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Tomorrows

June 7, 2012

I like lists. Today I’m going to make one because life is feeling a little disorganized lately and lists are great. This list is one about all of the things I tell myself I will do/should do/want to do/must do tomorrow. As you read along I encourage you to think of things you’ve been putting off because they’re probably the more important ones in the end.

1. Finding a job. I’d like you to look at something very quickly.

At any given moment- this is my life.

This is my desktop. My open internet windows. All full of tabs dedicated to random, non-focused job hunts. Every time I store up enough gumption to venture back in to all of these open windows, I am flustered and flabbergasted over what to apply to first, who to contact, if I qualify, blah blah blah. I make a point to tell myself all the time, I’ll do five applications tomorrow. I feel like I apply everywhere, hear back from nowhere, and am looking into an infinity of unknown possibilities that leaves me stupefied (in the Harry Potter sense of just the feeling of complete “where the hell do I go from here”).

2. Tomorrow I will tell the guys I work with at the restaurant that them poking me in my sides, randomly deciding to “surprise” rub my back, or caressing my hand/arm/self is not only infuriating, frustrating, and ridiculous but is also sort of called sexual harassment. I have a very hard time explaining to people why I don’t ever tell this to them “tomorrow.”

Here’s an attempt: The simplest way to explain this is that there’s this intimidation factor. The culture of the workplace where I am one of three women is such that should I bring it up in any way I’m that “girl who can’t handle the workplace/is whiny/is a complainer”, I could go on and on. And there’s the sneakiness. It’s not terrible enough that they couldn’t excuse their way out of it and I would have a more legit reason to complain. It feels like a triple bind. No matter what I do, if I say something, I will lose (in many different ways). So instead I “take the hit” and allow it to continue as long as it doesn’t cross certain thresholds in order to keep myself on even footing with all of the men I work with. I’m terrible at explaining this. A nice attempt has been made here.

3. Tomorrow I will eat healthier/go jogging/floss/anything and everything that has to do with making me a healthier person that I never seem to get around to. I’ve decided lately to stop guilting myself for never getting to this. It doesn’t to anyone any good.

4. I will email that person who could be the best mentor in the world to me and ask for their help tomorrow.

This one recently backfired with very sad conclusions. Since it was published in 2010 in the New York Times, I have had a cutout of this article  by Anthony Shadid hanging in my room. It was a beautiful piece. On all fronts. Informative, poignant, poetic, evocative, life-changing. It inspired me to want to be a foreign correspondent type when I was older (tomorrow I’ll learn a new language, promise…). A few days ago I decided there was no reason I couldn’t write to Shadid and ask for some good ol’ fashioned mentoring as re-reading his article kept me inspired to do anthropology and to write when I sometimes thought there was no point. When I looked him up to find his email I found out he had died February 16th 2012. Beyond the simple fact that the world had lost an amazing journalist, I also realized I had missed my chance.

Shadid joins the ranks now of my quietly present mentors who I can only have conversations with through whatever work they produced in their lives.

5. Tomorrow I will stop freaking out as much about my future and just go to a museum and enjoy my present.
This is impossible. Along with the “tomorrow I will stop measuring my life against the email signatures and/or about bios/life accomplishments of other people” goal.

6. Tomorrow I will organize my life so that I can do a better job of accomplishing all of my “tomorrows.”

And there it is folks. The list of the day. This brought to you by the outside motivation of watching the Netroots Nation Convention live tweets (following #nn12 and #femfuture). I suggest you make your own list and try to cross a few off. And go check out the convention streaming. I’ll report back on anything interesting garnered from the awesome live tweets of #femfuture that are splendid gems from a conference I wish I could attend in person.

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