Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Iron Goddess of Mercy

The legend goes like this:

In southeast China there was a rundown temple which housed an iron statue of the Bodhisattva Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy. A poor farmer passed the temple each morning on his way to the tea fields. He would look upon the temple with a heavy heart, noting its crumbling condition.

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Because the farmer was poor, he had not the means to restore the temple’s glory. Still, he wanted to do something. He brought a broom from his home and swept the temple clean of debris, then lit some incense as an offering to Guanyin. He did this each day for many months. “It’s the least I can do,” he said.

One night, the Goddess appeared to him in a dream and told him of a hidden cave behind the temple where great treasure awaited.

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She told him to claim the treasure as a reward for his hard work and share it with the others in his village. The next day, the farmer searched and found the cave the Goddess spoke of, but upon entering found no great treasure. Instead, he found only a tiny tea shoot poking up through the ground. He was disheartened.

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The farmer took the tea shoot anyway and planted it on his farm. To his surprise, it grew into a hearty bush from which the finest tea was produced. He gave cuttings of it to his friends and family, and they began selling it. Before long the village prospered and grew famous for its delicious tea. As thanks to the Goddess, they named the tea after her: Tieguanyin. The Iron Goddess of Mercy.

I drink Tieguanyin most nights. Occasionally I’ll switch up the tea I drink, but Iron Goddess of Mercy is the one I continually return to. Making tea is a ritual I look forward to. My workload has a tendency to pile up and the ritual of brewing tea offers momentary respite, during which time I can clear my head and recalibrate. I focus on the steps: filling the tea bag, boiling water, steeping the tea, then waiting for it to cool so I can drink it. It’s a simple ceremony but a calming one, and the legend behind the tea’s origin serves as a hopeful reminder that everything I do will one day amount to something more. It offers solace from the stress of my life, however fleeting.

Another little ritual I have is laying on the floor in the dark, panicking over the notion that I’m wasting my formative years on misguided endeavors.

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In these ephemeral moments of despair, tea is of little help. While I’m comforted by the fact that everyone my age deals with the same ambiguities and insecurities, it doesn’t negate the sobering fact that I periodically have, and will continue to have, these big moments of complete and all-consuming doubt that seem like they might cause my whole life to derail—but then watch a bunch of Roseanne episodes or go get some Thai food from the place down the street, and tell myself that everything is all right, and I make some lists in my head and set some goals and before long it’s tomorrow and I’m fine.
           
Everybody’s twenties are marred by uncertainty. This is fact. I’m 25, about to be 26, which means I’ve begun that slow crawl toward 30. It feels like a good place to pause and reflect on what I’ve learned so far.

1. I Can’t Keep Dating Douchenozzles, Hoping To Turn Them Into Good People

This has taken me ages to learn, and I’m still not sure it’s sunk in all the way. Barring one notable exception, I’ve dated pretty much exclusively garbage-people. For a while, it was fun to imagine that I could reform someone else, like a science project. A part of me still hopes I can find someone to mold into the perfect human specimen, as if I’m building a mate from carefully selected parts.

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In reality, I have a hard enough time changing myself. There’s no way I could possibly change another person.

2. I Can’t Eat The Way I Used To

I will probably never be fat. Looking back at the men in my family, not a one of them was anything other than lean (and usually downright noodly), and for this I am thankful. Still, I’m discovering that I can’t continue to shovel food into my gullet and expect to maintain a figure like that of Christian Bale in The Machinist. Now when I eat loads of shitty food, I find myself feeling lazy and lethargic. I have to run longer on the treadmill to maintain my Voldemort-like physique. In a couple years I’ll most likely have to move up a belt size, from 28 to 29, which is too traumatic to dwell on. It would be so much easier if I could eat like I did when I was 16, but I fear that will lead to dark places.

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3. I Can’t Drink Like I Used To

I’ve always been a pretty responsible drinker (ahem, sort of) but I just can’t keep up with my younger self any longer. A few months ago I went out for a friend’s birthday and consumed what seemed like a perfectly reasonable number of vodka tonics. I went to bed and woke up the next morning with a crippling hangover. I spent the entire morning on the floor of my living room, my head pounding like Denver the Last Dinosaur was about to hatch from my skull.

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In college I could spend the night partying, get 3 hours of sleep, wake up feeling buoyant and refreshed, and go to my 8 AM class without a care in the world. Now if I have too much to drink, I have to personally call FEMA to deliver me a bag of Egg McMuffins.

4. Money Vanishes

I try to keep an eye on my bank account but it still feels like cash is being steadily funneled out of my possession and into a void. I feebly attempt to cling to my finances, yet frugality seems like a nonsense notion in my twenties.

It’s almost sneaky the way it happens. A couple visits to the Las Piedritas taco truck for $5 burritos, a night out at Wimpy’s for $2.50 well drinks, a too-good-to-pass up sale on Bonobos.com, then a couple auto-payments hit my account for bills and my gym membership, and suddenly I have $500 less in checking than I did the week before. It’s as if I’m tying hundred dollar bills to my cat and sending her off into the wilderness, never to be seen again.

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Before I realize what’s happened, I’m destitute, with nothing to show for it except a burrito-induced tummy ache and orange chino shorts that don’t even fit because of all the burritos I’ve been eating.

