Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Geek Life

This is easily the funniest "experiment" ever captured on video by a couple of geeks.

Granted, the Honda "Cog" commercial was more elegant and professional, but when it comes to pure, unpolished geek panache, it's going to be hard to top EepyBird.


The guys at Mythbusters (aka the best show on television) are going to try! And I'm sure it'll be great! Sunday, November 26th @ 9pm.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Did you ever wish to be a Hobbit?

Last night, I discovered this link for a housing development in Bend, Oregon. If you're a fan of Lord of the Rings, it's like an invitation to come live in your own personal fairy tale...

Now, if you could really have the lifestyle of a Hobbit, I'd say it sounds pretty good. You've got the quaint village, a comfortable home with cozy chairs around a fireplace-- But it all wouldn't be complete without plenty of visitors, good books, and second breakfasts!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Remembering 9/11

Five years ago today...

It was a clear, sunny day. I was running late for work. (It was a particularly unhappy period for me at work. I hated getting up in the morning, so I was almost always late getting to work.) I was walking in from the East parking lot, and Angie, my director's admin, was walking in at the same time. I remember her saying, "I just heard on the radio that someone flew a plane into the World Trade Center." And my first thought was, "Oh, some daredevil screwed up trying to pull a stunt with his Cessna." I didn't really think any more about it. I got to my cubicle, logged in to check my email, and started working. A little while later, Debi, the girl in the cube next to me, got a phone call from her boyfriend. When she hung up, she said, "Oh, my God. Someone flew a plane into the World Trade Center." "Yeah, I heard that." "NO, I mean another plane." "What kind of plane? Like a Cessna, right?" "I don't think so. I think it was a big plane."

Immediately, we started checking the internet, but it was so overloaded that we couldn't get through to any of the news services. Another co-worker of ours, Craig, already had a CNN window open, so we crowded around his computer to read the news. The internet was completely bogged down, so no pictures would download on the web page, just these sketchy, distracted news bites that seemed to contradict each other every time we refreshed the page. There weren't any details, and the main facts didn't seem to make any sense.

Later in the morning, I was supposed to have a meeting in another part of the building, so I wandered over to the team area. Someone had rigged up a TV there in R&D, but it didn't have an antenna, so the reception was awful. There were snowy images of the towers burning, and the news factoids scrolling in the ticker along the bottom of the page were confusing and contradictory. People were speculating about what they would have to do about the buildings, after the fires were put out. Would they be able to repair them, would they have to demolish all the floors above the fires, and rebuild them? Some people thought they would have to be torn down completely, eventually. I don't remember anyone suggesting that they might collapse.

After awhile, it just seemed like there was no new information coming out, so we had our meeting briefly. At that point, things were still surreal and bizarre, not really tragic.

We came out of the meeting, and someone said, "One of the buildings fell down." "What do you mean, it fell down? It fell over?" If it withstood the impact of the plane, why would it suddenly fall over later? "No, it came straight down." "What? How?" "Oh, there it is, they're replaying it now." Except it wasn't an instant replay. It was the second tower coming down, live, and in slow motion. The footage must have been shot from a news helicopter that was flying over the Hudson, because the view panned back until the Statue of Liberty was in the foreground, with what should have been Manhattan behind it, except the entire borough was completely engulfed in a billowing sandstorm. It was a profound image, and I'm still surprised that I have never seen it replayed in any of the memorial news coverage. I remember thinking, "Right now, at this moment, thousands of people are dying." It was so obvious, and yet so impossible to comprehend.

The rest of the day unfolded in a blur. They set up a large television in the cafeteria, and people wandered in and out all day, in a sort of daze. Everytime I ran into people in the hallway, they told me different news reports. Some turned out to be true and some turned out to be false, which only added to the confusion. I remember hearing that malls and shopping centers were attacked, then later I heard that authorities were telling people to stay away from malls and shopping centers because of the possibility of bombs. I heard that there were several other planes hijacked, and that they had struck the White House, the Capitol building, and the Pentagon, and that there were planes heading for other major cities, including Cleveland and Chicago. The Sears Tower was evacuated, and so were other skyscrapers all over the world. I remember hearing that fighter jets were being scrambled to take out those other planes. I heard that key government members were being evacuated from Washington, and that the President had been removed to "an undisclosed location" via Air Force One. Later I heard that United 93 had actually passed over Cleveland airspace as it turned around to head back toward DC.

