Let’s talk more about loneliness.

Edward Hopper, "Morning Sun"

Edward Hopper, “Morning Sun”

It’s been a long time. I apologize for the blog sabbatical. I kept thinking – I can’t go longer than two weeks without posting! And then two weeks passed the next day.

When we really don’t have something to say, I wonder if we need to make excuses for ourselves not writing. Things take time to process, be them great or small. Writing can help that process, but sometimes living is the better answer. And now that I have something to say, it works out well for me to post.

Have you ever been lonely? It’s a kind of uncomfortable question. Hearing it. Answering it. Privately I think everyone would say he or she has been lonely at one point. But would you admit it publicly THE EXACT MOMENT you were feeling lonely?

I think loneliness is one of society’s hidden taboos. We simply aren’t allowed to be lonely. There are people all around us! There is so much to feel energized by! It’s so easy to connect! The lonely are losers. Boring. Doing something wrong. They’re the ones who choke on their self-made dinner alone at home on a Friday night and are found by police Monday morning after law enforcement has kicked their doors in because the individual’s workplace alerted the authorities that “Tom” hadn’t made it in. And while his co-workers didn’t know much about “Tom,” they did know he never missed a day! I was on a police ride-along once and this exact scenario came up. The idea that this man died alone in his bedroom only to be found days later on the ground of his bedroom floor, purple and cold, was more frightening than his actual death. Continue reading →

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Online dating advice for the stronger sex.

yoursingle

Having been on 60-70 dates as result of online-dating hijinks, I consider myself somewhat of a craftsman of the online-dating game. I’ve done the “serious” sites – eHarmony – and the not-so-serious (Plenty of Fish, now endearingly abbreviated as PoF). I’ve met some awesome people and learned a lot, and I even met someone on PoF I have dated on-and-off for 5 years. (Let’s ignore the fact that this could be deemed “dysfunctional.”)

I definitely think the positives outweigh the negatives in online dating, but that’s not to say there isn’t weird, weird stuff that goes on. In celebration of my recent foray back into the online-dating world, here are a few tips for the men on the “less serious” sites who are wondering why girls aren’t responding to their messages.

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Dealing with irrational heartbreak, take 18.

(Photo source here)Boy contacts girl online, compliments her excessively. She is hesitant. They talk on the phone for 3.5 hours, girl largely silent. They continue to talk over the course of the week. They meet up the next weekend, take a long drive, drink genuine Cypriot coffee and bond. Boy says, “I can’t promise you this, but…” Girl hears that he will never be all-in but believes boy would be open to relationship developing organically. Boy’s timeline doesn’t match girl’s. Girl gets anxious; boy gets scared. Girl cuts it off after not hearing from boy and spends next hundred hours figuring out why he didn’t care enough to say goodbye. The end.

I am that girl, and I’m heartbroken. It hurts.

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Follow your freedom.

THIS SCREAMS ROBERT FROST

THIS SCREAMS ROBERT FROST

After months of putting out positive “new-job” vibes into the universe to attract my dream job, two weeks ago I got just that: a new job. It was perfect for me: as the small company’s office manager and first admin, I would have a great deal of autonomy as an employee, the ability to serve as kind of the central “human” hub for the small office, the opportunity to grow personally and professionally. And I would be surrounded by people my age with similar backgrounds.

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Do one thing every day that makes you uncomfortable.

Was it Eleanor Roosevelt who said to “do one thing every day that scares you?”

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Jobs in a Millennial world: Respect your job candidates, and they won’t forget it.

(Photo credit: tristarkarate.com)

(Photo credit: tristarkarate.com)

I recently interviewed for a position at a progressive company with a yoga studio blahblahblah. I was excited because, if hired, I’d be working for a company that seems stoked on its employees: I’ve found that company that really gets it! 

Continue reading →

What does Easter mean to you?

i am disproportionately proud of combining the naiveté of this picture with this fab emo quote

i am disproportionately proud of combining the naiveté of this picture with this fab emo quote

In case you haven’t heard, today is Easter. I have a number of Christian friends who I’m sure are celebrating in style today. They are incredible people.

So what does Easter mean to those of us who may not subscribe to organized religion?

