How Sushi, Charades, & Sorority Girls Reminded Me How to LIVE

I’ve been prettyfreakinlucky in life. Ever since I got a hold of myself and got it together (well..that is to say, more together than before, but there’s always room for improvement), I’ve fallen into the right circles. Whether it’s been through job experiences, friends, internships, university, traveling, or otherwise, I’ve met the most interesting of folk that have motivated and inspired me.

For example, my friends from home (*insert teardrop and wave to Cali*). In an attempt to avoid subtle bragging, I’ll describe them as the most amazing people in this world (see –that wasn’t subtle at all!). As I keep up with their going-ons from hundreds/thousands/millions of miles away, I’m impressed by how much they do and how they do it. They created the best, most spontaneous memories of my uni days. Example. . . .

Max: “Hey, let’s go grab a beer downstairs.”

Me: “Umm..no? We have environmental law in an hour.”

Max: “Ya, and you barely pay attention anyways. At least it’ll be fun buzzed.”

Me: “What? I pay atte– I mean, I take note– I mean, dammit Max, FINE!”

**Max calls classmates, we meet up at 3rd & U, down beers, stumble to lecture, point and giggle at the hot TA, and answer way to many questions under the influence of liquid courage. Then afterwards, everyone dresses up in 70s outfits and we go to Funk Night to dance** 

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Yes, they taught me well. These babes showed me that life is meant for LIVING, and together we learned how. And I know the above example sounds trivial (cool. girl went to class drunk. what a bad student.) but it’s the simplest, most straight-forward example of what I’m trying to say, which is:

MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TIME HERE.

And by HERE, I mean, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing.

On one of my last nights in college, seated with a group of my sorority’s newest freshmen and sophomores staring up at me, I choked on my words as I encouraged them to not waste one moment of their uni experience: to always choose going to Farmer’s Market with friends over writing an essay that’s due next week; to never watch TV alone when you could be watching with your roommates; to give up that internship/extracurricular/boy that makes you unhappy (even just 65% of the time) and takes away from what’s most important –time with the people that love you.

BECAUSE IN EVERYDAY LIFE, IN WHAT WE SOMETIMES THINK IS THE MUNDANE, LIES BEAUTY. AND IT’S YOUR JOB –NO ONE ELSE’S– TO FIND IT.

Always do MORE. Hell, I even have a tattoo to remind me that even when things suck, you can turn them around. If Plan A fails, hop right on the Plan B train {oooo that sounds bad…}.

Last night, in the beautiful city of Buenos Aires, my roommates and I got way too excited over the sushi we called in for delivery to our PH (don’t ask me what “PH” stands for, I still don’t know. But “penthouse” has already been ruled out). We love sushi. Like, LOVE it. So after two hours of waiting, we were like “what the heck? where’s our grub” (or more appropriately: “che boludooooo, donde está mi maldito sushi?!”). So I called and had a pretty intense debacle with the lying manager over the phone as my roommates cheered me on. After I lost my sushi-fueled phone debate, we were forced to come to terms that the sushi wasn’t coming.

Then we were all bummed because we wanted sushi. So we decided to buy wine. Then we got locked out of our apartment because the lock broke. Then we were stranded on the street, money-less and wine-opener-less.

….And we were starving.

A full 3 hours later, we found ourselves ordering empanadas at a shop around the corner. We were hungry, cranky, and tired. Basically, we were just a bunch of b****es waiting to be fed.

De repente, my roomie Nadine grabbed me, pulled me in front of the fan, and positioned me to do the Titanic “I’m Flying” scene with her as our hair was blown back from the circulating air. We started giggling. It was the first tinkle of happiness sputtered in over 3 hours. Then I whispered “Pirates of the Carribean” in her ear, and we got into position to act out Jack Sparrow and Will Turner, thus beginning a game of charades between myself, Nadine, Gen, and Mishka for the next 15 or so minutes until our empanadas were ready. By the time “Dirty Dancing” came into play, we were a mess of giggles and weird body contortions (and almost a splattered Nadine, had Mishka not guessed the film before I Patrick Swayzed her above my head). We left the restaurant tired, but happy. Then chowed down on our empanadz and passed out.

This story is one of many similar experiences during my time traveling. The expats/backpackers/students I meet are traveling to have a good time. Ya you’re going to have bad times along with the good. Life ain’t made up of instagram/facebook-worthy moments. You’re gonna miss home, you’re gonna get dumped, you’re gonna be hospitalized –hell, maybe you’re gonna get fired! Just use it as motivation to move on to bigger and brighter things.

Now one last cliché to round out this post, and I’m leaving you with one of my favorites from Gandhi: “Everything you do in life will be insignificant, but it’s very important that you do it.” If Nadine didn’t giggle, I wouldn’t have either, and the night would have ended with us trudging home, still miserable. If I hadn’t gone to get beers with Max before class, I wouldn’t have paid so much attention to the cute TA, who hinted at key concepts for the final exam {which I ended up getting a B+ on thankyouverymuch}.

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Always choose to see the glass half full (shoot, I guess I lied about being done with clichés) and do little things (smile, give a compliment, spend time with your friends/parents) that will make you a contribution to the world, not just another carbon footprint.

…now go scrub your feet till theyre squeaky clean and eat something that will make you poop. Both insignificant. But both VERY good starts to a lifetime of happiness.

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