The Glass Is Half Full

Here’s an interesting blog I started reading that is written by a student I had 12-13 years ago and we kept in touch. She was smart as a whip, funny and outgoing, played Women’s Rugby, and a fun person and one of those kids you remember long after you have had them in class. At any rate, she is going through what a lot of young adults her age are going through, which is after seven years as a successful copywriter, she was given a pink slip and has decided to make some big changes. Here is her first post, and those of you who know someone her age (or are her age) or are going through a similar experience might find it an interesting read.

I like the optimism and the never say never attitude. Oh, and if you need a copywriter, let me know.

51 replies
  1. 1
    Betty Cracker says:

    I told her I’d go to Hawaii, which sounded like the best of the options she listed (all of them were pretty good, except living with mum and dad again). But truthfully, if I were her age and unattached, I might move to a different country altogether. Sadly, the sanest ones seem to have the most foul weather, though.

  2. 2
    Evelyn says:

    Dude, Austin rules, as you can surely attest, John. There’s nothing better than starting over in a city where you can get tacos and live music 24/7.

  3. 3

    I love it. Linked and blogrolled.

    I did pretty much the same thing in February 1982. I was 29, teaching at a school in California. It closed out from under me and suddenly I was 3,000 miles from my parents, no job, no income, and … what? I drove back to Ohio, but on the way — halfway across New Mexico — I looked north to the Rocky Mountains and remembered that the University of Colorado had a theatre program. I didn’t know if they had a graduate program — I already had my masters — but when I got to Toledo I called them up and found out they did. I applied, and got in. (I thought they were amazed at my background, but it turned out they were desperate for grad students, so the fact that I had a pulse and a good credit rating got me in.) That fall I started… and I can track the changes and growth in my adult life and career by seeing the sign in New Mexico that said “I – 25 North to Colorado.”

    I wish her the best of luck and know it will work out beautifully.

  4. 4
    jl says:

    @Betty Cracker: I agree. The Maui plan sounds best, unless that man she kissed turns out to be a bounder(!) Then I’d say San Diego, where she can learn to surf too.

  5. 5
    cathyx says:

    And what is that age?

  6. 6

    Moved to SD to figure out what to do next and never left. I did, however, wonder what in the hell took me so long to get down here.

  7. 7
    Violet says:

    She’s got an embarrassment of riches. All those places sound great. Lucky girl. Really can’t go wrong with any of them.

  8. 8
    PsiFighter37 says:

    Very cool. I am going to Austin tomorrow for the weekend, so will be interested to see if it loves up to the hype.

    I tell myself that if I ever got laid off, no matter the circumstances, my first reaction would be to hit the road or the skies and not come back for at least 6 months.

  9. 9
    Fergus Wooster says:

    Austin. Great atmosphere, great food, and good as agencies.

    GSDM is an outfit she should look at. I know a couple copywriters there who love it.

  10. 10
    Violet says:

    Austin does get hot in the summer. If you haven’t lived in that kind of heat, it’s something to think about. There’s a/c and it’s less humid than some places but it’s still hot.

  11. 11
    Anoniminous says:

    … constantly reverberate the saying, Do not grow up, it is a trap.

    It is a trap. “I have seen the best minds of my generation … ” & etc. etc. And why at sixty mumblty-mumblty I’m



    I never did.

  12. 12

    I am looking to be out of a job in three months. The options she has are an embarrassment of riches to be honest.

  13. 13
    cathyx says:

    @Litlebritdiftrnt: From a comment I read of yours a few days ago, you have an embarrassment of riches in job options too.

  14. 14
  15. 15
    Lolis says:


    As someone who lives in Austin, I can say it probably won’t live up to the hype, and I’m not trying to be mean. Austin is a great place to live but there is not a lot going on during the day.

  16. 16
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    The irony is, the so called “adults” in the Village are arrested in High School. And they claim to be “Very Serious People”.

  17. 17
    TOP123 says:

    @Lolis: not to mention an additional winter allergy season that is the sux.

    That said, when is the Austin meetup?

  18. 18
    Lolis says:


    Yep, Cedar has been kicking my ass for the past several weeks.

  19. 19
    Francis says:

    Texas? No. California or Hawaii.

  20. 20
    LT says:

    I left a reply (India), but it and no other replies are showing up.

  21. 21
    LT says:

    @Betty Cracker: “Sadly, the sanest ones seem to have the most foul weather, though.”

    Australia? Germany, even?

  22. 22
    Anoniminous says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    We journalists make it a point to know very little about an extremely wide variety of topics; this is how we stay objective. — David Barry

  23. 23
    LT says:

    @Lolis: And you can’t spend the entire summer in the river, right?

  24. 24
    raven says:

    When I was 35 my then wife finished her doctorate and we moved to Athens. I didn’t want to leave Urbana but I said I’d go where she went and I did. She’s been gone for over 10 years and I’m still here. Shit works out.

  25. 25
    Anoniminous says:


    Guessing she is talking about the Nordics: Iceland, Norway Sweden, Denmark, and Finland.

  26. 26
    LT says:

    @Anoniminous: Fair enough – they are the sanest, really.

  27. 27
    Roger Moore says:

    There is some upside to growing up. We usually associate growing up with desirable traits like experience, responsibility, dependability, and not being completely self-centered. I think the goal should be to grow up in the ways that give you those good parts of being an adult without losing one’s childish sense of wonder and possibility.

  28. 28
    WereBear says:

    She should try Australia. When will this chance come again? She only has until 31.

    But of course, going where the wind blows us means we don’t fight a force stronger than ourselves.

