Guest Post: Don’t Take Life Too Seriously; It Will Dumb You Down

By: Scarlett Clark

I have been called a geek many times. I am the one who reads English classics for pleasure, writes unremittingly during the weekends and who gets a kick out of drawing up mind maps and brain storms. Having said this, it will come as no surprise that I had a bucket list; a record of achievements to be completed before hitting 21. There were small ones such as passing my driving test and then well, let’s just say humongous ones; the book I was planning on writing hasn’t exactly been written, yet alone published.

I am pleased to announce though that my friends’ “bucket lists” have always been more realistic. Daisy has started looking for the one at 22 because she is determined to be married by 24 and April has already read up on the latest Tatler article on how to secure a place for your son at the prestigious institution; Eton. We have all been brainwashed into believing that twenties will be “the best time of our lives!” Seriously, how many times have you heard this? For some bizarre reason we have it installed in us that the twenties will ensure the perfect life. Well, I, Scarlett Clark am taking that idea, driving in on a classic FatBoy Harley Davidson and squashing that perception. I am announcing that this particular decade can suck.

Okay, maybe I am skeptical and my view is exaggerated but no doubt, you agreed. In order to fly high to the top to reach our chosen career paths we have to gain “experience.” We need to have internships and apprenticeships under our belt and the ability to speak dozens of languages and have grade 8 certificates in clarinet, the trumpet and piano to name a few (and I am just referring to my Chinese flatmate.) Rather than finding the one, we have this tendency to attract odd-balls and weirdoes. Being a student, champagne and caviar are reserved for when your parents come to stay because that student budget solely allows plums, porridge and tins of baked beans. We are ashamed to say that we are the generation whose iPhones hold the essence of our souls, we love puppies more than babies and Ben and Jerry’s in front of Girls is a lot more tempting than a daily salad and trip to the gym (even if in our heads we pride ourselves on resembling Miranda Kerr).

20 to 30 though quite conveniently is the time to make mistakes and have a ball whilst doing so. It is the time to have fun and enjoy the ride; I best stop before I come across as if I am about to break out into song. When did we start putting pressure on ourselves to achieve perfection during these ten years? Why do we all of a sudden strive to tick off our goals before we have grown as individuals? We go along at full speed presumptuous that we won’t crash rather than enjoy the ride and take detours. As William Shakespeare once wrote “joy’s soul lies in the living,” in fact what are we gaining if we are missing it and letting it pass on by? Qualms and meltdowns are regular occurrences in my household yet even I am learning to let my hair down. Don’t take life too seriously, it will dumb you down. Instead keep your head high and own your twenties. If nothing else has convinced you then remember this: puppies are just as cute as babies and don’t cost half as much, Ryan Gosling isn’t with you because he hasn’t met you yet and you can get around to writing that great novel when you’re old and grey.

Scarlett Clark is a twenty-something English journalist who has worked in the industry since she was only 14! She has gained experience in journalism, editorial and writing all over Europe and the States. Scarlett has a giggle rather than a laugh and wears heels on a daily basis yet she is a fearless blonde who enjoys informing the masses and whose mission in life has always been to have an impact on the world even if in a small way. Scarlett is the founder and editor of Scriptoersis. You can follow her on Twitter @Scarlett_C22.

Guest Writers Week: Dear Twenties

By: Noëlle Cuvilly

Dear Twenties,

Hey, it’s Noëlle. We’ve known each other for almost five years, but I think its time we had a little chat. I mean, unless God has other plans for me, we’ll be spending another five years together, so why not get a dialogue going between us? Its okay if you don’t have much to say right now. Just hear me out.

At 18, all I wanted was to meet you. I’d heard so many great things about you. How you came with freedom and independence. How you are supposed to be a total blast. You were that ideal of being a grown-up but still teetering the line of adolescence. The whole concept of “Old enough to know better; too young to give a fuck” had me sold on you immediately.

When we first met on March 3, 2010, I was a sophomore in college. I was invited to a gala, got dressed in a gorgeous black and white gown, had my face beat to perfection and drank amaretto sours with my girlfriends. It was a good time. I felt great about finally meeting you. But I guess you could say that our first year was a bit boring. It’s fine though because I was still feeling you out. You made up for it the next year.

At 21 you introduced me to love. My 21st summer was humid, hot and hazy. I met a man who made my emotions seem similar to a day at Six Flags where the lines are long and move at a snail’s pace, but once you’re strapped in, those short 60 seconds of flying through the air at high speeds made the wait well worth it. But in that same year, you showed me that love leaves. That the park doesn’t stay open all year-round. Pretty soon I was on a ride that I wanted off of but never seemed to be over. It was a ride that lasted well into our third and some of our fourth year together.

And now here we are. I guess we’re starting the part of our relationship that teaches me that you’re not all about fun and games. I am old enough to know better and SHOULD care enough to do better. You’re teaching me that you won’t be here forever so I’ve got to make this count. I have to start preparing for life after you. Working, managing money and time responsibly, balancing relationships, learning about myself, treating myself and others better and learning how to balance being selfish and selfless all at the same time. It gets a little scary. But you’re doing it for my own good I suppose.

