Kick Up Your Heels

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Growing up, I was always told I was one big contradiction. I defied stereotypes. Well here is another (dumb, kinda sexist) stereotype that I break. I’m a female scientist, and I absolutely love fashion. The latest trends? Know them, love them, am usually too poor to afford to try them. I collect fashion magazines, HGTV magazines, gossip magazines. Obsess of my Pinterest boards. Over Instagram captions.

My favorite designer of all time is Kate Spade. Unfortunately, being a technician at an animal hospital does not pay well. So, I have never owned anything from her collection; I have to make due with pining after the purses in the mall that cost more than two months of my paycheck, looking at the dresses online that cost more than rent.

Well, I was at the mall the other day and they had a big stand of watches on sale. And then I saw the box. You know, when you love a specific brand, you can spot their things from a mile away. And spot I did. I picked up the watch (red leather band, iridescent face that says “kick up your heels”, complete with a red high heel as the minute hand) and looked at the price tag. A two-hundred-dollar watch, on sale for seventy dollars. I carried the box around the store for half an hour. It was so expensive. I’m not even a watch person. But it had that little spade on it.

I bought it.

It’s so, so hard for me to treat myself. I save my money religiously. I had it set up so half of my paychecks (which were laughably small to begin with) were deposited directly into my savings account. I have a hard time thinking that I deserve nice things. I was not well off growing up, so splurging on things that aren’t necessary is hard to do, even though I’m in a much better place now.

I bought the watch.

Look, your money doesn’t go with you when you die. Life is about enjoying the ride. And sometimes, you need to spend seventy dollars on a watch. Self-care can be materialistic. It’s okay to part with your hard-earned money. I’ve had the watch for four days, worn it twice, and still smile every time I look at the box I have proudly displayed on my dresser. It is not shallow to enjoy things. It is not shallow to treat yourself to something nice

It’s my money. My bills are all paid, my pets are all healthy, I have food and water and shelter. So, after all of that is said and done, I can buy the watch. I deserve it.

 

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Raindrops In The Ocean

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I am sitting here, a mug of chamomile tea on one side of me, my kitty cat curled up on the other, listening to the rain outside. Rain is my favorite weather. I cannot get enough of it. It could rain for six months straight and I would never tire of it. Maybe that comes from growing up in Texas, where it never rains. The sunshine is incessant, and by mid-August, you find yourself begging for a cloud, just a single cloud. But it never comes. So you learn to cherish the rain when it comes. I’m the type of person who doesn’t know how to relax: I’m always going, going, going, making to-do lists, finishing to-do lists, cleaning, writing, applying for jobs, volunteering, going, going. But when the rain comes, I stop. I turn off all the music and televisions and cell phones and just close my eyes and enjoy the sound of the rain. Because, who knows when I might hear it again? It could be weeks, or even months.

I’ve written on this blog many a time about my life being stagnant. My life has become a puddle with no ripples, an ocean with no tides. No good things happen, no bad things happen, I just wake up every day and plod through life without so much as a smile or frown. Well, things are about to change.

I’m moving. In August, I’ll be leaving my Texas hometown and going to Pennsylvania. To say I’m excited is an understatement. It is so beautiful there. There are trees, living grass, and seasons! Seasons other than summer, summer 2, summer 3, and freezing your ass off for two weeks but never any pretty snow to show for it. I’ll get to see the leaves change colors for the first time in my life, I’ll get to see snow, I’ll get to experience a spring without tornado sirens, I’ll be able to go outside in the summer and not have my face melt off. I’ll (hopefully) be able to find a job easier up there, because there are more jobs in my field located up north.

So big changes are coming my way. And I have never been so ready.

IBTC

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Boobs. There. I said it. That’s what I’m writing about today. Boobs.

They come in all shapes and sizes. Big ones, small ones, pointy ones, round ones, saggy ones perky ones, uneven ones, pale ones, dark ones, hairy ones. Some have stretchmarks, some have pimples, some have tattoos, some have scars, some have piercings, some have never seen the light of day, some have visited many a nude beach and have never seen a tan line.

