What NOT to say to a Depressed Person, as told by gifs

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Sounds familiar

WARNING: EXTREME SARCASM AHEAD. Not for the faint of heart.

(The absolute irony of explaining depression using gifs delights me. The juxtaposition is almost cold, isn’t it? Belittling the explanation of feelings with a pop culture reference. So postmodern. I love it.)leslie

The past few months have been some of the worst I have ever experienced. I’m not going to sugarcoat it.

The long and short: I’m moving far away to a place I don’t  think I’m supposed to be and essentially all because I broke my foot & cannot drive or work for 12 weeks (and other reasons which are too exhausting to recall.) anigif_enhanced-buzz-1787-1366753072-13

Everyone means well, but I’ve discovered how terribly difficult it is to comfort someone. I myself am not good at it–I’m too logical/don’t have a great bedside manner & people don’t like that. The past few weeks, however, have really taught me that comforting others cannot be a careless endeavor. People are really hurting & want more than empty platitudes, even if the intent is good. If I encounter someone going through the same “series of unfortunate events” I am (or just any kind of hurting at all), I’m going to try to not use these platitudes:

(note: I would never react like this to those who say these things, nor am I offended when people offer these words up to me. I appreciate every morsel of kind words! Sometimes I just overanalyze words to the point of banality.)

“Feel Better Soon!”anigif_enhanced-buzz-10455-1376413724-28anigif_enhanced-buzz-11326-1367655256-0

This is me being a grouch but…I don’t have the flu–I’m  not sick. I broke my foot. I’ll only feel better when it heals in 49853459 weeks.

“God has a plan.” 

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 I knowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

“Maybe you’ll meet your dream husband there.” 

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Barf. Please, for the love of God people, STOP SAYING THIS TO ME. When people tell me this, I simultaneously throw up/die inside. Is that really what people think I’m after? Should I start wearing a shirt that says “I’m 22 and NOT LOOKING FOR A DREAM HUSBAND, just living normally”?

The slightly less offensive cousin…”Maybe you’ll find your dream job.” 

funny-gifs-lazy-dog-eating-kibbles-off-the-floor-2anigif_enhanced-buzz-2954-1375800990-15anigif_enhanced-buzz-15828-1369272826-0Nah, I was thinking about just staying home & living out my dream to be the girl version of “Failure to Launch.”

“You have such a great attitude!” 

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 If you’ve seen “The Butler,” you’ll be able to recognize an award-winning performance when you see one. Also, positivity is/was my top strength. I try.

And…drumroll please…this is THE ABSOLUTE WORST THING YOU COULD EVER SAY. 

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“This is all for a reason.”

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chuck1 No…just…no. This is not what to say to someone when they’re going through hard times of ANY nature. Illness, devastating natural disasters, unexpected loss, you name it. If it’s any sort of unpleasant life event, it is ALWAYS inappropriate to say this. Even if true, people do not want to hear this.

So, what IS something good to say when someone you know is going through a rough patch? (Also, aren’t those gifs of Chuck Norris absolutely mesmerizing? I’m getting distracted by the synchronicity.)

Well, at least for me, just be there. We don’t even have to talk about what’s going on (I prefer that honestly) but it’s nice to have someone just checking in on you now & again. Don’t give up on those who draw away or even lash out (like with sarcastic gif posts) because they honestly need you the most. Sometimes saying nothing is the best thing. Or just praying for them–and WITH them. Let them know that when they do want to talk, you’re a safe place & won’t be “burdened” by their honesty.

Depressed people are not fun. Don’t expect other results for the time being. Sometimes it’s really hard to maintain relationships, but trust me–now more than EVER are they so vital & life-bringing.

Everyone goes through dark times,  but the very most essential antidote is knowing that you are understood & not alone. I know “it’s always darkest before dawn” but it’s hard to be sitting in pitch black wondering when the sun’s going to come up.

5 Reasons Why NOT to Online Date, as told by gifs

As part of my “Week of Online Dating” theme, unlike my hard-hitting expose coming later on this week (it’s, like, totally real journalism), here’s 5 reasons why I actually HATE online dating. 

