This is scarily similar to my life. I always thought of myself as a writer and I went to college for creative writing. One freshman creative writing class later and I’d convinced myself (or my professor had) that I didn’t have what it takes to be a novelist. I didn’t even write for myself anymore, didn’t really have the time. I fought against journalism so hard, not wanting to follow in my dad’s footsteps, but at the end of college, working on the paper and writing a history thesis, I felt I’d found something I loved, something I could do and do well.
But when it was time to get a job, I didn’t get the journalism job. It’s okay; I like the job I have. It’s just not a super-permanent, until-I-retire kind of job. Not a career. And the problem is that I don’t know what my career should be. I thought I knew; I thought I had the perfect plan. But now I’ve deviated from the plan and I’m not sure how to get back to it, or even if I should.
Full text here
I love to write. For a long time I thought it was my calling in life. I wanted to study creative writing in college but ended up picking something more “practical” - business. That didn’t last long, and by graduation I had earned a degree in journalism and communication…
I feel like I’m in the right place for the time being. There are days, however, where I miss the writing and the endless possibilities it represented.
For a time I thought I could be one of the best at something. Obviously, I was young and hadn’t read as much as I have now. I truly though one day I was going to win a Pulitzer Prize for some moving novel that would change the lives of everyone who read my words, a real pager-turner that would spend months, maybe even years, on the New York Times Bestseller list. But somewhere along the way I stopped writing as much as I once had.
With a… cozy apartment and an amazing person to crawl into bed with each night I have little to complain about. Still, there’s a downfall that comes with all these things.
When you spend your days with a person who is passionate about what they do it’s hard not to want that for yourself. I keep asking myself what I can be passionate about. I love my job, yes…But it’s not stuff I lay awake at night thinking about or longing to do. The one thing I keep coming back to is writing.
So what’s the problem?
Well, as Cris pointed out recently, my biggest obstacle may well be myself. I have a serious fear of failure, a hard time motivating myself and major issues with comparing myself with other writers, both professional and amateur, that I admire. The first problem is pretty self-explanatory - no one wants to fail. The second problem is really an extension of the first. The third is a real problem for me, and it’s something that plagues me in most areas of my life. I could probably be described as a self-deprecating narcissist with most of my time spent in the self-deprecating state. (Isn’t this be precisely the stuff great writers are made of?)
…Ideally I’ll finally get the courage to sit down one day and write that novel. In fact, I have what I think is a great idea for a work of non-fiction. But in the meantime my goals are simple: write what I think, do it more often and hopefully gain back a small audience of people who think what I have to say is interesting.
That sounds like an optimistic plan, but as I write this I’m in semi-narcissist mode and feeling okay about my abilities. Who knows what tomorrow might bring.
Love it when I can hear that I’m being talked about but am not invited to join in the discussion. Would go butt in, but after this week, I’m too afraid I’d start crying.
So you know I posted yesterday about this being one of the worst weeks ever? And then I posted that today, Friday, was going to be a good day and, since I’ve had like 7 total meltdowns this week, I was not going to cry today (even though Friday is usually the day when I lose it)?
Total. Lie. NOT a good day. Most people don’t mean it when they say “I hate my life,” but as much as I say it, it’s got to be at least half true. The end.
…you check out your friend’s wedding registry and think “I can’t wait to get married!!”
In fact, the more I think about it, it seems like getting married can be a very profitable venture. You get to register for all the things you desperately want, possibly need (but not desperately or you’d already have it), and don’t want/can’t afford to buy on your own. Even if the marriage doesn’t last, hey, you’ll still have that espresso maker, and you can even start the whole process over again. Multiple times. You know all those stats showing that the divorce rates are higher for people who have already been married and divorced? They’ve figured out the system. Marry, get gifts, divorce, get a divorce settlement, repeat.
- Me: Something must be done about the lack of parking. There were absolutely no parking spaces ANYWHERE on campus this morning. I drove around for so long that I was late getting to the office and I had to park on the street and I got a $25 ticket.
- Powers That [Shouldn't] Be: An email was sent out at the beginning of the year notifying everyone that parking would be tight and to plan accordingly.
- Me: Sending out an email does not change the fact that parking is not "tight;" it's nonexistent. And I don't get paid enough to cover parking tickets I get because there are not enough parking spots, or even non-spots, for everyone.
- Power That [Shouldn't] Be: I'm sorry. There's nothing we can do.
- Me: Actually, you can start ticketing cars who don't have the proper permits to be in the lot and you can start enforcing those fines so there will be more spots for the people who are supposed to be parking there.
- Powers That [Shouldn't] Be: We have officers who patrol everyday during the week. We're doing everything we can.
