Archive | October, 2012

A Failure’s Guide to Surviving A Crisis

26 Oct

I wanted to murder my cat.

I usually love him.

But not yesterday.

Yesterday, the demonic creature that I share my room with decided it would be nice to knock over the glass of water I left on my windowsill…

Onto my BRAND. NEW. MacBook Air.

I was livid, to say the least.

My computer’s now being soaked in rice.

It’ll stay like that for a week.

And still, I’m pretty sure it’s fried.

So after a morning of pretty much cursing my cat’s existence, I later realized that it’s not worth being SO upset over.

Yes, it’s terrible. That thing cost me a fortune. But still, I’m pretty sure that monthly Botox injections to fix my frown lines are far more expensive than the replacement of said computer.

What I learned from this whole situation is the following:

It’s so easy to get upset about things!

God knows, if I got upset about every freaking failure I’ve ever had…from tripping over myself while standing in place to walking into a glass door…well, I’d be pissed off every day of my life because, well, I do stuff like that ALOT.

And you know what?

At work, you’re going to make mistakes too.

But you have a choice…

Either go crazy and flip out and cry

OR

Be a normal human being and process the situation.

You know that saying… “It’s not worth crying over spilt milk”…

Well, in my case, it’s not worth crying over spilt water all over my beautiful brand new computer.

It happened already.

It’s in the past.

I can’t change it (although I totally wish I could).

But what CAN I do?

Learn from it.

Note to Kayla:

DON’T EVER LEAVE WATER IN YOUR ROOM OR ANYTHING ELSE THAT YOUR CAT CAN USE TO DESTROY STUFF THAT YOU REALLY LIKE.

But really, no matter how much of a perfectionist you are, sh*t’s going to happen.

I promise.

So do your best to fix it. Do everything you can to make it better.

But after that, it’s done. It’s over.

Learn, move on, and in my case, don’t eat lunch for three months to save up money for a new computer.

Somehow, I’ll try to be nice to my cat again.

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Why Success Freaks Us Out Sometimes

18 Oct

I’m in a ridiculously good mood today which is odd given that I’ve only slept perhaps a total of 7.48 hours this past week.

My hair’s up in a bun today which tells you that I had MAYBE a whole 10 minutes to get dressed today, if that.

But it’s fine because I still look somewhat decent having put in zero effort which is the goal of any sleep deprived grad school student I know.

Not bad for a Thursday.

But anyway, I’ve had some of the busiest few weeks of my life and I feel like a failure because I haven’t had the chance to sit down and write about any of it.

I get home, see my bed, and it practically calls out to me… for me to just lay in it forever. I listen.

But that’s no excuse.

To everyone who reads this blog and to everyone who congratulated me on being freshly pressed, THANK YOU! It means more to me than you’ll ever know.

Ever since I started writing, I thought it would be so cool to have my work freshly pressed on this site.

I never thought it would happen, but still, it’d be kind of awesome.

It WAS awesome.

Then, I kind of freaked out.

I thought to myself…what if I never write anything as good as that again? What if that’s the best I’ve got?

I thought about a Ted Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert that I watched a while back. She talks about how after she wrote Eat Pray Love, people feared that she’d never achieve success again.

Watch it. It’s great.

She says that after her huge success with her book, people would ask her:

Aren’t you afraid that you’re never going to be able to top that? Aren’t you afraid that you’re going to keep writing for your whole life and you’re never again going to create a book that anybody in the world cares about…at all…ever…again?

So why does success freak us out?

Because with every success, we climb THAT MUCH HIGHER up some kind of metaphorical ladder or hill or mountain or whatever.

The higher we get, the harder we fall if we fail.

Think about it for a second.

We spend most of our lives figuring out how to reach our goals, figuring out how to get there.

But what happens when we do? What happens when we achieve what we’ve set out to accomplish?

Is that it? Do we stop there?

Heck no.

When we reach one goal, how about we just keep shooting for another?

Don’t let the fear of failure paralyze you.

Keep moving. Keep doing.

Until you have nothing left to give.

Pretend you’re making lemonade with the last five lemons left on this planet.

