I am lost. I have been lost before in my career. It's just that I did not write about it while it was happening. I wrote about it after the fact. That's much easier. But in the past, during the time I was lost, I simply stopped writing.

For example, I quit playing volleyball and went to graduate school for English. And, at the same time that I realized that English professors make no money and have no job security, I also got dumped by the guy I had been living with for five years. So this is what I did in graduate school: Nothing. I had already written two full novels, so I turned in a little bit of them each week. And I had to take literature courses, which I passed by reading New York Times book reviews (you'd be surprised how far back those go.) And then, after burning every bridge possible at Boston University, I left, one credit short of a graduate degree.

There were other times I fell apart. And stopped writing. For example, when I had a baby, I stayed home with it, every hour of every day, while I had an identity crisis. I still needed to support the family, but I couldn't write anything because I couldn't imagine giving career advice when I was having a total career meltdown. So I took columns from five years earlier and turned them in as new columns. And, after about three months of that, I got fired.

So I know it's not going to work for me to stop writing during my current crisis because it has not worked for me in the past. At this point in my career, I have a lot of achievements. I have played professional volleyball, I climbed the corporate ladder in Fortune 500 marketing, I was a journalist at the Boston Globe, and I've gotten three startups funded. There’s no way I'm going to go down in flames right now. I know that.

So this seems like a good time in my life to tell you what it's like to be lost at your job. Who else would do this? It would look like career suicide to anyone else.

I worry, actually, that it looks that way for me. For example, I think maybe I went overboard in my comment, in a discussion about whether I am managing my personal brand well. Dan Schawbel gave a great answer and I could have left well enough alone. But here's a rule about being lost: You make bad choices.

Last week, in addition to being lost at work, I was lost trying to cope with the farmer ending our engagement. So I flipped a grilled cheese with my bare hand instead of the hand holding the spatula: Insane pain. I drove myself to the emergency room, and they said I was actually at risk of going into shock behind the wheel. Okay. So it was bad enough that they gave me vicodin.

They gave me 20. Yes. Right here in Madison. You can get 20 vicodin for a grill cheese burn. If hospitals in NYC did this, there would be a run on grilled cheese ingredients all over the city.

I popped my vicodin. And I could not think. There was nothing. In only fifteen minutes, my head was a blank slate. The only thing I could see in my head was my hands literally trying to grasp for my problems. Where were they? Where were the things I was worrying about?

I hated the vicodin. I woke up the next morning excited to have my problems back.

This makes me think that maybe, somehow, I can enjoy being lost. To do that, I'm going to have to tell you my biggest problem: I have no idea what I'm doing at work and I am being a brat about it.

I think I have already made it clear that I'm difficult to work with. People cut me a lot of slack at the office. After all, I have this remarkable ability to know what works with social media even though clearly I am not able to use any tool the normal way. This must be valuable to a company. If they can put up with me in meetings.

Ryan Healy has told me not to write about him anymore. (This was his final straw.) So I'm just going to tell you that I have demonstrated for Ed, our new CEO, what Ryan does that makes me hate him, and Ed has said that I'm nuts. That he just doesn't see what the problem is.

And. Okay. Here's something disturbing: I have the exact same problem with my ex. The way he talks to me. And our nanny has heard him, and I ask the nanny, “Do you see how rude he is?” And the nanny says, “No, I don't. He sounded fine to me.”

If only the nanny and the CEO knew how closely aligned they are in my life.

So my problem is that I am not hearing people right. I am not a good listener. I try to be a good listener, but I do not hear things right.

So I have a tone of voice problem, (which is typical for someone with Asperger’s Syndrome, by the way). I've been complaining to Ryan about his tone of voice for two years, and he'd probably divorce me if he could, but, let's be honest, the company would not do well if we did that.

So it’s not just that I'm lost at work, but also I’ve been a brat.

I cannot solve the lost problem right now. I cannot quite figure out where I fit at my company. I mean, I gave day-to-day operations to Ryan and I gave CEOness to Ed. And where am I? Yes. I am very good at driving traffic to Brazen Careerist. Look. I'm doing it right now. It's a game: Click.