Of course, there were lots of rumors and conspiracy theories that circulated that day and in the following days. Some people believed that United 93 had actually been shot down by fighter jets, but that the government was using the "heroism" angle to cover it up. There were reports that the four planes had been sold out, and then most of the tickets were cancelled just before 9/11. People said that the terrorists bought extra tickets to ensure the planes would be mostly empty so that they could control the passengers more easily. Some stories claimed that more teams of terrorists had been planning to take part in the plot, but that they were apprehended at the airports, and the government was questioning them secretly. Maybe it was just crazy conspiracy theories, or maybe it was all true. I have no idea.

Locally, there were fears of other terrorist acts. The P&G headquarters building downtown has twin towers, so people wondered if it might be a target. My roommate was evacuated from her office because it was next to the Federal building downtown. The mosque up in West Chester had 24-hour police protection for months, due to bomb threats.

For three days, there were no planes. At the time, I was in the middle of my training for ski patrol, so on Tuesday and Thursday nights, I was out at the ski area, which is on the final approach path for CVG airport. Normally, when we went outside on the deck, we would see dozens of planes preparing for landing, but that week, there was only darkness overhead. On Tuesday night, 9/11, we did see one plane off in the distance, and we realized that it was a fighter jet from Wright-Patt. On Thursday a large search-and-rescue team was deployed from the air force base to help with the efforts at the World Trade Center.

My church was meeting in a school building for services on Saturdays and Sundays. They had just purchased a big-box hardware store, but the construction and renovation had barely begun. They scrambled to set up a prayer event for Wednesday night, and dozens of people turned up. It was probably the first church service held in that buliding.

Many, many people leaned into their churches, and American flags appeared everywhere. Everyone wanted to do something to help, but unlike most natural disasters, there were very few injured survivors who needed rescue or relief. Blood donation centers wound up turning people away. People were shocked and wounded, but resolved.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Gift of Glide

I went roller-blading with my friend yesterday. As we were taking off our skates, she said, "Sometimes I wonder if God chuckles to himself and thinks, 'Well, I never expected that they would do THAT.'"

(Yeah, yeah, I know. He's omniscient. Humor me for now.)

I believe that God has given us some great gifts. The greatest and most important has to be Free Will, but there's also Creativity, Problem-Solving, Communication, Empathy, etc. I also think that one of those gifts is the love of Glide.

Unlike birds or dolphins or cheetahs, we're not engineered to be especially graceful or efficient in our movements. But despite our awkwardness, we, as a species, have this incredible urge to create new forms of movement that are faster or more elegant. We don't create these things out of necessity-- We do it for recreation, for enjoyment, for pleasure. We have created bicycles, skates, slides, sleds, skis, snowboards, wakeboards, sailboards, hang-gliders, parachutes, and trampolines because we love the sensation of movement. It gives us a rush. It makes us happy. It provides a feeling of wonder and adventure.

Do you remember being a little kid at recess? Do you remember swinging as high as you could, until you were even with the bar at the top of the swing set? Do you remember hanging off the side of the merry-go-round? Do you remember doing penny-drops or cartwheels? Did you learn how to spin on roller skates or do stunts on your bike? I don't remember much about elementary school, but I remember these things. I also remember learning to do back-dives and back-flips, and I remember doing crazy jumps off the diving board with my cousins-- over and over and OVER again. Of course we remember the things that we love.

My sister has severe brain damage. She can't talk or understand even basic words. She can feed herself, if you don't mind a huge mess, and she can walk, but clumsily and not very far. She absolutely loves to swing or spin. It makes her happy and it calms her down when she's upset. Our love of movement is basic and intrinsic.

In college, I rode my bike everywhere. It was partly a matter of convenience, but mostly I biked because it was just more fun than trudging along on foot. I loved riding with no hands, and I gradually mastered using my balance to turn so that I could ride the whole way to class without touching the handlebars. I love skiing because of the speed and the swooping sensation. It's like dancing with gravity. I love scuba because it's like flying, slowly, without wings. Everything is more graceful underwater.

So, yeah, I think God looks down at all the crazy, creative things we do, and says, "I'm glad I gave them Glide. That was GOOD."

Monday, August 28, 2006


I registered for classes on Friday. Actually, I tried to register for classes on Friday, but I wound up registering for a class on Friday, which I wound up dropping on Sunday so that I could change to different class. Anyway, the point is, starting September 20th, I'm going to be taking classes at University of Cincinnati, which means that I can now (if I so choose) call myself a Bearcat.

