Archive for July, 2015

A Rousing Success

Quite the day.

Although I had seven interviews in the bank, another nine places called me unexpectedly looking to set up interviews. The result was an indescribably chaotic morning in which I received 16 calls in the space of just over a half hour. Absolute madness. It really couldn’t have been more different from my first call day experience in October.

In the end I had to decline half of the interview requests I received because it isn’t physically possible to do more than 7 or 8 in a span of two days. Even still, five of the employers I’m interviewing with are ones which were in my top ten to begin with, and that’s quite encouraging.

I’m not sure how to account for the night-and-day difference between what happened in October and what happened this week. Was my resume that much stronger with my nine weeks of experience this summer thrown in? Were my cover letters somehow more convincing? I have no idea really. I’m happy about it and all, but I wish I could put my finger on what it is that went so right this time.

And now I’ve got three weeks to prepare. The interviews will be held on August 10th and 11th, and on the 12th I’ll know whether or not I have a job secured or not. It’s kind of crazy to think that I could potentially have a career lined up 24 days from now, but I’m trying not to think about that.

One day at a time.

Seven In The Bank

Tonight was supposed to be a nerve-filled night of minimal sleep. That’s how the night before last call day was – a mix of excitement and dread, knowing that any of 15 employers might call me, but that most (or all) would not.

This call day is different though in that I pretty much know what’s going to happen.

This week, seven employers have sent me emails to let me know that they’ll be giving me a call tomorrow morning. Considering I applied to 37 places, that’s actually a pretty good ratio. Too good, almost, as seven interviews is in fact one more than the maximum the law school recommends that a person accept.

Being only nine months removed from having absolutely no interviews at all, I don’t feel like I’m in a position to turn anyone down, and so unless I change my mind I’ll be scheduling seven interviews tomorrow morning for August 10th and 11th.

Not only have I been surprised by the number of employers which have contacted me, I’ve also been surprised by which ones have. As I was rolling through applications, there were certain employers that I found more appealing than the others, and so I poured much more time and effort into refining and personalizing those cover letters. And yet the places which have emailed me back are all, with one exception, places whose applications I pretty much just blitzed through. Perhaps I was trying too hard, or perhaps those other places were particularly competitive, or perhaps it’s all just a giant crapshoot. In any event, the result is that I’ve only been contacted by a couple of the firms which I would consider to be in my top ten, while the rest are all either places in the middles of my rankings, or places I threw in applications last minute for the hell of it.

In the end though, I would happily accept a job offer from any of the places who have emailed. All of them would pay me close to double what my present employer would pay me and allow me to move out 13 months from now. While I don’t really have a passion for defending insurance claims, I can put up with it for 10 months in exchange for some much-needed personal and financial independence.

A Decade In The Books

Today marks a decade since I started jotting down my life here.

Crazy, right? I can hardly believe it myself. How many other blogs do you know of that are operated by a single individual and have been ongoing continuously since July 12th, 2005? There aren’t many, and so to some extent I consider making it this far to be something of an accomplishment in itself.

For the past year or so I’ve been thinking about how I should mark the occasion. I considered a few different options: A full out recap of the last ten years of my life, a top ten list of what I think are my favourite entries since 2005, a reflection on what having this space has done for me…

Instead, I’d like to focus on just two questions:

1. Have I fundamentally changed since 2005?

2. If so, how have I fundamentally changed since 2005?

Initially, I thought the answers to those questions would be “Yes” and “In every way imaginable”, but it’s not quite that simple.

Sure, a lot of things have changed between 2005 and today. For example:

My spelling and grammar have improved, as well as my general intelligence. I’ve become more mature – not surprising since we’re talking about going from 14 to 24 years of age.

I’ve largely stopped seeing myself (and going out of my way to try and get others to see me) as unique. I’ve realized over the past decade that people have a lot more in common than they have differences, and that it’s pretty naive to think that you might be much different than the other 7 billion of us.

I’ve become more tolerant for sure. Whereas I used to see the world as very black and white, and felt that I was doing things the “right” way and everyone else was doing things the “wrong” way, now I just shrug my shoulders. It used to aggravate me that people had views and beliefs and values that differed so much from my own, but I’ve since come to accept this basic fact of life.

Some of my views have changed; I no longer see the straightedge way of live as an ideal, for example. Nor do I have that burning desire to do something to be remembered by anymore.

I’ve essentially stopped using the words “gay” “fag” and “retard”. I used to do that a lot, and now I flinch when I hear people using these words. There are plenty of other, more creative ways to insult people after all.

I still love writing, but I don’t view myself as a “writer”, as I once did.

My sense of humour has improved a thousand-fold, and a lot of what I thought was funny in 2005 makes me cringe today.

But a surprising amount has stayed the same. Among these:

I still have many of the same insecurities as I had in 2005, even if I’m less vocal about them today.

I’m still just as pessimistic about the future as I was back then. I still expect the worst to happen at every turn.

I’m not quite as emotionally sensitive as I used to be, but I still find that I’m easily hurt when perhaps I shouldn’t be.

I still watch the Dinsey Channel, even if I’ve gone from following half a dozen shows to only one or two. Phineas and Ferb remains one of the most clever shows I’ve ever seen, animated or otherwise. And while we’re on the subject, my favourite movies today are just as animated as they were in 2005.

My friends have changed, to be sure. People have come and gone. But I have always been and will always be loyal to those people who I call my friends while I still call them my friends.

I still find it perfectly natural to place other peoples’ needs and desires above my own.

I still have no long term life plan, the future still freaks me out, and I still have no good answer for the interview question “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

The million dollar question is “Am I a better person than I was in 2005?”

On the whole, the answer is yes, but it’s not by as big a margin as I would have thought. There’s still plenty that I can improve on. I can’t imagine that I’ll be here 10 years from now for the 20th anniversary of this blog, but hopefully by the time July 12th, 2025 rolls around I’ll be a little closer to being content about my life – and about myself. Until then, there’s work to be done.

A Load Off, A Load On

Thursday and Friday were stressful. Submitting 38 applications was tedious, and time consuming, and generally unpleasant.

But when the 5:00 deadline passed, it felt like a load off my shoulders. I was able to go home from work that day and just relax for once. I could sit on the couch, turn on the TV and not worry about having to write up cover letters. For the first time in weeks, I had nothing do to. And that felt good.

The feeling lasted about 24 hours.

Last night, my grandfather had to be taken to the hospital. The information I’ve heard has been very mixed. Yesterday night it sounded like whatever it was seemed to have passed, and that he was likely to be released. This morning I was told that he had an infection of some sort and would need to stay in the hospital for some time. This afternoon it sounded like he was feeling close to normal.

Then this evening I went to see him, and it scared the shit out of me. When I walked into the room, everyone was deathly silent. My grandfather was having severe chest pains. He kept moaning and clutching at his chest. There were seven of us in the room, and I couldn’t help but wonder whether we were all sitting there watching him have a heart attack. I couldn’t bear to look.

The pain passed after a time. It could have been five minutes, it could have been twenty. I don’t know. And for a little while he was in good spirits. And then the pain came back. And then it passed again.

Now it’s all I can think about. I’m worried, and I’m scared about the phone ringing at 4 AM to tell me something that I don’t want to hear.

I really hope he’s going to be okay.