WTF Wednesdays: Travel Tag Edition

The lovely An Historian About Town nominated me for the travel tag. I was so excited to be nominated, because I love to travel and I love An Historian. Not only are her posts well-written, interesting, and positively filled with gorgeous photos of beautiful places and things, the girl behind it all is just fabulous. Go check out her blog-you’ll love it!

Now, without further ado, my responses to some fun travel-themed questions:

What is your favorite place that you have visited?

Hands down, the U.K. and Ireland. My trip was seven freaking years ago, but I still think about it everyday, and I have tried to get back to the U.K. on several different occasions.

Is it possible to look any more touristy?
My ancestor-Lady Godiva’s statue was dwarfed by a Primark. I felt equal parts let down and excited. I really wanted to buy a pair of £8 jean shorts.
 

I also loved NYC and have always dreamed of living it up a la every.single.chick.flick in all creation, as a Big Apple girl.

(All of my NYC pics are stored away on my external hard drive. Sad face.)

Large cities, with tons of energy and culture, are definitely my favorite places to visit, but I loved being in the middle of nowhere, amidst rolling green hills in England. I also adored driving through the otherworldly terrain of the Scottish Highlands, and even though the road to Dingle, Ireland is crap-your-pants scary, the beauty of the Dingle Peninsula is unmatched.

I feel like there should be an “I Survived the Road to Dingle” badge.
Somewhere between Inverness and Edinburgh

If you could visit anywhere tomorrow where would you go?

100% the U.K.! But, I mean, if someone wanted to take me to Japan or Italy or Brazil, I’d not argue one bit. *spastic winking*

Would you rather go on a city holiday or a beach holiday?

I’m such a city girl-the energy, the eclectic culture, the myriad languages, the food, the history… Also, I’m not a huge fan of sunburnt fat that turns into one big, ugly rash, because too much of my skin was exposed and rubbing together. Give me chilly weather, layered clothing, a coffee, and a walking trip around an historic city ANY DAY.

Buuuut, I won’t say ‘no’ to a beach holiday!

Just embrace the sand in your crotch and the sunburned everything!
Alcohol helps!

My top three travel essentials are: 

  • Obviously, my phone/camera is my number one travel must have. The best souvenirs I’ve ever gotten on a trip are the insane amount of pictures of every noteworthy (and, not so noteworthy-I have been known to photograph a random bench or ugly pigeon, because it’s a foreign bench and a foreign pigeon) sight and experience.
  • Hand sanitizer, wet wipes, and a travel-size hand soap are essential. I’ve never traveled somewhere exotic enough to encounter squatty potties or lack of running water, but you just never know what kind of facilities or amenities a restroom will have. Also, the very first hostel I ever stayed at did not provide hand soap or even paper towels. You just never know what horrors you’ll encounter. You.never.know.
  • A versatile scarf and a pair of Wayfarers. I know these sound like lame “essentials”, but when I’m feeling ugly as hell on the 6th day of crap hair, because my flat iron refuses to work with the expensive adapter I bought, a scarf makes me feel a little more put together.


Can you even tell my hair is greasy and I’m wearing zero makeup? See what I mean? 

Are you an over packer or an under packer?
Literally, I used to bring three full suitcases for a weekend trip back home when I lived in Elko. The pressure that exists when you have to decide what you want to wear before the day(s) in question is just too much. I can’t even. Also, sometimes my favorite piece of clothing looks hideous on me for various reasons. You just never know.

Before the trip I took to the U.K., I obsessively researched light packing tips and practiced packing the one bag I took. It was a real trial, and it took a huge leap of faith to know I’d survive if I wore the same jeans two days in a row.


So, I lied. I took three bags…

What is your favorite thing about going on vacations?

When I’m on vacation, I feel whole. It’s an indescribable feeling of just being. When you’re on vacation, you get to live a life that would exist if daily stressors, like bills and other lame adult responsibilities didn’t exist.

Edinburgh
Edinburgh, my love!
I also love completely immersing myself in the culture and the history of wherever I am. There’s nothing more humbling than standing in a church built before your own country even existed.

Said church-St. Margaret’s Chapel

Would you rather go on vacation with family or friends?

Yeesh.

Either choice has its share of positives and negatives. Traveling with family means that there’s a pretty good chance your mom might pay for some of the travel expenses. There’s also a fairly good chance she might forget you’re a grown adult and remind you to thank “the nice travel guide”. Or, she might feel the need to chastise you about your frivolous waste of money on name brand deodorant.

