Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Having an Office Space Moment...

Considering I was on my death bed for a majority of last week, I didn’t have much energy to blog. A cold that then turned into a sinus infection will do that to ya…and leave you in bed for five days straight.

Thankfully, the black lung subsided in time for my trip to Nashville this past weekend to visit one of my best friends from home. We’ll call her law student. She’s in her last semester of law school and since she moved, I kept telling her I was going to come visit. Seeing as how she’s going to graduate in less than three months, I figured it was now or never, so I bought a plane ticket two weeks ago.

A little background on law student:
-We’ve been friends for 11 years.
-She’s Italian and is therefore feisty, blunt and can drink…A LOT.
-She may be the only other person on the planet who can consistently be as late as I am. Don’t ever plan to go somewhere with the two of us…we’re guaranteed to arrive a good hour past when we say we will.
-During my trips to visit her during undergrad, I either a) tried so hard to keep up with her that I got ridiculously wasted and passed out or b) hooked up with inappropriate people (ie-high school ex-boyfriends).

Law student wanted to show me a good time in Nashville. So she decided to take me along as her date to a barrister’s ball. For those of you unsure what that is (I know I sure as hell hadn’t heard of one before), it’s basically like a sorority/fraternity formal for law students. Based on my track record, I questioned her judgment/sanity for inviting me, but graciously accepted anyway.

I ended up controlling myself and actually made a respectable date. I started out the night right with a Sparks-I’m nothing if not classy-and then split a bottle of champagne and a bottle of wine with Law Student. This was all before the dance. At the venue, we quickly attacked the open, though I quickly realized there was no way I could handle the three-part liquor one part mixer cocktails the bartenders were concocting. So I stuck to beer for the remainder of the night.

But Nashville is definitely a fun city and Law Student’s friends were all really friendly and fun. One of their first comments to me was, “There’s this misconception that law students study all the time and never drink, and that’s definitely not the case.” With that incentive, I’m seriously considering going back for my JD...

I have to admit, though, as awesome as Las Student’s friends were I couldn’t help but feel a little embarrassed by the way my life has panned out thus far. Here I am, almost 25 with a journalism degree I’m not even using. I’m ashamed to tell people what I do for a living because I just took my current job just so I wouldn’t have to move back home with my parents.

And one of the first questions people inevitably ask when you meet them, is “what do you do?” I always try to sugarcoat my answer as much as possible. “Well, I was working for a magazine, but I was laid off, so now I’m working for It’s not that my current company sounds bad, so I hope that they’ll just accept that answer, but when people press further, my job description just sounds…lame. Like any Joe-Schmo could do it. And explaining this to dozens of students at a highly ranked law school doesn’t exactly give you a self-esteem boost.

So I left Nashville not only thankful for a much-needed visit with Law Student, but also a renewed determination to find a job that challenges me and I enjoy. I know we all can’t be lawyers or doctors or Nobel-prize winners. But I guess if I actually had a job that excited me I’d be more confident in talking about it.

Fate can have a funny way of intervening sometimes. I had to represent my company at a conference yesterday, and directly next to-I'm talking within one foot of-my booth, was a bar. A full bar. Stocked with wine, beer and liquor. Problem was, every time I looked over, my mouth salivated, which made it a little difficult to talk to people who approached my booth. If nothing else though, it made my mediocre job seem not so bad…even if it was just for a day.

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