I hope that along with these lessons, the rest of the time we spend together will be filled with fun. Can we try that love thing again? Can we travel more? Can we meet lots more new, exciting and interesting people as well as reconnect with old, awesome friends that I’ve lost touch with since you and I met? Let’s be more responsible but every once in awhile let’s just say, “Fuck it!” and do something crazy! LETS GET A TATTOO! Let’s try to get along better with my mother. Let’s laugh and cry. Let’s be honest with me a bit more. Let’s work on me loving myself more. Let’s pray more. Lets eat better but still enjoy the cheesy goodness that is pizza. Lets write more. Lets find new hobbies that I may enjoy. Let’s make my time with you the best time of my life like my twenties are supposed to be. We have so much to do, Twenties. Let’s get started.

Noëlle Cuvilly is a 23 year old creative writer from Queens, New York. With her B.A in English from Morgan State University, the self-proclaimed “cultured hoodrat” is working towards being a published author in the near future. Follow her on Twitter @_sugatits

Young And Untethered

Friday night.

The plan was to have one or two drinks, say hello to some old faces and head out.  By 1 a.m. when I am sitting in the pizza place across the street from the bar shouting out obscenities, I realize I have not exactly stuck to the plan.

I could tell you where I ended up on Friday night, but then I’d have to kill you. And, this blog works a lot better when I have people alive and well to read it. So, suffice it to say I ended up somewhere safe and sound.

This story is the abridged version of my UMD Homecoming Weekend. I’ve never participated in homecoming festivities as an alum, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. As the days inched closer and my friends’ anticipation mounted, I couldn’t quite understand the hype. Somewhere along the line, after it stopped whipping me around every chance it got, I settled into adult life. I was no longer drowned by nostalgia. I didn’t yearn for the good ol’ college days again. So, I couldn’t grasp why I should be so excited to return to our college town, plant my feet on the sticky floor of our favorite bar and smile at people who I didn’t care about from 2007-2011 and sure as hell don’t care about now.

But, I was wrong. Slightly.

That night somewhere in the arena of 10 p.m., I looked at my cell phone to check the time. I originally thought 10 p.m. would be the time I started to head toward the exit. Instead, it transformed into the time I ordered another margarita. Why should I leave? I was surrounded by my friends. I was running into a bunch of people and catching up on what our lives have turned into two years post grad. I was side-eyeing the people who are still the equivalent of human ticks. It was just like college. And, it was great.

Age 24 is not age 21. I never could party much as it is my life destiny to be a grandma. But, I definitely can’t party the way I did my senior year of college. However, that did not stop me from trying on Friday night.

A lot has changed in the two years since I bid College Park farewell. I’ve thrown myself into building a life where family, friends, work and writing are the anchors. I’ve pushed myself to (usually) make smart and sound decisions and save myself from a lot of emotional turmoil that certain people bring. I’ve tried my best to be the kind of adult who can sleep easy at night. But, every now and again, it gives me a much-needed jolt to have the kind of night that reminds me I am still young and untethered.

There is hidden beauty in being young and untethered. Last week, someone wrote in a Twenties Unscripted comment, “Maybe because life is just so much more raw when you’re younger and you’re just living it balls to the wall.” Yes, maybe it is so much more raw. But, I think you have to enjoy that. I think you have to soak it up, roll around in it and take as much advantage as you can. You don’t know anything else yet and you don’t need to. There will come a time when you choose to tie yourself down, whether to a job or a spouse or children or whatever other responsibilities real adults take on. And, yes, those things will be such a reward. But, for now, be young and untethered. Most bad decisions are only great decisions cloaked in other people’s narrow expectations for your life. Be slow to judge and quick to forgive. Apply that rule to others, but apply it mostly to yourself. So, eat the extra French fry. Take the shot. Kiss the guy. Shout in the middle of the street. Dance in the middle of the floor. Buy the shoes. Turn the song up one more notch.  You are young. That is what we do.

Xoxo,

Tyece

 

First Date Conversations: What’s Up For Discussion?

Today popular blogger Necole Bitchie raised a question on Twitter: Is it crazy to talk about marriage and babies on the first date? My response: “Yes. Let me enjoy my drink before we discuss my uterus’ future.” The question elicited a range of opinions, from women who agreed with me to women who believe marriage and babies are fair game for first date conversations, in the interest of ensuring you are on the same page with a person.

The most recent first date I had was back in May so bear with me as I try to recall ancient history. It wasn’t an out-of-the-ordinary first date, but it was a damn good one. It was one of those three-hour-long dates where we ate and drank and talked about everything and nothing. We flirted up a storm. We shut the restaurant down. And, ironically enough, I do remember the topic of children coming up, namely my indecision about wanting them. But, the topic surfaced and just as quickly drifted away. We weren’t necessarily in agreement about having children, but that did not stop us from making out in an empty parking lot after the date and seeing each other for the next five weeks.