5. I Am Jealous Of Everyone For Their Success, Be It Real Or Imagined

I’m at that age where many of my friends are getting married and having little goblin offspring of their own. Every week I open my mailbox to find save-the-dates and wedding announcements, oftentimes from people I hardly remember. The barrage of invites is endless.

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I remember being eight and adamantly claiming I’d never get married (unless it was to Sailor Moon) and that I’d rather die than have children of my own. I’ve softened somewhat on the notion of children, though currently I can’t imagine my life with a son or daughter present. I can fathom no worse hell than having to pause my Skyrim game to change a diaper, and yet I somehow find myself jealous of all my friends who are getting married and becoming pregnant.

It shouldn’t be a competition. I don’t even want to get married and I certainly don’t want kids right now, but I still stare at all the wedding announcements pinned to my fridge with a mixture of envy and loathing.

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I try to remind myself that this is just a symptom of the Facebook age and that we all make unreasonable comparisons about ourselves and our peers. Then I brew a scalding hot cup of Tieguanyin and casually pour it out the window onto some unwitting passerby.

6. Despite The Pervasive Uncertainty Of Life, I Am Gaining Perspective

Though my days are often filled with a vague sense of dread and forboding, there are moments of profound insight, and I cling tightly to these, collecting them in my subconscious like precious jewels so that I may reference them later. These moments usually manifest in small and quiet ways—an electric, passionate discussion with a friend, or a walk through the city when the weather is perfect and the streets are buzzing with life. These moments are like little islands of positivity. Sometimes I get tired of swimming, but I trust there’s another little island on the horizon.

I like to think that when my twenties come to a close, I will be at peace with myself and at one with the universe, wise and tranquil like a spiritual Maharishi.

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For now, I’ll draw and I’ll write, and I’ll try to learn new things, and I’ll attempt to take something positive away from every experience I have, no matter how small. I’ll try to keep my finances in check and be nice to my friends even when they’re being insufferable little shits, because I love them and I know they’re the same as me. And I’ll make Tieguanyin tea at night, and imagine the Iron Goddess watching over me, telling me that someday all my insecurities and second-guessing will melt away, and everything will be good, and I will stop worrying.

190 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. THIS IS A RUMOR. I am too scared to test it out myself, but I've heard tales of secret nachos at Chipotle. Whispers on the wind.

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    2. It's like you've given me the key to the locked door in Pokemon Ruby. I just. I CAN'T.

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    3. You can also order a Quesodilla Burrito...where they wrap your burrito in a cheese quesodilla instead of a plain tortilla. Mind-blowing, I know, but if you get the right Burrito Artist (I'm borrowing from Subway here), they'll hook you up and you'll never be the same.

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    4. Yes they make Nachos!

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  2. Thank you for sharing exactly how I feel about my life right now :) Love your work, as always!

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  3. I can't believe you're younger than me, you seem to have your shit way more together than me! But that's probably me indulging in a little bit of number 5. ^_^ Love it, I can so relate!!

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  4. I loved this. I turned 26 back in April and I too am suffering from most of these realizations. Thanks for animating it and making me laugh. I always enjoy your work. :)

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  5. Loved this post

    I think everyone has these moments...especially people who work creatively because thats putting a part of you out there that is insanely personal. I always describe it as a bit like opening up your underwear drawer and telling people to go ahead and have a rummage. Yup, totally get the self doubt thing...

    C x

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  6. http://thequietplaceproject.com/thequietplace?page=&lang=

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  7. I feel the same way about numbers 3,4,5 and 6 on an almost daily basis. I love your blog.

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  8. This is a lovely post. I know exactly what you mean. I am about to be 32 and I hate to tell you this, but the insecurities, second-guessing and general confusion about life don't really go away magically when you hit 30 (I totally thought they would). However, everything WILL be good if you continue to examine yourself and your life the way you already are, glean whatever wisdom you can from your experiences, and refuse to take anything too seriously. I've learned that much. If you laugh more than you cry, you're doing all right.

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    1. They don't go away at 60, either :)

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  9. You are wise beyond your years and also hilarious. Oh, and your comics make my day. Keep up the good work, man!

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  10. Very introspective. A good deviation from the normal posts. I even laughed a couple times.

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  11. This was actually profoundly insightful. I love it.

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  12. That was the most confusing, spiritual thing I have ever read... I think 25 is a young age, but 26 makes you sound old, like in four years, you'll be old. I kind of feel bad for you...

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  13. Awesome blog post! Different from the usual funny stuff, but great insight on what I have to look forward to in my later 20s lol thanks Adam and keep up the good work :)

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  14. I read recently that by the time we turn 20 most of us have met the person we will marry. Think about that man. Think about that.

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    1. In that case, I'm screwed. I hardly talk to anyone from before I was 20 -- and of the ones I do, I'm 98% certain they're all male.

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  15. Eesh. I turned 27 this year, and you pretty much wrapped up my thoughts on the subject. Especially #5 - curse you, eternal bachelorhood!

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  16. Lovely post, as usual. I must say though that this time around I felt that along with the humor you managed to stick in something more endearing. Being the impressionable young lass I am, I often forget that you are a real human being who has a life outside blogging and reading about you being jealous was sort of refreshing? Considering I cannot always relate to everything you post, I thought that bit was very nice.

