Graduation Goggles

On last night’s How I Met Your Mother, they brought up the concept of Graduation Goggles (also related to Beer Goggles, Breakup Goggles, and assorted other goggles).  This came up at McLaren’s when Marshall decided to quit his job at GNB.  Suddenly all the bad jokes, annoying coworkers, and crap that he’d hated so much didn’t seem so awful any more.  That’s what these assorted Goggles are about–because once you emotionally realize that your time having to deal with this crap is finite, that it’s nearly done, it suddenly becomes endurable or even okay.

I realized that’s kind of where I am with my primary evil day job.  A lot of stuff happened in the last six months or so.  I got promoted and got a raise (amazing how many things are more endurable when you’re being paid more to deal with them).  I hit that 1,000+ books a month level that’s supposed to be indicative of rising indie success.  And I got an agent.  Both of which is are very real, tangible steps toward making the career that I’ve always wanted. It suddenly feels REAL and attainable in a way that it absolutely DIDN’T last year in the midst of all the set backs.

It’s made WORLDS of difference in my attitude and how I feel every day.  I used to have problems dragging myself out of bed because, oh God, I have to go to work.  Now I still have problems dragging myself out of bed, but it’s just because oh God, it’s morning and morning SUCKS and it’s not natural for me to be moving this early.  I no longer dread going to work.  I don’t spend large chunks of my work day enraged, with my blood pressure reaching alarming levels, as I mentally plot means of body disposal that often prominently feature in the murder mysteries I’m writing.  I don’t think I realized how toxic that was until I didn’t feel it anymore.

It’s just so much nicer to be in a better headspace about all this.  Particularly because I spent almost all of my twenties angry at the world because absolutely nobody gave a damn about my being an academic superstar once I got into the real world.  I feel like I’m FINALLY on track to living the life I always wanted to live–despite all the naysayers and detractors who said it would never happen–and that’s just really gratifying.

15 thoughts on “Graduation Goggles

  1. You’re absolutely right. Having trouble dragging myself out of my bed because of work has become my personal ‘red alert’ about what I’m doing with my life. In Peru it was enough (combined with a couple of other incidents which just underlined the point) to make me change jobs. In the UK it’s not that easy, but for the moment that kind of issue has been taken out of my hands.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if a/ people recognised and cared about your academic abilities outside of school and b/ if we could always have in our minds that the current crap is finite if we have set ourselves on the road to getting past it? So much easier said than done, it seems.

    Congratulations on the last six months, and on everything you did in the preceding x years as well. You deserve it 😀

  2. I watched this episode last night and totally had the same thoughts. I’m struggling with my job because I feel it isn’t utilizing my knowledge and talents properly. I’m in my mid-20s and I’m determined to make a change. As I go through the steps to make this change, and feeling hopeful about the steps I’m taking, I’m doing my best to make the best of the job I have right now. For a little while last week, I had the graduation goggles on, for sure. The goggles are off this week, but they’re perched atop my head for relatively easy access.

    And yes. No one caring about being an academic super star is heartbreaking. You struggle and fight through the academic world and for what? People who are great at academics are taught to care about the accolades, the awards and achievements that prove we did a good job. And that just doesn’t exist outside of that world, unless you’re into sports. It’s a tough transition, and I’m neck-deep in it.

    1. I spent so much of my twenties BITTER BITTER AAAAAAAAANGRY because I felt like I”d been lied to. Which wasn’t precisely the case. It was that the world is no longer LIKE it was when my parents graduated college and there is no guarantee of a good job anymore just because you did well in school. To have won some of my university’s highest academic accolades and get out, only to find out that after a triple major and stellar grades, my only marketable skills was the fact that I could type 100 wpm was disillusioning. I was beating the doors down for them to let me into grad school where the world made sense again. Then when I got out of THAT, the blinders were off because I realized I’d spent 20 odd years in education only to discover that wasn’t really what I wanted to do and it wasn’t going to make me happy. I’m hoping that when I have kids, I can instill in them a desire and willingness to follow their dreams…but be aware that it’s hard work and they should always have a practical backup plan.

      1. Balance. Clarity. Perspective. These are the things that will make a life healthy and content. At least, that’s my theory. I’m a workaholic like you, and struggle with many of the things you’re struggling with… well, writing-wise and job-wise. I despair of finding someone who wants to marry me and who I also want to marry. I get frustrated when I don’t get to be creative at work. Sometimes I resent how much I loved graduate school because it’s made everything else seem dull.

        There are so many things I think I want to do, but I have no idea if I actually do, or if society is telling me to think I want these things. I’m second-guessing everything I’m doing because I’m realizing I have no control over anything. It’s a meta-craptastic-mind-effing-storm.

  3. Love this. LOVE IT. And it’s funny to me because you are finally seeing yourself the way some of us have seen you for years. It makes me so happy!

  4. Congrats on the big turnaround. I’m sorry your twenties were bitter, but it’s so awesome that you figured out what you wanted and went for it. Someone people never get there.

    it’s cliche but true – follow your heart and success will follow

  5. I was most disappointed as an academic when I realized that no matter what I did the majority of students would never really be interested in the courses/subjects I taught but what grade they could receive for as little work as possible. That is why I love to write books. I know that the people who buy and read them are really interested in the subject.

    1. Oh honey, preaching to the choir. It was an enormous shock to find out how NOT normal I was as a student when I became a teacher. Most of my students are lazy and bored and really hate that I make them work.

  6. I’m so glad that you’ve come to a place of relative contentment where your dreams are in sight! I’m sure you’ll achieve them soon. 🙂

    I agree with Lauralynn – 100 words a minute is pretty damn impressive!! I can only do 45 wpm. But I still type faster than I write with a pen! 😀

    Graduation goggles… hmmm… I wonder if this is what Steampunk goggles do? Perhaps that’s why everyone wears them in that version of reality? 😀

    1. I’m not sure I’m quite as fast as 100 wpm these days. My brain generally doesn’t run quite that fast with my fiction. But if I need to transcribe something…

  7. At our weekly girls’ nights, my girlfriends and I often say the same things you are saying in this post (and everyone is echoing in the comments!). A fellow brainiac and incurable bookworm/nerd (hey, I’m OK with it!), I’ve struggled with my own feelings of disillusionment and frustration. Writing, being creative, being an artist, that’s what makes me come alive.

    You said, “I feel like I’m FINALLY on track to living the life I always wanted to live–despite all the naysayers and detractors who said it would never happen–and that’s just really gratifying.” Congrats, Kait, on living your dreams! And thanks for writing such an honest post. There are plenty of people in the world who need to hear this kind of honesty.

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