Most of us enter the working world pretty ill-prepared for the harsh realities of office life. Even college isn’t much of an education in that regard; hell, arguably the most valuable thing one learns in college is how to bullshit your way through a class you didn’t do the reading for — a life skill with many practical applications, but not necessary for the mechanics of modern work until you level up. For the basic, entry-level stuff — your first job after college that wasn’t at a coffee shop or a restaurant — there are quite a few sobering moments. Here are five things that I learned the hard way about work. Keep reading »
Say what you want about Kim Kardashian; she’s brainless or talentless or a complete marketing genius. Whether you love her or hate her, she’s tapped into the zeitgeist in a way that no one else has in recent years. But I’m less concerned with why we’re so fascinated with her–she’s rich, she has drama, she’s hot– and more interested in how oddly prolific Kim can inadvertently be. Whether it’s something she happens to say to Oprah or simply the way she conducts her life, there’s no doubt that Kim has a certain confidence and je ne sais quoi that we could all stand to learn from. Here are a few of the lessons I’ve learned from Kimmy. Keep reading »
It just so happens that two of my all-time favorite movies are both celebrating their 20th Anniversary today. “The Shawshank Redemption” made me laugh, cry, and truly appreciate the legendary acting of one Mr. Morgan Freeman. On the other hand, “Pulp Fiction” opened my eyes to the genius behind Quentin Tarantino’s directing and taught me about the versatility of the f-word. To commemorate these legendary films, let’s take a look 13 movie quotes that taught us important life lessons on everything from hope and pride to foot massages and breakfast.
You know those moments when your conscious mind separates from the body and you briefly become an observer of your own actions? You watch your lips move and hear yourself rambling on and on, lecturing your younger coworker about life. You’re horrified at how cynical you sound, but you can’t stop yourself. It is in that moment, watching yourself from the outside in, that you realize you have become a jaded thirtysomething. Do you know that moment? No? Allow me to elaborate.
I was talking to a 21-year-old coworker of mine. A sweet, hopeful, hardworking, lovely young gem of a person. He had overheard me discussing a friend’s failed marriage and seemed confused. I tried to explain to him that marriage was a wonderful thing, but it can also be, well, difficult. “I’m excited to get older and get married,” he said. “Life gets easier when you’re older.” My head spun on him like I was in “The Exorcist.” “WHAT?” I snorted, “Are you kidding me? Life just gets harder.”
His eyes widened. “No…” he argued, “it gets easier.”
“No, you’re wrong.” I pressed, and as I continued to explain the onerous nature of life, my tone becoming more insistent, I realized I wasn’t talking to my coworker anymore. I was talking to myself. Specifically, my idealistic 21-year-old self. Keep reading »
When I graduated from college almost 10 years ago, I remember breathing a huge sigh of relief. Finally, I thought, I’d arrived at the finish line and could begin the new, exciting chapter in my life. I walked (well, more like rolled, considering I’m in a wheelchair) across that stage to proudly accept my diploma, which I saw as my ticket to adulthood. I was on my way – or so I thought. And then life happened. Or didn’t happen, I suppose, depending on how you look at it. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not jaded. I’m proud of where my post-college journey has taken me; it’s just that the path looks different than I thought it would. After all, a decade has passed since graduation day – a decade full of ups and downs and twists and turns – so I’m not exactly the same person I was back when I donned my cap and gown. Looking back, it would have been nice to have a little advice to go along with that diploma – you know, a sort of cheat sheet for the “real world.” So, in the name of continuing education, here are five things I wish someone had told me about life after college… Keep reading »
After being in a relationship for 10 years, Nick and I have gotten pretty damn good at dealing with relationship-related issues. We are still learning, of course, and probably always will be, but when it comes to the challenges that arise from sharing a life with someone, we’ve got a solid handle on it. Balancing two people’s needs, addressing conflict in a respectful way, compromising, communicating clearly, owning your own moods, and giving and receiving love freely are all things we’ve become really good at.
And I use the phrase “become really good at” on purpose. These weren’t skills we brought into the relationship as two separate people, these are things we learned from being in a relationship. I’m so grateful to my relationship (and to Nick!) for providing a loving, supportive context in which I could learn these things. I’ve been able to apply them to my friendships, my family relationships, my work, and my writing. The skills you learn in a relationship aren’t only applicable to your relationship — they’re truly valuable in many different areas of your life.
I can’t help but wonder, though, if all the work I’ve done on issues relating to my relationship has been at the expense of work I could have been doing on myself. Keep reading »