur pitches to editorial heads of magazines and online publications showcasing my writing wit and lengthy, limitless train of ideas. All aboard the Maggie Express, we’re going nowhere, and we’re going fast. 

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Sadly, most of my ideas, never see screen. They are passing shooting stars in the galaxy of my sleepy brain and on the verge of awakening, I quite often lose them to consciousness. It is a sad reality of having a head like a 25-cent grocery store sticker machine. Full of one-dimensional, glittery viscid cursive typography that never get to see the light of day. 

However. Sometimes! I have an idea and it sticks. Actually, it’s more like it bounces. With rhythm. I can tell a really good idea by its bounce. I’ll forget it for a second. A day. A week. But it keeps coming back. To the beat. That beat in my head.

 

 Today marks year 3 of LeftoversFromFriday. It is still the longest relationship I’ve ever had. I read back through old entries, reading 22-year-old Meg, gives me a certain clarity that I’ve made a lot of bad decisions in order to reach better ones. I read her hope that we can keep college alive, by living each day as if it’s a glory day. And I appreciate her near-sighted cliche adorable idealism, but 3 years later, I can confirm she is missing the big idea here. 

And that is that, you really can do everything you want to do. You really can ‘live the dream’. The problem is nailing that dream down. Keeping the sticker stuck. Permanently inking that idea to your forearm and looking at it everyday. Bouncing it again and again off your head until you have a rhythm you never get sick of and never want to stop playing. And eventually putting whatever it is onto some paper (paper of course, being whatever canvas you choose).

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Yes, therein lies the problem for many of us. The whole WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE/WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO seemingly endless limitless unanswerable question that used to keep me up in the middle of the night, burrowing into my brain like a sickening slow-moving ambitious virus that was the reason for and bane of my existence. The unbearable reality that I was wasting my youth, while also simultaneously not enjoying it the way I should be because I was so worried I was wasting it while also acutely aware that there were others my age doing bigger and better and more successful things, while I was simply wondering what it is I should be doing in the first place. 

Perhaps the problem is that our parents told us we could be anything. Maybe they should have told us we would all be disappointed, and therefore we’d all be satisfied. Imagine our ambition and drive and direction, if we all met our expectations by not meeting expectation! It’s economic inception. It’s the career-related matrix. I’ve discovered the loophole! Call Obama! Anyway.

I’m one of the lucky ones. I’ve always known that writing is something that gives me energy and a high on a level that is far beyond “traits and skills you might have for -insert this job here-” I’ve always been very aware of my strengths and weaknesses. What I don’t and do want. 

But still, I’ve struggled with what degree I want to pursue my creative side. And how? And when? And where? It’s not so simple saying you want to write it turns out. It’s certainly a big step. But it’s like finishing a flight of stairs and your entire career is the Eiffel Tower and you don’t even know why you’re in Paris and you haven’t eaten and some foreign guy keeps shoving flowers in your face but when you take one he yells at you in french and you’re like ok I’ve definitely seen you on tinder before and you totally speak english, asshole. 

 

…Mass confusion. Everyday. Even if you don’t want to pursue something creative, you know what it’s like. Like I was supposed to be someone by now. I was supposed to have my shit a little more together. A little more direction. I certainly know that feeling well. Has it stopped me yet? Have I hung up my hat and settled for administrative purgatory and just writing in my diary on the side? Hell no. 

I have a lot of ideas. A lot of creative thoughts that surge through me every single day. But recently, I’ve been noticing a pattern. A distinct beat. A rhythm for a particular idea.

And that is that I’m very skilled at not only believing I’m on a path of finding my own dream and pursuing it, but also encouraging and believing that you all will find yours. If that’s really what you want. I think we are a generation that despite economic and employment disappointment, despite absurd outstanding debt from the colleges that were supposed to get us our “dream jobs,” despite being supposedly surrounded by others who society would have you believe to be doing and making more, refuses to settle. I think the previous generation often sees this as laziness and entitlement but I disagree. 

I believe that more than any generation before, we can achieve big things. We can make the big ideas in our heads our reality. You don’t have to take the first job you get out of college. Or keep the second job. Or stick with the third. Or screw it, even go to college. If you have the drive and the passion, history has shown us through successful person after successful person that a college degree and a resume of experience can be irrelevant. 

