Category Archives: work

Taking Time for Yourself is Important

nyc

So, I’ve been here in New York City for about a month and a half now, and it has been one hell of a whirlwind.

Working on my thesis, and interning in TV, and writing for a magazine, and editing for a literary journal – It has been non-fucking-stop. And I love it. I absolutely love how busy I am and how much fun the work I do is, and how there is potential for my future now.

It’s amazing. It’s like I’m finally getting the things I want. My hard work is paying off!

 

However, having said that…

I’m definitely also working a little too hard. I’m working 7 days a week. (I’m even feeling a little guilty for taking a few minutes to write this blog post rather than do editing for the literary journal). And that’s a problem. 

I’m starting to feel the effects of burn-out.

sleep

 

I wake up in the morning, even after a 7-ish hour sleep, and I can feel that I’m only recharged to maybe 80%. I can feel the sluggishness setting in. I can feel the bags under my eyes forming. The dreaming and yearning to go home for a little vacation where I drink grandma’s ice tea and play Minecraft and ride my bike. I can feel the wanting a break. A rest…

 

AND THEN I WAS WALKING THROUGH CENTRAL PARK ON MY WAY HOME FROM WORK ONE DAY…

CP

And in Central Park, you can dedicate park benches and write little messages to loved ones, remembrances to deceased loved ones, and all that general plaque type stuff that you see on benches around the world.

And for some reason, I’m walking passed this one bench, and I happened to look at it, and it said,

“If you could just learn to slow down…”

 

And then my name was written right after that.

No joke.

Not kidding. 

I stared at the bench. I’m not one to believe in secret meanings or the universe sending me messages, but something about this.  It was like exactly what I needed to hear at the exactly the right time. It was so surreal.

 

So now, It’s Sunday, and I’m going to work…but I’m also going to take breaks. I’m taking some time to write this blog post, because I love my blog and it makes me happy to write it! I’m also going to go for a little walk at some point this afternoon too.

In short, I’m just going to slow down a little bit. 

Now, I was going to add a GIF into this post about writing. Something to show that I was taking time to write or whatever… and then I found all these horrendous Bradly Cooper GIFS that are just tragic, and make me laugh.  So, for your pleasure, I think I’ll showcase some wonderfully bad Bradly Cooper typing GIFS.

coop

Ok, so here’s Bradly in some sort of writing rainfall.  WHAT IS THIS EVEN FROM? Is this from that movie where he plagiarizes everything from Shakespeare or something? Wasn’t he in some movie called The Words? Or something like that?

 

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FULL BLOWN LITERARY HURRICANE! 

This is the type of shit that could life Dorothy’s house right up out of Kansas.

 

Alright, enough Bradley bashing. Remember to work hard, but to also take time for yourself. Your career is only one component of your life and only one component of happiness. Remember your health and your social life are important too!

 

~ The Dark Horse

 

 

 

 

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The Trouble of New Beginnings When You Have Depression and Anxiety

new

 

So, I just finished my first week at my internship in television.  And it was exciting, and crazy, and hard, and stressful, and a total learning experience.

But, looking back now that the week is over, I’m like… WAS IT ACTUALLY HARD? OR WAS IT JUST MY ANXIETY? 

 

For example, I was told to do some media monitoring. That’s where you scan various news outlets to see if your shows are getting publicity and mentions and such. When you make your report, you put the news outlet’s name, followed by a forward slash, and then the date.

I had put the news outlet, then a space, then a forward slash.

My boss was like, “I’m a stickler for formatting, so next time, no space between the outlet’s name and forward slash.”

And then I was like..

OH MY GOD. I FAILED!

I PUT A SPACE BEFORE THE FORWARD SLASH! 

OH GOD…..I’LL NEVER GET A REAL JOB! 

By 10am, I was doing a full-blown Anne Hathaway, wondering why my dreams will never be…

dreams1

 

 

But now I’m kinda like… I suppose it’s possible that I may have been being slightly, but just ever-so slightly…. a drama queen. 

It was my first time doing media monitoring, and my boss knows that.  And adding a space isn’t the same as me just not being able to function. And looking back, I don’t even think my boss sounded mad.

 

BUT THEN…..

 

I had to write a press release for an upcoming show.  A REAL PRESS RELEASE FOR A SHOW THAT WILL AIR ON NATIONAL TELEVISION! A PRESS RELEASE THAT WILL BE READ…BY THE PRESS!  Like, THE PRESS. 

