Comic Belief

My own bloggable spin on life

New Years Resolutions are Pointless

I do not believe in New Years Resolutions.

Work out. Go on a diet. Cook instead of going out. Be more organized. Spend more time with friends and family. Be more fiscally responsible. Quit smoking. Quit drinking. Be a better person. Volunteer. Learn a foreign language. Be a different person.

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The Christmas holidays, despite their intended meaning of being a time for family and thankfulness, serve as the culmination of all of our terrible habits. It’s the same thing every December: people celebrate by over-eating, over-drinking, and spending as much money as possible with the justification that once New Years arrives, everything will magically change. Once the clock strikes midnight, we are expected to live up to the unrealistic list of expectations we have set for ourselves. Ironically, we do this by going out and spending a ton of money in bars to get plastered drunk and then resolve to not do any of these things anymore come the next day. What better way to celebrate the new and improved you than by spending the first day of the new year with an unrelenting hangover? Perhaps I seem a bit cynical to have already given up on New Years resolutions at the age of 23, somewhat like a child giving up on the existence of Santa Clause, but it has nothing to do with pessimism. I only believe that if you really want to change something, it has nothing to do with what the date is.

“New Year, New Me”
This quote makes an appearance every 365 days or so and serves as the number one cause of self-delusion and disappoint for the beginning of the year. With such a strong statement, there should be strong actions following it, but people don’t change that drastically just because it’s time to buy a new calendar. I completely understand trying to improve yourself, but if someone says they’re going to become an entirely changed person, they are setting themselves up failure. Instead of making realistic goals, people build up a fantasy on a sheet of paper, listing how much more responsible and healthy they’re going to be, and how much their lives will change. Since the list is so black and white, one little mistake can lead to the conclusion that they may as well not bother to change since they’ve already let themselves down.

Go on a Diet and Lose Weight!
I’d bet that this is the most common and most failed resolution in America. Everyone, including myself, has written it down on a piece of paper and promised themselves that they will get in shape, only to find that come January first, carbs are still delicious and working out still sucks. As a waitress, I actually see a lot of these trends through how busy we are. During December we had people packed in every night to indulge in carbs, buy each other shots, and spend their holiday bonuses. For the last couple of weeks, however, we’ve been completely dead because everyone is on their brief “resolution kick” where they resolve to eat healthier and cook more. Despite how slow we’ve been, I don’t lose hope because I know they’ll be back. Slowly but surely, they’ll get back into the swing of things and realize that no normal working person has time to work out 5 times a week, cook dinner every night, and deal with society in general without having a cold beer every once and a while. Currently I’m hoping that people will break their diets soon so that I can make some money.

Work Out!
I think this has been my main resolution every year, so naturally I’m in terrible shape. My problem is that I am nothing without structure, and I also need a support buddy. When I have a certain time to go work out and a friend with which to do so, there may be hope. But something always happens to make me miss one day, usually something I waited to study for until the last minute, or the fact that I didn’t have time before work to shower, or the other person couldn’t make it and of course I’m not going by myself! From my experience, if you’re not a person who generally works out, you’re probably not going to suddenly turn into a work out fiend, which is what most people expect of themselves. Once they realize that it’s going to take more than one week to achieve the body they want, it’s back to “I’ll just work out next week.”

Reconnect with Family and Friends
I totally think I need a lot of work on this one, but then again, it has nothing to do with the fact that it is 2013. Everyone has a busy schedule, and when you have a day off, the first thing you want to do is relax on your couch and not go anywhere. Somehow it’s always when you’re at the most hectic point in your life that you think of how much you miss certain people. The main issue I have with this resolution is that the phone goes both ways, and you can’t always blame yourself if you don’t have time to see all the people from whom you’ve grown apart. Here’s my main thought on this one: If you miss someone, call them. You don’t have to wait until January.

Like everyone else, I’ve failed at resolutions because I plan too big. Instead of saying “no more carbs,” try “eat healthier.” Quitting anything cold turkey fails for most people, but gradual lifestyle changes can actual work with a good reason. If the new year is a strong enough motivation for you, then congratulations, but you’re still the same person as you were five minutes before midnight.

