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Sometimes it feels like capital-L Life is a little frustrated with how I ignore the little hints and clues he gives me about what I should be focusing on. He’ll give me a light nudge or poke and I still sit there doing nothing (or working on a spreadsheet). Then he’ll get more and more obvious with his point.
Today, for example, he seemed to be jumping up and down, wildly waving his arms, and shouting at me to pay attention to what he was trying to tell me. My manager emailed me my annual Personal Growth And Development Questionnaire, which I am to fill out for my yearly evaluation tomorrow. It reads:
1. What are your goals/ambitions?
2. How do they fit with the needs of our business?
3. What are you going to do to achieve your goals/ambitions?
Now, this survey is meant to be answered in the context of my job as a marketing assistant — for example, the first question could be answered with, “Become a marketing manager for a textbook company” — but I can’t even imagine what to write or how to answer them seriously.
And, if I look at the questionnaire in a more general way, outside of this company, I only get excited at the possibilities. I have a lot of “goals/ambitions”! And exactly none of them fit with the needs of your business! Thanks for asking!
Maybe I should mail myself this questionnaire every year, just to keep on track.
I have been trying for over a year now to synchronize my monthly subway pass with my monthly birth control refill. The plan is just plain genius: two things that I have a tendency to forget about would work together so that I forgot neither. If I tried to get on the subway and found that my card had expired, it would immediately alert me that I needed to refill my birth control prescription. In the same way, if I first realized that I needed to refill my prescription, I would then know to renew my MetroCard.
However, things just aren’t that easy. I feel like I’ve been trying at this forever – and putting in real thought and effort. But life has a way of getting in the way of things I’m trying to do to make life get in the way less. The dream seems very far away now – and the dream of synching these two things up with my rent (Can you imagine! The genius!) seems even more impossible.
Then today, with my subway pass running out weeks before my prescription despite my best efforts and most intricate plans, I realize that I need to move on. Give up, if you must. And I wouldn’t consider myself the giving up type.
It’s like when I tried for years to achieve an underwear drawer that consisted of 100% matching bras and panties. People in the movies do it – why should it be that difficult? I have many pairs of matching socks and even two to three matching outfits – why shouldn’t I have a collection of cute and coordinated underthings?
But it’s impossible. It’s cold fusion. It’s a wild horse with a free flowing mane that you will never catch or tame.
Basically, it’s math. The elastic on underwear and the stretch on the bras have different life spans! And do you want to throw out perfectly good pair of underwear before their time? Or throw away a well-fitting bra just because its partner in crime lost a well-fought battle against my waistline? Sure, I could purchase bras that are all the same style and color and matching underwear that was all the same style and color (maybe black or white or beige) but that would thwart another impossible ongoing life goal of mine, which is to look cute and different all of the time.
I have to get it through my head so that I can focus on other things: I will never have all matching underthings. I will never have a well-organized Tupperware set – the ones where the lids snap together so you never lose them and so that you can store then easily. I will never buy fruit and eat it all without 70% somehow going bad in the bowl, before my eyes, as if I’m helpless to eat it – not matter how much fruit I buy at the grocery store each week.
I don’t throw in the towel all that often. On a larger scale, I’m pretty sure that I will one day fulfill my career aspirations and become satisfied with my station in life. But these smaller things – these subway pass Tupperware things will never come to be. It’s something I have to come to terms with.
It helps for me to think of people I know who do have these little things under control. You know, those people with the perfect fruit bowls and weekday lingerie sets? They’re always a little creepy, right?