R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.” -Peter F. Drucker

I’d like to tell you a story. Throughout these previous months, I have been flying back and forth from NYC to Oklahoma City. Almost every flight has been accompanied by delays, cancellations, and general DRAMA. I won’t go into all of them, but one of these flights brought me a certain clarity concerning a topic that is often brought up regarding the Millennial generation: respect and commitments. For our purposes, respect related to commitments.

After multiple flight changes and cancellations due to weather and other issues, I was finally on a plane to Chicago from NYC. I had only bought a ticket to Dallas this time, mostly because of the difference in price. I thought, I should easily be able to find my  way back to OKC from Dallas, no problem. I had a friend that was willing to drive to Dallas to pick me up, but with all the cancellations and delays, she was unable to make it so much later in the evening that initially planned. At this point, I had planned to stay the night at a family member’s home and get a ride from my brother in the morning. Here’s where things get interesting.

I’m sitting in the bulkhead middle seat (possibly the worst?) between an excessively self-announced film hand working DEEP in the Hollywood film industry and a burnt-out attorney eagerly asking everyone around him to download a new app he has invested interest in (It’s called Ribbon, feel free to check it out for yourself). In between the celebrity name dropping and general self-interest on my left and the desperation and self-loathing on my right, my exhausting story of unfortunate events is laid out. A woman my age seated behind me then taps my shoulder and states that she was on the same unfortunate itinerary as me and will also end in Dallas late into the evening. She then goes on to offer me a seat in her car, which she will be driving up through Oklahoma City once we land. I eagerly accept, wanting nothing more than to be home as soon as possible.

During our layover in Chicago, I help her and her wheelchair-bound grandmother with their things and get seated at the gate. Here, she begins her vetting process to decide whether or not I am a safe and trustworthy travel companion. Fast forward two hours: we have become friends on Facebook, followed each other on Instagram, and I’ve even spoken indirectly with her husband. I wait until the last second before the plane takes off, making sure that she is 100% committed to our plan, and text my family member to say I no longer need a place to stay for the night. I have now respectfully declined a familial offer of hospitality, and will allow them to go to bed without further word from me.

Fast forward a few more hours, our plane lands, and this woman finds me to take back her generous offer. She states that she now realizes she’s too tired to make the drive and will be staying in Dallas with her grandmother for the night. ***I’M SORRY..WHAT?***

Literally, I was so excited to be able to turn this into a post about how millennials are wonderful and generous and open, willing to help a complete stranger get home for Christmas. Instead, I am forced to write a post about how all those people who bash on us were right in this situation. This 20-something woman lacked respect for the commitment she had made to me, one in which I had altered other plans that were contingent on her following through. Everything worked out, I got a hotel at 1130pm and hitched a ride in the morning, but that’s not my point. I also understand that people get tired and these things happen, she prematurely agreed to something that she wasn’t able to follow through with. I’m upset because I feel like this has become a part of Millennial culture. Everyone follows the mantra of “I must do what’s right for me in this moment, regardless of how it affects anyone around me”. It makes us seem immature and unreliable and I am not a fan.

Honor your commitments people. It matters. **Rant over, thanks for hanging in there everyone**

Dating..

“Hope for love, pray for love, wish for love, dream for love… but don’t put your life on hold waiting for love.” -Mandy Hale

To say I’ve been bored out of my mind lately would be an understatement. I did find out that New York received my California paperwork finally, so my license should be in the mail within the week (Yay!), but I still will not be able to start my job until January. I’m walking dogs when I can, but most of my time is spent in the apartment avoiding the judging eyes of Gracie. I’ve learned that I cannot leave the apartment without spending money that I do not currently have. The other day I went out with Margaret to Urban Outfitters to help her find an outfit for a party we were going to that evening. I gave myself a nice pep talk on the way there consisting of thoughts like, “Remember Mads, you have no money. You don’t need clothes. You don’t need ANYTHING at ANY STORE under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES”. Fast forward two hours and Margaret is walking out empty-handed while I just charged another $100 to my credit card. *Sigh*. It’s impossible.

So I got back on a dating app the other day. Swipe left, swipe left, episode of Narcos, swipe left, Ooooh swipe right, swipe left, some Assassin’s Creed, swipe left left left left left. It’s amazing how collectively short the male population of New York is, considering I’m almost six feet tall barefoot. A few matches later and I’m learning more and more about why I am still single. Carrying conversations with these men is damn near impossible. Here’s an example of one I had with…we’ll call him C (all misspellings and punctuation are as he wrote them):

**It starts out alright,

C:  Hey hows it going im chris

M: Hey Chris! I’m Madison. Things are going well so far tonight, how’s your Saturday?

**Then we start to lose all punctuation and understanding of adverbs and conjunctions.

C: Not bad finishing a paper than heading out to meet some friends

M: That’s great that you’re in school! What is your paper about?