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  17. I find your Voldermort-like physique to be a rather interesting thing. Really, if you think about it, you could be creating a whole new concept of beauty, one that would the child of Voldermort and Christian Bale's character in The Machinist. :P

    And don't worry about the jealousy you feel towards your friends getting married or making a zoo of their own. They probably get jealous at your ability to have the time to get 50 tacos in one sitting.

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  18. I did have doubts about having kids and what it would do to my gaming too. My kid's two months old now, and I wouldn't change it for the world. Yes, I have less time gaming but I don't even notice it, because I love spending time with that little guy.

    Another great post. Thanks!

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  19. A relatable piece of text and good drawings. Also Lola.

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  20. While we're on the topic of good wisdom...Nobody has any idea what they're doing. Anyone that does is already rich and too busy to hang around you anyway, so the point stands.

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  21. All I can really relate to from this post is that yes, the series finale of lost was disappointing!!!

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    1. Yeah it kinda was. Which is a shame because Lost was a pretty awesome series.

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  22. Chipotle also makes quesadillas. My friend gets them all the time. :D

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  23. Nailed it....Chipotle does make nachos, friend has had them made!

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  24. Brilliant :)
    Just live your life like you want to live it!

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  25. Great post. This summarizes what I've been going through recently perfectly well. EVERY DETAIL IS NEARLY EXACTLY THE SAME. I just turned 26. I need to eat better, but I'll probably always be a translucent sheet of a human. I can't drink nearly as much as I used to, and hangovers are way worse. I cannot help but feel like I've failed at life and will never be able to recover, but in reality, things aren't that bad.

    Oh, and I live in PDX. Strange. ARE YOU STALKING ME?!?!?!

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  26. Hahahaha Adam I so miss your posts! And I love the cat money thing.
    I am currently engaged AND pregnant- and I feel slight remeniscence (Probably not really the word but you know what I mean) for those still doing the travelling/partying/early 20's thing. I was never much of a partier but I just thought you should know you're wondering, no matter what side of the fence you're on!!

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  27. This is exactly what I needed to read during an exceptionally tough week. I'm going to find myself some Tieguanyin and toast my first cup to you.

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    1. It's really good! Nice smooth oolong.

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  28. Ah, welcome to the 25 - 30 box. It is a rough time, but your blog makes it fun at times.

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  29. Responsible drinker? I seem to recall a story about booze and breaking into a swimming pool.

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  30. As a mid-30s-er, I have some good news. Hangovers SUCK from like 25-30/31, but then miraculously go away. I don't know why. It's not that I've drank less. I fell over trying to put my pants back on and have myself a righteous black eye on the edge of the tub. But nary a hangover.

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  32. Hell yeah, great writing Adam keep it up!

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  33. I hear you, Adam. I'm twenty-five, I have a masters degree that I can't use unless I keep going and get a doctorate, and student loan repayment is no longer looming--it's a reality. I feel some days like I've got one foot in reality (bills! finding a job! staving off brain atrophy!) and the other in a whimsical parallel universe (where my primary occupations are: levitation in the Bodleian, inhaling the knowledge of dead-white-British-guys past through old vellum and leather smells; eating chocolate without worrying if I've gone running or headed to the gym that day; and knitting endless pairs of socks without buggering up the patterns and having to start over).

    You're not alone in feeling alone. I'm the youngest of three siblings, and if one more person asks when I'm going to get married like my brothers, I may cease to seethe inwardly and project my rage outwards. Maybe with a fork. We're all in this together.

    Additionally--my favourite tea is Assam tarajulie.

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  34. I did not know Chipotle makes nachos! Thank you for passing on the knowledge!

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  36. 've been reading your blog for years, I'm 5 years your senior and staring 30 in the face...it approaches....fast. I can't say any of this goes away, at least it hasn't for me. What does happen is that is all comes down to one or two big things that you dwell on. They are the things that are most important to you and hopefully they are the things in life you need to feel fulfilled and less anxious.

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  37. LOL..great post!!! i loved the illustrations too. so funny and accurate haha

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  38. I has a meltdowns when I turned 26 this year because I thought I was losing my youth and had not accomplished enough. I am married (have been for 5 years), a Bachelor and Mastwr degree in Biology, a fairly new Jeep, a full time job int my career field with benefits, no kids, and a mortgage. Yet, I still feel like I should have done more but I think everyone goes through this.

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  39. As a moving-into-my-mid-40s guy, I'm gonna have to disagree with stef here. Hangovers don't go away after the early 30s. They start to act more like unwanted house guests who show up on Saturday morning and hang out all day and into the night, watching bad movies (and not he ones that are BAD bad, which can be kinda fun to watch, but actual tedious-bad movies you'd never watch in the first place) until it's too late for them to leave & drive home & so they end up staying over and waking up stoopidly early on Sunday morning all bright eyed and bushy tailed and make breakfast with whatever they find in your kitchen and using up the last of the homemade strawberry jam you were saving because it was a gift and you didn't want to use it on something lame like breakfast with people you didn't want to see in the first place. That's what hangovers become. You were warned.

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    1. I am also hitting mid-40s, and that is the best description of 'our' hangovers I have ever heard!

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  40. Ooh, this was a long post, and one of my favorites. I love reading about your general observations on life :D plus, the final two Shangri-La-esque images are awesome :)

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  41. Great list man. I just hit 25 and I'm feeling a lot of the same things.

