8 months, 8 quotes.

So, it’s here. My last week in Massachusetts.

I could write a saga about my many ups and downs here, but I think it would be more fitting (and quite frankly a lot less work) to pick 8 quotes that I think embody the time I’ve spent here.

1) “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” -Neale Donald Walsch

2) Don’t get stuck. Move, travel, take a class, take a risk. There is a season for wildness and a season for settledness, and this is neither. This season is about becoming.- from 11 Things to Know at 25 (ish)

3) Unravel the knots that keep you from living a healthy, whole life, and do it now, before any more time passes.- also from 11 Things to Know at 25 (ish)

4) “No one leaves this life unscathed.”- Katie Couric

5) “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.” -Oscar Wilde

6) “I know you’re smart. But everyone here is smart. Smart isn’t enough. The kind of people I want on my research team are those who will help everyone feel happy to be here. ” ― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

7) “I have just returned from Boston. It is the only sane thing to do if you find yourself up there.” -Fred Allen

8) “Leaving is bittersweet but after 8 tumultuous months, I’m leaving here in peace. That’s all I wanted.” -my tweet from earlier today.

The 5 Post Grad Types

Happy 2012 and all that jazz.

While talking to a friend today, I listed off what I feel are the 5 types of people I know in post grad life. No need for further introduction; here it goes.

1) The Scholars: Why only stay in college for 4 years when you can extend it…with grad school! These are the people who either legitmately need an advanced degree to do what they want to do (in which case, props to you) or the people who couldn’t find a job and wanted to sound like they were doing something respectable.

2) The Overachievers: You know that kid who whined about getting an 89.5% on a test? Hate to say it, but that same kid is probably working at a decent job right now. These were the people who could’ve used a few more party nights and a few less study sessions, but their hard work probably paid off.

3) The Loafs: Definition—opposite of the overachievers. These are the people who thought they would be in college forever. They didn’t plan for what happens after those four years and are now scratching their heads having no idea what’s next nor how to get to it even if they tried. Instead, they would rather relive their college glory days.

4) The Underdogs: This a subcategory of the overachievers. These are the people who kicked butt in college but the recession is just being merciless at the moment.

5) The Trust Fund Babies: Ah, my favorite. These are the people who, regardless of what they did in undergrad, are living the life right now. They’re traveling the world, working at those cool jobs in expensive cities, and are finding the self they lost in all those Tequila shots in college. And, they are doing all of this on their parents dime. You want to hate the trust fund babies. You want to say, “One day real life is going to set in for them.” But, let’s be real…they’ll be living off of that money while the rest of us slave away.

Despite the differences among these groups, there’s one similarity. We’re all probably in some sort of post grad rut. We all miss the days when Sallie Mae wasn’t eating our checking account and when we used Sundays for sleeping instead of grocery shopping. In the end, we’re all still figuring it out.

6 months, 6 lessons

Today (or should I say yesterday now that it is 7 minutes past midnight) marked exactly 6 months at my job. For some people, 6 months is nothing but to those people I say, have you heard about the economy? Oh, every day is a celebration, honey.

And, what better way to celebrate than to write? So, here are 6 lessons from 6 roller coaster months of work.

1) Money is not everything. It keeps a roof over your head and a mediocre bottle of wine on your counter. It covers the fundamentals. But, it doesn’t hold you when you cry, listen to you after a terrible day, or fix the problems you have with yourself and with this life.

2) Some things will never change. Just accept it. You can’t always be the corporate Gandhi.

3) You’re only in competition with yourself. To think anything else will only unnecessarily give you premature heart palpitations.

4) Two types of people rarely advance in work: the yes man and the complainer. Gotta find a balance between the two. Losing your own voice will only screw you over in the end.

5) Everyone has some sort of wisdom to impart. The challenge is being patient enough to sort through all of the manure and find it.

6) People are people. They are not numbers, stats, quotas, or robots. They are people. To think anything less is a detriment to those you work with and, mostly, to yourself. So, allow room for the bad days, tears, freakouts, and things that should never be said or done. Cause, chances are, you’ll do those same things and only hope and pray that someone still allows room for you.

And, that’s all I know for now.

Everything’s Bigger in Texas

Or so they say.

Today, I found out that in 2ish short months, I’ll begin my second rotation in Texas. Upon finding out and letting it sink in on my ride home from work, I was met with the same familiar feelings I had not too long ago. At that time, I was sitting at my part time college job and I read a short email that said my first rotation would be in Waltham, MA. Your thoughts start with, “Omgsh, this is going to be so amazing” and then the kindergarten fears of “Um..am I going to make friends? Will people even like me?” begin to settle.

And, so, today was no different. After dancing around, yelling a bit too loudly in the office, and hugging my coworkers, it hit me: I’m about to move across the country to a state where I know one person (shout out to my wonderful Aunt Joyce.)

But, there was one thing that made this time around different. Because, this time, I could look back on the past 6 months and be 100% sure that yes, I’ll make friends. Yes, people will probably get used to my loud laugh (or at least tolerate it?). And, yes, I’ll end up leaving Texas better than how I came.

Because, that’s exactly what happened here in Massachusetts.

I guess Mass and I have a love-hate relationship. Some days I have hated it, but in some odd way, it loved me. Tough love, but it loved me. I will always credit this as being the place where I truly began to grow up. The place where I went through some of the toughest days of my life to date but was able to crawl my way out of the jungle.

And, let’s not forget…this is also the place where I met the one and only Rox Fox.

Time to do it big in Texas, baby.

Everything I Need To Know About Work (and life) I Learned at Chick-Fil-A

My first job ever was as a cashier at Chick-Fil-a. Yup. For 3.5 years, I donned manly black pants, a burgundy shirt, and a  silver nametag that prompted people to constantly mispronounce my name and creepily say “Thank you, Tyrese” when I handed them their combo #5.

But, in retrospect, that first job I had before all of the internships and legit jobs taught me quite a bit about work, life, and people. A few lessons:

  • Looking the part is half the battle.
  • Your name is important. It’s your brand. It’s all you’ve got. Learn how to politely correct people if and when they mispronounce, misspell, or misuse it.
  • Chicken and french fries are a great dinner. I don’t care what you say.
  • The people you work with will make or break your experience.
  • It’s never great for the company if you scream, “There’s a bug in this!” across the room.
  • You should never be so serious that you can’t take a 1 minute dance break on the job.
  • Bosses make mistakes, too.
  • ^But they are still above you.
  • ^Yeah, it sucks.
  • Wearing white socks with black sneakers is offensive.
  • It’s refreshing and necessary to see some of your coworkers outside of a work setting every now and again.
  • Sometimes, people will make wrong assumptions about you. Maybe they’ll assume you are uneducated or incompetent. Unless they are going to mean anything in your life a year from now, pass them their stuff and let them drive away.
  • If you’re on the bottom, wear your helmet. When something goes wrong, you’re getting blamed.
  • People have lives outside of work. They have families, friends, trials, and triumphs. That’s why we call them people and not robots.
  • No one works 8 hour days anymore.
  • The owner is scary. But his wife is scarier.
  • Working on Fridays is some sick joke life is playing on some of us.
  • Pay day is the best day. I don’t care what you say.
  • If you’re sitting at a drive thru window late one night and the food’s taking too long, just smile and say thank you. That cashier at the window has probably been there since noon and his or her ankles can rival those of a woman who is 8 months pregnant.

forever young,