Traveling with friends has its benefits in that your friends are usually more in tune with your level of fun. That might mean an adventurous competition to see how many museums at the Smithsonian you can visit in one day.


This was the day after our Smithsonian challenge. Someone had a museum hangover #8thgradeugly. 

Or, maybe, that means buying every kind of foreign candy in the convenience store and then going back to your hotel room to see who can get diabetes first.

Diabetes!
When you travel with your friends, there’s also the potential for a complete WWIII, nuclear fallout, because after being together 24/7 you can’t stand the way they chew their food or breathe.

Whether traveling with a friend or family member, just drink. Their mouth breathing won’t matter near as much. 

Either way, memories are made and that’s all that matters. Right?

What is the most adventurous dish you have ever tried from another country?
Abso-freaking-lutely that would be haggis with ‘neeps and ‘tatties that my friend and her Scottish husband made for us while we stayed with them in Edinburgh.

It was actually amazingly delicious. No shit, I crave that dish on the regular.

My amazing Scottish friends! 

I’d like to nominate the following bloggers (please don’t feel obligated to participate):

The Wandering Flamingo
This girl is an amazing photographer, writer and blogger friend. She also lives in my favorite country, so I always feel I get to live vicariously through her photos and posts. Also, she is an avid traveler, so I’d love to know more about her envy-worthy travels. Please go check out her blog and beautiful photography-you won’t be disappointed!

A Walk and a Lark
Here’s another blogger bud who lives in one of my favorite cities-London! She’s become an amazing blogging supporter and friend, and I simply adore reading her blog! She is well-traveled, so I’d love the inside scoop on some of her favorite places! Check out Josy’s blog! I promise you’ll love it and her!

All Thoughts Work
This chick cracks me up. Every time I get a comment from her, I know I’ll end up practically peeing myself from laughter. I’ve gleaned that she’s an avid outdoors-woman and talented writer, but that’s all I know. I need to know more! Head on over to the funny lady’s blog-you won’t regret it!

Monday Musings

I’ve been feeling like I should be in England lately. I didn’t realize until just the other day that it’s been almost a year since I was offered a teaching position in England, and, after a really difficult decision-making process, declined the offer. 

I know, who decides against living abroad after being offered gainful employment? I know, right? 

I really struggled for some time after having made my final decision (I’m still struggling). I wondered how much of my choice was driven by my inate second-guessing, worry-wart, scared-to-jump mentality or legit financial concerns. 

I’m a huge fan of those girl-has-devastating-break-up-and-career-let-down-at-the-same-time-so-she-hops-on-a-plane-to-her-dream-get-away-locale-and-despite-having-eight-dollars-and-thirty-cents-and-no-change-of-underwear-she-somehow-lands-a-job-apartment-and-dreamy-new-man-chick-lit-books, because, duh. 

Isn’t that every girl’s dream-to move abroad on a whim and it’s just like in the Lindsey Kelk books? 

I’d like to hear of a real life situation where this scenario works out, because I had $800 in my pocket and I knew that would only get me as far as Toronto. 

When I first started seriously considering working on obtaining a teaching position in England, I didn’t think it would be so easy. Or quick. I figured it’d take a few dozen tries, I’d have time to really mull over legit moving to another country, and that I’d have plenty of time to save and get my finances in order. 

I was so mistaken. One minute I was dreamily planning how I’d decorate my make-believe tiny flat with decor from TK Maxx and the next I was using Skype for the first time, going over classroom management with a head teacher in Oxford (this was the first of two interviews I had. I didn’t end up getting the teaching position in Oxford). 

Let me just break it all down for you in an easy-to-read timeline:

4/17/16: Applied for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)

5/3/16: Application for QTS was approved, received login to view/print certificate 


5/6/16: Emailed application to Stanwell Fields CE Primary School, among others 

5/9/16: Received email response from Stanwell Fields Business Support requesting I fill out application

5/13/16: Received email from headteacher inquiring about availability for phone interview

5/19/16: Phone interview with assistant headteacher 

5/23/16: Received voicemail from headteacher offering the job (I was too scared to pick up. What a noob)

I still have the voicemail…

So, in a little over a month, I had gained the necessary qualification to teach in England, interviewed at two schools, and was offered a position. 

Just typing this now, I’m feeling the excited, heady warmth in my stomach one gets when exciting things are on the horizon. 

It was all fun and games until shit got really real. 

Just in case the headteacher at Stanwell Fields ever reads this (though it’s highly unlikely), I’d like to make it clear that I was genuinely serious about teaching abroad. That is, until I realized I was crazy to think I’d ever be able to afford it. 