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  42. Bad news.... your 30's will feel the same way, except every day you will realize that you aren't in your 20's any more. *lays on floor*

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  43. This is an accurate description of how I feel as a 27 y.o.

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  44. Loved the post, great illustrations, totally, utterly fabulous as always! :D

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  45. I had similar realisations when I hit 25/26, it was like freaking epiphany time hit me for about 2 years. Now I'm gonna be 30 in 2 weeks, and while part of me is scared, another part of me just shrugs and says "eh, it's been a good run!"

    And I honestly know how you feel about the boozing. I used to be able to drink anyone under the table, but then I started turning into a really bad drunk and couldn't handle the horrible hangovers, so I stopped and liked myself better for it. (I'd never condemn anyone else for drinking, as long as they're not trying to coerce me into drinking. Then I condemn them for being an asshole.)

    Welcome to growing up! Don't worry though, it's not all scary. You get to mock kids (and their parents) that you're allowed to stay up late and play computer games :D

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  46. I'm 28 and I still wonder when I'll grow up and be able to do things in a normal, adult manner.

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  47. I enjoy all of your comics so much. I love living in Portland (and the thai food up the street) and drinking tea... and I am 26. Damnit. You are so exactly right on about how this feels.

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  48. This was great. I just turned thirty and a 3d animator/illustrator and I'm always very impressed with your work. I can tell you those feelings may never go away. You will always find yourself on the floor panic stricken at any age. My only advise is to open a roth IRA with Charles shwab or whatevs and put a bit o cash away weekly or biweekly automatically so that you don't think about it. That way whatever happens, in the future you'll always at least have money for soft tp for your bung hole. I'm going to Portland next months and wish I could meet you! (not creepy) <>

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  49. And when you rage drink coconut water, pre and apres. That is all...

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  50. Sort of comforting to realize that, at 27, I am in good company of other half-grown-ups who regularly freak out about the same things I do. (Although I'm also starting to suspect that this "condition" will not be a momentary one, but continue throughout life...). Let's raise our glass to the continuous wonderment we find ourselves in while figuring out what the hell it is, we're supposed to do with our lives. Cheers!

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  51. I hate to break it to you, it's quite likely you'll still be dealing with these issues come 37... But with a little more emotional kevlar...

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  52. I've only recently stumbled upon your website and have found every post to be hysterical. The people on the MAX have been looking at me the last few days like I'm one of "the crazies" and I've tried my hardest to keep my fits to myself, but it's no use. I think I might actually be you in a different body, because I can relate to almost every post. Keep up the outstanding work!

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  53. I love it!! I just need to inform you, that the insecurities come and go depending on the different situations in life, I can be your mom and after 22 years of marriage and a kid, my life went back to single, independent and all those things that I love. Therefore sometimes I need to realized that my money is escaping from me, or I find myself wondering how my future (I don't have that extensive amount of time, like you do) will be, etc...So keep drinking your tea, having a positive attitude and believing from very deep inside that everything will be all right( at my age I have been able to pull some muscles at the gym, I am still super active, managed to have good friends, dress sexi, and laugh laud from the heart is healthy) Keep it up!! I love your writing!

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  54. For a 25-year-old, you have the philosophical insights of a wizened 37-year-old.

    Cheers

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  55. Dear Adam,
    You just wrote the story of my life. You have only two details worng. My douchnozzles are hes and i am only 22. In addition i wish the story you wrote for me had a happier ending.
    the end.
    Your friend,
    Sadpantsineedalifemgee.

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  56. The attraction of YOU is that your life doesn't look like everyone else's. Go with that. It works.

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  57. Even my friends who have everything together don't. I think looking at things through rose-tinted glasses makes for more of a sheltered, sad existence. You can't have the beauty without the pain!

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  58. You said douchenozzles!! I didn't think anyone else said that besides me, makes me happy.

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  59. hahaha! you've penned down the state of our current lives ever so well. What (nearly) each and every 25 year old suffers from. Id like to call it the mid twenty crisis.
    can see how you are "transforming" as a person through your posts.more reflective AND funny than just funny.
    love your illustrations! :)

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  60. Going though one of those little freak-outs right now, and it's comforting to know that I'm not the only one that goes through this sort of thing. Really needed that right now, so thanks a ton for being awesome! =D

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  61. I can so relate right now...especially with the money part. And also with the doubt part...Turns out I went and got a degree in something I don't even like to do. I'll be getting on the right track in about six months, hopefully, though.
    But seriously...I'm two months from turning twenty and I already feel like I've wasted so much time.

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  62. I'm pretty sure this is the manifesto of every single 20-something. With bonus drawings. So you've got that going for you. Which is nice.

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  63. I wish I could crush you for having good genetics. At 26, I gained 40 pounds! *shakes fist*

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  64. I feel like you've read my mind. Too many babies, and not enough pizza.

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  65. There are only a few good cures for being in that sort of funk- since I'm a perfect stranger to you, I suggest the easiest to accomplish: HUG THAT CAT. SNUGGLE IT. Let its furry comfort melt away the stresses and uncertainty. You're welcome.

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  66. I am more than happy to marry you and spawn your little goblin offspring.

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  67. Just wait til you hit your 40s :) In the meantime, just enjoy each day as it comes. You're young, talented and obviously a decent, intelligent (and totally funny!) person. Lots going for you, so chin up!

