The “soft-launch”

I am an internal consultant for a large consulting firm. You may be wondering what an internal consultant is. Coincidentally, so am I, because in the three years that I’ve been one, I haven’t been able to fully grasp what this means. I thought the purpose of my role and team was to develop the tools and resources, and provide the right support infrastructure to enable client-facing consultants to do their jobs.

When my client-facing colleagues find out that I don’t do Recruiting or Benefits, they assume that I print things and schedule meetings. When I tell them about the large-scale “strategic” projects I am working on, they seem confused. Then when I explain past projects and ask “remember that firm-wide initiative where we…” they have no idea what I’m talking about. Most of them never see or hear about any of the results or deliverables my team has worked on.

If a staff member is in between contracts and doesn’t have any work to do, and happens to be extremely motivated, he or she might search “training” in SharePoint and stumble upon the training website that my team developed, if they are patient enough to filter through the hundreds of results and find this particular site. A more specific search for “annual assessment” or “benefits” will return more than fifty results each. Organized, intuitive websites exist for each of these topics, because my team put a lot of work into (or at least contracted out graphic designers and web developers for) building the sites. The websites contain valuable, helpful information, and they look fantastic. The only problem is that once the websites are completed, everyone moves onto the next project. No mass e-mail is sent to client-facing staff containing the URL, or even the concept for the sites. No communications plan is developed, much less implemented. When I question these things, I get answers like “we don’t want to toot our own horn”, or “we’re doing more of a ‘soft-launch'”. A soft launch? Really? What good could ever come from a soft launch? What do you think would happen if we tried to soft-launch a missile into space? Maybe pole-vaulters should try a soft-launch from a memory foam track and see how far they go.

Let’s think about the mathematics of this for a minute. Teams of 5-15 internal consultants spend some portion of their time over the span of 6 months to 3 years to plan, gather requirements, design and develop these websites. According to glassdoor.com, the average salary of a mid-level, non-management employee at my company is just under $129,000/year. (Yep! That number is for non-management employees. Staff at this level are still focused on fairly tactical work, and while they may be a career-coach type to more junior staff, they have no real decision-making power.) If the company had a team of 6 people build a new website start to finish in six months (sidenote: this combination of factors would be an act of God), this would mean roughly $387,000 and 6,240 hours were put into a website that no one will ever see or hear about. I would be equally useful if I was being paid to watch Kardashians marathons, critique them, and withhold my critiques.If the society we live in is so advanced that jobs no longer need to serve a purpose, then I’d like to do something with a lower level of stress and higher level of fun.

But really I would rather just do something useful. I would feel more constructive as a bartender. In that role, there is a product (alcohol), a service (serving alcohol), and a consumer who wants to experience both of those things (being served and drinking alcohol). Even if I made terrible drinks, and even if a customer spilled her entire drink before having the chance to taste it, she would have seen the drink and held it in her hand. I would know that I mixed those ingredients, poured that drink, or at the very least removed the cap from her beer. The client would be impacted in some way, however small, for the service I am being paid to provide.

Two Weeks Notice

After several days of trying to verbalize this to others, I have finally come up with a concise explanation for why I preferred to quit my job without having something lined up first. It’s actually quite simple. I put my soul into my work, and after nearly 3 years of putting everything into something that I can’t see the value in – and always putting this above everything else in life – is both stressful and exhausting.

Ask any one of my friends, family members, or ex-boyfriends (ha). Here are my priorities, listed in order of importance:

1. Adding value where value is needed.

2. Career success

3. Life success and self-improvement (fitness, sticking to whatever diet I’m on, finding happiness, being true to myself). Yes, I am a selfish motherfucker, and I can admit that. I don’t allow other people to “look out” for me, so someone has to.

5. Romantic relationships, after I make a calculated commitment to another person. This happens very rarely, so don’t buy into the idea that I have a heart yet.

