Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Why my work is disappointing (and why I'm still not giving up)

I’m not really a quote person. I can’t remember a favorite quote for the life of me, even though I certainly read a lot of wonderful sentences and phrases that I wish I could remember two years later (or--let’s be honest--two days later).

But when I saw this Ira Glass quote on Pinterest, and actually took the time to read it, I was struck. Something snapped together in my brain and I realized that this exactly describes what I’ve been going through.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


As a student, a lot of my life happens somewhat suddenly. As soon as I think I'm settled down in Kansas, suddenly a tornado whisks me off to who-knows-where.

A week ago, I thought I was secure in my current apartment for at least another month, maybe more. (I know, a month really isn't that much time, but it felt like enough--we don't have enough possessions for packing and moving out to take forever.) We'd decided to look for a new place, but there was plenty of time, I was sure. Maybe we'd start dabbling around for a few weeks, see what the rentals in the area are like, and then get serious several weeks down the road.

But when Doug and I saw an ad for an apartment that looked promising and immediately called the owner, we were suddenly lifted off the ground by a whirlwind that hasn't stopped since.

That was only four days ago. Since then, we've seen several apartments (ironically, we never saw the original one we called about) and we've found one we think is perfect for us. We start moving in less than a week.

I'm excited about the prospect of moving. We've lived in our current place for a year and a half, and the apartment--which was never particularly impressive in the first place--is getting stale. We'd need to move out by December eventually anyway, and this is the most convenient time, so it all makes sense. I'm excited to have a new place and new neighbors, to organize a new apartment, to welcome a new kind of life.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Pot of Gold

Have you heard something like this before?
As human beings, we're always looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. We want everything now and we have such a hard time living in the moment. The true struggle of humanity is finding joy in the journey.
I disagree.

Of course, I do think there's wisdom in trying to live in the moment and find joy in the journey (and I probably need to try harder than most people). What I disagree with is the assumption that enjoying the journey itself is so difficult and unnatural for us.

I think the concept of "being on a journey" is quite natural and even desirable to us. We love journeys.  Sure, we're not always good at enjoying them, but deep down, we crave them. In fact, we're constantly looking for new journeys to take.

That's why we run marathons (if all you wanted was to run over a line, you could do that without the 26-mile part). Read books. Watch TV shows with constant cliffhanger endings. Make New Year's resolutions (and then consistently break them). Join new clubs or groups. Take vacations.

And it's not just we 21st-century folks that are so fixated on journeys. Look at the literature our civilization is built on. Biblical accounts of Israelites wandering in the desert for years upon years. The Odyssey, Iliad, and Aeneid. The Thousand and One Nights (a metaphorical, infinite journey). A Pilgrim's Progress. We love journeys.

The problem is that we don't want them to end.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

8 Myths About Extroverts

If you don’t live under a rock, you’ve probably heard the big news: New Superpower Found--Introversion!

As we all know, introverts have been misunderstood for all of human history. Extroverts get all the praise while the introverts do all the real work. We are just now beginning to understand the truth--that all the good in this world is done by introverts and that extroverts are lumbering, glory-stealing idiots.

Now, I’m not trying to mock introverts, not at all. I’m a natural extrovert who grew up in a mostly introverted family. I love my introverted siblings and parents with all my heart. They are brilliant and talented and interesting and fun to be around. But that’s not because they’re introverts. It’s because they are wonderful people. Introversion is just a small part of what makes them who they are.

Yes, introverts have been largely misunderstood in the past, but now that we’re beginning to understand introverts a bit better, we are also starting to put down extroverts. So here are a few of the trendy myths about extroverts that we need to recognize.