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A Sarcastic Letter to Young “Adults”

Dear young “adults”,

Feel like a whole lot is happening all at once? Is life starting to become bi-polar? Are you starting to get dizzy from all of the changes?

Good because that’s when you start really experiencing life.

Things happen: old friends disappear and new friends appear, jobs come and go, interests peak and die out.

Cue CIRCLE OF LIFE.

As cheesy as it sounds, it’s so totally and completely true. I mean, A LOT happens in your twenties. Big things. Many people in their 30s say that’s the important decade, or people in their 40s believe that’s when true realization hits.

But… you have to get through your twenties to make it to those other “so totally cool” decades in life.

What could possibly happen after undergrad, you ask?

1. Friends will leave you [literally & figuratively]

The majority of your friends will move away and slowly (or drastically if you’re super unlucky) stop texting. Or your friends will be geographically nearby but will emotionally check out. Why? They find a significant other, they get married, they have kids, or they just drift out of the picture on their own.

What to do: Remember, you found those friends at some point, so you can find new ones – stop being lazy.

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2. You will have a ton of internal conflicts

Some include but are not limited to: eating healthy and eating anything with cheese, bread or sugar; talk to this guy (or girl) who is no good for you or ignore them to prove a point; spend your money on self-pity gifts or save for future self-pity gifts; find whatever job you can to get money or search for your dream job; etc.

What to do: Accept that you won’t sleep for a few years.

3. You could potentially move back home

Yay, you’re officially a kid again, needing parental support. Hey, you can’t help it though! Society hasn’t really prepped you for the moments right after undergrad. Very few have their ducks in a row. Most twenty-somethings don’t even have all their ducks present, not to mention the weird grouping they’re in instead of a line. Sometimes you just have to go back to the drawing board – aka your childhood bedroom – and figure things out.

What to do: Remember how you sneaked out of your window when you were sixteen.

4. You could totally change career paths

Undergrad was so fun and you worked your butt off – maybe. But now you’re done with that and need to figure out what you can do with that super unique, narrow-fielded degree you chose. You definitely run into trouble when there are no jobs open in that field, which chances are there won’t be any jobs open.

What to do: Panic, and then realize you can go back to school or learn a new skill or apply and pray someone will take pity on your soul.

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5. You will be single at some point

Not to be totally pessimistic, but there is a high probability that you won’t be in a relationship for your entire twenties. So, buckle up and get over it. Being single doesn’t isn’t bad, so don’t sulk over it. And just know that you aren’t completely alone – there are tons of singles out there mulling around like The Walking Dead extras.

What to do: Do what you want when you want; be selfish…and a little bitchy, too
6. You will probably move a lot

First, you usually move away from college after graduation – there’s one. And sometimes you have to move back home. Then you move out closer to your job – that’s two. Some people even move in with their SOs – that’s three….and some break up and have to move out again – that’s four.

What to do: Save your boxes!

So, you see? It’s not all bad! I mean, it could be if you let it get you down, but just remember to turn that sarcasm dial up real high and smirk your way through your twenty-somethings.

Cheers!

xOx

Original post found on my website: http://www.shaylaokeeffe.com/blog

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#NationalBestFriendDay Post-Grad Style

The idea of our “best friend” has evolved as awkwardly as we have since childhood: there are many phases of best friends and many types of BFFs. Some stay with us since childhood and others we are lucky enough to pick up along the way.

We have gone from the best friend, who we played make-believe games with as toddlers.

To the BBFLs in elementary school, who we tried new sports with and pretended we were “big kids.”

To the best friends in middle school, who we mutually helped get through the inexplicable awkwardness of 6th-8th grade.

To the best friends in high school, who we acted like pure fools with and thought we could handle a lot more than we actually could.

To the sistas (or bros) in college, who we cried in front of, who knew our secrets, who tested our limits, and who struggled hard with us.

To the current besties in our post-grad life. They are a special kind of best friend. There are different life experiences to explore, different stories to tell, different problems to tackle.

Here are the types of best-friend-moments you will have in your post grad, adult-like life:

 

1. “Going Out” means going out the door (only slightly) to get the pizza delivery 

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2. “Girls Nights” are more like laying on the couch (or floor) and just complaining 

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3. “Shopping Days” are when you run into each other at the grocery store and can both only afford a maximum of 6 items

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4. “Movie Nights” are Netflix marathons that turn into weekend-long endeavors 

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5. “Drinks Night” consist of getting all dressed and ready, only to realize it’s already 9:30pm and close to bedtime, so you stay in and drink cheap wine from a bag instead

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6. “Adventures” are more like finding a new, trendy place to eat that is all over social media and pretending you are “cool” or whatever that is these days

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7. “Gossip” is more like pulling up the Facebook accounts of old high school peers and either 1)laughing until you snort or 2) punching the computer screen 

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8. “Laughing-fits” are when you both realize that you have nothing going for you LOLOLololo…. 

