Have you lost weight recently?
Tried a new wellness product?
Sold a house?
Adopted a puppy?
Stopped eating meat?
Farted in the wind?
You have?! That’s wonderful! And? That is NOT A JOURNEY.
You do not need to “curate” (dry heave) the “seasons” (gag) of your life by calling everything a “journey” (help).
The only three times using the word “journey” is acceptable:
1. You have traversed a great distance – literally.
2. You made it into American Idol’s Top 24 and are explaining to Ryan Seacrest that your late/ailing grandmother is the reason you auditioned in the first place.
3. You’re at any Jersey wedding, ever, and someone asks, “Who sings this?”
Still confused? Please review this definition:
Notice how neither example includes crystals, yoga, or rich white people.
And to my journey-uttering readers: know that there is still hope. Allow me to illustrate through a few recent stories from my life. May this empower (wretch) you to consider (vomit) three alternate suggestions to your favorite word.
My Dating Journey A Ceaseless Dumpster Fire on the Slow March to Certain Death
DISCLAIMER: Name(s) changed.
“So do you want to meet for a drink…?”
“I don’t think so.”
I stared at my phone in shock. Michael and I had been texting incessantly for the past week after meeting on Hinge, the only dating app with which I seemed to have any luck. (I didn’t say it was good luck.)
“Or coffee…?” I offered. Maybe he doesn’t drink.
It was rare that I’d text someone this much, but he’d been traveling for work over New Years, so we’d had no option to meet in person. Until now. Michael was back in Oregon and I’d assumed he was as eager to go on a real date as I was.
“Nah,” he replied.
“I’m so confused, lol,” I finally replied after several minutes, almost near tears.
“What’s confusing?” he asked.
“I figured you’d want to meet when you got back…”
“Wellll I don’t drink, and coffee dates are so awkward and I always wind up getting ghosted.”
This guy gets ghosted? Nearly 6’4″, 30ish, muscular, with thick hair and kind eyes, Michael’s
abs butt face could’ve sold out theaters. He looks like a g.d. Avengers character!
“I have a facial tick,” he explained and I almost audibly sighed in relief. “Sometimes I blink a lot and so coffee dates aren’t good for me. I’m feeling really blinky today.”
“Well I’d just be trying to get to know you better, so I can promise you that that wouldn’t bother me at all,” I replied, my mind racing for alternate options that didn’t involve my apartment.
Michael was a van lifer, so suggesting we meet at his place wasn’t exactly a good choice, either. After going back and forth a little more, I finally caved.
“Okay, why don’t you just come here,” I said. Originally a Jersey girl, my two and a half years in adorable, innocent central Oregon had lowered my defenses. Or maybe it was just
those abs that smile.
When Michael arrived and I heard his voice, soft and sweet, I knew I had nothing to fear (at least in the you-want-to-see-my-head-unattached-to-my-body kind of way). I created a distraction that I hoped would put him at ease: dog tricks! I’d filled Uncle Jesse’s puzzle with treats in preparation.
“You’ve gotta see this,” I told Michael as he took off his jacket and sneakers. I stared at the giant shoes now sitting by the front door; they somehow managed to dwarf my size 11 sneakers. Though I loved solitude, the sight made me feel warm. Safe.
After Uncle Jesse showed off his puzzle, I got Michael a drink and tried to avoid direct eye contact; I could see he was blinking and didn’t want to make him uncomfortable. He was right. If this had been a coffee date it would have been incredibly awkward.
We eventually sat on the couch and he downed glass after glass of water. I’d been on enough first dates recently to appreciate that there might actually be a universe in which I wasn’t the most nervous person in the room.
After about an hour, Michael made a move, and I wasn’t surprised that he suddenly found his stride. Apparently he was just fine on first dates when they didn’t involve talking.
In a matter of weeks, we were “exclusive” and I texted friends, “I think I have my first boyfriend in four years.”
Fast forward a few more weeks…
“We’re just in different places in life.”
I was the one who sent the text. Michael and I had agreed that we communicated better and more openly via text messaging, so it seemed like the right way to end things. I explained that his lateness, lack of balanced conversation (turns out he liked to talk…a lot), and failure to contribute to anything financially had been part of “a pattern of inconsideration” that I couldn’t ignore.
“I’m truly sorry things didn’t work out,” I ended my lengthy note, my heart in my throat. “And I wish you all the best things that life has to offer.”
…I never heard from him again.
My Freelancing Journey Toxic People are Everywhere and I’m Very Tired
Dear Toxic Boss,
It is with
sadness unadulterated glee that I submit my resignation after just one week of working for you. In our short time together, I experienced a level of unprofessionalism usually reserved for public office.
You may recall that during my interview, you:
- compared the freelance hiring process to dating
- told me how much you paid your other freelancer (double what you were willing to pay me)
- explained how you knew I was motivated to do a good job because you had the power to leave a bad review on a public platform
- said the word “p***y” when quoting Donald Trump
- compared giving feedback to employees to “redirecting a child” who’s gone astray
You hired me to help promote a completed product for which you hadn’t “any idea of” the intended buyer. I enjoyed billing you for the hours spent revising the same five paragraphs. When I suggested that it may not be wise to include those 650+ words in 5-point font on a half-page print advertisement, you made it clear that you knew best – despite having had no previous success in selling similar products.
During our initial days together, you asked that we not engage in lengthy email exchanges since you were paying me “by the minute,” then proceeded to send no fewer than five emails per day at a length that would make James Joyce swoon. I appreciated the opportunity to hone my reading comprehension whilst deciphering your unformatted, stream of consciousness, mansplain-y missives.
I wish you nothing but the best in spending your undeserved investment fortune on your passion product that absolutely no one would ever purchase without your monetary incentives.
Go Jules Go
My Running Journey Why Privileged White People Should Be Institutionalized: Part #437
I’m currently mentoring a wonderful local running group and we have our big 5k race this weekend. The best part has been that I’m required to email the group once a week. This means that they have had no choice but to admire my cleverness and Uncle Jesse’s head tilts as I’ve assaulted their inboxes with these photos over the past eight weeks.
Last week, I also imparted my pearls of wisdom about “race day mentality.”
“HAVE FUN,” I wrote in boldfaced caps. “When you see people on race morning who look like they’re about to go into 17 hours of brain surgery and they’re THE ONLY ONES WHO CAN SAVE LITTLE JOHNNY, enjoy knowing that you have the appropriate mindset. A celebratory one! You’re outside! You’re moving! Encouraging others and making new friends! You’ve already succeeded and this delightful romp in gorgeous Bend, Oregon is just icing on the cake. Mmm. Icing.”
When it comes to formal athletic pursuits, I’ve definitely taken myself WAY too seriously in the past and then had to remember: I’m not curing cancer here! I’m part of a bunch of middle-aged, privileged, white people who pay to get up at 5am, crap our brains out in disgusting port-a-potties, sweat for hours on end, and then get an ugly shirt we’re never going to wear.
Tell me we don’t all deserve to be institutionalized.
What are your trigger words (and is “trigger” one of them)?