From Nine To Five

My job, my profession, and my career weave through my personal life, my travel, and my writing. Whether getting my education, traveling to my next place of employment, or turning the page to the next chapter of my life, reflecting on my professional experience cannot be measured in the money earned or the title given.

Work should never be easy, nor was it.

  • Listen, Honey

    Please note: The travel described here occurred in the past. Today, I do not recommend that anyone who is, or may possibly be, pregnant travel to this state. A miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy cannot be safely treated under this state’s current laws. Please care for yourself and travel to places where your life and health are valued.

    I Didn’t Know

    I recently put pen to paper (or fingertips to keyboard) to recall some of the highlights from my earliest college years (see What I Remember When I Try To Forget – Part 1 from July 2021), and in hindsight, I realize I possessed little practical knowledge at the age of nineteen.  I didn’t know that college wasn’t the celebrated event that the Brat Pack gallantly left behind in St. Elmo’s Fire, I didn’t know that college classes often feel like a repeat of high school but with superfluous reading, and I didn’t know that saying, “No,” to professional requests was a viable option (see Beautiful and Tasty from March 2021).  By the time I figured out these realities, I’d already left college.

    Learning what is expected, versus what I aspire for myself certainly didn’t happen overnight.  In fact, I tolerated quite a bit of nonsense and clutter throughout the experiences that happened from the time I graduated high school until I stumbled upon the path that turned out to be where adulthood would take me.  Often the years in between being a teenager and becoming a mom felt far more like life was bumping into me than I was strategically navigating, or sometimes evading, the assault of metaphorical playground balls being bounced, and occasionally hurled, at me by life.  I never enjoyed dodgeball as a child, and I certainly didn’t need it as a basis for a collegiate experience.

    Writing, Yes – Interviewing, No

    Of all the lessons I learned during those first three semesters of college, besides the fact that CLEP should be an integral part of the college experience, I didn’t know that journalism would not be my life’s pursuit.  Of course, here I am more than thirty years later still writing, both personally and professionally, but during those early college years, I desperately needed to have a closer relationship with my muse and my internal navigational system.  My work-study program required me to dabble in writing and editing, but also interviewing, a skill that in hindsight I didn’t adequately grasp.  The moment of truth, exhibited by the question-and-answer session with a university alumnus, required me to sacrifice part of an already unappealing Thanksgiving break (see Conan the Hoosier from February 2012).  I didn’t know back then that my time away from school could be entirely mine.

    While spending time with my extended family in Cincinnati over the turkey-day holiday, I met with Emerson Quillin and failed to absorb the true flavor of the creative juices that flowed through his life.  I likely asked mundane, uninteresting queries that all these years later don’t matter for shit.  Once back at school I wrote the token article, published in the school newsletter or magazine, and I limped through the remaining semesters until I found the route to my real life – the one where I make the choices about what I read, how I spend my holidays, and when I would be introduced to my muse.  Only a handful of lessons from college stuck, but listen, Honey, always say, “No,” whenever it suits you.

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