But what happens when your breasts don’t match your body? What happens (being completely hypothetical here) when you’re five foot three and a pretty small person and wear a size 36G (or a 36 DDDD), and they’re so completely disproportionate to your body?

So maybe I wasn’t being completely hypothetical. I’m that imaginary person, and this is me. I’m a very short, athletically built female. I run almost every day, have played tennis religiously since I was six years old, and am a usual at my gym. And I had some huge bazonkas. Totally disproportionate. Like what a thirteen-year-old boy would draw. I had to wear three sports bras when I ran. They gave me migraines, back pains, and shoulder aches. Despite my small body, I had to wear extra-large shirts, and even venture into the plus sized department to find button downs that fit.

And the problems weren’t even purely physical. As I’ve stated in the past, I’m incredibly self-conscious of my body. I was a serial dieter, and my main motivation was to shrink my breasts. I hated my body, to the point where I would never look in a mirror unless I was fully clothed, and refused to take showers at night lest I accidentally glimpse my naked body in the shower. Men felt like they were entitled to make comments on my large breasts (no matter what I was wearing). Once, in a bar, in a MEN’S t-shirt and jeans, a (completely unknown) man called me “tits”, and you can best believe that’s the closest I’ve ever been to being in a bar fight. I hated my breasts with a deep, burning passion, and by extension, hated my entire body.

So, what did I do? Something people consider controversial, even though it’s my own body and I can make my own decisions, since I am an adult. I got a breast reduction. It’s a pretty invasive surgery. I stayed the night in the hospital. I met the doctor beforehand, and she took some pictures (awkward), and then felt the tissue to see if I was a good candidate (awkward, plus cold hands). She said most women like the wait until after children because they can get bigger during pregnancy and the surgery may leave me unable to breast feed. I said I might not even have babies and I don’t want to hate my body for another decade.

My insurance covered the surgery because I had documented many years of doctors’ visits for shoulder pain, back pain, and migraines. I also had proof that I had tried to cure these naturally through physical therapy, and it didn’t work. I got the surgery about three weeks ago.

I’m not going to lie, healing is very uncomfortable. I couldn’t use my arms for three days, had to sleep sitting up for a week, and I had to take an indefinite leave of absence from my job because I can’t lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk (and most animals weigh more than that). I’m still wearing the granny surgery bra that they gave me. My breasts are very cone shaped (think Madonna) so that they can relax into a natural shape over time. They’re rock hard and have no feeling in them (yet. It’ll come back!).

Guys, it was worth it. I have never felt so good in my body. I don’t mind looking at myself in the mirror. Heck, I like looking in the mirror. I now wear a medium in shirts and a 36C in bras. I feel like I have a whole new body, and I absolutely love it. I highly recommend the surgery if you are in need of it.

Just one final thing: people will have unnecessary opinions and feel as though it is their right to voice them. They’ll ask what your boyfriend/fiancé/husband will think about the size/scars, even if you’re single. Men will make that annoying pouty puppy dog face and say “aww, what a waste. Why would you ever want to do that?”. Note: these are usually the same men that make you feel uncomfortable by leering at you. However, women will ask the same questions. Women with small boobs will huff and say, “if I were you, I would never consider such a thing.”

Don’t listen to them. It’s your body. It was the best decision I have ever made, and I will stand by my decision. I am now the proudest new card-holding member of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee.

 

Rescued Is My Favorite Breed

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Hello! I am alive and (relatively) well!

About two months ago, I started a new job working at an animal hospital. Anyone who knows me at all knows I am the biggest bleeding heart and love animals (more than people, if we’re being completely honest). Aside from working at the hospital, I also spend my Tuesdays volunteering at an animal shelter. Then I come home to my two kitties. My entire life at this moment re20160826_140317volves around animals, and I am so completely okay with that!

