Am I turning into a gearhead? Is text-to-speech software any good yet?

The first thing I did when I arrived at the hotel last Sunday was count 13 flossers, 13 Q-tips, and 13 pairs of vitamins D and B12. Once depleted, I’ll know it’s time to fly to Virginia for round 2 of GEICO training. This is how I count the days. Not unlike prisoners etching tallies on their wall. Except I’m paid to be here and I get my own room at a Hilton. So not much like prison at all.

Week one of training is done and I know more about cars, engines, and cooling systems than I ever cared to. But suddenly, it’s all quite fascinating. Am I turning into a gearhead? Doubtful. But I will probably be the first woman to ever open her hood for the first time and be able to accurately identify every single part in the engine. First I’ll need to find the latch to unlock it, but I’m feeling pretty damn confident right now.

I wake up at 5AM to study 2 hours before the 8 hour training day, take an hour break to eat and congratulate myself for passing the day’s exam, then study another 3 hours for the following day’s exam. 30 minutes of yoga, sleep, repeat. I can’t say more than that because otherwise, I’d have to kill you, but GEICO isn’t fucking around. This 2-month training program is intense. In my cohort of 17 (all brilliant people), I am one of two women, and perhaps the most ignorant when it comes to anything remotely related to manual labor, which cars fall into. That means I get a lot of laughs when I raise my hand to ask another question. But I’m rolling with it. When everyone expects you to be clueless and confused, you have nothing to lose by participating in class.

Meanwhile, I’m doing my MBA. Today is Saturday and I woke at 6AM to get a jump start on this week’s assignments. I clocked 52 hours of work this week for GEICO, and my MBA requires another 15. Do you have any idea how exhausted I am? And yet, I’m thriving in this environment. I even have time to blog about it. See!

There’s something about this structured and strict environment that’s bringing out the best in me, pushing me toward healthy and disciplined choices. I eat the same 3 meals every day: oatmeal, nuts, seeds, and strawberries for breakfast, hummus veggie sandwich on sprouted grain bread for lunch, lentils and broccoli slaw for dinner. Breakfast and lunch are washed down with green tea, then I switch to lavender chamomile for dinner. 3 bottles of water in between. It doesn’t get boring because I don’t have time to get bored. Or think about it. I find that being this busy forces me to minimize other areas of my life, like deciding what to eat or deciding what to wear or deciding whether to press snooze (no!).

And holy hell, I fucking love it. It’s a welcome departure from my previous existence, where I spent my days applying for jobs and questioning every life choice that led me to a life of applying for jobs and questioning my life. Why am I so cerebral? Maybe it’s narcissism. Sometimes I wonder if I’m so self-absorbed that I’m blind to it, and wondering if I’m self-absorbed is all part of the illusion. Then I remember how well I care for my cats (is verbalizing my love for them the same as actually caring for them?) and how I fold my husband’s underwear how he likes, and I feel better about myself.

I need a tea refill. And I’m finally coming to terms with the fact that I’m only blogging because I don’t want to read my textbook. I wonder if text-to-speech technology is sophisticated enough to be bearable? I used to use that function on my Kindle (the original Kindle). My drive to UAS in Juneau was 45 minutes, just long enough to get through the few required chapters of whatever pedantic bullshit Dickens wrote in The Pickwick Papers. If reading Dickens isn’t bad enough, imagine a fucking robot read it to you in double time while you drive 30MPH through ice and snow. The only thing I remember from that book is the voice that read it to me. Never again.

I think I’ll just read my textbook.


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

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