I'd kiss job interviewing goodbye.*

Being a grown-up has its perks. When you're a grown-up, you don't have math homework (or math teachers). Your braces are probably long gone, and your skin is probably mostly kind of clear most days. But being a grown-up also has its downsides, like job interviews and realizing you will never be a Disney child star. Upon leaving a job interview the other day, I had a deja vu moment. I was like, This job interview feeling is familiar. And then I was like, Oh, wait, that's 'cause it feels exactly like a first date. The more interviews I go to, the more similarities I see. 

For both job interviews and first dates:

1. You can never figure out what to wear.

In my case, this means spending way too long in front of the mirror trying on every combination (permutation?) of the items in my closet. It is like the intro to Sabrina the Teenage Witch up in my room, except that she just has to will her outfit to change, whereas I have to throw all the pieces everywhere.

Should I go with a skirt or pants? When was the last time I washed this top? Where the heck are my shoes!?

2. Some online reconnaissance is expected.

It's stupid to go into a job interview without having done a substantial amount of preliminary research about the company. Similarly, it's stupid to go on a date with a guy without doing your dude diligence.

In recent months, I have scaled back my pre-date internet stalking because I realized how super creepy it is to know random details about a guy due to the fact that you read his Facebook notes from 2008. You do not need to know a guy's (a) preferred Bible translation, (b) cousins' names, and (c) last six Halloween costumes to go on a date with him. (But do go ahead and make sure his favorite movie on Facebook isn't, like, The Texas Chainsaw Exorcism of Austin Powers.)

3. You get all nervous beforehand.

Duh.

4. The conversation is basically the same.

Where are you from? Where did you go to school? What do you do? Why that field?

The Venn diagram of first date conversation topics and job interview conversation topics is practically a circle. You know it's a great date when conversation diverges from the standard fare.

5. You have to wait for them to call afterward.

Every time I remember that I'm expecting a call from a company, it feels as if my stomach and my lungs have swapped places. Does anyone else know this feeling? It's the same one you get when you remember that a guy said "I'll call you."

6. And the phone conversations are supes awkward.  

I do this awful thing when I try to make pre- or post-date conversation with boys on the phone: I get so afraid of awkward pauses that I talk so fast I forget to breathe. And then I have to disguise the fact that I am literally gasping for air. This also happened the other day when I was on the phone with a company. I was trying to tell this lady about my education, but instead I was hyperventilating.

(This is undoubtedly the most embarrassing revelation included in this list.)

7. Down the road it will either end in commitment, or it will just end.

Early in my job-searching days, I had to turn down a job offer that wasn't the right fit. It felt like a mini break-up. I worried I'd led them on. Taylor Swift is writing a song about it.

8. The only thing worse than going through one is never getting the chance. 

Sometimes you apply for a great job, and the company never even asks you for an interview, and it all feels like such a waste because you would've been perfect for the position. And sometimes you like a boy, and he never even asks you for a date. And that, too, feels like a waste because you totally wanted the chance to chat with him while you both fiddled self-consciously with the cardboard sleeves around your coffee cups.

9. You never know what they've already read about you on the internet. 

For instance, if any potential employers or suitors (What word would you have used?) have read this blog, I have undoubtedly guaranteed that I will never get a job interview or a first date again. Oops.

10. You've gotta remind yourself that you're a catch.

No matter how nervous I may feel, I know the company that lands me lands a stellar employee. Extrapolate as you will.

*Just kidding, that would be a surefire way to guarantee unemployment.

A bunch of little blog posts mushed into one.

1. Back in Missouri

Drove back to Columbia last Saturday after another tearful goodbye. My brother rode with me to keep me sane. It was dark by the time we pulled into town and still dark when I said goodbye to him at the airport the next morning. The darkness somehow exacerbated by sadness, and I was a mess until I got to church and remembered why I had loved this city. "I'm so happy you're back!" were literally the first words that greeted me when I walked in the door. And then I got a hug, and, oh, I could've just crumbled into it.

Skyping with (most of) the fam on my first day back in Como.

Skyping with (most of) the fam on my first day back in Como.

The back-and-forth-ness of graduate school has done such a number on my heart. Being away from my family and Kentucky friends weighs on me so heavily, and so much of me just wants this semester to fly by. But I know that when it comes time to leave my Missouri friends in May, I will be an absolute wreck — a giant tear duct in human form.