But I need to do more than that. I am figuring that out. And I’m sure that Ryan and Ed would have more patience for me if I am not a brat while I'm figuring it out. Which means I have to:

1. Be patient when people talk. No cutting them off. Here is the post about how hard that is for me. I don't know how I'll stop. I have to have a rule. No talking until there is quiet space. But honestly, I panic that that space will never come.

2. Try out doing new things even if I don't like them. Like, webinars. I'm doing a webinar tonight. I should promote that now. Okay. Here's a link. Do you know what I hate about webinars? I can't stay on topic, I only want to talk about sex, and I have to make my hair look good.

3. Be positive. I am always telling people what is wrong. People do not like that. I mean, they like it in a blog. Look. You've read this whole post. But people don't like it in real life. And Ed and Ryan told me they don't want to hear why things won't work. They want to hear the most promising idea; I need to talk like someone full of hope and promise.

So I am being positive right now: I am thinking that I can decide what to try. And I can decide to think that what I try will work. And if I try something and it doesn't work, I can try again.

110 replies
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  1. Hofo
    Hofo says:

    Hey,

    I’m not really sure what advice I could give you about what happens when you hit the wall. I tend not to think about my career path. I spent 5 years at a major university before my scholarship/loans ran out a bit after my discipline did, leaving before I could get a piece of paper that I still don’t think would really help past the first job. I then relied on skills I had learned at the family business to get two jobs at newspapers, then started using my computer skills to go through a succession of 12 jobs in 18 years, never more than 3 years in a spot. Somehow I’ve managed to keep a general trend of moving upwards while not focusing on climbing ladders or playing office politics. Just focus on doing a good job at whatever you’re doing and never stop trying to figure out what it is that you do better than other things. Good luck. (And keep writing, I love the voice you express, it’s fairly different than other writing I’ve come across.)

  2. Sarah Bush
    Sarah Bush says:

    Hey Penelope,
    I always appreciate how much you share about your struggles. I sort of hate when people make suggestions/give advice in blog comments, as if the person writing doesn’t know, but I have a suggestion. ;-)
    I was just thinking that if you’re lost, maybe the problem is that you think you have to fix it. Maybe you don’t. Maybe it will fix itself if you give it a little time.
    If you want to fix it because you need more things to do to keep yourself occupied in order to help you soldier on through a tough period in your life, why don’t you just do more of what you’re good at (and what’s good for the company). So if that’s driving traffic to Brazen Careerist, how can you do more of that?
    I hope this wasn’t annoying advice and I hope you feel better/less lost soon!

  3. Courtney
    Courtney says:

    I am where you are because I am totally lost in life at the moment. For me it’s a miscarriage, crumbling marriage, a day job where my coworkers behave like middle school students, and a start up that is just starting up. It’s comforting to know that highly successful people feel lost at times. When you are lost, you feel like you are walking alone because no one really likes to admit that their internal compass is spinning on it’s axis at a dizzying rate. I am handling being lost by visiting a close friend in another state with the hope that distancing myself will provide perspective on the situation.

    Also, I attended your webinar last night. The part where you started talking about BJs and laughing hysterically while Ryan Paugh looked bewildered was hilarious. I’m not sure if the bewildered look was because of the delay or the hysterical laughter. Either way, I was literally laughing out loud and I think I learned something about blogging too.

  4. Lea
    Lea says:

    I am a bad listener as well. Given that I spent a decade-plus as a decently successful print journalist who conducted hundreds of interviews, this came as a surprise to me when I left newspapers and went to work in the “real” world. I’m also difficult to work with, have a problem with my tone of voice, and have been told that I am very negative. I do not have Asperger’s; I’m just a difficult person (thanks, genetics).

    The good news is that list of things I’m not good at is all learned behavior. I am slowly learning the social rules of the workplace, which everyone else seems to have been born knowing, and I totally relate to your strugles with Asperger’s because of it.

