Real life continues to be crazy. I'm starting to realize that as an "adult," (as in, no longer in college, has a job, pays bills and loans, has more long-distance friendships than in-person ones, and keeping a love life alive) is CONTINUALLY NUTS. This is NOT something other adults tell you before you experience it first hand. Or maybe they tried, but the wisdom didn't seep through my hectic, hilarious college delusion. Because college is not real life. It's just not.
I had visions, nay, fantasies, that after I graduated with my degree, Mr. J and I would naturally get phenomenal jobs because we're awesome, and we'd have an awesome place to live, and we'd be living the middle class American dream of saving money towards our future. We were going to skip off into the sunset. I wanted the white picket fence, people. I still do.
But somewhere between college--where housing and food and brilliant people willing to share their knowledge with you and always available friends are right at your fingertips--and the white picket fence that contains babies and puppies and unicorns that poop rainbows is chaos.
I don't remember someone sitting me down to have a REAL conversation about how effing hard it is to find a job you love that pays what you're worth. No one ever told me to get ready to move once a year, or that affording groceries and car repairs and cell phone bills would be a struggle.
I would have a college degree, and that would tell the world, "HEY! You need to hire me because I'm educated and talented and hard-working. LOOK WHAT I CAN DO!"
Not true, friends. The hard truth is that it can be a downright tooth-and-nail battle to get through the day without wanting to punch a co-worker right in the throat or set fire to every piece of mail you receive in case one of them is a bill. Some days it can be really hard to find something to laugh about (that's not sarcastic or dark).
But that has to be your focus if you're in a tough patch of your life: take each day as it comes, and within that day, find things that make you happy. Between moving, job searching, missing my family and friends, and the craziness that is being in your twenties, I've had to find some things that make me truly and undoubtedly happy. I'm hoping that this list will help you smile, or encourage you to make your own Happy List to get you through the day.
Danni's Happy List
1. Cleaning my washing machine. Seriously. Caring for something that spends its life scrubbing stains from MY life makes me happy. Poor thing deserves some love (plus we're in a new place and god only knows what's been in there...the color of the water was absolutely horrifying). Follow the link: I think you'll love Jillee.
2. Vintage Revivals. This blog is so freakin inspiring that it makes my mind explode with joy and DIY ideas. Mandi is adorable and creative and just GAH! Her painted wooden furniture projects especially have my gears turning.
3. Encounters with friendly strangers. I was at Jo-Ann Fabric's looking for dye when, out of nowhere, a tall young man was standing beside me saying, "Oh no, honey, don't buy that brand. You want Dylon. The colors are so saturated." He then told me about how he has his own clothing company and demonstrated the color with the super interesting clothes he was wearing. He was so sweet and helpful and just unexpected! I call him the Fabric Dye Fairy.
4. The Avengers. Superheroes, a kick-ass ScarJo assassin, and some seriously fine men wearing tight, muscle-bearing outfits = instant pick-me-up. Especially love Robert Downy Jr. and Mark Ruffalo's performances... gahhhhh so sexy and smart and muscley and brave.... I think my brain melted as I watched it. My favorite line had to from Pepper:
5. Planning DIY projects! I have so many in the works: revamping 3 lamps, refinishing a coffee table and bookshelf, two chair makeovers, dyeing curtains, spray painting my desk, beautifying the office... is that it?... I have so many going I can't remember them all. I get SO GIDDY just thinking about doing all of that stuff. All of this is blog fodder! It will be here soon :D
6. Baking this amazeballs banana bread. It's indulgent. I am baking some for our landlord who has been just incredible. He just fixed our oven so it seems only fitting to make this for him--he and his girlfriend love it :)
Amazeballs Banana Bread
You can do this in 3 bowls or be lazy like me and do it in one. If you do it in one, start with the butter/sugar, then the banana mush, then the dry ingredients. You'll see what I mean in a second.
In a medium bowl, sift:
- 2 cups whole wheat flour (if you use all-purpose flour, decrease the milk to 1 Tbs.)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
In a large bowl or your stand mixer, cream 1 cup sugar and 1 stick of room temperature butter. Add 2 large eggs one at a time and beat until smooth.
In a small bowl, mash 3 overripe bananas, then stir in 2 Tbs. milk and 1 tsp. cinnamon.
Add banana mix to butter mix and combine. Add dry ingredients. Mix only until just combined. Add another splash of milk if its too dry. It should be thick but completely moist.
Pour batter into buttered loaf pan. Bake for one hour and check with toothpick. If the toothpick does not come out clean, bake for 5 minute intervals until a new toothpick does come out clean.
Let cool 15 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack before cutting.
ENJOY and a happy day to all of you, particularly those who may be on the struggle bus with me.