2. Semester shock

Classes are over, so this semester I'll be occupied with my professional project (which is like a big internship, but we're not supposed to call it an internship) + my assistantship + my master's research. I would be excited if I weren't so anxious. I love my professional project so far. It's really the prospect of doing my research on top of it that sounds impossible. Let's not talk about it.

3. Sabbath

Speaking of not talking about it, my roommate, Bekah and I are taking Sundays off this semester. Shocker, right? I read this book over Christmas break, and it made me want to cry. Not because it is sad — it isn't — but because it reminded me of how tired I am and have been throughout my entire college and grad school career. The main reason I dreaded this semester was that I was so beyond worn out and beaten down last semester. I just couldn't do it any more. So, despite my uncertainty about how all my work will get done in the next few months, I've decided that none of it will get done on Sundays.

Oh, and I bought a "luxury sleep mask" at Walmart for $4. It is hot pink — fuzzy on one side and satiny on the other. It makes me feel very restful. And luxurious, duh.

4. Reading

Speaking of books, I have a problem, y'all. I have a problem with starting books before I finished my last one and then not finishing them. My bedside table is now host to nine books that I'm "in the middle of." A few of them are even from interlibrary loan, which means I went out of my way made a librarian go out of her (his?) way to get them for me.

Screen+Shot+2013-01-24+at+9.48.04+PM.png

Maybe thinking I can finish non-school-related books in grad school is setting my hopes too high.

4. Smoothies

In the same way that I am the type of person to start a book and never finish it, I am the type of person who pins a lot of things to Pinterest and then never makes said things. But I saw this green monster smoothie pin last Tuesday, and I went out later that day to get the ingredients. I have made it three times since. I have a feeling it is going to be my new go-to meal. It feels indulgent, but it's oh-so-easy to make and oh-so-good* for you. The perfect combination!

2A3B8E02-80D8-43CB-A656-1D1B15B9C65C.jpeg

*What is the correct way to punctuate that? "It's, oh, so easy..." "It's oh, so easy..." Set off interjections with commas, right? But that looks so weird. Sticking with hyphens...

4. Running

Speaking of things that are good for you but also wonderful, I have been running more and more lately!

Er ... I wrote that sentence last week when I was all excited to tell y'all how much better my legs have been doing. Today I sat back down to work on the blog post I left unfinished, and that sentence is mocking me. My left knee has been hurting again. Aching hips are keeping me awake at night. Before this week, I was running great, and now I'm in pain again and trying not to be discouraged.

Here's to hoping this setback won't last long. I'd had at least two months of doing really well before this. Boo, you know? BOO AT PAIN.

14E7CBE3-5CBB-48FD-8150-0C16725EF4B4.jpeg

Apparently retailers think that people have already given up on their new year's resolutions, so they have discounted workout wear. Snatched up this cute pink running jacket for TEN DOLLA NO HOLLA last week. Talk about a score. Pictured right before I hit the pavement in 19-degree weather. I told you I love running.

5. Pop culture

Screen+Shot+2013-01-24+at+7.55.35+PM.png

So much good stuff going on in pop culture lately, you guys. I have thoroughly enjoyed the return of Downton Abbey and The Bachelor, and I want to see Les Miserables approximately a thousand more times.

In related news, I want to marry a barricade boy. They're just so studious and masculine. I know Les Mis isn't primarily a love story, but the scene in which Jean Valjean basically passes the torch of protecting Cosette on to Marius made me swoon and long for times past. You know, times in which men were men and women were women.

6. Dating

Speaking of men and women being men and women, this article, "The End of Courtship" that ran in the NYT recently was totally singing my life with its words and killing me softly with its song.

"Traditional courtship — picking up the telephone and asking someone on a date — required courage, strategic planning and a considerable investment of ego (by telephone, rejection stings). Not so with texting, e-mail, Twitter or other forms of 'asynchronous communication,' as techies call it. In the context of dating, it removes much of the need for charm; it’s more like dropping a line in the water and hoping for a nibble.

'I’ve seen men put more effort into finding a movie to watch on Netflix Instant than composing a coherent message to ask a woman out,' said Anna Goldfarb, 34, an author and blogger in Moorestown, N.J."

I thought this was a problem unique to Christian culture, but apparently I was wrong. Read the article, marvel at its accuracy, and weep for our future.

7. Blogging

Look whose blog hit 50,000 views this week! Little old me. Thanks, everyone! Thanks for reading and putting up with the fact that I began four paragraphs in this post with the words "speaking of." You are all the best.

Screen+Shot+2013-01-24+at+10.20.20+PM.png