Tag Archives: jobs

Don’t know where I went wrong, but I can write a song

This one goes out to my lovely sister Jenny. Don’t know how she stumbled on this wonderful Avett Brothers-like song, but it makes me want to dance every time I hear it. As we all know, I am very much obsessed with anything that sounds anything remotely similar to the Aves.

Here is what I have to say today: patience is a virtue. We all know that phrase most likely. Probably heard it from a parent or sister or friend. Let me tell you something – patience is the hardest virtue to maintain.

Guess what – it’s been over a year since graduation and this whole time, I have been telling myself to be patient. The paths of life are never straight and rarely sure. My life has been ridden with those descriptors since the day I walked up and grabbed hold of that rather oversized piece of paper we call a diploma.

Now, many of the my friends (who are all so wonderful by the way) are getting ready to do the same. Instead of providing them with wonderful words of wisdom throughout this year, I probably scared them. Whether it was about the transition, making friends, jobs, where to live or what have you, I am sure my friends heard about those things one too many times.

Of course, an inevitably part of life is frustration. We are frequently plagued by flagrant wants and I needs that leave us utterly dissatisfied with whatever existence we currently lead.

For a time, mine was not using my undergraduate study work in my day-to-day life. Then it became an entirely different, morphed thing. If there is one phrase I would use to describe the workplace it would be to say each job, each company, each place, has a vice of some kind.

It may be the job itself, the people, the boss, the commute, but whatever that vice is, it is something you have to teach yourself to be patient with. To be patient and remind yourself that this thing, this terribly annoying or life-draining thing is temporary.

You’ve heard it before here, and if not from me, someone else has probably told you that most of our lives are based on the temporal. The five minutes from now, the ten months from now or even just three years out. There is some string there, that ties it all together, but all in all, it is never going to last forever.

I try to remind myself each and every day that patience is a virtue. Some days it is harder to display than others. Some day it takes everything in me to not yell at that truck that just cut over into my lane or blocked me from merging when my lane is about to end. Yes, it frequently happens here in the lovely NoVa.

If there is one thing I would say to my friends who are graduating, my friends who are sad or just my friends of friends of friends, it would be to be patient. Things have a way of turning around quicker than you expect and in bigger ways than you would think were possible.

I would say that life is one big opportunity, surrounded by challenges each and every day. The biggest opportunity and challenge you will have to deal with is yourself.  Sounds weird and oddly cliche, right?

The person that is going to make things happen in your life is you. And the person who is going to keep you from living up to your full potential is also you.

Rely on the definite. Seek the unknown. And be patient. Because before you know it, things will look up and you will wonder how you could have ever believed things were really all that bad.

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Throw me out of the side of a plane and I’ll just see where I land

Pandora is a wonderful, wonderful thing. I spend most of my days at work listening to music on it and I stumble upon song after song that I love.

If you haven’t caught the drift yet, the songs are the inspiration and the backbone to anything I ever end up writing on here. The lines play over again and again in my mind like these concepts and ideas about life that fester in the back of this brain of mine. Fester…what a terrible word that sounds exactly like what it describes.

The best parts of my work day are when I can just coast through words about random companies and government agencies and just bob my head. Yeah, this song is a head bobber for me. I wonder what kind of sign that is when it is the highlight of your day…

All I know is change is coming. It is coming in big, big ways. And guess what, I am not as ready for it as I want to be.

These topics I come to seem so repetitive after a while, but that may be because the issues we face on a regular basis are incredibly unoriginal and more similar to other peoples than we would like to admit.

But, change is coming and I feel myself unsteady, unsure, not because I am caught off guard. In fact, I almost think it is worse that I realize what is coming far before it will arrive. You see, there is this thing called security. And when you don’t have it, things begin to deteriorate.

It’s hard to say if surprise changes are any better really. You would think that when you know about something so far in advance, change then becomes a plan instead of a surprise. It could be something you embrace. Embrace it for the spontaneity, the newness and for your own braveness in searching out the unknown.

I know that in life, we are in search of these moments of security. They seem far and few most of the time. It is at the root of every search we have. Jobs, relationships, futures and the like.