- Me: That's not good enough.
- Powers That [Shouldn't] Be: What do you suggest?
- Me: Give me $25 to pay my parking ticket.
- Traffic Cop: You received a summons for parking in a Residential Parking zone, where you are not authorized to park. Why did you park there?
- Me: There were NO spaces anywhere on campus and I had to go to work. There was no other place to park.
- Traffic Cop: The lack of parking spaces is not our problem. You parked in a resident-only zone and you weren't a resident.
- Me: I understand that. I don't understand why you didn't ticket the car parked in front of me, with the same staff sticker I have (so obviously they weren't residents either). It was there when I got there and it was there when I returned to my car, and it had no ticket.
- Traffic Cop: Do you have documentation?
- Me: No.
- Traffic Cop: Your fine is $25.
- Me: DOWN WITH THE ESTABLISHMENT. I HATE YOU. I HATE CARS. I HATE WINTER FOR MAKING IT SO COLD THAT I CAN'T WALK TO WORK. I HATE THE CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT THAT IS TAKING UP ALL THE PARKING SPOTS.
Ok, so once I stopped hyperventilating and thought of the poor dog tied to the parking meter and got a little bit of perspective, I decided that tomorrow was going to be a good day. From start (workout, outfit that works, getting to work early) to finish (undecided gray area so far but it will be good!!), Friday (usually my bad day in the week) was going to be a good day to end a bad week on a positive note.
After collecting myself and making myself presentable, I decided to start making things better today, now, this afternoon. Then I had to go back to my apartment to get the lunch I specifically went back for and forgot again. So much for starting over? That might’ve been that but then I found THREE AWESOME PARKING SPOTS right by each other so I had my pick and I slid into one and then ate lunch and had a cookie and am definitely feeling/making a conscious effort to feel even just a little bit better.
A man is getting into the shower as his wife is getting out, when the doorbell rings. She quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs down the stairs. She opens the door to Fred, the next door neighbor.
Before she says a word, Fred says, “I’ll give you $800 to drop that towel.” After thinking for a moment, she drops it and stands naked in front of Fred After a few seconds, Fred hands her $800 and leaves.
Wrapping herself in the towel, as she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks: “Who was that?” “It was Fred the next door neighbor” she replies.
“Great!” the husband says, “did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?”
Moral of the story:
If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk with your shareholders (and Management team), in time, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.
A priest offered a Nun a lift. As she sat in the car, she could not help but reveal a leg. The priest nearly had an accident. After controlling the car, he stealthily slid his hand up her leg. The nun said, “Father, remember Psalm 129?” He removed his hand.
But, changing gears, he let his hand slide up her leg again. The nun once again said, “Father, remember Psalm 129?” The priest apologized “Sorry sister but the flesh is weak”. Arriving at the convent, the nun went on her way.
On his arrival at the church, the priest rushed to look up Psalm 129. It said, “Go forth and seek, further up, you will find glory.”
Moral of the story:
If you are not well informed in your job, you might miss a great opportunity.
A sales rep, an administration clerk and their manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie pops out. The Genie says, “I’ll give each of you just one wish”.
“Me first! Me first!” says the admin clerk. “I want to be in the Bahamas driving a speedboat, without a care in the world”. Puff! She’s gone.
“Me next! Me next!” says the sales rep. “I want to be in Hawaii relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of some Pina Coladas and the love of my life”. Puff! He’s gone.
“OK, you’re up”, the Genie says to the manager.
The manager says, “I want those two back in the office after lunch”.
Moral of the story:
Always let your boss have the first say.
An eagle was sitting on a tree resting, doing nothing. A small rabbit saw the eagle and asked him, “Can I also sit like you and do nothing?”
The eagle answered: “Sure, why not.” So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the eagle and rested. All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.
Moral of the story:
To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high up.
A turkey was chatting with a bull. “I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree,” sighed the turkey, “but I haven’t got the energy.”
Well, why don’t you nibble on some of my droppings?” replied the bull. “They’re packed with nutrients.”
The turkey pecked at a lump of dung, and found it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree. The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch. Finally, after a fourth night, the turkey was proudly perched at the top of the tree He was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot him out of the tree.
Moral of the story:
Bullshit might get you to the top, but it won’t keep you there.
Ok, “ever” might be overdoing it a little, but it’s seriously up there. I’ve had some really really really bad weeks emotionally, like the one after I broke up with my last serious boyfriend, and the entire month of bad weeks when I was healing my broken soul (the result of a different boy). This one’s up there, too, but not for any good reason.
