A little less than two years ago, I could be found sitting in my bedroom frantically trying to figure out what to write about before midnight. No, I wasn’t experiencing a bizarre Cinderella in the cornfields of Ohio scenario; I just had to get something posted so I could keep my goal to “Publish a blog post once a week.” Ultimately, I wrote about books, and while it was nothing earth-shattering, it ranks as one of my favorite posts because it kept my goal going, which ended up producing some of my most cherished blog articles.
You may be here expecting to read salacious details of my recent resignation, or you may be here simply because you love a good Ariana Grande bop and are hoping for more of her in this post. I hate to disappoint you on both sides, but this won’t be a detailed hit piece explaining why I left my job, and there won’t be much more Ari in this post.
“…You have no sense of fashion…”
“I think that depends on…”
“No, no, that wasn’t a question.”
Last month found me relating to this iconic scene from The Devil Wears Prada on a personal level. I had flown to Tampa Bay, Florida for an interview to be the Executive Assistant to Amanda, the founder of a wildly successful fitness company. And even though there were no demeaning looks or Pellegrino bottles, the entire experience felt like something from a movie.
“Colombia? Like, the country?”
This was a question I received countless times in the months leading up to my trip to Bogotá, Colombia. While there were friends who were incredibly supportive of my trip, many people seemed absolutely baffled by my admission that my first experience abroad would be to a country few people associated with tourism. These offerings were disheartening, but regardless, I packed my bags and began the trip to the country that was such a mystery to me.
One of my favorite times of the year is when I sit down to come up with my next year’s list of goals. I love this exercise because it allows me to think about what I want to accomplish in the coming year while pushing me to think outside the box and to challenge myself.
“Hey, Dan? Calm it with the sports references.” I know, this is my third sports-referenced blog post title in the past few months, so I guess you could say I’m one overtly-masculine grunt away from being a full-blown athlete. But let’s save the conversation about my transition into a sports icon for another day so we can get on to the actual matters at hand.
Having recently made my way back into the world of academia, I decided to take a stroll down memory lane by leafing through some of the papers I wrote during my time as an undergraduate student. One that stood out to me was a book summary I wrote about Susan Cahalan’s bestselling memoir Brain on Fire.
My second year of college found me doing everything I could to be involved on campus. I wanted to have the quintessential college experience of rushing from activity to activity as a student, but the only “activities” I rushed to and from were ice cream and pop tarts. It wasn’t my best year. So after some soul-searching, I decided to apply to write for the school paper.
Today I want to share something I wrote and then proceeded to keep to myself for over four years. I wrote it at a time when I was vulnerable and searching, and I have been scared to share it because I knew that doing so would highlight the flaws I wish weren’t still so visible in my life. I would have probably continued keeping it to myself if it weren’t for the events of recent weeks, but before I dive into that story, here is what I wrote in July 2014:
My goal to “join a group” has hung over my head throughout the past year. This is primarily because I would go back and forth on which group to join. I initially considered joining a running club, but I decided against this after straining my knee and observing how unnecessarily energetic those in athletic clubs tend to be. So after the dream of joining a weekly running club ended, I began to set my sights on something much more sedentary. And that was when I decided to join a book club.