Posts Tagged ‘jobs’

I talk a lot about my writing career. Not just on this blog, but everywhere else: when I was at school, at social events, at wherever I happen to be worshiping (usually it’s at a synagogue, but occasionally I’m at other places), when I’m hanging out, and of course, at work. I’ve mentioned to more than a few people at work that not only am I a writer, but I’ve told them that Rose is getting published by a publishing company. The vast majority of people I’ve talked to about it have been very excited to read it, even if horror is not their normal genre (though I think Rose would be more classified as a supernatural thriller at this point). It really boosts my mood when people say that, and makes me want to be an even better writer.

Today, a coworker from another office and I passed in the hallway at work. She asked me about updates on Rose, and I told her that my publisher was hopefully going to get back to me this week about some revision suggestions I’d made. She got that “how cool!” look on her face and told me to keep her informed. She then dropped this on me: she’d been telling her kids about me, as I was proof of success for “following your dreams.”

Well, this really got my thinking. I mean, I’m flattered and all, but do I really deserve to be called an example of following your dreams? To my coworker, I probably am. After all, to non-writers, getting the book accepted by a publisher counts as living the dream. But to me, I haven’t accomplished my dreams yet.

That’s not modesty on my part, I’m just not sure I can say I’ve reached my dreams. At least not at this point. My dream has changed over the years, from being the next JK Rowling to the next Stephen King to just being able to make a living off of writing and maybe writing full-time, which is where my dream is that today. And I’m not there yet by any means. I still work a 40-hours a week job to pay my bills (sometimes longer if I have to stay late to finish up certain projects). And while Castrum Press wanting to publish Rose is a big step in the right direction, the book still has to come out.

I guess what I’m saying is that I’m still following those dreams. I’m still working to make it so that I’m in bookstores, to get lots of people to actually want and look forward to reading my books. And I say “books,” because it’s probably going to take several books, if I’m very lucky, to be able to write full-time. It’s rare for authors to be able to write-full time, and even rarer just after the first book. If I somehow manage to make that happen, then hooray. But at the moment, that’s still several years in the future.

I guess I’m still chasing my dreams. Right now, I’m on the right track, and I’m an example of how hard work, lots of revision and rejection, a bit of backbone, and a Plan B if you don’t happen to be one of those overnight success stories (aka employment) can pay off a little. But of successfully chasing your dreams? Well, we’ll see where I end up in the next few years. Fingers crossed it’s a better place than where I am now, even if I’m still not writing full-time.

On an unrelated note, you remember how in my last post, I talked about getting a statue of Cthulhu? Well, my boss took a look at it this morning and okayed me to keep it in the office. To which I say, “Yay! Now I can really start turning my workspace into a den of horrors!” But seriously, it’s nice to really be able to personalize my workspace in such a way. Before now, it really didn’t have that much to say, “Oh, this is totally Rami’s desk. You can just tell by looking at it.” There’s a lot of rules to how one can decorate their workspace at my job, so being able to just have Cthulhu there is a big deal for me. Perhaps in the future, I can also put some other cool stuff around my desk to really help me feel at home while I work.

Until then, I’m cool with just Cthulhu. Besides, he looks so cool there, doesn’t he? I think he does, anyway.

That’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. Thanks for letting me ramble on about this stuff. Until next time, pleasant nightmares!

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So that lovely and occasionally terrifying thing known as the Internet has informed me that April is Autism Awareness Month, and as someone who is on the spectrum, I felt I should contribute something.

The only question is, what should I contribute? I haven’t had any experiences like when I was asked to give advice on how to help someone’s autistic relative; I haven’t been prompted to record a video or anything like the one below, detailing a specific issue involving disability (by the way, that video recently passed the one-year anniversary of when it was uploaded, and also passed five-hundred views soon afterwards. I find that pretty cool); I haven’t had any revelations about my relationship with my autism; and no one’s asked me point-blank if I’m autistic recently. What’s there to talk about? What can I say that not only needs to be said, but I feel strongly speaking my mind about?