    Here are some of the tricks that have worked for me:

    1. You’re right that waiting for a break in a meeting so you can talk is not listening. When you catch yourself doing that, stop and put yourself in the moment. Take 30 seconds to write notes on what you want to say so that you can say it later, then go back to just listening. I’ve found that when I do this, my comment or concern will be addressed two minutes later by someone else. It’s interesting to see what happens when I sit back and don’t try to control the conversation.

    2. It’s hard to remember to be positive in conversations, but it’s easy to do in e-mails. I’ll find myself replying to e-mails by starting with what’s wrong (with the idea, plan, information, whatever). Before I send an e-mail, I reread it and add the positive in — and I put the positive stuff first. Even if it’s something as small as, “You’ve got some great ideas in here. Thanks for sharing. Have you thought about … ?”

    3. When my tone of voice becomes a problem, I stop talking, even in a one-on-one conversation. It gives the other person a chance to get everything out on their end. Then I wait 5-10 seconds in silence before I say anything, and I try to say as little as possible. It doesn’t always fix things, but it makes sure that it doesnt’ get worse.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      This is great advice, Lea. Really helpful. Thanks. I think my number one focus in my life right now is number three: To just stop talking if I’m not talking nicely. That seems really important. It’s so hard though. In the moment, everything I have to say feels so important…

      Penelope

  5. Marie McHale Drake
    Marie McHale Drake says:

    Thanks for your post Penelope, it is so honest. I always stopped writing when the shit hit the fan and it was always a mistake. After ‘discovering’ you and your blog, I had some sort of epiphany, started my own blog, and while I’ve only been at it 3 weeks or so, I feel a lot differently. I think I owe that shift to you, and perhaps to my friend Martin who sent me your link. Blogging has helped my book, the book I was trying to finish but is now going to a professional editor on 12/28. I thought blogging would leak energy away from that but instead it seems to be fueling the project.

    This morning at work, where I am paid to be smart and fast on my feet, I spent 28 minutes trying to decipher a half-page order from a federal judge that included the phrase, “non ceteris paribus”. I checked my 1934 Bouvier’s Law Dictionary that did not include the second or third word (being really bright I already knew what non meant). Then I checked my Black’s Law Dictionary from 1979, no luck. Naturally I turned to the Internets but could find little. A partner was looking over my shoulder the whole time. I wanted to finish my coffee and figure out what really smart person I should call for help but I was on the spot. Finally, after surfing around, I found the phrase meant, “All things not being equal.” Since everything is about me, the phrase clearly applied to my small, inept brain. And then I started to circle the drain of an oncoming shame spiral about not passing the bar right after law school because this little exercise was more proof I should be doing manual labor for a living.

    But then I saw your post and now I feel better. You never know who you are going to help Penelope, and this morning you helped an idiot lawyer faking her way through her career.

    • Dan Owen
      Dan Owen says:

      Let me make sure I’m hearing you right. You came across something you didn’t know and researched it until you found the answer. You demonstrated resourcefulness, tenaciousness, self-discipline, intelligence, and patience, you stayed calm while under pressure and while being watched and evaluated by a boss. Presumably with the clock running.

      Tell me again where you’re coming up short? Because you weren’t born knowing what “non ceteris paribus” means? At which point in this chain of events were you faking it? Which of these qualities that enabled you to solve the problem are fake qualities?

      My dear, you’re in the game now. This is what the game looks like. There is no other, imaginary game in which everything goes without a hitch and your self-doubt is cute and winning. You have qualities that can’t be taught or learned: they are the qualities that enabled you to persevere and succeed in this instance; your self-doubt almost took that success away from you. Get your head straight about this. If you don’t, you’ll surely take the people who are depending on you (that partner, for instance) down with you.

  6. Tom Johnson
    Tom Johnson says:

    I read your post yesterday and it stuck in my mind. I like how you honestly wrestle with real problems that you experience, without fear of hiding anything. You’re a good storyteller.

