Jobs, or something.

When I was taking (by accident) a class called “The Business of Acting” in college, I remember the professor saying, “I know they say life is short, but actually life is fucking long. You will do a ton of different jobs in your life.” She could not have predicted that she would end up as a casting director and a part time college professor when she was studying theatre at Emerson. 

This week I saw my therapist for the first time in about a month and a half. We’d had some scheduling conflicts and then I went away and now I’m back, so I emailed him and I finally made it to his office. 

We talked about the main issues I have and finally after we were done sorting that shit out, he said, “So what’s your main concern at this time?” and after I told him, he said, “This is just my opinion and I’m not trying to force this on you, but I think we should look into you being a little more ambitious career-wise.“ My first thought was, “Why do I have to have a career? Can’t I just have a job that supports my life?”

He said that he saw that I was so concerned with finding a job that I didn’t feel like I was constantly going to be let go from that I didn’t actually care what the job was. This was, in part, right. I like my job a lot right now – I’m learning a lot and there’s a lot of work to do so I’m not bored. And my boss is really nice. He’s such a pleasure to work for.

At Job A, I liked the work – I was good at it. I had a really good groove going. But I got to the office at 8am and left around 6 or 7pm. I was really burnt out. And I was making next to no money. But hey, that’s show business.

So, I left that job when I was offered Job B doing something completely different (though still numbers oriented) though I was stupid and desperate and took it at the same salary. Hey, I got a ton of comp tickets and the company was pretty fun to work for. It ended up not being a good fit for me, or the company, though so I was laid off and immediately started Job C. 

Job C was great – it was a fun company, I was good at the job (basically the same job as at Job A), and I was actually contributing to the business in meaningful ways through the HR side of things. I also got a $10k raise. This was nice. I got to learn the HR side of things and that was awesome. I really liked that. However I saw the company’s books all the time and things were ehhhh business-wise. They tried to keep up morale but I didn’t think things were going very well. I was also bored. Because we didn’t have a ton of business, I didn’t have a ton of work. I was so, so bored.

So when a recruiter contact me on LinkedIn and I had two phone interviews and one in-person interview for Job D (which was more or less the same as Job’s A and B), and they were offering yet another $10k raise, I said yes. It was really, really hard to leave Job C but I did. I’m at Job D now and really liking it. As I said, my boss is really great and my colleagues are all really nice. They are always signing new clients, which means more work for me, which is awesome. No boredom, score!

But there’s always that twinge of “am I going to be able to keep this job?” My therapist told me that I do not have qualities of someone who should have these fears as I am extremely diligent and have no problem finding jobs. So, yes, he’s probably right about me needing to figure out what I want to do. 

Luckily for me, my boyfriend is really good at career planning and being goal-oriented so I’m making some lists on my own and then we’re diving head first this weekend in trying to figure out what would make me happy. Money doesn’t make me fully happy. My last two raises have been great, but money isn’t everything. I’ve never been close to poverty (I sound like an asshole saying that but it’s better than pretending otherwise) so maybe I take it for granted. I see people at jobs they hate making tons of money and I just don’t think it’s worth it. When is the paycheck ever going to be big enough for you? If money is all you strive for, you’re going to be endlessly striving for more and then what? Money is nice, but happiness, overall, is nicer.

You know what makes me fully happy? Meditating. And leading meditations. I’m going to look into studying with an actual teacher. And I’m going to give yoga teacher training an actual thought. I never thought I was the right personality for it, but I’ve had some teachers over the years who are a lot like me, so maybe I’m wrong. What would also make me happier would be brushing up on my accounting and Quickbooks skills. I put out an email about that yesterday.

Fingers crossed I can eventually figure it out. 

And fittingly enough, there’s a perfect John Lennon quote for this: “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.

New York is Baltimore and Baltimore is New York.

