How to Admit That Your Life Isn’t Great Right Now

Okay here’s the thing. When I was a senior in college, my brother was a freshman. When I graduated and came back for the summer, he finished his first year and… got a summer job in the state he was going to school that was relevant to his Rangeland Management major. At one point that summer, my mother turned to me and blithely said, “I always thought you would be the one to leave the nest first.”

That stung. And I have worked very, very hard to shoehorn my very general Liberal Arts degree into a career track, save up, and move out with my partner. I have a job that I really, really like up here now. But at the moment, what I don’t have is a place to live that isn’t two hours away from where I work, and this weekend I had to tell my parents.

It’s hard to admit to people who expect better of you that you’re not succeeding, especially when you half expect that they’ll comment on that fact.

Fortunately it turned out alright. They’re of town for a while and I’m borrowing/part-time sleeping in my mom’s minivan, and even though none of my problems have really resolved themselves yet I feel a lot better.

My advice to anyone going through anything remotely similar is as follows…

sleeping bag bullet point 1

This is not even about slowing down and appreciating life. This is the literal fact that if you take slow, deep breaths it will slow your heart rate and help you calm down. Continue reading “How to Admit That Your Life Isn’t Great Right Now”

Monday Musings #4 – Math?

Last night I caught a glimpse of one of the frames that the Comcast X1 platform goes into whenever it’s in screensaver mode. Most of them are just picturesque seasonal photos, but this one was explaining that if you forget the channel number you can just type the channel name on the remote and get to it that way. I know this feature well — when it comes to remembering numbers, I’m terrible! Even when I was little I often got 6’s and 8’s switched around, and in middle school social studies classes I became aware of a limited capacity to remember the specific years of events.

It’s funny, because when I was a kid I really liked math. In fourth grade I sometimes stayed after school or during recess to learn really basic algebra. Over the summer between fifth and sixth grade, my parents got me a computer program so I could take sixth grade math and when the school year started I could take the seventh grade class. In high school I didn’t enjoy Geometry at all but I hung in there through another year (Algebra 2/Trig) and didn’t burn out until Pre-Calc and AP Calc AB.

So today I was idly thinking of myself as numerically impaired, and then I caught myself and thought about something for the first time… What if I just never liked math as much as I thought I did? What if I just wanted to, because I wanted to be like and/or please my parents?

I was raised by two computer engineers in the Silicon Valley. Every now and then in high school, my mother would hear about an extra credit math test I could have taken before school and seem genuinely baffled by my disinterest in waking up early to do that. They’ve worked for companies you’d recognize the name of, and there was always a Polish calculator in the side table in our living room. For those of you who have never seen a Polish calculator, it looks like some sort of Star Trek tricorder. (For those of you who have never seen a Star Trek tricorder, you were not raised by this kind of nerds.)

Continue reading “Monday Musings #4 – Math?”