Monday, March 08, 2010

...and saboteur

I didn't get the lab job. I kind of sabotaged the interview by not lying and giving them the answers I knew they wanted to hear. I sat with them and they described the job and my heart filled with dread. I would be doing very similar work to what I did before, and I got bored out of my mind with that. They asked why I was applying for a lab-based job when my degree was more epidemiology based, and I replied that I was applying for everything. They asked where I saw myself in the future and I responded that I didn't know. In my head, I was thinking "Hopefully not in your lab!" They gave me a tour of the lab, a typical mo bio lab, and I asked myself when I walked in, "Do you want to be back here? Do you feel the urge to pick up a pipetter and get to work?" The answer was a very unconvincing, "Maybe I could get back into it?"

So I'm relieved they didn't offer it to me. I know I can't afford to shun anything right now, but my heart can't afford to continue not doing what I want to do. I don't want to get sidetracked yet again from what I want to be doing. That is, of course, still a sort of nebulous idea, what I want to be doing, but I think it's mostly still nebulous because I lack the confidence to commit to it. I want to live, at least for a little while, in a developing country and do field research. There. That's what I want. I almost had an offer to go to Cambodia and do tuberculosis research (unpaid), but it was cruelly yanked away not long after. It would have been perfect, so it's lame that it fell through, but at least now I know what I consider "perfect." I have something to pursue.

Speaking of which, I should quit blogging and get back to the pursuit. Actually, I should quit blogging and go to sleep. Was at a house party last night and only got 5 hours. I think I'm almost old enough that I care more about sleep than socializing. Not quite, though. The house party was weird. It was a friend of a friend, and few people knew each other but the hostesses didn't make any introductions at all. So people only talked to the people they knew. There was no intermingling whatsoever. I went with James and I knew no one else. James spent half the time setting up the music playlist and I stood around looking helpless and awkward, waiting for somebody, anybody to talk to me. No one did, so I finally left and as I was leaving, I was cornered by a girl called Mary and a guy called Nathan. Mary was quite drunk and kept insisting that I stay, that no one has to work on Sundays, that work wouldn't miss me in the slightest if I failed to show up. Finally she changed tack and insisted that I'm come for Sunday roast with her family sometime. "They do the most amazing roasts! Our gravy is like an heirloom!" (She meant the recipe, not an actual heirloom jar of gravy.) "You must give me your number!" she insisted. I did so, assuming that she would be too drunk to remember any of this conversation and would never contact me.

So it was much a surprise to me when I received a text today, not from Mary, but from Nathan, who hopes I don't mind that Mary gave him my number and would I like to go for a drink sometime?


It was all a set-up! Family roast. Pah! Heirloom gravy! They must have thought I was a right fool. She was just playing wing-man for a coward! Now I don't know what to say because I'm totally not interested. Ugh, have to figure that one out.

I had a really nice day with James prior to the party. It was my first Saturday off in absolute ages and I wanted to go to Portabello Road market. It was James's first time. I bought a pocket watch necklace (it was my intention to buy one) and also impulsively bought "The Poisonwood Bible" and "Diary of a Provincial Lady" for £2.50 each. I started reading "Diary" once at Holly's and it was really funny. Then we went to one of James's favorite cd shops and I bought M.I.A.'s first album for £3 and a Fats Domino 2-cd set for £1. I love buying used stuff for really cheap! It makes me happy. The happiness was slightly deflated, though, when I got home and realized Sara gave me M.I.A.'s first album ages ago, and it's been sitting dormant on my computer ever since. Whoops!


  1. Oh Kusems! I have such similar problems here - re: I don't know what I want to do with my's a lie, I know but I'm afraid to commit. It is terrifying to think about taking a low (or even unpaid job) in a developing country when there are jobs to be had that pay well. But Ben asked me once, "How much would someone have to pay you to be in prison?" The point is that life isn't about making the 'smart' choices, the 'reasonable' or 'reliable' or 'intelligent' choices. It's about LIVING. You and I both know what it's like to have a boring job that takes up your whole life. (Remember how much I complained about Navigant?) You feel like your soul is slowly being sucked dry. What's the point of a life like that, even if other people think it's 'responsible' or we should be 'grateful' for such a wonderful 'opportunity' given the economy...blah blah blah. If any of my applications come through (which it's looking like they might) I may have some tough choices coming up in the near future too...about whether to take another clerkship in Seattle (prestigious, pays well, responsible, career-building), or whether to take an unpaid job as legal counsel for an NGO in rural Kenya for a year. You can guess which one I'm leaning towards!;) But it's hard to turn down those tantalizingly 'responsible' jobs, especially when a crazy, wonderfully irresponsible one hasn't come through just yet. I am proud of you for having the patience and the courage to pursue your dreams. I only hope when the time comes for me to make that choice, I can do the same.

  2. 1. MIA is rad!
    2. The Poisonwood Bible is AMAZING.
    3. The field job wouldn't have been totally perfect because it was unpaid. You'll find the same type of job, but PAID! How do I know this? I don't for sure, but I had to wait a year and ended up finding a great job. If I had gotten a job right away last year, it wouldn't have been as good as the job I got this year. So I guess I'm saying, the universe is like a river, and you can either float where it takes you, or resist and get pulled under.

    That's my three bits.

  3. #2 is completely true, that is still my all-time favorite book tied with The Phantom Tollbooth. And I recommend it to everyone, just recommended it this weekend to yet another person! While in Mexico!!

    #1 & #3 are also true, but #2 is extra-ordinarily true. How that woman wrote so successfully in all those voices still boggles my mind. Perhaps it was destiny what with a last name of "Kingsolver." If I'd been born with that name, my novel would already have been written and I would be rich or much wealthier than I am, I think.