5.5. My sister

15. Close friends and family

86. Other relationships. This includes family, acquaintances, and flirtations.

As you can imagine from this list, my social interaction outside of work has suffered greatly over the past few years, as has my creativity, seeing as how that one didn’t even make the list. Eight years ago music was my absolute passion. I wanted to be a professional musician, but I was afraid I would only ever become a starving, aspiring musician. I wished that after High School, I could somehow go to Juliard to study music. The problem with Juliard was that tuition was over $40,000 a year, so even with the one in a million chance that I actually got into the program there was not a chance in hell that my dad was going to pay for that. I should also mention that I wouldn’t have been accepted in the first place because I didn’t even practice all that much. I got by on natural talent. In middle school I was a rock star, and in high school I was a big deal (All State, 3 years in a row), and in college it was a surprise that anyone in the band class even knew my name, since I only showed up for practice a little over 50% of the time. As you can see, somewhere between junior year of high school and freshmen year of college, there was a major shift in my priorities so do not pity me for not having the money for Juliard. Towards the end of high school, I hadn’t quite figured out what I wanted to do with my life, but did know that I was supposed to do something practical. I decided to major in business.

Business classes at Virginia Tech are thought to be a joke, at least compared to the engineering school, so people have tons of time for partying. I once again, mistakenly, thought that I could do what everyone else did. I didn’t party all that much freshmen year (for a college freshmen anyways) and I spent some time each day studying or doing homework, so I thought I was doing great. My GPA showed otherwise. Sophomore year I decided to really get serious about school. I put forth my absolute best effort, almost never went to parties (or really anywhere other than out to lunch with my boyfriend) and ended up making Deans List. That got old fast, but overall, I think I did pretty well in college. I have enough crazy stories to balance out all the time spent studying…but I definitely didn’t do anything to change the world or be especially proud of. I tried every summer for internships, but didn’t have any success until the last year. I did a co-op during school, working for a corporation full time instead of taking classes. I woke up at 6am every day after my college roommates were in the living room blasting the tv until 2am. I commuted 60 miles each way, and worked 8am-5pm for baby boomers 5 days a week. The real world was a huge kick in the ass. I realized I needed to change some things if I was ever going to succeed in the corporate world, including my entire personality. My stress level was at 110 percent. I couldn’t sleep even though I was exhausted…every, single, day. This was honestly the toughest, most miserable time of my life. I had a two week break between that and my first internship, which was much, much better. Partially because I had a better commute and a more flexible schedule, but mostly because I was anti-anxiety medication.

A few days after the internship ended, I had my last semester of college, and luckily, my hardest classes were out of the way so I did have some time to relax. Two weeks after college graduation, I started working full time for the company I interned for. It has been a roller coaster, and it has consumed me more than I would like. It’s also given me amazing confidence, which is apparently a dangerous thing for me. Hundreds of factors have led me to my decision this week to quit my job.

When it comes to the big decisions, I’ve always done what I am supposed to do. Seven years of hard, personality-clashing work (college included), over ten thousand in savings (which is nothing I know), and one sensible, cheap but cute car later, I am taking a huge leap of faith. I’m considering two, very different directions for my next move, and I am exhilarated by the possibilities that the future holds.

Translation:

For those who still don’t get it.

Being a 10.5 out of 10 on a scale of 1 to complete introvert, I need time and space to process information, thoughts, feelings, emotions, and physical sensations before I can fully understand any of them. I can’t fully understand what I’m looking for until I completely step away from what I’m doing now, and have time to lay in a field of golden wheat grass (is wheat grass gold?) and ponder my purpose in life. Sure, all of you J’s out there are saying, why can’t you do that on a Saturday? Well, J’s, I keep forgetting to block that one off on my calendar, so it keeps slipping my mind. I’ll do it when the wind blows me in that direction. Yes, that was a Myers-Briggs reference, and yes, I am a humongous nerd for even thinking that. Luckily, I’ve started to care less and less what the general populous thinks of me – hence doing the unthinkable this week – so I am quite alright with that.

The Sky is Falling

I apologize in advance for the rant, but this post is going to be about what keeps me up at night. Mostly because at this very moment, it’s 3am and I can’t relax since my brain is going over these things repeatedly, trying to come up with valid solutions. The good news is I already slept for 4 hours, so at least there’s that.