I scarcely let myself believe that anything is secure and when I do, I find my feet are gone from beneath me. It’s a sort of unwilling vulnerability.

There are moments when we are just begging and begging that something will come our way. That something will be different from it was before, different in the way we want it be. But I guess that is the point. More often than not, we are dealing with the different that wasn’t what we wanted.

Let’s not be so negative, now. There are times when change comes in the form we most wanted. Those are the moments in life we so shortly applaud and quickly forget as soon as the next bump in the road rises high before our path. Oh and what a pain to have to reach your legs higher, a pain to stride, to sweat, to pant and to gasp for air.

There are times when I have begged for change so religiously that it became unbearable to deal with the present. If there is anything I know, it’s that life is far too short and far too abundant with opportunity to turn yourself into someone always sweating the little things.

So often, I cheesily think about life as I do running. Those of you who run may understand why.

A run never starts and finishes the same way. There are days when the first steps send throbbing pain through every muscle in my legs and then days were there could not be an easier thing to do. Sometimes that hill in the middle of my run seems a lot bigger than it was the day before and it never ever fails that the day you plan to run six miles, you feel like two is a serious stretch.

There is never a day that turns out as I thought it would. And it is incredibly easy to get caught in the currents of the what ifs and the I have nots, but then again, there is reassurance in the fact that both things will change again and that life is not so predictable as you thought.

Let’s be honest here, it is so very easy to get so entrenched in the negativity following dashed hopes and misshapen dreams, but come tomorrow, there will be a new hill, a new course, a new obstacle to lead yourself through and then there is no time to pay attention to the worries of yesterday or worse, tomorrow.

So maybe instead you dwell on these things. You dwell on the change, you dwell on the outcome and you dwell on what you want. Sometimes I think dreams are so very inhibitive. You are forever worried about tomorrow instead of enjoying the right here and right now. At the same time, you have to have that thing guiding you toward making the best of the right now. It is this ever changing (yes, change) and ever evolving thing. It’s a loaded question, a topic on repeat, a sentence without an ending.

We so often have this tendency of crippling ourselves. Sometimes it is because of the mistakes we have made, sometimes it is fear of the future and sometimes it is just because we don’t know who else to pick on.

I think I am done with the crippling for now, the worrying and over analyzing. I think sometimes you just have to let life happen and sometimes you have to just throw yourself into the mess it is.

We can’t be crippled by the past. We can’t be overly concerned for the future. There is hardly sense in worrying over something there is little control in.

At the end of the day, you just have to take comfort in the fact that the only secure thing is that this all will soon change. That should be secure enough.

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As the air grows cold, the trees unfold

And I am lost and not found

It seems I’ve been missing for some time now and while I haven’t received any huge complaints for the lack of overly serious and long posts, here I am.

When I started this little venture, I had no goal in mind really except to continue writing. That has no longer been a challenge, but now what is a challenge is finding that niche, that thing I really like to write and learn about. My job is somewhat like translating a foreign language and no doubt the vision of what I like to read and write about has been marred with the incessant need to be a “good worker” – which in fact, I am not being one at the moment..

I also had it in my mind that when I didn’t have the words, maybe I would use someone else’s. I think its possible that the challenge of verbalizing thoughts is hugely underestimated by the general public. It’s much harder to just say exactly what you want and in a somewhat respectable way. So the words I will use for today are just the ones of a song that continually plays in my head since I heard it. Already I’ve stolen it for moments in my life- moments that I like and admit to more than I should.

I’ve fallen back into an old habit of listening to music throughout the day. Seems to help during the times when you just want to get by for a while. I have a love affair with a few musicians that do nothing, but write beautiful music and lyrics. Perhaps that is how I should be spending my time. I always wonder what it is that makes us like the things we do. A song I like is in no way going to be liked by the person who sits at the desk behind me in work.

