Tag Archives: New Year’s Resolution

The Whole “Silver Linings” Thing

I’ve recently discovered that I’m not a fan of the phrase, “Everything happens for a reason.” Not only is it cringe-worthy in both text and tatt form, it’s perhaps the most unhelpful way of cheering someone up. I’m sure the phrase originated from a place of love and good intention, but after years of abuse and whimsical iterations in wall art, I believe it has been reduced to a semi-PC way of telling someone that shit happens. And that their situation is in fact so shitty, that you honestly can’t think of anything else to say.

To be sure, I’m not knocking anyone who believes everything happens for a reason. Who am I to judge someone or something when I can’t see the bigger picture or what lies ahead? All I’m saying is that it’s become a blanket consolatory statement that’s used too often for too many kinds of situations, both trivial and life-changing. I know this because I have been both the deliverer and receiver of this message many, many times.

And yet, to further contradict myself, I must say that there is some truth to the general idea of the phrase. No, I’m not sold on the fact that every single thing happens for a reason, because there are far too many horrendous, devastating and inexplicable things that happen in this world; insinuating that there’s a specific reason behind every catastrophe and tragedy is both insensitive and impractical. But when you look at the phrase from a different perspective—from more of a doors-closing-windows-opening angle—it starts to look more like the whole “silver linings” idea. And that I can get behind.

I started to realize this a few years ago when I was mercilessly rejected from every single job I applied for. Looking back, I now see that emailing a Chicago ad agency a PowerPoint file for my “creative portfolio” was a bit of a stretch, but it felt appropriate at the time. For what it’s worth, I even included a disclaimer that read something like:

“No, I don’t have the tools or Adobe products I need right now, but give me a job or a Mac Lab and I’ll do these print ads again…but better.”

But other than that particular instance, I couldn’t understand why each and every company would reject me. I mean, wasn’t I a catch? My pet-sitting clients seemed to think so. As did my mom. What better references could you ask for?

All-time low: Posing at a Battlestar Galactica exhibit. And the answer to your question is yes, I am still available for spaceship modeling. Message me for details.

Attending a Battlestar Galactica exhibit in Seattle was perhaps one of my nerdier moments in life. Here I am, modeling a bonafide Colonial Viper.

I fell into a pretty dark hole for a while, one that consisted of Battlestar Galactica, a brief stint in the power-washing business, and many nights spent coercing my first love, Buster, to name me his favorite family member. At my lowest point, I began stuffing cat nip in my pillow to trick him into sleeping with me. I started house sitting more frequently and—in between useless job applications—poured myself into becoming one of Greater Louisville’s most prestigious pet-sitters. For a time, I considered taking it up professionally; I have an unusual connection with animals, and I am incredibly comfortable using other people’s expensive kitchen appliances and entertainment systems. Sure, it wouldn’t be the most lucrative career, but in the off seasons, I could pick up a side gig as a dog-walker. College tuition well-spent, indeed.

Buster and his catnip pillow.

Buster and his catnip pillow (in my former bedroom/parents’ home office).

But as you might have guessed, tending to other people’s critters only fulfilled me for so long, and so I decided it was time to do something different. I decided to start documenting my post-grad progress (or lack thereof) so that rising college graduates would be better prepared for what was to come — a commencement speech ripe with ridiculous proverbs, promises and plugs for alumni donations, followed by a humiliating beating from the job market and a bed in your parents’ office. I wrote about moving back in with my mom and dad (and their bearded dragon, cat, rat, bird and meal worm colony), because I wanted people to stop calling my generation lazy and unmotivated. I wrote about all my crazy (often gruesome) adventures in pet-sitting, my forehead vein and my somewhat unsettling obsession with cats. I wrote about everything, and I came to realize that I loved it. And that I wanted to make a career out of it.

So what I’m trying to say is that being rejected from all those jobs was really, really painful. And scary, to be sure. But it also opened a lot of doors that I didn’t even know existed. It helped me rediscover my love of writing, and it led me to a lot of really amazing people and self-discoveries. I grew closer to my family, I fell in love, I stumbled into an awesome job and I got to be with Buster in his twilight years of life.