C: Criminal databases

**The end I guess? How do I respond to this?

M: That sounds fun. You’re studying something to do with Criminal Justice I assume?

C: Hellz yeah

And then I was done. Hellz yeah? with a Z? What are we, a 7th grader aspiring to be Lil Wayne? Kill me. Another one started to ask me about travel nursing and then told me he can’t fly because of inner ear issues and deleted the match. What’s even more depressing is that these were the best examples of DECENT conversation. Other men just come right out with disgusting opening lines that I will not allow to be dignified by repeating them here. What are we supposed to do with this? Being a millennial is awesome in so many ways, like how I can order a bottle of wine on an app and have it at my door in an hour, but dating at this age is literally the worst. Especially in New York, where tall straight men with any sense are few and far between.

I guess I’ll to return to Assassin’s Creed and the art of loving myself, let me know if you all out there have had better luck THAN mine, for I would love to hear about it.

Love.

Life Lessons

“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” -Alexander Pope

I’ve been avoiding you. I’ve been wallowing, actually.. Engaging in a full on ugly cry fest while wearing the same clothes for more than what is socially acceptable. See, I finally got someone from the California Board on the phone and found out that my paperwork is still not going to come through in time for me to start next week. This means I’m looking at another four weeks of unemployment. You might as well bury me alive, because I have no idea what to do with myself when I’m not working.

What’s worse, I look like the real Millennial stereotype right now. A lazy, no good, entitled brat whining about what the world isn’t doing to help her succeed. I can’t help but that think that the universe is trying to teach me something that I will find very valuable in retrospect, but in the moment, this BLOWS. You can only play so many video games and binge watch so many Netflix shows (What up Narcos? and The Punisher..mmmyep) before you start literally melting into your couch. You think I’m kidding, but there’s an oddly Mads shaped impression in my living room couch right now. I find myself having full conversations with Gracie about the mouse in our apartment (I named him Darwin). You’re thinking “she’s totally lost it” and I’d say you’re thinking right. I don’t dare go and explore this city in fear that I’m going to spend my swiftly shrinking savings that has to feed me throughout the next month.

I’m not sure what else I can say right now, other than to acknowledge that I am living up to my previous assessment that I am the least interesting person in NYC. Anyway, until next time, here’s a video of Gracie with a very impressive branch:

Anne and Lindsey

“Sometimes the most scenic roads in life are the detours you didn’t mean to take.” -Angela N. Blount

Apologies for the delay, apparently the Southwest region of our country respects itself too much to have cell service.

I want to cover a lot of ground in this post.. I feel it’s poetic considering how much literal ground we covered over the last seven days. This trip taught me quite a few things about myself and my Millennial generation as a whole. You hear *generally older* people speak about our habit of devaluing history or other cultures unless it has a social media payoff for us.

For example, let’s call our hypothetical millennial idiot Anne. Anne decides she wants to see a landmark she saw on Pinterest in real life so she can have a really awesome picture to post on Instagram. Anne spends a ton of money and time getting to.. the Colosseum. Her main purpose to snap a pic in a cute hat without getting pickpocketed and on to the next..

Lindsey, a stranger to Anne, takes this cute hat pic as a friendly favor, while contemplating the history of the ground they stand on. How many people have died on this dirt? How many people have broken their backs to build one of the oldest and most recognizable landmarks on this earth.. fought for their lives and lost.. only to have their legacy remembered by a girl in a hat captioning the photo of this hallowed ground with only emojis.

I will admit that I have been both Anne and Lindsey. I’ve been Anne and Lindsey as recently as this trip.

Here’s an example of my Anne behavior:

Awesome pic right? I’m literally standing on the edge of one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World and I’m losing my shit over this bird and our symmetry and how great it’s gonna play online.. and that filter? It doesn’t get any better than that.

I suck. However, I’ve had many more moments as Lindsey over the past week. Like the day I met these wonderful people:

We weren’t able to speak to each other, unable to learn each other’s names, but in one of those really rare moments of unspoken clarity, we understood each other. I did learn how to say “See you later” (It’s Jaane). And in another Lindsey moment, I met Nick Klonis:

Nick runs a bar in Santa Fe, NM called Evangelo’s. After talking with Nick and his niece tending bar, we learned about Nick’s father, Angelo Klonis. Angelo was a teenager when he moved solo to The States from Greece. After Pearl Harbor, he was so offended by what happened to his new home that he joined The Army. His picture is one of the most iconic images from WWII, having been featured on the cover of TIME and many other publications, including a stamp at one point. Here’s a link to check out the full story:

https://m.warhistoryonline.com/war-articles/delving-deep-story-angelo-klonis-wwii-icon.html

This my friends, is what it’s all about. Real people and real stories and okay the occasional awesome picture that makes you feel good when your likes turn from names to numbers. There is so much more I can tell you and show you from this week, but I’m gonna leave this one here for a bit.

