Here is a confession — though I write a dating column, and have for quite some time, I’m not currently dating anyone right now. The last relationship I was in was about two years ago, and in the time between then and now, there have been plenty of dates, but nothing has stuck. Dating in general isn’t hard, but it takes work, energy, time that could be used doing hundreds of other things, like learning how to weave or baking all the bread you eat yourself, or creating a rooftop garden out of two sad planters and a handful of seeds. The way we choose to spend our time is our choice alone, not something to be judged, and not something that we should feel ashamed of. I know this. As a person who willfully chooses to spend many nights trawling beauty blogs on the internet and conducting deep, vast research on the best pink lipstick for my exact skin tone and coloring, I know that the way I spend my time could be spent better, but I know that the choice to spend time on really anything is mine alone. That’s why I’m perfectly comfortable coming out and saying it — right now, I’m choosing to focus on my career instead of finding a partner. Keep reading »
My life three years ago is sometimes incomprehensible to me. Retrospectively, it’s so absurd that it’s hard to believe that the things that happened happened, or that I tolerated some of the things that happened, or that I actively participated in some of the things that happened.
Enough mystery. When Jessica’s article about the time her husband spent unemployed went live, I told her about my experiences on both sides of the unemployment-in-a-relationship fence. I spent three years with an unemployed (former) spouse, and then became unemployed myself last year, during the course of the relationship I’m in with my boyfriend now. Jessica recounted beautifully the anxiety of watching a partner she loves undergoing the stress of unemployment and job-searching. Keep reading »
This January, I had a bad job interview. I performed the best I could, but they’d kept me in a room, coming in groups of two or three at a time, grilling me on why I wanted and was qualified for an entry-level customer service job for two straight hours. I’ve been employed in some way or another for the last ten years, and I graduated with honors last year. I couldn’t just say, “I need a better job than I have now, and frankly this is going to be a cakewalk for me.” Some of them said I was underqualified; some of them said I was overqualified. No one really seemed to have a real sense of what they were doing; HR was out for the day, so it was all sales managers. I was so upset and confused afterward that I sat in Merchandise Mart crying for a half hour before working up the courage to get on the train. Keep reading »
As I read the chyron “Girls Gone ‘Mild’: Book Advises Women Not To Raise Their Voices,” I was all ready to watch this Fox News segment advising women on how to carry themselves professionally in the workplace and then kill it with fire.
But as Sylvia Ann Hewlett, the author of Executive Presence: The Missing Link Between Merit And Success, addressed “Fox & Friends” this morning about ways women can up their gravitas in the workplace, I found myself thinking, Hey, this is not such bad advice. Keep reading »
For three years, I woke up at 4 a.m. every day. I spent two days a week as a full-time student; one of those, I was at school from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and the other I split with one of my five weekly eight-hour work shifts. I did all of the driving in my household, which meant all of the grocery shopping and all of the car maintenance. When I wasn’t at school or at work, I was doing homework, determined to graduate with honors after three previous less-than-stellar years at a different college. On the one day off I had every week, I was usually visiting my then in-laws. Toward the end, I managed to squeeze in going to the gym three times a week as well. I got four or five hours of sleep a night, barely paid the rent and bills, and was running on ambition and self-confidence.
I was a wreck, but it was one of the best experiences of my life. Here are the life lessons I learned during my three-year stint burning the candle at both ends… Keep reading »