With that being said, most of us suck, y’all. The shelter I work at is a “second chance” shelter, meaning all of the animals within our walls are from other city shelters that were about to be euthanized. We have rule when adopting from us: if you can’t take care of your animal in the future, for whatever reason, we will take them back, no questions asked. This is because if they are taken to a city shelter, they will be immediately euthanized. We obviously want to prevent this. People bring their animals back for the most asinine and ridiculous reasons! Some I’ve heard personally:

She’s not cuddly! I wanted a cuddle buddy! She just hid under the table the whole week! Well, for starters, if you want a cuddle buddy, get a dog. Cats don’t cuddle on anyone’s terms but their own. Do your research before committing to an animal. Furthermore, a week is not a lot of time to adjust to a new environment. They’ll come out, you just have to be patient!!

They’re too high energy! They’re destroying my furniture! Yes. That’s what happens when you get a German Shepard. They are intelligent and active and get bored easily and when you don’t show then enough attention they entertain themselves by chewing up your furniture. We warned you. You didn’t listen.

I just can’t deal with him. In regards to this specific dog, he had abandonment issues and separation anxiety. We made it clear that he could not be left alone for long amounts of time, or he would get upset. Don’t worry, you said, I can handle him. We all know what you meant when you said “I can handle him” if you bring him back three days later. He destroyed things when I left him at home for eight hours! He was supposed to be different for me! I’ve had 823472934237 dogs in the past and none of them ever had anxiety! Well, he does. He’s not going to get over it.

Look, I get it. Adopting a furry friend and bringing them home is a huge change in your life! When I brought home my kitten, Caviar, three years ago, it was a horrible adjustment period! I cried every night for weeks! He would keep me up all night! He destroyed my carpet! He would poop two inches next to his litterbox while looking me directly in the eye! He was a little shit! But I made a promise to him when I adopted him, and that was that he would never, ever go back to a shelter. I was his forever home. When I paid that 90-dollar cat adoption fee and loaded him up into my car on that warm October day, he was forever entering my family. No matter what.

My other cat has special needs. She’s not all there mentally. She’s not lovable, she doesn’t know how to meow or contract her claws, she’s clumsy as hell. I understand being frustrated with them because they’re just a cat and you don’t really think of cats as being mentally or physically disabled! But they definitely can be. Realize that that is a risk you take when adopting, just like you run that risk when having children.

Now onto the second part of this rant. Take your pets to the damn vet. Every damn year. Keep their shots current. Keep their nails trimmed. Too expensive to pay 15 dollars a month to get their nails trimmed? Ask the vet to teach you and do it yourself. Bathe them. Keep them groomed. If they’re acting sick or weird or off, take them to the vet. I don’t care if it costs 500 dollars! If you can’t afford to take care of your pet, then don’t buy a pet! Pets are fun! But they’re expensive, and they get sick just like people. If you can’t afford to vaccinate, or fix a surprise broken leg, or get the mats cut out of their fur, you don’t need to be adopting them in the first place. Pets cost much, much more than the adoption fee.

Look, I could keep going on and on about this forever. Rather than write 10 more pages, here are some ending bullet points:

  • Animals are living creatures. They feel pain. They have emotions. They have personalities. They are not dolls for you to play with, or dispose of when you get tired of them.
  • Don’t be afraid to take your animal to the vet if they’re injured. We won’t assume you’re abusing them. Accidents happen. We can generally tell if you’re abusing your animal.
  • Please don’t declaw your cats. It’s more than removing their fingernails, it’s like removing their fingers up to the knuckle. It hurts them. It can change their personalities forever. It can make them aggressive. It should be illegal. I don’t care if they scratch up your furniture. I don’t care if they scratch you. Train them, or don’t get a cat.
  • Please look up the breed before you blindly buy them. Some animals are harder to take care of than others. Some breeds have different personalities than others. Some are good with kids, some are not. Please make sure you know what you’re getting into before buying! Stick to easy to take care of, starter breeds if you’re a first-time pet owner.

