Stormy Days

I’ve always had a healthy respect for the weather because I have experienced how quickly things can change. When I saw some really dark clouds the other day I made the decision to put my dog in a more confined area before I left my house. He’s notorious for being terrified of storms and his anxiety quickly turns destructive. I started to drive to my destination and the sky got darker and it started to rain. The rain started coming down harder and then went into blinding rain. I turned off my music and slowed down. The sky got darker and the hail started coming out of nowhere. It was at this point that I decided it was probably not the greatest idea to drive with limited visibility, hail and rain so I pulled over and stopped. The wind picked up and the hail kept coming and began to rock my car from side to side. As someone who hates car washes, the experience wasn’t the most pleasant. All of a sudden I got the tornado alert warning on my phone and then the wind stopped blowing and there was an eerie stillness. That’s how I knew there was a tornado on the ground close by. Years of tornado drills, close calls, and even an instance where friends of mine died in a tornado reminded me that a direct hit from a strong enough tornado is almost always deadly. Technically when a tornado comes you’re supposed to find a ditch and lay in it. For some reason I decided that I was just going to stay in my car. The wind picked up again and then started to cease. It was still raining but people were starting to drive. I started my car again and began to drive immediately realizing that there was water almost past my hubcaps. I’m not an expert in flood driving and it doesn’t help that my car is so low to the ground. I quickly and carefully maneuvered out of where I was and searched for higher ground. I pulled into a parking lot and watched the thunder and blinding rain for a little bit until I deemed it was safe to go. Even at that point there were places where the water was almost over my tires so I had to find even higher ground. This required to get out my GPS and find random side streets in order to avoid traffic and water damage to my car. It reminded me of how life happens unexpectedly and how sometimes you just have to wait it out instead of fighting against circumstances and situations. They will go away in time but you’ll exhaust yourself fighting against it prematurely. I had to find an alternate route to find higher ground and in a similar way sometimes the only means of becoming successful is to take the high road and refuse to be brought down by the opinions and judgments of others. The conscious decision not to stoop to the level of foolishness of petty people can cause you to focus on something that actually does matter. 

Right Person, Wrong Time

A million years ago when I was in college I had the opportunity to read a play that a fellow classmate wrote. She was (and still is) a super talented article and the play was somewhat biographical in nature. The story was centered around a guy and girl who were friends but the girl found herself catching feelings while realizing that the feeling wasn’t mutual. If I remember correctly, at the end of the story her guy friend ended up getting a girlfriend and the girl was left alone. The last words of the script were: “The right person at the wrong time is still the wrong person.” As I’ve grown older I’ve realized how true those words are. Like I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, I’m a big fan of timing. I think that there are circumstances where people meet and they are very compatible with each other. They have similar interests and get along well and quickly discover that it’s easy to tolerate each other. However, despite all the ways that these two people are compatible, there is some glaring reason why something romantic and long term won’t work. It could be distance, family conflict, financial turmoil or something of the like that dictates the decisions made. The timing is all off and there’s nothing that either person can do about it. I think that situations such as those happen fairly frequently and while people can be right for each other, it may just not be the time. It’s almost like life plays a joke on you and you have no choice but to make the necessary adjustments. If there is chemistry but the timing is off, then ultimately it won’t work out. Not because someone is necessarily at fault or because of some glaring red flag but because the right person at the wrong time is (still) the wrong person.

