Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Kiddo Kim Story? Splendid!

I've always been a bit... um... precocious.  There are some delightful stories in my family of my antics as a child.  Some of these stories are relayed to me from my parents and other family members, while other stories are actually memories I have.  For example, I remember getting in trouble on two particular occasions for name calling.  Once I quoted Back to the Future to my brother, asking him "What are you looking at, butthead?"  I was also reprimanded whilst watching the Today Show with my parents once for calling Bryant Gumbel a "pompous windbag," a phrase I picked up watching Disney's Cinderella.

I couldn't have been more than 5 here. Look at that sass.
The desk I used as a child (well, really, until last month) was the desk my mom grew up using.  Sharing a room with my younger brother throughout our early years meant that we shared a lot of things, but we didn't really share that desk.  That desk was my little corner of that room.  I loved reading, writing, and coloring as a kid, so I spent quite a bit of time at that desk.  Long before I was writing essays in school, I remember wanting to write "S.A."s (I was sounding it out) at home.  Because that's what big kids did.  And I desperately wanted to be a big kid - a 16 year old to be specific.  For some reason I thought that when I was 16, my life would be awesome, and I would magically be treated as an adult.  I blame Disney's The Little Mermaid for this one.  I practiced writing all kinds of words... even the bad ones.

This little project was discovered years later.  Don't ask me why my parents were looking underneath my desk drawers, but they were.  And under the center drawer, they found my dirty little secrets scrawled in brown crayon.  They also found a note on the inside of the drawer that said "This was Kim Lareau desk." I couldn't fit the apostrophe and S on my name, because I was trying to write this in the upper right corner of the desk.  This particular note was written in a nice teal color.  This little tag was done because I had it in my head that someone would discover that note decades later, and it would make a great story for them.  Seriously, that's what was going through my head more than 20 years ago.  I'm sure I was reprimanded and flogged accordingly for defacing the family heirloom.

If there's any moral to this anecdote, I'm certain I don't know what it is.  It probably has something to do with explaining to your kids that if they want to be remembered, the best way is probably not through obscene words scrawled in a desk with a crayon - even if it is impressive that a 3 year old is dropping F-bombs in writing and mastering that tricky "tch" spelling.

"Hell" looks like hell, but the others look pretty good.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

It's my Birthday? Splendid!

I LOVE a good birthday, especially one that belongs to me!  Anyone close to me knows that I try to justify celebrating for the whole month of March just for an excuse to do awesome things in the name of a special day.  Also exciting is the fact that my boyfriend's birthday is the day before mine.  I think it's exciting, because it's another excuse to celebrate.  He tends to think it's less exciting because sometimes I hijack his day for myself.  I like to joke that my birthday is my birthday and his birthday is our birthday.  For some reason he doesn't find this as amusing.  I wonder why...

Anyway, sometimes that my parents seem to enjoy giving responsibilities as gifts.  When I turned 16, I was taken to the local bank to open a checking account.  I needed the checking account because my birthday gift was my very own phone line!  With a monthly bill I had to pay!  And also doubled as the modem line for the computer!  

For the last few years I've used my birthday as an excuse to buy myself a gift.  Usually it's an article of clothing or something other people didn't know I wanted.  This year it's a real doozy though.  The biggest gift I have ever given myself.  It's the kind of gift that keeps on giving (not a Jelly of the Month Club membership), that will make me happy for years to come, and that falls into the category of responsibilities.  See, when I was getting ready to graduate college, my parents helped me buy a car.  They helped me with payments for a few years with the understanding that I would take over the payments around the halfway point of the loan.  I've been making monthly payments on this car for years now, and I hadn't really been paying attention to how much longer I had left to pay until a couple months ago.  I thought the car would be paid for in September, and I was really happy about that.  Then last month I realized that I was 6 months off.  That meant my car would be paid off in March!  On the 18th!  Which happens to be the day before my birthday!  So this year for my birthday, I'm buying myself a car!

Of course, I've been driving this car for 5 years, so it's not like it's a brand new present for myself.  It is, however, another step toward being a real grown-up.  Which, I have to be honest, is both awesome and terrible.  I'm happy to be responsible and everything, but it makes my inner child pretty sad that paying a bill is an acceptable birthday present to myself.

I know I'm not the only person in my age group that gets excited about this kind of victory.  My roommate, for example, student taught 40 miles away for an entire semester at the end of college.  Because of the commute and the fact that she couldn't work too many hours (though she worked way more than she should), she ended up putting all her gas on a single credit card for the semester.  It was just what she had to do at the time.  It ended up taking her more than a year to pay off that card, but it was the same kind of feeling for her.  A step toward true adulthood!  I have many friends who are burdened with many student loans from their educations, and a few of them are right on the cusp of paying some of them off.  Even though most of them have multiple loans to pay for many years to come, the joy of paying off even the tiniest one gives them a deserved sense of accomplishment.