  1. I am consistently doing work that is well above my pay grade.
  • I am the project manager, website developer, communications POC, and administrative assistant all for one project. If this were my focus at work it would probably be manageable…but here are some other roles I’m expected to do at the same time.
  • Content Coordinator for 7 websites – involved from planning to development to implementation and beyond (governance). This does not sound like a stressful title. It sounds like I just need to get the right things from the right people, which is true. However, instead of facilitating calls where I ask for text and links, I end up having to explain the inner workings of the templates that were developed for these sites. So when Senior Associates (one level below Director) tell me they are not going to send me a piece of information for their site because they don’t want it on there, or when they feel strongly that something should change, I essentially have to tell them “too bad”. After these conversations I set up another meeting with the project team – another group of people with 15+ years of experience and 2+ career levels on me – and proceed to explain to them that we want to make some design changes and why. They essentially tell me “too bad”, and then I get to relay that info back to the functional teams. Oh, also I tend to have a fairly passive, non-confrontational personality.
  • All Hands Planning Committee, which is a “volunteer” committee. Except I didn’t volunteer…my manager pulled me into it. And I’m having to do things like set up office hours to record videos of people (which are also volunteer…don’t these people understand we are in a major recession and everyone is already doing at least two jobs? People that are charitable enough to volunteer outside of that are probably more likely to do something that might actually benefit a cause, rather than creating something just for the hell of it and to hopefully get a laugh out of people), correct Senior Associates’ mistakes, build web sites and develop recommendations for the best way to post videos and poll people, set up surveys, and handle the communications.
  • Party Planner/ Event Coordinator for baby showers, team bowling trips, and other random things like that just for fun.
  1. (This should be a “2.” but WordPress will not let me change it. Talk about stress.) The roof is falling. The actual roof on my house is not holding up it’s end of the deal.
  • There are such major leaks that after some apocalypse-type thunderstorms two and a half months ago, holes started to form in my ceiling because of the pressure from the standing water. I have to be home when it rains to empty the pots that are permanently on my floor when they get full.
  • Shortly before the holes formed, there was sort of a moth invasion in the house. First they started showing up in the cabinets and just generally in the kitchen area. Then they showed up in a few closets, hanging out on business suits like it’s no big deal. Then, the kitchen moths got a little more ballsy and somehow burrowed their way into sealed ziplock bags of cereal, pistachios, graham crackers, and whatever else they were in the mood for at the time. Turns out the moths were probably attracted to our lovely home because of the warm, wet conditions. Which means there is a pretty good possibility of mold in the walls.
  • Yesterday (or two days ago if we’re being technical), I was woken up from a nap (which was intended to cure an extreme hangover) to my roommate telling me I needed to leave my room to let the mold specialist come take samples. During this time, her friends were having one of their daily parties in the living room. I am not a pleasant person to be around when I first wake up, ever. Add in 1) a tequila-induced hangover, 2) the fact that it is the middle of the day ON A SATURDAY, 3) all of this is a surprise, and 4) I can’t go elsewhere in the house while this is happening unless I want to join the party, and that concoction my friends produces an evil bitch. So I walk down the stairs and continue to walk out the door to avoid making waves. Or flat out fighting somebody. As for the outcome, we do not have the full results yet but the mold specialist recommended that we don’t sleep here. Yet here I am, breathing in everything the room has to offer as I type.
  • The landlords. Oh, the landlords. They were first notified about this issue in early July. It is almost the end of August. Sure they had a contractor come “patch up” the roof a few times. The effect of this effort was null. They have received videos of the leaking so they are fully aware of the severity of the situation. I think mini-waterfall is actually a more accurate description than “leak”. Anyways, the landlords are so generous that they have offered to let me live in the house for free during the days the roof and ceiling are being ripped off and re-done. So on the days where I live in an open house…literally open, equivalent to a convertible for cars, I get to live here rent free. The offer is really just too much, I’m not sure if I can live with myself should I choose to accept this gift.

I’m going to attempt sleep again so that I get to wake up to the joys of all of these things in 3 hours. I’m hoping it’s being secretly filmed at the very least, since there is no other explanation than our landlords having an alliance with the Head Game Maker from The Hunger Games.