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9. Text conversations are just sending each other memes about your day or sending Buzzfeed posts that are scarily-accurate of your current struggles

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10. Birthdays are more like a set actual nights out that you force each other to do 

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So happy National Best Friends Day 2016, you poor kids!

xOx

 

 

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Travel to Live, Work to Travel

I need to preface this with: I have been beyond blessed in my life. I have had the humbling opportunity to travel multiple times every year of my life.

21 states and 6 countries, and I am not even close to going everywhere I want to go. I have learned many things as a result of my constant need to explore, things I think more people need to understand. I wholeheartedly stand by the idea to make money (i.e. have a job, no matter how minimal it is) to travel. Honestly, I do not need a huge house or an expensive car; I need a plane ticket and an adventure. The peanuts-salary from my student job is what got me on a cruise a couple weeks ago and is getting me to Orlando later this summer. Work hard, travel plenty.

So many of my friends have not been to other countries, have not been to many states in our own country, or have not even explored most of our own home state. It makes me sad for those friends because I cannot imagine a life without exploring and traveling. I understand money is a huge deal, but there are some very cheap ways to explore: travel around your home state (a tank of gas or two, tops), drive to a nearby state (save loads of money on airfare), visit places where you know someone lives and crash with them for free (free housing and having a local who knows the cheap places to eat). Trust me, I get it; I am a graduate student with virtually no income, so I get it. But, that also does not stop me.

See, my mother instilled wanderlust in me at 2-months old, so I really cannot help it. My parents packed me up in June, after my wonderful arrival onto this planet in April, and took me to Tennessee… no wonder I am a Florida girl who loves mountains. My mom has planned our family trips every year and other small travel adventures throughout the year. That was merely the beginning. Quarter of a century later, I have quite the list of destinations checked off.

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1. Traveling increases your appreciation

By seeing new places, new people, new livelihoods you learn to appreciate your life, your home, our planet. You appreciate the  Earth, the varied landscapes across the country (or between countries), the sunrises and sunsets, and how other people live and work. You are grateful for this life, thankful for the opportunities, and appreciative of the moment. It is hard to put into words how you feel after you travel, but basically just think: humbled with ear-to-ear-grin happiness. You come back thankful for the experiences and thankful for the place you call home. Warning: you will also come back home with an even stronger urge to travel more; it is a cycle that never ends, really.

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2. You will never regret going

The only thing you will regret is not being able to see everything….. and regret not being a millionaire, so you can quit everything and just travel for the rest of your life. I have never come back from a trip unhappy; even when I got food poisoning (two different trips, nonetheless), I did not come back thinking I should have never left. I would go back to those places in a heartbeat – just now I would know where to not eat.

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3. You learn things that are not in textbooks

Many people say you learn new cultures, new values, new religions while you travel, and it does happen to some extent no matter how close to home (or far) you travel. Traveling anywhere, from the state next door, to the country next door, to the opposite side of the planet, can teach you something. You might learn things like how to travel on your own, how to use common sense, how to follow directions/maps, or how to to make big decisions. Or, perhaps, you learn about different cultures and ways of life. You might learn how people in other states pass their time, or how people with a different language interact with one another. Maybe you will even learn the food preferences of that community. Some closed-minded people have told me they do not care to travel because nothing out there seems that exciting. How do they know that? You cannot say you don’t like other places because you have never been.

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4. Your senses will explode

Literally, your eyes will start twitching from the beauty-overload. Places like the Grand Canyon, the Rocky Mountains, the beaches, and other natural wonders will make you freak the heck out. Even big cities will make you awe-struck with the architecture, the busy-bee lifestyle, the large light-up signs, and elegant shops. Of course everywhere is different, which only reiterates how much you should travel in your life. Only going to the same big city or only going to the same mountainous getaway is not “traveling” but merely “vacationing.”  The smell of nature, the smell of flower fields, the smell of fisheries, the smell of coffee shops, the smell of local restaurants’ cooking, or the smell of exhaust fumes from a big city are all things you will remember and carry on with you even after you leave a place. The sounds of nothingness, the sound of birds chirping, the sound of rain, the sound of waves, the sound of constant movement and traffic, and the sound of people you meet where you go will stay with you long after you get back home. The feeling of the wind or dry air or misty rain or sand between your toes will never leave you.

