It’s been a whirlwind romance. It’s been a whirlwind several years. I won’t re-cap in great detail—you can read back through the posts if you’re very curious—but I will say that the last few years (and more recent months) have been filled with self-reflection, radical acceptance, and courage.
As I have been preparing to drive halfway across the country with two cats and my best friend—for a boy I’ve fallen head over heels in love with—I’ve done a lot of reflecting on how I have come to be in this position. I fully intend to document the adventure that will begin this Saturday November 16th as Babette and I head south, but for now I’d like to highlight just a few of the life lessons that I have learned within the last 5 years.
(In no particular order of importance)
- There is no good reason to have a credit card. I’m sorry but there isn’t. There is REALLY no reason to EVER have a joint credit card. Save your money. Pay cash. If you can’t, you probably shouldn’t buy it.
- According to society, it is a risk factor for a single woman to own more than one cat. It could be argued that there is a risk in owning any cats as a single woman, but clearly there is some degree of exponential (read convex) growth in terms of the number of cats owned and likelihood of entering cat ladydom.
- There are clear blue jobs and clear pink jobs. Sometimes there can be purple jobs, but only if partners are equally skilled, competent, and have agreed that both working at the same purple job will complete it faster. When women and men start mixing up jobs, things get confusing and people get their egos bruised. Best to clarify from the start which jobs are what color.
- The risks associated with alcohol consumption more frequently outweigh the benefits. Also, alcohol should never be included on a person’s “self-care plan.”
- Having a “5-year plan” is silly. There is no way to predict what turn of events will or will not take place. Please see previous post Series of Unfortunate Events. Best bet is to take all steps possible to be prepared for what might happen i.e. used gained wisdom from self-reflection, radical acceptance, and courage to be content with life and find purpose in daily living. Happiness will be the side-effect. The only plan one should make is to be debt free.
- Moving frequently encourages minimal possessions. Minimal possessions decreases risks of entering a life of hoarding….Does frequent moving and minimal possessions therefore increase the risks of becoming a nomad? Is that bad? That seems like a bell curve of some sorts…
- You can’t mail liquor boxes (unless fully wrapped covering all labeling) despite their amazing qualities as a sturdy shipping box.
- The cheapest way to move to another state is via the United States Postal Service and Wal-Mart. Boxes are about 69 cents each at Wal-Mart and if it doesn’t rattle, it ships media rate…. Just be sure to get delivery confirmation. Those pods, trucks, and everything else costs several thousands of dollars.
- It is important to step out of your comfort zone from time to time. Go on random dates, go on blind dates even, interview for jobs so that you can practice presenting yourself in a professional manner, say yes to the invitation to go out even though you would rather just veg at home.
- Be hopeful. Be thankful. Be open. Be wise. Be silly.
One random evening…
Posted in Lifestyle
Tagged Adventure, Babette, Cat Ladydom, Courage, Debt Free, Drinking, Freedom, Gender Roles, Life, Love, Moving, Radical Acceptance, Self-Care, Texas, The South, Viktor Frankl
What are the chances that I would wear this shirt and receive this gift on the same day? Also of note, there is a “Crazy Cat Person Quiz” on the back of this package, with one question stating “Do you own more than one piece of clothing with a cat on it?” What if you only have one piece of clothing but it has many cats on it?
“If I die before my cat, I want a little of my ashes put in his food so I can live inside him.” -Drew Barrymore
This is real people.
So during the time my brother and I were attempting to successfully pass through Erikson’s 5th stage of psychosocial development of Identity vs. Role Confusion (facing the questions Who Am I? What Can I Be? which all late teens and early twenty-somethings ask subconsciously) there was and additional question/fear of “will I go crazy when I turn 21?” that we each had. You see, as psychology majors, one of the first things that you learn is that most psychological/psychiatric issues surface by the age of 21. It was like waiting to see if a mental time bomb was about to go off. I’m not trying to make light of the issue (as I am a therapist), but when you are an impressionable youth immersed in studies of the abnormal functions of the brain, you start to wonder about yourself.
Should I have a “late in life” transition to cat ladydom, I worry that my psychiatric admit note would be quite similar to the one above.
When she was eight, she was a smart and ambitions young girl who wanted to be both a lawyer and a doctor “because a woman can do anything.” She was studying for law school at 16, and by 24, she had earned an MD from Harvard Medical School and a JD from Yale Law School. However, by 32, suffering from burnout, she had turned to alcohol and became obsessed with her pet cat, Buster. By the time she turned 40, she had assumed her present state as a drunken, raving lunatic—entering full Cat Ladydom.
The Cat Lady enjoys “brief moments of lucidity” after taking psychotropic medications. She abruptly resumes her usual bizarre behavior when someone mentions that the “pills” are actually Reese’s Pieces. Her medication helps her speak intelligibly rather than her usual gibberish. She has a hoarding disorder, collecting both objects and cats alike.
Even without medication, she appears to be very intelligent. When the mayor is recalled, she runs for office. During a candidate debate, she is asked what public-policy issues are important to her. Unlike the other candidates (who at as stereotypical dishonest politicians), Cat Lady discusses issues such as health care, economy, and public education in between her screams and gibberish (and a call for cats “in everyone’s pants”).
How does one refrain from taking this journey towards Cat Ladydom? I assure you that as a successful single woman who received full custody of two cats in a divorce, I have been warned by many to be mindful of this slippery slope. Protective factors that I have include; having only one degree in higher education, I’m only 28, I frequently down-size my belongings, and I have remained purrfectly content with only two cats for the past year. So does my state of singledom automatically increase my risk factor for full reliance on cats for companionship? According to my peers, it most certainly does.