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Yup, I’m still a waitress.

Unfortunately I have not kept up with my blog lately, mostly due to the fact that I have been too preoccupied with the exciting events that have been occurring in my life. Let me share some of my recent adventures in convenient list form so as to not overwhelm you with colorful details:

-Today I waited tables for 5 hours, then spent the little money I made on gas and pickles.

-I am almost completely up to date on Parks and Recreation, Breaking Bad, and How I Met Your Mother, thanks to Netflix.

-I am enjoying the new digs except for the constant presence of various insects and one very persistent squirrel/rat/possum/giant-mutant-killer-rabbit who lives in our attic

-Today I used my birthday money to buy 2 pairs of shoes and saved $20! Woooooooooo!

-No one wants to hire anyone who doesn’t have at least 3 years of experience FROM MYSTERY STARTING JOB THAT DOESN’T EXIST ANYWHERE.

-I tried Insanity and came to the conclusion that I hate cardio workouts. So much. They are stupid and pointless and I love pizza, dammit.

-It’s almost Fall!! I love Fall!! Halloween and leaves and pumpkins and cooking and hoodie weather!!

-My roommates and I hosted a party recently, and it was awesome, and we are awesome.

OK, that last one was pretty much the most exciting thing that has happened lately. However, this morning I attended a job fair. For those of you who have never been to a job fair, let me break it down for you: You build your hopes up the night before, preparing a professional outfit to wear and printing off several copies of your resume. If you are up to it, you even wake up early and iron your clothes to attend said fair 2 1/2 hours before having to be at work waiting tables. You then arrive at your destination to be greeted by a mass of people in button-up shirts and khakis with manilla file folders in their hands, all waiting for the same thing as you – to be given the chance to earn a paycheck. Once inside, you will fight the crowds to gain access to the various vendor booths, all of which offer various temptations, such as pens or fun-size candy bars (I was particularly drawn to a table that had donut holes, which was frustrating because it was a manufacturing business which I was in no way qualified for and therefore did not give me an excuse to obtain said delicious pastries). Everywhere you go, there will be a line of professional-looking people in front of you, and all of them will be talking non-stop to their prospective employers in an effort to make a good impression, but instead just being annoying as hell and taking up everyone’s valuable time. In my case, I was one of the few “younger” people there, so I didn’t have 5 years of filing experience or a license to operate a forklift, unlike most of the people in front of me. So anyway, a job fair is pretty much just speed-dating with businesses, and it’s no less desperate. In a speed-dating service you have a bunch of strangers just looking for someone to love them forever, or mess around with them temporarily until they find what they’re really looking for, and it’s no different, in theory, with a job fair. Everyone’s either looking for a career, or looking for something to pay the bills to they can just get by until something better comes along.

At this point, I’d just like to get back into a routine and not have to worry about whether I can pay my bills or not, so bring on the boring desk job. Mr. Right Career will come around sooner or later as long as I keep looking, but never lose hope.

In the meantime, back to watching Breaking Bad. Post again soon….I hope!

I miss school… Oh God Why

Me during finals week one year. Sleep-deprived and panicking, but now I actually miss the rush of getting all my assignments done for school. How bored do I have to be to miss being THIS stressed?!

I consider myself a pretty responsible person. I like being busy, having a job, and working hard to keep my life in order. If my house is clean, my bills are paid, and my school assignments are complete, I feel fulfilled and accomplished, ready for the future and the challenges ahead. But throughout school, all I wanted was some time for myself now and then to read books I actually wanted to read, or write something just for the hell of it and not for a grade. Now that I’m out of school, I have all the free time to write, create, look for jobs, and do all those things I never had time for. Great, right?

There’s just one problem: I am literally and completely LOST without structure.

