Daily Prompt 6/7/2016 | (Dis)Connected

Everyone around me had moved on to bigger and better things, and left me behind, stuck in the Dark Ages.

In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 6/7/2016 | Connected

For the last several years, I’ve basically been living in a cave when it comes to modern technology. I am 26 years old, which means I fall into the age range commonly referred to as the “Millennials“, and we are supposed to be the generation of technology and social media. In fact, nearly everyone I know, who is around my age and younger, own the latest iPhones, iPads, the latest gaming consoles and devices, play all the latest games, etc. They’re also on every social media platform you can imagine, like Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Tumblr, and all those other ones out there that I’ve probably never even heard of. Not me. Not even close.

Did I miss something here? Is 26 the new 40? When did all of this happen, and how did I miss it?

Up until around 2012, when I was 22 years old, I was pretty up-to-date on everything (good lord, I sound old). I had a Samsung Galaxy (yes, those were relevant then), a good gaming PC, and a profile on all of the major social media sites, a podcast, and a large group of friends, who I spent hours talking to on Skype, as well as in the various games that I played. Unfortunately, as some of you already know, 2012 is the year that the long-term relationship that I was in ended, and my life crumbled around me.

I lost my home, my computer, my phone, my internet access… basically everything that people need to function properly in first world countries these days.

First world problems, folks, I know.

I went without internet for two years. Two. Whole. Years.

During this time of living on my own, I was unable to pay for any sort of luxury, such as internet and phone, and spent the majority of my time working at my full-time retail job, and reading. I had absolutely no contact with any of my online friends, and my Facebook and Twitter profiles could only be accessed whenever I was able to get to Kyle’s parents’ house and use their internet (this was early in our relationship, when he was living in Wisconsin, and was only able to visit me every/every other weekend).

I wasn’t able to buy a new phone for a year and a half, and when I found one that I could afford, it was far from an iPhone or Samsung, and it was a month-to-month plan. I still had no internet at home, but was able to use Facebook and Twitter from my phone, as long as I had any sort of signal, or WiFi… which, honestly, wasn’t all that often.

In November of 2014, a month and a half before my son was born, we were finally financially stable enough to buy new phones, and get internet in our apartment, something we had kept putting off due to how often we moved around. I tried to get back into my old routine of social media, vlogging, blogging, and gaming, and reached out to the same friends that had been in my circle just a few years ago… but, unfortunately, it all fell apart. With the arrival of my son, and the overwhelming feeling that everyone had moved on from me, I retreated back into the life of being a hermit, and chose to focus on my newborn.

Everyone around me had moved on to bigger and better things, and left me behind, stuck in the Dark Ages.

By the way, do you know hard it is to dig yourself out of a hole, and get yourself back into the present, when you lack the finances to do so? I’ll be stuck with this 2 year old, knockoff Samsung phone, and this ancient, hand-me-down computer that can barely handle Flash games.

Once again, first world problems… I know.

Anyway. I feel like, at only 26 years old, I’m turning into one of those middle-aged moms who has no idea what the cool kids are doing these days, and tries to join in on social media, despite being completely irrelevant, and only posting things for my 14 followers. Ugh… but, hey, you should all totally follow me on Twitter and Instagram!

I’ll never catch up. I’m getting too old for all this. I guess the good news is, since I’m so disconnected from the online world, I’m more connected to real life than most? Maybe? No… probably not.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Legal Representation? | Vlog

Hello, friends. I’ve been restless and riddled with anxiety lately, and it isn’t getting any better. Here is another vlog for you just to let you know about something important that is going on regarding my living situation. Any advice you have is definitely appreciated. I’m starting to realize that, while I may be accustomed to living in these conditions, my son shouldn’t have to be. Why is adulthood so hard?

Thanks for watching, friends.

Jan

My ‘I-Hate-Being-An-Adult’ Wishlist

Being an adult sucks. Having to buy big adult things so that you can properly be an adult sucks. Whenever someone asks me what I want for Christmas or my birthday, I feel awful, because the only things I NEED are money and big appliances. And a car. And a house. I don’t have the luxury of being stable and only wanting a gaming console or new clothes. I don’t get to have nice, fun things anymore!

Hello, it has certainly been some time!

I’m 25 years old. When I was in high school, I thought I would have all my shit together by the time I turned 25. I thought that I would have graduated college after 4 years with a degree in Psychology, and that I would have a nice job working in a school and/or working with children or young adults. I thought that I would have a nice little house (or a nice apartment) with a big fenced-in yard, where the dog that I thought I would have could play. I thought I would be in a relationship and/or married, and that we would have a baby. Oh, and I DEFINITELY thought I would have my license AND a car.

Well… a few of those happened. I’ve been in a fantastic relationship for going on 3 years now (my previous relationship was 4 years before he broke it off). My fiance and I have been engaged since last February, but aren’t really in any hurry to have a wedding. Oh, and we have a baby. So, there’s that. But… that’s all I’ve checked off of that list.

I never graduated college. Back in 2008/09, I did GO to college, but never finished. I finished my first year (with an horrendous GPA) before succumbing to the fact that I was completely broke, and could not afford to stay in school. I still owe the school nearly $3000 for my second semester, but since I never got my degree, I’ve just been bouncing around from minimum wage job to minimum wage job, barely making enough to pay rent and NECESSARY bills (I went years without internet access or a phone, it was awful). I would love to go back to school. Lately, I’ve even been looking into online classes and degrees that I could do in my spare time, but nothing seems to be doable for me at the moment.