Peace ✌🏻

Road Trippppp

“We can’t know what’s going to happen. We can just try to figure it out as we go along.” -Roger Sullivan

I’m currently sitting in the Houston Hobby airport half lit.

I’m waiting on my connecting flight to Albuquerque to meet up with two very special friends of mine from back home for a road trip across the Southwest. (Fun fact: an Ultra in the airport is $7 😩) Moving on, I want to tell you a little bit about these two.

First up, Taylor *code name: Red Panda*. She’s a wildly funny redhead with a flair for the dramatic. Some of her favorite things include wine, carbs, and Jesus. She’s been the subject of many a Snapchat story and I’m proud to call her one of my tribe.

Next is Kassey Jae *code name: Moscato Fancy*. She’s a sassy traveler with deep roots for home and family. She enjoys sunsets, bonfires, and all things Tuff (the cutest damn dog you ever did see). She tends to be at the source of most of the trouble I get into and I love her for it.

We’ve been the trio for more than a few years now and never seem to have trouble keeping it going despite my traveling absence. Millennial girls in a millennial world I guess, cross country communication comes naturally to us. Those are best kinds of friends though, right? The ones you can pick up with wherever you last left off as if no time has passed..

See, Moscato Fancy and I have done this before. A few years back we took a trip where we flipped a coin each day to decide where to go.. and I definitely just tipped most of my beer onto my pillow and the floor of the airplane while typing this.. I’ve really got it together.. Anyway. This will be Red Panda’s first experience with a ‘plan as you go’ road trip and I’m very excited. I hope you are too.

Stay tuned 😘

Wish Me Luck..

“One must conform to the baseness of an age or become neurotic” -Robert Musil

8.5 million people in this city. I think they might all be wag walkers. I have spent my morning sporadically dropping everything to request a walk as soon as the notification hits my phone. At one point my phone was across the room on the charger and the Wag! alert came across my watch, at which point I damn near threw the dog across the room in my disorganized flop to the other side of the couch.. and there it was.. the dreaded “walk filled”. Discouragement. Defeat. I’ve become obsessed with trying to ‘win’ walks, compulsively checking my phone. I think this is happening because I literally have nothing else going on.

Being postponed for this nursing contract has left me with a wide open schedule and next to nothing to fill it with. I spent Saturday night deep cleaning the apartment. You’re thinking “surely I didn’t hear her right”. I assure you, you did. I DEEP CLEANED THE APARTMENT… ON A SATURDAYYY. I’ve got to figure out a way to start making friends that aren’t named Sharky or Cubone.

I went to a movie last night with my roommate and a group of her friends. They were so “New York”, I loved it. All millennials and all servers at The Smith, hands down my favorite restaurant in the city (Get the hot chips!!), and aspiring to be big names in the drama sector. Their clothes and their snarky opinions about the film… it was magic. How am I going to find my niche here? I’m a 6′ tall nurse from the midwest.. I might be the most uninteresting person in this city.

Wish me luck.

Wag!

“but the beauty is in the walking – – we are betrayed by destinations.” -Gwyn Thomas

I got some bad news yesterday. My license to work as a nurse in the state of New York is taking longer than expected, and my start date for my contract has been postponed for a month. I’m now living in one of the most expensive cities on this earth, with no income.. cool.

Normally, I would be losing myself to the stress that accompanies this type of uncertainty..BUT I have decided I’m going to learn how to enjoy the journey. As a very future oriented person, the finish line is always in sight for me. I want to fast forward through the struggle to the moment that I accomplish my goal, only to start over again wishing for time to move to the next goal. As I get older, I am learning that this is no way to live. I overlook the real fulfillment that comes with overcoming the struggle.

So while I’m living here, unemployed, I am going to be walking dogs through a new (very Millennial) app called Wag!. It works like Uber for dog walking. Clients will request a walk ASAP or on a specific day and time, and walkers will accept walks as they choose. Yesterday was day one.. and I was bitten. Story of my life. I was so psyched to play with puppies all day while getting exercise and learning the ins and outs of the city. Second walk in.. this dog is not a fan of having a leash on and lets me know it in a very aggressive way. And I started bawling. My thoughts were as follows:

What am I doing? Why can’t I find direction for my life? What decisions led me to be an on-demand dog walker in NYC at 26 years old. Why am I so dramatic right now? Nope! Don’t do this. Wash the blood off your hand and the doubt from your mind. This is where you are supposed to be. This is the journey.. learn to enjoy it.

I get outside with this dog after lassoing its leash around its neck and it won’t even walk. I’m literally dragging it down the sidewalk to get one lap around the block.. like seriously? Why does the owner have strangers walk this cranky slug? I had to use a chopstick and a pile of treats to get the leash off after and left like I had stolen something.

So let’s recap. I’m a 20 something with no idea of where she’s going or what she’s doing and now she’s walking dogs. Right on.