Sure, I could always get up at 7 in the morning when I had to be at school on time, and I could get my assignments done before work because if I didn’t, I would get a bad grade. Then after work, I’d go home and do homework until 2 AM (except in extreme circumstances requiring all-nighters), and get some sleep. In between all the classes and assignments and work, I’d feel productive during my free time and utilize it in any way I could, dreaming of a day when I would have more time to be creative. However, now my schedule looks something like this:

1. 10 AM alarm — press snooze until 12.
2. Stand in front of fridge for half an hour deciding what to eat.
3. Clean house to feel productive.
4. Internet.
5. Find something interesting and crafty on Pinterest. Save for future, when I have “free time.”
6. Browse for jobs and come to the realization that I am either not qualified or not willing to give the next few years of my life to unrelenting stress and depression for the sake of a pay check.
7. Work
8. Drinks OR
9. Netflix and Internet
10. 4 AM – stop scrolling through pictures on iPhone and pass out, promising myself I will be productive tomorrow.

Most of this would not be such a huge problem if I could force myself to get up at a decent hour, but anyone who knows me knows that I am as far from a morning person as Dracula. I’ll even write motivational messages to go with my alarm, so that when I look at my phone alarm it will say something like, “Today will be worth it!” or “So much to accomplish today!” or, “Get up fatass.” But no matter what, I will fall back asleep because there are NO CONSEQUENCES. I won’t be late to work, miss a class, or be reprimanded by anyone, so according to my unrelenting subconscious, I have no reason to get up. Odds are I didn’t get to sleep until 4 or 5 in the morning anyway, so technically I need my rest.

I don’t write anything either. Yeah, I have ideas, but those all go in a list somewhere for “when I have free time,” and never see the light of day again. What good would they do me anyway? They won’t get me a job, and I’m too ADHD to finish project I start anyway — that is, unless, I have to turn it in to a professor. I thrive on specific assignments with guidelines and deadlines, telling me what to write about and who I’m writing to. Now that I’m out of school, I don’t have anyone but me…and I’m a terrible teacher. I can barely even keep up with a blog, much less a presentable portfolio with a specific area of expertise.

Unless I’m getting paid or graded, I’m pretty useless.

My Life in Boxes: Misadventures of Moving

Moving can be an opportunity for a fresh start, leaving behind the stale and insipid interior of one place and getting to reorganize your entire life in a new set of walls. Recently my roommates and I moved from a tiny upstairs apartment, which boasted the impressive view of a Krystal and a run-down car wash, to a much larger house which is better equipped to hold three people, three dogs, and one very destructive cat. However, in our eagerness to move and excitement about the new place, we put off moving until the last minute and were unpleasantly reminded of how moving can be both tedious and chaotic.

Facing the prospect of sorting through all my meaningless junk felt like I had ended up on an episode of Hoarders. There are so many things that you don’t think about until you have to move them; random items that you have tossed carelessly aside or stored in a dark corner of the closet so they would be out of the way until needed, or pieces of furniture that you have taken for granted since they have resided in the same spot for so long that they are now considered part of the physical makeup of the house. None of these items mean anything until you are faced with a seemingly insurmountable pile of miscellaneous clutter collected over several months or years, and must now actually acknowledge their existence. With only a few days to get my stuff together and relocate it, I felt completely lost and overwhelmed, an emotion which I feel can be best related through this picture:

Yes, this is the best comparison of how I felt trying to organize all of my stuff to move — a dog operating a plane.

My idea of organizing is probably not the best plan when trying to move in a short amount of time, mainly because before I pack anything, I have to dump everything out and go through it so I can sort things into piles based of relevance. This is a horrible form of organization because it is time-consuming and inevitably leads to hours spent perusing through papers and objects long-forgotten. My goal was to sort through my desk and distribute the items into neat piles, like so:

-office supplies (staples, paperclips, etc.)

