HAY GUYS

  • Jun. 18th, 2012 at 1:07 PM
notemily: (hunger games - the mockingjay)
Soooooo I have a job! A real job, with full-time hours and benefits and everything! I can support myself! I am no longer dependent on my parents! Yay!!

I haven't updated the eljay in forever, but I figured I should because for once I have actual news. I applied for this job last October, and after six months of what I assume was bureaucratic gear-grinding behind the scenes, they finally notified me that I was qualified to take the Civil Service Exam that would be the next step to getting the job. So I took the standardized test in March, had to wait two more months for results, went for interviews in May, and heard about the job on my birthday, June 7. Whew. I feel like years have passed in the past month. To the point that I was actually startled when I saw my niece's birthday balloon a couple of days ago, because I thought it had been much longer since her birthday than it was. (The niece is one year old now! She can walk!)

The job is with the Milwaukee Public Library, which covers all the branches within the city limits including the main branch downtown, but I'll be working at the East branch which is like a ten-minute walk from my house. Score. It's also my childhood library, where I discovered everything from the Alice books to Katherine Applegate's teen romances to Terry Pratchett. They're going to do a complete re-building of the site starting next year, and that should take about a year (by estimates, but we all know how construction projects run long), which means that for at least a year they'll have to squeeze the library into what will probably be a much smaller space. I don't know how long I'll be working there, but I'm excited to see the new building once it's done. That particular library is, IMO, long overdue for a new space.

It's going to be really strange to not work at Shorewood anymore, since I've given that library seven and a half years of my life. (Or to look at it another way, the majority of my twenties.) I only have one more week of my old job and then I start the new job. In between, Alan and Trish are coming to visit for the weekend, which OMG YAY. I haven't seen them in over a year. I'm currently working on de-allergizing the house for Alan, who is allergic to everything breathable, including, possibly, air.

And it's summertime, which is my favorite here in Milwaukee, and I'm 29 now and I don't have to feel bad about that since I can finally support myself, and once I get into the swing of the job I'm going to see about getting new kittens and saving up for travel and all the things I have been wanting to do for years and not been able to because of money. I feel like I can finally breathe a huge sigh of relief.

how will i ever get out of this labyrinth?

  • Dec. 2nd, 2011 at 12:28 AM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (Default)
So I noticed something of a theme in the books that were pulled for holds at the library today.

  • Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back by Todd Burpo
  • Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live by Martha N. Beck
  • The Unmistakable Touch of Grace: How to Recognize and Respond to the Spiritual Signposts in Your Life by Cheryl Richardson
  • What I Know Now: Letters to My Younger Self by Ellyn Spragins
  • Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves by Sharon Begley


I don't know, I feel like... everyone is looking for answers. Everyone is trying to find the key, how to be a better person, how to live, what gives life meaning, what happens when we die. All going about it different ways--religion, spirituality, advice from those older and wiser, cognitive techniques--but ultimately asking the same questions.

(Of course, people were also searching for The Great Christmas Cookie Swap Cookbook and Blues Harmonica Method Level 1, so maybe I'm reaching here.)

But then [livejournal.com profile] cleolinda posted this entry, which as of right now has over 100 comments, about physical exhaustion and anemia and depression:

Because even when you grasp the idea that depression is an ailment and not a personal failing... it still feels like a personal failing. You know you're clinically depressed, but you feel like you're just lazy, lonely, hopeless, pathetic. Or sometimes you don't realize you're ill, because those feelings of anxiety and shame and helplessness sneak up on you and feel legitimate, and that's why you don't realize you need help. I mean, I've been on medication and under quarterly medical supervision for fourteen years now and my own mood cycles still sneak up on me, over and over. It's hard to teach yourself to say, "You are an awesome person, and your awesomeness is a default, and so if you feel less than awesome, you need to get your awesome tuned up." Because your sadness and fatigue and anxiety feel mild at first, and they seem like rational responses to things going on in your life, and then you end up missing some deadline or not completing some goal or not living up to your own expectations because you're already sad and tired, and then the negativity does seem justified: "I'm not depressed; I'm a loser."


And all the comments are saying, yes, yes, we feel that way too, we understand, thank you for saying this. Thank you for telling us that we are not alone.

Everyone is struggling, everyone is searching. Maybe now is a particularly hard time, or maybe it's just coming to the surface right now, making it a bit easier to see that we're all in this labyrinth together. Not one of us is born already knowing the way out.

not yours

  • Feb. 20th, 2011 at 4:55 PM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (dude watchin' with the brontes)
So yesterday I was at work. My employers had left out badges for us to wear that said things like "Stop the attack on Wisconsin workers," which is the one I ended up wearing, clipped to my name tag. (If you've never read my journal before, I work at a public library in Wisconsin, which is a state currently going through major turmoil because of our new governor's desire to keep public-sector workers from being able to negotiate their own benefits. Also, if you've never read my journal before, I fucking hate Scott Walker.)

The majority of the comments I got were positive ones, and Shorewood is a pretty liberal suburb (that loves its library!) so I expected as much. I got one negative comment. That in itself doesn't bother me, but the way the interaction went down did.

The man looked at my badge and leaned across the desk. "Stop the attack on Wisconsin workers? What does that mean, does that mean I'm supposed to attack you?" He then proceeded to POKE ME IN THE HAND AND ARM. Repeatedly. I jerked my arm away. After that he went into some argument about how it's better to have more jobs with no benefits than fewer jobs, but I wasn't really listening because he had just POKED ME and I was busy seething silently behind the desk.

Dear public: DON'T fucking do that. Just because the person behind the counter is supposed to be nice to you doesn't mean you can touch her whenever you want. No, not even if it's "friendly" or "a joke." It's still NOT okay. You DO NOT have the right.