This has been a rant. Now go give your furry friend a kiss from me.

The Princess And The Smartphone

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Lemme tell you about something that I am incredibly, stupidly, burningly passionate about: the selfie. I bet half of you have groaned and moved onto the next article. I bet some of you snorted, and upon seeing that I’m a petite, white, blonde haired, green eyed girl, you decided I was vapid and shallow. Well, you’re wrong, but you keep living in your sad lil world.

I grew up hating myself. I take self-consciousness to a whole new level. It’s unhealthy and has lead me down some dark roads. My teeth were crooked. My lips were too thin. My cheeks too chubby, hair too curly, thighs too big stomachtoofatfeettoosmalluglyuglyUGLY UGLY U G L Y. I would make lists of everything I hated about myself from head to toe that were literally pages long, and come up with a detailed plan to change every single thing I hated (spoiler alert, that was pretty much my whole body, and, double spoiler alert, nothing ever changed).

I used to shy away from the camera. I used to make ugly faces or cover my face with my hair or just run away all together. There are no pictures of me from middle school because of my absolute hatred of the camera (which may be fortunate, since it misses my emo phase altogether). I figured it was better to purposely make myself look stupid than try to look nice and end up looking bad.

The first time I saw the word selfie, I had to Urban Dictionary it because I didn’t know what it meant, in about 9th grade.

Who would ever willing take pictures of their face, and post them to social media?

Dumb girls. Girls that have nothing to offer other than their looks. Girls who can’t hold a conversation about anything other than makeup and Britney Spears. Right?

Wrong. Little by little, I opened up to the selfie. And now, I have beautiful memories of my friends and myself at events and locations I’ll never get to revisit.

But something more than that, I learned to love myself more. I no longer hate my smile or my lips or my hair. When I have a good face day or put together an outfit that I love I can document it. And then, on days when I’m feeling down about myself, I can go back and see these pictures and remember that I’m not a hideous beast.

Selfies made me feel pretty for the first time in my life. They gave me confidence, taught me to appreciate my face, and made the camera no longer a phobia.

So no, angry men who get annoyed every time they see a girl with a camera on front-facing. I am not stupid (I have my degree in chemistry, after all), nor am I vain or shallow or any of those negative things you associate with girls learning to appreciate themselves aesthetically. Maybe you should try to take a selfie once in a while.

(BTW. Girls duckface because it makes their eyes bigger. Get over yourselves)

When The Ship Leaves The Harbor

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Don’t you love it when you’re enjoying a nice sleep and dreaming peacefully about something and then all of a sudden a long-lost best friend pops up and decides to leave you with feelings of pain and nostalgia long after you wake up? No? Maybe it’s just me.

But I know it’s not just me. We all have those friendships that we miss, whether it was time or distance or death or anger or just growing up that ripped you apart from one another. Maybe you won’t think about them in years, and suddenly you have a dream or see an old picture or drive past your old high school and you feel a sudden wave of pain and bittersweet memories.

We all know the old saying: someone is in your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Well, let me preface that by saying I think that statement is bullshit and is just a nice way to say “hey! Those people that you currently think are amazing and will be with you forever? It’s a lie! They’re going to disappear one day and you’ll be left thinking “Oh! They must have been in my life to help me survive high school/get my first dog/not blow myself up in chemistry lab! It all makes sense now and I am in no way upset that they’re not in my life anymore because they were a reason friend and not a lifetime friend!””. It’s a nice way to try to console the pain of losing someone close to you.

What happens when that reason never comes to fruition? What happens when you grow up together, are inseparable, and then are torn apart during the darkest time of your friendship? You’re left feeling guilty and unfulfilled and a little bit angry.

I met one of my previous best friends in the first grade. We were best friends through all of elementary school, middle school, and most of high school. But high school is where things started to go wrong. He got involved in drugs, I got involved in band and sports. He isolated himself and I made friends. We drifted apart as people are wont to do despite both of us clinging to the tattered remains of our friendship. Neither of us wanted to let go, and yet the two options were to let go and drift out to sea, or go down with the ship.