Full disclosure: at this time in my life, I would never go on a date with someone off OkCupid or Eharmony, et al (and NEVER Seeking Arrangement, a sugar daddy site with the faaaaaint trace of prostitution). Why? I’m just 22, practically a child, and that just scares me to death! I’ve seen way too many episodes of Catfish. In a few years & once that show’s off the air, then I’ll be ready to online date–unless of course I’m dating Nev Schulman. In the spirit (and hope) of that, here’s my top five reasons to not online date:

anigif_enhanced-buzz-23118-1368686502-71. You might end up as the subject of Catfish (If so, let me pretend to be your sister to meet Nev). As a rule, I have pretty terrible luck. The kind of stuff you might see on a sitcom, but without the laugh track, redeemable 30 minutes later ending, or budget. I’d probably get Catfished immediately. (In fact, I’m pretty sure I “discovered” at least TWO fake accounts on my own.)

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2. If you build it, they will come. It meaning a profile, they meaning the CREEPIEST GUYS IN THE UNIVERSE. I am NOT kidding. Your milkshake/cleverly worded profile & tasteful photos brings all the boy weirdos to the yard.

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Like the sea of zombies attacking Brad Pitt in “World War Z,” those strange people will be falling all over you. If you have zero self-confidence, I guess maybe you could see it as nice? But no. The answer is no.  anigif_enhanced-buzz-3879-1374283869-3

I personally don’t understand why the ones who seem to be normal, attractive, and are like 90% your match aren’t as confident as the creepy guys. Is it like “Freaky Friday” every day of the week?

This is an actual photo from an actual OkCupid account

This is an actual photo from an actual OkCupid account

3. You’ll be forced to become an expert avoider. I’m not an avoidant personality type–I will say what needs to be said or be the one to go into awkward situations to fix the problem. But what in the world do you do when someone chats with you & asks to get coffee when you really don’t want to?

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I mean, YES, you could say no, but I feel so bad! So I just…avoid the question/don’t respond. This method works GREAT for every online dating scenario: when someone asks for your number, when they want to actually meet (gasp, the horror), when they ask you weird questions like “What can you work on to improve as a woman?” anigif_enhanced-buzz-28571-1374970475-22

IGNORE EVERYTHING. I know this is horrible advice, and that’s why this is a reason NOT to online date. You are forced to become what you hate.

4.  Online Dating makes dating seem like a total meat market.  Basically, you’re just online shopping for a person to be with–and you can be even MORE specific about what you what to do with that person (casual sex, pen pals (I know, weird right?), casual dating, long term dating, etc) or what you want them to look like. This isn’t real, but an automat of personality traits and physical features. I know it works wonderfully for some people, but I think everyone who online dates needs to be careful to not fall into that online shopping trap.

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It’s also easy to make it into a game & be heartless about online dating. Because there’s little “real life” contact, I always find it easy to be a total smartass and forget that these accounts are actual people. If I let myself, I become a online dating dictator, completely ignoring people if our “match numbers” are low or if they don’t have a cool profile, or any sort of little whatever.

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In real life, that’s not cool. People deserve more than virtual judgement–this is probably the biggest reason I won’t online date. I’m too immature to not be judgmental.
5. Facebook stalking is wayyyyy more fun. A few days in to online dating, the fun will wear away because there’s only so much you can do on there. Stalking “real life” people on social media will never fail or disappoint you. Never.  Plus, you can view people’s pages “invisibly”–no one will ever know!
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So, my dear friends, if you online date, may the odds be ever in your favor!
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Interviewing for a Job, as told by gifs.

When I graduated (a mere 75 days ago, but who’s counting?), I honestly didn’t think finding a job would take such a long time. I imagined that like the magical boomerang, I’d just have to send out my resume and maybe an application once, and then BAM. Something would fly right into my lap on the first try. anigif_enhanced-buzz-12707-1367877643-0

Well, that hasn’t happened. I’ve applied for dozens of jobs, sent out my resume to every agency in town, got an agent (yeah, I know), and even had to fend away a couple of pyramid schemes (which was something that Google, not LeeU, helped me recognize). Along the way, I’ve had quite a few phone interviews and some in person interviews (the holy grail of interviews). (I almost had to Skype interview once, but thank God that was cancelled. Skype freaks me out.)

