Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I Want to be a Psychologist?

A couple days ago, I decided that I could be a psychologist. After all, I'm a Psych major, right? And the only thing I love more than listening to people talk is telling those people what to do. Boo-yah! Dream job.

(Plus, when Molly Clock, the consulting psychiatrist at Sacred Heart -- as seen on Scrubs -- is this glamorous, how could I say no?)

But the thing is, this kind of thing happens to me all too regularly. Earlier this year I decided I wanted to work in marketing--after all, I've always loved telling stories, and marketing is essentially telling the story of a brand. Then I decided I wanted to be an independent consultant--of what, I didn't even know--I didn't think that far ahead. But it would be a great fit, I decided, because I would get to meet a lot of people, establish contacts, and dictate my own hours.

The weird thing is that all of those jobs would be a good fit, because they all appeal to different aspects of my personality and different styles of problem-solving. I guess only time (and the job market) will ultimately tell which type is the most compelling to me.

My only hope is that if I end up being a psychologist, I can be half as glamorous as Molly Clock...!


Monday, July 7, 2014

Wait, No, Come Back...!

"Hi, I'm Joanne, it's nice to meet you," the woman says, stretching her arm over the desk and smiling warmly at me.

"Oh, so nice to meet you!" I say, shaking her hand and beaming back. A moment of hesitation--do I give her my name? I'm only working at this office for today. Does she even need to know? She won't remember--it'd be a burden on her brain. But wait, it'd be polite of me to say. I should say. But should I?

My mouth hangs slightly ajar as we shake hands. My mind is frozen. I don't say anything. A flicker of something crosses her face and she nods, still smiling, and walks away. As soon as she's gone, I know I've made a mistake.

"Damn it, damn it, damn it!" I mutter to myself, knocking my forehead with the heel of my hand. I should've introduced myself. I knew it. Who cares if I'm only here for 7 hours of my life? I should've done it. 

I'm sure you know the feeling--that sinking wave of regret that washes over you the second you've made a mistake. Big or small, it's not a happy thing to feel. You just want to knock yourself over the head--because it would've been so easy to have prevented it! If only you were perfectly able to navigate every situation...

But alas, like me, you're only human. You're going to make mistakes. And so, even though we might sometimes forget to give our names to the Joannes in our lives, we have to learn to forgive ourselves. Take responsibility, yes, but also take it easy. Life goes on.

(Plus, she probably would've forgotten it immediately anyways.)


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Get In Your Barefoot Time

Wrote this for Pack Out Gear's blog--they're thoughts that I enjoyed, so I figured I'd share!
Recently, I've been spending a good deal of time in Boston, as I've been doing various temporary office assignments around the city. As someone who has lived in a suburb her whole life -- and who now attends college on a lawn-covered campus -- frequenting urban locales has made me step back and reflect on what makes city living and all other styles of living so different. More importantly, it's made me realize what they have in common. There are certain things that human beings just can't do without--essentials of living that are present in some form everywhere in the world. Unsurprisingly, one of them--in my opinion, the most important one--is green space.
Sitting on a bench in Copley Square yesterday, it made me smile to observe the crowded lawn in front of Trinity Church. Men were playing soccer, kids were running around, visitors and professionals alike were lounging--it was a perfect idyllic scene, a joyful island in the middle of the hot and bustling 9-5 grind.
It was a sight akin to that of Washington Square Park, which I visited when I was in New York over the weekend. The weather was hot and rather muggy that day, but the park was still absolutely packed with people. One man was lying right on top of the fountain jets, directly beneath the "Do not sit in fountain" sign. (Obviously, I loved that.)
To me, these are more than parks. They're safe havens, centers for both activities and meditation, and most importantly, sources of something utterly essential to our well-being and sanity: green grass. There's something about stepping onto grass (especially barefoot!) that instantly soothes and invigorates better than any beauty product can. And as city-savvy and technological as people have become, we all still need that feeling now and again. That's why parks are always crowded. And that's why maybe, you should take a chance and elevate your experience (pun possibly intended)--that is, take a break in the woods! Go swim in a lake, go climb a mountain, just go to a campground and pitch a tent for a night.
I promise you, you'll be glad you did.


Friday, June 27, 2014

Why You Need Optimism >= Oxygen

Yes, I'm an optimist, and no, I won't let your cynicism get to me. (That was probably implied, but oh well.)

I read a saying recently that really makes sense to me. I don't know who said it, but it goes like this:

If they don't know you personally, don't take it personally.

What a good point! It's so easy to let little daily mishaps get to you, but that's such a bummer. For example, I'm currently temping at a marketing company in Boston. Naturally, I don't know how to do everything--that's just inevitable. So when one of our upper-level employees spoke gruffly to me about something I had done wrong, I was tempted to wallow in self-pity. Luckily, the optimism kicked in. Hey, well now you know--you should have been thinking about that task before he even had to ask! That's an example of how to be pro-active in your work.

Bullet of sadness = dodged; helpful lesson = learned! Besides, staying positive and being persistent is an incredibly valuable quality. If you need inspiration, look at this post from the popular Humans of New York blog:

"I've been trying to get into a full time orchestra for the past 20 years. I'd guess I've been to over 200 auditions. It can be pretty heartbreaking. I tried out for the New York Philharmonic four times. One time I prepared three months for the Los Angeles Philharmonic audition, flew all the way across the country, and they cut me off after twelve seconds. But believe or not, I still have a certain amount of optimism about the process. And I think I'm getting better."