We chose to be good captains of our ship and we sank hard and fast. We fought. We said things we didn’t mean. We lied about each other to other people in hopes of hurting each other. We not only went down with our ship but then did everything we could to destroy the remains or it, all the while occasionally beating each other with a loose floorboard.

I was young and stupid. This was when I was eighteen. I was hurt and sad and felt like the anchor of my life had been ripped away. I felt lost and like no one would ever fill that hole and that I would never make another friendship like this one. Look, I know that most of the people you meet in high school are situational friends, and you’ll never see them again after graduation. That’s one thing. But when you misclassify a friend, consider them a lifetime friend when in reality, they’re a season friend, it messes things up.

I haven’t spoken to him in four years. I don’t know what happened to him. Here’s where the regret comes in; here’s the part that I can’t quite let go of: I don’t know if he’s okay. I said bitter things and he said malicious things and I swore up and down that I didn’t care about him nor he about I. But four years later, I feel like I let him down. He was going through a tough time at home, he was falling into the black pit of drugs, and I don’t know what happened to him because I was so focused on myself (remember: I was eighteen) that I didn’t think about him.

And now, I’m twenty-two, and I still dream about him. I can’t let go. I don’t know if he went to college or stopped taking drugs or has a girlfriend or a dog or a job. I don’t know if he’s okay, and I feel like that’s partially my fault because I left him before I feel like my reason was fulfilled. I hope that one day he’ll walk into the Starbucks where I’m studying and I can see that he’s okay and I can take a deep breath and move on. I don’t know if he lives in this town anymore. Hell, I don’t even know if he’s still alive.

I’m sorry is this is a rambling mess, because I know it is. Humans are weird. Some (most) people I let go from my life without a second thought. Some people that meant virtually nothing to me are still in the corners of my conscience thanks to social media.

I just want to know that you’re okay, that you don’t blame me for abandoning you when you probably needed me the most, and that you’re happy. But I’ll probably never know.

Since I can’t say it to your face, I’ll yell it into the void. I’m sorry for the things I said when I was a stupid teenager. I’m sorry I abandoned you. I’m sorry that I was so self-centered that all I could see was my own hurt and didn’t for a minute consider why you were acting the way you were. I hope you’re happy, genuinely happy, and that you’re safe and well off and that life is treating you well.

I still consider you a lifetime friend even though I’ll probably never see you again.

The Secret Language of Chemistry Majors

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Strange things I’ve gotten to say/hear just because I’m a chemistry major:

-I swear it’s not blood, the acetone made my nail polish run down my arm

-Just make sure you’re wearing the safety glove before you dip your arm into that hydrochloric acid

-“this is smoking. Is is supposed to smoke?”
“No. That’s chlorine gas.”

-the fire alarm has been going off for two hours and the wing next to us is on fire, but we don’t evacuate unless it’s a real emergency

-I spilled my round bottom! Someone grab the kitty litter!

-this might kill you if you get it on you, so be careful

-you can tell they’re a chemistry major because they smell of acetone and sadness

-please don’t see if the hydrochloric acid bottle is empty by squirting it on your hand next time

-I just dropped a 2 liter bottle of concentrated HCl. We should probable evacuate

 

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The lab after a chlorine gas evacuation

 

-After using that particular acid, it’s really necessary to get fresh air. I know its raining but I need you to hold your head out the window for fifteen minutes.

-Chemical engineering majors like to pretend to be chemists, but when we all graduate they make like three times the money we do so who’s really the smart ones here?

-I love you guys

Chemistry Majors

Chemistry majors for four years. BFFs for life.

Perfection Is Inherently Flawed

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Today, I drove past my old middle school as I went to the park for my run. Out on the combination tennis/basketball courts, the gaggles of middle schoolers in their gym classes were out in their matching grey t-shirts and black shirts, last names emblazoned in red on them. Girls nervously flirting with their first crushes, boys tackling each other in fits of newly produced testosterone, groups of two or three avoiding the larger, athletic groups playing for blood with slightly deflated basketballs with the crust of decades on them.