  7. Paula
    Paula says:

    Sometimes everything falls apart at once, or seems to. Sometimes you’re lost in more than one area of life. But being lost can be an opportunity to explore. You’re right, you should try not to be a brat about it–maybe that’s part of what you need to explore. But also, this may be a chance to find an opportunity–new roles in your company, new ways of relating to people, even dating with new knowledge of what you loved about the farmer (and what to watch out for.)

    Good luck!

  8. Royce
    Royce says:

    Penelope, one of the most self-referential posts you’ve done in some time (“Look, you’ve read this whole post”) which I quite enjoyed actually.

    In considering this blog, my first reaction was that I didn’t care for it because it contained a high level of negativity and non-expertise – i.e., you describing what you’re bad at. But in reflecting upon the blog later in the day, I found that I was actually quite inspired by what you had written. I believe what I found inspiring was that you have a “fall down eight times, get up nine” mentality which becomes infectious even in your “downer” blogs like this one. So thanks for that! I’ll see if I can pinpoint what aspects of your writing, particularly, convey this quality in future blogs of yours.

    • Royce
      Royce says:

      Oh, and the end result of your inspiring bounce-back mentality was that, later in the day, I immediately went back to work and pounded out several posts at my blog and commented on other blogs. I had hit a kind of a wall as well, and you helped me punch through.

  9. Derek Scruggs
    Derek Scruggs says:

    Suggestion: instead of driving traffic to Brazen Careerist, integrate this blog completely into it.

    Trivial example how to provide value: if I’m viewing a blog post, I should also see a list of people in the local networking group (Boulder in my case).

    Compare your site to Michael Arrington’s. He has a very powerful personal brand, and yet if you just look at TechCrunch’s home page there is no evidence that he has special weight over any other writer.

    Sometimes 1+1 = 3, but in your case I suspect it’s adding up to less than 2.

    • Royce
      Royce says:

      “Trivial example how to provide value: if I’m viewing a blog post, I should also see a list of people in the local networking group (Boulder in my case).”

      — that is a pretty interesting suggestion, and would be really cool to see implemented

  10. Tina Fortune
    Tina Fortune says:

    I wish I could give you a hug. I’ve hit the wall at work and what drives me is the hope that tomorrow will be better. Your tomorrow will be better. As a divorced mom, I have to believe it will be.

  11. Tony Z
    Tony Z says:

    Hello, Penelope. It’s Asperger’s Tony (again). I am lost as well, and for many of the same reasons. I agree: people don’t like to hear about what’s wrong. They prefer choosing what’s easy, more convenient — like denial, procrastination, changing the subject, or projecting blame onto someone/something else — even when the issue is critical or life-threatening. Call it the “Global Warming GroupThink”: let’s blindly party like it’s 1999 and deal with the consequences if/when they become a crisis. It is a sad default … and terribly frustrating and depressing to push back against.

    Charlie Rose recently interviewed Nobel prize-winning biologist James Watson, who also has a reputation for being “difficult” to work with. Rose asked Watson if he has paid a price for his “impatience.” Watson paused, then grinned wryly. “I haven’t been on many committees,” he said.

    Ask yourself: Would you rather be Rudolph or the other reindeer?

    Shine on, you crazy diamond.

    • Melissa
      Melissa says:

      Tony
      Re : People don’t like to hear about what’s wrong.
      I think what “people” want is solutions. It’s not about denial, or procastination; but that instead of only talking about what is wrong, to do something about it.
      I’m surrounded by Chicken Littles, and they are very good at identifying flaws in the project, but could not provide a solution for the life of them.

      • Tony Z
        Tony Z says:

        Thanks for your reply post.

        Perhaps I assumed it would be implicitly understood that Penelope and I don’t bring up “what’s wrong” simply for the sake of hearing ourselves whine. Indeed, there are folks who do just that, but I’m not one of them, and I strongly doubt Penelope is either. We are solution-seekers. That said, I continually meet people who procrastinate and cloak themselves in denial to avoid tackling problems. In my experience that’s often why teamwork falls apart: too many issues and not enough willingness to recognize and resolve them.

