Some stuff just… isn’t funny.

Last night’s SNL cold open was mostly whatever. Same old tired jokes about how pathetic and petty our world leaders are. Ha ha. Okay, fine, fair enough. It’d be nice if they came up with something else to talk about, but as long as it keeps selling, that’s their prerogative.

There was one line that they tried to pass as a joke that was really just unacceptable though. Toward the end of the sketch, Jimmy Fallon-as-Trudeau tells Alec Baldwin-as-Trump that the party they’re throwing will be “under the London Bridge.” He sneaks it in, and it’s quickly eclipsed by Corden-as-Johnson taping an “Impeach Me” sign to Baldwin’s back. But it’s so far from OK that I just felt like it shouldn’t be allowed to glide by.

It’s one thing to make fun of politicians who have willingly entered into the public eye. Especially when they deserve it, as every single one of the leaders being satirized during that skit does, because they’re all ridiculous. But making light of private citizens getting murdered by a crazed terrorist while they were just trying to live their lives is in poor taste, and will never not be in poor taste. It’s also in poor taste to suggest that the same fate should befall anyone else, even a ridiculous, petty, polarizing politician.

Holding these opinions doesn’t make me a crybaby snowflake, so if you read this and feel the urge to comment with something stupid like that to say to me, don’t bother. Scroll along, now. I’m just saying that what we really need a return to humanity in this world, and that regardless of what comedians think, some s*** is just not funny.

It’s been a while– Sorry.

I’ve been away for a bit (OK, several months). A lot of personal family stuff happened all at once, and it has kind of hit me hard. In addition, there are some big changes happening at my organization that will have direct impact on my job and my team, and it’s become very clear that there are forces at play that seek to make my team “go away,” despite management’s assurances that no one is getting laid off. I have started seeing a new therapist for help managing the emotional load in a healthy way, rather than letting it crush the life out of me. I’ve also re-enrolled in grad school part time, pursuing a cert in HR Management as a backup/ escape plan in case the worst should happen.

Honestly, though, that Season 2 episode of the Netflix show Big Mouth (am I the only one who watches that?) with the Depression Kitty hit a little too close to home for me. It was one of the scariest things I’ve seen on TV in a while, and I’m including Sean Spicer’s attempt at salsa dancing.

Even through the weeks-long brain fog, fatigue, weight gain, and weird sleeping patterns, though, I somehow still realize that I can’t let the Depression Kitty control me. My family needs me. My work team needs me. My existence on this planet amounts to more than this rough patch, which will pass. That little bit of knowledge and inner strength is what’s keeping me going. I think that’s the key to working through times like this. You gotta think about yourself as though you’re a friend who is going through something, and treat yourself with the same compassion you’d treat that friend with.

I’m Catholic.

It’s Lent. Almost Easter. And I haven’t been to Confession in around 7 years. Catholics are supposed to go at least once a year. I’ve decided to go tomorrow, because my local priest is offering extended hours. It’s time.

I’ve been avoiding it for so long because it’s not a fun thing. For those who have never experienced Confession, here’s how it goes:

You enter the church. It’s usually pretty quiet; people aren’t there to be social. You join the queue of people waiting outside the Confessional (if your church has one; otherwise, you join the queue of people waiting outside a small, private room).

Once it’s your turn, you enter the Confessional, which is a tiny, dark room with a kneeler and a wicker screen through which you can usually see the outline of the priest’s profile. You kneel down. If you’re attending Confession face to face, you’ll probably be seated across from the priest in a small but well-lit room, in full view of one another.

The priest will open with a quote from Scripture. Then in response, you say, “Bless me Father, for I have sinned. It’s been [however long it’s been since your last Confession].”

Then you start talking. You tell him all the crappy things you’ve done. When you’re a kid, you probably end up confessing to disobeying your parents, fighting with your sibling(s), skipping church, that sort of thing. As you get older though, the sins become more shameful and more difficult to own up to. Masturbation, swearing, drunkenness, vicious gossiping, jealousy, emotionally abusing your friends, you get the idea. The habits and memories that you’re not proud of, and probably spend a good deal of energy trying not to remember.  Once you’re done telling him about these things, he will (kindly) give you spiritual advice on how you can change your behavior and thought patterns to better align with Catholic values. Or sometimes he will probe a little to gauge how sorry you really are, and then counsel you appropriately.