Temporary

I realized that I am not cut out for the life I am living. I actually realized this long, long ago but keep pushing the thought away. I am definitely, definitely not cut out for my job. I’ll have to save that one for a rainy day, I don’t have time to get into it right now. I am not cut out for partying all weekend and succeeding in a corporate environment on Monday morning. One of them has got to go, and I have to say, the corporate lifestyle is losing out big time right now. I am not cut out for living in the city. Today I was so bitter and cranky and moody that when a woman came up to me saying she was hungry I didn’t help her. I’m becoming desensitized from the homeless people I see every day, and was harassed by 3 of them today. One of them sat (or sits rather, since I’ve seen him before) on the sidewalk to the left of my office and yells obscenities at the people walking by. I usually try to tune him out but today for some reason decided to walk over and give him a dollar. “Thank you, FINALLY!” was his response. I said your welcome and walked away. After a few steps I hear him yell to someone “Can’t you see I’m trying to fucking rob these people of their money!”  I’m not sure why the man feels this approach will help him, but then again, it just worked on me.

After work, I stopped by Cosi to get some dinner and continue working. The Asian Salmon salad is delicious in case anybody is wondering. It includes home-made sesame brittle. I’m not sure exactly what that is but it was absolutely delicious. Crunchy, a little salty, a little sweet, sesame-flavored. Yum. So anyways, as I’m eating a homeless man sits a table over. I didn’t realize at first that he was homeless, and actually never confirmed this suspicion, but you will see why I made this assumption in the next paragraph.

He sits there and minds his own business while eating his meal. I’m sitting there typing, eating and doing the same. About 10 minutes later, out of NOWHERE, he starts talking. I thought he might be on the phone, or is talking to someone across the room. About 30 seconds later I glance over and see he is not on the phone. About 30 seconds after that I decide he has to be schizophrenic or on some hallucinogen because he is having a full conversation all by himself. He stops to pause after asking questions and everything, so I start eating a little faster. He begins talking a little bit louder, and I glance over again but he’s not looking at me so I decide I am overreacting and shouldn’t be affected.  As this is going on I start feeling like he is actually talking to me; it’s either me or an imaginary woman sitting across the table from him because that’s the direction he’s looking in. He is not looking in my direction. However, when I finally finish my meal and start packing up my stuff I hear the word “leave”. So I got out of there as fast as possible and tried to make sure he didn’t see which direction I was going. I lost my “fear nerve” a few years ago, but he was very persistent and I just didn’t want to take chances.

From Cosi I walk to the bus stop and wait for the bus. A homeless(?) woman walks up – with Starbucks cup in hand – to the black woman waiting for the bus and says “I’m hungry, can you buy me something to eat?”, and when the person objects “Can you spare some money so I can buy something to eat?” She asks the same questions, in this order, to two other women, and then to me. I copied someone’s response of “I have somewhere to be, I have to catch this bus” and then “I’m sorry, I don’t have any cash on me”. Both of those were total lies. The bus came. And I started tearing up on the bus. I felt extremely guilty. I spent $2 at Starbucks on iced coffee with soy milk when I first got to work, $3 on grapefruit juice down the street an hour later because I’ve been craving grapefruit for days, $12something on a SALAD, from Sweet Green for lunch and I think $10 on a second salad at Cosi for dinner. I was also considering getting frozen yogurt with grapefruit in it for dessert – although I wasn’t sure if that existed. And I couldn’t spare $5 to buy the woman some freaking fast food, or whatever she would have wanted.

I give money out like candy to homeless people when I’m intoxicated, or not stressing about my future. Today was a particularly awful day at work, and I’m really not sure if I can keep doing it. I love life every single day, except for the days I work. Now I’m not saying I don’t want to work ever again, because that’s just not true. But I don’t know if I can even handle a “real” job again after this. I honestly think of my current life as a temporary situation. There is no way this is going to continue as-is.