        No one person can expect to identify, voice, dissect and/or settle every trouble spot, but sadly, some folks are virtual ostriches on all counts and consistently avoid coming out of the sand. I won’t speak on behalf of Penelope, but it is those co-workers who choose to be blind that frustrate me most because they are clearly not part of the solution, and therefore remain part of the problem.

        I wish you all the best in 2010! :)

  12. Kim
    Kim says:

    I’ve spent more years being lost than I like to admit. When I’m really going nuts over it, I go for long walks in the forest; I thrive there the way you do on a farm.

    So Poet/Biologist/Corporate Muse David Whyte’s advice in his book “The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America” really speaks to me. He quotes a poem by David Wagoner (based on a story handed down by Native American elders)… I especially like the last 2 lines:

    LOST
    Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
    Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
    And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
    Must ask permission to know it and be known.
    The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
    I have made this place around you,
    If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here,
    No two trees are the same to Raven.
    No two branches are the same to Wren.
    If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
    You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
    Where you are. You must let it find you.

    • Kim
      Kim says:

      PS: I just read that link to the debate about your “personal brand” and I think your response was perfect. Not only was it not OTT, it was mature, kind & mentor-y. (And, it clarified to me why the whole Dan Schwable personal branding stuff irritates me so much. It’s because I’m not 26. So thank you for that.)

  13. Jaclyn
    Jaclyn says:

    Please don’t stop writing, whatever you may be going through.

    I can tell you honestly, I don’t give a crap about this Ryan or Ed, or Brazen Careerist for that matter. If I see the words “Asperger’s Syndrome” in your posts one more time I might scream.

    Broken engagement, trouble at work, burnt hand, emergency room, vicodin – these things, however, I hate to say, are really, really interesting. Painful, terrible, awful – definitely. But captivating because I can sense your passion and heartache.

    I cringed when I read about your abortion, your miscarriage, sex acts, etc. BUT– I re-read those posts more than once. And I went to all the links. And I told my mom about them. We then had a great conversation about women, sex, and careers that made us understand each other better.

    I stopped following your posts years ago because I got tired of the career advice. The world is changing, Gen. Y is different… blah, blah. Seth Godin says it a million times better, I’m sorry. And I don’t even use Squidoo, I think it looks horrible. I think LinkedIn is way too restrictive. But I would use either of those long before I signed up on Brazen Careerist. As a 25-year-old college graduate, Facebook is the only online social networking communication tool I need.

    I started following your blog again a few months ago because of the personal insight. I may not always “get it” but your writing style and personal life make me feel like no topic is off-limits, no matter where you are, or what you are going through, and I love that. You are a female role model for me. You are a writing role model.

    Look at all the thoughtful comments you received on this one post alone. You can do anything with your life and career, we will follow. Just keep being brutally honest, even if it is wrong, offensive, or difficult, PLEASE. You cannot find out where the line really is until you cross it.

    I also loved reading about your excitement and anticipation in your relationship with the farmer. The love story was just as captivating. I look forward to more positivity and hope in your future posts.

    Thank you for writing. I cannot imagine how agonizing it must be at times, but it is appreciated.

    Jaclyn

  14. Green
    Green says:

    Okay, you know how when you’re chatting online with someone and then they abruptly disappear? Everyone’s instinct is to think they said something to piss them off but then you realize it’s probably just a technical problem (unless the last thing they said was f*ck you or something). Right?

    So if Ryan or your ex are your friends and you KNOW they are on your side, then you need to just assume what you are interpreting as shitty tone of voice or rudeness is a technical glitch on YOUR part.