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  68. I graduated college this past May in a degree I love. But I haven't even gotten an interview for the jobs I've applied to (probably in the triple digits right now). I'm lucky enough that my parents are letting me stay at home and just keep on working at my minimum wage job in the mean time. I get in so many funks lately on various subjects, but I'm glad to see that it's not just me. I'm mostly glad to see my favorite blogger also goes through funks even though I think of him as one of the most successful bloggers I've ever seen.

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  69. That... was beautiful.

    Also, HOLY SHIT, Chipotle will make nachos? I gotta get me some of those.

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  70. Sitting up reading this really helped. I'm about to be 30 in 2 days and I realized everything that was said fits like a glove. Thanks for reminding me I gotta get my ish together. In a good way tho :D

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  71. 1., as in the picture for number one, as in you and the frankenmate: those are some meaty arms up there, a result of all the hard "work" that led to her creation?

    2. I know big successful people like you probably don't read their comments, but if you do, I also had a week where nothing made sense and everything was a waste of time and oh god oh god what am I doing oh god oh god oh god, and I'm only 20, so that was pretty weird

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  72. You have explained my life....well except the gaining perspective part, haven't reached that yet.

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  73. If we should take away anything from this post, it's that Chipotle makes nachos. Man, nachos or a crunchwrap supreme or a burrito sound good right now! Maybe even a hooburrito! =DDDD

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  74. Aaahh I love this post!!! One of my favorites - extremely worth the wait :) It was a nice read, inspiring with (as usual) a few touches of humor!

    Love from Singapore!

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  75. It's kinda crazy to me that you're still single, being that you're so cute and funny.

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  76. adam, as your elder (28) i'd like to say...................

    none of that shit changes when you're 28...........

    <3

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  77. Harmony HuskinsonJuly 25, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    There may just be a spike in Tieguanyin tea sales because of this post. I'm so trying it now.

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  78. What a talented--and even insightful!--person you are. A rare combination. I bet your mom adores you.

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  79. Adam, I think we're all curious (and I don't mean this in an intrusive or rude way, so feel free not to answer), what exactly do you do for money? I'd love to know, as I recently graduated college with a painting degree and have to deal with my parents asking on a daily basis how I'm going to make money as I sit around unemployed and not sure what to do. Are you so lucky as to be sufficiently supported by blogging/illustrating alone, or do you have a side job? Any advice for a 22 year old artist?

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  80. Fuck I love this comicblog so much, it's the perfect start to my day.

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  81. I'm in the throes of my twenties as well. I'll be 27 next week, as a matter of fact. I empathize with pretty much everything you've mentioned. I have very little desire for getting married and having kids, yet I find myself intensely jealous and bitter when my friends make these announcements. It makes me feel like I'm doing nothing with my life.

    As a teenager, I had great hope for my twenties. That hope was dashed to shit. Part of me thinks my thirties will be better, but as I'm screaming toward 30 at an ever increasing rate, I can't help but feel like it's going to be more of the same.

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  82. By the time you turn 30 and look back at this article, believe me, you're gonna think "What was this 25-years-old sucker whining about!!!???"

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  83. I completely understand most of these points! Paralyzed with fear especially!!

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  84. At the same age, I am (like many of your readers) experiencing most of the same day-to-day feelings regarding life, the universe and everything - except the kid thing, because... well... Ew.

    I imagine it doesn't actually get less perplexing, but I personally find that the biggest challenge that this post draws on is throwing off the shackles of societal 'norms' and accepting that doing things your own way and in your own time is perfectly reasonable.

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  85. PS. I have never tried this epic tea of which you speak, but I highly recommend 'Stockholm' blend and also 'Sencha Mango', or varieties thereof ^.^

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  86. All quite true. Also it doesn't change with age. Also at least you can fit your outgoing expenses on a housecat. With my student loan payments I would need at least a sabertooth tiger, and I don't even get a burrito out of the deal.

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  87. Somehow, I don't think Lola would get very far with all that money...

    also *insert obligatory 20-something post of agreement here*

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  88. I'm not sure who said it originally (I'll google it someday), but a quote I say to many of my friends is, "Action trumps perfection."

    Adam,though you may have some fear and insecurity, consider it an accomplishment that you take action to overcome negativity on a daily basis and live your life the way you want to pursuing your own passions and dreams.

    Great blog post! Tea is a great way to relax and reflect.

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  89. I sure hope they sell Tieguanyin in Holland. I could use some right now.
    One year younger than you and just got myself thrown out of the place I'd lived in for 5 years for refusing to be a slave to the a selfish drunk bastard who owns the place because his daddy paid for it.

    At least I got one of the cats. Without her living with my mother would have been more nightmarish than it already is.

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  90. I'm told (by people I trust, no less) that the 30s are when life really starts to get good.

    That said, I got you this:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-gfxjAaZg0

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  91. TRUTH, all of these. Especially not being about to consume the gazillion chicken wings and gallons of ranch I did in my younger days.

    Also, "Voldemort-like physique" - money.

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  92. Very well done! You are growing up and I have never seen it articulated so well. One bit of advise from a much older woman: be glad your body can't handle the hangovers, this is the age when you are SUPPOSED to slow down on the drinking. Those who do not, well, often never do. They will get on your last nerve very fast after the age of 35. Don't become the annoying drunk. If you only accomplish this, you will be very successful. :) LOVE your blog.

