Week 7-Burgers & Deep Thoughts

Assignment for this week was to apply to 2 jobs and join a local or national industry-related business organization. However, I’m in Prague visiting family for the next 2 weeks so we’ll be taking a break from the internship, starting up again on Monday, December 26th. That said, I’ve applied to 2 jobs since last week: a Marketing Specialist role at Zillow Group and a Product Communications Associate role at Tesla

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The following is based on true events.

A greasy burger bag slams on the corner of my desk as I polish off my work day. Rich Guldi, fellow blogger, Job Search Internship colleague, and hungry man has broken his 12-hour fast and succumb to a cheeseburger, fries, and strawberry shake. Like Kramer, his visits are always welcome. “It’s hardwork to maintain a strong network of friends, man” he grumbles as he sits in the adjacent empty cube and unwraps the grease-stained wax paper & picks off a dollop of cheese.

“What do you mean?” I throw over my shoulder, glued to the computer screen.

“I think it’s hard to juggle everything: school, work, a relationship, friends, family, all while exercising & eating healthy, all while maintaining healthy friendships,” Rich says, pausing to dip some french fries in his shake.

A beat as the weight of what he says settles into me. I recall a conversation we had a few months earlier where he explained how he had compromised a lot things in his life, family, diet, health, friends, to fully dedicate himself to Microsoft. And finally, after 5 years, he reflected and realized the repercussions of this decision.

Thinking out loud, “I agree, however, I also think happiness has a lot to do with the communities your part of. When we become adults, we by default end up having only 2 communities: family* & work. But to be truly satisfied, you need to have at least 3. Whether that’s your family, your co-workers, church friends, philanthropy, passion-related, or fitness-related, 3 is the minimum to cater to all the needs of your human spirit.”

*NOTE-Family & friends are categorized together

Aldous Huxley once said the bigger a city gets, the more anonymous you can feel. Hence, stressing the importance of identifying your inner circles and building more if those aren’t enough. In small towns where “everyone knows everyone,” the town becomes your unintended 3rd community. The clerk at the hardware store, the waitress at the Mexican restaurant, and your neighbor are all people you chat with weekly. But in bigger cities, more options breed more feelings of randomness. Everything multiplies making social networks huge and complex. Now, instead of 1 Mexican restaurant there’s 20 to choose from, not to mention there’s 30 employees, making the chances of interacting with the same server ten folds more unlikely.

Pulling myself back to the present, I polished up my thought, “the reason why most aren’t happy even when they have a well paying job & a family is because they lack that 3rd or 4th community in their life.” Those other communities harbor more power than you can imagine: they challenge you, keep you curious, provide opportunity to new experiences and people you’ve never met. All things that keep us mentally & spiritually stimulated.

“Interesting,” Rich says through a mouthful of french fries. “But if that’s what we need, then why don’t more people recognize that?”

“Because we’re distracted with our 1st 2 communities: work & family” I say as I toss my pack over my shoulder and head out to hangout with my brother.

~JK

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