For a long time, I thought that becoming an adult meant I would have my life together.  That I would feel stable and comfortable.  I would know what I was doing and understand my responsibilities.  I definitely thought that by now I would have my life all figured out with the husband, the house, and at least the thought of a child on the way.  It's taken me a long time to realize that adults don't actually have everything figured out.  That they are scared and unsure of things.  On one hand it's kind of worrisome to think that these feelings might never go away.  On the other hand, it's really nice to know that I'm not alone.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Keeping Busy? Splendid!

This new found free time is giving me a chance to spend time doing things I wouldn't normally get the opportunity to do.  In a way, it's like being on an extended Spring Break!

This week I'm spending a couple days helping my uncle at his company in the suburbs.  It should be a great experience since I'm supposed to be his Social Media Maven.  It would probably help if I really understood the business.  I'm excited to have a purpose for a couple days and learn more about the business.

Anyone who spends a lot of time with me, or any time with me during the first quarter of the year honestly, knows that my birthday is in March.  They also know that I like to celebrate it for the entire month.  Because I'm a princess.  My boyfriend's birthday also happens to be the day before mine.  I think this is great because it's an excuse for extra celebration in March.  It's not so great for him because, as I said before, I like to celebrate for the whole month, including on his birthday.  Last year was a big year for him - one of those birthdays ending in a 0 - so I let him have his entire birthday to himself.  I'm awfully thoughtful, aren't I?  I am looking forward to our birthday celebrations this year, because between family and friends, we're legitimately celebrating over the course of five days.  BEST BIRTHDAY WEEK EVER!!!

Since my roommate is on spring break the week of my birthday, we have big plans to keep busy.  First of all, she has promised me that she'll start watching Doctor Who.  This alone could be her birthday gift to me.  I know that I'm going to be that annoying person watching her watch the shows to make sure she's having all the right feelings.  

We also have plans to go visit our college roommate, Rachel.  Rachel is an incredibly talented triple threat who is making her way in the Chicago theatre world.  She's wrapping on a show right now, so it's the perfect time for us to go visit before she starts rehearsing her next show.  If you have a chance to see Miss Rachel in a show, you should absolutely take that opportunity.  In fact, you can keep up with her on her website: www.rachelklippel.com

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Guilt of Being Unemployed

I feel like I couldn't exactly continue with the "Question? Splendid" title structure for this particular post...

The thing about unemployment is that it makes me feel guilty.  There's the guilt about being home during the day while everyone else is at least attending the job site.  This isn't helped by people asking "So, what do you do all day?" Personally, at least, I also feel it necessary to offer to tell people what I did all day.  "Today I got out of bed before noon, and then I showered, and then I went to the Apple Store to see about upgrading my operating system.  I was going to do laundry, but I figured I could do that tomorrow.  I had a strange lunch that consisted or random things found in my refrigerator.  Then I wrote a blog post."  This is typically in response to a theoretically innocuous, "How was your day?" question.  For me, at least, this kind of reply stems from wanting to prove that despite my lack of job, my life is still inherently important, even if I'm doing unimportant things.

There's also the guilt of not keeping my house spotless.  Just because I don't go to work every day does not mean I've suddenly become less lazy and more domestic!  The reason I haven't de-cluttered my room is not solely because I haven't had time.  It's mostly because it's not even a little bit of fun, and I have been avoiding it.  Suddenly having time to sort through a tub of shoes does not make it any more entertaining than it was two months ago.

Let's not forget the guilt of not applying for every single job that is hiring.  But you know what? This one is especially unfair, because sometimes you just don't have the right background or work experience for even the "easy" jobs.  I learned that the hard way right after college when I was interviewed and ultimately rejected at a pizza place.  A pizza place run by burnouts from my hometown.  That was rock bottom for me at the time.  Knowing that I wasn't qualified to make and/or serve pizza with a bunch of stoners was really a hit to my self-esteem.

So here's my question: is this guilt something I conjure up myself, or does it stem from others projecting their disappointment on me?  Have you felt the same guilt of unemployment (or underemployment)?  Seriously, I would love to know what you think about this in the comments.

This time around, I really am trying to look at everything in a more positive light.  I've actually had real jobs this time around!  Jobs that I was quite good at and taught me a great deal!  Jobs that look good on my resume!  References from those jobs who are willing to say nice things about me to potential employers.

As I wrote in my last post, I really am open to new adventures this time around.  What do you think I should be when I grow up?  Right now my wish list of professions includes wedding planner (and officiant! I'm internet-ordained!) and rock & roll backup singer.  (You should see my sweet step-touch dance moves and my terrific tambourine talents.) Of course I'm looking for legitimate job openings, but I'm interested to see what other people think I'm capable of doing with my life.  Leave suggestions in the comments.