Slippery Slope

@mapooka on instagram
I'm the kind of person who can't get started on something before she knows every single step she'll need to take along the way, and preferably the outcome as well. This worked out fine in middle and high school English classes where we still had to write formulaic five-paragraph essays. Don't get me wrong, I hated doing it, but the concept of an outline of arguments and examples worked great for me. I still have a hard time understanding people like my boyfriend, who start writing a paper with the main ideas and information in mind, but won't figure out the final flow, or even the point of the whole thing, until the end. (Maybe not 'til the fourth draft, months after it's been turned in and graded.)

With things like job applications, I have to convince myself I could do the job, I could want the job, I would be able to commute to the job, and someone might consider me for the job, before I can sit down and try to convince anyone else, via the cover letter, to consider me for the job for even a moment. I don't want to hang a picture or pick out new curtains until I know all the other pictures I'm going to hang and what the new duvet cover will look like. It's all or nothing.

With the jobs I already have, this can translate to deep (and undeserved) loyalty. The better I know the job, the less likely I am to leave. Inertia is a powerful thing.

This might be the most deeply-rooted facet of my personality. Procrastination justified by a difficult requirement of certainty.
This acceptable configuration (of disparate things) did not make the cut.

Loyalty is not a bad thing. If you're my friend, I want you to be my friend forever, and I'll do what I can to make it so. If taught convincingly, a lesson is set in stone in my mind. Perfectionism, though—I've been warned against it my whole life. It's a great way to get nothing done and go nowhere. My family taught me that.

Master of Contingencies

Today I worked three jobs, which isn’t unusual. My plan: three hours at one office, three hours at the next office, then half an hour to get to the restaurant, where I would be the opening host out on the rooftop deck.

I wore my red, lightweight cropped pants with a long, lightweight, pink blouse and a belt. My fake woven-leather flats (my favorite). A navy blazer, a bike helmet. It was supposed to be hot today, hitting 80 in the afternoon, but I’m always cold in the first office, and often in the second, and the chance of rain in the evening hours was variable, hovering around 30 or 40 percent. A blazer is better than a sweater for rain, and better than a jacket for the office (and my jackets aren’t waterproof anyway). 

I stuffed my little red backpack to the brim. At the bottom, my planner and my small notebook, along with a novel to read in case I found myself stranded, unwilling to make my way home, and needed to hide in a café until a storm passed. Then my makeup bag, so at the tail end of job two I could do my face for job three. My workout clothes, in case I made it downtown and was told to go home right away, or close to it—in which case I could go to the Y, and a soggy walk wouldn’t have been completely for nothing. I tied my sneakers by the laces and hung them on the outside of the bag, from one of the straps, because they wouldn’t fit. I also had a little tupperware of apples inside my tupperware of rice and chicken for lunch, which I put off eating until after two so it would tide me over through dinnertime, or as much as it could. I wasn't going to have time for dinner, not with a 3:45 start time on the deck. My water bottle, of course. A pair of cheap Old Navy flip flops I’ve had for six years, shoved down one side in a plastic bag—they’re the most compact and least destructible change of shoes, a slippery but convenient backup in order to keep my real shoes dry in a rainy commute. In the other corner, I had slid my umbrella. On top, cell phone and sunglasses case and extra plastic bag, in case my bike seat got wet and I still wanted to ride.

The deck was closed tonight. It stormed; it threatened tornadoes. I made it to work, mostly dry, although I had to abandon my bike halfway there. I clocked three and a half hours working inside, and I am very tired.