I Cut My Cable

September 26, 2010

No DVR. No wireless. No modem. No telephone. Nothing, nada, zilch, donut.

Got tired of 999 channels, $145 bucks a month and still nothing to watch.

I never used my home phone. I decided to just use that cyber dude’s
unguarded wireless in my apartment complex. I never watch the game in the
abode. And I never really needed so much digital high definition that I
can see the make up mistakes in old movies, the pulsating acne in Saved By
the Bell re runs and that Real Housewives of anywhere have more lines on
their skin then a subway map.

My new quarter life visual arts technology philosophy is, if I need to see
it, I will just Hulu or wait for it to be posted in bits and pieces on You
Tube.

Down side. I do have to paint my wall though. The plasma sort of gave a
poltergeist burnt hue to the place. I can only imagine what the radiation
did to my brain and my sperm count.

Think about it. No more shows about hospitals, cops, courtroom drama. No
more television about people who chat with ghosts. No more network
sanctioned human auctioning like Bachelorette or Who Wants a Date with
this washed up rapper. No more vampires. No more Jersey-ANYTHING.

And you know what? I feel good.

My ¼ life carbon footprint is smaller and so is the ass print on the couch.
My bar bill will go up, but I am getting out of the house more.
My monthly household expenses will be less, but I might make that up with
movie downloads.
My Weii has not been touched in months, I have a girlfriend…so nothing
changed there.

And MY opportunity at seeing the face of my college freshman cousin’s eyes
light up when I brought my 72-incher as a dorm warming present…was worth
all the hours of potato-ing I have ever done.

A quarterlifer turns 30

September 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Adelaide!

Adelaide Mankato is the first of our staff to turn 30. For many people this sparks unknown fear into their hearts. She has dealt with this passage beautifully over at her blog

Beer and cake for everyone!!

Quarter Life %$#!-it List

September 15, 2010

Get it? Bucket list?

Well, since even list making has become so blogger defined with the
bucket, I Hate, Top Ten, WTFs and Fails…I thought to make up my own
category.

This is not what I wanted to do before I “kicked the bucket” or moved on
from this quarter life list. Just a 7-Day thing. In order to work out of
my weekly quarter life crisis I decided on a fudge-it list. I might not
achieve it all, but it is really about the journey…right?

This week I will…

Get a washboard stomach? Again it is all about the try.

Pitch an idea to Bravo television where I open a restaurant that only
sells grilled cheese.

Get a Tosh.O Web Redemption.

Research, explore, discover and befriend Bigfoot. Shoot him, have him
stuffed, get front page in the National Enquirer and National
Geographic…and then hit the state fair circuit charging two bit’s a gander
to view the 8th wonder of the world!

Find peace with my ex’s credit score and identity theft.

Eat and exercise right. See my first list item.

Perfect the art of the cinnamon roll. Probably not going to help me on
number one either.

Crash a college party or tail-gater and be “that” guy at the keg. (I
graduated like a million years ago)

Do my Halloween shopping early. I want to be that crazy guy on the block
that always has the coolest haunted house in his garage. Course that will
probably land me on some law enforcement list.

Come to peace with a funny little man I like to call “me”

That’s it…all doable…all attainable…all mine. No matter the outcome, I am
able to say $%#-it! I tried!

“What did you do this week?”

Career Therapy: Getting professional help when the going gets tough

March 1, 2010

Intro: Deciding to get therapy

Have you ever considered getting professional help for your quarterlife crisis and general career confusion?  Maybe my personal experience will be helpful to you.  Recently, something at work triggered my search for a therapist who specializes in career counseling.  Partially for the sake of exploration for this blog, and partially because I really think it will be  helpful, I’ve started this “column” to document my experience with the counselor anonymously.

The other day, an event occurred at work that made me loathe my work environment more than usual.  It wasn’t so far from the usual things I deal with, but it was just a bad day that made me reevaluate my purpose at work and where I wanted to go with my career.  Typical stuff.  Granted, I’ve been going through the quarterlife crisis for months now.  In general, I’ve dealt with it quite well because of the resources at my disposal, including this blog, as well as a strong support network.  In any case, for reasons beyond disliking my job, I decided it was time to take real action.

Here’s how I got started.

A very close friend studies psychology and is a practicing therapist.  This friend suggested awhile ago, long before I seriously considered it, to reach out to a professional therapist for career help.  I didn’t take the advice too seriously at first because I thought therapy would be expensive.  When I reconsidered recently, the friend provided references.

I reached out to the therapist that was most highly recommended.  The therapist has a Psy.D. and has practiced for years, with one of her specializations in career guidance.  Again, I was worried about cost.  But here comes the big surprise.  It was news to me that therapy is covered by many health insurance plans.  In fact, after calling mine, it turns out that each session would cost me just $30.  Out-of-pocket, the sessions would have been $150+.  I don’t think I have to point out the obvious irony, but I will: My company’s healthcare plan is helping me figure out my next career steps.  It makes a lot of sense for companies to provide therapeutic support for their employees.  If this works out, it would theoretically make me a more productive worker.  Happily, I booked my first session with Dr. R, who was accommodating enough to schedule me for the next day.