Squeeze out every. single. last. drop that exists.

If your lemonade tastes freaking terrible, well, at least you used everything you had.

Same goes for your life.

When you have something wonderful, put everything you have into it.

A job…

A relationship…

A talent that you want to explore…

GIVE IT EVERYTHING.

And if you DO fail?

Well, at least you’ll know you did everything you possibly could.

And if you fail REALLY badly?

Well, just call me up and we’ll go have a drink.

Pursue a Lifestyle, Not a Job

4 Oct

I’m particularly annoyed today.

I’m working on an assignment for school.

And you know what??

I would ALMOST prefer being pushed off my bed onto a floor full of Legos.

Almost.

That sh*t would really hurt.

But ughhh I have to construct a career map.

Yep. I have to figure out what job I’d like to have in

5 years

10 years

25 years

and so on.

I really don’t want to do this.

I’m really getting tired of being bombarded constantly with this genius idea that the MOST IMPORTANT THING IN YOUR LIFE IS YOUR CAREER.

That the job you have ultimately defines you.

I hear things like this and I want to vomit.

Alot.

Because for me, the kind of lifestyle that I live is way more important than any particular job that I have.

Now before you think I’m crazy, let me explain.

I think that jobs are important. Very important. We need to eat, have money to put a roof over our heads, etc.

Personally, jobs are important because without money I can’t travel the world and well, that’s kind of what I want to do.

So I’m not in any way downplaying the importance of  jobs and careers.

What I AM saying is that not enough importance is being given to other aspects of life.

Family.

Hobbies.

Traveling.

Friends.

You know, the kinds of things that REALLY matter.

In regards to this issue, I’m particularly concerned about young people. For those of us in college or graduating college who are getting ready to jump into this new part of our lives, we’re constantly taught that our primary focus should be our careers.

And as a result, what do we do? We listen!

We expend ALL our energy on building a career and sadly, we tend to forget about the other awesome parts of life.

We get to be 30 years old and yea, we have a kick-ass career, but what about our friends? What about that family we always wanted? When was the last time we took a vacation?

We’re successful, yes, but in a very unbalanced way.

Now sure, some people ARE or WILL BE  perfectly content if all they have in their life is a job.

That’s totally okay.

But for those of us who desire to have MORE than just a career, we need to make sure that the jobs we take allow us to have the kind of life that we want to live.

Does that make any sense?

At this point in my life, I’m thinking about the things I want to have in the future.

I want to do work that inspires me, work that I’m good at.

At the same time, I want to be able to go home and have a life outside of it.

At some point, I want to have a family. I want to have kids (even though the thought of them right now is a tad bit repulsive).

I want to have time to spend with my friends.

I want to be able to take as much vacation as possible.

I want to have time to read and write and watch terrible reality tv shows.

Yes, that’s what I want.

So when I think of my career, I think about finding a way to have jobs that will allow me to do that.

All of that.

I don’t think that’s asking for too much.

The problem, though, seems to be the following:

There are a lot of people that want these things. There are a lot of people that want to have a life outside of work.

But then, when it comes time to making decisions, the decisions that they make don’t allow them to have that.

It’s really simple…

If you think about your job first, your lifestyle will naturally be shaped around your job.

But if you do the opposite, if you take time to think about the kind of lifestyle you want to live and THEN focus on finding jobs that will allow you to have those things, well, you’ll be much more in control of achieving that lifestyle.

Look at the positions that you strive to get to. Now, look at the people that actually HAVE those positions.

What’s their lifestyle like?

If you’re comfortable with that kind of lifestyle and can accept that for yourself, then great!

But if you want something different, it might be time to reconsider your career choices.

When I explain this thinking to some people, my ambition is often questioned.

When I explain that I’d rather have an amazing life than an amazing job, people look at me like I’m crazy.

But I don’t think that makes me crazy.

And I certainly don’t think that makes me any less ambitious.

Perhaps it actually makes me MORE ambitious.

Because I want WAY MORE than a job that leaves me with no energy to enjoy life, and I’m determined to have that.

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