-important papers

-electronics

-writing and art supplies

-recycles

-trash

However, after spending a good hour and a half going through everything, I was surprised at how much useless crap I had managed to shove into the meager two shelves in my desk. Apparently my method of cleaning had been to take whatever I didn’t need at the time and throw it into my desk drawer, shutting it out of site, out of mind. Being ADHD and perhaps subconsciously trying to sabotage any hopes I had of packing, my thought process went something like, “Hey! Let’s go through these old papers you wrote in high school! Ooohh I forgot about this one, I liked this book. Do I still have it? This cord looks important – I wonder what it goes to? Maybe I should look through my closet and see if there’s anything that will fit it.” I also have acquired the unfortunate habit of saving random objects with the intention to use them for crafts or other art projects, a desire which is fueled by Pinterest only to be crushed by my hopeless lack of artistic talent and a lack of motivation. As the sorting continued, the items became more and more random so that rather than a few piles of easily-organized supplies in a neat, organized list like I proposed earlier, I ended up in the middle of my floor surrounded by islands of miscellaneous rubbish which had been sorted into the following categories:

-Various receipts, some dating back to 2010

-instruction manuals for things I no longer owned

-business cards for places I never go

-ribbons

-“office supplies,” which was actually just an clump of rubber bands, multiple sizes of paper clips, tacks, staples, and few flash drives

-bundle of cords, cables, and plugs with no other identification other than they belong to some electronic device, kept in the event that I ever figure out what they go to

-mix CD’s with no labels

-various sizes of screws which probably belong to something important

-memorabilia (tickets, pins, pictures, etc.), kept to preserve emotional sentiment and gather dust

-pile of wine corks (possibly a Pinterest idea at some point)

-assorted beads

-bottles of various medicine

-broken jewelry

-credit cards

THEN it’s time to play everyone’s favorite moving game, “How Much Random Crap Can I Cram Into This Box?” That’s when the mover realizes that the attempt to sort and organize is pointless, and that it would be easier to just shove everything into a box and deal with it later, thus letting the cycle of random junk continue.
Is it just me, or does moving make everyone feel a little insane?

 

What My Cover Letter Should Really Say

June 24, 2012

Mr. Important Person
Important Company, Inc.
Atlanta, GA -related zip code-

Dear Mr. Important Person,

I am writing to express my interest in ANYTHING that will pay me a substantial amount of money at ANY COMPANY that is willing to hire me to do ANYTHING RELEVANT to my college major and/or life experience. I am not particularly gifted, but hell, if you’re willing to pay me, I can learn. My strengths include the ability to go without sleep for long periods of time in order to get work accomplished despite the fact that I end up resembling a meth-addicted zombie by the end of it, the ability to manipulate anything written to make it sound appealing whether I am knowledgeable in the subject or not, and extensive computer proficiency due to a solid eight years of procrastinating from homework by wasting countless hours on the internet.

If you are still reading this, which I doubt you are since you probably have letters to read from applicants who are actually qualified for this position, I would like to direct you to my resume, which is a brilliant masterpiece of the written word. Seriously, you should hire me solely based on fact that I made waiting tables sound like a professional art form. In all seriousness, putting up with customers in a restaurant more than qualifies me for so-called “customer relations.” Anyone can talk on the phone; I can look straight at a customer who is treating me as if I just tried to poison them because I brought out the wrong salad dressing and, with a smile on my face, say, “Oh, I’m sorry for that inconvenience, sir. Is there anything else I can get you?” even though in my head I want to find the nearest sharp object and stab him in the face with it. That’s focus under pressure, and I guarantee that makes me just as capable of dealing with people as someone who has sat behind a cubicle answering phones for the past five years.

As for a candidate with organizational skills, you can’t get more organized than someone with clinically diagnosed Obsessive Compulsive Disorder! You’ll never have to worry about losing a file, a memo, or as much as a PAPERCLIP ever again, since clutter affects me much like the Overlook Hotel affects Jack Torrence in The Shining. I organize everything from my clothes to random receipts from three years ago that I might for some reason need and don’t want to risk throwing away, so you’d never have to worry about some irresponsible dunce who might lose something. My attention to detail far exceeds that of a normal, sane person, and I would apply this knack of noticing things such as layers of dust on the underside of tables and stray pieces of string hanging from strangers’ clothing to correcting grammatical errors on important documents and analyzing marketing trends. Remember, I’m not just qualified—I’m diagnosed!

