All tagged Archive

When it's the New Year and Everything is Different

As I get older I realize that each new year is like a game of Russian roulette. The odds are good that everything will be okay, that they year will go well; after all, I’m smart, intrepid and a hard-worker. Things should be fine.

But then there are those years when everything goes rogue. The bullet years. 2015 was a bit of a bullet year for me. But the thing about the bullet years is that they injure you, but you heal, you grow and you change. And at the end of it all, nothing is the same.

On New Year’s Eve last year I was talked into spending way too much money to watch a couple of guys play dueling pianos. It was a night of hilarity and champagne. Fall of 2014 had been one of the worst patches of my life, so when the clock struck midnight in downtown Fort Worth and all of the drunk people around me started singing "Auld Lang Syne," I started to sob. Not a lot. Just a little. Mostly because I was bone tired, but also because "Auld Lang Syne" is just about the saddest song for what’s supposed to be a happy occasion. Also because I hadn’t spoken to my best friends in a while. All lived in Houston. One was married, one was engaged and one had convinced me to spend way too much money to watch of couple of guys play dueling pianos. She’s a champ, though. She drank an entire bottle of champagne “because you’re designated driver Rachel, I’m doing you a favor.”

So This is the Desert, Then, Part II

It’s been a year. I think that’s the best way to summarize my first year after college, because the statement “it’s been a year” is wide enough in ambiguity yet concise enough in simplicity to accommodate both the good and bad. So, yeah, it’s been a year.

Confession: This year, I had become selfish. I mean, let’s be real, I’ve always been selfish (‘Me? Selfish? But I’m perfect!’ argues my ego), but this year I was especially so.

It was always about me. But not in an openly obvious way, as though I consciously made the effort to view myself as the center of the universe. It was just the average “me, me, me” attitude that we so often perpetuate, ya know? Just continually thinking about the things common to someone who has recently graduated: What is my dream job? Where do I want to live? How can I find happiness?

What to Expect When You're Expecting (to Graduate), Part II

In the first post I wrote for this series I talked about not wanting to leave Nashville after I graduated at the end of this semester. I talked about my fear of losing comfort and the home that I have built in a city I didn’t have to be convinced into adoring. I even emphasized the point by writing three times in italics—I don’t want to leave. I don’t want to leave. I don’t want to leave. When I went back to read this post five minutes ago, I almost laughed out loud into my mocha.

Since I wrote that post I have decided to stay in Nashville and the voice of fear that screamed loud about not wanting to leave screams even louder about not wanting to stay.

I don’t want to stay. I don’t want to stay. I don’t want to stay.

Why So Miserable?

I’d like to say that this entire scenario was nothing short of ridiculous, except I’m pretty sure I felt genuinely distressed. To my core. Distressed. 

Other people in traffic that night probably experienced similar unrest; I’m just not convinced they chose to heighten it. With a dangerous playlist playing and a mind wandering, it was I who set the stage for any and all anxieties/doubts/feelings to surface. Being in the car alone for an extended period of time will do that anyway, but my actions were textbook fuel-to-fire. 

It makes me wonder: am I the only one who eats this wallow-y shit up? 

How to Travel on a Post-Grad Budget, Part 1

It is 180,000% possible to travel on a post-grad budget, and I will defend this statement in a manner that is borderline aggressive.

The world wasn’t meant to be admired from a stock desktop wallpaper; it was meant to be experienced. This is another statement that I will defend in a manner that is borderline aggressive.

But traveling isn’t always easy on entry-level wages. Here’s how to see the world without breaking the bank.

How to Create Community After College

When I was in college, preparing myself for a career in the music industry, I always assumed that whatever job I got would be my life. I never thought about what I would do with my time outside of work, other than spending it drinking beer with my friends and binge-watching crime shows. I was involved in extracurricular activities like the school newspaper during my time at MTSU, and even though I did enjoy it, the main incentive there was that I knew it would help make my resume sparkle. I didn’t expect that eventually I would crave having a project purely out of enjoyment with no ulterior motive. 

Fast forward to a year into my full-time job. This isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy my work as a concert marketer, because I do. But eventually I knew I had to challenge myself to get involved in something outside of my paid gig in an effort to meet new people and continue learning along the way. The problem was that I didn’t really know how to do that as an adult without using school as a resource. 

What You Should Know About Waiting

Over coffee one weekend, my friend poured out her thoughts in the vein of frustration with her first full-time gig after college. Her angst was stemming from the general discontent of routine and the initial feeling — 3 weeks in —that her job was meaningless and seemingly dead-end.

As I listened, I felt the ping of familiarity with these sentiments — feeling discontent with the present and frustration of waiting for the future.