I began to think back to my middle school days, the beginning of being a teenager, hours upon hours spent on those exact tennis courts. Discovering boys, then shortly after discovering how creepy and willing to overstep boundaries boys could be. Making real friendships that I thought would last a lifetime (none of them did). Thinking I was so grown up, that I knew everything there was to know.

Noticing that some other girls got more positive attention from boys and peers and even teachers. Noticing that some other girls were putting away their glasses for contacts, putting makeup on their virgin skin, doing more to their hair than could be done with a single hair tie and five minutes in the morning. Noticing nicer clothes with logos and brand names plastered all over them. Noticing the popular girls were all beautiful and confident and thin and talented and outgoing of which I was none.

I wanted to be well liked (and really, who doesn’t?). And I decided that the way to become well liked was to be skinny, because, well, all the popular girls were, not to mention the actresses on TV and the protagonists in movies and the strong women in the videogames I played. Skinny began to become something more than a body type for the first time in my life, it was the key to happiness and that was why I wasn’t currently happy.

I wish someone had grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me and told me no. I wish I had been sent away to be a goat herder in some remote land where TV or magazines of supermodels didn’t exist. Of course, none of that happened.

I decided to start dieting when I was 11 years old.

And as I drive by those courts today, I wondered how many of those little girls looked at themselves in the mirror and cried at night. I wonder how many of them think that the key to everything they want in life is losing weight. I wonder how many of them will fall into the same trap of self-hatred that I fell into when I was the same age as me.

I am turning 22 in a matter of weeks. I have battled with my weight and self-love since that day when I was 11.

Here’s something that I’m not incredibly public about: I struggle with disordered eating and have since high school. In high school I was incredibly active and fit and I was popular and confident (on the surface) and always had either a popular boyfriend or a herd of boys liking me and I also threw away my lunch every single day and dressed nicely and had the most amazing best friends (who I’m still best friends with) and drew emaciated skeleton girls in my notebooks during class and made straight As and was the co-editor of our literary magazine and cried on my bathroom floor wishing that I had enough self-control to have an eating disorder and was in the running for homecoming queen.

I wish someone had noticed and helped me. I wish that I had a second set of eyes that could see me for how I really looked. I looked in the mirror and saw someone who was obese and unlovable, when in reality I was incredibly fit and rather small.

In college things went downhill. I skipped meals frequently. I had few friends. I had constant headaches and I counted every single calorie that went into my mouth: every single grape had to be counted, every single piece of lettuce had to be weighed. I began to make myself throw up on occasion. I ate the recommended number of calories for a five-year-old per day. I passed out twice and was told to seek counseling or I would have the “tell someone” line notified.

I’ve been to multiple counselors about this. I’m finally getting to a place where I can accept where and who I am (although every single day is still a struggle).

When we picture eating disorders, we picture the scare photos they showed us in k-12 health. We imagine skeletal girls with dead eyes, we imagine girls politely refusing food, only eating a stick of celery a day.

That’s not how this works. The vast, vast majority of people with eating disorders are never underweight: despite having disordered thoughts since I was 11, I have never, ever been even close to being underweight. I am a completely healthy weight, and eat three meals a day. However, my mind is still a battlefield.

I know this was my problem for the longest time, so I’m going to scream this to you in hopes that it resonates with you if you need it: YOU DO NOT NEED TO GET SICKER TO DESERVE HELP. You do not need to be underweight to see a counselor. They will not laugh at you. They will take you seriously. You can get the help you need and start your course to a life free of calories and messed up metabolisms and heartburn and eroding teeth and hair falling out and eventual death.

It’s been more than a decade since that first “I should lose weight” thought popped into my head. That thought should have never been there in the first place, but it was. And I’ve spent a decade destroying myself and recently, very recently, rising from the ashes of my former self. Reach out. You don’t have to suffer anymore.