 

Well, I guess one subject I can broach is how autism affects adults, especially in terms of job searching and job security.

A lot of people associate autism with children. When they associate it with adults, I think the popular image is low-functioning adults who are being taken care of by their parents or at facilities. And while there is a segment of the adult autistic population that do need that sort of care, the popular image ignores the segment of the population who don’t require full-time care from facilities or parents, those who can and seek to live independently. And they face their own unique challenges and issues.

Now, I”m just going off my own experience and the experiences of others who have or are related to people with ASD, but the fact that we’re either experiencing or hearing about this says something.

I’ve mentioned before how, between October 2015 and about March or April 2016, I was on the worst job search I’ve ever experienced. Every day I would send out resumes and applications, only to either not hear anything back or to be passed over after being interviewed. One reason this may have happened is because I was open to my potential employers about the fact that I have ASD, and that it sometimes made social situations awkward. I have no proof, but it’s possible that knowing my diagnosis may have scared them off. People have this association with people with disabilities in general that we’re unable to do anything. And even if we’re skilled at something (sciences, writing, mathematics, painting, music, whatever), our needs are too much for them to handle as employers.

The reality, I assure you, is much different. At work, part of my job is being a disability advocate, and I can attest that people with disabilities not only do things, they do them very well. Not only that, but employers who treat disabled employees well find that not only are these employees hard-working and loyal, but several times less likely to turn over than the general population. Not only that, but accommodations for their disability usually aren’t burdensome: a quiet or obstacle-free workspace, or flexible schedules, or leave for medical appointments. And when it does cost money for accommodations, it’s usually not expensive. Seriously, I help handle accommodations at work. I rarely see the cost get anywhere near five-hundred dollars.  My own accommodations cost the organization nothing: I just listen to my iPod or audio books while I work (I pay for any new music or audio books) and I have a chair designed to ease my back pain (we already had the chair to begin with, so it didn’t cost any money to give it to me).

But still, a lot of employers are wary of employing the disabled, especially folks with ASD. They have this idea of a Rain Man-type character, someone who may excel at one very special skill, but needs all sorts of help in every other area of life and can’t do anything but certain tasks. For many autistic adults, this simply isn’t the case. Each of us may present our diagnosis differently, but it doesn’t affect each and every one of us that badly, and we are suited for a variety of tasks.

I’m lucky that I was able to get a job in an office where everyone is kind and gets that I’m not always the savviest person socially, in an organization that emphasizes disability hiring, accommodation, and inclusion. But not many people like me are that lucky. They have trouble finding jobs because employers see their disabilities as a huge barrier. I’ve heard from friends who’ve had this experience, as well as from others. And not just with jobs: I’ve heard from people who have told me that they or their relatives had had trouble finding services that help them cope with their ASD once they reach adulthood or when they’re diagnosed in adulthood. There’s plenty of help for minors, but for adults, it can be a challenge.

So this Autism Awareness Month, I’m writing a post urging people not only to support autism awareness, research, and therapy, but also to rethink how we approach adults with autism (and disabilities in general). The majority of us aren’t helpless individuals. We’re hardworking and want to be part of society. You just have to give us the opportunity, whether that be funding for programs that offer counseling, education, and job training to autistic adults, or actually giving a job to someone with autism. Quite possibly, you’ll be amazed at what you receive in return.

Thank you for reading, and have a good month of April.

Me these days.

On May 31st, 2016, I moved out of my father’s house and into my own apartment, a little over a week before my twenty-third birthday. Age 22 was a year of struggle and dark feelings for me. True, I spent four awesome months in Germany, but the rest of that year was spent trying to find a job, clashing with my sisters in my dad’s house, and generally feeling like everyone was looking at me like I was doing something wrong or wasn’t trying hard enough every day I didn’t come home with a job. Plus my back problems were getting worse (truthfully, I could’ve done more to take care of that), and that just made everything else worse. When I finally got a job and was able to move out on my own, I felt like things were finally turning around for me.