What Everyone is Talking About Right Now

I haven’t done a lot of posts on current world events, but like most of the world I was shocked and saddened by the events that happened this week at the church in Charleston. As someone who lived a relatively short distance from the Aurora theater shooting, this incident affected me in a different way. It wasn’t the act of a deranged person, it was someone who targeted a group of people solely because of the color of their skin. Someone who knew that most people don’t carry their weapons to church and who tend to be vulnerable not only emotionally but physically as well. Race related crimes are nothing new in this country. They’ve been happening for hundreds of years and despite the assertions of many idealistic and sadly misguided persons, we don’t live in a post-racial society. The election of someone to the highest office in the country doesn’t erase the attitudes that have been over a hundred years in the making. As soon as the incident happened people began to talk about the excuses that would be made for the shooter. Just like clockwork it happened with almost all the news circuits searching high and low to find a motive that did not involve race. They painted it as an isolated incident and something that is outside of the norm. Black people have been specifically targeted and killed for long period of time and it continues to happen. Since this incident there have been more discussions about increased security measures in churches than the deeper issue of racially motivated massacres. I was reading some tweets the other day that discussed the fact that there is an expectation that black people just forgive and move on. That they continue to turn the other cheek and refuse to classify all people of a certain race into a negative category–a luxury that they’ve never had at any point in this country. It just doesn’t make sense to me and I don’t think it ever will. There’s a lot of racist people in the South, but there’s also a lot of racist people everywhere. It’s an issue that most people are either reluctant to address or stay in denial that there is one. I’ve never been an optimist and at this point I have absolutely no faith in humanity. It’s a shame.

The Interview Experience

Over the past few years I’ve been to numerous job interviews. There’s something to be said about the excitement you feel when you get the email or the phone call that you’ve been selected out of the many applicants for an interview. It means that you have a chance to get the job. They’ve reviewed what you wrote and sent and deem you worthy of further communication about your worthiness for the position. I remember one of my coworkers telling me that one should always be telling their current employer “thank you” while simultaneously searching for a new opportunity. While I don’t necessarily agree with that, I do think that there’s something to be said about being aware of what’s going on in your field and how that translates to the current job market and the positions that are available. It’s just a good practice in my opinion. Needless to say in my years of job searching I think I’ve been to at least 30 or more interviews for various jobs in the area. Due to a very large amount of people in my field, it’s actually a success to even get an interview. People are clamoring for jobs and only the most qualified get call backs. The one’s who aren’t so lucky don’t usually have the luxury of being told they weren’t selected–they just don’t hear back. Job interviews are basically the same. You try to get there early to put your best foot forward but many times you don’t know exactly where you’re going. You give your name to the receptionist and either fill out an additional applications or try to amuse yourself with the boring reading material in the lobby while drinking a sip of the bottled water you brought along so you won’t sound hoarse. Then some random person comes out of a hidden door and greets you shaking your hand. This is usually followed by some offer of water or coffee. You follow them to their office or the nearest conference room. I remember once I had an interview in the company kitchen. The interview is usually panel or one on one. Personally, I’ve always preferred panel interviews because it always makes the dynamic in the room more interesting. You’re asked questions from a group of people and have the opportunity to sell yourself. They inevitably ask the same questions in different ways. In fact, I’m convinced that there is some giant “interviewing questions” book somewhere they every picks their questions from. You talk about yourself and your background. Look around the room and use humor to put everyone at ease while remaining professional and on task. You remember not to stutter, talk calmly and use as many key words as possible that relate to the description of the job. This usually involves some type of case scenario questions and then some question about how you handle conflict with others. I’ve noticed that most interviewers don’t ask a lot about your education because they want to know that you’ve had on the job experience and have demonstrated a significant level of competence while doing so. You know that you only have a small period of time to make a big impression and in order to do this you have to be “remember-able.” This wasn’t really a hard thing to do in my experience with interviews because I was often the only minority applying so that work was already done for me through a miraculous thing called genes. The interview finishes and you shake everyone’s hand before you leave. I think the hardest part is waiting. I personally prefer not being called back so that I can just assume I didn’t get the job instead of being personally told that I wasn’t selected. I remember standing in line to graduate for my masters degree when I got the call saying that I had not been chosen for a job I had recently applied for and it was a small let down. Needless to say, I think that the interview process could be so much more efficient but it is what it is.