We rent our apartment. As most of you who follow me on Twitter may know, I’ve had HORRIBLE luck with apartments/landlords over the last 6 or so years. Between terrible neighbors, mold, leaks, falling ceilings, flooded basements, and swarms of yellow jackets in my living room, things just haven’t been working out for us. This, once again, comes back to income. The only apartments that we seem to be able to afford on our income (well, his income, since I’m currently not working) are slums. Not ridiculous slums, with boarded up windows and holes in the walls, but apartments that the landlords just don’t seem to have any interest in keeping up with. It sucks. Especially with a baby. This current apartment isn’t awful, but it definitely has some issues. We’ve been entertaining the idea of looking into getting a house once our lease is up, but that is terrifying. There’s so much that can go wrong, and there’s no landlord to come and fix things. Scary scary scary.

Yeah, I don’t have my license. Still. Yes, I am 25 years old. This is also a contributing factor in all the things previously listed.

Being an adult sucks. Having to buy big adult things so that you can properly be an adult sucks. Whenever someone asks me what I want for Christmas or my birthday, I feel awful, because the only things I NEED are money and big appliances. And a car. And a house. I don’t have the luxury of being stable and only wanting a gaming console or new clothes. I don’t get to have nice, fun things anymore! So. There are a few things I really wish we had, that would make my life immensely simpler. Here are a few of the things from my super adulty adult wishlist:

1) Washer/Dryer. This is the first apartment that I’ve lived in that a) doesn’t already have a washer and dryer in the unit/building b) actually has hook-ups that we can have our own. But we don’t have a washer or dryer. So, once a week/ever other week, on Kyle’s day off, we have to haul $10 worth of laundry to the laundromat, cram it into the yucky machines there, and hope it all lasts until the next time we can do it. Do you know how hard it is to go 1-2 weeks without washing baby clothes? Almost all of the clothes that we have for our kiddo is used/hand-me-downs, and there isn’t much of it. Some days are good, and he doesn’t make a complete mess when he eats… but some days I have to change him 2-3 times. So when we actually get to do laundry, it’s 60% baby stuff, 30% my fiance’s work clothes, 5% towels, and 5% my stuff. I don’t mind wearing dirty clothes, since I never leave the apartment… but when we have to go somewhere, it’s embarrassing. So, yeah. That’s on my list.

2) A new car. Well, a new car for my fiance, since I don’t drive. We have a little, red Mustang, which he has had since he was in high school. It was fine when we were dating, we could still fit all of our laundry/groceries/etc. in the back seat and trunk… but these days, our car has some SERIOUS issues.
a) The driver’s side seat is broken, and is being held up by a plank of wood. Any time we have to move or adjust the seat, we also have to adjust the piece of wood. This means we only have 1/2 of a backseat. The other side has a car seat. So, really, there is NO back seat.
b) It has been involved in 3 hit-and-run accidents in the last two years (including a school bus in front of our apartment, and we didn’t get a penny for it, despite having a witness). The outside is a hot mess. Our car has NO side mirrors, and has quite a bit of body damage, which significantly reduces its value. Even if we wanted to sell/trade it in for a new, cheap vehicle, the vehicle we would get wouldn’t be much better. The body is fiberglass, so we can’t even scrap it. We could get maybe $1500 for it in its current condition, which seems to be getting worse each week.
c) It is small. It is a 2 door car, which makes it VERY difficult to get a baby carrier in and out of the back seat, especially when we only have access to the back seat on one side. Our boy is quickly outgrowing his infant carrier, and when he goes into his rear-facing bigger car seat, it will be virtually impossible to get him in and out of the car without a huge hassle. We also have a VERY small trunk, which doesn’t fit his stroller, or very many groceries. Ugh.
d) It is absolute shit in the snow. We live in Illinois. It snows. We slide and get stuck ALL THE TIME. Terrifying.
e) No AC. Enough said.
f) On top of/because of a bunch of those previous things, it makes noises sometimes and freaks me out and I know nothing about cars but I know it’s not good.

So… yeah. We’d love it if someone could just go ahead and give us a new vehicle, that’d be super! Because when this one craps out, we are SO screwed.

I feel like I have more things to add, but they aren’t nearly as big as these things. I wish we had a bigger kitchen that we could actually USE, as well as a dishwasher, so that the dishes wouldn’t sit in the sink for months at a time (seriously, it’s been 2 months, we’re using the same plate, bowl, spoon, and fork that we’ve been using for ages and just keep washing them in the bathroom sink). I don’t have a job, but I have a baby. A baby who is currently going through a very needy, clingy phase. I can’t get anything done! Every other day I try to sweep the living room carpet and the kitchen (oh, yeah, would love a working vacuum cleaner and a Swiffer as well), and pick up the bathroom and bedrooms as much as I can, but it really is difficult.

Oh, that reminds me:

3) A GOOD baby carrier. I bought a cheap $20 baby carrier from Walmart, but it is just awful, and uncomfortable for both of us, so I hardly ever use it. I could probably get a bit more done around the house if I could wear my baby, right? Probably.

4) I just remembered this one. We need blinds for our windows. The ones that were here when we moved in are disgusting, dirty, broken, and bring held together my magic and duct tape. So all of my neighbors can see me and my awful apartment. Ugh.

So, if anyone would like to adopt me, that’d be swell. Or, you know, if you win the lottery, keep me in your thoughts? Thanks!

Jan