It’s now May 31st, 2017, an entire year since I moved out, as well as nearly a year since I turned twenty-three. And honestly, Age 23 has been awesome! I’m in a very good place right now, possibly the best place I’ve been in my life.

For one thing, I have a job. A good job, nay, a great job. And even when I’m tired of being in the office for forty hours a week, I love it. Now for those of you who don’t know, I work in a sort-of HR position with a large supply organization with a regional HQ here in Columbus. I say sort-of because we go by another name and we answer to the regional head rather than the head of HR (it makes more sense when you’re in the organization). Anyway, our organization hires and employs a large number of people with disabilities, so my job mainly involves making sure they are able to continue working with us. My main duty is assigning sign-language interpreters to interpret for deaf/hard-of-hearing employees at meetings or events. I also help out with getting employees with other disabilities accommodations, including assistive technology, specially-made chairs or desks, and even work-from home agreements. It’s a pretty rewarding job, and the fact that I’ve got good pay and benefits for it is great. Not only that, I’m surrounded by a great team of people who are not only nice and fun to work with, but they know I’m not always good with social situations, and can help me translate when I’m confused or if I make a mistake. Do you know how great having that is?! My job’s almost a golden goose!

Another thing that’s really nice is I have my own apartment! I haven’t had a space of my own since sophomore year of college, and even then I had to share the TV and living room with God knows how many other students. Now, not only do I have to share entertainment devices with people, but I have managed to create a happy space for myself. Every day I can chill and be my normal eccentric self, and believe me when I say I do chill and be my normal eccentric self (this sometimes manifests as bouts of singing, thinking aloud without worrying who might hear, and the occasional magic portal manifesting at my will. Or do I imagine that?).

Not only that, but I have nearly complete control over my space! I decide where thing are stored or stacked, what furniture I have, and what decorations I keep around the apartment. This is really big for me, as even when I was in college, I was restricted by the dorm or had to work with my roommate on stuff like furnishings and decorations. And at my parents’ homes, my interior designing was restricted to my room and to what I could get permission for. What you put in your space can say a lot about you, so when I’ve had the opportunity and the means, I’ve put in what I like. A couch, an anime figurine (or several), a plastic raven bust, a painting of a witch, that sort of thing. It really helps me feel at home here, and shows people my unique style (which sometimes scares people, but what do I care? I am who I am).

There are other things that have contributed to how good my life is now. The two up above are the big ones, but these definitely help: I’m eating healthier now, and I’ve lost a ton of unnecessary weight because of it; my back problems have improved, in part due to my lost weight; I’m slowly but surely building up a savings account; and my readership is growing slowly but surely as well, both on the blog and with my books.

So yeah, life is good for me right now. And with a bit of luck, life will continue to get better. And if you’re going through hard times right now, just remember that things don’t last this way forever. They can and will improve. Mine certainly did.

That’s all for now. Expect another post tomorrow morning. And until next time, my Followers of Fear, pleasant nightmares.

As many of you know, I’m cutting the number of blog posts I do every month down to two (unless I have something special to talk about, in which case we may get one or two more here), so I can use what little time I have to actually get some fiction writing done. And I thought, what better way to start this than to list all the things I’m doing?

Well, actually there are probably a lot better things I could talk about, but all writers are at least slightly narcissistic. Why else do we insist that people should read the fiction we write?

In any case, let’s start talking about me and the things going on in my life right now. This is Updates on What I’m Doing.

I’m now fully employed.

Let me guess, you thought I’d be talking books first, didn’t you? Nope, I’m doing this, because it’s so important, and the main reason I’m doing this cutback.

So, as many of you know, I started an internship here in Columbus, working in an Equal Employment Opportunity office, like I did last summer in Germany (ah, Deutschland! How I miss you so every day!). In an EEO office, we handle everything from promoting diversity and tolerance to getting employees accommodations for disabilities and handling mediation when someone is discriminated against. Within our office, everyone is expected to be able to work the full variety of these tasks, with perhaps some specialization in certain areas for some employees.