I'm not saying that you should always, always persist if you fail hundreds of times, but I find this man very inspiring regardless. He might not have booked the right audition just yet, but he has the attitude that will take him there--and make him successful in whatever he ends up doing.

Being able to handle setbacks, and accept your own mistakes as learning experiences rather than personal downfalls, is a skill, and you can acquire it.

So next time something akin to any of these examples happens to you, just try to re-frame it in your mind. How did it make you grow? Do you now know something that will help you in the future, so you won't make the same mistake twice? And if someone was judging you--odds are that person doesn't know you completely. You, on the other hand, know yourself--and you know that you are a capable person of value and worth.

Don't let them get you down!


I'm Just Doing This to Put It on My Resumé

As a young adult, I'm supposed to (kind of) have it together. Part of this, naturally, is having a kickass resumé. That way, when I get rejected from 10 prestigious internships in the same week, I can still sit back, look at my resumé and think, wow, my resumé is bad. ASS. And so well written! Gosh, I'm way more accomplished than I realized. Who cares if I don't have an internship? Anyone looking at this thing would die to have me!

(Healthy or not? You decide...)

Anyways, this obsession with appearing professional (despite dubious amounts of real work experience) has made me all-too-conscious of what I might and might not put on a resumé. It's gotten to the point where I catch myself considering what I can spend time doing based on whether or not I could use it to get a job later. Sure, thinking like this is smart, to a point--it keeps me focused and mindful of my future opportunities. But I think it's gone too far.

I decided that I want to volunteer at a museum this coming semester--there are a lot of fantastic Boston museums that I've loved for many years (e.g. Museum of Science, Museum of Fine Arts, various historical locations around here, etc.) But as I looked into the volunteer positions, I heard a snide little voice in my head, saying, could a Meet and Greet Volunteer position at the Museum of Science really help you get a job? After all, I'm not studying science, and I'm not exactly hoping to make a career out of working at a museum.

That's when I stepped back and asked myself, why the hell am I thinking about it like that? Since when do I base my interests off a vague idea of a future job interview for who-knows-what? I'd be signing up to volunteer at the museum for the best reasons--because I'm interested in meeting people and giving back to a museum that has brought me so much joy since I was a young kid! Feeling reaffirmed and confident in myself, I printed off the application and began filling it out.

Also, it's my personal belief that if a company is smart, they'll look to hire people who use their free time in meaningful ways. So I guess this is something that would look good on a resumé, after all...!

That still doesn't make filling out all the paperwork any more fun. Sigh.

That's all for now!


Thursday, June 26, 2014

I Really Have Nothing to Say Right Now

I haven't posted on here in a couple days. No, I haven't been busy. Honestly, I've been doing a lot of sitting at a desk. I just haven't posted because I haven't had anything significant to say. I find it irritating when people talk just to hear the sound of their own voice, so I had no desire to write just to see my words on a page.

I'm still looking into volunteering at a couple museums around Tufts next semester, so I'll post if anything works out. I'm mostly hopeful about either a history museum in Boston or the Museum of Science. We'll see!

Also, there's been a boy here and there, which is new and nice. But this isn't my personal blog, so I'll spare you the details. ;-)

Today, the representatives from Wrigley arrive for the big meeting tomorrow. I've got to say that I hit it out of the park with this one--I made them fancy little name tags in plastic sleeves, and they look great! They have the Wrigley logo and everything. I also made them each little welcoming packets, with information about the restaurant they're going to tonight, the guest WiFi information, etc. I know it's just a temp job, but I wanted to put effort into it anyways and show that I'm a competent and motivated person! Plus, working up the name tags took up a good chunk of an otherwise boring Friday. :-)

That's about it for now! Just wanted to let you know I am still alive and well, radio silence or not. I'm off to double check those packets...


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I Just Want to Time-Travel, is That Too Much to Ask?

There are few things more depressing to me than hearing students say they hate history because it's "boring."

Granted, not all historical texts are riveting, but history itself--boring?! Now that's just ridiculous.

History is everything but boring. It's not some ancient, crumbling tome, engraved in dusty rock and stuffed away in a basement. It's flexible, it's vibrant, it's ever-changing, it's fresh, it's new. It's a living record of everything that has existed and a reflection of everything that will come to exist. It's a story that never ends. Better yet, though, it's all real. 

People will scoff, saying things like, "You can't live in the past, you know." And it's true (though a certain Jay Gatsby would beg to differ) -- and that'd be a good argument, if historians were trying to live in the past!

But studying the past is not the same as trying to live in it. Studying the past is about seeking, asking questions, trying to expand our knowledge and comprehend the human experience in ways which we will never truly understand. What was it really like to be a Pilgrim, in that first winter on the cold shores of Massachusetts? What weighed on the minds of kings--what were the thoughts, the troubles, the hopes that never came to the light? How did Egyptian slaves feel when they opened their eyes each morning? Why did a cup of tea mean so much more to a colonist than it ever will to you or me?

Historians ask these questions to understand people, not to relish a time long gone. At the end of the day, studying the past means living a more vibrant present, enhanced by the knowledge and awareness of those who came before. It's a beautiful field of study.

Now tell me it's boring again--or try opening your eyes!