Pardon the aside. My mind always goes back to work. But seriously, who am I to think that woman doesn’t deserve a meal just because she was carrying a Starbucks cup? Maybe she isn’t even homeless, but that doesn’t mean she didn’t need to eat. I want to be a freaking NUTRITIONIST for Christ’s sake. I’m so worried about my eating habits and my metabolism, but other people don’t deserve proper nutrition? And worst of all, if I were homeless, I’m pretty freaking sure you would see me at Starbucks as well. F***.

 

Epic Weekend

I’ve been itching to write again but I’ve just been having way too much fun. I am basically pretending I just turned 21 two weeks ago. Over the past two weeks I have gone out, and gone moderately hard, 4 nights out of the week. This past Wednesday was the 4th of July, but I still had to go to work on Thursday so even that did not leave a whole lot of room for error. The only problem is that I have stayed up until 2:30-5:00am each of those nights…so here it is 11:48 on a Sunday night, and instead of being exhausted like I should be my body now thinks I became a rockstar overnight and that this is my new lifestyle so I am bursting with energy. This past weekend was particularly amazing. I went to my first Washington Nationals game with a new “interest” and then went to their beer garden/bar right next to the stadium and saw an awesome cover band. Afterwards we met up with one of my co-workers and one of her friends at a lounge. We picked up a stray at the bar. Went out for late night food where i had THE most amazing veggie burger in my entire life – grilled portabella, caramelized onion and green peppers, grilled tomato, and jalapenos on a ciabatta roll. Heaven. Afterwards the 4 of us and the stray went back to my place for the after party, obviously.

The only problem with the after party was that since I have had a huge crush on the co-worker’s friend since the second I met him, and since alcohol magnifies my desires times approximately one million, I really wanted to leap across the table and tell the co-worker’s friend that I am totally flexible about whether we date now or finish sowing our wild oats and then settle down together in 3-5 years. I managed to refrain from doing this and toughed it out with the new interest for the night.

Anyways, all in all that was a success since the stray left an unopened bottle of Barcardi as a party gift (probably accidental but still awesome) and since I woke up still drunk on Saturday morning. The interest and I went to brunch, I drove him home, and then I came home to get ready and do it all again.  End-of-season kickball party! Woo. Open bar from 7-9 and free beer until midnight. Do I even need to elaborate?

Saturday late night – go back to the burger place and get another veggie burger. Wake up drunk Sunday morning. Get the most delectable brunch-a bagel with cream cheese, raw salmon and capers. A cup of fresh mixed fruit. Iced coffee with soy milk, whipped cream and cinnamon. My mouth is literally watering as I type. So we’re walking back to the parking garage so I can drop the interest off at his house, but since we’re having such a nice weekend together he suggests a movie. We saw The Amazing Spider-Man which was an absolutely incredible movie.  I laughed, I cried, I thought my heart stopped for a second, I walked out inspired yet saddened that I haven’t gotten into acting or screenwriting. Yet.

Well I suppose I shall give sleep a try now. Or after 2 chapters of The Castaways. Goodnight!

Washington DC

Written January 10, 2012

Things I learned

So I finally got my act together and got out of my aunt’s house.  I got my dream house in Washington, D.C.  Everything about it is gorgeous and amazing. You walk in the door and to the right is a living room with a fireplace.  Straight ahead is a contemporary living room with a 60-inch tv.  Keep going and you get to the kitchen with an island in the middle, granite countertops, bottled water delivered to the house.  There’s also not 1, but 2 decks (one is shared with our downstairs neighbor).  My room is huge with hardwood floors, an exposed brick wall…and a rooftop balcony outside my window.  Holy crap.

Image

 

Here are a few things I learned since living in the city:

1. You really don’t need a car

2. The cost of living really is higher.  And I don’t just mean rent…the increase in tax is definitely enough to notice.  I spent $70 at Target the other day and I don’t even think I got anything.  That was the store entering fee.  Ok so maybe not…but that’s what it felt like.

2. You might not want to drink the water

3. The real reason people bring their own bags out when shopping.  I thought it was because city people are all environmental activists.  No.  False.  The reason is THEY CHARGE YOU.  A nickel per bag.  So yes, I know you’re calling me a cheap ass in your head right now, but on top of taxes being higher and everything being more expensive in general, this sucks.

