Career Advice from a Tarot Card Reader

tarot cards

Stepping into the shop was like entering the wand store in Harry Potter. The store was small, dark and filled with crystals, swords, and rows of books on mysticism, goddesses and sacred texts. Velvet chairs faced a fireplace and the proprietor immediately launched into a rant about how much he hates the term “new age” (the mysticism he practices is ancient).

I was there to have my tarot cards read. A friend of mine had seen a card reader in this mysticism shop and recommended him as a particularly intuitive guy. I was immediately curious. At 30, with several years of work experience under my belt (and many, many more ahead), I’m trying to figure out what I want in my career. I’ve started taking time to reflect on this a few times a year, and decided that a tarot card reading would be a good start for my springtime reflection. I don’t personally believe that there is magic in the cards, and certainly wasn’t expecting him to predict my future or anything, but I figured it was guaranteed to be something to reflect on. (read more…)

How to Be Bad at Something

I'm not bad, just bad at singing.

 Bad: [adj.] not good in any manner or degree.

 

I’m a terrible singer, but at this time last year, I signed up for singing lessons—mostly because as poorly as I sing, I really like doing it. Belting out pop songs and show tunes makes me happy, and I thought taking a few lessons might build a bit of confidence (not to mention help me with my pitch) and make it even more fun. I did this despite knowing that I would never be good at it fundamentally, and in the process, I learned some important rules of thumb for how to be bad at something.

The basics of how to enjoy being bad are simple: Pick an activity you enjoy doing for fun but are pretty bad at, and laugh when you mess up. These instructions are, of course, deceptively simple. The tricky part is maintaining the attitude of actually enjoying that you’re bad at something. Here’s how to do that successfully: (read more…)

Namesake: On Being Small (Or, How to Name a Blog)

Wisława Szymborska, Kraków, 1980, photo: Wojciech Plewiński / Forum
Wisława Szymborska, Kraków, 1980, photo: Wojciech Plewiński / Forum

We struggled to pick a name for this site. We wanted to give a sense of the topics areas we’ll be addressing without being too literal, too self-helpy, or too limiting since this site focuses on career and work, but also greater life choices. We brainstormed, researched, and tested out ideas (the runner up was “The Sounding Line,” after a nautical tool for measuring depths). We thought about literary references (James and the Giant Peach), biological themes (equilibrium, symbiosis), and object analogies (Newton’s Cradle). (read more…)