Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Today I am living history. I'm not going to lie-- a friend said that to me. Though I would enjoy taking credit for "living history" I can't, simply because she will read this and yell at me. But living history I am. When I was younger I wondered a lot, about a lot of things. There were two "history-esque" things I always thought about:
  1. We spent so much time in school learning about history and wars and yet I remember thinking that absolutely nothing "exciting" was going to happen in my lifetime. I naively thought then that everyone in the world was a pacifist and perfectly moral... after all, what we were learning about in school happened years ago, and certainly everyone learned from these wars and knew better now. There was no way a war would ever happen again. In my childish mind I secretly wished for something to happen so I could be a part of history.
  2. I wondered if I would see an African-American president or a Female president in my lifetime. I wondered which would happen first, whether or not I saw either. I hoped to see both.

Well... naive wish number one came true seven years ago on September 11th. My immediate thought was guilt... for ever wishing for something bad to happen so I could "live in history books". Now, both wishes came true. I am living in history by voting the first African-American President into office. Funny how in my elementary school mind I couldn't live the stuff history books taught us without a war. I seemed to forget all about the civil rights movement, women's rights, and the most current battle-- LGBQTA rights. I couldn't comprehend that both wishes could come true at once. Now that they have, it's an incredible feeling.

When 9/11 first happened, I knew I was living in history then too. But to me, who knew nothing about the U.S. and world affairs, thought the attack was sudden and out of nowhere. A burst of hostility. And it was a tragic event. To be living through something positive, that I know has been only a dream for hundreds of years, is so rewarding. I heard people say that Barack Obama's race shouldn't matter at all in the election, so there's no reason to celebrate his win just because he is Black. I can somewhat agree with the first half but I have to strongly disagree with the second... first, the first half...

Only 19% of people polled said that race was a consideration in who they chose to vote for in this election. Is that 19% people who voted for Obama because he is black or 19% who voted for McCain because he isn't? I bet not too many people would admit that they didn't vote for Obama because of his skin color, but I would be retreating back to my childhood naivety if I said no one discriminated in that way anymore. 98% of African-American voters cast their ballot for Barack... do you really think that the percentage would have been that high if he were a white democrat? Me? I've been waiting 22 years to vote a black president into office. I'd be lying if I said no part of me voted for him because he is black. In fact, even though I think he is better suited for the presidency than John McCain, I can't honestly say that I would have chosen Obama over McCain if McCain were black and Obama white. Does that make me a bad American? The way I see it, African-Americans have been fighting long and hard in this country. If a candidate can make it so far as to gain their party's nomination, they have to have the ability to make a good President. So, so long as I don't hate the person running, I would probably choose a non-white candidate over a white one or a female over a male... at least for this first go around. 81% of voters said race wasn't a factor. But I bet it really was... at least to some extent.

On to the second... the fact that a black man won NEEDS to be celebrated. I know we live in a time where it shouldn't be an issue at all, it shouldn't be surprising, it shouldn't matter. But right now, today, it does. To see Jesse Jackson crying, explains it all. To the 106 year old daughter of a slave who cast her vote for Obama, it matters. It says so much about how our country has grown, and gives hope to the future. In several weeks time America will have an African-American President. That is something to celebrate.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

So guess who has a real job in the real world making real money and paying very real bills? That's right, me. I was lucky enough to graduate with a full time position and unlucky enough to have to start 2 days after graduation. So what's this real world like, you ask? My mother said to me the other day (and I'm providing nearly an exact quotation) "Trishaaaa, I feel so bad for you. I feel like all of your dreams are over! You've always looked forward to college, got there and loved it, and now it's done. All of your friends at Wheaton aren't here. You loved dance, but dance is no more. All you have left now is work... for the rest of your life... same thing, every day. I feel so bad for you! Do you feel bad for you!?!?"


Gee thanks, Mom. Nothing about marriage, or raising a family, or a producer seeing me walk down the streets of Milford and shouting "I have to put her on Broadway!", or the possibility of graduate school, or a career change, or... I don't know.... traveling! I myself prefer to keep a positive outlook. I have things to look forward to in life still! I'm only 22! If I didn't have things to look forward to I'd have a pretty miserable 60+ years ahead of me. Thanks for helping me keep my chin up Mom :-) So optimistic.

So how do I think my life is going? It's pretty good. I actually feel like an adult for the first time in my life and I don't think it has anything to do with the real job or living on my own. It's like it sprung up out of nowhere. All throughout college I would look at pre-teens and younger teenagers and feel like I could relate more to them than I could relate to "legit for real" adult-adults. In my mind I would think, "I remember what it was like to walk around giggling and worrying so much about how I looked to boys and trying so hard to fit in and all that silly adolescent stuff". But now when I see them all I can think is "Teenagers are so bizarre with all this stuff they do, worry about and obsess over. I can't understand it". Suddenly I feel more like a parent to them than an "older kid" reminiscing about youth. I always wondered if I would ever really feel like an adult and now that's it here, I know it's here. It's bizarre.

But like I said, I really don't feel like that has anything to do with all of the "out of college now" changes. So what about those changes... well, the big one is the job, the topic with which I started out this blog. I'm doing market research which in a non-pretentious nutshell is writing surveys and analyzing the data that comes back. I decided to apply for market research jobs about halfway through senior year when I realized I had no idea what I wanted to do. I've always taken surveys online to earn a little (very little) extra money and suddenly came upon the realization that someone must actually write these things and look at the results. Being a huge math nerd, I always wished I could see the data after taking a survey and play around with the numbers and their implications. One trip to google and I found out these people are called market research analysts. So I said "okay!" and applied for a bunch of these positions that had relatively little to do with math but I thought might be fun because "well, hey! I like surveys!". And when none of the actuary, statistician, logistics, transportation planning (aka more "mathy") job applications worked out I said to myself "okay Trisha. let's go for the survey thing because, quite frankly, it's your only offer and you need to work." Hooray for my logical thinking.

