Aug. 28th, 2016 06:27 pm
turbogrrl: (robotcoffee)
[personal profile] turbogrrl
a friend had linked to Gizmodo's "This is How South Florida Ends, and I remembered something that I had otherwise long forgotten.

The summer before my senior year, I'd gotten an offer to intern for the State of Maryland, studying wetland ecology. I have no idea how it came about; I think I had applied to a generic internship program, because it's not like I did any work on biology or ecology in high school. But the internship (it might have been paid, or might not, again, can't remember) would have been in annapolis. It would have been a summer of 6am drives to annapolis, striding around in muck, getting multitudes more sun than my bookworm self would have otherwise gotten. I wanted to take it. But my parents said Absolutely Not. They, I'm sure, couldn't deal with the fact that I'd be far away for so much of the day, and it would have meant leaving my mom stranded without a car all summer. Not to mention the gas bill.

So, I had to say no. But in reading that article I had a brief flash of what my life could have been like if I'd said yes. Because we are absolutely shaped by our opportunities. My opportunity to clerk at the Howard County Library utterly changed the direction of my life. The people I met there, and the people I met through them, are the reason I'm in computing. It wouldn't have happened otherwise.

But I confess I have this wistful nostalgia for the wetland girl I never got to be.

Date: 2016-08-29 01:56 pm (UTC)
ivy: (guesting)
From: [personal profile] ivy
Yeah, I'm also interested in forks in the path like that... I still want to know what 12 year old me who went to Harvard would have been like. My college had a lot of wetlands ecology, and while that wasn't the direction I took my career, I took a bunch of classes in that and share your interest. Thanks for sharing the article!

Date: 2016-08-30 11:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
oh, man. the big one for me would have been if I'd dated and married my high-school crush. [my and my best friend both were head over heels for him. he couldn't decide which of us to date. i told him he should date her. they got married 7 years later.]

Date: 2016-08-29 06:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I have a few decisions I feel similarly about (well, on very bad days, I am riddled with regret about them, but mostly wistfully nostalgic).

Date: 2016-08-30 11:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I hope the very bad days are few! I'm usually pretty content where I've ended up. Could do without some of the bumps and scrapes along the way, though.

Date: 2016-08-30 01:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The very bad days are rare indeed. Most of the time, even the particularly awful scrapes still wouldn't be worth trading away my contentment today.

Date: 2016-09-09 05:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Totally thinking about this now because I'm applying for jobs and wondering if I should take ones I kind of like or hold out for ones I would love. But I used to be plagued by regret of decisions I made or didn't make out of fear, depression, etc. At this point in my life I'm getting used to being satisfied with fate and knowing that I can't turn back time, and that I still have some left.

Date: 2016-09-10 10:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's hard to say. I've learned that I personally am a terrible judge of jobs. The ones I thought I would love turned out to be the most painful because I would try extra hard to make it work even when a dispassionate person would have given up long before.

We are still conditioned to a loyalty that companies do not honor; it's entirely valid to take a job that you kind of like and bail X months later if it doesn't work. It feels awkward to do, and yes it is hard on the manager who now has to look again, but entirely fine. Even more so since you have the option of not working at all for a period of time; it becomes more of "this isn't working for me" decision versus "someone is dangling a potentially better offer in my face"


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