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A Reframe

As I pack up this apartment, I am accosted by feelings; guilt, trepidation, failure, joy, loss. This place has seen me go through my highest of highs and the very lowest of lows. From tears and self-loathing to finding my strength and picking myself up off the floor (literally).

It’s time to move on. It’s time to officially close this chapter. It’s time to say goodbye to the person I was. Because who I was through the pretense of happiness, through the anxiety, through the ending of an engagement, through the sobs alone in the night… that person doesn’t exist anymore. I’ve spent a lot of time looking in the rearview over the past 6 months – focusing on what I’ve lost, whom I’ve lost, and the loss of that woman I once was.

I had an incredibly heart-felt talk with my therapist over the weekend and she was able to illuminate the best way to wade through my feelings:

  1. It’s not loss. I am simply gaining anew.
  2. If people cannot accept the evolved and new version of myself… that’s not on me.

Some things that used to matter to me, my former focuses and drives… they are not there anymore. I’ve found myself in the very losing of myself. Turns out, an unexpected fall out of my recent decisions has caused drifting, judgment, and fear from those closest to me. I can see it in their eyes “what are you thinking?”

To that I answer… I am not thinking. I am done calculating my next move. I am done looking around for outside affirmations on how to best live my life. Things look so very different from the outside looking in and I’ve spent my life chasing those nods from society. Guess what? That didn’t get me anywhere I wanted to be. It didn’t feel the way I thought it would feel. 500 likes on an Instagram post didn’t do anything to quell the loneliness – it simply and momentarily hushed the unhappy voice inside.

What does life look like now? Fuck that. What does life feel like now? It feels daunting. It feels uncomfortable. It feels like taking myself on a first date over and over again – learning how to process my newly found self. But guess what… it feels RESPECTABLE. It feels real and meaningful…even if it’s raw. I opened a wound of many years when I ripped off that Band-Aid and admitted to myself I wasn’t happy. That cut, that ever so deep cut, will take a long while to heal. So be gentle with me world, be patient with me friends. I am learning how to live more in tune with myself. For the first time in a long time, there is an acceptance. The acceptance that in order to fully live, one must lean into the chaos, one must let go of any notions of actual control… and just be.

I am working on just being. Stay tuned…

 

Stories

How to Conduct an Interview: Get Out of Your Pajamas

Over the past few months, I’ve embarked on quite a few interviews. The majority were run-of-the-mill but there was one that will forever be imprinted. Today dear readers, we shall review a very basic rule of interviewing (in case you needed to be reminded). It is the rule entitled: Get Out of Your Pajamas.

A Time Not So Very Long Ago

7:58 am: I adjusted my blazer, hoping my morning eyes weren’t too visible on the webcam. My impending 8 am Skype interview was to be the 7th at this particular company. Yes, you read right – SEVEN. All inquisitions had been held via Skype which apparently is the cool kid thing to do these days. Today I would be talking about a potential future with the Global Director, certainly the most esteemed person I’d had to opportunity to interview with yet. The stakes were high.

8:02 am: Sweat. Nothing but a blank screen staring back at me. They are based in California right? Ok… so maybe she’s running a little behind. I count on my fingers… 2 hours behind us…Hey, I never said math was my strong suit.

8:05 am: Sweating increases. My face mirrors impatiently. I double-check the email – right day, right time, right time-zone.

8:07: am Thinking it’s about time for my morning avocado toast when suddenly…movement on the screen! I internally jump and ready myself. It’s show time.

8:08 am: Slowly out of the technical abyss emerges a face. It’s quite dark. I wonder if my screen darkness needs to be adjusted. “Hello?” I ask questioningly.

“HEL-ah-ugh-ahem. Hello,” the voice growls back. Is this a Shakey Graves situation? A click and suddenly the screen is lit with a soft glow. The light is coming from a bedstand lamp. The woman is in bed. The woman is laying down in bed in her pajamas. The woman is taking this video interview from her bed in her pajamas whilst balancing her laptop on her stomach. The screen is awash with triple chins.

She wipes her eyes and greets me again. “So uh…tell me about yourself?  What is your name?? Where are you located?”

I am certain this is either a cruel joke or she must be terribly ill. But I play along and tell her my name and that I am located Minneapolis.

“Oh. I am in Minneapolis right now for work. Probably could have made sense to meet in person.” I bite my tongue as to not mention I don’t make bedroom calls for interviews… no matter how desperate.

8:11 am: The “interview” continues to bumble along as she yawns, drinks water, and never moves out of her comfortable 45-degree position. I’ve deduced that she is in fact not terribly ill or slightly ill or even a touch sniffly. No no, I have decided that this woman gives zero F****s. With a capital “F”.

After 7 interviews and many hours researching and preparing, one would assume a common courtesy might be to get out of bed and perhaps change out of a Peter-Pan-collared pajama set. Alas…

8:26 am: She informs me that our time is up and that “someone” will be in touch. The screen abruptly goes black.

The moral here kids? Give a f****. I don’t care if you are the VP of the Global Goddess Convention and you command all the woodland creatures and some of mankind too. Wherever someone falls in the hierarchy of life or business or relationships, show up for them.

I went on to have 2 more interviews after so-dubbed Pajama Woman, only to hear nothing for 3 weeks. Mind you, this entire process took around 3.5 months before the recruiter called me last week to “touch-base”. She went on to inform me they went with someone else based on their superior writing skills but they had another opening they’d like me to apply for within the company.

25 year old me would not have had the lady balls to do so but I was just irritated enough (and had accepted a job offer earlier that week) so I felt brave and a little wronged by their process and general lack of common courtesy. I informed her of my general misgivings: the lack of decorum, the elongated process, and of course, Pajama Lady.

I don’t truly believe HR forwarded my feedback, nor am I under any illusion that they cared. But at that moment, I felt a small fire of vindication; I had spoken my piece.

So dear job-seeker, take heart. If I can get through a bed-interview, you can get through any other kind. I am curious though… what is the worst interview you’ve ever had?

*All humans have triple chins when lying at that angle. I sometimes do when I am just sitting in a normal position. I have nothing against triple chins nor her sister double chins. 

Downtown Blondie