Except the guy in this scenario is a job here in Nashville.

Except the guy in this scenario is a job here in Nashville.

Job hunting is not fun. Like, crazy not fun. I’ve heard it said that while unemployed, finding a job IS your job, which makes it the least desired job in the world, right after being Nicolas Cage’s hair stylist. The past 75 days haven’t been easy, but I’ve been learning a lot about myself, life, God, everything, etc, so this time has been meaningful. I’ve been also able to freelance on several awesome projects, which helps too!

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Aren’t interviews the best though? They’re like Sonic Happy Hour drinks after a long day driving in a car without AC or windows that go down (yeah, that’s my car): refreshing to the spirit. FINALLY someone replies back to the thousands of emails you send or applications submitted into the big, black void of the Internet. You’re on top of the world again! You’re ready to bring your A game & get that job!anigif_enhanced-buzz-24900-1366767851-3

Phone interviews are always somewhat awkward though, as you can’t see the other person react & gauge your responses to their body language. They’re always a bit tough for intuitive, “I talk with my hands all the time” communicators. One time on an interview, I could tell that they put me on speakerphone & then muted their end when I was talking, which was kind of intimidating. Like, you know they’re talking about you, but you can’t really do anything about it…anigif_enhanced-buzz-712-1366773375-16

In person interviews are my favorite too because I love to dress up for them (dress to impress!) and also try my absolute hardest to gain rapport with my interviewer. (In spite of the small talk with the receptionist or security guard as I wait for the interviewer to come to the lobby.)  tumblr_m5fskqiRZu1rqtw44o1_500

But all the rapport and jokes in the world can’t make up for THE WORST QUESTIONS EVER ASKED. God forbid you ever deal with this & just have nice, totally normal questions.

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Oh yes. The double questions. The ones when the interviewer wants you to admit something horrible or further prove that you actually don’t know anything about the job/skills/company. Sometimes I’ve caught them & saved myself, sometimes…no. anigif_enhanced-buzz-4193-1371488698-2

There’s always that turning point in an interview when you just KNOW it’s too far gone to rescue & that you will not be asked back for another interview. That’s happened to me before (usually I’m super confident in all my interviews) and  I was totally correct–didn’t get the job.

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But despite the rejection from some jobs, I’m not too torn up. Obviously, those weren’t the places God had me to be! There’s a finite amount of rejection in a person’s life–with each one, there’ll only be less to deal with! All these “no”s are just leading me to my “yes.”

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Back to the job hunt!

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Birthdays, as told by gifs

Today I’m 22.

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Twenty-two! I’m totaaaaally ready–I feel like I’ve outgrown 21. There’s been SO many new experiences crammed into the past 365 years! I’m really lucky.

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Birthdays are all about autocracies. It’s an amazing process. 364 days out of the year you strive for attention (the problems of being in a big family, sigh) and then one glorious day, you rule the entire world. I definitely abuse my birthday power by establishing outlandish laws. Just because I can…anigif_enhanced-buzz-10623-1367652714-9anigif_enhanced-buzz-2544-1368551999-1

And then you get all those birthday Facebook posts. Let’s me perfectly honest you guys. If you don’t know someone, you don’t need to write on their wall. I’d rather have 3 meaningful posts than a hundred plain Jane “Happy Birthday”s. anigif_enhanced-buzz-24954-1366766591-0

In summary, goodbye 21! It’s been a wonderful year of new friends, goodbyes, new places, growth, and exciting experiences! I’m ready for all the unknown 22 has to offer. I love how literally ANYTHING could happen between now and this time next year.

anigif_enhanced-buzz-18016-1366649487-1Bring it on, 22!anigif_enhanced-buzz-16236-1370111489-4 anigif_enhanced-buzz-20488-1366854085-5 tumblr_mlmj7fk76O1ru2e71o1_500

 

Swimsuit Shopping, as told by gifs

Dante’s Inferno speaks merely of nine circles of hell, but because Dante was a guy (who, yeah, also lived during the 14th century), I think he missed out on a HORRIBLE, awful, miserable 10th circle: summer swimsuit season. 