The Sun Also Sets

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Yesterday would have been your 21st birthday. It would have been a day filled with firsts (well, legal firsts). It would have been filled with laughter and warm feelings and too loud talking and probably some bad video games and even worse pizza.

Instead, it was a rainy Sunday spent at home. It was wishing you a happy birthday to an unchanged Facebook profile. It was staring at the screen, expecting to feel something deep inside shift, and still feeling nothing.

It’s been a while since you left us. And yet, it still doesn’t feel real. I still completely expect you to text us one day, to come out of hiding and claim the world’s least funny practical joke on us. It hasn’t hit me that you’ll never tell me a bad joke again, doesn’t seem possible that you won’t be asking for (completely unheeded) girl advice again. I don’t know why I can’t accept that this happened, that it is fact and real and true and unchanging.

I didn’t go to your memorial. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I didn’t accept it as something real.

If I didn’t go, it didn’t happen.

But it did happen, I never said goodbye, and now my brain is stuck on a repeating loop of waiting for you to waltz back into our lives. Of course, that isn’t going to happen.  I don’t even feel sadness (for which, I am sorry. If I could feel sadness, I would. I would welcome the pain of loss with open arms, embrace the agony, hold the ache within my body happily), because I am so deeply entrenched in my denial that I don’t feel a sense of loss. Because I didn’t lose you, you’re still here.

But you’re not here.

I’m sure it’s like a raincloud ready to burst. I’m sure it’ll happen eventually, be it weeks or months or years. But for now, I’ll cling to the emptiness where pain should be. Where I wish pain was. Because I do miss you. I miss you and will for a while yet.

Happy birthday.

 

EDIT 2/23/2016 I am not a counselor, I am a 20-something year old girl. The suicide hotline’s number is 1-800-273-8255.I have disallowed comments on this article. Life gets better, and you are not alone. Please, seek help if you are feeling suicidal or depressed.

Will Do (Legal) Chemistry For Food

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I have filled out over 100 job applications. I have received four rejections. I have one lead, that’s offering me fourteen dollars an hour. Fourteen. That’s twice minimum wage. It puts me below the poverty level, for a chemical manufacturing lab technician.

Not to sound like an “entitled millennial” (imagine a middle-aged fat white man spitting those words angrily), but I went to a distinguished university, graduated damn near the top of my class, in a very hard major with a 10 percent graduation rate, have research experience, and you want me to work for 14 dollars an hour? I looked at an entry level job today and they wanted 8 years of experience. Eight. As in I was 15 years old when I would have had to start working for this bottom of the barrel monkey work that wouldn’t allow for me to live even in a slum in Dallas.

I don’t know what to do. Don’t have any non-academic connections to the chemistry world. I worked and worked and worked as hard as I could and I never stopped going and suddenly

A brick wall. Slammed right into that sucker. I have no direction, no schedule, no one to help me. When I reach out to people they always say “hurrhurrhurr you could make meth like on that TV show”

(side note. I hate Breaking Bad with every cell of my body, despite never having seen it. I did not go to school to make meth. I will not make you drugs. That joke is old. Hahaha I have literally never had anyone tell me to make meth with my chemistry degree you are so original. Homeless people can make meth in a Walmart bathroom it doesn’t take an advanced degree to do so.)

I guess there’s no point really to this post. I’m angry that I worked my ass off for four years to be offered poverty level jobs that advertised to people with GEDs. I’m angry that whenever I try to bring up how hard it is to find a job out of college in this job market to anyone older than 24, I get berated with a series of “you’re not working hard enough” “well it was just as hard in my day” “you have to be more proactive” and all the usual buzzwords. I’m angry that I don’t even like chemistry that much but damn I’m good at it.

Maybe things will change soon. If I don’t find anything by February, I’m going to get a retail job and obtain a teaching certificate, because teachers in my city make more than entry level chemists.

A chemistry teacher. I bet the damn Breaking Bad references would never end.