Essays & Thoughts, On Jobs & Careers

Restart.

I hate playing Monopoly.

When I was younger, at one of my family parties, my older cousin and I were paired as a team to play Monopoly. He insisted we buy everything we landed on. Everything. We immediately went bankrupt. We were the first to lose. I was infuriated. I don’t remember forgiving him, but I probably have—it’s been at least twenty years. That’s enough to have forgiven someone at some point.

I hate playing Monopoly.

It. Never. Ends.

Other than Monopoly, I didn’t grow up playing board games. Scrabble was not there to expand my vocabulary or develop my spelling skills. I didn’t want to settle in Catan. I wanted to eat munchkins.

Munchkin board game

My distaste for board games could also derive from the fact that I am not competitive. If you ask me to race you, I will let you win because I don’t like running. I don’t care to win. Besides, what is it you gain from reaching the end of the hall faster than me? Yay. You beat me. It’s just me. That’s not a lot to brag about. I’m not Usain Bolt. Calm down. I won’t help to boost your ego that way.

However, I am beginning to wonder if maybe I should have been more competitive. If I had cared more about winning maybe I wouldn’t have to press RESTART every time. I feel like I’ve been working on a fifteen page single-space essay due yesterday at noon but I forgot to save it, only for my computer to freeze and shut down.

I may not care to win, but I keep losing…

Well, okay. I’ve lost. But what have I lost (in no particular order) so far?

  1. excuses
  2. some debt
  3. close-mindedness
  4. ignorance
  5. apathy
  6. uncomfortable shoes
  7. space in my bookshelves
  8. bare walls
  9. empty picture frames

So sure, okay, I have lost. I may return to the starting line over and over again, but now it’s pointed toward a new direction. A direction I had so long denied because I thought I wasn’t good enough to be over there. At this point, I don’t even care if I’m not good enough to be over there. I am going to be over there.


You can count on me to cheer you every time you succeed. Please remind me that I need to do the same for me. I have to remember that the rules apply to me, too.


I’m also privileged. Most people who restart don’t have the same resources I do. I have parents who aren’t kicking me out of the house, and who can support me while I work toward what I want. I have aunts and uncles, and a variety of references who can make glowing recommendations of me to hiring managers. A lot of the opportunities I have taken were practically handed to me, but I am hopeful that I am more grateful than entitled: I know exactly who’s helping me forward, and to them do I owe any admiration others express toward me.

Every time I lost, I had room to gain (again, in no particular order):

  1. experience (and therefore some great stories to tell)
  2. knowledge (not yet wisdom)
  3. passion
  4. desire
  5. drive
  6. empathy (all cliched, but piercingly true)
  7. interest in new topics and hobbies
  8. blank notebooks
  9. smooth-writing 0.5 pens
  10. teammates/friendships/fellow strugglers

I haven’t got it all (does anyone really?), but I’ve got just what I need for where I am right now.


And just for kicks, an episode of ‘Adam Ruins Everything’ covers a lot of job/career culture. At 1:38 and beyond it becomes really illuminating. Watch if you want. No pressure.

Sometimes being jaded pays off [:

Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back.

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