to be alone, to be overwhelmed, to experience the relief of crawling out

A snippet that made me pause today, stolen from here.

On the Conan O’Brien show, C.K. explained why: “You need to build an ability to just be yourself and not be doing something. That’s what the phones are taking away,” he said. “Underneath in your life there’s that thing … that forever empty … that knowledge that it’s all for nothing and you’re alone … That’s why we text and drive … because we don’t want to be alone for a second.”

He recalled a moment driving his car when a Bruce Springsteen song came on the radio. It triggered a sudden, unexpected surge of sadness. He instinctively went to pick up his phone and text as many friends as possible. Then he changed his mind, left his phone where it was, and pulled over to the side of the road to weep. He allowed himself for once to be alone with his feelings, to be overwhelmed by them, to experience them with no instant distraction, no digital assist. And then he was able to discover, in a manner now remote from most of us, the relief of crawling out of the hole of misery by himself. For if there is no dark night of the soul anymore that isn’t lit with the flicker of the screen, then there is no morning of hopefulness either. As he said of the distracted modern world we now live in: “You never feel completely sad or completely happy, you just feel … kinda satisfied with your products. And then you die. So that’s why I don’t want to get a phone for my kids.”

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Interview Tips for the Shivering Recent Grad (and tangentials)

– if you don’t know what you’re doing and want your college experience to help you figure out your life, go to a small liberal arts one that will put you in intimate settings and personal relationships with people who have bigger ideas than you. the big places have the big opportunities, but if you don’t know what you’re supposed to taking advantage of, they’ll be missed

– if you end up going to a big college anyways, make personal connections wherever you can. take part in things that inspire you, and don’t be afraid to be in awe of awesome people because that’s the first step to learning stuff for yourself. make your big college a smaller experience for you; compose your own communities and safety nets and expansive networks, too

– go abroad.

– don’t stress out so much your final year. you may or may not get acid reflux problems and COME ON you’re only a 20-something

– prepare for phone interviews by researching online. literally the whole wide world of information is at your green little fingertips. take advantage and write things down and come up with answers that you believe in on your best day; that you wish for on your worst.

– interviewing is a practice-able skill. you will feel inadequate and underqualified for almost everything, and this feeling is mostly accurate. unless you have staked out a career or an ultimate dream or that ever-elusive “long-term plans” every recruiter seems to ask about, you will feel too vague and too general and too pointless — too everything but employable, because very often, the Reason why you feel like you’re passionate about sales is Mostly and Honestly because you just need a job. but this, too, shall pass. you is kind you is smart you is important. if you don’t believe in that sentence, get to work at making it true.