When I read on OWS’s Facebook page that there was a rally at 6pm tonight in solidarity with Baltimore, I was totally there. I couldn’t be there for long because I had therapy on the UES at 7pm, but I hung around, chanted, chatted, lent my energy, and took this photo from the second floor of Barnes & Nobles before leaving. 

The protest was mainly contained in the area near 17th Street but for some reason the NYPD had corralled the ENTIRETY of the park. Talk about fire hazard. (NYPD, I’m sure your guys could’ve been used much better, say, in Bed Stuy, where someone was probably getting stabbed.)

I so, so wish I could be with the protesters in Times Square right now, but hey, mental health maintenance is important too. I’m staying glued to the StopMotionSolo Live Stream and occasionally checking in on the MSNBC live stream (ya know, just incase they report actual news).

Dodging the Bullet

I got a text from a friend last night with a screen shot of a FB update from my ex. He was still pondering and thinking about what might have been if he’d have gotten married three years ago yesterday. He claimed it left him with some “emotional scaring." 

Understatement of the century. It was a three years ago, dude. Get some therapy STAT and get over it. 

I made the (what I now realize may have been a) mistake of sending my ex a photocopied chapter of the book I’m currently reading that I thought he could really relate to.

Well, he emailed me today and rehashed again how he thinks he needs to be single now and how things never would’ve worked anyway, and blah, blah, blah. It took every bit of restraint I could muster up not to tell him to go fuck himself. And it’s not because I hate him, because I don’t. He just does this all the time and I’m over it. If he wants to play the victim and to get validation that how he acted was OK and that I forgive him, well, he’s not going to get it. Not yet, at least. 

But I didn’t say that. I didn’t tell him to go fuck himself. Instead I wrote back asking him to stop replaying the past to me every time we communicate (which has been few and far between in the weeks since things ended). The past is in the past. And I’m still processing my hurt and, to be blunt, pissed off feelings about the whole thing, but I’ll be OK. I’m working on it in therapy and in my meditation practice (which is, I can almost say this for sure, more than he’s doing).

I just keep telling him to be well, because, well, that’s all I really can do. 

On Monday, I ended my relationship. It was hard (especially because it had to be over the phone) and I miss having him there to talk to whenever I wanted a LOT right now. But it was the right thing to do, for sure. I was trying to figure out what I learned from the relationship and what needs healing (see above). I’m still trying to sort out what needs healing but this is what I learned:

1. Long distance is not for me when the other person is not as invested. In fact it might not be for me under any circumstances. Though I did like it for the fact that there was no way I could lose track of life in the other person’s life because we couldn’t hang out 24/7.

2. When someone says they’re working on their issues but not seeing a therapist, they’re not really working on anything.

3. When someone said they’re still dealing with baggage from a relationship that ended three years ago and they’re not seeing a therapist about it… 

4. Don’t start a relationship with someone who says they’re going to move to your city. It’s likely an empty promise.

5. Pay attention to subtle shifts in that person’s personality. It’s not always in my head.

6. I should keep asking for what I want because I deserve it.

7. Listen to your gut.

8. Relationships are hard and take work.

9. Honest and open communication is key.

10. Florida really is the worst.

He knows I’m angry right (and justifiably so). I told him the one thing he could do to makeup up to me is to go sort through his issues in therapy. I know he won’t though which just makes me sad – for him. No one should have to go through their days with that much old baggage.

We want to friends, eventually. I hope we’ll be able to have a friendship because we got along really well. I miss his sense of humor. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I missed him. Maybe the healing that needs to occur is just in my head – to not hold this relationship against every new guy I meet in the future. 

Spiraling

I had two very wise people reinforce to me yesterday that when someone close to you is spiraling (addiction, codependence, etc.) the best thing – the only thing – you can do is let them spiral and hopefully they’ll hit the bottom and start to work things out. If not you go through life feeling like an enabler if you condone their behavior or they’ll be mad at you all the time for “shitting” on their dreams and happiness.

