Those of us with the types of depression that ebb and flow, insidiously creeping up when we least expect it, might not have our shields up and ready when the tide comes in. But a few months ago I happened to feel another bout of depression looming before it knocked me off my feet and accidentally discovered a strategy for fighting it.
The existence of the authors suggested a way to live and work within institutions that didn’t involve giving up parts of myself, and their books suggested that fear was not an inappropriate response to the world — that there was real violence at play, violence felt not just by me, but by everyone.
Making polvoron was as much a part of my childhood as Mama’s absence was. It was a tradition, then a rite of passage made more poignant by my mother’s brief visits home. With each return came the knowledge of a new step in the polvoron process, and with each new step came the promise of my mother’s permanent return – her homecoming.
I started working as a writer for reality TV the same week I graduated from my MFA program. For eight hours a day, I sorted through footage of uniformed men and wrote deep-bellied voiceovers full of puns that would make your dad cringe for a show that I will refer to as "Rural Cops."
When we were sailing I felt borne up by wings capable of taking me much farther than I’d ever thought possible, to places where I could watch the storm petrels glide before the rising and falling walls of waves. Where a calm night’s watch was spent watching the swirling bioluminescence in our wake while trying to think of the ways and whys I could and should steer my professional life away from the noise and…
Even if you’re not afflicted with Must Always Make Everyone Like Me Syndrome (which I definitely suffer from), anyone trying to move forward in their career is going to feel a certain pressure to agreeably take on as much work as they’re capable of doing. The line between “happy to help out” and “being a doormat” is often both fine and blurry.
You don’t have to stick it out indefinitely in an environment where explosive rage is the norm. While you’re there you might as well treat it like bootcamp, where you can learn to inoculate yourself against taking things too personally, but you might also consider following in your former coworkers’ footsteps and developing an exit strategy of your own.
I work in a nondescript multi-story county building in a university city in the United States. People have mistaken our building for everything from a hotel to a bank to a suite of medical offices. One day not long ago, we all had to attend a half-day of "Active Shooter Training" led by officers from the county sheriff's department, because -- to quote one of the officers -- the mindset we should all have is…
Friendships and work relationships can be a bad combination even when everyone’s on their best behavior—and what you have here is the rare trifecta of romantic relationship + work relationship + third-party friendship, all in the unstable context of a brand-new business. If you were writing to me four months ago, I might not have said “what a terrible idea,” but I’d have advised you to tread very carefully. But now that you’re in the…
"I try not to do anything that’s not paid anymore, because it’s really hard to justify your work when you’re doing things for free. People assume that what you do is very easy if you don’t ask for money."