Life has a funny way of throwing you curve balls. When I was in high school, I considered applying to UC, but then I visited CWRU and discovered Biomedical Engineering, so I gave up on my plans to study Architecture. (Actually, I was considering Architectural Engineering, which is somewhat different-- Less emphasis on funky-looking buildings, more emphasis on buildings remaining standing over the long haul. As a campus, UC seems to prefer "funky-looking" over "remaining standing" so I'm not sure how much I would have enjoyed that program anyway.)

Luckily, UC has a branch campus just a mile from my house, so that's where I'm going to be taking classes. I took Friday afternoon off of work to go register for classes, and the process was pretty much what I expected it to be:

ENROLLMENT: "Are you matriculating into a program of study, or just taking classes? Fill out this form and turn it in at Station 4."

STATION 4: "Here is your temporary ID number. You can use it to register for classes on-line. You can use the computers over there if you want to register now."

WOMAN WITH THE DESK CLOSEST TO THE COMPUTERS, aka FLIBBERTIGIBBET: "No, that's not a valid student ID number. You can't use that to register on-line. Well, yes, it's a temporary ID number, but I just heard that those numbers don't become active in the computer system for 24-48 hours. Oh, I see. Well, since the class has just one opening left, I suppose I can help you get registered now. Fill out this form and give it back to me."

FLIBBERTIGIBBET, TAKE 2: "The computer is saying that both of those classes are now full, so someone else must have registered for that Biology class in the last few minutes. You can either try to register for different sessions, or you can try to get the professors to sign an override form. OK, well, write those other class numbers on the form, and give it back to me."

FLIBBERTIGIBBET, TAKE 3: "I can register you for the Sociology class, but the Biology class is full. Well, they might be willing to give you an override, but that's really up to them. I can't make any promises. The contact information for professors is on-line. Do you know the One Stop website address? Well, here it is. Go to this menu, then this menu, then this menu, and there they are. No, I don't think they'll be in their offices this afternoon, given that it's a break period between Summer and Autumn terms. Ok, well, good luck."

BIOLOGY PROFESSOR'S OFFICE: "Do not enter. This building is closed for renovation."

SOCIOLOGY PROFESSORS'S OFFICE: "I am out of the office until sometime in September. If you need to reach me, leave a voicemail message."

Getting shut out of classes completely is a new experience for me, and I realized how lucky I had been to go to a smaller school, where registration was fairly easy, or at least I don't remember ever having to get an override from a professor at Case. On the other hand, I entered Case a year after Adelbert burned, so all of the student services had been farmed out to various buildings around campus. There was always a run-around at the beginning of the year that went something like, "Go to Baker to pick up the course listings. Go to Building A to register. You can't register because you haven't paid all your tuition up front. If your parents are paying on an installment plan, you have to get a memo signed by the Cashier's Office in Building B. Go back to Building A to register. Go to Building C to sign up for points for your food plan, but only during the right hours. Go to Thwing to buy your books." So at least at this branch of UC, everything was located in one office, which made the experience relatively painless, and Flibbertigibbet was friendly and helpful.

SIDEBAR: I can't remember the names of the buildings that housed Registration and the Cashier's Office now. I just went to CWRU website to check the map of campus, and those buildings are no longer there. (I think they may have been two ends of the same building, but I clearly remember that you had to outside to get from one place to the other.) Baker building is gone now too, which is not such a tragedy, because the buildings weren't anything special-- Baker in particular was blight in a circa-1960's "modern" style --and they obstructed the views between Case quad and the classic (and proudly rebuilt) Adelbert Hall, not to mention foot traffic from North campus. But it does make me feel a bit older to know that places that I remember are now gone forever.

Anyway, I left voicemail messages for both professors, but then later on I realized that there was another Biology class that (a) sounded more interesting to me, (b) wasn't full and closed, and (c) might fulfill my prerequisite requirements for Ethics as well as Biology, so I signed up for that one instead. And it sounds like the professor is going to let me into the evening session of the Sociology course, so all's well that ends well.

And now I'm a Bearcat, just like my husband, my dad, and several of my friends. Life's funny sometimes.

Now is the time in skiing when we dance...

It's that time of year again...

