Today’s post has many themes. Embarrassment, individuality, adulthood, confusion, and anxiety, to name a few.
Recently, I have begun telling the world about stupid things I do on a regular basis. The other day, for example, I fell off a treadmill. I was running (which is already strange enough), then looked down to change the song on my iPod. It wasn’t working. Naturally, my instinct was to hop on the stationary sides of the spinning rubber mat of death to steady myself and collect my bearings. And, as every single comedy movie ever could have told me, this was a silly idea doomed to fail–which it did. I missed the sides, ending back up on the moving mat, panicked, got caught in my headphones, panicked some more, and then oh-so-gracefully lost my balance and stumbled into a sideways-fall. Luckily, my sister and a mystery man were both there with me to make sure I did not crack my skull open (I didn’t, thanks for asking). My first reaction was to cry, then laugh, then run out and apologize to the security guard watching me on the camera above my head, and then finally to post this on Facebook. Thank you to the 32 people who gave me a “like,” which I choose to believe was a virtual pat on the back telling me it was perfectly fine to be as clumsy as I was.
Well world, I did it again. This incident is far less severe, yet far more public than the last.
Today, I tried to walk up a down escalator. Yes, you heard me correctly–the stairs were clearly coming down and I ignored them. As I move about my day in the adult world, I’m realizing things I’m not good at–judging time, understanding distance, and multi-tasking while walking, to name a few. The latter was my downfall this afternoon. Engrossed in a text message (a whole other issue of my generation), I tried to walk up the middle of three escalators (IN my defense, it is USUALLY going the upwards direction), I stepped onto the first step only to be brought right back down. But no, this didn’t stop me. I didn’t get it yet. I tried again. I made it a few steps, then realized I was at the bottom again, and quickly turned around in anger.
I know we all have a purpose in life. Perhaps mine is to give security guards, policemen, Metro staff, and all other public servants a hilarious break in their day courtesy of my stupidity.
Here is the point of all this: sometimes I wonder how I make it through the day.
Do you ever just stop and look around at the people walking past? There are days when everyone else seems better dressed, more confident, funnier, more attractive, and generally more suited to life. And on those days, I can’t help but wonder how all these people got to be as alive and adult as they are. There’s a secret, right? A formula? Some code with which everyone else was imprinted, except for this directionally-challenged 23 year old with some nasty treadmill bruises?
But maybe not. I embarrass myself almost constantly, but I’m starting to understand that it’s probably just fine. I hope everyone else understands this too. I mean, it’s in our DNA that we’ll do stupid things. (It’s not, but please allow me to pretend that I understand science.) People who don’t do stupid things are lying and perhaps not even real humans. And, making a mistake doesn’t have a bearing on you as a person. Yeah, I walked the wrong way up an escalator, but I also got an incredible amount of work done and coordinated a ton of logistics for my job. Two days ago, I bought myself a mattress and a box spring. (I didn’t even know what a box spring was until now.) Today, I’m cleaning my apartment that I pay rent for, and soon, I’ll be paying off my credit card bill. These things are real!
It’s not even just that, really. It’s the fact we can get ourselves to work every day. Or to class. Or go to the gym, or to the grocery store, or pick up the phone and call our parents because we want to. All of these things are choices. You choose to participate in life, even by completing the smallest tasks. Naysayers and Negative Nancys will say, “Oh, really? Everyone should be expected to go to work when they’re supposed to. That’s not a victory; it’s a part of life.” And to that I say, go eat a brownie and RELAX. But also, that I don’t disagree. I mean, yes, if you have a job, you really should show up to it when you’re scheduled to do so. For the benefit of themselves and society, people should make the choice to do all these things. But you don’t have to. Ever have a day where you don’t even get out of bed? (You’re lying if you say you haven’t.) That day, you chose not to be a part of the world, and it’s totally fine. But on a regular basis, you make the important and vital decision to get out of bed, and that right there is a huge victory.
I don’t care if you disagree with me, because I’m going to keep on feeling the way I feel. All I am saying is that on those days when it feels like you’re just tumbling along like a weed in a windstorm, we should really give ourselves more credit for the tasks we complete. So embarrassing yourself a little (or a lot) is just a side effect of having a pulse. And it means you’re participating, you’re doing, and you’re being. Which is fantastic.
Stefanie just made a fantastic dinner and we briefly discussed my blog topic and to this she adds: “The 20s are a period of floundering.” She also added some arm movement to drive the point home, which I wish I could capture in film and post, but it looks a little like this:
Only faster and more desperate.
Anyway, that’s that.
Some brief life updates: I went to the Pentagon for work the other day. It was awesome. There’s a casual mall hanging out inside.
I really did buy a mattress, which is going to be a huge upgrade from the air mattress I’ve been sleeping on since the end of July.
I went to the RedBull Flugtag at the National Harbor this past weekend, which was hilarious and wet. (We had a giant rainstorm halfway through, which sort of kept going until the event was over–hilarity is watching two Beaumont sisters try to huddle under one umbrella for three or so hours.)
Buenas noches. Quiero hablar en espanol con mas frequencia. Claro que si.
Here’s to a lifetime of embarrassing events and small victories to make every day totally weird and worth it.