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  93. I turned 24 this month, so I've been suffering from the realization that in a couple of years I'll be suffering from these realizations. Thank you for taking my insecurities and turning them into hilarious illustrations that I can now refer back to in dark times.

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  94. Yeah man, I'm 25 too... my life is passing before my eyes... This comic lands close to home

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  95. Chipotle makes nachos!??!?

    THANK YOU MASTER!

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  96. Your blog makes my life. Also, this particular one totally coincides with my own recent post. Hardly thinking I am the first to tell you so, I wanted to say that I have cited you (twice now) as my motive for keeping up writing.

    So thanks, man. You're awesome! Keep it up!

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  97. this is awesome. nice to know im not the only one that puts themselves down lol.

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  98. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. I have read almost every post on this blog, and I can tell, by far, this is the most beautiful thing you've written here.

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  99. This is a wonderful post Adam. I am 26 and I just had the worst depressive fit last night [OH GOD OH GOD I'M ESSENTIALLY 30 & co]. I'm really glad to wake up and see this today, I really admire your blog and this makes me feel better. Here I go softly into that sweet night....

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  100. This post was so palatable, thank you. As someone who just turned 30, good luck with the whole inner-peace, one-with-nature thing ...

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  101. You draw the most beautiful disgruntled people. I heart you, and your work, and your skinny noodle self.

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  102. I've never enjoyed tea or coffee, but I've been randomly trying a couple different kinds of tea, just for kicks. Tieguanyin sounds like a good one to try next, mainly because of the interesting backstory. And I am in the same invitation and announcement-laden boat as you, and I'm only 20! You are an excellent writer, by the way; I've enjoyed reading your blog for a while now, and this post in particular highlights how you can start with a random and fascinating story on tea and end with a personal discussion on things you're learning and allowing life to just happen as it does. You have a wonderful way with words, and I find myself relating to many of your experiences. As always, I'll be looking forward to your next post!

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  103. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  104. Lovely insightful blog post!

    I'm only 20 and many of my friends are pregnant/have kids & are married, so I agree with you life competition part.

    I need to find this tea, though.
    (I once found a Champagne-flavored tea. It was delicious and made me feel classy.)

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  105. Oh darling, the more you grow and the more you learn, the less you know. I enjoy your candor and look forward to reading your thoughts years from now when you join us in the "dirty thirty's." :) Knowing yourself comes from hard work, tough questions, honest answers and time; yet, with all of that comes the weight of those days and events, shaping you/me/us as humans and creating new platforms and levels. I hope that one day all those thoughts, insecurities and fears do melt away for you. I also hope that they are replaced by new one's so that you may continue on your path towards Guru-ship humbly and always with a healthy respect for the unknown!
    Love, luck and laughter

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  106. Even though I'm only 16, I can still understand the majority of the problems you face. Recently I was home-alone for 7 days and my diet deteriorated rapidly. A couple of days into it and my diet consisted purely of bread, bagels and smoothie since I could cook for crap. Atleast I have a decade until I reach your age!

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  107. I'm about to turn 26 as well, and this perfectly encapsulates my feelings at the moment (especially since I'm currently hung over at the marketing job that is a constant well of existential crisis for me, broke as a joke, and fretting about the extra 10 lbs that have mysteriously cropped up on my hips) THANK YOU. I feel slightly less alone.

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  108. I am desperate to try this tea now...

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  109. Great as usual! Sums up my life as well.

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  110. Oh my..... Chipotle makes nachos?!?!?!?! It's as though you've revealed some arcane secret and my life is now so much better!

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  111. Thank you so much, Adam. At nearly 19, I'm rapidly approaching the completion of my second decade on this planet, and quite frankly I don't know what I'm going to do with my animation degree once I'm out of school. But I have a feeling that whenever I'm getting overwhelmed with life changes, I'll make myself some tea and come back to this post.

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  112. Will you marry me?

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  113. Never fail to cheer me up ;)

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  114. Your posts just keep getting better and better! I am beyond stoked for your book!!

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  115. I love you and your perspective on life so much. I promise you that if you keep drawing, writing, reading, talking to people and keeping an open mind you will keep growing and those moments of being paralysed with fear will get fewer and farther between, and may even eventually go away completely. Or not, but I found personally, that from 25 onward, I started to get to know myself better and figured out how to keep myself calm and sane more often than not.
    I'm pushing 30 here, and life is far happier and more peaceful than it's ever been. Possibly because I give less of a fuck about things that don't matter, and more of a fuck about the things that do. Better priorities.

    I also met someone who was already awesome, instead of someone who I could see the potential in, like all my previous ex's. That worked out so well I married him. Seriously, you can't fix those other people, but it's the sign of a good heart that you tried. I did in my early twenties too.

    So please, just continue being awesome and everything will be all right!

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  116. I'm happy to see that you and lots of the commenters are in the same boat as I am. The mid-20s are too stressful sometimes. So many expectations and yet-unfulfilled potential.

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    1. Too right! I think we lay to many expectations on ourselves nevermind other peoples. Self inflicted pressure lol! WE MUST DO ALL THE THINGS OR WE HAVE FAILED. :)

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  117. Wow.. Everyone I talk to has no idea who Sailor Moon is. I could not get through my day without watching it. Bravo to you

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  118. I couldn't concentrate on your post because I...are you Ridiculously Photogenic Guy?

