Cleaning out social media

I just went through Instagram and unfollowed every person who has polluted my feed over the past year with shitty vacation selfies, screencaps of their jogging routes, and syrupy-sweet lovey-dovey cringe-inducing couples bullshit.

If you’ve ever posted your ugly-ass husband with the hashtag #MCM (Mancrush Monday), ya gone. If your fiance runs a website that is literally dedicated to the belief that all Democrats want to do in life is to take away your guns, ya gone. If every third post from you is a countdown to your wedding (which is 7.5 months away! JFC!), ya gone. If your pictures are shit and you have no business being on a social media platform that is literally 100% pictures, ya gone.

I should have done this years ago.

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On turning 26

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People-watching at Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris this summer.

I recently turned 26. Thanks to Obamacare, we now have a modern definition of exactly what constitutes adulthood in America, and that is the day you are officially kicked off your parents’ health plan for good. This is why turning 26 feels a little special–I am, according to society, Someone Who Now Has Her Shit Together.

And I do, for the most part, thank God. I have a full-time job, a mid-level career at a nonprofit, working with civil society organizations across the world to further a meaningful cause. I graduated with a master’s degree earlier this year. I recently moved out of a group house and into my own studio apartment, which I keep clean and tidy on a daily basis. I brew my own lattes and mochas with a stovetop faux-espresso maker. I own two plants that I have managed to keep alive thus far.

But there’s a lot of uncertainty, too, things that keep me up at night. I have a massive amount of student loan debt–more than I make in a year, payments that leave me essentially breaking even after rent and groceries each month. I don’t know where I’ll be a year from now. Trying for the foreign service again? Living in a different country? Or feeling stuck? I am alone, and sometimes lonely. And then of course there’s the disastrous political insurgency that has crippled this country. The DC region has the highest concentration of anxiety and neurosis per capita I’ve ever seen–and that shit is contagious, yo.

One more thing I’ll mention about getting older: I am hungry all the time. Like all. The. Time. I am watching my calorie intake with an app, and I am exercising more, but still. How am I not 200 lbs yet?!

 

My new studio apartment

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In August, I moved from a three-bedroom house to a studio apartment. My rent went up by $300 a month, but I have to say — so worth it. I’m now a 15-minute bus ride from work and a block from the metro. The building has a concierge that holds mail for you, so I no longer have to worry about packages being stolen off my porch. I can go in the kitchen and cook whenever I want, without having to share the counters or entertain small talk. There are cons, too, of course: just this Saturday, the entire building was evacuated twice, at 6pm and 1am, due to faulty fire alarms going off. I can sometimes hear my neighbor singing loudly at midnight. And when I cook, the smell permeates through the entire apartment. But overall I would say, again, WORTH IT.

I’ve finally finished decorating the apartment, so here are some pictures. Mad respect to people who take photos for house tours on Apartment Therapy. They make it look so easy, but it’s actually hard af trying to get everything to fit within the frame. Here goes. Continue reading

‘Kindly revert’ and other email quirks

I have started a new blog.

In this first post, I would like to discuss a topic that is fascinating to me: emails, and the way we write them. I am just coming off two-plus years working at a large intergovernmental organization (DC speak: IGO) where only about 20 percent of the staff was from North America. As I transition into my new job at a small nonprofit that consists mainly of Americans, I am noticing certain phrases, quirks and patterns in my email style that were shaped not only by my years at the IGO, but also by the various bosses, interviewers, and other individuals I’ve come in contact with during my professional career. It is worth reflecting on a few of them, below: Continue reading