Julia Allison wrote this post about how far she’s come in a year and I felt the same way. I’ve had a couple really rough years and I honestly thought things were coming together for me. But then this week has been so unbelievably awful…for no good reason, but let me just say that when you get a parking ticket and start sobbing hysterically as you’re paying it, so much that you can’t even breathe anymore, because it’s the culmination of the entire week in which EVERYTHING, even all the treadmills being taken at the gym, has resulted in tears, things aren’t going so well.
I had two good mornings in a row but they went downhill all too quickly. The only thing keeping me from hating my life, my apartment, my house, my entire existence right now is the fact that when I went to check my mail, I saw a dog tied to a parking meter. And I thought, “His or her life really might be worse than mine at the moment.”
- Imaginary voice of person in photo: Does this photo make my arms look fat?
- Me: Yes.
I’ve never understood why some song titles have half the title in parentheses. I mean, if you want something to be title, then call it that. It’s not that hard. Parentheses aren’t that necessary. Still, I’ve put up with them for twenty years, and the majority of the time I barely even notice. Until I heard the title of one of Ashlee Simpson’s new lip-synching tracks is “Outta My Head (Ay Ya Ya).” Ay Ya Ya?
All I can say is Whyyyyyy? Actually, I can say more than that. That might be the dumbest use of parentheses in a song title I’ve ever heard. Not that I’ve studied a lot of parenthetical song titles, but I’m pretty sure this one’s up there on the list. I haven’t listened to it yet, but the “Ay ya ya” part reminds me of a yappy little chihuahua. Annoying. And come on, it’s embarrassing. Why waste perfectly good punctuation on non-words that are not really in the title of a potentially crappy song?
- because W is for Wednesday and Wednesday is for free coffee!
Anyone else know how sucky it feels when what you really really neeeeeeeed is the one thing you absolutely positively cannot have?
I was a really really foul mood until I got shiny new binders and a HUGE NEW calendar delivered, with a smile, to my office. I’m still exhausted but at least I have fresh office supplies.
I’m always surprised at the places my mind goes when I accidentally let my guard down. It’s rarely good, and I’m amazed at how easily I slip right back into old ways. It seems my subconscious doesn’t move on at the same pace as the rest of me.
1. Leggings and tights should not be worn as pants. Especially not by pregnant women, but the rule extends to everyone.
2. I wish I was wearing jeans right now (but not because I wore leggings instead - I would never!)
(Mary Heaton Vorse)
It is true that when I have a pressing deadline, I cannot sit in front of my laptop. I get up, I walk around, I dance, I do jumping jacks. It is true that Coke and chocolate help me focus on writing. It is true that I write better, more effectively, late at night or early in the morning than I do during the workday. It is true that I write better after a breakfast of Eggos or strawberry frosted Pop-tarts or pretzels dipped in frosting than after a breakfast of yogurt and a huge delicious bowl of oatmeal. It is true that I write better on the couch or, better still, the floor, rather than in a chair at a desk. I write better in my pajamas, not having showered, than I do when I’m properly attired for the office. I can concentrate on my writing better with my hair up than with my hair down (unless I haven’t showered). It is true that I wrote this with my hair up, drinking a Diet Coke, sitting down, in the office. It is also true that I’m supposed to be writing something else.
At various points in my life, I’ve wondered, “when is it you really feel like an adult?”
I think I understand now.
It’s when you start to consider the consequences of your action.
It’s when you finally get that there will ALWAYS be unintentional ramifications for your decisions, and begin to take those into account.
It’s when you come to the conclusion that instant gratification isn’t always the best policy, and that “throwing caution to the wind” maybe isn’t such a great “strategy” after all.
It’s when you realize that your younger self would have done something entirely different, in fact, would have made the OPPOSITE choice.
And it’s when you understand that by making these decisions - which may not be as fun or as exciting in the moment - you’ll feel so much better in the morning.
That’s when you’re an adult.
I’m not sure I necessarily feel like an adult, but I’m getting there. Even though I don’t know that I’m quite there yet, I’m much closer than I was a year or even six months ago, and much closer than a lot of other people I know and love. I guess sometimes life does make you grow up fast.
Julie Delpy as Marion in 2 Days in Paris (via britticisms)
The other night Devon called me to tell me “the whole thing” that we never got into. I told him, in more words or less, that I had no interest. I wanted to hear it then, not now.
Fabulous. And, uh…been there.
…you’re about to hit “Send” on an email to several colleagues and realize just in time that you spelled your name wrong and totally didn’t catch it the first 2 times you looked over the email
It’s been MIA for three weeks as of tomorrow.
I want it back.
I do not really want a new one. I like mine. I like my zillions of playlists that have completely indecipherable titles and I like that I know which songs are on each.