Entertainment Weekly. Variety. People Magazine. TV Guide. The Chicago Tribune. The New York Times. Those places, along with every other news outlet in America (And Canada) will be sent this!!!!!

I was like, Oh my God if I fuck this up it’s all over.

I’m done.

Life destroyed.

I’ll be unemployed.

I’ll become homeless.

I’ll have to sell my teeth for money, and then get Hepatitis C and die.

Oh my God, I need anther Anne Hathaway GIF,   NOW!!!!!!!!!

dream2

 

I think Anne is the only person who truly understands my struggles.

 

So, I’ve sent my draft of the press release to my boss, and we’re going to go over it on Monday.

SO, OK SURE. SHE HASN’T ACTUALLY SAID ANYTHING BAD ABOUT IT…. YET.

But there’s always a chance that could ruin it!

I mean, it was my first major press release after all.

Do you think she’ll understand that?

Oh lord, here comes the sweats… I’m such a failure. I’m going to die.

This is it! Goodbye cruel world!

dreams3

 

 

OR, IS THIS ALL JUST ANXIETY?

 

I mean, new beginnings are hard. For everyone. Anytime you have to learn something new. Or be in a new place. Surrounded by new people. There’s always going to be a learning curve. You’ll never be completely perfect right off the bat when you’re in an unfamiliar area, doing new and unfamiliar things.

That’s just life.

But when you have depression and anxiety, making those little mistakes (what normal humans probably consider “learning”) can be really hard on us. We dwell on them. We worry about them.

Or, with the press release example, we can worry without even hearing anything bad! It’s that unknowingness that gets us. We want to be assured that we’ve done good.

That we’re safe. 

When you have depression and anxiety, instant gratification is a gift… A gift that life rarely provides.

And we have no choice, but to soldier through. We have to brave our fears.

Keep Calm

And

Carry On.

We can’t let our depression and anxiety ruin new opportunities for us. Stress and sadness will accompany us during our new exploits. But, we need to be strong. Because the payoffs that you get from taking a chance is work.

Great things come from taking risks.

So let’s take em!

Need some inspiration?

Ok watch this:

In Ohio we have a theme park called Cedar Point. The tallest ride is called the Top Thrill Dragster. It’s so tall, and requires so much energy to create enough thrust to make it over the hill, that if the weight in the train is off (like, if you have a train full of short, thin people, or a train full of overweight people) the weight imbalance causes an acceleration problem and causes the car to not make it over the hill, AND THE ROLLS BACKWARDS TOWARDS THE STATION WHERE THE OTHER TRAIN IS BEING LOADED WITH PEOPLE! 

top thrill

 

So… if you’re about to embark on something new, and are scared. Just remember… things can be much, much scarier!

 

~ The Dark Horse

 

 

What Is It That We Want?

face

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.

I want to find true happiness in life, but what is true happiness?

For me, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s the combination of 2 things:

The Personal Life

and

The Meaningful Life

 

 

First off, we have the personal life. This is you and your family, friends, loved ones, romantic interests, and so on. It’s the social connections that keep us as humans from losing our fucking minds. Think this isn’t true?

Well, here’s some news articles for you on the topic:

BBC

New Republic

Science

I learned that social isolation destroys you the hard way… I was socially isolated.

Growing up gay in Ohio, with parents who were homophobic (and trust me, I love my parents, I understand they were just a product of their time. I hold no resentment towards them). Anyways, with everyone avoiding you like some kind of untouchable, and then not even being able to tell your own family about how wrong everything is, you go a little insane.

You go inwards. You start to live in your own world because the one around you doesn’t want you in it. For me, I had a savior. I had what I thought would fix everything. I had the dream of…

LA

LOS ANGELES

 

I told myself that LA would change everything. There, I’d find where I belonged. The people in California would be different. They would love me. And I’d go into the film industry because what’s more accepting of differences than Hollywood? (Rimshot please!)

But again, I was alone. I had nobody to tell me otherwise. I had nobody to guide me. I had nobody to make see how shallow and horrible LA is, especially for someone as socially retarded as me.

So, from the very first day I arrived in LA after high school, everything collapsed. I didn’t know how to connect with anyone. I had never drank, or smoked, or been to a party, or a concert, or stayed over at a friends house, or anything.

I’d try to connect and make friends, and it would instantly fall apart. Actually, it wouldn’t fall apart because it never got to the point where there was anything to fall apart. People just looked at me like I was this strange mutant from bumfuck nowhere…which, let’s be honest, I kind of was, and then they’d keep walking, making sure to keep their distance.