Every year, toward the end of summer, it hits. A feeling of lethargy, ennui, and wistfulness. I feel altogether tired of the relentless, oppressive heat and humidity of summer. Vacations are over, the pool is closed, so what's the point of this sticky, nasty weather hanging on? I'm eager for the cool crispness of fall, for evenings when you can see your breath while you look at the stars, and for the enchantment that comes from lighting a fire outside on the deck, and staring into the flames while spending time with good friends.

But above all, I'm anxious for winter. I'm not alone in this. I guarantee that if you ask any die-hard skiier, they'll tell you the same thing. We all suffer from feelings of unrest and yearning at this time of year, and there's a ritual that we perform in honor of the change of seasons. Every year, in this time period between the end of August and the beginning of October, I find myself drawn to my ski gear, down in the basement. I drag out my boot bag, and pull everything out of it. I fondly try on my gloves, which conform softly to my hands after years of use. I pet my warm fuzzy neck gaiter, and try on my favorite ski socks. And then I put on my boots, and buckle them up, and tromp around the house for a little while, just wishing, wishing, wishing that ski season wasn't still 3 months away.

I know I'm not alone in this.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Corporate Culture

One of my new co-workers sent around an email that I think neatly summarizes the difference between my old job and my new job.

It has been brought to management's attention that some individuals throughout the company have been using foul language during the course of normal conversation with their co-workers. Due to complaints received from some employees who may be easily offended, this type of language will be no longer be tolerated. We do however, realize the critical importance of being able to accurately express your feelings when communicating with co-workers. Therefore, a list of "TRY SAYING" new phrases has been provided so that proper exchange of ideas and information can continue in an effective manner without risk of offending our more sensitive employees.

TRY SAYING: I wasn't involved in the project.
INSTEAD OF: It's not my ----ing problem.

TRY SAYING: Perhaps you should check with...
INSTEAD OF: Tell someone who gives a ----.

TRY SAYING: You want me to take care of that?
INSTEAD OF: Who the ---- died and made you boss?

TRY SAYING: I don't think you understand.
INSTEAD OF: Shove it up your ---.

I'm not going to include the whole list, because I'm sure you can see where this is going. The point is that at my old job, I would mostly hear stuff from the "TRY SAYING" list. At my new job, I think I've heard every single thing on the "INSTEAD OF" list, and I've only been there for three weeks now. That being said, here are a few "INSTEAD OF" sayings that are special favorites among my new co-workers:

TRY SAYING: We'll have to discuss that.
INSTEAD OF: NO! That's bull----.

TRY SAYING: He's not familiar with the issues.
INSTEAD OF: He's got his head up his ---.

TRY SAYING: Excuse me, sir?
INSTEAD OF: Eat ---- and die.

TRY SAYING: I love a challenge.
INSTEAD OF: This job sucks.

Internally, people at my old job might have been thinking the "INSTEAD OF" stuff, but they would very rarely say it out loud. Although I don't swear much myself, I'm not easily offended by people who do, and I'm finding it kind of refreshing to hear people say what they're really thinking, instead of shrouding everything in layers of corporate euphemisms.

For example, I can't tell you how many times I heard something like, "We need to address some of the opportunities for improvement." No one would ever say that a project or product line had problems. Management might acknowledge "issues" or even "challenges" but they generally prefered to use the term "opportunities," even when describing situations that were completely FUBAR.

Of course, at my old job, people would probably have gotten in some fairly serious trouble for even forwarding an email like this around.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Tales from the Flip Side

Well, I started my new job today, and I suspect that, if nothing else, it may provide for some interesting blog fodder. I base this suspicion on the fact that my new co-workers spent the morning "planning a coup" because of some remarks made by our new boss, who's only been with the company for three weeks. I don't know if they'll actually carry out their plans or if it's just wishful thinking to add a little drama to life.

I had lunch with another guy who is working the same sort of gig that I am (i.e. hourly pay, working 4 days/week) but he's only been there for two weeks now, so neither of us are really sure what we've gotten ourselves into. I think we're both hoping that we'll have the advantage of observing the drama with some detachment because, for us, it's just a JOB, not a career.

At any rate, it's going to be a major change to go from working for a company with >1,500 employees in Cincinnati (and >150,000 world-wide) to a company with 15 employees. (And that's counting me!)

  • More causual? YES. I finally get to wear jeans to work! Woohoo!

  • Less bureaucratic? Oh, you'd better believe it.

  • More flexible? Yes, BUT...