I had naively assumed that since England was in need of teachers, they would possibly offer a sign on bonus, much like many districts do in the U.S. when they have a teacher shortage. Or, they would assist with getting a visa. 

Nope.

Schools aren’t profit-driven, and the sad reality is that many are in desperate need of teachers, but have no extra funds to entice educators to move countries. 

Not that I needed enticing. No, I just had no money and thought I could move my life abroad with $800 and my already-reaching-the-limit credit cards. 

So, after researching the cost of a work visa (roughly $800, currently) and the cost to rent a one bedroom flat in the south of England (around $1000 a month), I realized I was in over my head. 

Despite the fact that the school offered me an extremely nice pay raise, the cost of living in south England, coupled with my current bills, that would be traveling with me, made it so I simply could not afford to live. 

Not only would I need enough money to live once settled, I’d need at least $800 for a one way ticket to London, money for a hotel or hostel once in England, a deposit for a flat, and funds for many other travel and moving expenses. 

My mom and I estimated that I’d need at least $3000 to move and get settled (and it always ends up being more costly than you calculate beforehand). 

Did I mention I had $800 in my savings? I’m amazing at adulting. 

It was really depressing. Really, really dismaying, and not at all like my favorite chick lit books. 

These were some of my biggest concerns:

  • The cost of living in the area was too high (I’d be paying triple what I was currently paying in rent)
  • Many available flats were unfurnished-I’d need to buy furniture (at minimum, a bed)
  • Despite the pay raise, due to certain taxes in the U.K., the pay would be roughly the same or less than my current pay, yet cost of living tripled 
  • I’d be too strapped for cash to travel (travelling to other parts of Europe was a big reason I desired to live abroad)
  • It would have been necessary to drain my savings and rack up further debt for moving expenses (I was already in a significant amount of debt to begin with)
  • I would have needed to sell my car after having it less than a year (if I couldn’t sell it, it would have been another expense I couldn’t afford)
  • I’d barely make enough to save for a plane ticket back home, had that been necessary or desired 
  • I’d have zero teaching supplies and shipping them over would have been too pricey

Regardless of the fact that I had very real financial concerns, I still feel like I let an amazing opportunity go. It didn’t help that I had so many people telling me that debt didn’t matter. YOLO and all that crap. 

Big decisions and I have never been friends. Usually, when faced with a big, life-altering decision, I just bury my head in red sand and fail to make a decision, if at all possible. 

I’m a master of the what-if discourse. I can go all day and go circles around anyone. 

Yet, deep down, I know I made the right decision for me and my present financial situation. 

I also know that I’ll never stop dreaming of England and doing what must be done to make it back. 

For real though, how do most people move abroad? Are you in a better paying field than me or did your company pay for your move? Did you get a huge inheritance?  Are you just in massive debt due to the move? Do you know some magic trick to making fast travel cash? If anyone who’s done it cares to spill the beans, I’m all ears! 


Decision Made

Well, I did it. I sent the email declining the job offer. Before anyone tells me I just lost an incredible opportunity, let me first be clear about a few things:

1. I’ve learned throughout this process that I need to stop taking to heart how others feel when what I really need to be doing is listening more intently to my own beat.

2. It’s really fucking expensive to move to another country, and until you know my finances intimately, you don’t really know. You know?

I don’t mean to sound rude, but it’s really, really hard to make such a huge decision when left and right you’re told that money doesn’t matter, or that you’re wussing out because you don’t want to be going down the road to bankruptcy town. All of my young adult years I went about my business as if money didn’t matter and it led to serious problems. I cannot continue down that path.

Continue reading “Decision Made”

Decisions-Not My Forte

Happy Friday Eve, beautiful people.

This past Monday I was offered a teaching position at a school in Surrey. Surrey in freaking ENGLAND.

I can’t even put into words how I felt, but I can say, it was a mix of insane excitement and utter fear.

The rest of this week I have been a mess of decision-making-crazy.

Most of you are probably wondering what decision I even have to make. HELLO? ENGLAND?

Well, after several email correspondences, I have been given my final salary offer, and well…

I am disappointed to say the least.

I had wrongly assumed that the cost of living would be pretty relative to here in the U.S. and that is just plain not the case. The cost of flats in Southern England is astronomical. I mean, twice the cost of apartments in my area. For me, paying half of the rent, the costs I am looking at are more than three times what I am currently paying.

