Biggest Mistake In My Career

I was preparing for a high stakes job interview last week, and I came across a question that seemed difficult to answer at first:
What is the biggest mistake you made in your career, and how did you overcome it?
My career rap sheet has 5 years worth of experience (relatively short time), ranging from law firms to IT, event planning, and now even engineering.  When was there time for a HUGE mistake, and if there was one, how am I already over it by now?  I thought back on everything it took to get to where I am today and then the grim reality hit me like a pile of bricks. 
My biggest mistake was all in the beginning.  Deciding to get a degree in Political Science…what a hard pill to swallow…because while I was in school full-time I was working full-time in a law office for almost 4 years with one of the most wonderful teams I’ve ever worked with.  I thought I wanted to be a lawyer too, that my whole career would be shaped by a firm I was lucky enough to be a part of in the midst of extremely formative years of my life.  But it was during my last semester of college that I realized I didn’t want to pursue law – it was like my school beat any remaining passion for politics out of me by shoving it down my throat constantly (Poli Porn lol)…Too late to turn back now though. Now what?  I didn’t know…All I knew at this point were a bunch of things I didn’t want to do – and that folks, is where this post is going.
Knowing what you don’t want to do can be just as important as knowing what you want to do.
I quit my job and moved across the country without a real plan – I had savings and a determination to see what my newly earned degree and years at a law firm could get me.  In the past year alone I have since worked in 3 vastly different industries – and after probably 300 hours of serious reflection, job applications, reading about Masters programs, pouring over my resume, skills and so forth…I figured it out.  My dream is to become a Project Manager, first…famous stand-up comedian, second. 😉  I didn’t come to this answer overnight, but the only reason I got to it is because I pushed myself to try different things based on answers I found from looking inward.  All this is to say, if the answer isn’t obvious to you at first, or you feel like you’re not particularly passionate about anything…(cuz every millennial poster child will tell you to pursue what you love, but that might not always be the obvious or lucrative lifestyle answer)…Don’t worry.  If you know a bit about what you DON’T want to do with your life, you’re halfway there.
Oh, and to fully answer the interview question?  I overcame my mistake, by still using a degree I’m not passionate about as a stepping stone into a field I am passionate about. Not such a mistake after all, huh. No degree is a mistake as long as you know how to leverage that paper, sis!

Crazy Ex-Girlfriends

“Crazy ex-girlfriend”.  Oh, we’ve all had one of those, amirite…Why doesn’t “crazy ex-boyfriend” carry the same ring to it though?  I mean, when I say I have had some crazy exes, I almost always feel the need to reiterate in conversation…”No, I mean this guy was actually CRAZY.”  And I think I’ve figured it out…It’s because our cultural narrative implies that women are just naturally deranged, and when you come across a crazy guy, well he’s just an exception to the rule.

Well, I have to say it.  I think men are the crazy ones…Yea, yea. I have heard my man friends tell me some pretty f*&k’d up stories about the things women have put them through – I’m not saying chicks are guilt free.  What I’m saying is that dudes are especially guilty, and not enough light is shed on how wackadoo emotional they can be.  I hear these stories about crazy ex-girlfriends and then I reflect on my own experiences, trying to think of the “craziest” thing I’ve ever done. Honestly, I can’t think of anything.  If a guy has ever crossed me in the past (can you tell I’m about to take major pride in what I’m about to say), I have been known to simply pick myself up, pack my shit – and leave.  Disappear.  A couple times I didn’t even tell the guy what he did wrong (slept with 5 other chicks while seeing me at the same time), and he text me (and my girlfriends) nonstop saying I was a crazy b*&ch for dropping off the face of the earth without rhyme or reason.  I’ve always been this way.  So when I tell people I’m actually not crazy, I would SO appreciate not having the presumed conversation EVERY time; 

 

“Yea right, every girl is crazy.” 

“I’m not”

“That’s what they all say, sorry it’s just the laws of nature.”

 

Okay, but if we’re going with the laws of nature I would think it would make more sense for dudes to be the unhinged ones.  Think cave man days…Weren’t the cave men the dominant ones dragging women back to caves to procreate? 

Who constitutes 83% of those arrested for arson? 89.5% of homicides in the U.S.? I won’t go into rape stats…Okay you pulled my arm – men constitute 98.9% of those arrested for forcible rape! Sick!

But women are naturally unstable? Please! Just stop calling us crazy or I’ll slash your tires.

I’m Afraid of Dying

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about how little time we have here, on earth.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting closer to the end of my 20s, and I see how quickly it happened.  I don’t know if it’s because death touched my life when my mom passed away, forcing awareness of my own mortality before my mid-twenties.  But I do know that I am afraid of dying – and I think it’s because I’m having the time of my life, and I don’t want it to end. 