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5. There are always surprises

Good or bad surprises, you will have some. Maybe it rains the whole time and you have to find other ways to explore the city. Or maybe you stumbled across a hidden gem while getting lost…. I mean meaningfully meandering. Perhaps you start talking to a local at dinner one night and learn about some secret, local-known spot to visit. Maybe you will meet new friends, or maybe you will find out you want to move to that town. Maybe the local cuisine pleasantly surprises you. Anything is possible, and this is another lesson that traveling teaches you: be prepared for anything and just go with the flow. Traveling is supposed to be fun and not micro-managed. Just see what is out there!

Now, get to traveling, folks!

xOx

 

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Leap Year Shenanigans

WOO we get an extra day this year. An entire 24-hours to do anything you would like. A freebie day. A second chance. An actual birthday for some of you.

What are you going to this fine day of February 29th?

Work. Because it is a DANG MONDAY.

Not only will you work (or go to class) but it is a Monday on top of all of this. We get to waste our special extra day on the worst day of the week. Our 366th day is wasted on hating the world.

But if you’re going to sit there on an extra day of the year, you may as well know a few interesting facts about it.

Here’s what you did not know about Leap Year:

1. It takes the earth a little bit less than 365 ¼ days (365.242 days) to orbit the Sun (solar year). For this reason, the full day is only added once every four years. Gross, math. blog1

 

2. Women are [allowed or] encouraged to propose to men on Leap Year…guess it’s good luck or something? So, in other words, Leap Year is a feminist holiday.

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3. There is a 1 in 1,461 chance a child will be born on Leap Year. So if you’re a Leapling, you should probably never gamble. 

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4. People with annual or fixed salaries actually don’t get paid for the extra day…work for free? No thank you. Power to the unemployed post-grads!

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5.  Two important things happen every year there is a Leap Year: a presidential election and the summer Olympics. We have an extra day to watch the shenanigans of election season; aren’t we lucky?! 

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How to Make Decisions as an Adult

Being an adult is hard. It is just too much work, too much thinking, too many consequences. One wrong decision and BAM, everything falls apart. One wrong move and WHACK, consequences for days. Take too long to make a decision and ****! (<– I didn’t even give you the first letter, there are many options here for you)

There are many things to decide on: where to live, what career to have, what jobs to take, maybe intern first, or maybe follow your dreams first? Then, there is always the classic healthcare, taxes, income, and cat food concerns.

It is not undergrad life anymore: no easy decision on what club to go to tonight, or what hour before the exam you should start studying, or what coffee at Starbucks to walk around with…I mean drink.

But, fear no more! Here is how you will make decisions on an adult-level. There’s no time for goofing off. There’s no time for baby steps. There’s no time for time.

1. Your brain will promptly notify you of decision-overload

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2. Whatever decision comes to mind first is going to be the one you choose to worry about most

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3. You will realize every other decision you choose to ignore will be GREATLY affected by the one you are focusing on

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4. Your brain will react to the stress by telling you that you want to watch Netflix now

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5. (days later) Your brain will suddenly remind you of your decision stress at 4:12am and force you awake

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6. You will drink and eat a lot in the days of your decision

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7. You will go days thinking everything is fine and it will all work itself out

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8. You will be forced to make a decision because you verbalized it to one person and now have to stick with it

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And there you go. See? Isn’t that helpful to know?

 

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I’m Done With: Eating

On to my second segment of things I’m Done With: first, driving in Florida, and now I’m done with eating.

Not only do the holidays mean all of your money being spent, it also means all of your diet plans are out of the window. As much as you tell yourself that you will be good this year, it never happens and don’t lie to yourself. So because of that, I’m done eating …. completely.

1. I’m about to explode

Every time someone mentions it’s lunch or dinner, I just want to explode from the inside out. I’m literally on the verge of erupting at any moment. Don’t you dare try to tickle me or else mashed potatoes will spew from from my eyeballs.

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2. I hate myself

For all of you who said you ate healthy for the holidays: you are a liar and will never make it to heaven with that attitude. There is no way a person could eat healthy for the holidays or else they are not living properly. But, because I ate my holiday dinner like a normal person, I completely hate myself. I have covered all my mirrors so I don’t have to look at my shameful self. Bad self.

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3. Leftovers have a special meaning

It is not just like your typical, weekly chicken-n-rice leftovers that barely pass as edible; holiday dinner leftovers are round two [or round three for some]. It is another entire feast for the day after you gorged on food. I just want one pathetic, stingy plate of food when it’s the acceptable time to eat.

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4. I broke my own trust

I thought I could handle all of the sweets around me. I thought I had control. I thought I could stop. I thought I could say no. I thought I was stronger than that. But lo and behold, I am weak. What’s wrong with stuffing a dessert in my mouth while everyone opens presents, while we cook dinner, between every course of the meal, and after the meal?

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5. Everything is boring now

After indulging in holiday goodness, it is hard to get back to reality and even harder to get back to realistic meals….like ramen noodles and cereal. All my hopes of delicious eating have been fulfilled and were even over-satisfied, but now it is time to get back to boring meals and flavorless dishes made from the scraps in the fridge or cupboard.

