yours, tiramisu

three hundred posts (!) + (more) kind reader advice

It's 3:40 PM on Sunday afternoon, the first time I've gotten to take a breather all weekend. Apart from dogsitting — one dog yesterday and another today — I now have three classes back to back from 7 to 10 on Saturday nights. I scheduled them like that to get them over with as efficiently as possible, but I didn't realize how grueling three straight hours of teaching over Zoom would be. The mistake reminds me of my first semester in college, when I overloaded on Monday/Wednesday/Friday classes in order to have Tuesdays and Thursdays free. In reality, I ended up spending the Tuesdays and Thursdays recovering from the exhaustion of the other days and they didn't turn out like the holidays I hoped they'd be. We never really learn, do we?

This is my 300th post on this blog. Hitting milestones like this certainly makes me happy, even if this one doesn't feel as monumental as getting to 100 or even 200. I suppose they'll all feel rather pedestrian until 500 or 1,000.

I read a post here on Bear the other day (which I can no longer locate, sadly) about how rare longevity is in personal blogging. It's true — personal blogs generally have a short lifespan, especially so on Bear, where the barrier to entry is low and most people join for personal (as opposed to professional) reasons. This all makes me feel very old in Bear years. a rickety bridge of impossible crossing is, I think, the only Bear blog I've come across with a similar number of posts, and they wrote that they'd be taking extended leave this past January.

(I wanted to write something nice for my 300th post like I did for my first and second hundred posts, but I haven't learned anything new that I haven't already covered in those two posts. Onto 400, I guess.)

I got an email from a reader recently offering me some timely advice for the job hunt. Here's an excerpt:

My advice to you is to think outside the box in terms of job search. If my understanding is correct, you dislike the job search. Fair enough, I guess. However, it seems to me that you are also kinda dreading actually working the jobs you are applying for. That doesn't sound like a great recipe for success, and you probably realize that as well.

Again, I'm going to suggest that you step in a new direction. Think outside the box that is your degree. Have you ever wanted to join the Peace Corps? Apply. You could teach English in another country, or work at a museum, or at a summer camp, or a radio station, an architecture firm, a fashion design house. There are any number of jobs out there and any one of them can lead to a 'real career.' Apply for those long shots, those dream jobs, those "that would be cool"s. Nothing has to be permanent unless you want it to be. Try something out, give it your all, and if it doesn't work, so be it. Give notice and move on smoothly.

At the end of the day, it is immensely rewarding to have a job where instead of saying "It's a good job", you can say "I love my job". Those two jobs are often the same exact job, but you can't find the latter while only searching for the former.

~ BJ

What a beautiful email. BJ's words made me think of a friend remarking, "the world is your oyster!" when I left my last job. I need more of that energy in my life, because while job searching can be hell, I shouldn't squander this opportunity to get my life reoriented in a different (better) direction.

This is the second (?) reader email I've gotten offering job-related advice. Both have been incredibly helpful, but perhaps more importantly, they give me a healthy dose of hope, which is worth its weight in gold right now.

Thank you (and everyone else!) so much for writing me. You have no idea how much it means to me.

#english #life #wordvomit #work