 It’s not that I’m afraid of what comes after death, because I’m at peace with what I believe will happen then.  It’s just that I am so happy these days, but the one thing I know for certain is that change is the only constant.  Nothing lasts forever.  So I fear for the impending ripples in the smooth currents of my happy life, and then I fear that no matter how much time we’re given it will still never feel like enough. The first time I felt something like this was when I read a story about the deep depression an elderly woman went into when she lost her husband of 56 years.  It seems obvious but it wasn’t to me at first – there is never enough time to be with someone you love! I thought about how people say they “can’t wait to grow old” with one another, and when I heard it I used to get the sweet image of an old couple rocking in their chairs, reminiscing on the life experiences they had together.  But I don’t think I’ll ever say it to my life partner, because I can wait to grow old together.  I don’t know if it was just me that imagined there was ever enough time, and that suddenly after x amount of years you’d be ready to say goodbye to someone. I figured it had something to do with losing my mom at a young age, and the wishful thinking that I could’ve had her throughout her later years.  But I have an understanding there too, that when you lose your mom (or anyone important to you) – it doesn’t matter when it happens, it will always be devastating.

So…I’m enjoying the life I have immensely, and I know doing that is the best thing I can do.  Maybe the beauty in all of it is that since our life spans are so short, we pack everything we can into this tiny space in time – so if/when we have the chance to look back we see a slideshow of beautiful and captivating experiences. For now, any time I get overwhelmed with the fear of the inevitable, I cope by thinking about the bad news and the good news.  The bad news is that nothing lasts forever.  But the good news is – that nothing lasts forever. 😊

I Bombed For the 1st Time

I bombed my standup set for the first time last week.  It was in front of about 20 strangers.  I was so embarrassed that I thought about putting the mic down and running off stage. But, I didn’t and finished my set strong – even though by then I’m sure my awkward stage presence had already stifled any genuine laughs I was going to get.

 

While I felt like I was sitting in a fat L, I still knew I won something too. I have a better understanding now, that every comedian fails because it’s just part of the job.  And there is a “right” way to fail too.  Instead of giving up and running away, I faced the crickets and distant chuckles as if I was addressing my entourage of fans on TMZ.  I learned that without failure, you simply cannot succeed at standup.  Because in comedy, failure is as inherent to standup as death is to life. Just like you can’t escape dying, you can’t avoid bombing (forever).  I reminded myself of the comedians I’ve seen at the highest levels get boo’d off stage and yet here I was,  getting a big head – thinking I might be a natural and so proud of myself for excelling at something I said I wanted to try for the first time.  Bombing gave me a much needed humbled respect for the craft – and I think everyone could use it in their lives, because I’ve heard countless people suggest that they should or could do standup after I mention it’s one of my latest hobbies…(Nike, just do it y’all).

 

This shit ain’t for everybody and it certainly ain’t easy. That means even if your first, second, or third sets go extremely well – 1. Keep going, and 2. Your fourth might be the one.  I always question why I put myself through this when I walk up on stage.  I’m not trying to make it big, prove anything (other than being able to say I’m funny), or adding it to my resume.  In truth, it’s the feeling I get when I hear those first chuckles, almost like they didn’t expect me to say the things I had to say.  I love making people laugh…friends, co-workers, strangers – It doesn’t matter.  I have yet to come across anything more empowering than getting under a spotlight and commanding an entire room to react the way I want them to react – with joy.  If bombing is part of the journey towards getting to those priceless moments, I welcome it with open arms.

August 18th

My mom was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease while I was in high school – We lost her when I was 24 years old, on August 18, 2016.  Those were the most devastating years of my life.
She used to bake and decorate cakes professionally for all occasions – mostly weddings. But she even made up a boob cake in a blue bikini top for a Bachelor party that she thought was so hilarious.  Pineapple upside down cake with Brandy was a classic she’d make for us at home.  So I’m going to make it on Sunday. A cake every year for tradition.
Knowing I’ve survived 3 years now, in a world that no longer includes my amazing mother introduces a lot of complex feelings. Sometimes I still feel guilty for embracing so much joy. But I realize that my happiness has a lot to do with the lessons she instilled in me – so though gone in body she is still here. She is present in the way I let go of the small things or make efforts to be a better listener to my friends, in the way I want to give more hugs, and love as freely as she did.  
August 18th is the day that death touched my life and changed me forever.  There’s so much I wish I could tell her now. But mostly how much I love and miss her. And that I think of her…every. single. day. 

It’s Okay If You Don’t Like Me

Not everyone is going to like you, and that’s okay because not everyone has good taste.  What? Should I have gone somewhere different with that?

I occasionally do some reflecting on previous versions of myself compared to the person I am today.  How some people in my life came and went during the c#nt-iest phases of my 20s. How those people might think of me now and say “What a cu*&!” 
How people I have met recently or within the last couple of years still think I’m unbearable even though I feel like I’m the best version of myself yet.  I’m human. It can bother me sometimes when people don’t like me for the simple fact that my person doesn’t sit well with them. Who doesn’t want to be liked?
But if everyone liked me..or you..it would take away from the connections I have with those who do like me when no one else has to.  Not everyone is going to know how to receive my energy, and I’m at peace with that.  So, if you like me, you have good taste.  
If you don’t…well, I don’t like you either 🙂