This wouldn’t be too horrible except for the fact that I will be taking a $3000 pay cut. What is absolutely insane is that the salary they offered me was incredibly generous and a HUGE step up from what I am currently making, but with the high tax amount taken out, I will be paid significantly less.

I don’t even know what to say.

I will have to some more crunching of numbers, but so far, it isn’t looking good.

Because I am someone who thinks with their heart and far too often I am idealistic in how I view the world, I had assumed that I could move to a different country, do the same work I do here, and it would work swimmingly. Well, that is not the real world. Not even close.

Not only am I a heart-thinker, I am also one who has a lot of debt and minimal savings.

Just to get my fat ass and my few possessions across the pond it will cost a fortune. And I am a broke as a joke teacher.

It isn’t over yet, I may be able to figure something out (like, maybe I can sell a kidney).

So, now I ask you all, what would you do? Would you go into further debt to move to another country? Would you be OK with being seriously broke just to experience another culture? Would you live well under your normal comfort zone in order to experience a serious adventure?

I need opinions and maybe some moral support. Something. Anything.

 

 

 

Heart Palpitations

All I want to do is eat. Eat.all.the.things. I want cake, cookies, salty chips, whole avocados. This is how I get when I am stressed, excited, nervous, feeling in limbo, feeling settled… Basically, all the time. However, the need to eat my feelings is therapy-edition-bad  when I have big decisions to make.

I am a horrible decision maker.

In that, I will avoid making major life decisions at all costs. Most days, I hope life will just happen and I won’t have to make any rash/huge/scary decisions myself.

The most inane, ridiculous aspect of this is that currently I am stressing about making a decision I don’t even have to make right now. I am stressing about stressing about a scenario that has not even happened.

What the?

As most of you know, I am attempting to make the big move to England (just writing that makes my eye twitch and heart palpitate). I had an interview last Wednesday with a school in Oxford. It was so cool. I would say it went well, and I learned a lot about the school, the school system in England, and that “fab” is my new favorite expression.

They expressed their disappointment that they wouldn’t be able to see me teach. I offered to send a video ASAP. They were thrilled. Then, I was down for the count with bronchitis for 4 days. This is how my life usually responds to time-sensitive things.

The woman I have been communicating with has been super nice and understanding, and insisted it was not a rush. So, after a depressing three days of missed work and a weekend, I came back to work, found a video on my school iPad I had already done, and sent it off.

I look hideous in this video, and it could be debated that I am about 6 months along due to the wonderful angle it was taken in. I mean, I am not even lying. The still of the beginning of the video makes me look like Sloth after a stroke. I am not kidding. So, I sincerely hope they disregard my RCF (resting crazy face) and just concentrate on the excellent teaching (if I do say so myself).

So, the point of my post is that I am stressing about a job I have yet to attain.

I was actually stressing about whether or not I should sell my Keurig, or not. I actually looked up shipping costs to ship a Keurig.

What the actual hell?

I don’t even have a job offer, but I am already homesick and sweating over the cost of public transportation.

What the fuck?

For real though, if this happens, it will be huge. Scary, exciting, expensive, and life-altering. Despite the exciting aspect of this, anything that is this huge of a change is terrifying.

I am also quite surprised by how expensive it is over there. I read somewhere that the cost of living is something like 33% higher in the U.K. than in the U.S. Yikes. There is a very real possibility I won’t even be able to afford this.

So, nothing other than stress to report.

 

 

 

 

Keen-An Update and a Request

Hello, fabulous blog buddies. I have a Skype interview with a school in England. The email I received said they were, “very keen” to interview me. This just makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. I love the word ‘keen’ and seeing that, very British, word just reminds me of why I am working on moving there. GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH.

OK, I am better now.

Now, for the update…Go Fund Me will match my donations up to $100 for Teacher Appreciation week. The catch is that I have to have at least $100 donated by five different donors before May 13th.

If you all could share my post or just get the word out about what I am trying to accomplish, I would be very grateful. I hate asking for money (and I am still questioning my decision to even continue pushing my agenda), but this is a great opportunity that I can’t not at least try to participate in. Many, many thanks.

Here is my link:

U.K. or Bust

U.K. or (Literally) Bust

Loch Ness

Friends, I hardly ever ask for help. OK, that is a boldfaced lie. I ask for it all the time in the form of comments over at Shopper Lottie. However, this is different. For some time (like, 10 years), I have wanted to move abroad (get in line, sister). I have always had a crazy love affair with the U.K. and since visiting way back in 2010, I have never been able to forget about my one, true love.

For those who don’t know, I am at teacher in the U.S. I teach 3rd grade. I would love to be able to do something similar somewhere, anywhere in the U.K. I have friends in Scotland, so that would probably be preferable. I have heard that the education system is really very different when comparing England with Scotland, so one may be possible and the other out of my reach. I really don’t know.

I have contacted a couple of agencies, but the wait to hear a response is making me certifiably insane. I am not even sure they are legit or the correct way to go about this. HELP.

Long story short, can someone familiar with these parts give me any information they have that could help me in my endeavor? Even better, does anyone have connections that would better enable me to have even the slightest chance to attempt to live one of my dreams?

My loving thanks in advance.

Hump Day Ha-Ha’s and Little People

I have taken everyone’s suggestions into consideration for when the best time to post is. It was pretty split between evening and morning. Someone made a very good point that depending on where you are in the world, it could be afternoon/evening OR it could be morning/early. Thus, posting late or early in the day is a good idea, because either way, you are catching someone during their preferred reading time. Only a few people said they read off and on all day. So, in order to “catch” the majority of my readers, I have decided to post in the morning on Wednesdays. One of my friends had the great idea to post on Wednesday as a you-can-make-it-you’re-almost-there-have-a-laugh-boost! So, here we are!

I am a tad overwhelmed with my first 7-week masters class. The required reading makes me wonder what the fuck I was thinking. So, I am being lazy and posting a blog post from my old site, that I wrote years ago about my first time seeing a dwarf. Yes, you read that correctly. I did revise it, so there.

Before you read, know that this is satire, humor. I, in no way, feel our smaller counterparts are less. In fact, people of short stature are fascinating and wonderful people. Did I ingratiate myself properly? Now, onto the fun.

midget
Image courtesy of http://www.flickr.com

There are thousands of firsts in our lives-first kisses, first paychecks, first rolls in the hay, first midgets…oh… yes.

*Midget is not the politically correct term, so I have edited any further “midgets” to be more respectful.

I had my first little person experience this past summer in all places: Nottingham, England. Before this monumental first, I had never seen a dwarf in the flesh. Sure, I had seen them on TV, in magazines, in porn (don’t even act like you have never seen dwarf porn), but never right before my very eyes.

I am surprised I even saw her. I was standing in line to get a room at a motel and my leg suddenly had a crazy itch. I bent down to scratch and there she was, clad in wranglers and a cowboy hat. I had to pinch myself to make sure I was not in a crazy dream, or in Texas, or something. The luck in finding not only a little person, but one clad in western gear, in ENGLAND!

I was quietly amused, and as I mentally checked off ‘dwarf in funny clothes’, another thought struck me cold. See, I find humor in pretty much anything, but I am not extremely obvious about it, especially if it has the potential to offend or hurt someone’s feelings. But, my friend, the one who was currently, most likely, on his way into the motel lobby, was not so, shall we say, sedate about the things he finds amusing. I made a pact with God that if He somehow locked my friend in the car until I got a room, and the little person was safely out of sight, I would never again laugh at the vertically challenged.

God must have been busy that day, because between fervent promises and prayers, a voice whispered in my ear, “It’s a MIDGET!”

That was all it took for me to lose my I-didn’t-even-notice-you-standing-there-no-I-was-not-staring-cool. I responded with the most forceful whisper I could muster, “Shut up, go back to the car!” His response, “Look at her little wranglers!”

At this point, I could no longer keep the rolling laughter that had been building momentum in any longer. The attempt to keep a straight face looked like the combination of an almost sneeze face and a seizure.  People were starting to stare at us.

We bolted before we made total and complete, utter asses of ourselves. In hysterics, we decided the best option was to hide behind the car, because getting in the car and driving off would have been too easy.

So, there we were, crouched behind our rental car, literally rolling on the ground with laughter. It was the kind of laughter that you try to hide and stop, because it is mildly wrong and inappropriate in the given situation, but that exact thing makes it even more hilarious. It was the kind of laughter that makes you cry and gag a little, because you can’t get enough air and you forget to swallow.  I have never laughed so hard in my life. Between gags and wild laughter, I somehow made out a string of remarks, pleading requests, and queries, “Stop, I am going to pee! She is going to look out the window, and since she is a dwarf in a cowboy hat, she will know why we are laughing! Stop making that face! Don’t look at me, I can’t stop! I wonder what size hat that is?!”

It was awful, awful in a knowing-you-shouldn’t-laugh-at-others-but-you-can’t-help-it-because-it-was-a-little-person-in-toddler-sized-wranglers way.

It was inevitable that someone would take notice of the two spastic imbeciles laughing like hyenas on crack. “Are you two OK? Are you on the drugs?” a little old lady asked as she headed toward the car parked next to ours. That was our cue to move on from the Welcome Break.

Knowing how I usually react to anything of surprise (pointing and loud “whoa’s”), I am quite pleased with how I reacted to my first dwarf sighting.  And to be fair, she WAS wearing western gear. I mean, come on. It is undeniable that if it were not for my friend, I would have never had a laughing fit behind a car in the middle of England, we would not have had to drive on for another hour looking for another cheap motel, and I would not have peed in my last clean pair of pants. BUT, I can honestly and with fond memory, say my first little person was an unforgettable one.

My Future Life

One of my all-time favorite bloggers, babysteps22 nominated me for the Future Challenge. I feel I must take a moment to profess my adoration for this fabulous fellow woman and writer. She was the first person I connected with on WordPress. I instantly fell in love with her wit and spunk. I saw a little of myself in her words, and I was intrigued by the stories of her life in India. When I realized how effortless it was to connect and relate to someone from a different country and culture, I knew my decision to blog and network with other writers from all over the world was the right one. I feel honored to be able to write from my heart, and that expression of who I am is felt in someone else, thousands of miles away. Really, honored is putting it mildly. Thank you, beautiful human, for being the catalyst and my inspiration to write and touch so many lives. Also, sorry it took me so long to complete this challenge *sheepishly, shamefully hoping for your forgiveness*

So, now that I’ve been thoroughly creepy and sickly sweet, I will move on to the actual challenge. 

The rules: 

Thank the blogger who nominated you. I think I over-thanked *check*. Next, link back to the original creator of the challenge, Dreams and Movie Screens, so they can see how far their challenge has spread *check*. 

Then, share 5 things about your future, because obviously you’re a fortune-teller. Actually, in all seriousness, it’s like a dream board. The concept is, anyway. It’s pretty much a known fact that if you write down your goals, you’re like 90% more likely to accomplish them (or something like that). 

Finally, nominate 5 bloggers to share their own future. My nominees are:

  1. Cat in the Cactus
  2. Carrots in My Carryon
  3. A Funny Thing Happened When I Was Learning Myself
  4. Island Smile
  5. Spiked Cupcake

I guess it’s now time to Windex my crystal ball, it gets pretty smudged with all the peering into the future that I do. I swear, I spend more time looking into the future than I do living in the present. It’s a problem, I know.

Also, I’ll have you all know, I’ve had to knock on my coffee table, end table, entry table, and every kitchen cabinet because OCD. One does not simply tell their own future without superstitions rearing their ugly heads. So, with that I’ll jinx it all and tell my future: 

  1. I will finally have a damn dog. At the ripe-old-age of 32, I’ve never had to care for more than a ficus (and I promptly killed it). I know I’m ready to keep something other than myself alive. It’s time.  
  2. I will break down and buy a new car. I’ve spent my entire driving life not having to pay an expensive car payment each month. I also drive a car that has no emergency brake, has a cardboard sun visor, a broken, disintegrating seat, and has to go through major repairs just to pass smog each year. It’s more than time I finally drive a car that doesn’t have parts falling off it as it speeds down the freeway. For everyone’s safety. 
  3. I’ll be living in England. Somewhere lush, green, and homely. I’ll be so engrained in the British culture, I’ll be wearing wool sweaters, which I’ll properly refer to as jumpers, in July. I’ll not be able to go a day without my afternoon cuppa, and I’ll go on holiday to Italy, like it’s no big deal. I can already see myself walking along an old cobblestoned street in the drizzling rain, wearing plaid wellies. 
  4. I will be a published writer. Maybe I’ll write a lighthearted, fictional chick lit story about a lovable heroine, or maybe my big break will come in the form of a gritty, controversial autobiography that shocks my loved ones and friends. It’s a crapshoot. 
  5. I’ll finally be able to wear those expensive size 12 jeans that are collecting dust in the back of my closet. They’re circa 2009, and they have rinestones on the ass, in the shape of a fleur de lis, but they will fit like a second skin without leaving permanent indentations in my gut. A girl can dream. 

So, what do you see in your future? Play along, so I’m not the only one who has horribly jinxed myself. It won’t feel quite so lonely if I’m not the only one who actually ends up being the crazy cat lady whose only trip to real life is my weekly cat food and Popov vodka run. Please play. Please.