I’ve been fighting a persistent mind weasel, and I wanted to share about it. This mind weasel is one that I think we all have: self demoralization.
So, my baby sister is having a marriage ceremony in October, and I am her Maid of Honor. They were courthouse married in January for all kinds of reasons, which means most of the legal stuff is already done. That means I’m free (and almost required) to focus on the family side of it. I mean, most weddings are supposed to be about the joining of the people. This one gets to be, almost completely, about the joining of the families.
So, Will helped me fix my car last week. He’s been the one with the tools for almost as long as I can remember. He’s my Guy when it comes to almost anything mechanical. We have done all kinds of repairs together on many cars, in the 15 years that we’ve been adults.
A couple weeks ago the thermostat went on the Charger. I called my brother, and he confirmed everything I was thinking, and we defined when we were going to work on it, and what needed to be done. I also just rolled 150,000 miles on Mr Zeus, and the timing belt hadn’t been done (as far as I know), we decided to make a Saturday of it. The final list of things replaced (after three days and ~50 hours of labor): the thermostat, the timing belt, the water pump, and the idler pulley (which was a victim of an unfortunate accident involving a belt wrench and about 90 ft pounds of tork).
As people have heard about me working on my car, there’s been a variety of reactions, but a stunning majority of them have been in the oh-why-didn’t-you-call-me/my son/my brother/my father-to-do-the-work-for-you to holy-crap-you-are-the-most-amazing-person-ever-I-am-so-impressed family. While I’ve taken all of these compliments as they were intended, they’re troubling me. A whole lot.
And I’ll tell you why.
The intention is kind, but I think society’s expectations of women are far too low if me “working on my car” elicits this much compliment. Just because I can follow a set of directions and turn a wrench doesn’t make me a genius, and it shouldn’t make me that unique. It makes it clear that I’m unwilling to say “Oh, I can’t do that because of $ReasonICannotFathom.” Do I *like* working on cars? No. I also don’t like doing laundry, or the dishes. That doesn’t mean I *can’t*, or that it’s any more or less impressive when I do.
Too, there are TONS of mechanics out there that have next to no clue what they’re doing, and cost people all kinds of unnecessary expense due to their incompetence but are trusted more highly because they wear overalls.
To be clear, I am also no *less* impressed by any women (or man) that CHOOSES to NOT work on cars (or do the laundry or dishes). Or who don’t do it because they suck at it. I suck at all kinds of things. If I feel something is worth the investment of effort, I put the time into learning it. (linux, for example) IF you decide that car repair is not something you have any interest in learning, then don’t learn it.
I can do anything I need to. That includes working on cars. You can too, with practice.
Apple has done some very cool things with each iteration of iOS, and while I’m excited for iOS7, I still like the little ins and outs of iOS6. This trick was actually one I learned from the ultimate Apple hacker in my life, but I figured I’d post it for anyone that doesn’t have a fanboy in their pocket.
So, we all say things that autocorrrect doesn’t like. This is the easiest way to get around it I’ve found. Have some pictograph directions.
I quit my job yesterday.
The company I’ve been at for 6.5 years.
The job I’ve done for four of those years.
I am leaving the department I helped build. The company I put blood, sweat, and tears in to.
The most common question I’ve gotten: What made you quit?
It’s making people unsettled how simple the answer: Nothing. It’s just time to move on.
Today there was a little bit of kick-in-the-gut, and panic, as the “omg wat will we do without youuuuuuuu”‘s started to roll in. And I felt sick for a little bit. That kind of sick that makes you think about going back to that terrible relationship, because you can’t possible exists without the lover you’ve just left.
But this breakup wasn’t caused by a single, angry, moment. It’s just time for us to go our separate ways. And amicable break up means I won’t be gone until May 14th, but I’m no less full of anticipation.
And I cannot TELL you how excited I am to see the open road in front of me. Even if it’ll mean a little broken heart.