I’ve recently come to wish that I could control things much more than I really can. I never thought I had that in me, but I’ve been yearning for the ability to understand why I feel and like the things I do. Suddenly, it wouldn’t be so difficult to explain some belief in the ether and those the judging ears of listeners may have to reassess their ruling once I am able to explain something so inexplicable. Suddenly, every time I’ve reasoned with myself in vain and came away fruitless would disappear – reasoning would no longer seem so aimless.

While I spend so much of my time trying to explain these idiotic things I think and do, there are a few things I have come to label as truths in my mind. You’d think I’d at least take that home and feel better about my lack of answers, but alas it is unsurprisingly not enough.

Throughout the ins and outs – the ups and downs – I  know so very few constants other than that there is no such thing as a constant in the way of things of the world. There are these trends that come and go – there are days of unhappiness, days of utter bliss and days filled with good songs and odd dancing. And while there are people who remain, there is nothing to speak for them to stay except trust – the trust they readily asked of you.  There is nothing permanent and I have to remind myself so very often not to be too caught up to remember that.

Your gains in being here my friend, in reading this, is you know a smidget more about some girl who tries to find explanations for every aspect of her life. Perhaps if you read all of these posts, you’d see it more clearly than me. What I know is that it’s nice to take a breather, to stop. Even if just for a while. And try to remind myself why it was I liked to write at all. Why it was I did any of the things I’ve ever done. To see a reason where there is no rhyme. Or maybe its to put a rhyme to my reason, since I am very easily the least likely person to come up with a plan. What I know is that my own mind exhausts me with its constant striving to find something, anything to explain why I see what I see in people, in anything. And maybe for now, I will just turn it off. I will forget to think awhile and just sway to some song I like, but pretend not to like and try to force all my friends to like..

Either way, I’ll try to not forget why it is I ever liked my dear old friend writing in the first place.

Vagabond by Beirut 

 

 

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no matter how life gets today

Hey Hey Hey by Michael Franti & Spearhead

I’ve been reading a good bit recently, partially because I want to, but mostly because I need an escape. When I begin reading something new, I always wonder how it will be. The first few pages of the chosen book will make it or break it in my mind and I either read on, or move on. So much of this is dependent on my mood. The other day, I finally began reading something a friend had told me read months ago. The moment I began, I couldn’t stop. Everything that was written, each word and each pounding phrase hit me. It was a true moment of feeling as if this author knew exactly how I felt. Here is the puzzle for you.

1. “While there’s no real enemy to be identified, the pain exists nonetheless…”

2. “An intelligent man cannot seriously become anything and that only a fool can become something…a man possessing character, a man of action, is fundamentally a limited character…being overly conscious is a disease”

3. “To reach, by using the most inevitable logical combinations, the most revolting conclusions on the eternal theme that you are somehow or other to blame even for the stone wall, even though it’s absolutely clear once again that you’re in no way to blame, and, as a result of all of this, while silently and impotently gnashing your teeth, you sink voluptuously into inertia, musing on the fact, that as it turns out, there’s no one to be angry with; that an object cannot be found, and perhaps never will be…”

The stone wall we are speaking of acts like a chameleon changing in appearance, but still a chameleon nonetheless. That wall that was there a few months ago is still here now, with different hurdles ahead.

I’ve thought so much about my life, about other people’s lives and where they find their way to get by. I’ve thought about people who absolutely love what they do, and people who dread going to work in the morning. And I’ve been trying to decide where those people that love their jobs succeed. How do they get to where they are?

In no way did school make me feel prepared or as if I truly knew what I wanted to do. I think for now, I have a better idea of what I don’t want to do. What I know is that part of this is attitude and part of it is just straightforward fact. To wake up with the wrong attitude can magnify, can project, can exasperate what is already there.

I have been trying to decide what is worthwhile. Is it worth it to stay where I am? To keep doing what I am doing and constantly feel at odds with myself? So much of how I feel conflicts. I hold guilt for things that are not my fault and stumble in these decisions when I know there will be people that are hurt or harmed or people that will have to work a lot harder than they do now..