Then the priest gives you a penance assignment. This could be a real-world task, such as going out of your way to demonstrate kindness to someone you’ve gossiped viciously about, or volunteering in your community more. Or it could simply be to say ten Hail Marys. It depends on the priest and on the severity of the sins.

Then you recite the Act of Contrition prayer (some churches kindly tape it to the elbow rest in front of the screen, or you can bring a printout of it into the Confessional or private room with you). And the priest says a prayer over you and tells you that you are absolved, and that you should go forth and avoid future sinning. Then you are free to go.

This maybe doesn’t sound too awful to some people, but to me, it can be anxiety-inducing. It’s a strange thing. The priest usually takes a neutral tone with you, and he won’t usually judge you—they just let you know why what you did was not OK in the eyes of the church, and they give you advice on how to avoid making those mistakes again. I guess it’s the prep work that I have to do beforehand that I dread.

I have to examine my conscience before I go, and internally own up to the ugly things I’ve done, and then be prepared to list them all off in one sitting, with another human being listening. And I haven’t done myself any favors by putting it off for years on end, because now the list is pretty long and pretty ugly (and I have to include “skipping Confession for seven years out of shame” to it), I feel pretty bad about myself, and I’m a little apprehensive about what he’s going to tell me. I don’t really want to discuss any of it. I want to be told what to do to get myself back in God’s good graces and move on.

I suppose this is the same reason why therapy can be such a lengthy process… it sucks, dredging up painful memories and reliving and discussing them, and it’s hard to own your part of them and admit that you messed up. The amin difference is that the therapist is supposed to draw these memories, emotions, and revelations out of you over time; in Confession, you have to come to the priest with your mess-ups pre-drawn out and pre-revealed in your mind. You have to come to Confession as a contrite sinner and surrender to the vulnerability of being in the wrong. And you have to ask for forgiveness.

It’s not easy, but then again, no one ever said that it was. It’s a spiritual exercise in humility, but when it’s over, it ends up being a cleansing and cathartic thing. It’s like conquering any fear, really.

It also helps me personally to think of it the same way that I think of going for my annual physical exam at the doctor’s office. I get embarrassed and apprehensive when I have to answer the doctor’s questions about my bowel movements and sexual habits, and when I have to endure the pap smear and breast exam, but the doctor is clinical and professional about it, and then it’s over and done with, and once I’m told that I’m healthy, all I feel is immense relief.

Going to Confession is like going to see the spiritual doctor. Yeah, it’s embarrassing and I have to reveal my ugly spiritual side to him, but like the doctor doing my physical exam, the priest will be clinical and professional about it. And not that this is the point, but I’m also sure he’s heard worse than what I have to tell him anyway. And then it will be over and done with, and I can start working on being spiritually healthy.

This is the thing no one tells you about adulthood. Yes, you get to own more things, like a car and expensive shampoo and the TV remote, but you also have to own your mistakes. We are fortunate to be living in a time where self-care and mental health awareness are on the rise, so there are any number of secular and Eastern-influenced tools and resources available to help adults be mentally and spiritually healthy, and to (hopefully) own up to their mistakes and move on from them. Meditation apps, free YouTube yoga, endless pop psyche articles, print self-help books, etc. Confession is another one of those tools, albeit an old-fashioned, Christian one. Is it the most user-friendly tool? Honestly? No. Is it nonetheless a very effective tool? Absolutely. That’s why it’s stood the test of time.

So this Lenten season, instead of ignoring and dreading Confession, I am going to choose to feel blessed to have been raised Catholic and to have Confession as a resource on my journey toward self-care and spiritual health.

I tried to draw today, for fun.

I sat down, opened up the beautiful, professional-grade art kit that my better half gave me a few years ago, flipped to an empty page on my drawing pad, and…. Couldn’t think of anything to draw. Nothing. Totally uninspired.

So I started by drawing a basic oval shape, with the idea that it might be a person. Then I decided to try to draw Thetis, because I had just finished The Song of Achilles the day before on Audible and had Greek mythology on my mind.

One hour later, and the drawing sucked. I was so disappointed in my lack of creativity and my lack of talent. I kept thinking of all the people I knew in high school who were talented artists and all of the people I’ve ever worked with or talked to or encountered online who were talented at drawing, and I hated myself. I took a shower and poured myself a strong drink instead.

Logically, I know I’m not being fair to myself. It’s been a goodly long while since I took any kind of fine art class, and I was just doodling. No one needed to see the drawing. It wasn’t like I was applying for art school, or even planning to hang it up on my own refrigerator. But I suppose that’s the nature of a sad mind; it takes something innocent and healthy and perverts it into an exercise in self-loathing.

