If the gas station attendant thing doesn't work out (it won't), and if I end up being too opinionated to be a trophy wife (likely), I have discovered a third option that might suit me as a possible career: retirement. If you were to say, that's ridiculous, you have to do something to retire from it, I would say, a very fair point. But it's my Post-Graduation Plan brainstorming session, and I'm going to make it as good as I want. Listen, when someone asks you, what do you want to do for the rest of your life? sitting at a desk isn't my first answer. It just isn't. Being retired is my first answer. I got a taste of that lifestyle not long ago, and I will not lie to you, my grandparents have it made. A lifetime of driving ranges and pool side service doesn't sound half bad to me--toss in the ability to drive everywhere in a golf cart, and I'm sold.

Realistically, I won't be able to retire until I'm 80 because I will probably end up as a barista for the rest of my life. But, what is life without dreams? And in my dreams, I am retired.

No, not really, in my dreams I'm usually playing with pups. For example, last night, I had to take care of three pups. I don't remember much, but they were climbing on chairs and they were very squirmy. I loved them. And yes, I did wake up smiling. No, not really, I woke up cranky because I went to bed too late. But I had an internal smile on.

I've been thinking lately (a dangerous pastime, I know), about what dreams mean. Erin and I googled "dream meanings" because I'd been thinking about dreams so much, and we found out that because I dream about puppies I'm playful and because I also dream a lot about whales, I'm calm and serene. Not sure I buy it, but it was an exercise that sparked more serious thought. And the serious thought had to do with me identifying what it was that I dreamed about when I thought about the future, because I have thought about it before in a non-panic attack inducing way. The post-graduation black hole theory hasn't always been there. It's just been there for the last year, which to my pea brain has felt like an eternity. I must get back to dreaming positively. I'm returning to the mountain and I'm embracing the tiger. I'm finally taking my mother's advice! This is progress.

When I think positively about the future, I'm in the rainy city that raised me. I'm drinking good coffee again. I'm wearing wine colored pants. My hair is shiny. I get to see my family a lot and I get to eat their food when I don't have any at my house. And when they don't have any food I'll go to my Aunt and Uncle's house. On a related note, my grocery bill will go way down. I get to live with Kelley and my sister because we always talked about living together, and we have a warm and cozy girl nest with lots of framed pictures because I finally got around to doing my Projects with a capital P. I go on wine night dates with my Mom and my sister and my Aunt and I get to tell them stories about my job which is not in an office setting that has blues and greys as their main color scheme because I don't fit in that world. I get to write a lot. I talk to Erin and Lindsay at least once a week and we have a trip that we're all going to take together because we really need something to look forward to. Sometimes I really miss New Orleans and I cry when Wagon Wheel comes on--but maybe that's the alcohol talking, because I still get to go out on Friday and Saturday nights. Speaking of alcohol, I will have finally figured out what my signature drink is! It's been a long time coming. Maybe at some point I'll have a dog that I get to walk a lot. I'll finally be a good runner. I'll be the kind of runner that goes to Forest Park. I'm traveling. Maybe not the kind of traveling I do now, where I get to leave the country once a year, but still traveling to new places and seeing new things and meeting new people. Because that will always make me happy. I'll probably be working hard and still kind of poor, but I'll be happy and healthy and live a balanced life. It's not retirement, but it's better, I think. Too much pool chlorine dries my skin out.

If I visualize the possibility of a life beyond my life here enough, I start to believe I can make it real. Part of the problem is that I'm getting to be the age where I thought I would already have it all figured out. When you're 18, 21 and 22 seems like the age when you get it together. And I don't really feel like I have it together. But I feel like I could potentially get it together--and by get it together I mean stop waking up twenty minutes before I have to get somewhere and actually leave enough time to eat breakfast. I think maybe I just need to readjust my expectations of what my life should be, and realize that I can't turn into a well-adjusted person overnight. I mean I've been working on it for awhile, but perhaps part of life is being able to constantly evolve and stretch and grow. Maybe part of the slump I feel like I've been in is because I have stopped thinking about my life and my choices as much as I normally do--that could be the reason for it all. I've heard an unexamined life is not worth living. I've also heard suicide is illegal. It appears that thinking about myself more is the only way. On that note, I've been toying with the idea of making a personal pact to write every single day on here for a year. It might be impossible. I'm a very busy dancer. But I think I will try.

xoxo, Lauren