The Age of Worry

Twice in as many days, I’ve been told that I seem a bit off-kilter. Since I’m kind of a subscriber to the idea that n=1 is not a sufficient data pool, the fact that there were two people was slightly more important to me. Especially because, within reason, I haven’t felt particularly off-kilter, at least not any more than usual. IMG_6166In fact, despite the heavy workload I’ve got goin’ on, I’ve felt pretty darn good: stable, comfortably uncomfortable, motivated, and committed. My mood hasn’t been completely even all the time, but it’s been quite predictable, and certainly felt less like a rollercoaster than usual. I mean, those are all pretty good reasons not to be a crazy-bitch, right? So where’s it coming from?

The interesting thing about being so involved right now is that while everything I’m doing is for me, it’s also not. Part of the way I motivate myself is to create all kinds of external expectations: deadlines and responsibilities and assignments and the like, all due to other people, because that makes me sit up late on Wednesday nights reading digital marketing instead of watching The Wrath of Khan. (As an aside, I did the marketing reading last night and totally took tonight off; loved Khan, especially as I’ve now seen Into Darkness twice and it all fits together so nicely in my brain.)

At the end of the day, every task I do feels like it’s for someone else, even though I know it’s all in my best interest. Like going to the gym to look good at the beach or taking multivitamins, it’s for someone else (in this case, the former for the other poor souls at the beach with me, and the latter for my future self), but it’s also for me. So are all of the things I do now:

  • my Careers Team Internship is giving me consumer insight, project management, and HR skills
  • my Libertine marketing internship is giving me social media marketing, public relations, and publications knowledge
  • my work with a local business through a Google AdWords campaign as part of the Google Online Marketing Challenge is teaching me analytics, search engine optimization, and advertising
  • my classes in Digital Marketing & Social Media, and Behavioral Finance, are invaluable to having the conceptual framework to look at jobs in those fields
  • my Action Project is inspiring innovation, entrepreneurship, creative marketing, and a good dose of realism about actually running a business

IMG_6209Given the list, it’s obvious that I’m perfectly cognizant of the personal benefit of every task. These are the things that will get me a job. The things on my resume that show I can change careers, that I’m not fated for another few years of sitting in the therapist chair (though I find myself there all the time in informal settings).

Nonetheless, there are still things that others expect. Reports needing filing, and articles to be read. Updates and meetings and adjustments and lots of feedback. Business, for lack of a better joke, is hard work.

I think this is leaving me bitter. I’m doing a lot, and none of the benefits are being given to me [yet]. Certainly nothing is going to be handed to me, or be perfectly lined up, or magically coincidentally IMG_6166serendipitously the perfect job at the perfect time with enough money to pay my student loans and live the high life. Life, to carry the theme, is hard work.

That’s okay, I guess, to be bitter. For a while anyway. Like all emotions, it’s a valuable color in the crayon box, putting perspective on things. But, in the long run, it’s poison. And if it’s already spilling over into my snide comments and biting remarks and the complete lack of respect I seem to be showing to some very important people on my path to [hopeful] success, I’d better fucking pull it together. It is about me, but it’s not all about me. 26-year olds are getting to know better.

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