    Speaking of which, I went ice fishing for the first time, and wrote a blog about it!

    Every time I’ve made plans, they haven’t worked out… but what happened was usually better!

  29. 29
    Keith G says:

    Speaking of Austin and things Texan, I am listening to Lucinda Williams’ album, Car Wheels On A Gravel Road (1998). Lucinda spent a few years building her chops in Austin and Houston.

    Links for two of the better songs.

  30. 30
    LanceThruster says:

    As soon asI tidy up a bit I can manage boarders in CA high desert. Must love cats. I take the train to downtown LA.

  31. 31
    mai naem(mobile) says:

    I would go to Australia. She won’t get the chance again. As long as she can get work permits etc. Or new Zealand Not Hawaii. It’ll be expensive. San Diego or Austin and I have a feeling San Diego will be better job wise.

  32. 32
    mai naem(mobile) says:

    I don’t know why three posts. Sorry.

  33. 33
    Anoniminous says:

    @Roger Moore:

    My experience is people who have “grown up” jettisoned wonder and possibility as soon as they could.

  34. 34
    Keith G says:

    @mai naem(mobile): You seem to be quite sorry, and you really want to go to Australia. ;)

  35. 35
    WereBear says:

    @Anoniminous: My take on “grown up” is far more awesome than that.

    Childhood was being ordered around and enduring ridiculous decisions that affected my whole life and being without having any input, or indeed, even any right to complain.

    While being a grownup means I have far more control over my own destiny.

    It is glorious!

  36. 36
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    San Diego or Austin is a coin flip to me. They’re both progressive, young, hip cities with reasonable cost of living and enough commerce going on to support freelance copywriting gigs. She’d fit in really well in either one.

    I realize she’s sweet on the beautiful man from Maui that she kissed but there’s beautiful men in other places too.

  37. 37

    Go to Australia. Nothing like living in another country to broaden one’s horizons.

  38. 38
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    Stationed three years in Germany, here. Yes, the weather can blow. Particularly in winter. Brrrrr!

  39. 39
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Roger Moore:

    not being completely self-centered.

    Well, there’s your problem, right there, with Rethuglicans, teahadis, and glibertarians (in particular).

  40. 40
    Anoniminous says:


    Being a child was a drag. Grown men and women being childish, e.g., never getting past High School, is annoying. Or sad.


  41. 41
    Betty Cracker says:

    @LT: I nearly froze to death in Germany in October. I don’t think November-March would agree with me. Australia seems too much like the US to bother with emigrating. They don’t seem QUITE as psychotic as us, but damn near it. Anon above had it right: I was thinking of the Nordic countries, but the climate would kill me. Anyway, who am I kidding? I’m stuck in Florida, probably for life. I can’t even muster the will to move to a saner state.

  42. 42
    Betty Cracker says:

    @WereBear: I have a similar view of childhood and adulthood. I’d never go back to being a child — never! Not being in control of your own destiny sucks donkey dung. I’m currently reading Justice Sotomayor’s memoir, and she seems to have the same view. Maybe it comes of having somewhat unreliable parenting.

  43. 43
    WereBear says:

    @Betty Cracker: Maybe it comes of having somewhat unreliable parenting.

    Yeah… when you are the most competent one on the room sometimes, and yet you aren’t listened to… that’s a factor too!

  44. 44
    StringOnAStick says:

    A good friend’s daughter is in Australia on a work permit and absolutely loves it. She’s been there over 2 years now, and as long as there is a need for your skills, the work permit isn’t that hard to get (she’s a massage therapist) and they have a strong economy and a great attitude about time off. Good place to learn how to surf too. Oh, and universal health care.

  45. 45
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @StringOnAStick: And shitloads of venomous critters.

  46. 46
    satby says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: yeah, I replied before I saw the post about Australia but I suggested going to a different country too. I told her to go big while she can.

  47. 47
    LT says:

    @Betty Cracker: “I nearly froze to death in Germany in October. I don’t think November-March would agree with me.”

    Yeah, I’m from Buffalo. Bring on the skates! And even there, as in central and northern Europe, spring, summer, and fall are truly awesome.

    “Australia seems too much like the US to bother with emigrating. They don’t seem QUITE as psychotic as us, but damn near it.”

    Well, I sneeringly tell my Aussie wife that Australia – after living here for three years – is the U.S.’s dopey little brother. Honestly, it just drives me nuts sometimes how deeply the U.S. is accepted/invited/engrained in this culture. But there are overt differences – the earth, ocean, and wildlife, and it’s also international (in cities, big and small, if not rurally) in a differnt way from us. There are more subtle differences, too, which I am still getting my head around. Tall poppy syndrome, for example – which of course exists in the U.S. – is more noticeably active here.

    In any case – I suggested India.

  48. 48
    LT says:

    @Betty Cracker: And to add: I ws kind of let down when I moved here. I expected it to be more different, wanted it to be *harder, or something. Way too much like U.S.

  49. 49
    LT says:

    @WereBear: Awesome. Grew up in Buffalo – and never ice-fished! Crazy!

  50. 50
    WaterGirl says:

    I am way past 29, but I couldn’t stop reading her blog! Just 7 days? I want more!

    She’s a great writer, and I can’t wait to see what she does next. No wonder you would remember her long after she was your student.

  51. 51
    Jenny says:

    @WaterGirl: This comment made me smile so hard. I don’t think age matters. I think it’s really about being yourself and if you can relate to me or my writing or my experiences than you’re a welcome addition to my new blog family. Thank you for such wonderfully encouraging words. And to Professor Cole, I am speechless. Thank you for everything.

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