TWELVE Tips to Help You Succeed in Life: Part One
TIP ONE: SEE THAT YOU HAVE A PROBLEM
My typical morning doesn’t begin with the ticking of a clock or the mewing of a petpet. Instead, I’m always awakened by the following phrase:
“NADINE, WAKE UP! IT’S ALREADY NOON!”
Mom always screams at the bottom of the stairs since she can never bother climbing them to wake me up in a more eloquent way. (By this I mean ‘not scream at the top of her lungs in non-emergency situations’.) Now the term ‘morning’ is a very lose term used to describe the early hours of each passing day—you know, the hours prior to noon? Well my mornings typically begin much later: around 12 – 1 pm to be exact. For various reasons, I tend to have difficulties falling asleep each night, but I’ll talk about that later on.
Any-moo back to my daily routine: after Mom screams me awake, I go to the bathroom and shower for an hour-ish before I emerge to eat my usual breakfast of cereal. Then the rest of the day is a blur of Neovision, hanging out with friends, comic reading, Usuki doll playing, normal book reading and other stuff before it’s time to eat dinner with Mom, do more random things, Neovision again, and then it’s time for me to go to bed (and spend half the night thinking about random stuff. Seriously, why do all my comic ideas come to me at night??) Then, when morning comes again, the cycle of my daily life continues all over again…like all the previous days of my life so far.
So by now, you’re probably dying to know who your wonderful narrator/protagonist is, so I’ll introduce myself right…..now!
My name is Nadine. I’m a green Zafara who lives in a quaint little neighbourhood in Neopia Central. I love Usuki dolls, plushies, NC Mall clothing, reading the Neopian Times (I just read the comics), and hanging out at my adobe of a Neohome. Mom, who’s a pink Gelert, works at the Heath Food shop (that broccoli-shaped building) in the Bazaar. She’s all for natural food, plants and other boring Mom hobbies. Everyday she rubs in the fact that she is capable of waking up early each day while I have the daily struggles of falling asleep past midnight. “Waking up earlier would make you feel perkier,” Mom insisted, sipping her coffee.
I stuck my tongue out at her while I poured myself a bowl of Grarrl Flakes. Granted I almost always have a ‘sleepyhead’ due to my chronic insomnia, but waking up in the ‘glorious morning hours’ Mom keeps hyping up sounds more like a punishment than something to actually look forward to. “I’d rather dream,” I retorted, stifling a yawn before I could even finish my sentence.
“Sleeping in everyday isn’t good for your health,” Mom said matter-of-factly. “And besides, I would love the extra bit of company in the morning.”
“Well I wouldn’t,” I sniffed as I took my seat across the table.
Mom just flipped through the Neopian Times—which was fives days old now, may I add—and said, “You know, they're still hiring at the furniture shop if you’re interested.”
“I’m not,” I insisted, stuffing my mouth with even more cereal. “Besides, you know how little I care for furniture and all that home décor garbage.”
“That’s the same thing you said when I suggested real estate,” Mom sighed.
“Again, it’s boring,” I grumbled.
Mom sighed again. “Then were would you like to work?” she demanded. “Or would you rather go back to college?”
I shrugged. As boring as employment sounded, going back to school was even worse. Granted I wouldn’t need to work—Mom would want me to be dedicated to my studies—going back to college would mean trying to find the right courses needed to pursue whatever degree I wanted to achieve…which, for the last random number of years, has been a difficult decision. Yes I’ve had an interest in different careers (I REALLY wanted to be a princess growing up), but then I realized I have no special talents that would help me fulfill these dreams, I decided to let them die. Hence my current situation: a Neoschool graduate still living at home with no source of income.
Rather than having to use the whole ‘I don’t know what to do’ excuse, I finished my cereal in an uncomfortable silence. Then I told Mom, “Finding a good job is too hard. Everything pays too little.”
“Well you have to start somewhere, sweetie,” Mom insisted. “How about you check out the NT’s job listings? There are a lot of teaching positions listed for the Neoschool.”
“Mom, you know how much I hate the children,” I moaned.
“How about the Food Shop? They need a burger flipper,” Mom suggested.
I shook my head. “Can’t cook.”