Here is my honesty: I allow others to undervalue me because I undervalue myself. I don’t believe anyone to be deserving of anything necessarily because it’s of a mentality that the world revolves around me. Something David Foster Wallace references in his “This is Water” speech (you should read this by the way). Something I try to remind myself of time to time because the world does not revolve around me, my happiness or unhappiness, my job, my life. And while that is the case, it doesn’t make it unfair to seek opportunities that make me happier, but it makes it wrong to constantly dwell on these feelings, this situation.

One thing I have been trying to learn is to not dwell. While many of you may hate “Eat, Pray, Love,” I found something in it that embodied a mindset I have been trying to take on for so long. To think about something, acknowledge the hurt, the pain, the feeling, but to “drop it.”

While people are incredibly resilient, always bouncing back and falling down, do they ever really lick the pain? Do they ever really leave it behind? I wake up with pain in my shoulders and neck. I do it because I carry that pain with me everyday. I might not think about it every second of the day, but it’s there. And I think that more people than none would say the same presence exists in their life in some way. People are broken. I believe that with every bone of my body, every nerve, every ounce in me. But that belief brings nothing, but an acknowledgment that we are somehow the same, somehow connected in this all.

There is no real answer is there. Question or statement, I think the answer varies person to person. We all have some remedy, some way that we make it easier. The days that I come home and feel terrible, I have to make myself forget it somehow. It is much easier, for whatever reason, to just sit there and think about it over and over again. Maybe it’s a character trait mostly, but I know it is much easier to dwell on these negative thoughts, nervousness and discomfort than it is to hold on to the realistic, the positive and the beneficial. Maybe it’s the human condition..

We are so used to being down that it seems an abnormality to be up sometimes. A couple weeks ago, it felt like every single thing was going right. I was on the ball at work, it was doable, and things just seemed like they would work out. Then all of the sudden, it started to go downhill, and, of course, when it did, I began feeling like nothing could ever go right naturally gravitating toward this negative train of thought.

The funny thing is, I was reading the personal statement that I wrote to for school applications and it addressed exactly this. It put me on the spot with myself because the very characteristic that I used to pride myself in is currently waning in this situation.

I wrote about my childhood, which consisted of random and constant sickness. I am beginning to believe that I blocked a majority of it out, but it truly did define much of who I am: my hardheadedness, my hatred for being babied, and my unfailing need to prove everyone wrong.

I was severely allergic to walnut trees, but continued to play in the leaves despite this. That is the way of a child of course. Constantly doing something, taking a chance despite the negative consequences that would ensue. The point of course being that those negative feelings do not outweigh the reward.

I told colleges this about myself and playing in leaves:

“We would make little progress this way, but it allowed us to enjoy things that were normally dreary. Our games were hardly original, but they are something that I still value today as a life philosophy. After spending a day playing tiring games, I would go home feeling sick. However, my short-term illness was incomparable to the day that had just passed. Every day spent playing in the walnut trees was a risk. My allergies were unpredictable and playing in such a dangerous field seems as if I was begging for illness, but my constant experience with sickness allowed me to build an optimistic view of life. I did not spend my time worrying about the hours I would spend tending to my stuffy nose later. I didn’t worry because I recognized that in all choices there are unpredictable outcomes. Since we are unable to control what happens to us, it is our job to take those situations and make the best of them. Playing in leaves, despite the pain it caused later, was one of the best decisions I made as a child. Reflecting on it now, I find a lesson that I hope to utilize in the coming years. As a person and a student, raking leaves and odd sicknesses have taught me to live with optimism and the belief that I can make the best of any situation as well as allow those situations to better me as a person.”

It’s funny, the timing of my going and reading this. I am at an exact point where I am afraid to take a chance because of the consequences. I am exactly in a place where that decision I terrifying and not an easy out, like I wish I had.

Something I have always been amazed by is the way in which poignant moments and realizations are eventually lost or fade. I had so many moments as a child where I realized something immense and of huge gravity to my life, but slowly that information, that change just became a memory and no longer affected me. This moment, reading this, it is proof of that experience and how it will continue to repeat itself throughout my life.

