Ya girl is employed. Like, fully. I took a job with Clockwise handling all their content needs. Clockwise is a Google Calendar add-on that uses an algorithm to schedule your meetings to maximize your focus time. I’m confident that it’s going to amass a lot more happy users. And I’ll be getting to write about things that are important and interesting, like automation, work/life balance, and the future of work. It’s further along than my last two startups and so hopefully I can be there a lot longer.
When they offered me the job, they gave me a gift bag with Textbook brand wine (cuz I’m a writer), a tee shirt and mug, and a letter saying they’d made a donation to CA YIMBY in my name. I nearly cried. We’re hiring!
While I’m really excited about the job, I am sad that I’ll have to put grad school on hold and write less often here and elsewhere. Thanks to everyone who reached out to me when I started writing more a few months ago to encourage me.
The almost two months between it becoming clear that Marbles wasn’t going to make it and accepting this job offer have been intense. This on top of the intensity I’ve felt since moving to SF two and a half years ago. In that time, I’ve not had one moment where my personal life and career were both on track and stable. This is somewhat my own doing. I optimize for interesting. And I wouldn’t change very much. But damn, was it hard at times emotionally and psychologically. I thought about moving home to Alabama so many times. I’m incredibly privileged that that’s available to me.
Once or twice, when I was sick and in pain from chronic conditions in addition to all the up-in-the-air and failures real and perceived I thought about suicide. Not in a serious, planning kind of way. It was more along the lines of thinking that I will always be in pain and a drag to people around me. So I should just kill myself. Then I thought about my mother and all the injustice I have to fight and I pushed it out of my mind.
I’m saying this now because there’s no need to worry about me anymore. I’m so very happy, not just with this job but honestly with the way I was able to handle a lot of simultaneous stress. I feel more confident now than I did before.
I’m writing about it because knowing that people I knew struggled with suicidal ideation made me feel a lot less crazy and alone when I was going through it, and afterwards. To the extent that it has ever appeared that I have my shit together I want everyone to know that people who look like they have their shit together think and feel these things too.
I think in a lot of American discourse and thinking we overvalue talent and undervalue hard work. I also think that when it comes to mental health, some people are more naturally gifted than others. I think of never having had a suicidal thought as akin to a talent. The hard work is having them and getting up and doing the next right thing anyway. Too many of us are ashamed of having to work hard to be functional instead of proud of ourselves for doing the work. I spent a lot of time laying on my bed during daylight hours just thinking and feeling things these past few weeks.
Thanks to meditation and good advice I tried to let myself feel the things I’m usually ashamed of feeling. And then I often got up and replied to the email from the recruiter. I think one thing that kept me going despite the fatigue and embarrassment is the belief that I have something I want to accomplish that I’m uniquely suited to do. The knowledge that I have a viewpoint and set of values that I think help move humanity in a direction I consider forward. I think that’s true of everyone. I can’t know how closely this job will hew to my unique offering to the world. But I want to find out, and adjust my life course accordingly.
The other thing I’ve been trying to practice lately is self-compassion. This was a great read on the topic. The more I focus on the things I’ve done right the more right I act, because I have an easier time conceiving of myself as a person who does good things. Our self-conceptions are self-reinforcing. If we believe we’re bad people we act in accordance with our own beliefs about ourselves. It works both ways. So I’ve been working on acknowledging what I’ve done wrong and forgiving myself for it and then moving on.
The worst thing about pain is how isolating it can be. No one wants to drag other people down. No one wants to be a bummer. The best thing about pain is how connecting it can be. There’s little better than knowing and being known, especially the parts that feel broken. There is so much beauty in showing each other our broken parts. Thanks to the stress I endured, I see things I couldn’t see before. And for that I’m so grateful.
Anyhoodle, if you’ve got a Google Calendar work account, check out Clockwise and let me know what you think of it, the good, bad, and ugly. And if you don’t, please sign up for our waitlist so I can email you the amazing content I’m going to be writing.