Sometimes I am really grateful for that huge marble desk between me and The Public.

which in France was called "LA VITESSE!"

  • Jan. 6th, 2010 at 8:33 PM
notemily: Photo of me, a white girl in her mid-20s, wearing glasses, smiling, looking up and to the right (buffy - yay?)
Mercury Retrograde: it giveth, and it taketh away.

Actually it's more like the other way around. It taketh away something, which annoys you, but then it usually giveth you a tholution to your problem, even if it's not the one you were exthpecting. (Sorry.)

I got up this morning to find that my power adapter cord had quit for good. Apple is notoriously bad at power cords, and though the MagSafe is a huge improvement over the old iBook chargers, it still quit on me after six months of (not very gentle, I admit) use. So, I dutifully made plans to go to Die Apfelladen, as the Germans call it (they don't really), and talk to the Geniuses there.

Meanwhile, I get to work, barely on time, and then there's absolutely no parking anywhere, so I'm circling the block and the parking lot for ten minutes, sure I'm going to be fired for my latest tardiness incident. But so far, still employed! :/

(Me: I was afraid they'd fire me. Co-worker: They can't just fire you, don't they need to give you written warnings and stuff? Me: ...Yeah, I have those. Co-worker: Oh.)

At the library, there's a total Mars Retrograde incident where a guy gets all belligerent about his account being blocked from the computers. Now, usually angry patrons are still reasonable people, and they eventually go away, even if they go away annoyed. This guy would not give up. He started yelling and swearing and freaking out all the other patrons, and the director asked him to leave, and he STILL would not shut up, so she called the police on him. (The police station is next door.) He was like FINE CALL THE POLICE WHATEVER, and I guess they banned him for evar or something, because he's not allowed to come in the library anymore.

Oh, and the reason he was blocked from using the computers in the first place? A completely different library had put the block on his card because of "disorderly conduct." Heh.

Throughout all of this drama I was at the other checkout station (the one without the angry man at it), just trying to move patrons through the line as fast as possible because they were obviously uncomfortable with the dude's behavior. My boss was like "how did you stay so calm? I was freaking out!" but after the guy left, I felt all weak and shaky. I wasn't really that calm. I'm just used to hiding my anxiety from people, especially at work.

For the rest of my shift I thought about men and women and violence and how most of the people who work here are women, and it was all women behind the counter when that guy was yelling. I thought about how glad I am to have a huge granite desk between me and the patrons, but maybe that's just the illusion of safety. I thought about how there's something about a man yelling that's really scary to me. Maybe it reminds me of my dad being angry when I was a kid. In my memory, the angry patron was ten feet tall and loomed over everybody, even though that's obviously not true.

Anyway.

After work, I had a couple of hours to kill at the mall. The mall, for those of you who don't live here, is one of those outdoor malls with lots of open space between the rows of stores. This may seem like a rational thing to build. In California. Not in Wisconsin, where it's currently about 15 degrees, and the mall streets have become huge wind tunnels.

(They built it to replace an earlier, indoor mall, which apparently wasn't cold enough for somebody.)

Problem: I forgot my hat. The one from [livejournal.com profile] purpleprimate, which is actually the only warm hat I have left after I lost my super-warm pink one at Boston Store last month (single tear :'( in memoriam). So, walking through the aforementioned wind tunnels, I was Very Cold.

Solution: I went to H&M, returned a sweater I had been planning to return, and exchanged it for... a hat! Yay. It's white and fuzzy. And, most importantly, warm.

Maybe the whole outdoor-mall thing is a conspiracy to sell hats.

Then I go to the Apple Store, and wait patiently for my Genius Bar appointment. Unfortunately, nobody told me I was supposed to "check in" when I got there. I thought the appointment was enough. So they never called my name, and I waited and waited. Finally I talked to a Genius Guy and he said I should have signed in, and I was like WTF IT DOESN'T SAY THAT ANYWHERE, because it was a long day and I wanted to go home.

Genius Guy was nice to my cranky self, though, and took a look at my MagSafe, which had rust in it, indicating water damage. Mercifully, though, he replaced it for free, even though I am an obvious slob who occasionally uses her laptop as a coaster.

Nothing makes you notice how dirty your computer is like letting a Genius look at it. I gave the MacBook a good microfiber scrubbing when I got home.
notemily: The top of a row of books (misc - books)
Sometimes I think I like library school. I saw an anonymous comment on John Green's blog about the uselessness of libraries, and I felt compelled to provide some edifying information, most of which I learned in library school. I even looked up citations. But spreading information to people who think libraries are unnecessary, even on teh intarwebs, is way more satisfying than writing papers to someone who already knows that stuff.

I will defend libraries as long as I can still speak/type, though I won't do the same for information science education. It's not that I don't find learning about libraries and librarianship interesting. The problem is that too little of library school is about those things. I often wish I had enrolled when UWM still had the old, library-focused core.

I have two incompletes now, both in core classes. My motivation just... ran out. No battery life left. None. I'm resting now, taking a semester off, although this does not make my parents happy. It doesn't make them as unhappy as it could, though, for which I am grateful. I still expect them to fight me on everything.

I might be able to go back later, finish up. I suppose I could see myself doing that. But I'd need help. Lots of it. When one of my professors suggested in an e-mail that I seek help from the student accessibility center and said she was willing to help me however she could, I almost cried. She actually asked if I was okay instead of berating me for my laziness, lateness, undone assignments. I spend so much time waiting for the axe to fall that when someone shows me some kindness, I am overwhelmed.

Anyway, for now I am going to work with my shrink on exploring alternate career options, and rest, and read, and meditate (track my progress (I love that site)), and take some time without assignments.

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