Rejection, sci-fi, IT, and being conspicuously chill

The rejection emails trickle in. Yesterday, it was Geico. Today, it was the local school district. At least Cheese Specialist is still on the table unless it’s another ghost. No word yet on the Office Lady jobs at either of the local colleges. Maybe I’m being ghosted again.

But that’s alright because my future is still waiting for me.

I truly am okay with all these rejections and ghosts. Despite my current struggles in securing employment of any kind whatsoever so help me God, I still hold strong to the belief that things are going to work out in the most marvelous way for me. Somehow, this will all climax with a great opportunity. For that reason, with each rejection and with each ghost, I feel like I’m just that much closer to where I’m going. This is all part of the journey and I am thankful for it.

Lately, I’ve been focusing on appreciating this downtime instead of judging and loathing it, which is my default reaction to free time. Applying for jobs is exhausting, but the process is also a gift in its own way. It feels like this is all forward momentum in the right direction.

For one, free time gives me time to read more sci-fi, a genre I binge read about every other year. My longest binge lasted for the entirety of 2008, where I read every single Isaac Asimov and Orson Scott Card book in the Hawaii library system, including the short story collections. Right now, I’m reading the final 3 Michael Crichton books I need to have read them all (amazingly, 2 of those 3 are the bestselling Jurassic Park books!). My 2010 Crichton/Vonnegut binge ended just shy of the full collection.

But Michael Crichton isn’t the only good news in my life right now. I’m trying not to get too excited because I do have a history of getting really fucking pumped and then losing steam, but for now, I am going to let myself get excited. This is a win I needed.

Yesterday I received notice that Google awarded me a full scholarship to their IT Support Specialist Certification program! It is unclear how competitive financial assistance actually was, or whether this is a certification that will be taken seriously, but it is crystal clear that I get to take this $600 program for free and that there is some kind of career placement assistance at the end, including the opportunity to maybe work for Google. This gives me tremendous hope. All of that sounds great.

I applied for the scholarship a week ago, as a way to justify spending the next 8 months learning IT support. It’s a field I have literally never once considered, but I’m a fairly logical person so it seems like it could be a good fit. I figured that if I could snag a scholarship, I would have nothing to lose by completing the program. Kind of like my free MBA, which starts next week. Free education for the win! Can’t think of a better way to spend unemployment.

There’s supposed to be a high demand for skilled workers in IT, and being a woman might boost my odds of landing a job at a company looking to diversify their workforce. But what excites me most about this potential future job is that I can probably get away with wearing whatever I want to work because I will not be consumer-facing in any way. I’m really big on not buying business casual bullshit clothes.

You know you’ve made it in life when you can wear a t-shirt and jeans to work and you do not have to sell anything, do any manual labor, or smile too much. It’s now clear that Utopia is not just an idealist’s dream. It could be my future reality.

The IT program is designed to take 8-12 months. I plan to finish it at a leisurely 8-month pace, one week of material at a time. Today I finished week 1 and I’m forcing myself to stop. All the material is available immediately, so one could technically finish it much faster, but I am committed to slowing the fuck down, absorbing the information, and enjoying the process. My usual impulse would be to cram it into 4 months, or maybe even 2. But that’s my old pattern and my old pattern leads to burnout and existential panic.

There is no need to rush through this. My future is waiting for me, one way or another. I’m taking the same attitude with my MBA, which could be crammed into 4 9-week sessions but I am stretching it to 5. No need to rush through things as quickly as possible, just to find myself exhausted and uninspired in the end.

This is all part of 2018 Ashley, who doesn’t go to extremes all the goddamn time. 2018 Ashley is conspicuously chill.

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Wife, yogi, and cat mama living in the SF Bay Area.

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