  15. Margaret
    Margaret says:

    I recently discovered Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I didn’t want to discover it. In fact, I have spent most of my 29 years trying NOT to discover it, ever since I became aware of the cassette set bouncing around in my dad’s back seat.
    Once I got over whatever arrogance was keeping me away from it, though, I realized there is some excellent advice in there, advice that I feel I should try to pass on now by summarizing some of Covey’s philosophies:

    Habit 1: Effective People are proactive beings that recognize that they are responsible for choices; Ineffective People are reactive beings that feel victimized by circumstances, their past and other people.
    Habit 3: Effective People "organize and execute around their most important priorities," no matter the circumstances; Ineffective People are unable to stay focused on tasks, because they are just thinking about the circumstances, their past and/or other people.
    Habit 5: Effective People seek first to understand and then be understood, meaning they want to understand others before they reply; Ineffective People seek first to be understood before they understand, meaning they talk first about their points of view, which they base completely on their own experience and motives, meaning they never attempt to understand others before diagnosing others' problems.
    Habit 7: Effective People are constantly looking to rejuvenate themselves physically, mentally, socially and emotionally, and spiritually; Ineffective People lack this ability and "eventually lose the cutting edge they may have once had."

    And for the record, Penelope, you are not insane to answer every single e-mail you get. You are not insane at all. You are great and we completely respect and admire and thank you for that.

  16. Kimberly Shepherd
    Kimberly Shepherd says:

    Long time reader, first time commenter, unabashed admirer of all you have accomplished and overcome and attempted and how you share it so well. I read many (ok, too many) blogs daily and as I attempt to whittle them down (my divergent interests in marketing, photography, higher education, parenting, social networking, decorating, antiques) into a number that is “reasonable”, I NEVER consider unsubscribing to your feed. Because you are one of the few writers (actually few PEOPLE) from whom I learn something EVERY TIME I read your words. You live big, have achieved much, have lost large and yet you keep going in the same direction of trying to make sense of your needs and desires and those of your children. As a gen-Xer who has been a successful educator, domestic violence counselor, psychiatric hospital administrator, swim instructor, headhunter, college admission counselor, content management software salesperson and now a Director of Admission for a school where I don’t and can never fit in, I can’t imagine a better mentor or role model than you. I wish I knew you IRL, but please know that you inspire me daily to continue forward, to push myself when it’s hard, to listen carefully, to work at reading people better and to be positive. You do this because you ARE these things and much more. You aren’t lost, you’re blazing new trails and no one has caught up with you yet, that’s why it’s lonely. Once your new path comes into better focus, you’ll feel more at ease. Until then, peace to your process.

  17. Mark F.
    Mark F. says:

    Getting beyond your situation, you just need to be insanely busy doing stuff that charges your batteries. ENTJ’s can’t sit still and they are focused on next…not now. Stop dawdling and start working on your next business idea, your next relationship, and maybe find a new hobby…
    sounds too simple…you will figure it out as you always do.
    Happy holidays…
    M

  18. le
    le says:

    Being lost is ok – but find the glass half full part of the equation – lost is not all bad … flip it and find the good – your lads, your loves past and present … thinking of you and sending my best le

  19. Tatyana
    Tatyana says:

    Dear Penelope,

    Reading your doubts how you communicate with people I am surprised. It seems to you that voice tone was changed? Nanny and CEO are pretending that it was not? Why so simple thing is not coming out of your mind that your nanny is just keeping herself out of your conflicts? And CEO does not think that it is important to him or the company? How many things we hear, see, feel or say “pay attention to” when it is not important to us personally? Why any problem (or say difference) in communication is going as Asperger’s syndrome? What you can not do really at that moment – you can not figure out how to react on that voice tone and what is right reaction. But this is another story. Our ways of communications are different (you should hear about representational systems), our experiences are different – so our reactions do.

  20. Nichole Bazemore
    Nichole Bazemore says:

    I absolutely admire your candor and transparency. Thank you for telling Gen Y’ers it’s okay to screw up. That’s called life, and neither a college degree nor impressive job title makes you immune from screwing up. When you stop screwing up, you’re dead. I’m a Gen X’er, but oh, to have had the benefit of this blog way back when…