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Oh yes. Welcome to the torture chamber–known commonly as the dressing rooms of any major department store.

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Here’s the deal. Swimsuit shopping isn’t fun for anyone (even for women with the body of pubescent boys, the kind you often see on runways). For me, I’ve come to the sad conclusion there are like zero bikini tops I could ever wear, as many are  practically just 3 inches of fabric….

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Forget going shopping with anyone you want to stay civil towards! Who would’ve imagined that shopping for a yard (or less) of waterproof material would turn mother against daughter, sister against sister, and friend into foe? It’s a battleground of emotions.

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And swimsuit shopping is practically like preparing for the Hunger Games! Whenever I’m in line at Target, I see all the dozens of headlines around February promoting getting “beach abs in 5 minutes/seconds flat!” and those headlines are definitely enough to inspire me to prepare for swimsuit season…for a day.

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Most of the time during these exercise fantasies, I give up because a) I love food and b) I like the way I look anyways. Plus, I’m whiter than a piece of paper, so even if I achieved beach abs, I would literally blind someone the second they saw my pale flesh. Beauty is pain(ful for others)? Maybe?

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(Side note: I’m also looking for a real job so, hire me! I’m not really vain.)

With one day of dieting under my belt, I always feel slightly more prepared to go into the 10th circle of hell/Macy’s swimwear department. …This is ALWAYS a huge mistake. H-U-G-E.anigif_enhanced-buzz-29308-1366918560-0

Inevitably you’ll: find something adorable, try it on, hate it, it’s too small, your body is betraying you, one single tear  will fall down your face, you yell at your mom/shopping companion, you’ll maybe cuss, you march back to the racks and find 435 more suits, they’re all ugly, you have to go up a size, all the suits you see are grandma-ish,  you hate everything in the world, repeat, repeat, repeat (results may vary.) anigif_enhanced-buzz-4002-1366915278-6

If you’re lucky (and that’s a big if), you’ll find something. Maybe even the bathing suit beyond your wildest dreams! If you’re not so lucky, no worries–there’s always 6 more department stores to visit…womp, womp. anigif_enhanced-buzz-7967-1369412624-2

Here are my AMAZING RULES FOR SWIMSUIT SHOPPING, created just now:

1.  Okay, so you don’t look stunning in bandeau tops (who does, y’all?). Try something else that you might not have before. anigif_enhanced-buzz-27141-1368243567-6

2.  PLEASE don’t squeeze yourself into something that God did not intend for your body. Oh girl.anigif_enhanced-buzz-23941-1366764203-1

3.  YOU ARE HOT. Duhhhh! You don’t need a certain size or bathing suit style to tell you that. Please.

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I dream of a world where one day, shopping for bathing suits won’t be so torturous. Until then, godspeed, fellow shoppers.

Hugs Are Weird, as told by gifs.

First, I should explain: “physical touch” is NOT my love language.

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I’ve probably only had like 28 hugs in my entire life that have been not awkward (to me). I mean, I’m no hug floozy (oh, don’t act like you haven’t a clue what I’m talking about…) so (which inevitably leads to my friends taking advantage of my tiny personal space bubble with horrifying hugs en masse.) I ALWAYS overthink and overplan hugs. How’s this possible, you ask? It’s just a hug, you say!

NO.

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..NOT when you’ve grown up reading all about the godforsaken “Christian side hug to leave room for the Holy Spirit” forever imprinted into your psyche. Hugs were scary back then–scarier than the book of Revelation (I went to a really Southern Baptist church. We talked more about hug purity than end times.) But back to the Christian side hugs–

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I’m pretty sure the Holy Spirit wouldn’t want to be taking part of my hug–don’t even want to! I mean, He can take my place! Please!

So, again, how do you overplan hugs? Just like THIS: You’re at lunch with a friend, having a great conversation, when–look at the time!–you’ve got to go.

You stand up.

They stand up.

