Quarter Life Crisis: How Many Stormys

…does it take to change a light bulb?

No seriously.

The lights in the main room of my apartment went out last week.

Here we go, I thought, forced to face yet another new trial in this world we call “adulting.”

Geez, I tell ya. Every time you start thinking you’re doing a pretty good job at this stuff, the lights go out on all of your pride. In this case, quite literally.

Disclaimer: The title of this post is not a matter of questioning my ability to replace a light bulb. I mean c’mon guys, I didn’t grow up that privileged and oblivious. I’ve changed many a light bulb in my day, EXCUSE YOU.

But see,

the light bulb changing process, as I’ve known it, has always gone as follows:

1.) Light bulb goes out

2.) Storm goes to the storage closet/garage/junk drawer/fallout shelter/apocalypse bunker/what have you, and pulls out new light bulb

3.) Storm replaces light bulb

4.) Storm revels in her accomplished task (it’s the little things, guys), and basks in the new light

But this time is different.

This time, I can’t figure out Step 2.

I went to the storage closet/garage/junk drawer/fallout shelter/apocalypse bunker/what have you, to discover that not only do I not even have a storage closet/garage/junk drawer/fallout shelter/apocalypse bunker/what have you in my shoebox of a studio, but I also don’t have any light bulbs!

It was in that moment that it occurred to me.

Light bulbs are a thing…that you buy. They don’t just come with the concept of having your own living space.

And woah, woah WAIT…

nothing does…

Oh. My. God. What’s next? What have I gotten myself into? How does anyone do this? I—I never read the manual! It didn’t come with the deal either.

…Just like the light bulbs.

…Just like everything else.

And I repeat, Oh my God. I eventually stopped hyperventilating and peeled myself off the floor and prepared myself to be a competent human being and get more light bulbs. But hold on. Where do light bulbs come from?


Light bulb stork?

Light bulbs R Us?


Light bulb dealer under the sketchy overpass?

I took to the Internet. You can apparently get them…almost everywhere. Who knew?! Don’t actually answer that. But anyways, Google sent me to Lowe’s. I unscrewed one of my light bulbs for reference, and headed there.

By the time I arrived at the store, I had sent myself through at least three different levels of mental anguish about the whole ordeal. A strange mix of embarrassment and pride led me to look for the light bulbs, refusing to ask for any assistance.

Like a moth to a flame, I walked towards the middle of the warehouse to the lighting department. You know, where all the lamps and ceiling fans and lawn lights, and just…just all the lights are. And they’re all on. And of course I’d find light bulbs in a giant area of lit ones, right?

I couldn’t find a single light bulb for sale.

In the light section. The section of the store where everything related to making your home not dark is located. I walk one aisle over. Doorbells. I go to the other aisle over. Nuts and bolts. I go back to the lighting department, because it only makes sense, and I must have overlooked it.

So much light.

So many fans.

It’s bright.

It’s cool.

It’s lacking in light bulbs.

And I’m lacking in patience.

I asked for help. The light bulbs were in aisle 1. Only as far away as possible from the light section without putting them outside with the potted plants. But who am I to try and apply common sense to the organization of a hardware store?

Finally, light bulbs.

There are numbers. Numbers with Ws next to them.

weather? water? why?…wumbo?

Let’s just say it stands for whatever, because my head is starting to hurt.

Okay, well how many whatever’s do I need? Does it matter? Would it be there if it didn’t matter? How am I suppposed to know how many whatever’s I need?

I pull out the old light bulb that I remembered that I brought with me for such a time as this. I analyze the small print at the base of the bulb.

Trisonic. Numbers with a K at the end. Numbers with a V at the end. Assorted warnings that I skimmed. Where’s the W? There’s no W. And the boxes of light bulbs have no Ks or Vs… Well this was a load of help.

I figure I’ll just buy a box, and if it blows up my house, I’ll return it for the correct amount of whatever’s. You would think that was the end of my debacle. But no. I get through the whatever’s and then I’m faced with all of these colors.

Soft white. Off white. Bright white. Bright bright white. Not so bright white. Egg white. Cocaine white. White power. And then the yellows. Please don’t make me re-live the yellows.

