Thursday, June 21, 2012

It would be less painful if I just hired a career counselor.

Sometimes, I think that men only come into my life to give me a push in the right direction--frequently a career direction. Once they have sufficiently advanced my skills, interests, or prospects, they are gone.

My first two boyfriends didn't do much in this respect, except maybe to get me used to having boyfriends, so that when future boyfriends came along, I would be open to their influential effects.

My third boyfriend, though he probably didn't even know it (That was you, Geoff. Thanks), played a significant role in me going into Web design. Although, by the time I met him, I had already dabbled a little bit in HTML, he had dabbled more. I was so impressed by the stuff he had made on the Internet, I knew I had to get better at it! Maybe I wanted to impress him a little in return. But that was to no avail. Before long, he was gone.

My fourth love interest of non-boyfriend status was a software developer. He was technically a Java guy, but since his company's product was delivered over the Web, he necessarily spent a lot of time creating front-end stuff in HTML. He is the one who taught me how to write and test my own JavaScript code, which I loved almost as much as I loved him. Until he was gone.

My fifth guy, of unofficial boyfriend status, came into my life and promptly attempted to be me. I showed him the basics of HTML, and he became obsessed and bought books and books on web development (function, not form). He spent hours ceaselessly working on these bloated sites that had lots of techy features and looked awful. I was offended because he was encroaching on my domain (and had in fact overshadowed my scripting abilities), so I attempted to uphold my status by creating sites that didn't look awful. At that time, I was studying Publications Design. From him, I mainly learned to hold myself to higher design standards and not just create useless things because I could. As you can probably guess, we had a pretty strained relationship. But soon he was gone.

Six and Seven probably would have had some influence on my life choices, except that neither would commit to anything, so I kind of bounced back and forth between them for about a year. They were completely at odds with each other in terms of career-and-lifestyle effect, thus concurrently canceling each other out.

The one who finally did get through to me with job advice was my eighth love interest and fourth (and current) official boyfriend. When I met him, I was run ragged by my two low-paying jobs, whereas he worked a flexible schedule, could work from home once a week and take a day off every two weeks, was paid 60-some thousand dollars a year for 40 hours a week, and got paid vacations and sick time. And he still complained. Compared to my work, his was heaven. If heaven wasn't good enough for him, then I really had it bad. He encouraged me to apply for jobs with the government, and so I did. I ended up with a job in state government, which is not quite the same as his federal job, but still comes with a lot of the benefits I sought.

Now that I am stably employed and unlikely to go back to the world of two part-time jobs, it looks like my boyfriend's work here is done. He just recently got a job offer in California. Figures. He's served his purpose as career advisor for Valerie, and if the past is any indication, the next logical step is for him to soon be gone. I wish it were not so, but what you wish and what you get are so rarely the same in the world of love and the lack thereof.