Tag Archives: future

Life is Scary.

uncertainty-just-aheadLife is inherently frightening. It is filled with moments of choice and chance, and it makes you question every decision you make (or don’t make) because there are no do-overs.

In one way or another, regret is ever present in our lives because there is always a road not taken. We make decisions from the moment we wake up till the minute we go to bed, small as they may be. And any different choice could drastically change the way our days progress, for better or worse. The whole concept of the butterfly effect is frustrating because it makes us second-guess everything.

But we should be thrilled to have to make these decisions–free will is the greatest gift life gives us. We control our lives in every way, even if external forces have significant effects, we decide how to react and move forward.

I am a firm believer in that having rigid expectations creates our disappointment. If today, you expect to get a promotion and you do not, you are disappointed. But if you go into the day with no expectations, and still don’t get a promotion, you aren’t any more unhappy at the end of the day than at the start.

But expectations aren’t the only thing that can ruin your day. Being afraid of missing out–of what could have been–is just as damaging. No matter where your life takes you, you’ll always regret what you didn’t do. But you can’t do everything, you have to make choices, and the only way to let go of the poison of regret is to stand behind your choices, own them, embrace them, and realize that you can’t go back, and you can’t possibly know what the other outcomes would have been, so stop worrying about them.

We do occasionally get second chances, to make a decision over again at a later date, with more knowledge and understanding, but it’s not the same decisions because we are not at the same point in our lives. This is a whole new decision with a whole new set of outcomes.

I think it’s important to look at life not as a road branching out with multiple outcomes, but as a winding path that always takes us to the place we’re trying to go. There is no such thing as fate or destiny. Life happens in the moment and is the choices we make. There are no alternate realities created by each decision we make, or if there are, they are of no concern to us because we should be busy worrying about the life we have now, not the one we could have had.

I write this because I’m coming up on a lot of hard decisions in my life. But then again, who isn’t? There is always an approaching deadline that we have to choose to meet with decision or indecision, action or inaction, but that in itself is a choice. To choose to do nothing and wait is a decision all on it’s own. Of course, one can only wait for so long before action has to be taken.

As I look back on the decisions I’ve made, sure, there are some I would have like to have turned out differently, some of them cause me regret, but I have to let that go because those decisions are in the past and don’t matter anymore. I’m where I’m at in life because of each and every one of the those decisions, and I wouldn’t change that.

The whole idea that happiness is not a destination, but is instead the stops along the way, is important because in moments when we are happy, we know we arrived there by making the series of decisions we did, and the same goes for when we are unhappy. Would you give up all of those happy moments to go back and change a single unhappy decision you made?

Doesn’t matter if you would because you can’t, so deal with it.

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Filed under Living the Dream

Internships and Goals

So today is my third day at my Writer’s Digest internship, Friday the 13th–go figure. So far, it’s been bumpy, but overall really fantastic.

Due to crazy restructuring by the parent company, I am probably one of the very few interns around this spring which is probably how they found it in their budget to offer me some sweet office swag (see picture).

I’ve already noticed things are a little different than my last F&W Media internship. Aside from the surprising turnover in staff, the way my internship functions is much more hands off. I think everyone is too busy to worry about the intern. I am given more freedom and am not overseen quite as much, but I am still very busy, may even busier. Not to mention the tasks I’m given are all in some way related to something that I’m actually interested in. Copy edits, website descriptions–everything I’m doing is awesome.

Of course the freedom and lack of direction from a specific supervisor comes with a change in approach to this internship. There was no first day conversation about what I hope to learn and there was no “here is what is expected of you/what you will get out of this” chat either. I am 100% alright with this because I came in prepared.

In my effort get the most out of this incredible opportunity, I will be doing the following three things which are great to think about for any internship or career opportunity.

1) Have set goals and discuss them with the boss. Although my boss is out of the office frequently, I have his phone number and email and I am encouraged to contact him. One thing I will make sure to do is discuss with him the things I want to get out of this internship–industry contacts, editing experience, etc.– and ask him who I should talk to and what he suggests I focus on to achieve these goals. Plus, this means he can start sending the more relevant projects my way and introduce me to the right people.

2) Never turn anything down. This is a hard one because I’ve already found myself fairly busy and people are always asking me if I have time to do this, or that. I always try to say yes, (unless I’m under a crazy deadline). I want to dip my hands in everything they do here and I want to work with everyone at least once. Am I busy because of it? Yes, but it also makes my day fly by. And I think I will be more rewarded for it in the end.

3) Talk to everyone about what they do. This internship is first and foremost a learning experience and I plan to treat it as one. I will do my best to grab lunch with everyone, stop by their office for a chat, or even just bribe them with a coffee in the morning. I want them to show me what they do and how they do it, introduce me to everyone they know in the industry, and in general just get on the inside track to how it all happens.

Internships are all different and some are more guided than others, but they all seem to be incredibly necessary when trying to break into this industry. So getting everything you can out of them is more important now than ever.

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Filed under Publishing Industry, Working Girl