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    1. LOL, I think he is just ridiculously photogenic and handsome as well.

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  119. Thanks for reminding me that I'm not the only one going through the mid-20's slump. It's good to be reminded that we are okay with where we are at. Thanks Adam!

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  120. you are some kind of wonderful. and a creature of mystical powers. Everytime I come here I brighten right up. btw...the chipotle thing is totally true...i tested it.

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  121. Roseanne marathons often make me feel better as well

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  122. As a 27 year old about to embark upon a year of travel to get away from the rat race of it all, I don't know if I'm the best to offer advice; but I went through a lot of similar feelings when I first entered the "Real World" (and I'm not talking about a hit MTV show, because that'd be pretty sweet). One of my favorite DMB lines (thanks, college) is "The future is no place to place your better days," and that's something that has stuck with me. The only time is NOW. Events and emotions only rise up in the NOW. The past doesn't matter; your future is uncertain. Unless you start to appreciate where you are at this moment, things will never get better; there will always be insecurities, anxieties, stress. Learn to give yourself fully to this moment and this moment only, and you will find peace.

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  123. I'm turning 40 next year (shudder) and I feel the same way as you do. And I have felt that way for 15 years. I hope you get out of it faster than I have.

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  124. Thank you sir. I certainly do enjoy a scalding hot cup of Darjeeling nightly as i ponder these things

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  125. THank you for this. Amazing post and amazing drawings.

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  126. Hey. Long time reader, but possibly first time commenter. Just wanted to say that your work is excellent, and this post was particularly enjoyable as I've been doing much the same lately. Keep it up.

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  127. Oh Jeezus, chipotle has secret nacho powers? I am so ready

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  128. As an early 30-something, what I've found (and what seems to be similar for many of my friends of similar age) is that things may still suck, you might still not be totally sure where you're going or what you're doing, but you'll be a hell of a lot more confident about yourself and your abilities.

    And you will likely have no more patience for douchenozzles and will finally realize that it's better to decide early on that it's not a match than it is to try and turn them into a match and waste everyone's time.

    For some reason, it just seems like we're all more comfortable in our own skin. I have seen a HUGE difference in my life between age 29 and about-to-be-33. From 25-29, yeah, just was an idiot all over the place.

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  129. Oh man, #5.... I feel like lately I've spent more on kitchen crap and onesies than I've spent on myself. Curse them.

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  130. You're doing all right man.. I think it's normal to have these thoughts in your mid to late 20s. I'm turning 32 in less than two weeks and still have a lot of these feelings, but generally feel a lot more confident about who I am than I did when I was 26. And I'm a lot better at recognizing douchnozzlery when I see it.

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  131. This has pleased me greatly, at 25 all these things are happening to me, inbetween the domino's deliveries, and the all day call of duty sessions i'm filled with an intense sense of foreboding, that i'm wasting my life slowly and surely... but then it is filled with little nuggets of self discovery, i'm sure i'll figure it out :)

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  132. You are one of my favorite people on the internet. Please post more, I'd like to donate more of my time to you.

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  133. I've started drinking Tieguanyin thanks to this post, it's awesome!

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  134. AMEN. Its like my life laid out on paper in more creative form. As a fellow 25 year old doing all the above, its nice to know we arent alone.

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  135. adam! i hear you on the not being able to drink like you use to! bachelor party the other weekend.... lets just say i over did it a tad. my buddy pulled out the milk thistle (herb for liver support) took 4 of those bad boys drank water fell asleep and woke up just fine. just a tip for those "oh shit" moments

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  136. Adam,about tieguanyin,there is another legend. I cant't say clearly in English.What a shame.But these two stories have in common, Are referred to Guanyin(the ancient Chinese mythology, the gods) related.By the way, Iron Goddess of Mercy Origin. Quanzhou city,Fujian Province,China.... I'm the same age,You post here is "my life",oh mygod.

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  137. I'm in the same boat, Adam. I'm 24, and spend my days working at a Rite Aid (hating it), and nights sitting at the computer writing novels. I blog, I tweet, I try to get myself out there. When you made the post you were writing a book, I about crapped my pants, and seethed with jealousy.

    Keep your head up. You'll get to where you're going.

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  138. It's both comforting and weird to be able to relate to everything you've posted here. I'm 26 and suddenly I can't eat or drink like I used to, I'm lost and paranoid and just trying to be positive and hope for the best.

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  139. a very nice and the erratically work for the working manner you have posted many post all are the outstanding and the impotent.

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  140. You can always be comforted by the fact that you didn't miss out on being young. You weren't a teenage father (unless you're hiding something) and you didn't get married too young. Be proud of yourself.

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  141. I love love love your face on picture 5.
    Also for the weddings and babies, I am the same. I hate kids - well... I detest them when they are screaming and crying and pooping and screaming and crying and well, you get the gist. But at the same time, sometimes I wish my partner would propose to me, and that we would have a couple of kids... I think it's because I feel it's what is expected of us. But god I don't want to get married or have kids. I'm a kid myself(24).

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  142. Oh man, thank you for summarizing my twenties. God damn money cat steals all my money too.

