The Funniest Paralegal

It’s weeks like this past week (and this upcoming week, and the 12 weeks following until April 15) that I regret being an accountant. Busy season is in full swing (as proven by my posting hiatus) and I find myself hating work.

These kind of days make me think of Mindy.

I love Mindy. That phrase is uttered in my household on a weekly basis. It’s such a frequent occurrence that my husband no longer has to follow it up with “who the hell is Mindy?”

See, I don’t have a single family member named Mindy. I also don’t have any friends (in real life) named Mindy. No, the Mindy I’m referring to is none other than Mindy Kaling, who is basically my Indian other half.

I first fell in love with Mindy Kaling when I read “Types of Women in Romantic Comedies Who Are Not Real.” Before that, I knew her as Kelly from the Office, but after reading some of her work, I fell in love with her as a writer. When her book, “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns),” came out, it was the first item on my Christmas list and I read it in less than three days.

In that book, Mindy talks about how grateful she was for going to Dartmouth, because if she had instead gone to NYU, right now she’d be “the funniest paralegal in a law firm in Boston.” And that’s all she would have been. Just some no-name paralegal in some no-name firm in Boston.

I understand that sentiment.

Accounting isn’t exactly an exciting job. As a beau of mine in college so tactfully put it, “nobody grows up wanting to be an accountant.” He was a pilot, and his arrogance proved that tenfold, but he was right nonetheless. No five-year old’s dream job is accountant. It’s just not.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to come to terms with the fact that all I am is an accountant. In fact, I think part of the reason I’m avoiding taking the CPA exam again is because, if I become a CPA, it will be like admitting that this is actually what I do for a living. I had dreams as a kid of being a famous actress, traveling the world, giving interviews, being held in esteem by all the people who matter. You know, regular kid-type dreams.

Overall, I like my life right now and I’m happy where I am. And I know if hadn’t gone into accounting, then my life would be drastically different, so in a sense I’m grateful for the decisions I’ve made. I just sometimes feel like I’ve taken the safest possible route on every step of my journey through life. I haven’t really taken any risks, and the few I have taken have been overtly calculated. I feel like Lily in the first season of “How I Met Your Mother.”

“I’ve made no mistakes! I’ve done all of this; my life, my relationship, my career, mistake-free.”

To quote Lily again: “there are certain things in life where you know it’s a mistake but you don’t really know it’s a mistake because the only way to really know it’s a mistake is to make the mistake and look back and say ‘yep, that was a mistake.’ So really, the bigger mistake would be to not make the mistake, because then you’d go your whole life not knowing if something is a mistake or not.”

I’m not saying I want to start making mistakes. I’m just saying maybe I’m due for some more risks.

What are you thoughts on mistake-free/risk-free lives? What are some mistakes you’ve made that you’re grateful for having made? What are the mistakes you’re not so grateful for? Do you have any good ideas of risks I should take in the impending future? All suggestions welcome…and encouraged. Seriously, give me something to work with here.

I don’t want to just be the funniest paralegal anymore.

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Old Photos and New Memories

Today I was trying to move some music files from my husband’s computer to mine over our shared network. I’m not very technological, so I was having difficulties. And as he had to be at work at 3am this morning, he’s already in bed and couldn’t help me out. So I searched through pretty much all of his files trying to figure out where the music was, and I came upon his pictures.

Most of his picture albums have good descriptions, including the location and often the date. I’m in a lot of these albums, so I had fun browsing through them, reminiscing to myself about how thin we both were while we were dating and the fun times we’ve had on our various trips together.

After perusing through a good number of albums, I opened his Miscellaneous folder. And I saw a video of me. That I had completely forgotten we had taken (side note: this is not anything R-rated, I promise, so don’t get your hopes up).

Not very many people know this, but my husband and I talked about postponing our wedding approximately three months before it was planned to happen. We had been living apart for over a year and I had come down to visit him. We were apartment hunting for after the wedding, so I had taken the whole week off work to fly down South and hang out with my soon-to-be-husband. It was the longest amount of time we had spent together since he moved down here.