Tell me how, in 12th grade, I had better insight into what I need to do than I do now? The answer I can provide is merely that the decisions you make are harder to make when so close to the situation. The myopic view I have is so hindered by guilt, by inconvenience, by other people, but mostly by myself. I set standards in my mind that are in no rational or beneficial in times like these. While they have made me into a sort of perfectionist, they also allow me to be extremely hard on myself and make me indecisive in times like these.

This is the first time I’ve written in weeks it seems. I told myself when I took this job that I would write, I would find a way, but as things go, the way to write becomes harder to find, harder to maneuver and make the time.

There is no resolution. There is no definite answer because everyone seems to have a different one. I come to that point frequently because to me, if I waited until some universal truth came about, or was found, I may be waiting too long. I am 20. I am 20 years old and this is what my life consists of. Sometimes I forget that I am younger than most people in the same situation as myself.

I think what I need is to take time to give myself some credit, since I have yet to do that so far. I know what I need is to take a chance here. I need to take steps toward making things change. I can’t count how many poems, stories and articles I’ve read encouraging me to seize the day and also how few times I think I’ve truly listened. Here is where I go from here: I make a change. Sometimes a change in attitude is not enough and sometimes being hardheaded to stick a position out just because you said you would is not the best answer.

And, yes, I am still talking myself into my decision. Probably because I never thought I would be here. There is such a glorified picture of what a career is in my head. I don’t know exactly how it got there, but it is there. While I know I may not find that picture, I want to get close. I want to do something I love. In the mean time, I’ll do as the 12th grade me would do. I’ll make the best of what I have because there is no point dwelling on it. I just have to let it go.

Try it some time. It’s worth it.

“Notes From the Underground” by Fyodor Dostoevskey

“Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert

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Voices calling from a yellow road

Come Downstairs and Say Hello by Guster
 
 
 

 Someone, someone could tell me
Where I belong
Be calm, be brave, it’ll be okay

I went for a run last night right before the storm. It was the first time in weeks that I ran more than a mile and felt like stopping because I was tired, not because I was in pain. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to wheeze and feel like I wanted to fall over.

The whole time I kept thinking about this place. It seems hard to describe existing now only as a memory. A beach house on the marsh. The night air is stuffy, humid and mosquito infested. It’s dangerous to walk out on the porch without bug spray or maybe a death wish. But the sky was clear with so many stars, it was hard to focus on one place. So many stars spanning out over the marsh and toward an open ocean. In the distance there are muffled voices and music, but they don’t stifle the air. No, they make it feel more crisp, more real. And beneath the sky there are miles of tall grasses infested with insects and creatures, teeming with life. The lightning bugs are so many that they mirror the open night sky. They blink on and off ceremoniously. And there is nothing but dimly lit houses and just space.

I’d like to be there now. I’d like to feel that freedom. I’d like many things that are unlike what is turning out. What is so often the case. At times, the things I hear myself say seem dramatic. It seems everyone is making due. And how many times have I been told I won’t get my dream job right away? How many times have you taken a job that you have to convince yourself more into than you can out of?

The way of the world frustrates me beyond explaining. When I applied to school, it wasn’t really seeking out some dream and making it real. It was applying where I could afford and where I could get in. Honestly, I feel angry with the ideas so ingrained in me that I should dream big and search out these huge ideas. I think it could be more simple. I think people could be more honest.

So, here I am. Almost employed by a job I can’t quite find a reason to feel happy about other than it’s a job. And I’m ashamed to feel the way I do. I know so many people don’t have a job at all.  But the fact that I have to take a job simply because it’s a job makes me feel like I’m succumbing to something I don’t want to.

But one run can make me calm down, can make me forget that I haven’t been able to sleep for nights. It’s a rhythm I’ve been missing more than anything else. Mostly because it is the most free thing I have. There is nothing inhibiting my actions except the muscles and bones I drag along with me. And sometimes I have to even forget what they tell me. When my knee is aching on every step. When the pain puts a constant grimace on my face. I have to push through the last mile because I have the freedom to do so. And perhaps that pushing will only make things worse. It will make the pain grow and swallow my knee, shoot up my thigh and leave me hobbled. But at least it was my doing that made it that way. The air is abnormally humid and despite the tightness in my chest, it felt easier to breathe than ever before. Running in the calm before the inevitable storm. It felt nice to forget that there is nothing simple about the lifestyle I’ve stumbled into. And I yearn for a time where I may feel free to do what I really want to do. A liberty I’ve never truly had, but I miss it like I miss dark, humid nights watching distant lights turn on and off. I want to remember dreams and hopes like I remember that night on the deck. I want them to feel real, touchable, and innumerable.