You just have to have an idea. And make that idea into a beat. And turn that beat into a rhythm. And keep creating that rhythm until you find a stride that you never get sick of and never want to stop playing.

And then one day, you’ll wake up and ask yourself that same question. The one question that used to wake you up in the middle of the night.

What do you want to do?

And you’ll answer, well.. I’m doing it.

And the beat goes on…

Happy 3 years-

m

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.

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

…This is not about breakfast.

So here’s the thing.

I don’t really have a plan anymore. I had one. And believe me, it was flawless. A 10-step guide to taking over the planet. A tutorial to world-domination. “The how-to-make-it-as-Meg-blueprint: your sure-fire way to making your mark today.”

But it since has come to a spluttering, potentially flammable, possibly explosive, ground-shaking, earth-quaking, full-throttled, club-light flashing, seizure-inducing, spoon-bending stop.

…Houston/Maggie, we have a problem.

Here’s the issue as it stands. Perhaps you can relate. Also– I’m hungry so everything I say after this point will have subtle food undertones. Adjust your metaphorical imagination accordingly.

As someone merely waddling through this time in my life, hap-hazardly making ends meet and throwing my omelette of existence onto the societal skillet in a way I hope will be appetizing and more importantly, edible; I feel I can confidently say, often the best ‘laid’ plans end up giving us lesson-related salmonella poisoning.

In other words, if you got a bunch of eggs in a basket, and you’re like MAN, I am going to go home and make a bomb-ass omelet with all these delicious eggs, and then you get home and realize, actually… these are kind of like chicken abortions. That’s kind of gross/sad. Also full of mucus. I can’t eat these! I should really bury them. BUT THEN you’re already like BUT I got these eggs for my omelet! I gotta commit man. I got to keep with my plan. And I should eat them because I said I was going to. And so then you do anyway, and then you get really sick and almost die. And you’re like shoot. I should have just had oatmeal, yo! There is no animal byproduct in that and I wouldn’t be on my death bed right now from chickens that never got to form actual bodies. Sigh.

….THAT, my friends, is life lesson-related salmonella poisoning.

And the above is an example of what happens when we’re so passionate to the point of borderline delusion to committing to a path we think is so very clearly laid out in front of us. And we’re so convinced it’s the right one, because we want so desperately to be on some path, any path, DIRECTION IN GENERAL that we often misread the signs RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR FACES telling us that yo, b/t dub kid, this cereal ain’t lookin’ like what the packaging promised.

And maybe that’s because we don’t really even want cereal anymore. Maybe we never wanted cereal in the first place. Maybe we want a breakfast burrito and we’re just trying to be healthy and eat something with a lot fiber instead but really honestly who actually enjoys eating bran?

And we’re all sitting here, crunching along like a good adult does, 5 chews on each side, thinking about political issues and our utility bills and being a professional and swallowing and thinking, Wow. I can actually feel myself getting more boring. I can actually feel this cereal sucking the happiness out of me. I don’t like this cereal. Why am I doing this?

And maybe some people can eat the cereal continuously day-after-day, week-after-week and really come to enjoy the texture, and the taste, and the benefits that come with eating a shit-ton (pun intended) of said cereal. But maybe I’m not one of those people. Maybe I’m not cut out to eat bran cereal every day.

And just like that, my plan is called into question. Who am I to bend to a breakfast system that goes against my very taste buds? Who am I to abandon my love of cheese and grease entirely for something seemingly more nutritiously responsible? I see your soybean oil, Grape Nuts! I see your made-up scientific ingredients! Your cardboard box. Your plastic bag. Your little gravely balls of evil throat-scratching fiber pellets! And I refuse to eat another bite. I’m putting my spoon down. Not in white flag defeat, but rather to pick up my napkin, tuck it under my collar and bite into my burrito in defiant treason. I am not what I eat. I am more than breakfast decisions. But I at least get to make those decisions for myself.

And so on that note, on a much bigger non-egg, non-cereal, non-breakfast related scale, I am not taking a step-back or a step-forward. I am merely sitting. Reevaluating. Regrouping and realizing that my path is not laid out before me. At any moment, I am allowed to get up from the table and change my mind.

On that note, I think I’ll go eat a burrito now.

Until lunchtime-

M