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Do you reach to hug them? Or wait until they hug you first? Is it a weird side hug? How long will this hug last? Why is it happening? What are the motives behind this hug?  Is one hug enough? If it’s overly long, can you try the little pat on the back trick to speed it up? (See, there are lots of questions one might ask themselves.) tumblr_mevrrsQ0mo1r9pzp9o1_500

I mean, come on. Are high-fives too weird to do in place of hugs? Can that be a thing? anigif_enhanced-buzz-24667-1368150502-3

Maybe you don’t even hug & just walk off, as nobody makes the first move. Then it’s arguably worse, because then you wonder what horrible physical defect you must certainly possess if they don’t want to hug you. Do I smell bad? Are you afraid of me? Am I some sort of freak of nature? Do you hate me?

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Okay, but obviouslythis is very situational. It doesn’t apply to everyone, especially certain people. Like, what if your lunch date happens to be with a gorgeous celebrity? Like Joseph Gordon-Levitt? I’m really, very pro-hug in these situations.

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…Alas, now the entire world knows how weird I can be about hugs.

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P.S.  Side hugs are also abominable. If I’m being forced to hug someone, it’d better be the real thing. I’m sure I’m not the ONLY person in the world with personal space issues. And I’m improving! Maybe one day I’ll be able to hug a total stranger and not worry about germ contact. We can only hope. Until then…anigif_enhanced-buzz-1350-1369326051-1

Going Out versus Staying In/Netflix, as told by gifs

My life (and/or blog title) is a becoming a lie. I can feel myself slowly turning into more of an…introvert.

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Don’t get me wrong–some of my best friends are introverts!  But I can’t very well have a blog called The Accidental EXTROVERT and also take great joy in canceling plans and pretending to be a hermit.

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As the whole extrovert/introvert debacle is best defined as the source of one’s personal energy, I’d still say that mine comes from being social, but the older I become, the more I like to be social while staying in. 
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I like doing the same activities as, say, Laura Ingles Wilder: making a lot of crafts, reading, and watching a lot of comedies (okay, not really a Little House on the Prairie activity, but I’m sure she spent time watching…prairie dogs or something. Same difference.)  anigif_enhanced-buzz-25938-1368119119-40

But then someone will invite me to go out. Like OUT out. As in, out of my house. Which also means that I’d probably have to shower and look like a person rather than an amorphous pile of pajamas. Ugh. The effort.

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Large parties intimidate me sometimes. If all my friends were going to Gatsby’s house for a huge party, I’d probably stay home & pretend to be reading up on the stock exchange (arguably something more people SHOULD have done, let’s be honest).

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I would probably be helping his servants clean or serve drinks or something.

I like small parties because they force you to not be awkward. Which is always a plus. Awkward Kelsy<Charming Kelsy (unless…they’re the same person…Oh my gosh…)6425407653_b8d15f8963

Parties often are the sources of major personal quandaries, such as these:

SCENARIO 1: Sitting at home, researching very important information…

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…When a friend calls you & invites you to said party/gathering/whatever. The only person you’ll know there is your friend. This news is unpleasant. anigif_enhanced-buzz-13537-1368676527-3

But what can you do? You want to make more friends in the area. You want to live up to the mantle of extroversion. So, despite it all, you go. (But you know very well that if you had been invited via social media, you would’ve denied it faster than you can say “Netflix marathon.”)

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SCENARIO 2: So, you’re at the party and interacting (in real life) someone you regularly Facebook stalk/subsequently know everything about. Everything’s going swimmingly…until you accidentally talk about something you weren’t “supposed” to know…Uh…mayday, mayday. Abort conversation!

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SCENARIO 3: The party’s now awkward and it’s actually not your fault! Everyone’s talking about a shared memory/opinion of something you have NO idea about. Just pretend to text someone until the conversation becomes relatable? I mean, how long can this conversation last, right? tumblr_inline_mmrq99hT9V1rnvwt1WRONG, it never ends. Have fun being the new eleventh wheel. It’s also the 11th circle of social hell, basically, right after waving hi to someone & their lack of acknowledgement of your presence.  tumblr_inline_mmtrae9QTQ1rnvwt1…Oh parties. As far as I can tell, parties leave you feeling either one of two ways:
anigif_enhanced-buzz-25279-1370022476-1or,

anigif_enhanced-buzz-18207-1367304924-18Introversion doesn’t always mean the “I hate everyone”  party approach, nor is extroversion always the manic socializer. Both can be very fluid & situational, so I think it’s really important to understand that feelings are completely shifting compared to the sometimes restrictive personality label.