A friend once came to me for help because he thought he was an alcoholic (I 100% agreed). I referred him to another friend who’d been through (and is still going through) the sobering up after bottoming out and after one conversation he thought the whole AA thing was “weird” and asked that I never mention it again. He’s never gotten help and his behavior has only gotten more manic.

If I say anything, I’m being a “debbie downer” but I feel like I’m being super judgmental (in my own head) watching him continue on this path. I don’t like feeling like that and I’m not like that with any of my other friends. So, he’s a good friend, but I’m going to try to detach from him for a bit and let him do his thing. (No, he doesn’t read here. I don’t think he knows this blog exists.)

Has anyone else ever been through this? I know the bottom for someone doesn’t have to necessarily happen soon but I’d be lying if I said I hope it does because I don’t want to not have him as a friend for long.

But then again, this isn’t about me. 

“What would you say is your biggest weakness?”

Don’t you hate that question in interviews? You’re supposed to turn it into a positive, right? “Working too hard!” “I can never leave before the job is done!” I think most interviewers can see right through that crap nowadays though. 

In my last interview I decided to be honest about this. And what was my answer? I sometimes feed off my colleague’s stress. I’ve gotten pretty fantastic at managing stress (through therapy and meditation, mostly) but when my coworkers get stressed out, I sometimes have trouble not letting it affect me.

I’m fine in stressful situations, but watching someone next to me crumble and huff and puff over something that’s not life-threatening? It’s not necessary and it’s not helpful, to themselves or anyone in the room. 

So next time you’re getting stressed out, think about how you’re effecting the energy of the room and take a breath. Unless you are saving lives, it’s not a life-or-death matter. 

Oh, and I got the job. I start on Monday and I’m super excited to be transitioning from finance to digital media. Sometimes it pays to be honest 🙂

How to Stop Giving a F*ck What People Think

This article was sent to me by my friend Elliot today. Great article. Traveling alone? Best decisions I’ve ever made. I spent so much time worrying what certain people think about me that it takes up a lot of mental real estate. It’s not fun and it drove me to start seeing a therapist (otherwise I would’ve started taking anti-anxiety meds that my general practioner had been trying to convince me to go on for years). I’m now walking the fine-line between Not Giving a Fuck and Being An Asshole. Hey, it takes time. 

Last year I finally realized that there was nothing wrong with me and I was a good person. It was a nice realization. It helped me let go of my ego (as ironic as that seems), just let people talk, and not take it personally. 

How to Stop Giving a F*ck What People Think

So, remember this?  Well, I actually went through with it!  I know, what a surprise.  I’ve been seeing one since January and Thursday, while at lunch with my cousin, we talked about it.  She’s a big supporter of therapy, meditation, yoga, etc.  I told her I was bored with it and she said that saying that I was “bored with therapy” was basically saying that I was “bored with myself.”  I realized then that I am kind of bored with myself, or at least my life.  I’m not unhappy, but there’s just nothing super exciting going on right now.  I’m not exactly sure how I can change this.  I think I still have issues but they’re ones that I don’t really want to talk about right now.  They’re not extremely problematic so I’m okay with just letting them sit and steep, so-to-speak.  Initially I wanted to talk to someone who was objective (my friends, how I love them, they are not objective) and I got that.  Now I don’t know what I want.  

Since I’ve stopped dating, there’s been no drama, making me a lot more mentally balanced and not as insane (another huge surprise!).  Maybe I need to date again so that I can find my inner-crazy [again] and deal with issues that arise when I’m dating.  Though with the last boy (the only boy this year) that I went on a few dates with those same issues didn’t arise… so maybe I’m cured?  Probably not.  

I’m digressing and rambling now. All I know is that I don’t want to keep spending money on therapy if it’s not having any affect.  

(For those of you who are confused by the above picture: It’s a picture of Mary Faber.  Her character in American Idiot sings the line printed on the photo during Jesus of Suburbia.  I thought it was appropriate. Photo credit due to FYAI.)