There is something to be said for dating with intention. There is something to be said for not wasting your time or anyone else’s. But, there is also something to be said for throwing your head back and enjoying this life every once in awhile. Because, on some level, that is what dating is. We all too often start running our personal lives like a business, assessing every person who crosses our path by their spousal potential. Dating should be more fun than that. We spend 40+ hours a week actually working. It’s exhausting to treat our love lives the same way.

A few weeks ago, I wrote: The pit stops, or non-relationships, can truly be beautiful. They can be delicious and sexy and coated in lust. They can be fun and exciting. They can be meaningful and telling and life-changing. But, you have to be in a mind space to absorb them for what they are and for what they are not.

It liberates us every now and again to grab that mind space where we can appreciate the non-relationships. When you truly hit it off with someone, first dates are such a rush. There isn’t any history or bullshit or extreme hurdles to jump through. First dates should be two people enjoying themselves and enjoying each other. Yes, we have to date with intention. Yes, eventually, we have to stop dicking around and get serious about who we let into our lives. But, that doesn’t mean we have to drop our life resume on the first night.

Let me know what you think. What are the dos and donts of first date conversations? The comments section is your oyster.

Xoxo,

Tyece

Adventures In The Nightclub

31 Day Writing Challenge LAST DAY! “No topic”

When a friend of mine invited me to celebrate her birthday at a well-known DC nightclub where J. Cole would perform, I didn’t need much coaxing. This friend is highly networked in the DC social scene, so the night’s festivities would be gratis. Free food? Free drinks? You already had me at J. Cole, but now I am digging through my closet to retrieve my most comfortable heels.

You can find me in da club.
You can find me in da club.

 

I had to mentally psyche myself out all week, knowing that if I didn’t, I would easily give in to my usual Friday night stupor and end up on the couch watching Fashion Police. So, I spent the week figuring out what to wear (a black dress that was comfortable and functional enough not to reveal my ass in case I decided to drop it like it’s hot) and deciding on the most logical mode of transportation (the Metro–because it was only eight stops from the Metro station I use, plus finding parking in DC gives me anxiety and makes me sweat.) Thanks to a smart suggestion from both my coworker and another friend, I even installed “iTrans DC,” an app that would let me know when the Metro was coming. I was finally ready to reunite with my clubbing days.

My friends and I started going to nightclubs when we were 16 years old, compliments of

My freshmen clubbing days.
My freshmen clubbing days.

the abominable idea to host club “Teen Nights.” We frequented an establishment called “Baja Beach Club” where we would sweat through our sequined spaghetti strap shirts while gyrating to Lil Jon’s “Get Low.” During the second semester of my freshmen year in college, we started going to “Love,” a place we mistakenly considered an upgrade from our Baja Beach days. Like many clubs, Love hosted “18 and over” nights, something I now, five years later, also deem an abominable idea. We spent Saturday after Saturday shaking our post-pubescent bodies and making Facebook albums titled, “OMG Freshman Year Is Almost Over!” The bulk of my social life during college centered around these 18 and over nights, until I finally turned 21 and went to more legitimate spots.

Before last night, the last time I had gone to a club was a year ago when I spent Labor Day Weekend in Miami. I knew I was a little rusty, but my clubbing incompetence was half of the fun. We had dinner and when we learned that bottle service wouldn’t begin until about midnight (it was only 10 p.m.) we took to the bar to grab a drink. When the bartender announced that my margarita costs $17 dollars, I looked at him as though he had ten different heads. Seventeen dollars? For one drink? Do you know how many bottles of wine I can buy for that kind of money? Lesson learned: no more Patron margaritas. Ever.

We danced. We drank. We laughed. We waited in anticipation of J. Cole. The bottles arrived and all I could think is why are they holding up these bottles, complete with a flashing light show, as though we just won the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes? It’s just Ciroc. Everyone calm down.

Around 1 a.m. two pivotal things happened. One of these things is that we made our way to the third floor where J. Cole was set to perform. We clawed through a crowd of eager men looking at us as though we were prime rib in a meat market and got to the third floor–a location that was packed to the gills with perspiring bodies. It didn’t take more than a millisecond to realize we were not going to see J. Cole. Guess I had to live vicariously through my obsessive YouTubing of his songs.

The other pivotal thing that happened is that my foot got stepped on.

I have always known that I am a zero or 100 kind of person. My polarity reveals itself most in social settings, where I am either cackling and living it up or rolling my eyes and ready to leave. I only go out if I know I will be at 100. The combination of discerning that I would not see J. Cole paired with staring at my now-bleeding big toe incited the quickest 100 to zero descent I’ve ever had. The iTrans DC app I installed fifteen hours prior proved worthy. I looked at it, saw the next Metro train would arrive in seven minutes, bid my friends farewell and bolted through the club and down 14th street, reaching the platform just as the train arrived.

My feet felt like I had walked on hot coals by the time I got home and climbed into bed. My ears were ringing. This morning, my body felt like someone had put it through a blender. Since I abandoned my clubbing days a few years back, I learned that I haven’t missed much and I haven’t missed them much. But, I had fun, so it was well worth it. Bleeding big toe and all.

Xoxo,

Tyece