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And on that note, I’m going to go finish off that tin of holiday cookies that has been calling my name as I write this post….

 

xOx

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New Year, New Outlook

It’s time for New Years resolutions again. And in a month, it’s time for those resolutions to be forgotten again. As twentysomethings, our generation is more concerned with adventures, living life to the fullest, doing what we want when we want, being independent, not being afraid of new things, and having big dreams. We don’t need resolutions, we need something to look forward to.

So, here’s a proposition: no more resolutions; make dreams happen instead. 

Making resolutions are a thing of the past. You can make a resolution any time, and, honestly, summer is usually when people really kick it into high gear for the health resolutions anyway. You don’t plan for swimsuit season until it is swimsuit season. So instead, set new dreams for the year. A bucket list of sorts. Don’t worry about changing something about yourself, but rather, make additions to your life. We stay young until we are no more.

Here are some ideas for you, twentysomethings out there.

1. Plan some travel time  

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2. Try something you always wanted to [sky diving, hot air balloon rides, trying out a new sport, trying a new talent/hobby, etc.]

3. Make new friends

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4. Take a chance with your career

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5. Rewrite your story 

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6. Raise your standards [ with relationships, careers, expectations]

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7. Find a cause to support [ human rights, environmentalism, disease awareness, etc.]

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So, find some thing that will satisfy one – or many – of your dreams. This is the year for dreams to come true and for happiness to win. This is the year to do something exciting, do something memorable, do something to better you. 

 

Happy {almost} 2016

 

xOx

 

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8 Things You Know You’ve Done

You know you’ve done each and every one of these things. Don’t lie to yourself. Or me.

  1. Slowing down as you are passing a cop with radar hoping the radar only catches your speed when you literally right in front of the police car
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  2. Drinking cold water after burning your tongue or throat hoping it would un-burn you
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  3. Trying to delete a text while it’s still sending in hopes that stops it from going through
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  4. Eating an entire pizza by yourself and immediately start walking around to attempt to freeze the calories in time
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  5. Punching someone in the neck while going in for a hug because you couldn’t figure out whose arms were going on top
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  6. Paying your credit card frantically hoping that every minute you save you don’t get the full interest.
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  7. Tearing the grocery bag, giving yourself a hernia, and popping a blood vessel in your face while you struggle to make only one trip up the stairs after shopping
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  8. Watering your plant after it has already turned yellow-brown…it can come back from this, right?
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Things to Stop Asking Twentysomethings

We get it. We should have more of our crap together at this point in our life. The constant questioning is not going to help us figure things out, though. So get out of the interrogation room and let us be….free. We know what you really mean when you ask us things; you’re not as sly as you think, sir.

Here’s what you ask us….and here’s what we hear….

1. So…any wedding bells ringing soon?

What we hear: Are you seriously still single? You’re going to die alone, you know that right?

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2. Any exciting job offers?

What we hear: You’re going to be unemployed forever so better go pick out your box to live in.

3. How’s grad school?

What we hear: Have you failed out yet? You know that Cs don’t get degrees in grad school, right?

4. Are you living out on your own yet?

What we hear: How long will you mooch off your parents? Poor mom and dad would like to retire.

5. Time to start thinking long-term. Finances are a pain, am I right?

What we hear: You’re already behind on everything regarding stability in your life.

6. Remember the good old days of undergrad?!

What we hear: You are older than the dust under my fridge and now have no life.

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7. What do you miss the most from college?

What we hear: You’re no longer in college….wait, what?

8. How’s the real life treating you so far?

What we hear: Have you failed yet? Because you are going to sooner or later…

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xOx

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10 Stages of a Commuter’s Life

Unless you drive a substantial amount of time per day to work or class, you don’t understand true pain. So many feels occur during your drive. You live a lifetime during that trip. You laugh a little, you cry, you become hopeful, you get angry, you die a little, and a few other feels jump in there on you, too.

Be ready for some truth right here. It’s about to hit real hard.

HOPEFUL: The start of the drive always looks promising

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SMALL FLINCH: Then you hit your first red light

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NERVOUS: You start singing to distract yourself

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ANXIETY: Rush hour traffic hits real hard and cars are everywhere

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ANGER: You suddenly stop moving whatsoever

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FUMING: You realize you do this everyday and hate yourself for it

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SADNESS: You just want this drive to be over

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NOTHINGNESS: You are so over everything that you now have zero emotions

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PROUD: You have enlightening moments where you

solve all the problems of the world and, most importantly, your life

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TIRED: You have a parking spot and only realize your day has just begun

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Told you it would be a rough ride.

—-

xOx

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