Here’s a few suggestions on how you can get started.

If you’ve done career exploration on your own already, and you feel like you need someone else — a coach, therapist or counselor — to help you sort through all of it, I would encourage giving counseling a try.  Start by looking for a general therapist who specializes in career guidance and life transitions, or look for a specialized office dedicated to career counseling or coaching.  They should be able to provide references or statements from their past clients that will give you a better idea of their background and experience.  If you do not have a friend who can give you personal recommendations as in my case, definitely do your homework.  Compare your options carefully.

Next, if you are on a budget, check to see if your insurance covers it and what the co-pay is.  The therapist should be able to give you a general idea, but only your insurance company can give you a definite answer. Then, book your appointment and give your new counselor a try.  There is no promising that the relationship will work out, so make sure you are comfortable.  My therapist offered the option of a complimentary consultation session the first time.  See if this is the case in your situation.  Once you try it out and find the him/her to be a good fit, then decide whether or not you want this to be an ongoing relationship.

Lastly, I want to point out that going to a counselor/coach/therapist doesn’t mean your personal exploration ends.  Professional help is only a guiding force, and I realize the powers of change are within me and within me alone.

If you decide to give this a try, good luck!

Stay tuned…my next post will focus on the experience of my first session.

Into The Wild

November 30, 2009

We explore the Quarterlife obsession with Into the Wild and the story of Christopher McCandless aka Alexander Supertramp. Music by Scott Merrick and the Last Frontier Band as well as The Buffali. Major spoiler alerts inside. Go read the book or watch the movie first!

Quarterlife Qualms

July 17, 2008

Written By: Brittany Holsonback

A large, black outline of a flower covers the area on her lower neck as its stem swirls delicately from the petals down her upper back. She ties her brown hair, which usually falls just below her shoulders, back into a ponytail so that she can see the 3 X 2 inch tattoo in her reflection in the mirror. After admiring it for a long time, she lets her hair back down, making sure the tattoo is fully covered, and heads into the next room where her parents are watching TV. Sarah Barton, a senior at Auburn University, is 22 years old and desperately seeking independence from the warm, loving parents who raised her. She is experiencing a quarterlife crisis. And she is not alone.

This term, which was coined in 2001 by Abby Wilner and Alexandra Robbins, co-authors of Quarterlife Crisis: The Unique Challenges of Life in Your Twenties, has become a phenomenon unique to the current generation of twentysomethings. With more than 30 groups devoted to this topic on Facebook alone and almost 10,000 members of quarterlifecrisis.com, it has become a topic that cannot be ignored. Among the questions being raised are (1) why is this period of self-discovery, anxiety, and introspection unique to twentysomethings today, and (2) what is different about the issues twentysomethings face now as opposed to those our parents faced in the 60s and 70s?

[Read more]

What Do You Do?

June 26, 2008

How do you answer the question “What do you do?” It’s a decidedly quarterlife question. Until your mid-20s, most people go on the assumption that you are a student (an annoying assumption for those of us who didn’t take the collegiate route), and thus the question need not be asked. But during your post-graduate age, whenever you go out to parties, or bars, or leave your apartment at all, the question inevitably gets asked, “What do you do?”

[Read more]

McJob

April 22, 2008

Written By: Allison Whalen

What came first, the job or the crisis? With the exception of the very rich, the particularly lucky, or those Bobby Fisher brainiac anomalies, most of us quarter-lifers don’t have much to brag about in the way of job experience. We’ve all done our fair share of empty-headed labour, whether selling over-priced, ill-fitting, cotton garments, dunking frozen potatoes into a grease-spattering tub, or answering a front-desk phone in a peppy, little voice that secretly wants to stab every caller with a sharp pencil. These types of work (and so many more) can be neatly categorized as “McJobs”, a term coined by the godfather of the quarter-life crisis, author Douglas Coupland. In Generation X, his sizzlin’, pink novel that swept multiple nations in the early nineties, Coupland describes the “McJob” as a “…low-pay, low-prestige, low-dignity, low-benefit, no-future job in the service sector. Frequently considered a satisfying career choice by people who have never held one.” Sound familiar?

[Read more]

Into The Wild: A Quarterlife Crisis

March 20, 2008

Into The Wild, A Quarterlife CrisisI expected I would like this movie. A middle class twentysomething college graduate, dissatisfied with life, abandons his possessions, and hitchhikes his way to Alaska to live in the wilderness. And it’s a true story. Sign me up.

The main character is Christopher McCandless, played by Emile Hirsch. After a brief preamble, he embarks on his journey with the only goal being – reach Alaska. As an audience, we are quickly made aware that he will eventually make it there, as the film often “flashes forward” to a parallel narrative of his experiences living in the Alaskan wilderness. [Read more]