Personally, I love the job. The work is good work, the people are nice and laugh at most of my jokes, and the pay allows me to live on my own, which is a godsend (seriously, I love my family, but at this point in my life it’s better for me to be on my own and independent). And as of last Monday, I’m no longer an intern, but a full employee. Yeah, they decided to keep me! I’m so very grateful, and I’m looking forward to working in such a great office for ages to come, getting experience and getting settled into this weird thing called adulthood.

I’m also grateful for a morning cup of tea that’s s good as Starbucks but five times cheaper. Gotta love that.

The one thing I would complain about is that I don’t have as much time to write as I used to. Not surprising, I was unemployed prior to this, and that meant a slightly freer schedule. But the silver lining is, I actually can write knowing I have an income. So maybe I’ll write more slowly, but at least I won’t be doing the whole starving artist routine (seriously overrated).

Which brings me to my next point:

Reestablishing a writing routine

I used to say that I had no writing process, that I just wrote where I could and when I could. Turns out, that’s not really the case. I actually had a pretty established routine during the job search: after a full day of job-searching, I’d stop around five o’clock, have dinner, and write the evening away, watching TV and getting words in during the commercial break. I actually got through two drafts of Video Rage this way.

Well, I moved. And I don’t have a TV, so I stream mostly. And I have an earlier bedtime, which means less time to write. So there goes that routine out the window.

And since then, I’ve been trying to reestablish a routine, though I haven’t had as much success as I would like. I think I just sat down in front of the computer and hoped that something magical would happen. Obviously, magic didn’t occur, despite my prayers to all gods and demons within the vicinity. However, my friend Pat Bertram gave me an idea that’s been helpful: she recently joined a writer’s group where people try to write 250 words a day. Now, I can’t do it every day, but I try to do it as often as possible, and so far it seems to be working. Is it the writing routine I would like? No, but it’s baby steps, and that’s a good enough start if you ask me. Perhaps later on I’ll get to the point where I can write like I used to, even without a TV.

We’ll just have to wait and see, won’t we?

The Reborn City series

As many of you know, I have a final book planned for this series, which I intend to call Full Circle.  Well, as November is National Novel Writing Month and I wanted to do FC for that month (even though I doubt I’ll even get near ten thousand words), I’m doing some preliminary work on the novel this month. I’ve written a bit of the outline, I’ve come up with a list of names and traits for the group of villains, as well as a travel route for the main characters to take, and I’m working on a family tree for a certain character.

The one thing I’m worried about is the number of plot lines I’ve got going in this final novel. Some of these plot lines were set up in the first book, like some things Rip saw in his soul sage hallucinations, so I need to resolve them in the final novel or attentive readers will get angry and point out stuff about them on the Internet. When I put them in the first and second books, I thought they were great and it would be no problem to wrap them up in the final book. Now that I’m actually there, though…well, I have to wrap them all up. And I’m worried that people will find them letdowns or extraneous.

Oh well. I dug myself into this whole. I can dig myself out again. I must’ve thought those plot lines belonged the whole time I was writing/editing/publishing the first two books, so I’ll work them into the third book and see what happens. Who knows? Some people may not like them, but others might, and it’ll be true to my vision, which is what writing is all about, right?

Rose

So if I’m working on FC right now, does that mean I finished the latest draft of Rose? Well, no I haven’t. The thing is, this draft is proving much more difficult than the first two. I changed an important aspect of the story early in the draft, which ended up changing the entire story at a fundamental level, and I’m kept busy just trying to get the story to match that change. Not to mention that I’m adding a lot of material every time I sit in front of the computer to work on it, and that slows me down a bit too. Add in all the other stuff you do while editing–rephrasing sentences, taking out unneeded material, etc–and I took three months to get to Chapter Six.