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  143. I don't have insightful things to say about your age because I'm fifteen and not responsible yet. But I'm excited about the nachos nonetheless.

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  144. Thank you for (1) introducing me to a new tea and (2) making me feel better about turning 25 soon. I still feel like I don't have any clue what I want to do with my life. I think about doing what I really want to do, and then I just get scared and think about something else, like the weather. I am getting married though, so I reckon that's something.

    Also, did Eid just call you impotent up there? What a dick.

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  145. I keep re-reading this. It makes me feel much better about my moments of laying in the dark despairing.

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  146. Forget Gossip Girl, RuPaul's Drag Race is where it's at, much better wisdom to impart on a young gentleman/gentlelady/gentleinbetween :P

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  147. chipotle will give you nachos??? what kind of guru is this, i gotta pay a visit
    maybe those nachos will help with my quarter-life crisis

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  148. 3 words.. YOU ARE SO YOUNG! and yet much more wise than i ever was at your age.. I can't even count words.

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  149. Thank you for this. You summed up my feelings in a much better (and funnier) manner than I have been able to manage. Also, I gotta try some of that tea.

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  150. Just couldn't help but LOVE this post. I just turned 24 and I am in the same boat (especially when it comes to dating douchenozzles and money vanishing- bitter unsolved mysteries of life)... I am suddenly thrilled I'm not the only one! :D

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  151. ugh.... Your personality and point of view are so, attractive...Can't agree more

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  152. I am in the same place in my life right now. i'm glad i'm not the only one that lays on the floor in the dark paralyzed with fear. Awesome blog.

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  153. I was having a prostrate on the floor freak out moment when I came upon this entry. But then I almost snorted my drink out of my nose when I read, " Then I brew a scalding hot cup of Tieguanyin and casually pour it out the window onto some unwitting passerby." All is well now.

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  154. Thank you so much for keeping this blog! It seems like as a young adult this should be the best time of my life, and, while it's fun, it's also confusing, difficult and scary. Thanks for making me laugh!

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  155. ooooooommmmmmmmmgggggggggg why are you so awesome?!

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  156. As a 25 year old, I have just suffered my first life crisis. I left a 5 year relationship, packed most of my belongings into my parents garage, filled two suitcases and shifted myself to the other side of the world. I currently have phone numbers for 5 people in my new city, and a grand total of 7 in the country. Actually, only 8 on the continent. I'll let you know how it works out. Also - I'll be your backup plan? Skyrim? Ran out of time to finish it before I left the country... Can I borrow yours? And I have cats that live with my parents.

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  157. Entertaining as always! I agree with everything you posted here except for the marriage and kids thing. I'm 25 years old and a lot of my friends my age and younger are already married and have kids, but this is not always a good thing. Once you start having a family, your immediate goals go down the toilet. It's always good to have a little fun and enjoy your freedom before tying the not I suppose.

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  158. This was the last post of yours that I read before moving to a small city (by Chinese standards) in China. Before moving and even still I have some passing moments of paralyzing fear. Yesterday I went to the grocery store after one of these panics and found Tie Guan Yin at a little tea shop on the way. My friend (who moved here with me) and I recognized the tea and bought it. Recognizing the tea made me feel so at home! Thank you for posting this it helped make me ( a wondering English as a Second Language Teacher) feel at home in this foreign place.

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  159. Really liked this one. Nice storytelling.

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  160. THIS IS MY LIFE. Sometimes it feels like I'm having a constant identity crisis, but it's all good... Just gotta have some lawls and carry on. Love your blog, one of the only things I read on the interwebs that actually makes me laugh out loud. Sometimes it's in public and I get strange looks for it, but I have too short of an attention span to be embarrassed.

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  161. very outstanding way to entertainment for me and my all friends like you this is so great and so beautiful like a rocket keep it up have a good day sir and thanks for the sharing.

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  166. Adam, this is my favourite post of your whole blog :)
    Thanks for writing it.

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  167. As it happens, I'm 50 and I still feel pretty much the same way. "Don't date douchnozzles", or "No more projects!" as I put it, I finally figured out when I was 35 or so, so you're ahead of the game there. I can't eat the way I used to, I still look decent, but I'm rounder than I was. I remember wearing 29" waist jeans. Now it's up to 40" but I'm still thinner than most of my friends, go figure. Money still vanishes, but I'm making more now, so that $500 a month that just evaporates isn't such a worry. As for being envious of others' success, I took heed of George Takei's advice and realized I'm comparing everyone else's highlight reels with my everyday life. So now I go back and read my own facebook entries, and realize I have a pretty decent life, all things considered. I still get tonnes of wedding invitations, but I realized I really don't want one myself (happily, neither does my sweetie).

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    1. wow mate, your statement "I'm comparing everyone else's highlight reels with my everyday life." really struck me.. As I am feeling a little bit down right now, and comparing everyone's achievement, this makes total sense.. Thanks!

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  168. Very inspiring, Adam. I shall remember your words of wisdom when I'm down.
    And getting married is awesome! I still have time to game. It adds another layer to the quest having to find time when my daughter is asleep.

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  169. I'm 24, and live in Canada. I feel exactly like this daily. Just swap the bonobos for modcloth, and that's my life.
    I started reading your blog after seeing tiny hats on cats via reddit and I haven't stopped. Your drawings make my day.

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