And thus, depression and anxiety crept into my life. My dream. My salvation. The cure-all that I always thought LA would be for my life…wasn’t. My only bit of hope was crushed and gone, and there was no longer anything to hold me together.

LA1

I remember Bruce Vilanch once said something like, “Ah yes! LA, where the palm trees are filled with crows.”

Well, I had started to see the crows.

 

 

But on the flip side, focusing simply on your social life also kills you. I learned this in Melbourne.

mel

 

I somehow managed to finish college in LA. And sure, there was that whole part where I dropped out because I lost my mind and wound up on the streets having sex for rent money, and there was that last year in LA where the depression was so bad that I’d collapse everywhere I went, but ya know, how time flies….

And so, I found myself with a Work and Holiday visa in Melbourne, Australia. SURELY GOOD PEOPLE EXISTED DOWN UNDER RIGHT? 

I went to Melbourne with one goal: It was time for me to be the dumb kid I wasn’t able to be in high school. My goals were to make good friends, fuck hot Aussie boys, get a boyfriend, and live it up!

And soon after I arrived I did find a friend group, and got a job at LUSH. But nothing seemed to get better… I was going out to bars with my friends (even though I don’t drink). I was going to food festivals with them. I was going to comedy shows. More bars. Clubs… bars… and more clubs and bars… OMG normal humans are so obsessed with bars and clubs, what the fuck is with that?????

And I just found myself bored. They would talk about their day, and the friends they knew, and gossip about others, and share memories of their past, and I would sit there, staring off into space, realizing something was wrong; I NEEDED A PURPOSE. I would go to work at LUSH, and be bored, because it’s retail and retail isn’t mentally stimulating. Then, I’d go to some bar and listen to these shallow people talk about shallow things, and I’d still be bored…even though I thought I had what I wanted.

I WAS SITTING WITH A GROUP OF FRIENDS!!!! It was everything I would have dreamed to have when I was 15. But now that I had it, I realized life isn’t just about sitting in a bar with friends. If that was enough for me then I should have just stayed in Ohio like everyone else… But life needs to have meaning. I wanted a career. Something I could be furiously happy about. Something I could invest myself in that would change the damn world! I didn’t care that Leon got a hot girl’s number, or that his ex-girlfriend wanted to get back with him, or about how excited he was to try shrooms for the first time.  I wanted to bash my head into the wall.

mel1

So, despite my naive intentions, Melbourne was a bust. (Oh, and also, I go so miserable and destitute that my depression and anxiety burst into agoraphobia… what fun…)

 

 

And, just to really make sure that I knew what I was talking about, I made the mistake again! I went home broke, because I lost all my money paying for therapy, had to get a job in retail in my hometown to re-save up money, then I ran away again to Auckland…JUST TO WORK IN RETAIL! What the fuck was I thinking?????? 

auk

 

And so that was two more wasted years of my life….

But Auckland is where the change happened. I was in therapy one day, and I was just like, “JESUS FUCKING CHRIST!!!! WHAT AM I DOING?” I had a midlife crisis at the age of 25. I was like, “HOLY FUCKBALLS! IM GOING TO BE STUCK IN THIS CYCLE FOREVER UNLESS I CHANGE IT RIGHT FUCKING NOW!!!!!!”

And thus, the plan was formed. I decided to apply for grad school. There, I could gain more experience, find mentors, meet other determined people, and reboot my life.

And that’s when I got into a program at Harvard, and the rest is history… Now, I’m getting ready to make the move to New York City with a great job offer that I’m so excited and proud to have.

 

And that’s why I think that life needs both. You need your social half, but you also need your meaningful half. It’s a tough tightrope to walk, finding both. And lord knows I’ve fallen off that rope many a time… But, I think for lasting joy, and true fulfillment, that’s how it’s done.

 

Keep up the dream!

~ The Dark Horse

INFJ Struggles With The Modern World

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So, I was doing some INFJ reading today and I came across a site that talked about how INFJ’s will struggle with the modern workplace.  The quote that really got me was:

“INFJ women and men don’t perform well in modern corporate settings. They are sensitive and often altruistic. Such attributes don’t get rewarded in the rat race.”

And then it went on to give a list of some careers that INFJ’s would hate.  Some of them were things like:

1. Marketing
2. Sales
3. Advertising

And this makes sense.  These kinds of careers are all about helping large companies convince the masses that they need the products the large companies are selling.  You’re literally helping large companies fuck over the world.  And as INFJ’s, with our natural altruism, this is literally our hell.