I will admit that he and I got engaged too quickly. We had barely been dating a year, which at that time made for the third longest relationship I’d had (that’s right, I had dated two other guys longer than I had dated my now fiance). But living apart made us hasty and while I’m glad that we did rush into things, it was still a bit scary at the time. I felt like we didn’t know each other that well, and after a few months of living apart, I was starting to forget what we liked about each other in the first place.

On the day before I headed back to the Midwest, I was exhausted. We had spent most of the week squabbling over nothing in particular and we were both kind of wore out from each other. We had become so used to living alone and only seeing each other once a month or so, and we didn’t really know how to be around each other 24/7 anymore. We were both worried that we were rushing into things and that we weren’t ready to get married.

And then for some reason, after the dust had cleared a little (although not completely), we decided to take a video on his phone of his apartment. It was the place where he had proposed to me and where he had spent his first year living in the South, and it had a special place in both our hearts. We joked that we could show it to our kids one day, an idea which, after just talking about potentially not getting married at all, made me almost burst into tears. I was the one on camera and I just put on a happy face, fighting back the water works, and I remember being so afraid that (a) we would never have kids to even see this video or (b) if our kids did see this video, they would be able to tell how upset I was.

I rewatched the video tonight and I am happy to say that I’m a good faker. Even though I knew what had been going on in my head during the filming, from a viewer’s perspective, I genuinely seemed happy. My then-fiance and I joked through the apartment tour and poked fun at each other and pointed out all the important spots and we seemed really in love. And it hit me that we really were in love there, even if in that actual moment we weren’t quite sure.

After that week, I never questioned again whether or not we should get married. And 15+ months into our marriage, I still have never questioned it, even during our first few months when I was unemployed and all we did was fight about money and home decor. I feel like nobody ever talks honestly about how difficult the first year of marriage is, so I’m here to tell you that it is HARD. On top of that, being engaged is also hard if you are actually rational enough to consider the enormity of your decision (and nobody ever told me how tough being engaged was, either). I personally believe that if your engagement is all hearts and rainbows, then you are not legitimately ready to get married. Although I’m also someone that doesn’t believe in soulmates or destiny or falling in love with someone the moment you see them. I’m far too rational for all those things and to me, agreeing to be someone’s partner in marriage is a choice that needs to be thought on long and hard.

Anyway, the point of this post and its title is this: it’s amazing how different the present appears when its viewed as the past. In other words, our perceptions about certain times in our lives change as we move past them. In the present, the filming of that video was filled with turmoil. But now that it’s in the past, I view it merely as a speed bump in the greater road that is our relationship. It’s things like this that give me hope that even the most daunting mountains in my life may be viewed in hindsight as merely molehills.

Resolutions

I’ve never made a New Year’s resolution; at least not one I can remember. But for some reason, this year I made three.

And I didn’t even consciously plan to. About four days ago, I just came up with a few things that I wanted to start being better about in 2014. Since then, I’ve been trying to figure out why this year was so different than every year before it.

I think it’s a combination of things. First, I had a rough year. I’ve never been great with this living-in-another-state deal, but this year it really hit me hard. It didn’t help that I made the mistake of not visiting my family for nearly five months, which led to a minor depression that thankfully was remedied by a spontaneous trip back to the Midwest a couple weeks before Thanksgiving.

Second, and most importantly, I think I’m at a point in my life where I know that I need to grow up and take better care of myself. Whenever I get sick, instead of taking medicine to get better, I just kind of wallow and stay sick far longer than I should. It was my turn to do the dishes a couple weeks ago and I wanted to get them done before my husband and I left to visit family for the holidays, yet the day before we left, I sat around watching TV and not packing. Thus, when we came back, I still had the dishes to do. And at this very moment, I have needed to do laundry for several weeks. I currently have no sports socks or jeans clean, and I only have a few pairs of underwear and one bra that are not dirty. Seriously, this is my life. I probably shouldn’t admit that to the entire internet, but it’s true. Thankfully, I’m not like this all the time (or else I would never accomplish anything). I just sometimes go through phases of not wanting to be a responsible adult.

