Today, in an effort to liven up my morning, I found a website with job listings and perused them for awhile, until my heart rate was high enough to beat out that of a cornered jackrabbit. Generally I live a terror free life, mostly because I lack a healthy sense of fear, unless it comes to snakes, psychological thrillers*, Larry the Cat**, and the unknown. The first three are pretty easily handled: I review proper snake-bit etiquette once a week, I avoid watching movies that even hint at having Paul Bettany as an imaginary friend, and when it comes to Larry the Cat...it's nothing that hiding in Sam's bed won't fix. But the unknown, now there's a horse of a different color. Before you dismiss my irrational obsession with knowing everything that could/might/will happen, let me remind you that I am now nearing my 21st birthday, which means that I am only one year away from my 22nd, which means I am only one month away from graduating. So what? you might retort. Or I might, under normal circumstances. But as I recently realized over winter break, I have no idea what happens after you graduate. Every time I think about it all I hear is the sound I make when I make fun of my older sister for possibly not having a brain--it's reminiscent of a wind tunnel.

Except now it's me with no brain and no future, and as evidenced by my search this morning, no job prospects either.

That's why in the last few days I've been plagued by cold sweats and a sense of impending doom--today the unnaturally sunny weather here in New Orleans sent me into a tailspin of conspiracy theories. I'm pretty sure there's a catch. Nobody gets June-worthy weather in January without somehow paying for it--my guess is that we're going to have a storm that would make even Noah want to jump ship, and it's going to be the day that I wear both my leather boots and jacket.

But I digress. I've always known that as an English major the only thing I'm going to be able to do with my degree is hang it on a wall, and possibly be the greatest thank you note writer to have ever lived, but other than that, it's not taking me anywhere but the unemployment line or to a career as a barista. Which I am well on my way to. No really, I'm the bus girl right now at a coffee shop but they told me I could get on bar as soon as I work there longer than three weeks at a time. So I guess there's always that, but somehow I always imagined myself gainfully employed and not in a place that smells like coffee grounds and is full of loud, crazy Italians.

Or did I? Maybe my recent panic is really a result of being back at Tulane, a place chock full of highly motivated people, all headed straight for success and willing do a lot to get there. We're talking internships at Google and working for Senators--even if I wanted to, I'm pretty sure I couldn't keep up. Which is ok, because I'm also fairly confident in my ability to use charm, wit and good looks to at least be able to support myself; as far as I know that's the goal once you're done with school. I could be wrong. I've heard some different theories. As far as everything else goes, I haven't the foggiest. I need to start a Lauren is Going to Graduate (Probably) Plan, but I don't even know where to start. I don't even know what I don't know. What do you do? Who do you hang out with? Where do you live? Who pays you? These are questions I am at least moderately determined to find the answers to.

Mostly when I think about the future, I close my eyes and see myself laying on a beach somewhere. It's one of my favorite activities. Not a very lucrative one, but you know. Not many of my favorite activities are--work isn't high up there on my list of priorities. But maybe one of the reasons it seems like everyone but me is going to be blowing kisses from the top quicker than you can say "you're hired" is because I have subconciously surrounded myself with Type-A personalities who will undoubtedly have a couch I can sleep on somewhere down the road, leaving me to go lay out. Preferably in the Maldives.

Also, if all else fails, I've decided my back-up plan is being a trophy wife. I had to ditch the bronze artist thing--the 20lb. bird nest incident didn't bode well for my future in the discipline. Oh well. Whatever it is that I end up doing I'm sure it will produce a lot of things to tell my therapist.

xoxo, Lauren

*A Beautiful Mind, anyone? Remember, I was paranoid for weeks. **Larry the Cat is a figment of my younger sister and I's imagination--he came into our house once and wreaked a terrifying amount of havoc in our front room, and he brought his cat gang with him. Now he's started showing up in other places too. It's like A Beautiful Mind, except we're not math geniuses and instead of Paul Bettany and the government, it's cats. Now that I'm writing this down it sounds really, really crazy. I can't not think of things I'm going to need a shrink for...this is not a drill.