 

Furthermore, the modern workplace just isn’t right for INFJ’s in general.  The ideals of getting promoted because you simply want more money, or “playing politics” to get ahead,  and just the drama of office culture in general.   We INFJ’s literally couldn’t give less of a fuck about getting ahead at the office.   

 

infj1

 

 

As INFJ’s, we seek purpose and meaning, and our goal in life is to change the world for the better.  This also makes office life very hard because the trend in business is to give people repetitive tasks with the sole purpose of helping to increase profits for the company…  INFJ people out there, I can literally hear you sighing with dread right now.  And trust me, I’m right there with you.  This is our hell.  jobs that mean nothing.

ive`1

 

Most INFJ’s crave creativity and meaning.  They say some good job choices for INFJ’s are:

Actor

Visual Artist

Writer

Musician

Teacher

Philosopher

Non-Profit Work

Psychologist / psychiatrist 

Designer

Advocate Work 

 

You can see a common trend in all of these:  They allow the INFJ to be their own person.  Most of these jobs involve a good dose of creativity, whether it be artistic creativity, or the kind of creativity that allows psychologists to embrace the new challenges and demands that each new patient has.

They also don’t require the INFJ to work in some office setting under the watchful eye of their boss, and that boss’ boss’s and so on.  It allows the INFJ to retain a good level of independence.

 

And most importantly people, remember:  INFJ’s are vulnerable to things like burnout, depression, and anxiety when they don’t live the lives they want to.   So, unfortunately we were not gifted with being able to live an easy life.  Our choices are to fight our way through and change the world, or to slowly rot and die in misery.

Look, I know that isn’t the happiest news…but sadly it’s the truth.  And always remember;

“For those who fight for it, life has a flavor the sheltered will never know”

 

~ Fight on people!

The Dark Horse

 

UGH I CANT HANDLE THIS! ,Or, Getting Through The Tough Times

stress

Im sure you all know what Im talking about.  That crazy, stressed, bored, depressed, anxious, angry feeling you get when you are doing something you just don’t want to do.

That moment (but most likely longer than a moment) you just want to end.

Right now I’m feeling that.   I have 6 days left at work.  6 FUCKING DAYS, IT SEEMS SO SIMPLE RIGHT?????

But when you have gone almost a year being your horrible bosses bitch to try to get that promotion and stay on the good graces and keep your job in a time when lets face it, so many Americans don’t make good money…. WELL THAT 6 DAYS SEEMS LIKE A DEATH SENTENCE. 

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I kind of am just praying for a tornado to strike.  A bomb threat to be called in.  ANYTHING really to make me not have to go in these last 6 days.

Why do I feel like this?

Because I have found myself again….well I’ve been getting closer.  Ive finally started seeing the bigger picture of life again.  Ive been seeing what it is I want to see and the person who I want to be.

And believe me people, working as management in retail selling horribly cheap clothing that falls apart and was constructed through slave labor in Bangladesh isn’t me.  It never was, it isn’t, and it never will be.

and seriously….. fuck them.

stress3

So what do we do?

How do we get through these moments where we just want to go complete Charles Manson on the world?

Well heres what I’m doing.

1.) Focusing on the future. I just keep reminding myself that I have 6 days left.  After that I have some time with the family and then I’m moving to New Zealand…. my boss will still be a 40yr old woman selling cheap clothing to tweens…who is the real winner?  ….me.

2.) Focusing on what i will do differently next time.  For me, it is to not work in retail anymore….well actually it is to not work a shit job in general.  Im 25 now with a college degree.  Im going to start going after what I want.  I don’t care how low my self esteem is and how much I think I will fail.  Im going to actually try at life.

3.) Imaging bad things happening to the store.   Oh sure this is horribly immature but trust me, some good cathartic release always helps.  Hate where you are?  Well take some time to sit back, relax, take a deep breath, and try to imagine an earthquake coming though and destroying the place. Or maybe its a comet?  Or the poltergeists of the spirits of the ancient turtle people who live underground because your store MAY HAVE BEEN built on the site of a Native American battle?????  I MEAN IT COULD HAPPEN RIGHT????? 

stress4

In any event, lets get through this together ok?

I can do it, you can do it, and we can help each other.

also, sorry for the cheesy clip art of “stressed people”.  I found them amusing

~ The Dark Horse