this is progress.

This post contains affiliate links, because I like money, but I s2g I wrote this post before adding the affiliate links and the monetization does not affect my opinions.

airplane safety placard infant water flotation device lifevest

a pictorial dumpling recipe

Henlo, friends.

I’m writing this post with my feet propped up on a chair at the dining room table while I wait for the Chinese herbal tea simmering in the kitchen to reach its full potency. My runny nose and I are working our way through a box of tissues, the cat is using the living room as her personal racetrack while she yells continuously (a Big Moodβ„’), and my partner is perched on the Korean War-era military footlocker trunk we use as a coffee table, playing Grand Theft Auto V.

Last week I was in New York City for only the second time in my life, tagging along on my boyfriend’s business trip. It was equal parts enthralling and exhausting to wander around Manhattan by myself, and by the fourth day, I was completely wiped out, partially because I’d spent the entire day prior wandering the Met until my soul was replenished and my feet were blistered, but mostly because my partner was working normal business hours, and it was damn tiring to be out and about and always watching my own stuff, my own drinks, my own back, always aware of how much time was left until sunset when I should stop being visibly alone in public. I admire women who travel solo. I don’t know how they do it.

But even though I spent the latter half of the trip Netflix-and-despairing in our hotel room (mainlining Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and short circuiting over the steaming pile of shit that is Brett Kavanaugh), I loved NYC in a way I haven’t ever loved anywhere but San Francisco – in a way that made me feel like I’d enjoy living there.

anal street - canal street subway - new york city mta

(insert “nyc i’m in you” joke)

(wow that was an unintended triple(?) entendre)

Granted, I haven’t traveled all that much, so there are probably plenty of diverse cities with solid public transportation systems that I’d enjoy spending my prime childbearing years in. London seems promising, for one.

But I don’t think I’d ever actually go through with it, not for anything less than the death of the people I love most and a disgustingly lucrative job. I am far too comfortable and too content and too scared to leave San Francisco any time soon.

And beyond the thicket of fear that is the prospect of uprooting my life here, of moving far enough away from my mom and my family and friends that the number of times I can expect to see them before they or I die dwindles from the hundreds into the dozens, is the insidious thought that I wouldn’t be able to survive in New York City unless I were working a high-paying tech job.

Then again, I don’t think I can survive in San Francisco unless I’m working a high-paying tech job either.

It’s too black and white to be true, the idea that I have to either have a tech job or die. (After all, why not both?)

But it feels true. I know it’s just a story I tell myself out of habit, and I’m working on finding a new angle, but it’s like every time I try to look at it directly, it goes blurry around the edges and I can’t hold it in my mind.

Every few days (or hours), I regret quitting my six-figure tech job, but I’m trying to remind myself how unequivocally awful it was to work at my previous company. Reading the wall of one-star reviews (including my own) on their Glassdoor page helps. So does repeating the words of men I’ve worked with – words like “I’m sorry” and “As I’ve heard more of the stuff that you had to deal with, I’m more and more surprised you stayed as long as you did.”

I can’t yet see a way forward that doesn’t involve either forcing myself into another tech job, or dying. I’m trying to remind myself that my emotions make sense. That my response was a reasonable one, and that if I don’t or can’t work in tech again, I’ll still be okay, somehow. That it’s possible I’ll recover my original enthusiasm for web development, given enough time and room to breathe. And that until then, my most important task is trying to not feel guilty or useless or like a waste of space. Or a human leech. Or a liability.

I’m trying, and sometimes it doesn’t work particularly well. (Especially not lately. It feels immorally self-indulgent to be contemplating my career when this country is hurtling back into the 1800s and this planet is hurtling toward total catastrophe.)

So to help myself, here’s a partial list of things I’ve done over the past month-ish that have made me feel like a productive human:

Read more…

fantasy shopping league: helloharriet’s furbaby cards & accessories

This post contains affiliate links, because I like money, but I s2g I wrote this post before adding the affiliate links and the monetization does not affect my opinions.

I recently discovered the UK-based Etsy shopΒ Hello Harriet through Little Alien, and now, more than ever, I wish I had a doggo to call my own, so I could tell my G O O D B O Y E that he’s a 1st rate floofer:

helloharriet etsy first rate floofer doge pet collar id tag dog cat

1st Rate Floofer pet collar charmΒ by Hello Harriet, $17.55 on Etsy

(WHAT A GOOD DOG!!!)

But until I’m ready for a fluff of my own, maybe I can convince Augustus to convince Lulu (short for Lucifer, full name Lucifer Muffinbutz) to wear a collar even though she’s an indoor cat, since this is pretty much her attitude all day every day unless there are bonito flakes involved:

helloharriet etsy NOPE cat collar id tag charm pendant

Nope pet collar charm by Hello Harriet, $14.85 on Etsy

But if we can’t get the Muffalo on board with this new sartorial direction, I’d be content just enjoying the awkward silence of making eye contact with someone on public transportation as they look up to see who’s carrying this gloriously discomfiting tote bag:

helloharriet etsy cat tote bag awkward silence antisocial funny

Awkward Silence cat tote bag by Hello Harriet, $17.55 on Etsy

Or making up excuses to give people these heckin good greeting cards:

helloharriet etsy doge birthday greeting card meme shibe wow

Doge meme birthday card by Hello Harriet, $4.05 on Etsy

He has a heart on his head because he loves you.

helloharriet etsy new baby shower arrival card congratulations puppy kitten

Congratulations On Your Smol Arrival card by Hello Harriet, $4.05 on Etsy

SEEKING A MEME-LOVING FRIEND WITH A BABBY ON THE WAY SO I CAN SEND YOU THIS CARD

helloharriet etsy funny send nudes cat greeting card

Send Nudes cat greeting card by Hello Harriet, $4.05 on Etsy

Keepin’ it classy.

helloharriet etsy anniversary card would marry again dogrates

12/10 Would Marry Again anniversary card by Hello Harriet, $4.05 on Etsy

If the love doesn’t feel like @dog_rates completely ignoring conventional scoring systems for every single dog in existence, I don’t want it.

YOU’RE WELCOME.