 

Technology

Written December 13, 2011

I love the internet.  Other than my 3 mile run, it has given me more joy than anything today.  First was Florence + The Machine on Pandora. WHat?! This girl?? Doesn’t she only like rap music? False. So it was soothing and whatever. Then, the FUNNIEST autocorrects of all time. Trust me you WANT to read them. I was almost in tears. No matter what kind of mood you are in you will appreciate it, I promise.

And thennn there was Pinterest, which is my new obsession. It’s so freaking inspirational. Normally I just look at all the pictures because some of them are kind of mind blowingly amazing, but today I found pure gold. Here it is. I feel like I should do a quote a day or something and change my life in 45 days.

Written by a 90 Year Old….. This is something we should all read at least once a week!!!!! Make sure you read to the end!!!!!! Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio . “To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I’ve ever written. My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more: 1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.. 2. When in doubt, just take the next small step. 3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. 4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch. 5. Pay off your credit cards every month. 6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree. 7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone. 8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it. 9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck. 10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile. 11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present. 12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry. 13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about. 14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it. 15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks. 16. Take a deep breath It calms the mind. 17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful. 18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger. 19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else. 20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer. 21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special. 22. Over prepare, then go with the flow. 23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple. 24. The most important sex organ is the brain. 25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you. 26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words :’In five years, will this matter?’ 27. Always choose life.. 28. Forgive everyone everything. 29. What other people think of you is none of your business. 30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time. 31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change. 32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does. 33. Believe in miracles. 34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do. 35. Don’t audit life.. Show up and make the most of it now. 36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young. 37. Your children get only one childhood. 38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved. 39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere. 40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back. 41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need. 42. The best is yet to come… 43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up. 44. Yield. 45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”  –End December entry

Written today (June 25, 2012)- Lately I’ve been all about number 11 – make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present. I’ve started writing about decisions I regret…things from my past that don’t cross my mind in a typical day. I decided I need to actually deal with them for the first time (not here, but maybe eventually). I am usually very passive and just push bad thoughts or memories out of my head but that approach is NOT working out. I keep making new versions of old mistakes, so I’ve decided to face things head on. It’s taking quite a bit of focus because writing about memories I would rather not have is triggering those memories and sometimes leaving me in an awful mood.

Another recent step in the right direction: I have managed to get a little bit of perspective. I’m not sure if this is related to the writing, or to the premonition of finding a sense of peace in general lately, but I am finally thinking about things long-term rather than living in the moment all of the time. By long term I mean about 3 days ahead…which does not sound impressive whatsoever but that’s a challenge for me almost every day. I can finally stay in on a Friday night by myself and just make the most of it instead of feeling sorry for myself. I can have a frustrating day at work (which seems to be most days but lets pretend it’s occasional for the sake of making my point) and just deal with it, stay on the grind and know that it’s going to get better rather than planning my move to California for a brand new start. Most impressive and important of all, I drank Saturday night and the majority of the day yesterday and don’t have a single regret from the entire weekend. Meaning I was drunk most of the weekend but actually stayed present enough to be smart about every move. If you’re reading this I’m sure you’re pretty skeptical about my character at this point, but how often do you drink for a period of about 6 hours, remember every minute, and feel confident that your grandmother would have approved of every choice you made?  (Aside from the act of binge drinking itself.) No text was sent or word was spoken that I wish to undo. No flirtation ever crossed the line. I’m a single, 25 year old female living in the city, so yes, I will continue to flirt. If you think it’s pathetic that this is an accomplishment then you are more than welcome to stop reading at any point. I am extremely happy with my adult behavior and decisions and I’m going to write about it while drinking my cup of almond milk without Nesquik and put it on the internet. BAM.

Procrastination

Written November 27 2011.

I think this blog is going to be about procrastination and how I am a complete professional at it.  It’s really twofold because the hope is that if i spend time giving actual thought to a topic, as in enough to write about it, then I will be disgusted enough with myself to get moving and do something about it.

For example, here are a few things I have been procrastinating since, well, probably forever.