  21. Alisa Bowman
    Alisa Bowman says:

    Two things struck me as I read this. 1) For every company I’ve worked either as an employee or as a contractor, the person at the top was in charge of the word “no.” If you become the “yes” person, you are going to upset the balance of ideas. It’s your job to sort the bad ideas from the good ones. That’s why you call a bad idea what it really is: a bad idea. 2) I think most people have the “tone of voice” issue that you mention. Lately, I’ve had this mantra for myself that goes like this, “Everyone loves me. I believe in the good of all people.” In other words, whenever I am tempted to feel slighted by someone, I choose not to feel slighted. After all, I have no way of knowing for sure if that person really rolled her eyes AT me or at some random unrelated thought that had nothing to do with me. So I choose to believe that “everyone loves me” and I tell the devil in my head to just shut up. It’s really freeing. If people don’t like something about me, now they have to say it out loud. I don’t even try to read tone of voice anymore.

  22. Harry Gin
    Harry Gin says:

    I think that the advice you gives is good; the three steps you give at the end are definitely a good way to structure a move to overcoming many of these problems. The only thing I would say is that many might follow these religiously, and I would just mention that there would be far better if you remember that it is a guideline.

  23. econobiker
    econobiker says:

    Anyone think that she should fire herself and not take pay for the next 2 months to find out what happens when people working for others “are lost at work”?

    Just askin’…

  24. Nicole D.
    Nicole D. says:

    Penelope,

    I, by nature am a “negative Nelly” and as a result I feel your pain. It’s easy for us to point out what’s wrong or how things are broken, I do it each and every day and it’s a difficult cycle to break. Challenge yourself, for each crack or weakness you find, try to think of a way to fix it or a step towards a solution. It’s time consuming and a pain in the ass, however, the more you do it the easier it gets.

    Other than that bit of advice, the only thing I can offer is a mental hug.

    -Nicole D.

  25. Diana Evans
    Diana Evans says:

    I know what you mean about the grilled cheese burn/brain malfunction – .. A couple years ago I was in a mother- in- law-coming- to- visit-unannounced panic while cooking an egg and bean taco for lunch at 2 in the afternoon. I had a tortilla in one hand, and the metal lid from a can of beans in the other hand. I apparently forgot which hand the tortilla was in, and went to take an pre-taco bite while cooking (I have very little patience around food). With full force- I bit into the metal lid. (Compliments of my inferior peripheral vision) It then sliced the crap out of my mouth opening. Ouch.
    The pain and the shock of what happened was not as bad as the obligation I in turn had (felt) to explain the cuts to everyone that saw me for the 2 weeks. After I told them I always immediately regretted it, and then continued to explain how it could have happened to them also – – Apparently they didn’t agree that it could have happened to them – . Somehow it something only I could have done.
    But really, relax- you are just in a gear-shifting mode. It may not look or sound good, but they better just wait until you are cruising by at an even higher level. PS- tone of voice is such a life-self esteem-circumstance dependant variable for us Aspies. It will get better.

    ~3 more peanut butter and jelly halves to go- then I'm calling it a night,
    diana

  26. Diana Evans
    Diana Evans says:

    “Also, it seems that many brilliant ideas come in the wake of darkness – draw from it – When things are going great, it seems we don’t feel the need to search as diligently for answers.”<< Posted earlier by Sosympyl.

    Totally Agree – use the dark times before they become bright times and the otherwise inaccessible thoughts/opportunities/learning moments are gone. In a second everything can change- then the window to produce radically different (and unquestionably awesome) types of work has passed.

  27. Christian R.
    Christian R. says:

    Point 3) should read “Be positive yet realistic”, because lots of people run around with a stupid smile on their face while the house is on fire. That forced, insincere attitude is one of the things that make the US workplace such a schizoid environment.

  28. Alleen Pocai
    Alleen Pocai says:

    This is a really awesome entry. I found your blog from yahoo while searching a similar material. I truly ate upwards that which you needed to go over. Keep up the great work!

  29. livia
    livia says:

    That is the beneficial mindset, but isn’t create any sence whatsoever referring to which mather. Just about any approach thanks as well as i’d aim to discuss your current posting into delicius but it really is apparently a problem using your blogging can you you should recheck the idea. thanks once more.

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