So no, I still don’t believe that every single thing happens for a reason. Instead, I think that—at least in my case—a shitty situation created new paths and new possibilities that I hadn’t otherwise considered. And that’s something I’ll try to remember in 2015.


New Year’s Resolutions

Since it’s almost the second week in January, I’ve decided to make some New Year’s Resolutions. Actually, I’ve decided to make some New Year’s Aspirations, which seems more appropriate since my father just informed me that paying rent is somewhere in my near future. So, it would appear I need to aspire to a few things in order to avoid homelessness by 2013.

Here is a countdown of all the things I hope to accomplish in 2012:

5. Get a job. A real one.

I included this aspiration just for formality. I don’t expect to land an actual “Big Girl” job by the end of 2012, unless of course someone decides to take a permanent vacation from their pets.

4. Make a Music Video

My roommates (former college roommates — not my parents) can attest to the fact that I’ve been dying to make a music video for years. It’s actually become a fantasy of mine. When I’m on the treadmill and find myself struggling for motivation (about 5 minutes in to my power-walking routine), I hit my inhaler and picture myself starring in a music video. The thrill of the dance and the spike of Albuterol in my bloodstream usually sends me into a shaky, adrenaline-riddled spastic jog. Although this combo does give my face a pale, cold-sweaty sheen, the results are undeniably comparable to those of today’s leading diet supplements. Sort of.

Pre-Spring Break sophomore year of college, my music video fantasy of choice was Britney Spears’ “I’m a Slave for You.” Mid run, I would envision myself starring in an elaborate video montage of the “I’m a Slave for You” VMA performance and raunchy music video. Spray tans, extensions, body glitter, wildlife…this production gave me everything I could possibly want rolled into one sweaty fiasco. It was pure Gym Rat gold.

For the majority of 2010, I pictured myself performing in an NBA halftime show to “C’mon N’ Ride it.” Those were good times.

Last year, my song of choice was Llyod’s “Lay it Down.” This song came out as I was training for a mini-marathon, so you can only imagine the amount of time and effort that went into this particular hallucination.

3. Travel Abroad

I’m going through a quarter-life crisis. Maybe it’s the fact that I spend my nights drinking bourbon on the rocks and watching Downton Abbey with my parents. Or maybe it’s the fact that I wear knee-highs 5 days of the week and recently bought a pack of nude “Trouser Socks”. In sum, I’m on the fast track to becoming a 75-year-old man, and my crusty, winter paws don’t do much to help my case. (The cold weather wreaks havoc on my hands. I look like a dehydrated witch from the wrists down.)

The knee-high value pack my mother bought for me at Costco last Sunday. You can see I've already tapped into the Nudes.

So needless to say, I’ve got an itch. An itch to do cool shit, if you’ll excuse me. This year, I need to travel abroad somewhere. I need to do something awesome.

Since I’m a hypochondriac, traveling to a Third World country is out of the question. Now, I have no idea which countries are “Third World” — or what “Third World” even means exactly — so I’ve narrowed my choices down to Australia and France.

I’ve looked up some volunteer trips to Australia, but so far none have whet my whistle. I’d like to be a part of some sort of crazy, intense animal protection project — something reminiscent of The Amazing Panda Adventure, but with a koala cub or sloth as my damsel in distress. I also wouldn’t mind having a tranquilizer gun to snipe the SOB poachers from the get-go, but alas, beggars can’t be choosers.

2. Write a book

This is my number one goal for 2012. My blog started off as somewhat of a joke — mostly as a tribute to Buster in his twilight years of life. But writing my blog has become one of my favorite things to do. The support and feedback I’ve gotten from friends and family has been incredible. My fear is that I’ll run out of things to say, but I’d like to give it a shot anyways. We’ll see what happens.

1. And lastly, for 2012, I aspire to never make these faces again (P.s. I told you I was into the closed-mouth smile)

5th or 4th Grade Yearbook photo -- I'm assuming this was a retake of my platypus/DUI mugshot incident.

My professionally taken headshot for acting school. Yes, acting school.


Footnote: After writing this blog, I did a little research on endangered species in Australia. Apparently sloths don’t even live in Australia. I might have to take my mission elsewhere – I’m pretty into sloths right now.