Idealism vs. Reality

This blog is becoming a dangerous place for me. What was once an innocent outlet to share the exciting adventures of my life and the struggles of being an almost-adult has now become my ultimate method of procrastination. It seems every time I sit down at my computer to write something I actually need to do for school, I instead pop over here and complain about my life or talk about something wildly unimportant. The worst of all is that there is some part of my brain that believes this is a productive way to spend my time and that it is a completely acceptable approach to avoiding my responsibilities. Sure, it might be better than surfing the internet mindlessly, but I’m still not doing anything I should be doing. Like right now, for instance: it’s Tuesday and I think we all know what that means… IT’S MY BIG DAY OFF! It’s honestly cute that I still have so much faith in myself that even though I consistently fail to actually accomplish everything I say I’m going to do, I still make lists for myself the night before, thinking ‘THIS will be the day I actually just frickin wake up and crush it!!!’ I’m sad to say that it is almost 2 p.m. and I have successfully avoided everything on my to-do list so far. Except laundry. But for me, laundry is just putting everything in the washing machine in one big load (unless it is one of a few very precious items that require special alone time in the laundry machine), so the fact that I’ve accomplished that small task really doesn’t mean anything. I mean, it felt good to check something off my list and pretend I’m making sh*t happen today, but I’ve essentially done nothing. Yay me!


I also have recently become aware that I have an obsession with morning beverages, and by morning beverages I mean tea and coffee. I don’t know why I would use the term “morning beverages” since its awfully ambiguous and a little creepy, but for lack of a better term it will have to suffice. The problem with this new obsession is that, as we all know (gosh it’s so fun that you all know this stuff about me from my blog, I feel like a celebrity living in the public eye except I willingly share everything and only about 17 people are actually paying attention and just about all of them are related to me and only listening to check in on my sanity but it’s exhilarating on my end nonetheless), I have had some anxiety issues througout my life that I still struggle with in certain situations, so overdosing on caffeine would certainly not be the doctor’s order for me. I also have a hard time falling asleep at night so the last thing I need is excessive amounts of caffeine lingering in my system, but I can’t help myself! Nothing makes me feel more adult-like and productive and just overall cool than having a warm mug of the morning beverage of my choosing sit beside me at my desk. I used to be a die-hard green tea girl: every morning, rain or shine, 25 degrees or -25 degrees, I loved my morning cuppa. I’m not sure why I’m using past tense; I still love my tea. But lately, I’ve gotten into something a little more risky… a little more edgy… it starts with a C and is known to be addictive… that’s right, I’m talking about COFFEE! With a generous dash of almond milk creamer, of course. It makes me feel mature, grown up, super hip and very fun. Do I like coffee or do I like the idea of coffee? Undetermined. What I do know is that as soon as I finish my morning green tea, I immediately want another warm beverage in my mug. I don’t want the fun adult part of my morning to be over so quickly! It’s honestly the highlight of my day, as sad as that may sound, so reaching the dreaded bottom of the mug is a devastation I am forced to face each and every day. Talk about tragic.


As a kid, I always dreamed of being a grown woman with a career, mostly because in my eyes that meant having perfectly manicured fake nails clutching a Starbucks cup as I hustled through a bustling city while answering business emails on my Blackberry. That’s what successful adults do, right? It’s all about the way you look when doing your work, not the actual work itself. No wonder adulthood has been exceedingly disappointing so far. I can’t afford fake nails, nor do I necessarily want them—although there is this deep dark part of me that still believes gel nails could be the solution to all of my problems—and I certainly can’t afford to buy a coffee every morning, nor can the environment—unless we all are aboard the reusable mug train, which, I might add, I just hopped on, so that means I can officially judge everyone who has yet to get the memo. Shame on you! Don’t you realize you are single-handedly causing global warming? And we’re off track once again. What I’m trying to say here is that I have an obsession with drinking caffeinated drinks in the morning to make myself feel productive and adult-ish when in reality my brain and heart and overall wellbeing can only handle one small dose of caffeine a day before things get unmanageable. I’m doing everything in my power right now not to go make myself a cup of that creamy, warm, aromatic morning juice that would speed my heart rate up by a thousand percent but would make me feel like a professional adult doing important and meaningful work. What on Earth do I do?!