I think it’s an incredible opportunity to reflect and connect.

There’s power in prayer, be it religious or not. Knowing we are not alone in this universe. Even if we simply think and honor the small ways in which we are all connected – we become kinder. Humbled. Mindful. Peaceful.

Maybe it’s a good day to decorate easter eggs just as a meditation (which is typically a ridiculously messy way of celebrating, but I digress). It can just be a celebration of our life on earth, if nothing else.

I wish you the best of days!

Have you ever been afraid to slow down?

There’s something oddly glamorous about the single mom who hustles – going to school and working full-time in order to provide for her family. We all wonder how she does it, secretly believing we would easily be able do the same should we be in her situation.

But it’s only glamorous as long as she succeeds. What happens if she collapses into a ball on the bathroom floor (she will do this success or no success), but she doesn’t get up ready to face the day in the same way after? She decides to quit school and give up her “dream.” Or now she’s going to take out loans (that she’ll never get out of) so she can afford to “just” go to school. Either way, it somehow seems like she failed, when her cup runneth over in the first place. As a society, we praise and vilify this woman.

I remember when Mariah Carey had her nervous breakdown in, maybe, 2001 and had to be hospitalized for her exhaustion. You know, Glitter-era Mariah Carey. She was unstoppable her first ten years as a pop star, and the next minute she was a joke. Even with all she’s accomplished professionally since then, I haven’t looked at her in the same light. She’s tainted. She couldn’t take the pressure, I think.

I’ve been working two jobs the last two months in an effort to pay off credit-card debt. I rob Mary to pay Peter to pay Paul. Or something like that.

I learned the hard way: There’s nothing glamorous about calling one of your best friends and telling her, between violent, teary fits, that you won’t be able to make her wedding. There’s nothing glamorous about telling someone who is putting his or her faith in you that you can’t complete a task for them. There’s nothing glamorous about not having a moment to. stop. Or a minute to care.

Now that I have to slow down, because my body won’t continue to function if I don’t, I’m scared. Those things, you know – the dark ones that swirl around you as you sleep whispering soft, self-defeating thoughts in your ear, they get louder when you’re less busy.

What are these things trying to tell us? And who’s telling us it’s vital that we outrun them?

 

A quote for a Sunday.

Sunday

Employees to Entrepreneurs: One mistake and your ass is grass.

Image

My experience as a Task Rabbit, a virtual and in-person assistant who works with “task posters” on a contract basis, has made me question everything I thought I knew about business and capitalism and treating people “right.”

I recently signed up to deliver boxes of produce from farmers’ markets to chic, higher-end restaurants in the city. On Saturday mornings. At 7am. My first delivery was last weekend. The process took about 3 hours, required the use of a dolly, was somewhat humiliating because I have a master’s degree, and my car – its seats coated in dust – is still in need of a good vacuum. For my labor, I made $50.

I drove home, egg mcmuffin in hand, checking in with myself on how I felt about the payment. I can be hyper-sensitive to people taking advantage of me. I decided this person wasn’t. And since I was saving this person money by agreeing to work outside the site so that he didn’t have to pay posting fees, it was a win-win situation, and I had a recurring job. Later that weekend, he paypal-ed me. We would get in touch the following Thurs re: the next weekend’s deliveries. And life went on.

The naive employee in me, who is excited to be a part of new endeavors, emailed the fine purveyor this morning – “Hey [name redacted]! The LA Marathon is this Sunday – how do you want to handle the delivery routes?”

Taskposter response: “No worries. No deliveries this Sunday. By the way, would you take $40 per delivery instead of $50?”

And here I was, one second excited to help this person out – ready to be on his team, and the next, an employee scorned.

It’s not often you find someone who is as engaged in your work as you are. But when your funds are limited, what’s more important – human capital or getting the best deal?

I don’t have any answers (although I suspect the maxim “moderation is key” is helpful here). But I do know that when these situations arise and you don’t take care of them well, you leave people with bad tastes in their mouths, for you and your burgeoning company. And more quickly than you can snap your greedy little entrepreneurial fingers, a fruitful partnership is (potentially) irreparably damaged with one bad seed.

Andrew James Taggart, Practical Philosopher, Ph.D.

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