At a future party, large or small, I’m just going to wing it and see what happens!

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Watching Awkward Movies with my Parents, as told by gifs

Words cannot even begin to describe the awkwardness of introducing your parents to a new movie or show that turns out to be a LOT more objectionable than you remember. This happens to me a lot, sadly. Like last week, I introduced my dad to Mad Men. Last week’s episode…happened to filled with a S&M-esque tryst. Cool. (I’m still scarred for life from when I convinced my dad & 17 year old brother to go see “The Master” in theaters with me. What…was…I…thinking?!)

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So, just like always, the movie begins just as you remember. So far, so good (unless your family’s like mine & have infamous question askers. While, yes, sometimes I talk in movies, asking constant questions is THE WORST.)

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But then you remember that one really inappropriate scene in the movie, but can’t remember when it happens…and suddenly are on edge.anigif_enhanced-buzz-16039-1368117857-10

Anything slightly objectionable makes you really, really nervous & you’re constantly checking your parents’ faces to gauge their reaction. My method is to talk loudly about ANYTHING ELSE in order to distract them from the screen. tumblr_inline_mm27cdp2uL1r79k32

And then, IT happens.

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My parents:

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Me:

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Try as you might to defend the movie (or in my case last week, Mad Men), you know it’s a lost cause. You lost all movie choosing clout. Get ready to watch campy superhero movies for the rest of your life.

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Job Hunting, as told by gifs

Well, I’ve officially been out of college for 9 days.

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What have I been doing on this glorious self-proclaimed vacation week? Obviously not blogging, whoops.

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Basically, I’ve been living a life Liz Lemon would be proud of. Sleeping, watching all of the seasons of “Community,” and eating. I love food and laziness. This series of gifs = post-grad life thus far. Watch out, a life this fabulous is contagious.

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But now that my vacation week is over, I’ve been having the bad feeling that maybe…somehow…perhaps…I need to find a real job. Cue ominous music.  

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People in town are starting to ask questions that I just can’t answer…questions like:

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And I’m just like…

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Another reason I need a job is because every time I pull up my bank account, I die a little.

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Job hunting is such a weird way to describe finding a job. It’s honestly like the Hunger Games. I have to choose which career path to pursue (curse you, abstract Communications Studies degree!) and hope the odds are in my favor! So, phase 1 of job hunting is of course self-actualization. anigif_enhanced-buzz-32541-1366772301-14

I just want to do work that is meaningful and makes me excited everyday to spend my time doing it. Like this adventurous corgi—he knows what’s up:

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May we all be like this dog.

 

Graduation, as told by gifs

So, I’m officially done with all undergrad coursework. Which is…weird.

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Four years of collegiate schooling…but yet, I still have to think of this gif when people ask me how I’m doing.

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…You might say I thrived during college.

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Preparation for graduation is almost as prominent as the act itself! It’s like a video game–each level must be defeated before moving forward. First, Financial Aid reminds you that now owe your soul (and wallet) to Sallie Mae. I love loans!

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And then you have to deal with level 2: mutual melancholy from all other graduates. Because of the semester abroad, I “left” Lee all the way back in December and thus, “dealt” with all the sad feelings about leaving then. (Note: the quote marks signify ignorance). Me circa December 2012:

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But still. It’s hard to know what to say other than “It gets better?” (Because let’s be honest, I’m in the same boat, just living in blissful ignorance! What boat?)

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Finally, level 3: ACTUAL GRADUATION

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It might be boring. (High school graduation was! I was too busy mentally preparing myself for walking across the stage in sky-high heels.)

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There will be overdressed people.

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But whatever, let’s do this.

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