As I typed all this out, I came to uncover an interesting revelation about myself. This is why writing is so important: you come to conclusions you never would if you just went about your life and never contemplated the motives behind all the little things you do. Well, maybe that is the recipe for detrimental anxiety and overthinking, but sometimes it can be a positive and eye-opening experience! Today’s revelation is that I tend to be more obsessed by the idea of things than with the actual things themselves. Things is a poor word choice, but I wanted to keep it general so it could be applied to many aspects of life. Now let’s get more specific. My idea of being a grown up with a job is highly influenced by the aesthetic, shall we call it, of the particular industry in question. In my imagination, people who work in editing and publishing sit at MacBooks, or better yet, those big majestic iMacs reserved only for super important people, with their gel nails clacking away as they sip their morning coffees. What happens after the morning coffee is done, I do not know, and I don’t think I want to know. That’s when the fun stops, I guess, but at least you still have those nails clicking away at the keyboard, right? And you get to dress in super hip yet sophisticated work clothes, and look professional but also funky because you’re an editor and all editors look like the ones that work at fashion magazines in Hollywood movies. I’m still right, aren’t I? And that’s the fun part of being a teacher, too (other than helping children succeed, obviously). I still remember how jealous I used to be of teachers with heels that clacked as they walked down the hallway and gel nails that tapped on hardcover books and whiteboards (I seem to have a fixation with fake nails and I don’t know why? I don’t even like them that much? Does this stem from some unconscious repressed obsession of my childhood? Do I need therapy?)


This is all starting to sound very creepy and I’m a little uncomfortable myself. I feel like I’m painting myself as a sociopath and I promise I’m not one… Please tell me I’m not one. No, of course I’m not. But I have built up this unusual association with certain aesthetics in certain careers, when in reality it doesn’t matter what you look like as long as you are good at what you do, obviously. But I don’t really want to accept that. I’d rather believe that I will be good at what I do because I look good doing it. Because my nails sound nice on the keyboard, which obviously equates to excellent editing and writing skills. Because my coffee looks so professional beside my desk, especially when I’m holding it with my manicured hand. Now I really see how bizarre this is. But adults, is it true that even a tiny part of what you enjoy about your job is getting to dress for the part? Please tell me I’m not alone in this. Of course, as I’ve gotten older I don’t truly believe that the aesthetic side of a job should determine what you choose to pursue, but it is nice to think that whatever I’m doing, I can at least enjoy dressing like a human with a real career and feel like the chic adult I always dreamed of being. The more I write, the more ridiculous I sound. I promise I am interested in certain careers for more than just the wardrobe I associate it with.


Well, that was a little weird. Instead of making myself that tempting cup of Joe I have been drooling over this whole time, I’m going to do something that is actually on my list! No, not start the French paper I have to write. I didn’t mean I was going to be that productive. You know me better than that. But I am going to get my workout in! That oughtta give me just as much energy as the coffee would have, but in a much more sustainable and anxiety-reducing way, and then maybe after that’s done I’ll be in the right headspace for a little essay writing. Ugh. Why is it so much more fun to write about my life and things no one really cares about than to write an academic essay about the anglophone community in Quebec? Beats me!


Alright, folks. Let’s get this show on the road! I hope you’re all having productive Tuesdays and are enjoying the structure of a regular work week. Maybe I’ll get there someday. Maybe I’ll hate it when I get there and will wish I could go back to my three-day school weeks. Yeah, I definitely will. I just realized how much I need to embrace this period of my life and be grateful for what it is! Once again, writing is helping me figure myself out and appreciate what I have. Everyone should try it! Just buy a journal and go for it. It’s much safer to tuck it all away in a journal than to publish it online. Happy writing!


~Tal

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