I NEEEEEEEEEED it back dammit!
- Coworker 1: No afternoon mail yet?
- Coworker 2: Oh, yeah. Guess you didn't get any.
- Coworker 1: We just found out that the students have a petition about not having fries, so we might have to find a quick fix.
- Coworker 2: Ok. We can figure it out.
- Coworker 1: We can find a cheap one or something for now until the move.
- Coworker 2: We can even rent one if need be.
- **Technical conversation about the need for a fryer vs. estimated costs**
- Coworker 1: Well, we'll just have to wait and find out if there's a real student issue because if there is, we'll have to do something about it.
- Coworker 2: One way or another, doesn't matter which way you skin the cat.
- Coworker 1: I don't care if it's even half-skinned...why is there no frickin coffee?
1. I’m not a huge Valentine’s girl. I think roses and chocolate and pink are great anytime, not just in February and not just from a guy. Please, if I waited for guys to give me chocolate, I wouldn’t hit the gym half as much as I do.
2. I suck at selecting gifts to give to others. I never know what to get and I’m a perfectionist, so even if I have a pretty darn good idea, I never think it’s good enough. I convince myself the person already has whatever it is, or someone else will get it for him or her, or they won’t really like it and it’s a stupid idea. So, I ask other people and read articles about it and look at lists.
And here’s the problem: THEY’RE ALL USELESS.
Every gift guide I’ve ever seen has included a collection of random items that some retailer is pushing because they’re overstocked. And they’re overstocked because the item is weird. Mirrored cheese serving set? Why would that be on a gift guide? And why does anyone even make the sorts of useless, not-even-decorative candle holders, picture frames and unidentifiable things to hang on walls, let alone suggest them as gifts??
Weed out the things that make absolutely no sense and you have some things that are way too expensive (you might be totally worth a Cartier watch but I can’t afford to give you one), some things that are totally cliche but that I personally wouldn’t mind receiving (chocolate, champagne, red silk jammies), and some things that would just be embarrassing to give.
Since the gift guides give shitty guidance, I move on to the lists and articles, written by people who supposedly know what they’re talking about, to give the clueless and anxious like myself a helping hand. They don’t help. You know why? Because they all contradict each other!
I see cufflinks on a gift guide. I think, no way am I giving someone cuff links. I see a list that confirms my aversion to gifting cuff links. Then the next article says “Buy them! They’re elegant and classy!” Ugh.
Chocolate and red roses come up as big “No freakin ways” on most lists (though not my personal list). They’re supposedly thoughtless robot gifts, the things you give when you don’t know the person at all and haven’t taken the time to figure it out (except with me - don’t waste your time because the cop-out gift is actually my fave, go figure). Then I read another article that says to get them.
Msn.com had “Worst Valentine Gifts” and “8 Thoughtful Gestures” and there were some things (chocolate, flowers) that were on both lists. COME ON PEOPLE.
I think there needs to be a definitive Valentine’s (or just general) gift guide. Authoritative. The bottom line on what to give your Valentine. Any columnist or online gift guide compiler who strays from the master list gets dropkicked, thrown to a bunch of bridesmaids like a wedding bouquet, gets a 10-ton Hershey kiss dropped on their heads. Pick your poison, but anyone who further complicates the gift-giving process gets punished. The end.
Now we just need to find someone, or a team of someones, to write that book, since I sure as hell can’t do it. Anyone? I’ll need it by Thursday. Thanks.
“The top layer is devoted to gigantic beauty appliances: Travel irons, hair dryers, curling irons, belt sanders… along with any extension cords, gasoline and power strips that might be needed to operate multiple devices at once. Of course, all of these are absolute necessities, so don’t even attempt to question their importance on a weekend getaway…
The next layer is her clothes and shoes. However many days you plan to be gone, multiply that number by eight and you’ll get the number of days she’s actually packed for. Also, add and subtract 60 degrees in temperature to the weather that is forecasted, and you’ll find that she’s packed for those conditions too. Finally, add in 14 other outfits for the standard “in case we” scenarios. These include, “in case we go clam digging” or “in case we go bullfighting” or “in case we enter a judo tournament.” Of course, regardless of the amount of clothes she packs, you’ll still find her rummaging through her suitcase during the weekend lamenting that she didn’t pack the one item that was left on a hanger back home.”
A temp on the floor is talking about her bout with cancer, describing the joys of taking super-quick showers (because there was no hair to shampoo), not having to dry or style her hair, and not having any eyelashes on which to apply mascara. I’m not one to complain about my daily maintenance routine because I know it’s self-inflicted but man, I have no room to complain.