In the Middle

The 20s are all about growing up. College is such a weird place because it serves as a microcosm of a sheltered version of the world. It's a unique place where the majority of people share your age group and have the same purpose (hopefully) in pursuing a degree. It has it's merits in that challenges you to face some of your biggest fears but also holds you back and perpetuates some unsustainable behaviors and ideals that can be dastardly if they continue into your post-grad years (binge drinking, promiscuity, drugs, procrastination and all the other vices that are so totally college). College is a place to mature and move on when (actually if) you are ever ready. Until then we're just stuck in the middle.
 
One of the things I've struggled with throughout the entirety of my college experience is authenticity, and not my usual melodramatic "who am I" spiel but feigning naivety for the benefit of others. I've definitely had to question whether I've ever "played dumb" to validate other people and sat through an explanation that I was already keen to. The honest truth ... yes, more times than I would like to admit. I think my perception of how other people see me, something short of an angelic representation of purity in nearly every way, skewed my perspective of how I represented myself. So I'm not that well versed in the plethora of alcohols, the intricacies of sex, or all the mad shady lingo of the drug world but I totally know more than I let on. I don't know, I guess I didn't want people to change their idealized image of me in their heads but at the same time I wasn't fully being myself. Same things goes for uses of vulgarities, like people still gasp when I drop a curse word. I know how and when to use them, while it's rare and sparingly, it's not the end of the world when I do so. So many times have I faked being oblivious to an innuendo or some terminology to be the butt of a joke and it's been exhausting to keep pretending. I'm a twenty-something, let's be real. That's just it, LET's BE REAL. From now on, I promise to be as authentic as I can no matter what. It's time to grow up and not just go through the motions of doing so to stay quietly in the middle. I guess I noticed people kind of talking around me instead of to me, but at the same time I understand since I have a strong policy of asking questions (sometimes for me but mostly for other people to share more) and not speaking when I'm not well-versed on a topic. Doesn't mean I'm not part of the conversation, I'll contribute if and when I have something to add, but I'm also learning that it's okay to just be.
 
If you don't know by now, my birthday is fast approaching (June 14th, Flag Day - get at me with presents if you feel so inclined *question is what do you buy the boy who is perceived to have everything and everyone ...) and allegedly it's a special one seeing as it's my 21st. Well for a guy who doesn't drink and has an orientation session, it shouldn't be anything mythical. Tuesday night I went to my first bar (*pauses for applause) with Zach and Dom and ironically it was called Drink. I had nonalcoholic Italian sodas and a fojito (ratchet ass fake mojito) and we played Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity. It was so different then what I had expected (I guess I had imagined drunkards with beer flowing and crowds of smelly people everywhere) but in a good way. I had a good time and totally entertained the idea of being able to go out with people and being okay with not drinking and still being in those spaces. We grabbed sandwiches, fries, and candy from Kountry Kart Deli at midnight and made the strenuous journey back home. Wednesday rolled around and I ventured more into the off-campus lifestyle by accompanying Zach to the Laundromat (oh my gosh, it's like All Grown Up but not really) where we had a good heart to heart and I made a g-store run (Hershey's cookies 'n' crème cookies > everything). Evening came and I hung out with my old roommate and one of my favorite people, Patrick aka Baby Bear. We grabbed mini cupcakes and cake pops from My Little Cupcake (literally cinnamon cake pops are my everything and more *big ole hint for my friends, get me them for the big day ya bums), helped some hooligan kids (I'm soo damn old; Recess reference or nah) escape their enclosure in the locked up skate park, and then took instagram worthy pictures of the glorious reflecting waters of Lake Champlain. It was really good to catch up with him. I made my way back home and the boys returned for spoonfest number one of the week. I was right in the middle of moving up and out in life, metaphorically and literally (that not-so awkward moment when you fall asleep mid-bro-spoon #mylife).

Living this week off campus has been a little preview of what's to come for me in the fall and it's been refreshing. I've learned a little in such a short period of time and really learned how to be in the middle of life just being alone. Like self-sufficiency and interdependence go hand in hand especially when you live with others. Everybody does their part and things work out. Thursday had a late start but Zach and I made it to Oakledge park to play tennis however the wind kicked in and the sky broke loose but not before we took shelter in an epic treehouse. From there it was on to Chipotle (YASSS) and to the grocery store for some impulse buying (maybe I haven't grown that much; seaweed and candy cause #YOLO) before we headed home to join Dom to watch Olympus Has Fallen. Friday I did next to nothing but watch Young Justice on Netflix (I read the synopsis of Gossip Girl on Wikipedia and ended up giving up on it, freaking little J and I could never stand Dan Humphrey's incessant ranting and holier than thou attitude *probably because it would totally be me). The three of us did a late night grocery store run (aka jailbreak me from the indoor life) for frozen foods. We were too tired for another movie but ya know cuddle time gets to be a thing with roommates (that's normal right). I woke up with a wet mark on abdomen which was the question of the next day, but what can you expect when you're in the middle of maturing in life. Saturday was the most epic clean-up time ever. All of us were prepping for the arrival of Zach's family and simultaneously trying to switch my stuff for Dom's as he was moving out and me in. With battling music blaring, everyone did their part of get the place looking spic and span (wait, who am I and why am I speaking in oldies talk #DannyTanner). Evening fell and I joined my beloved fraternal big brother, Gabe, for a celebratory dinner after his graduation from his master's program. I was so very proud of the guy. I may not see him too often, but every time I do his encouragement and quirks have a unique way of bringing a smile to my face. I spent the rest of my night blogging and then assumed the position of spoon-buddy as we had guests stay over for Zach's graduation the next day. We were in the middle of the most interestingly random week ever.

*Want more, check back later this week for graduation and the start of my summer job with orientation. It's going to be an interesting one ... in the middle of it all.

Top Music Picks: "Latch" Disclosure ft. Sam Smith; "Am I Wrong" Nico & Vinz; "All I Ever Need" & "Mmm Yeah" Austin Mahone; "Wiggle" Jason Derulo ft. Snoop Lion; "Rude" Magic; "She Looks So Perfect" 5SOS; "Just Girly Things" Dawin; "Love Never Felt So Good" Michael Jackson ft. Justin Timberlake; "Confident" Justin Bieber ft. Chance the Rapper

 
My blog post question for the day is ... what was your first bar experience like? Well you just heard about mine, and it was anything but awkward which is quintessential me.

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