1. Finding an apartment – I had an apartment for a year, but I can honestly say that was 80% my roomate’s doing.  I was just chillin here at my aunts for a few months and when my friend got a job in DC and needed a place we started looking at places.  And by that I mean she did research for us and found places to look at and we ended up living in the place she liked the most. I ended up giving in even though it wasn’t what I pictured by I’ve come to find thats how things usually go for me.  Which is my issue because I need to lower my expectations in general, according to everyone in my family 🙂  Anyways, it didn’t live up to my impossibly high standards for the money we were paying there, and I decided to move back in with my aunt to save up for a little while and at the same time find a new job.  Which I have not done, obviously. The plan was to hold off on apartment searching until I found a job so that I could plan my life around that.  Obviously.  Which brings me to number 2:

2. Finding my Dream Job.  Which could satisfy one of two requirements: 1) Something Fun, or 2), Something that Matters.  Both would be nice, but let’s be realistic here.  Fun would be something musical or PR/Communications-related. Things that matter, in this case, include philanthropic work, cause-related marketing, teaching…that kind of thing.  As we can all see, I am still working for the same company.  However, to be fair, I really do enjoy it more lately and if things don’t get worse soon I could easily become a lifer at my current company.  I found out over this long weekend that I actually do like money and the things it can buy me.  Damn.  I just want nice things now.  So the Peace Corps plans and other non-profit work just went out the window. Unless I can stop conforming.  I was there, and unhappy, for quite some time.  I haven’t figured out if these two will always correlate, but so far that seems to be somewhat of a trend.  I mean just think about the Emo kids, which are the definition of non-conformity + unhappiness.

3. Getting a Masters.  The thought is that this would help with the dream job.  Except I don’t know what to major in.

So this is kind of the story of my life and why i feel a little bit stuck.  Things could be so so so much worse so don’t get me wrong!  I KNOW I am privileged.  I really have nothing to complain about.  There are just a lot of things I wish I could change and I don’t always know how to and most of the time don’t have a clue where to start.  So if you would like to join me on this journey, occasionally comment, maybe tell me to stop being a fucking baby once in awhile, please do! 🙂

Written today:

Now, here is my synopsis of that post along with progress toward these goals so far:

1. On finding an apartment: I did not find an apartment, but I did find a lovely row house in DC. A later blog post will talk all about it’s wonders.

2. On finding my dream job: I never actually changed jobs, but my two current projects would really be my dream job description…on paper. Real life is a different story, and I have literally been a millimeter from not only quitting, but causing a scene, storming out and never coming back. At least a half dozen times, in the last 2 months alone. During this same timeframe I have been switching between being on birth control pills to not being on them multiple times, and today I started to wonder just how much of an impact they had on me. They do contain hormones after all…and if you remember puberty you know how detrimental hormone fluctuations can be to your relationships, responsibilities, and life as a whole. More on the job later.

3. On getting a Masters: no actual progress yet, just thoughts.

This is the laziest blog post ever but I’m so exhausted from my run today. I am PRAYING for a good night’s sleep tonight. PLEASE let me sleep.

Not-So-Fresh Start

So I’m going to start out with something a little unconventional that would probably be considered voodoo by the Blog Gods…but if you think about it, unconventional is rather appropriate and seems to fit the title and general theme here. I started a “blog” on Black Friday of last year, but I never posted my entries anywhere so it ended up being more of a journal. I am going to begin by including those entries here. I’m not doing this to start out with a blog full of content, because trust me, I would rather keep a lot of that stuff to myself. I’m doing it so that I don’t lose sight of the past six months, because I am a strong believer that people learn from their mistakes…if they choose to. Not that anything particularly terrible happened during that timeframe, mostly just your typical 20-something struggles. I just feel like everything could be so bright and shiny and new if I could start from scratch…but I have learned that people get few chances to do that in life. Even when they do have that chance it tends to be just a matter of time before they fall back into a lot of the same patterns. Hopefully, this is a step in the right direction.  As my boss would say, “Hope is not a strategy”. Well, unfortunately I haven’t seen a proven strategy for success and happiness in life, so hope will have to do for the moment.