I also think this is a by-product of Instagram, too, though. Unrealistic artistic expectations of ourselves. People on Instagram didn’t just wake up one Sunday and say, “I think I’ll be a photographer/ makeup artist/ jewelry designer/ painter today,” like I did with my pencil sketching. The artists I follow on Instagram have spent years and years and years honing their craft (and using Photoshop and FaceTune). They’ve taken risks and made mistakes, and they probably have trash bags and entire memory cards full of shitty paintings, unusable jewelry designs, failed makeup technique attempts, and terrible photos. What they post on Instagram is the finished product of the entire creative process, which is long and inefficient and messy and frustrating, and which I don’t see.

And why should I? Anne Lamott writes in Bird by Bird about the value of the Shitty First Draft. The point is to just fucking start writing. It doesn’t have to be good. You just have to start, instead of telling yourself that you suck and shouldn’t bother. The same principle applies to any form of art, probably.

To most people, this probably seems obvious. But to a type A perfectionist like me, who expects to get things right on the first try and who has absurdly high expectations for myself and for those around me, this is a revelation. I never learned how to fuck up when I was a kid, and now Instagram is making my childhood chickens come home to roost, in the form of ruining my hobbies before I even give myself a chance to have them. I don’t want to give Instagram that power anymore, you guys. So I’m going to continue to make shitty drawings and un-special jewelry with craft store beads, and not try to capitalize on any of it. I’m going to make my shitty stuff for the sake of enjoying the process, instead of focusing on the finished product.

I guess the point of this post is to say that culturally, we need more movies like Little Miss Sunshine in our lives.


I’m a huge fan of Queen Elizabeth II.

I’m watching an historical documentary on Netflix called The Royal House of Windsor. It’s about the British Royals. I’m sure this makes me a traitor or something, because I’m American, but I suspect I’m not alone in admiring the Royals, Stateside. (If you read my last post, you know that I am also an Anglophile in general, and that one of my greatest travel fantasies is to visit London.)

I suppose I fell in love with Queen Elizabeth II because of the Netflix show The Crown. Claire Foy did a magnificent job showing that Elizabeth has wrought so much power from simply staying out of things. As Queen Mary tells Elizabeth in Season One, “To do nothing is the hardest job of all, and it will take every ounce of energy that you have.” It’s unbelievable advice, and yet it seems that Elizabeth really has taken it to heart in real life. This is not to say that Elizabeth is a perfect person and that I agree with every decision she’s made. Because I don’t. I think there have been times when she’s put the Crown above her own family, probably at great personal cost.

But from a purely historical perspective, it’s undeniable that this woman has seen her some shit.

She’s so old that WINSTON CHURCHILL was Prime Minster at the time of her coronation. She’s survived the Suez Canal fiasco, The Troubles in Ireland, Princess Diana, the advent of the personal computer and smartphones, the Scottish secession threat, and now Brexit, just to name a few things. Mostly by keeping her mouth shut. Her silence has provided stability for all these years, in one of the oldest and (potentially) increasingly less relevant institutions in the whole UK. It’s something so simple; to preserve through reserve.

I dunno. I just admire her a lot. To me, she’s proof that women don’t need to be loud or radical to be powerful, and I appreciate that a lot.

I absolutely love Lonely Planet’s travel guides.

They make me excited to travel to places and see things and people, go shopping, try new foods, visit museums, and maybe even go clubbing (even though I’ve never set foot in a nightclub in my life and wouldn’t know the first thing about how to behave once inside). But the thing that I love most about Lonely Planet travel guides is that they make me feel that places like Paris, which I’ve thought of as some sort of fairy-tale dreamland since I was a little girl, aren’t actually super far away or unattainable at all. Only one six-hour flight over the Atlantic and I’m there. In PARIS. I’ve done longer car rides than that, and to much less glamorous places, like Pennsylvania! So what’s stopping me?!

Well, money, of course. Sure, it’s only about a six-hour flight, but it’s not a FREE flight. Nor will the hotel be free, or my meals, and then there’s the little problem where I don’t speak French. And also the problem where I’m afraid that French people will quickly catch on that I don’t speak French, and will probably mock me loudly in public.

My point is though, even if I never actually book a flight to any of these places, Lonely Planet brings these places to me, through their fun photos and their intimate knowledge of local dive restaurants with the best tapas, and family-friendly attractions, bus schedules, and fold-out maps. For like $20, I can travel to any city in the world, right from my couch. It’s magic, what their writers are capable of. (No, this is not a sponsored post.)