...the question becomes: Which is better-- a rubber band or an iron chain? I think it depends on what you're trying to accomplish.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

What I did over my summer break...

It's been a long while since I've written anything here. There's a really good reason for that. First of all, this spring has been a really rough period for me at work, and I was working crazy long hours. That came to an abrupt end in June, but I've been waiting to write until I got some things resolved...

Not everything is resolved yet, but maybe that's just how life goes.

So here's what I did over my summer break:

  • Went on vacation. We spent a week at Longboat Key with my mom and my sister. We also had a sort of progressive familiy reunion with my aunts & uncles, cousins, and cousins' kids. (Three of each, as it turns out.) The first tropical storm of the season made the first half of the week pretty rainy, but at least it was restful. And we got to go snorkeling with manatees, which was pretty dang cool.

  • Lost my job and found a lawyer.

  • Mourned the loss of a good friend, who died while scuba diving in Mexico. We don't know what happened, and it will never make sense to me. We miss him.

  • Had several job interviews and worked out a win-win situation with one of them. Starting Monday, I'll be working about 30 hours a week, which will keep me busy (but not too busy to pursue other opportunities) and keep some money coming in while I figure out what to do with the rest of my life. I may find another job, I may go back to grad school for my PhD, I may go to school to do something completely different, maybe a Physical Therapy program. Only God knows...

  • Speaking of Physical Therapy, I've also spent a couple of days observing at the Sports Medicine / Biodynamics Lab at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. (One of the prerequisites for applying to PT programs is to spend 50-80 hours observing/volunteering in a PT setting.) It's been interesting, and I'm learning lots of new stuff along the way.

  • Painted the kitchen / dining room, two bedrooms, and a bathroom. (OK, I'm still working on the 2nd bedroom and the bathroom, but they'll be done soon.)
  • Green Bedroom Blue Bedroom
  • Played a lot of Sudoku and Lost Cities. What can I say? I'm hooked.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

You know you're an adult when... hire a lawyer.

The negotiations are still going on, so I can't discuss any details here. But it's definitely an adult moment when you go downtown and sit across the desk from someone to discuss legal issues. It's also one of those moments where you think to yourself, "I never imagined I'd be doing this. This is not in my plan for how my life was supposed to turn out." But you find yourself doing it because it seems like it's the only way to get someone to acknowledge that the situation is just completely and utterly not right.

(PV31W and I have both experienced this particular YKYAAW moment.)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Weather Reports

So, you might be wondering to yourself, "What's the weather going to be like this weekend? Is it going to be sunny, or is it going to rain?"

And the weather-people collectively answer, "Yes."

As I was reading the weather forecast for the next few days, it brought back memories of my high school Chemistry/Physics teacher. ("Mr. Todd, am I supposed to add this chemical or that chemical to my solution?" "Yes.") But the weather-folks here in Cincinnati seem to want to keep all their options open, just in case it's not an exclusive either/or situation:

  • Friday - Intervals of clouds and sunshine with a shower or thunderstorm; breezy and very warm (78/59)

  • Saturday - A blend of sun and clouds with a thunderstorm possible; very warm (78/58)

  • Sunday - Clouds and sun with a couple of showers and a thunderstorm; warm (76/53)

So I guess that we can expect that it's going to be sunny, cloudy, rainy, AND stormy this weekend.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Life Wounds

Ok, I originally thought that my most recent post belonged only on my "You know you're an adult when..." blog. But the more I think about it, the more I believe that it belongs here too.

This is me. This is who I am at this moment in time.

So, rather than duplicate it all on this blog, you can find the original posting by clicking here:
You know you're an adult when... get your dream job, and then someone tells you that you've failed completely at it.

Coincidentally, two of my best friends in the world have gone through similar experiences in the past six months. It's like a virus, or the Gen X version of a (pre-mature) mid-life crisis. (Who has a mid-life crisis at the age of 32?!?) I won't say that misery loves company, because I wouldn't wish this experience on anyone. But I will say that I take courage from the fact that I'm not alone. They're both surviving, improvising, adapting, and possibly even overcoming, so I have hope that I might too.

One of my friends has a saying, "Life is hard for stupid people." That's a basic truth. Stupid people make bad decisions, which put them in difficult situations, from which they have fewer options and make even worse decisions. I've been hearing her say that for years, and the whole time, I've been smugly relying on a theory implied by the inverse of that truth, which is, "The smarter you are, the easier your life should be." And then, suddenly, the bottom dropped out of the theory, and I have been decimated to find out that being smart isn't enough. Oh, and by the way, working hard, having good intentions, and desiring to be productive and successful aren't enough either.