Now I'm at a job where me, the girl with social anxiety, answers the phones and at least once a week (professionally, so as not to taint our company's reputation) has to tell off solicitors. I do real market research stuff too, I swear I'm not just a "phone girl" secretary. It's just so amusing that I have to answer phones when perhaps my biggest phobia is Telephonophobia (real word). Let's just say I'm getting over that one quickly. I have to! I can't sit there in front of the phone for 19 minutes, tapping my foot and twisting my hair, getting up the nerve to call a client. I can't just let the phone aimlessly ring when I know that if I don't answer it by the third ring someone else will and then I'll be "that Trisha, shirking her duties". In my first five months here I've gone through some pretty, after-the-fact, hilariously awkward mishaps due to my lack of social competency. I'd share some here but I'm paranoid that someone I work with is as crazy as me and will google me, find my blog, read this, be horrified and either a) fire me, though that would be a huge overreaction to any of my stories, and now that I think of it, would never actually happen because my stories are ridiculous and embarrassing but don't actually involve me doing anything wrong... b) heinously judge me for my social oddities.... c) create awkward tension in the office because they know my stories, but I don't know they know and they don't want me to know they searched me and secretly read my blog.... d) both b & c. God, they have me talking in survey language. Except that's really not how it's done at all... I just thought it would be humorous if I said that. Eh, not so much.

My biggest hassle with this whole answering the phone thing is I can't even pronounce our company's name correctly. I say "Ah-sew-see-its" instead of "Ah-sew-she-its" because Associates is such a freakin hard word to pronounce. I created a pronounciation cheat-sheet post-it note that I keep hidden on my desk near the phone. Not really, that's a lie. But it would be funny if I did. I'm lying a lot today in a vain attempt to keep things funny.

The last paragraph has been removed for reasons of paranoia. So this is the blog's new ending.

Monday, April 28, 2008

So it's almost my graduation. THE graduation... cap and gown, entering the real world, you're done with school forever graduation. Well, unless of course graduate school is an option but I'm omitting the possibility of this minor flaw in my statement. As I sit down in my dorm room and think about the last 4 years as well as the remaining 71 years of my life (since I promised myself when I was 8 that I would live to be 92) I can't help but freak-out... smile too, cry a bit... actually I'm mostly excited about what's to come for me so I guess freak-out was a poor first word choice. Sorry about that. But at the same time, it is so sad. I realize I'm speaking the thoughts of every college graduate and there's absolutely no shock value to what I am saying but I don't care. I finally found a home at Wheaton and I couldn't be happier.

I look back at my post on Monday, June 28, 2004... the week of my high school graduation and smile. I hated high school... I don't miss it, never will and that's sad. I'm so happy now though to say that I had a great college experience... everyone needs a time and place in their life where they truly feel like they belong and for me it has been the past four years at Wheaton. It's especially important during the earlier years in one's life, no? Like, if you don't have a positive experience associated with a particular place and the people there before age 25 what a waste of childhood. You can have friends, boyfriends, family.... but to have a home away from home where you're comfortable being yourself and enjoy your experiences there.... I mean, that's important. I'm not being funny. I'm sorry. I think my years in college diminished my comedic thoughts. Not really actually.... that's a lie.... but what do you expect other than reflection when I'm two weeks from the end and the beginning of it all?

I actually started this hoping that some random funny thoughts would come pouring out of me, as usually happens when I start a blog topicless.... I'm a bit disappointed in myself. Oh well. Maybe if I just keep typing something will come to me.... though I do have a meeting in ten minutes and ten minutes isn't very much time to allow the creative process to take over. Speaking of creativity, I had my palm read this weekend. It was amusing. The guy, totally decked out in way too much hippie gear, looked at my palm and was like "WOAH! You're a writer. Right?" and I was like "uhhh...." Well that's a lie actually, I said yes to avoid a situation where he would ask me another question.... we know me with social interactions. Anyways, he's all like "I'm seeing major creativity in you... great imagination, great imagination". So at this point I'm tempted to tell him I'm a math major to see what he says, but I don't. Once again Trisha stifles her thoughts. Then he tells me I'm compassionate and I want to laugh out loud. I'm the most non-outwardly compassionate person I know... people tell me I'm stand-offish. But I keep my serious expression on and nod as he continues talking. He says I'm compassionate to the point where I'll let people walk all over me b/c I have a strong desire to please people... and I was like, okay, well that last bit is true... if that's how he defines compassionate I guess I am. Then he said to me "you're the type of person who when she says "how are you doing today?" you really are genuinely interested in their response" and I was back to wanting to laugh. I hate social conventions like asking people how they are b/c we all know no one really cares and is just being polite. He finished by saying I have a strong sense of relationships and I am mature beyond my years in terms of knowing what love actually is... b/c of my respect for marriage and innate understanding of true love I will have a very successful marriage. Now I realize he probably says this to every girl, but I almost started crying. Then again, I had about 3 liters of wine in me at this point, but.... yeah, my first palm reading experience was an enlightening one. And now it's time for my "meeting" aka math picnic. Look what I accomplished in the last ten minutes!!! A slightly more amusing tale than my original reflection on graduation! I'm a proud woman.