In conclusion, I would like to emphasize my main point, which is that I am completely and honestly desperate. I can learn just about anything if you pay me, and I will slave away doing mindless paperwork because I have student loans to pay off and IKEA furniture to purchase. Please have mercy upon my broke college graduate soul and grant me an interview so that I may dazzle you in-person with my charming personality and wit, which will surely secure me the position much more than a written letter could. Thank you for your consideration, although you likely have not considered a single thing but I have imagined you doing so anyway to keep me from becoming completely depressed and jumping off a bridge. Please call me. Seriously.

Yours with a Good Starting Salary and Decent Benefits,

Hannah Fowler
317 Still-Living-Here Rd.
Rome-Feel-Like-I’m-Gonna-Be-Here-Forever, GA 30161
dem digits
dat email

Now What?

I’ve always known that an English major was not directly associated with a promising career path, usually conjuring the image of the unsuccessful-yet-still-pretentious writer or, on the other end of the spectrum, the assumption of grad school to further the English major to make it more, well, useful. Almost every single time when someone asked me about my major, it would go something like this:

Random Person approaches me and attempts to make small talk about life, which inevitably leads to the question, “So, what’s your major?”

“I’m an English major,” I declare confidently, as I’m sure the connotation of my major must entail the long hours of research and detailed literature analyses which have made me so vastly intelligent.

“Oh,” Random Person replies with a slight raise of the eyebrows, “So you’re going to teach?”

This is the point where I either want to slam my face into my hand in frustration, or slam my hand into the other person’s face for being so presumptuous. After a while I got used to this response, so I say with as much enthusiasm as possible, “No, I actually like to write.”

“Aah,”Random Person says with an unmistakeable look of concern. “So you’re gonna, like, write books or something?”

Feigning as much confidence as possible, I respond, “Well, maybe one day, but I’m realistic enough to know I need a paycheck. I actually want to do editing and publishing in Atlanta or something.”

This is usually where the topic of my major ends, and the only response Random Person can usually muster is a repeated nod of the head and an, “Oooh, OK.”

As much as I try to convey the interesting qualities of pouring over documents and meticulously correcting grammatical errors, Random Person has already mentally condemned me to failure in the writing world, assuming that my only option is to teach. One nurse who I told about my major skipped the formality of questioning my career altogether, saying, “Oh, an English major? What grade are you going to teach?” Not that there’s anything wrong with being a teacher, as my entire family is full of them and they’re all brilliant, but aside from something I’d want to do abroad, I’ve never really been drawn to it. So, having graduated from college with a big fancy BACHELOR’S DEGREE, I assumed that it was time to find a stable editing or writing job in Atlanta with opportunities to interact with important authors and publishers and eventually move my way up to success as an independent young writer in the city.

“Wrong” might be something of an understatement. First of all, there is no such thing as an entry-level writing job. They are a complete myth, ranked with fairies, Bigfoot, and Diet Dr. Pepper, and anyone who says otherwise has either never looked for a job or is playing a cruel joke on you to get your hopes up so that you’ll finish school. It doesn’t help that I get my hopes up like a small child on Christmas Eve, and when I’m let down it’s like reality is slapping me in the face…with my degree. I felt accomplished enough just by completing my resume, and felt even more encouraged as I continued to apply for jobs online. Cover letter after cover letter of my “qualifications” and “experience” really just translated into “I’m desperate and I can write. Please hire me,” but since most of the jobs I’ve applied for require at least 2 years of experience, I’ve had little luck so far. Several times I’ve checked my email and my face has lit up with excitement at the words “Job Opportunity” or “We Reviewed Your Resume,” but upon closer inspection, all of them have been offering me various sales positions. Nothing wrong with sales, of course, but I did not go to college for four years and sign my life away to student loans to have a career in something I don’t care about.

SO, until then I will be writing as much online as possible when I have time. Articles, blogs, whatever it takes to build a portfolio, get my writing out there, and gain as much experience as possible. I may be a starving writer for a while, but at least I’m still a writer.

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