Hey, as it turns out, 22 isn't so bad. The sun is out, I've eaten a lot of really delicious free food in the last five days, I just found a really great Pandora station, and I'm about to start the last week of classes I might ever have. I realize, also, the title of my last post may seem a bit melodramatic to the untrained eye, and though I normally favor the cryptic when it comes to that kind of thing, I don't know if anyone will get it--that's distressing for me, not because I'm afraid people will think I'm standing with one foot off the edge, but because it's the name of one of my favorite songs that briefly mentions being 22. It's by the Alabama Shakes. I also happen to have it on good authority that my Aunt Anne, who I think is a really spectacular human being, likes them too. Bless my heart, bless my soul, didn't think I'd make it, to 22 years old! Must be someone, up above, saying come on Courtney? you gotta hold on! 

 
I think Courtney is the lead singer, and I feel like every time I hear the song, I say you know what, we're in this together, sister. Except you're a wonderfully talented musician and I'm just crossing my fingers I can get a job through September. Tomato, tomatoe. Also I'm a little ornery when it comes to song lyrics, so it might not be Courtney at all, but I'm too proud to go look them up and find out what her name really is. I have a mostly useless talent for learning the lyrics of songs incredibly quickly, but I feel like it's cheating when I find them online. I can't really explain it but it feels like betrayal of the highest order against my own brain.
Anyway, if the first day of my 22nd year wasn't the best, the rest of the week made up for it--I relived my glory days at the Boot, a place I find myself frequenting less and less as I age*, but it was 50 cent night and there was a nice tinge of nostalgia to the cigarette scented air, so who can complain? A pack of the seniors in my sorority were all there together, and we know the DJ, so he spun us some classics from back in our hey-day. All I'll say is that Britney Spears and my girl Queen B were on repeat, and we danced and danced and danced like the girls we are and no one even looked for one second at the boys on the floor, it was just all us, all at once together, without any of the insecurity and fear and longing that plagued us as freshman. So that was a pretty good thing. Thursday the same pack of sorority seniors went down into the Quarter and ate way too much bananas foster at Arnaud's, and I read a letter that I wrote to myself as a freshmen,which was almost the impetus for a major breakdown. Luckily I was able to keep it together enough to really bring down the house, but you know. It was close.

I don't want to toot my own horn here too much, but I've always had a way with words--I can bring even myself to tears. So that was embarrassing, although I was somewhat prepared because the same thing happened when I was graduating high school. I've consistently had good advice for myself which is incredible because rarely is my advice that good, I think. Normally I'm on the go for it! side of things. Ask my roommate Erin. She's made a lot of purchases that she had to rethink because I was the only one she was shopping with--if Lindsay, our infinitely wiser and more practical roommate, is there, it becomes a battle of shoulder angel like you wouldn't believe. I may or may not be the angel. Hint: I'm not. The other piece of advice I like to toss out is do what you feel! which is usually not the best course of action--I am, wholeheartedly, a believer in my own gut instinct, but, and I mean this in the nicest way possible, other people just don't have that same internal compass. The moral of the story is that if you're considering making a large investment purchase or debating the various moral consequences of a choice, do not, under any circumstance, ask me for help.

If you are, however, graduating, and you need a little pep talk, I'm your girl. Or at least I was four years ago. Now that I think about it, it's not exactly rocket science--a little you're great, always have been, keep doing you goes a long way. But I was particularly eloquent in this letter, and I can't remember now exactly what I said but it was really nice, and it was exactly the pat on the back I needed. From myself. That's key. I think when you're in the middle of a crisis of self-doubt it's important to hide unexpected notes of encouragement in the most unlikely of places, so you remember that you are tough, smart and worthy of much happiness! It was great!

And now that I'm on the other side of that mini-crisis, feeling much saner and self-assured, things have been looking up. I got a job! Kind of. I got an internship that could potentially turn into a full-time job, but it's a step in the right direction. I have a beautiful house to move into, I still have two weeks left in wonderland, and the sun is out. My friends are here and there, and my whole rowdy clan will be back together in just a little bit, and that's more great news. And then soon enough I'll be back with the little piece of my heart that lives with Michael, and that reunion will do my body good! So you see, I'm finding out things are never quite as dire as they seem.

xoxo, Lauren

*There is an old saying that goes something like, If you're old enough to be at The Boot, you're too old to be at The Boot. But there's another saying that goes something like, The Boot: where your college career begins and ends. We'll see which proves more true...