Yeah, I’m not happy about that. So I’m taking a break to work on other stuff and maybe get my mind into a better place so that when I return to Rose, I can give it the right sort of treatment. I don’t know when this will be, as FC will be given priority so I can get it out and finish the RC series once and for all, and perhaps after FC I’d like to work on stories other than Rose.

But hey, sometimes that’s how writers work. At times we’re able to work on a story, at other times we aren’t. And sometimes those gaps between periods of work on a manuscript can be very long. Stephen King tried to write Under the Dome twice in the 70’s and 80’s before getting it out in 2009. I’m not saying something similar will happen with Rose, but it might be quite the gap before I get to work on the third draft again.

Other Projects

This post is getting rather long, so I’ll just give a quick update on everything else that I’m working on:

  • Teenage Wasteland: I think after FC, this might also get a higher priority than other books. As a collection of short stories, it should take less time and effort than one big novel, so I’ll be working on this in-between drafts of FC most likely, or whenever I need a break and want to clear my mind. I’ve got about seven or eight stories already prepped for that book, and I’d like somewhere between thirteen and twenty-two in that collection, so I think I can get it done sooner rather than later. If so, I’ll make sure to let you guys know.
  • Laura Horn: Like Rose, LH had a major aspect of it changed in a previous draft. Unlike Rose, it didn’t give me this much grief. So I think I could get Laura Horn done very quickly as well, perhaps as soon as FC and TW are done.
  • A replacement for #FirstLineFriday: got something in the works, and it could be ready by October. That’s all I’m saying right now.
  • 5K Likes: We are so close, I can almost smell it! Make it happen, folks! Make it happen!

 

And that’s basically it at the moment. And I think after I finish with the Reborn City series and all this other stuff, I’ll try to limit the number of projects I have going on to two at a time. Because this is ridiculous.

Expect a blog post from me later this month, my Followers of Fear. I’ve got something planned I’ve been looking forward to talking about for a while. Until next time!

A screenshot of "A Project in Western Ideals."

A screenshot of “A Project in Western Ideals.”

Life’s been going very good for me. I moved into my new apartment (the kitchen’s still a work-in-progress and I still need to take out all the boxes to the dumpsters behind the parking lot, but I’m working on it), I put out a new book (and so far, I think it’s doing well), my birthday’s coming up (yay me!), and I start my new job a week from Monday (I’m planning on making a very good impression). And to top it all off, I’m editing again!

Yeah, remember when I was like, “I’ve just finished a novel and I just don’t feel like doing any work?” Well, a couple days ago I started doing something I hadn’t done in about a month or so: editing. To be specific, I began editing “A Project in Western Ideals”, the short story I wrote last summer about a girl being turned into a human Barbie doll. As of last night, I’mabout three-fourths of the way through the story, though an ending that satisfies me still alludes me (you’d think after having an ending with witchcraft, and then two endings involving an alien-like organism, I’d find something that worked! Apparently not). I’m going to try to finish the story tonight, though I’ll need an ending that works. I wonder if I change the beginning…

Anyway, after that I plan to get right back into my novel-as-a-thesis, Rose. As you well know, I started on the third draft of that story a couple of months ago, after almost a year of not working on that story (I was busy in-between drafts). but I couldn’t get through the first chapter before I had to work on Video Rage again. Now that that’s out and I’m out of the funk that settled over me after I completed the final draft of VR, I’m looking forward to getting back into that book and doing all the work that needs to be done. A lot needs to be changed, and quite a bit needs to be added, but I think I’m up to it.

The writing space in my new apartment. Pretty sweet, huh?

The writing space in my new apartment. Pretty sweet, huh?

You know, I think writing is a lot like every other skill or profession: there are times when you are in love with it, and times when you just don’t want to deal with it. There are times when you are amazing at it, where everything you write is worthy of publication and awards, and times when everything you write is dreck. I had my phase, where I just couldn’t write anything besides a blog post. But now it’s over, and I’m ready to start something new. Maybe that’s because so many new things are happening in my life. I moved into a new apartment, complete with my own little writing space (you can see it on the right). I’m starting a new job a week from tomorrow. And my birthday is coming up later this week, among other things. Basically, with so much energy of the new in me and around me, how can that funk not be lifted?