“They can teach you,” Mom persisted.
“Nah. I’d rather learn how to sew and design clothes,” I retorted. “Though, mind you, I fear sewing needles.”
Mom raised an eyebrow at me. “Nadine, you HAVE to do something. You can’t expect to spend the rest of your days sitting around and doing nothing! Why, you may have a family of your own to take care of someday!”
I rolled my eyes. “Mom, must I tell you again of my hatred of children?”
“Regardless, I expect more from you, dear,” Mom said exasperatedly. By now I noticed she hadn’t touched her buttered toast yet. “If you’re not planning to go back to school, then you have to get a job! And if you do decide to go back to school, then try to take your studies more seriously, okay?”
“I was serious!” I gasped, wishing she’d forget that I was only in college for a three month semester before dropping out. I was going to plead my case, but Mom’s stern ‘when are you going to figure your life out already?’ look silenced me. Instead, I got up and left to seek somebody I hope would help ease my woes: Claudia.
Granted, Claudia isn’t the sharpest pencil in the box, but she’s a somewhat good listener ad always cheers me up with her gushing over different Neopian celebrates and boy bands. Claudia is also an expert in the subject of employment because of all the numerous jobs she’s had…and got fired from. Like for example, she was fired from the Grooming Parlour for gossiping about the customers…and for refusing service to Skeiths...and then there was the alleged shoplifting. Of course there are other failures she had as well: burning pizzas at the Pizzaroo; yelling at kids at the Toy Shop; donating discounted clothes from the Uni's Clothing shop; and then she got fired from the Neopian Bank (of all places) for stealing five hundred Neopoints on her very first day! Why? Because she needed a new bottle of nail polish for an outfit I have yet to see.
And on this glorious day in the Month of Running (that’s the current month if you care) Claudia was at our usual table at the Smoothie Shop, sipping a small strawberry smoothie. She’s pretty short for a pink Uni and her long, blonde hair was let down and curled. “Hey-girl-hey!” she cheered as I took my seat. “So what’s the latest BUZZ today?”
“My life is terrible and I need a quick fix,” I sighed.
Claudia nodded. “That’s what happens when you don’t wear make-up,” she crooned. “But don’t worry: cuz I got my job back at the Grooming Parlour! Isn’t that, like, the most fantastical thing ever??”
“You got it back!?!?” I gasped. “How in Neopia did THAT happen??”
“When I visited there yesterday to get some new lip gloss, the owner told me I was more than welcome to return to my register!” Claudia gushed.
“Again, WHY??” I demanded.
Claudia inspected her hooves. “Because I was the best makeup artist those dweebs have ever had! All the other employees told me so.” She furrowed her brows. “Though I’m not allowed to gossip or insult fat, ugly Skeiths anymore. Still, how great is this? Now I can quite my job at the NC Mall!”
“I thought you liked that job?” I asked.
“Yeah, but none of the customers appreciated my fashion advice,” Claudia insisted. “Can you believe it? And where do Neopians get ‘Neocash’ anyways?”
“Dunno.” I felt like smashing my head on the table. “Mom was going on again about how I need a job and that my life is crummy and I need to improve it.”
“Really? I thought you already had a job at the post office?” asked Claudia. “Or was that someone else?”
“That was your Dad, remember?” I grumbled. "And no, I would never EVER want to work at a boring ol’ post office. It’s just not my style.”
“Then what is?” asked Claudia. “Is it still modelling? Because I thought we already went over the reasons for why you’re not runway worthy.”
I rolled my eyes. “Right now, I’m completely lost. Like, could I be any more of a n00b??”
“In that green hoodie, I think you’re a-okay,” said Claudia cheerily. She admired her reflection in the napkin dispenser and then said, “How about you go talk to Andrew? He has no job and he seems perfectly fine.”
“Uh, he works at the petpet shop,” I retorted. “Still, you’re right. I think I’ll go bother him right now!” I immediately got up and jet out of the Smoothie Shop. If I’m ever going to navigate through this web of confusion fate as spun for me, then I need to speak to someone whose wisdom will guide me through this horribly long tunnel I call a life. With his advice, I can finally take my first step forward!
To be continued…