Recently though, I stumbled across something off-putting while I was flipping through one of my beloved Lonely Planet guides. Their Discover London 2019 travel guide has a section in the Survival Guide portion titled “Women Travellers” in which it says, “Female visitors to London are unlikely to have many problems, provided they take the usual big-city precautions.”

This gave me pause. Without reading the next two sentences of the section, I knew immediately what Lonely Planet meant. Don’t go out at night alone, don’t talk to men that you don’t know, don’t leave your drinks unattended, probably carry mace or a small folding knife if it’s legal.

And that is about the long and the short of what the next sentence said: “Don’t get into an Underground carriage with no one else in it or just one or two men. And if you feel unsafe, you should take a taxi or a licensed minicab.”

You guys, this tiny little three sentence section at the back of an otherwise enchanting guide to London totally snapped me out of the magical moment and brought me back to reality with a rude bounce.

I guess what I’m getting at is that this secret society of womanhood that I’ve been initiated into depresses me. It’s like when Harry Potter accidentally speaks Parseltongue in the Chamber of Secrets. I feel like I somehow know a whole other language without realizing it. “Take the usual big-city precautions,” means “Don’t go out in public and you probably won’t get sexually assaulted,” “Aunt Flo is here for her monthly visit,” means “My period is here, and I either need you to give me a tampon, or I’m justifying my terrible behavior with the ultimate trump card so SHUT UP AND GIVE ME CHOCOLATE OR HEADS WILL ROLL,” and “She’s getting her MRS degree,” means “She went to college to find a husband and has no intent of completing a real program of study.”

There are a whole bunch of other coded sentences that I can’t think of right now, but I feel like that’s the point. It’s all subconsciously embedded into our brains until it gets triggered by these coded phrases that cause us to share knowing looks with one another and purse our lips and be reminded that we’re women. But it’s reached the point where I’m sharing these knowing looks with my BOOKS. Inanimate objects. Inanimate objects that were published in 2018. Why haven’t we progressed past this crap yet as a species? Will we never?

I dunno. For once, I would like to read something—anything– without being put on edge about my gender. And something tells me that I’m not alone in that feeling. I think it’s the huge secret society of women who occupy this lonely planet, our shared anger, fear, and sadness hidden in plain sight.

Poshmark is a dangerous website.

For real. Especially if you have a jewelry addiction and a strong aversion to clothing salespeople like I do. $100 here, $35 there, and next thing I know, I have a $500 credit card bill at the end of the month. Ouch. It’s a fun little game they’ve designed, but don’t forget that it’s your real money they’re playing with, and you have the ability to walk (click?) away from it. Power of the purse, y’all.

The truth is that while I’m tooling around on Poshmark, I’m searching for something that I’ll never find there. It’s not strangers’ lightly-used diamond chip rings, never-worn infinity twisty necklaces from ex-boyfriends, or bundles of overstock clothes from Stitchfix that I really want. Probably on a subconscious level, my brain wants the same happy-juice boost that comes from scoring a million points on Candy Crush (do people still play that wretched game?). But it could also be a deeper, slightly more spiritual longing to fill a void, too.

So I guess I’m writing this to remind all my fellow hopelessly addicted Posh-scrollers that there are other, much cheaper ways to get your brain some happy-juice boosts. Like doing at-home Zumba videos. Or hugging someone. (Preferably someone you know and love, and not a stranger who might smell bad, or mace you, or both. I do not recommend hugging strangers, is what I’m saying.) Volunteering to walk dogs at the shelter. Leaving the house and breathing fresh air. Starting a Bible study plan on YouVersion or reading a good book of your choosing. Calling/ Skyping a parent, an old friend, or your favorite aunt. You get the idea. Personally, I’ve been listening to Weezer’s Teal Album on repeat for the past three days.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I have a 10%- off- and- discounted- shipping private offer to accept on Poshmark before it expires.

The Bell Jar, Realized

My depressive episodes feel like watching the world happen through a window. It’s like my eyes became one-way windows where I can see out, but no one can see in. It’s a form of dying, only instead of my organs shutting down one by one, it’s my senses and emotions suffocating slowly in a constricting, oxygen-less box. Is that why they call the area behind my solar plexus my “chest”? Because that’s where all my feelings get locked up during these periods, and I keep giving the key away. To who? Everyone. I give copies of the key away and never tell anyone what it unlocks. Eventually I’m out of copies to give and everyone who has a copy of it has left the picture or thrown it away.