So expect a bunch of updates on the writing life in the weeks and months to come. I’m going to definitely try and get Rose done before it’s time to get ready for National Novel Writing Month. Wish me luck in the meantime, my Followers of Fear. I’m definitely going to need a little bit of luck in the weeks and months to come.

The other day, I posted about my recent adulting experiences (how typical is it of the Internet era that the age and mode of responsibility is now a verb that I fully embrace as part of the English language?). Funnily enough, after I wrote the first draft of that post (yeah, there were a couple of drafts to that strange, slightly stream-of-consciousness post), I realized that during all the times I listed stuff I was doing that counted as “adulting”, I didn’t list writing. For some reason, writing doesn’t count as adulting.

This struck me as kind of odd. Why doesn’t writing, an activity that is essential to just about every business and so many different professions, not count as adulting? Well, actually it is. Typing up forms and reports, sending emails, writing a speech. Those are all adult activities, and they’re so important that the basics are taught to us from a very young age.

But creative writing–writing fiction, creating poetry, and maybe even journalism–are not treated as adulting activities. And I think that’s because, unless you’re making quite the income from these activities, people don’t treat them as a job or as an activity up there with paying your bills or making your own meals. I’ve talked about how people don’t see writing as a job before (too bad that post didn’t change as many minds as I would like), and a lot of the points I made in that post still hold true. People still don’t see writing as on par for a job.

There are a number of reasons for this. One is that people think of authors and see someone sitting in front of a notebook/typewriter/computer and magically bang out a story with little to no effort. Now, the reality is very different, but perceptions are hard to break, and the belief persists that writers are hardly expending any effort in their work. And as adulting kind of involves expending energy and doing hard work, the definition is at odds with the perception.

This isn’t considered an adulting activity.

Another reason that people might not see writing as adulting is because it’s filling a creative urge that most associate with our inner child. I know, this might be a bit of a stretch, but at least hear me out. At some point in your childhood, you likely sat at the table with a bunch of paper and paint or crayons and churned out picture after picture that your parents put on the fridge and treated it like a freaking Picasso. And after you learned to read and write and maybe understood some basic storytelling, you may have created short stories based on fairy tales or some giant robot anime (asking your parents on how to spell certain words) and then listened to them act like you’re the next F. Scott Fitzgerald after you told them those stories.

I think to some degree that urge to be an artist or storyteller when we were children stays with us as we grow older, and we creative types indulge in the urge, only we write/paint/create much better than we did as children (usually). So when writers are busy working on a story, people see it as partaking in a vestige of our childhood that’s somehow stayed with us through the years. And childhood is the exact opposite of adulthood, which means it’s has nothing to do with adulting.

Now considering all that, should writing be something we want considered as adulting? After all, adult things usually have some sort of prestige to them. Perhaps since so much goes into writing and publishing fiction, it should be an activity worthy of being called “adulting.”

My opinion: HELL NO! Why? Because of what constitutes as adulting already: paying your bills, handling moving into a new home, working a 9-5 job and enrolling your kid in that day camp so they aren’t cooped up with the Xbox all summer and you can go to that 9-5 job. These are activities that are either boring, or annoying as hell. You’d just rather not deal with them. So when writing isn’t considered an adulting activity, I treat that as a good thing. Because you know what? As difficult as writing can be, it should be fun! It should be something pursued for joy and for the sake of creation and connection, not because it’s a task that has to be taken care of at some point if we don’t want to upset our lives.

So let’s not call writing an activity worthy of being called adulting. Let’s just keep it as a fun, creative outlet that you can occasionally make some money off of, and leave it at that.

Do you think writing should be considered adulting? Why or why not?