Since when does light have a color anyway? I thought it was all the colors and none of the colors? At the same time, kinda? I don’t know, I was an English major in school, science is lost on me. And so is this purchase.

I just had a seat on the floor for a moment. Confused. Overwhelmed. Thinking to myself, I’m…going to die here…trying to buy light bulbs.


I can’t go out like that.

I just bought a damn box. It said ‘Daylight.’ And I figured maybe the 60w bulbs, because my apartment is old so maybe I don’t want all of the whatevers, but I deserve more than the bare minimum of whatevers…whatever the whatevers are.

I successfully replaced all seven light bulbs in my apartment, and a week has gone by without me short circuiting the building so I guess I did it right? Right amount of whatevers. The daylight light is kind of nice for selfies. I’d consider this a win. Yes. I did the adulting and won. Until my next crisis, guys.

Wednesday: A Short Tale of Anxiety

Broad and Walnut, okay, uhhh where am I going again?

COFFEE, RIGHT. But where? Square One…ooh or maybe Plenty Cafe. Toast, even? Let’s go with Plenty, yeah. That’s on Pine, right? Totes, let’s go to Pine. Okay am I going up or down? I think it’s by 13th Street. No, no 16th Street. No. Yes…Uhhh, yes, yes whatever I’m going this way.

Okay…it’s not here. Where did it go? I know it’s at 16th and Pine. Wait, no that’s that other place I like. Well what the hell, it’s somewhere around here right??? 16th Street FOR. SUREBut if not Pine…then what? Agh I swear this place just got up and moved to spite me. I’m going to find you Plenty Cafe, you can run but you can’t hide!

Oh, it’s on Spruce. I knew that. Heh..

People…coming from the opposite direction… They look like they’re about to go inside too. There’s three of them. There’s not enough room for all of us in there. I’m going to speed up and get a seat before them. HAH, yesssss one seat left upstairs. It’s mine, ALL MINE. 

It is, I put my bag down. That’s only like…the universal sign of NOT YOURS, TRY AGAIN. Phew that was a close one. Now for coffee.

Lines… I can tell these people are not of the coffeeshop scene. They’re actually reading the menu. How do they not know what they want already? All I want is an iced dirty chai latte and they’re so…in my way. And they’re paying separately??? Didn’t they spend enough time telling this poor barista everything they wanted as if it were one bill? THE AGONY I’M SO CLOSE TO COFFEE YET SO FAR. I DO NOT HAVE THE PATIENCE FOR THIS…I HAVEN’T CONSUMED IT YET, BECAUSE. OF. YOU. PEOPLE.

FINALLY IT’S MY TIME TO ORDER. Iced dirty chai please and thank you. I can sit now, and be merry and set up my workspace.

This is my happy place.

This is what being responsible looks like. Laptop out. Charger in. Phone charging too. Book and notes laying beside my computer. Yes, here we go. Access Internet. Go to musicplaces.online annnnnd, my headphones…

Where are my headphones?

Pocket? Pocket? Pouch? Other pocket? Hidden pocket? Side pocket? Other side pocket? WHERE ARE THEY???

You. Idiot.

You knew you didn’t have them. You haven’t seen them since you got back from vacation.

But I refuse to believe they’re lost or that I left them. I’ve had many dark periods where I couldn’t find my headphones, but I never lost hope! And eventually, whether it be days or months later, I would always find them again. This time can’t be the time I lose them for real. No. NO. Let me check again.

Aaaaaaaaaghhhhhhh. I told myself to get a new pair before I got here. Oh my gosh they’re playing The Bird is the Word why Plenty Cafe, WHYYYYYYY.

I feel so…trapped. I need my music. How am I going to focus? How am I going to non-verbally tell people not to talk to me? I feel the stress, crawling out of the dark abysmal corner of my mind. It’s coming to take me away. And there’s nothing I can do to stop it. Should I just leave and go buy a new pair? But what if my spot isn’t here when I return? What then? Where to go, what to do? Oh my gosh, there’s no way out. No way out.