Perhaps not knowing what else to do to stop this shutdown of my inner light, my body treats it like a physical illness, like head cold, and orders me to sleep. But it doesn’t realize that it’s only charging a dead battery, rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, watering a dried flower.

Some kinds of music help, a little. Sometimes. Sometimes chocolate or food helps. Temporarily. Or buying new makeup or some new toy, like art supplies or a video game or whatever. My spirit’s last-ditch attempt to pick the lock on my chest with the promise of a creative mode of expression and free up all of the feelings suffocating inside. But all that really does is create more SHIT for me to keep track of, to collect dust, to remind me of all the stuff I suck at and things I’ll never accomplish because I got hamstrung at the starting line by my own naysaying self-talk.

Eventually it reaches a point where I wonder if I’ll ever snap out of it, or if everything I do with my days will continue to be meaningless, ugly, stupid, and pointless, for forever. Everything seems sluggish, like I’m trying to slog through life, ankle-deep in a tar pit, while everyone else glides past from above on a monorail, oblivious.

I used to panic when I had these kinds of dark thoughts. Maybe it’s the Lexapro, but I don’t panic anymore. Now the thoughts seem idle, something to ponder. Like facts, or Socratic wisdom. Is that a good thing, or is the Lexapro enabling it, though? Usually when I panicked, I found a way out of the depressive thicket it in short order. I’d call my mother crying, or make an appointment with a therapist, or… go outside or something.

Now I just recess further into it, letting it cloak me, or I write about it, until it passes.

It always does pass for me. I am lucky. Having to live like this constantly, and to worse degrees, is suffering on a level that I hope I never experience. My prayers to the people who do battle with that beast every single day. I shall vote with you in mind.

Welcome! (Pt 2)

I moved into a one-bedroom apartment about 30 minutes away from my new job, and 50 minutes away from my boyfriend, who was still living with his parents while he paid his student loans off. His employment journey was just as full of false starts and frustrations as mine. He is two years older than me, and so while I had graduated with a BA in 2014, he had graduated with an MS in Chemical Engineering that same year. This meant that he had been job-hunting at the same time as me. After a few months of sending his resume out everywhere, not getting called back, facing unemployment, and the attendant stress, anxiety, and frustration that came with it all, he had finally landed a job as a contractor at a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant, with the promise of becoming a permanent regular full time employee at the plant once his temp contract was up. His contractor pay was around the same amount that I was making at the Help Desk ($36,000), which for someone with a graduate degree in Chemical Engineering, was chump change, and he had no health insurance.

It may sound like I’m whining a little here—I mean, after a few months, it all got sorted for both of us, right? But as anyone who has ever been in the position of job-hunting with the ticking time-bomb of student loans hanging over their heads knows, even a week of not having adequate (or any) income, combined with the uncertainty of ever having adequate income, and the pain of both having your resume ignored and of flubbing job interviews, is its own special kind of hell. We had been told that going to college would protect us from financial problems. Instead, it seemed to be creating them.

But I digress.

I spent the first year on the phones at the Help Desk, learning “how to computer” through a patchwork process of pestering my coworkers, pestering my managers, and by plain old messing things up. I showed up frequently enough and on time enough to eventually merit being switched from a 10 AM-6:30 PM, Saturday-Wednesday shift to a coveted 8:00 AM -4:30 PM, Sunday-Thursday shift, which finally meant I could see my poor boyfriend for longer than a few hours on Friday nights.

It was a different way of thinking than I had been groomed for in Liberal Arts land. I had to become a troubleshooter instead of a philosopher. Ruling out the “obviously wrong” things was no longer an option when getting to the root of problems; nothing was “obviously wrong” until it had been tested and proven to be wrong. For example: If a caller reported being unable to access my company’s website, it would be easy to blame it on their crappy Comcast service and hang up on them, but my job was to look deeper and ask more questions. “Are you ONLY having trouble with our site, or is it every site you try to access? Which browser are you using? Can I start a remote session with you and see what you’re seeing?” Before I knew it, I was running an anti-malware scanner on their system. So a call that started out with a seemingly-simple issue often turned into a two-hour long resolution process.