What are some other activities that should or not be considered adulting, and why?

I move into my new apartment in a week. I’ve been running every which way getting ready. No one was available to help me move or rent a U-Haul, so I hired a moving company. Costs a lot, but it’s worth it for the service. Plus rent up front for the first month. Another big payment. And the new bed was a big payment. And the cable is also going to be a big payment. I don’t think gas will be that much, but you never know.

It’s a good thing I’m starting my new job on June 13th. It’ll be good to get working, earn some money and also make a difference. And this internship has a good chance of transitioning into a full-time position, which would be wonderful. Of course, I have to work hard, and make a good impression, and not screw up. And that’ll be a challenge, but I’m sure I can handle it. I just have to remember people’s names and hope they don’t mind that sometimes social situations go over my head (the stories I could tell, but don’t want to).

God forbid I should have to search for another job after this, because I like working and I hate searching. And with a new apartment, I can’t afford to not be earning money. So I must do my best in this new job and make the most of the opportunity.

Before all that though, I have to prepare for the move. I’ve already bought towels and sheets from Target. They were at a good price too. And the cashier at the register told me where I could go to get a garbage can at half the price of the store I visited, so I’ll be visiting that place most likely tomorrow. Saves me a trip to Bed Bath & Beyond or another trip to Target.

Still, not everything’s as easy as I would like it. I still have to figure something out with the furniture, because a lot of people are willing to let me have their old furniture, but all but one person says I have to pick it up myself. Figuring that out is going to be a challenge. Hopefully it won’t be another payment.

Speaking of payments, I’ve got cell phone bills and loans to repay and a credit card to pay back. I also have to pay groceries, cook my meals. I can afford to pay a bit more for quality food, but I can’t be doing too much or I’ll do myself financial harm. Still, need to eat healthy if I plan to live well past forty. And speaking of health, I have this weird back problem and should see a physical therapist for it, but I don’t know any, and they cost money, and without a driver’s license or a car it’ll cost money just to get there, I bet.

Speaking of that, I need to put more work into getting my license. Of course, that’s dependent on how much practice I get with my parents, and they’re not always available to do driving practice. Still, my sister managed to do it while working a full-time job and attending classes. I’ll just be working full-time. But even if I get my license soon, I’ll still need to afford the car. The point in my life where I’m ready to do that is still likely very far off, but it’s still something I should plan for and aim for.

Thank God I’m not in  relationship right now. I’m actually not sure if I’m even interested in having a romantic relationship, but I guess it would be nice. Still, no rush. Besides, who has the time or money when you’re trying to establish yourself as an independent adult? In fact, whoever feels I should make it a priority needs to keep their feelings to themselves.

Adulting seems to be making lists and getting items crossed off those lists. It seems like refining that mental calculator in my head that keeps track of my finances, making it that much more accurate and that much better at deciding what’s necessary and what’s not. It seems to be looking forward to taking a break or having a nap on a Saturday afternoon, something my dad does pretty regularly and which I never thought was my thing but now I’m starting to believe there may be more to the Saturday afternoon nap than I gave credit for. Am I starting to become my dad? God, there’s a scary thought right there.

I always thought that when I became an adult everything would be easy for me. Instead it’s a lot of working and worrying and making things happen so that I’m not running up the walls and into an asylum. I’m reminded of an article I read years ago in The Onion, about a man who almost has fun in a party but can’t because he keeps remembering all his obligations and worries.

I should print out that article and hang it out in my new office. Might remind me to chill every now and then and remember all the good stuff in my life, all the reasons to stay relaxed and not get too uptight. My family and friends. A good TV show or movie. All the books to read and all the stories to write. All the people who enjoy what I have to write, whether I’m blogging or putting it out in a book. My community. My faith.

Life changes. You grow up. You get older. You gain more responsibilities. You gain new responsibilities, and you drop a few by the wayside as well. But you still find ways to remember what’s important in life. and I certainly will do my best to keep all that and more in mind.