Life is hard.

Life is certainly not fair.

(Actually, in the grand scheme of things, that might be a good thing. "Fair" isn't all it's cracked up to be.)

...I'm not seeing any upside to the "Life is hard" thing, though...

Monday, March 27, 2006

You know you're an adult when... get your dream job, and then someone tells you that you've failed completely at it.

NOTE: This entry was originally posted in a different blog, but after Blogger added the label feature, I decided to consolidate everything here.

WARNING: This entry isn't going to be a light-hearted as the other postings on "YKYAAW..."

I have three blogs, and they fall into three distinct categories:

  1. My day-to-day blog - Also includes travel and vacation stories.
    (It's now out-of-date by 2.5 vacations, but that's not really the point right now.)

  2. Wonder - Thoughts about philosophy and religion.

  3. YKYAAW - This blog was originally conceived as a pseudo-ironic look at how a person occasionally (and unexpectedly) realizes that he or she is actually becoming a grown-up, even though he or she may really feel like a little kid just pretending to fit into adult society.

Unfortunately, the subject matter at hand fits most closely into the YKYAAW category. And so, instead of some light anecdote, you're going to get a full dose of reality here. Ready?

I have worked at the same company for the past eight years. Within the first year of starting work, I knew that I wanted to be a Design Engineer in R&D, and for almost six years, I pursued that goal relentlessly. A year and a half ago, that dream came true, and I finally, officially became a Senior Design Engineer. In January, I received my first performance appraisal-- which was basically, in a nutshell, "Your performance is completely inadequate, you're on probation, and you have 90 days to convince us not to fire you." Two years ago, I got the highest rating possible (reserved for just a handful of people in the entire company) and a huge bonus. So this was a shock, to put it mildly.

Since then, I've gone through several of the 5 stages of coping with catastrophic news:

  1. Denial & Isolation - Yep, been there, done that.

  2. Bargaining - I'm trying to figure out if making contingency plans for a lawsuit falls under "Bargaining" or "Denial"

  3. Anger - Oh, yeah, I've definitely fallen down hard right in the middle of this one.

  4. Depression - Plenty of this one too.
    I cry...a lot. If you count the days when I break down sobbing vs. the days that I just manage to hold on by my fingernails, I'm probably averaging about 50/50.
    And I'm really tired, all the time. Of course, lying awake all night thinking about work will do that to you. And even when I am asleep, I still can't escape from those thoughts-- On Saturday night, I had a very disturbing, very realistic dream about running away from my life.

  5. Acceptance - I didn't think I was here yet, but last night I found myself filling out an application to go back to school for an entirely different career, so maybe I'm starting to dabble in this one.

(Oh, and I also think that Humiliation, Frustration, and Overwhelming Indecision need to be added into the middle of that list as well.)

Sometimes, it feels like it takes every bit of courage I've got just to get out bed and go to work. I wake up with a headache that starts in the muscles on the sides of my skull, and by the time I swipe my badge and walk in the door to my office, I feel like I'm carrying a 25 lb lead weight in my stomach. By 10am, the headache has encompassed my entire scalp, and my throat is sore because I forget to swallow when my jaw is continuously clenched. By 4pm, I'm mentally & physically exhausted from the stress, and I still have a few more hours of work ahead of me.

I am trying to keep some sort of perspective. Certainly, things could be worse. No one in my family is sick or dying, my husband is a source of strength, and we have enough savings to survive for awhile if I do lose my job. But I've been looking, and I'm just not seeing the silver lining here, or even the light at the end of the tunnel.

I feel wounded.


And I'm starting to wonder if courage even means what I've always thought it means. Because right now it just feels like a word that describes a lack of any better options. What are my options? Should I fight? Should I quit? Right now I don't even know which option is fighting and which one is quitting.

The thing is... it's still my dream job. I can't think of anything else that I would rather do. I love being an engineer, and I thought I was good at it. Certainly, it's a huge part of my identity, which is exactly why this ordeal has made a such deep wound that hurts all the way down to my core.

What I'm wondering now is... Will it heal? Soon? Eventually? Or do I need to cut it out like a disease and throw it away? How deep will the scars go? How long will it take for them to fade?

How obvious is it that I'm broken?