She asked me, “How long does it take for this to go away?”

I couldn’t give her a concrete answer. What do I tell her? That this will all go away soon? At the end of the month? Year?

And there lies the root of our frustration: there’s no timeline.

Peace, Perfect Peace

"Peace is always beautiful."

I have that hanging on the wall in my bedroom, the quote from Walt Whitman printed across baked clay, a piece of art I found at a market my sophomore year during a somewhat rough period in my college career.

Peace has always been something I've craved but never quite known what exactly it was or how to find it, as though it's some mysterious ancient treasure that only a select few manage to unearth.

And I - the one with an anxious mind and penchant for meticulously thought-out life plans - clearly was not one of those select few.

We Need People

I am of the opinion that life’s smallest moments are often life’s most profound. It’s in these seemingly simple intonations that the best sort of change occurs. 

I recently cried at a wedding.

Lest you be fooled into thinking this is unusual and possibly profound, it is not; I often cry at weddings. Deep expressions of familial love, well-executed personal details and concentrated statements of beauty and commitment overwhelm me, usually to the point of tears. 

In the hopes of being honest and transparent, I did cry for all of those reasons at this wedding; many tears were shed. But the brightest moment among a night saturated with light didn’t have to do with the wedding at all. It revolved around a gin and tonic. 

What the Hell is "The Dream" Anyways?

When I first sat down to write this blog post, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to say.

I was prepared to tell you that “the dream” you’ve been chasing might not actually be a dream of yours at all. I was also ready to say that our dreams can often cloud our ability to recognize alternative opportunities. After much reflection editing, and contemplation, I realized that I had conflicting opinions on “chasing the dream.” Here’s my best shot at explaining my opposing viewpoints.

9-to-5ing

About a month ago, I got a job offer (miracle in itself that anyone would even consider me for any position…). And I reacted the way I normally would: I ran away.

Actually, the trip I was going on had already been long planned out, and it just so happened to fall on that very same weekend. Since my favorite activity is ignoring all responsibility, it couldn’t have been a more perfect time to go. I won’t get into how obsessed I am with traveling considering I feel like I do this in every post/somehow find a way to bring it up to total strangers I meet in the grocery store, but there is a certain clarity I find that I never knew how to find here, the way I toss and turn all night at home but sleep straight until morning when I’m anywhere else. To me, wanting to see and do so much and knowing there are boundaries to that is heartbreak. Maybe the biggest heartbreak I’ve ever known.

What to Expect When You're Expecting (to Graduate), Part I

It’s 7 pm. The white Christmas lights that are lined with postcards from my semester abroad and the ones that are wrapped around my headboard are twinkling against their respective walls. There are two kittens curled up on top of each other at the foot of my bed and I have set up camp in the chair that barricades me into my “reading corner.” I just finished a short story I was assigned in creative writing that dug its claws deep down into my writer’s soul and as I type a Bath and Body Works candle spits fumes of vanilla marshmallow out into the air.

I don’t want to leave. I don’t want to leave. I don’t want to leave.

Travel Takeaways: 7 Things I Learned from My Backpacking Adventure

Are you considering venturing across the pond via plane, ship or self-made raft anytime soon? Have you scoured the Internet for advice, but found yourself drowning in a sea of “not all who wander are lost” BS? Do I sound worldly and knowledgeable yet? If you answered yes, no, or hell no to at least every single one of these questions, then keep on reading!

My goal here is to offer a realistic, yet fully exhilarating, reflection on the post-grad backpacking experience. Before we get started, I would like to emphasize that I am speaking from the viewpoint of someone who has traveled around the UK and Western Europe. This is not intended to be globally generalized advice. If you are looking to backpack in other corners of the world, take what I’m saying with a grain of salt because it may not be applicable. I am merely speaking on experiences individual to Lane Sasser.

What to Do When You Just Really, Really, Really Want to Give Up

Have you ever experienced getting sick in a foreign country with no family or loved ones nearby?

If you haven’t, let me paint you a mental picture: Me. In a Buenos Aires hospital on a Saturday morning because I had bronchitis.  The process of obtaining healthcare in a foreign country is difficult but in this one you literally take a number from a slot machine and hope that a doctor can see you at some point. 

It was a beautiful spring day outside of the hospital waiting room so the windows had been left open to allow the wind to blow in.  All of a sudden, in the midst of waiting for a doctor, I glanced up to see a mangy, flea-bitten cat simply walk in through one of the open windows and into the emergency room.  Something about seeing a stray animal enter a hospital (what I normally imagine as a hygienic, humans-only kind of zone) was strange.  Something about having had a fever for three days was also strange and with this combination I began to cry. 

In the last week I have cried three times.