10 Things Women Should Do Themselves

This was another article that I recently ran into. Here is the link. I was upset after reading number one and that emotion just increased in intensity as I continued to read. Actually, there were a few things that I agreed with out of the entire article. I live in a city where door opening just doesn’t happen and it was a huge adjustment to say the least. I continued to read the article and realized that I couldn’t think of a good reason to call up someone else’s parents and invite them to dinner for the sheer reason that I felt it was time we meet. Now of course there are exceptions but I would be upset if someone did that to me. Number seven though. I predicted while back that the way the world was going, we would see an increase in women proposing marriage to men. While the idea isn’t the most popular, it’s something that I think will quickly become the norm. I also think that engagement rings for men will also be a part of the “new” normal. I don’t know the author of the article but it definitely seemed like she was a proponent of equality across the board and in all areas for both genders. I’ll let you be the judge.

Secret Wishes

I ran into this article through the course of my internet surfing and found it to be (somewhat) fairly accurate as far as my own experience and from discussions from other people in my age bracket. You can read it here. I agreed with a lot of the things that the author wrote about. After all, your dog isn’t going to let you know how much he enjoyed your cooking. An example of this is the fact that I made an awesome lemon pie the other day and my dog loved it. While the article wasn’t all inclusive there were some very valid points that were made. Granted, I think that a lot of the things listed tend to be hidden behind a certain facade of having a great life. But then again, that’s nothing new and it happens with both men and women all the time.

Send them glitter!!

I don’t remember how, but I stumbled across this website and it’s hilarious. Granted, the language they use might not be agreeable to some people but it was a brilliant idea. I found myself laughing as I read the FAQ’s and the purpose of the website. While I’m not advocating for revenge, this idea is fairly messy but also pretty harmless. The testimonials from the people who used the service were candid but also pretty honest. Now, I don’t know if this site is legitimate but if stuffing envelopes full of glitter earned me a decent living I think I would consider it–at least briefly. Glitter isn’t easy to clean up but I think it’s a much better idea than using common allergens like peanuts or something that could cause a life threatening situation. It’s a multi-purpose “gift” that could be used for more than one special occasion.

How American parenting is killing the American marriage

I saw this article and found it so intriguing. I’ve been gathering a ton of references related to divorces and their causes for the never-ending literature review portion of my dissertation. One thing that is rarely talked about is the fact that there is somewhat of a lottery when you have a kid. You don’t know what you’re getting. While the child is a reflection of both parents to varying degrees, there’s no guarantee that your child will grow up to be a productive member of society and not a criminal. I’m not against loyalty to children but I think one’s significant other should also take priority (within reason). I think of all the couples who divorce after 20 to 40 years of marriage with one of the reasons being that they don’t know each other anymore because they made their entire lives about their children and didn’t grow together.

Happiness and Crisis Workers

I saw this CNN article and found it pretty relevant to my life because I work in a crisis type of position. You can read the article here. One thing that was interesting was the fact that many social workers and crisis counselors report that they like their job. This wasn’t surprising to me because despite all the craziness and unpredictability of my job, I don’t mind it. People get into a helping profession for a variety of reasons. In my case, I can’t NOT help people and I figured that I might as well have a job that allows me to do that. I’ve had stressful jobs in the field of social work before, but nothing comes close to the emotional drain from crisis work. It’s the kind of job that make you want to take a month long vacation after every shift. However, it’s also meaningful and you get the chance to encounter people from various walks of life and separate those who truly want help from those who don’t want any help. The article noted some great ways to deal with the stress that comes along from constantly working with people who facing some pretty big life challenges. There was an article I read not too long ago about a email that was intercepted from a social worker to another that contained some inappropriate humor that caused a public outcry. While the things crisis counselors deal with is not a laughing matter, sometimes you have to see the humor in things. It’s similar to the whole idea of laughing instead of crying as you see the dark side of humanity over and over again. It’s the kind of job that has really high highs with lows that are just as dramatic. The ability to disconnect is so important in this kind of field and I think it’s the reason why there’s an abundance of impromptu happy hours between colleagues who work in the field. All that being said, it’s a fun but hard job and I honestly believe that to have longevity in this type of field you have to have a pretty effective way of taking care of yourself so that you don’t get burned out.