Friday, November 16, 2012

My funny resume

Tonight, I fell asleep around 9 pm. Then I woke up at 1 am. I could blame sleep deprivation or jet lag. I'm still behind on sleep after a week and a half jaunt around Europe. But I don't need to blame anyone or anything, because that's not what's important right now.

The reason I'm still awake, and why I've decided to finally write my blog now, as it nears 3 am, is because I'm finally doing the single most productive thing I've done all day. I'm editing my resume.

There's nothing so mutually terrifying and wonderful as fixing up one's resume. Only two months into the school year and I'm already thinking about how I can make myself look like a more sophisticated candidate for jobs than I did at this time a year ago. And surprisingly, I feel pretty positive about the look of things.

Last year marked what I would call the 12 months of my lowest confidence. While some of the most significant occurrences of my life happened during this time (i.e. the birth of my niece, my first internship, my second internship, my first car accident, etc. etc.), they were coupled with a crippling sense of inadequacy brought on by silly teenager things. Love, loss, dependency, etc. I was acting like a regular toddler in a 19 year old's body.

Still, I managed to get through each and every one of those days unscathed, hopeful that eventually I'd rediscover myself as the intelligent and positive person that I was before my life became dramatic. So, essentially, I was looking to get over myself.

Maybe I haven't actually gotten over myself in the past few months. It could just be a delusion. But I feel as though with many of my "firsts" behind me, I'm finally ready to start living life as any normal person would. The prospect of new experiences are less daunting when they don't require you to go beyond your comfort zone. But to get out of that comfort zone, you have to have the experiences in the first place.

It's these firsts that bring me full circle, and back to the topic of returning to my resume.

Looking back at old versions - and I've preserved each and every step along my resume-building history in a folder in my computer titled "Resumes" - I realize how I've gone from understatement to overcompensation, minimalism to a three-page long monster that I needed to desperately chop down.

I remember being a freshman in college and asking one of the sophomores I knew whether or not I should still be including my high school extracurricular experience on my resume. She told me that once you'd been in university for over a year, it was time to take "Editor-in-Chief of my high school newspaper" off the docket.

It took time to come to grips with this reality. It can be especially hard when you start to believe you've plateaued a few years back, only to see a steady decline in the ratio of your intelligence to everyone else in the world's intelligence. Looking back at high school, I knew I was the bee's knees (at least in journalism). But entering a journalism school and writing for publications with dozens of other talented people, it becomes difficult to see myself as anything other than ordinary.

There's a sense of bipolarity that develops - on one side you believe you can achieve anything. I've been told all my life that I have the capacity for greatness. Maybe I should take the perspective with a grain of salt since it mainly came from the kind and loving adulation of my parents.

The other side of the bipolarity is that nagging feeling like you'll never be quite good enough. There are so many successful people in the world, but for some reason their fates feel unreachable by personal standards.

I don't know that I feel that way anymore.

Tonight, at 1 am, I started moving forward. I pulled out the old resume and got back to work. I looked at it, edited it, looked at it again, edited it some more, laughed at myself for my meticulousness, then got back to work so that I could make this paper that represents me actually representative of me.

Looking forward, I'm just excited to see where the sheet of paper can take me. I can only imagine that in the future it will become longer and more beautiful, attesting to a life and career of growth and happiness.

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