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Make me sanguine

Sanguine by the Avett Brothers..

paint the picture that I swore I heard

 
 
The Avett Brothers gave me a little vocabulary lesson today. Sanguine is to be cheerfully optimistic, hopeful or confident. Allow me to be upfront and say that I need this in every sense of the word, in every avenue of my life it seems. Don’t we all?
 
If I know one thing, I know that people teeter between stages of confidence and the unnerving bottom. Sometimes we’re neither here nor there. And sometimes, that area of grey is the scarier of the different places we tend to be.
 
Probably the Avett Brothers and Damien Rice are my two favorite lyricists. Both have this uncanny ability to make me feel like their heart has just fallen in my lap. As if the song gave them the ability to say these things that they wouldn’t normally. I am the type to bottle things up. I have an extremely bad ability to convince myself nearly anything sometimes. Because I think too much. Because I have the time. Because its innate. Because it’s a byproduct of the lifestyle we lead. Whatever it is, it’s a factoid into the makings of me.
 
I had two interviews this past week. I had such a confidence that my concern was what I would do if I were offered both, not that I’d be offered them at all. It’s funny how much these levels of hope and confidence can wane week to week, even day-to-day. I remember saying that I would be happy just to have a callback. Now what I want has grown, as it should. But it’ so easy to fill myself with doubt.
 
I have no doubt in my capabilities in getting a job. This whole process is reminiscent of applying to college. It seemed a crap shoot since nothing was definite. That’s what this seems. Arbitrary. The jobs I am actually qualified for seem uninterested. The jobs that I am in no way interested in or qualified for, want me. Tell me, can you explain how this works?
 
The conclusion you have to arrive at is that there is no order in this madness. There’s no order in looking for a job and certainly it feels like there’s no order to life really. We assign these moments importance or meaning, but do they really mean anything at all? Certain things are taught to us as we grow up. Girls are taught to believe in these inconstant and romantic ideas of love. We’re taught that believing in something is better than not believing at all. We’re taught to rebel and to obey when necessary. And all these things we learn, all these things that become second nature have no form expect what is given. Can you trace the meaning, can you find the reason why you follow these notions, these presets of how things should be? There’s something incredibly hypocritical in even saying this, since it seems to only be a part of what I was taught.
 
I feel at odds with myself and more often at odds with the settings of our world. Can you really say which is which? Is the world alienating you, or are you alienating it?
 
At times, I feel that I may never have an absolute in my life. And I have begun to believe it foolish to want that to be true. There is nothing constant. There is nothing that lasts as we wish it to. I think that is the tomfoolery we’ve all bought into. And, yet, I don’t want to give up on that still. There is a comfort in having things a certain way. A comfort in fitting these norms. Sometimes it feels like we’re rushing to these milestones not just because we’re supposed to, but because we believe that in those places we will find a security that gives a new status of growing happiness in our lives.
 
One mistake I think I’m prone to make is looking ahead much too often and making the little things into big things. A job interview isn’t an excuse to plan my life out and a kiss isn’t a reason to plan a wedding. And, yet, we do it anyway. We take these tiny moments and make them bigger than life. We are hopeful and confident that what we dream will come true. It’s hard to say which is better or worse since we are all striving toward that feeling of wholeness or completeness.
 
I think that there is only dots at the end of every line in life. There is never a period. What we want is the period. We want that defined ending, that absolute status, the comfort of knowing. I want that comfort on so many levels. But I am finding that in searching for it, it leads into this negative trend when it fails. I think I have to remember that life is three dots, not one.  To be sanguine not because I believe there to be some definite means to an end, but because it will make me see the present, appreciate it, and see the picture I know I heard.
 
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