In retrospect, all three of my resolutions have something to do with taking better care of myself:

(1) Write at least a page (in Microsoft Word, double-spaced) of my thoughts every day, whether it’s just a journal entry or a blog post. I love to write. It always calms me down when I’m stressed out. It betters my mind and my spirit. Yet I sit on blog posts for weeks or ignore my laptop for days because, for some reason, when I get in a funk, I avoid doing things that will get me out of it. Because I like wallowing. Because I’m basically still a child. Even though I’m almost 26 years old.

(2) Do my hip exercises every day and my lower back exercises at least three times a week. I have loose SI joints. This basically means that my hip joints are weak and move around on their own, causing acute lower back pain on a pretty regular basis. I’ve been dealing with this for over a year and I always just referred to it as my hips being out of place. I finally went and saw a physical therapist about three months ago and she explained that it was actually my SI joints, not my whole hip (if my hip was out of place, she informed me, I wouldn’t be able to walk), and she gave me exercises I could do to strengthen the joints. And they worked! Really well! And so I stopped doing them after a few weeks. Because I refuse to be an adult.

(3) Wear contacts to work at least twice a week. Busy season is coming up and last year, I wore my glasses nearly every day of busy season. I claimed it was because the extra hours caused eye strain and it was easier to deal with if I didn’t wear contacts, but really, it was because I’m lazy. Because if I wear contacts, I have to make sure my eyebrows are plucked, and put on makeup, and actually look at myself in the mirror and admit that my face is fatter than it used to be. But if I wear glasses, I can disregard all of that. It’s my way of hiding, both from others and myself. Every day that I wear contacts and actually put an effort into my looks, I feel better about myself. So I mostly wear my glasses to work. Because, again, I go out of my way to not feel good.

I’ve been this way on and off for most of my adult life. I’m a procrastinator by nature, and that carries over into every part of my life, meaning that if I don’t need to make myself feel better right away, I don’t. And I’ve apparently never really been bothered or worried about that until this year. So what’s different?

Ok blog world, I’m going to let you in on a secret that NO ONE ELSE EXCEPT MY HUSBAND KNOWS. Although, no one except my husband and a couple friends even know I have this blog, so I’m guessing this next secret will probably be kept quiet. Ok here goes: my husband and I are talking about starting a family. We haven’t told anyone yet because, given my family history, there’s a good chance that it could take me a while to get pregnant, and I didn’t want to tell people we were trying and then not get pregnant for two years. Also, I’m a carrier for a rare disease and we don’t know yet whether my husband is also a carrier. If he is a carrier, then we may have a child that needs a liver transplant…like my niece did…at seven months old. I don’t want to jinx anything by telling people about our potential pregnancy…although apparently I’m comfortable telling the entire blogosphere. But let’s be honest, no one reads this anyway, so I’m really not too concerned here.

Anyway, I think that talking about having a kid has made me realize that I sometimes don’t even take care of MYSELF and that something needs to change before I have to take care of someone else. And this was all subconsciously in my mind until I randomly made resolutions and then retrospectively figured out what my mind was preparing for.

So I am wondering about two things from all of you (or the three of you that sometimes peruse this blog):

First, do you make resolutions? If so, what do they usually involve, and why do you make them?

Second, to all the parents out there, did you ever (or do you still) feel like you are not enough of an adult to raise a child? I love children and I know I want them and in most aspects of my life, I’m incredibly responsible (I know this post may make you question that, but I promise, I mostly have things together here). Yet I still worry that I’m not going to be able to do it. I worry about postpartum depression and feeling overwhelmed with responsibility and just wallowing, like I do now.

Lastly, happy new year to everyone. I’m sorry for the serious tone this post has taken. My next post will hopefully be more lighthearted; I guess the new year just brings out this side of me.