Frankly, the whole concept of remotely accessing someone else’s laptop and controlling it was wild to me by itself. One day, I found myself setting up a virtual machine for a customer (installing a software program that simulates a PC onto his laptop, and installing a Windows operating system into that software program) all while remotely accessing his laptop. I briefly marveled at how far I had come since my days of debating the merits of Shakespearean versus Petrarchan sonnets with the hipsters in my Lit courses. Wonders never cease.

Three years later, and I have moved into a more administrative-type role within the Help Desk—I now coordinate the ordering, building, and deployment of laptops and desktops for new employees starting at my company. My schedule is completely normal; I have weekends off and work 8:00 AM- 4:30 PM. My boyfriend was hired as a full time regular employee at his plant and is now making what he should be and has health insurance.

Everything is running smoothly. Sort of.

More on this later…

Welcome (Pt 1)!

Thanks for joining me!

I’m Sarah. I’m a white American female twentysomething. I currently work full-time in the Information Technology field, although I am also a Master’s student in English. I’m three courses away from finishing! I am thinking about pursuing a PhD in English afterward, with the hope of becoming a full professor or a dean eventually. This blog will be mostly text posts about my own musings about literature, human behavior, yoga, tea, and makeup– my passions in life.

Today I wanted to start out by talking about how absurdly hard it is to figure out a career path these days. During my final term as an undergraduate, I posted something along these lines on Facebook:

Me at Age 6: “When I grow up, I wanna be a princess-veterinarian-ballerina-teacher!”
Me at Age 21: “When I grow up, I wanna be employed.”

My post got 30 Likes, which for me is a big deal (my Friends lists on social media are never huge to begin with). So I knew there were many people my age sharing that sentiment. And it’s true that since I graduated in 2014, I had mostly managed to avoid the 2008 Economic Recession and the bulk of its aftermath as far as the job market was concerned, but… my class had a LOT of student loan debt upon graduation. So where were was I supposed to go from there? My brain was totally fried from writing a 20 page thesis and scrambling to maintain my 3.75 GPA in my other three courses, I was grieving leaving my friends and my college’s community and campus, and I was coping with newly-diagnosed mental health issues besides (that’s for another post though). I had a brand-new BA in English, thousands of dollars’ worth of debt, and no clue what I wanted to do with my life. And I had six months to get it figured out before Uncle Sam came to collect. Gulp.

I started applying for jobs at local newspapers and retail establishments, before finally landing a gig back in my home state as a part-time Bank Services Representative for $13 an hour. I decided to supplement it with another part-time job at my hometown’s local Chinese restaurant, where I had worked summers throughout college. It wasn’t a great plan, but it was a plan nonetheless. I would have some income headed my way by the time I was ready to march in May. Which was still better than some of my friends could say. Of the five of us who shared a townhouse senior year, only one of us had managed to land a full-time job in her ideal field (book publishing) before graduation.

Needless to say, it felt distinctly like I was living on borrowed time. I definitely could not afford to move out of my parents’ house with my paltry income, especially once I had to start repaying those loans. Nor could I replace my 13 year old, gas-guzzling Chevy Impala with something newer, safer, and more efficient. I was informed that I could not be considered for full-time work at the bank until I had been employed there for 6 months at a minimum. Well, that wasn’t going to fly, because my loan grace period would be over in 6 months. I needed more than a vague promise of consideration for full time work. I needed to keep trying for something better. Preferably with health insurance.

For two months, I dealt with the crazy schedule that comes with working two hourly part time jobs, with having only one day a week off (Tuesday or Wednesday, usually), with barely ever seeing my boyfriend, and with the constant nagging from my parents to keep applying for other jobs. All of the boxes in my room were still unpacked from after campus move-out. My “welcome” at home was limited and waning fast, as was my threshold for BS.

How is this atmosphere conducive to career self-discovery and path-finding? It’s not. It’s a perfect incubator for desperation, depression, and despair. And I was only 21! The pressure was preposterous. I sat up at night on my laptop, sending my resume to any  full-time postings on state-wide job boards that mentioned customer service or administrative work. I did not discriminate based on location or pay range. I got a few interviews, ranging from administrative assistant roles at a pristine private prep school to one at a bedraggled backwoods public elementary school, and even one at a gas station. For weeks and weeks, nothing panned out.

Finally, one day, I got an email from a recruiter at my current employer, requesting to set up a phone interview for a full-time role with the Technology Help Desk. I was stoked! The call went well, and they asked me to come in for an onsite follow-up interview, and before I knew it, I was being hired as a full-time Help Desk support representative.

Just one problem: I didn’t even know what a browser was.

To Be Continued…


Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton