4 Ways Your Twenties Aren't Like The Movies

No doubt about it: your twenties can truly be rough. Whether you're going through college, have already graduated, or trying to find your footing at your first (or second!) job, your twenties are when all of society's expectations for adulthood come to fruition. 

And just think about it. Like how fun did being in your twenties look on shows like Sex and the City, or movies like 13 Going On 30? Moving to New York right out of college, I definitely thought my life was going be just like Andie Anderson the "how-to" girl in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, but like many of you reading this I am forced to admit it: your twenties aren’t a damn thing like the movies.

Instead, my twenties are this rollercoaster reality ride that all my binge-watching apparently shielded me from. Fortunately, I caught on quickly and now I'm sharing the four things I wish I knew about life after college. 

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1. Your first, SECOND (or THIRD!) job likely won’t be your “dream" One

Carrie Bradshaw got her sex column just like that and Elle Woods went straight from college to Harvard Law to working at a firm, but the rest of us? We're left struggling to find our footing in the real world, and have adopted a "fake it till we make it" attitude to get us through our meek entry-level jobs. And then the next one. And then the next one.

2. That #goals girl squad *may* take a while to get

No great 20-something-year-old's movie is complete with an awesome group of girlfriends correct? They don’t show this on TV, but this will be your first social life reality check. In a new city, with your college friends likely scattered everywhere across the country, you might inevitably find yourself alone. And finding a new crew isn't always as easy as it was during sorority mixers. Instead, there will be many nights spent watching Netflix. Alone. With takeout. In your pajamas. With Wine. Shall I keep going? 

3. A massive, LOft apartment? a balcony? Keep dreaming

Unless you're a trust fund baby (and I doubt most of us are. To you lucky few...I hate you.), the only thing you'll be able to afford is a small studio where you can see your bed, bathroom, and stove just by turning your body. There is one upside though. You will have gone from cooking your ramen in the microwave, to cooking it on an actual stove. #Winning and how awesome is that?

4. Dating in the real world? What's that?

In an ideal world, you'd be able to walk into a bar like Andie Anderson and leave on the back of a hot guy's motorcycle....the one who you'd eventually fall madly in love with. And who'd chase after you on the aforementioned motorcycle, blah, blah, blah. Too bad, that's more than likely not going to happen in your twenties. If you're lucky, you might SEE a lot of cute guys and maybe even score a number or two, but the vast majority of twenty-somethings love lives resemble those found in How to Be Single instead of The VowThe Notebook or any other Nicholas Sparks movie. 

In short, your twenties are everything but smooth, but *that's* the silver lining in it all. Movies are one and done in the happy moments' department. Life, on the other hand, has a special way of giving our twenties a smorgasbord of chaos, uncertainty, and a strangely exhilarating journey of discovery that even Hollywood couldn't dream of.

So live it up! There's no rewind button around here. 

Photo Credit: Jessica Susana

'Clueless' is to Blame For My Fear of Freeways

You’re a virgin who can’t drive.
— Tai Frasier (aka the late and great Brittany Murphy)

“Yo, what the hell? You’re gettin’ on the freeway.” That’s the last thing Murray (Donald Faison) says before the famous freeway freakout scene in Amy Heckerling’s 1995 cinematic masterpiece Clueless.

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Deep in conversation, Stacey Dash’s Dionne unknowingly drifts her boyfriend’s red BMW onto the freeway. Distracted driving at it’s finest, the situation goes from bad to worse when Cher (Alicia Silverstone) and Dionne both start having meltdowns. Cars whizz by. Horns blare. A motorcycle gang swerves around the convertible causing Dionne to perform one particular cardinal sin of driving. She takes her hands off the wheel. This before screaming her head off and closing her eyes. You know, just as a huge semi-truck appears behind the car.

Eventually, the car cruises to safety, but the damage is done. Murray tries to calm a dramatic Dionne down, while narrator Cher sighs from the backseat realizing that “getting on the freeway makes you realize how important love is.”

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the same epiphany watching this scene. Instead, came the cause of my life-long (well, 25-years-long) fear of that six-lane terror that takes drivers from one side of the city to the other.

Yup. Clueless is to blame for my fear of freeways.

It’s been nearly 25 years since the film was released and I remember that scene as if I watched it yesterday. Probably because I did. But also because it was that traumatizing. Before I moved here I never had to worry about Dionne’s fate becoming my own because there are no freeways in my hometown and anytime I did encounter one while traveling, I was asleep in the backseat.

That all changed in September of 2018.

Moving to Los Angeles, California came with many challenges. I had no job. No place to live. Few friends in the city and no family. But the only thing I was freaking out about was the prospect that I would one day have to get on that death trap they call the freeway.

I’m confident in my driving abilities, but let’s be real. Before moving here it had been almost four years since I regularly operated a motor vehicle. I prayed that driving would come back to me like riding a bike is supposed to (not 100% confident this is true either), but boy did my anxiety go through the roof.

The “what if” buzzer went off in my head and I contemplated all the horrible outcomes me driving in LA could bring. And let’s just say that 9 out of 10 scenarios involved the freeway.

Back in 2015 Hecklering did a Q&A about the movie and explained the inspiration behind that particular driving scene.

“I’m a nervous driver, and I don’t drive on the freeway,” Heckerling said. “But now and then, you find yourself on a street or a ramp or a lane where you cannot stop and turn around, and it’s going onto the freeway, and then you go, like, ‘Oh my fucking God, I’m going onto the freeway,’ and there’s nothing you can do about it except to keep holding the wheel and screaming until you get off. It’s very frightening to me.”

She was right. My first foray onto the freeway was by total accident and I freaked out the entire time.

I had rented a car to go to Santa Monica with my friends in October and unknowingly drifted onto the freeway thanks to the stupid GPS. Cue a meltdown of my own. Suddenly, I was forced to increase my speed from about 35 to 60, cars were on both sides of me, and someone had abruptly turnt off the music. Someone was me.

Both of my hands were firmly on the wheel and I was sweating bullets. I distinctly remember my friends laughing that I was going so slow in freeway terms, but I didn't give a damn. It was terrible and I’m pretty sure I ran a red light at some point after that because I was in a trance.

Somehow we made it to Santa Monica safely, and no, I didn’t drive back home that night.

From that point on I made the super-easy decision to stick to side streets. Sure, that means I have to leave at least 15 minutes earlier than everyone else to arrive on time, but I’m cool with that. And on the rare occasions when I have no other choice but to get on the freeway, I grip the wheel tightly, forget procedure, and try to control my breathing as Murray said to do.

Now, if only I had a boyfriend to comfort me when I got to the exit.