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{Please forgive the poor photo quality, this was not the outing I had planned.}

Day 23

This past week, was the kind of week that had me itching to get a dog.  Like from the beginning.  You know when you have those days/weeks/months/years, where it would just be easier to not be by yourself?  I have; increasingly.  A few months ago, I would have said that I needed one to get me through the long and lonely days of unemployment.  Every day was spent in solitude applying for jobs for up to ten hours at a time, and only occasionally would I find another fresh out of college friend to join me.  Now, I will tell you that my life has become the opposite of that in almost every way, except one.  Although I work four or five jobs, depending who you ask, and work overtime every single week, it turns out following your passion is not actually a paid career.  Most of my work is unpaid internships that have about a 5% chance of turning into a paid position.  So, not only do I have less time and more people in my life from the myriad of jobs I work, I still do not go out much.  And working so many jobs, I am at each job individually for a relatively low amount of hours per week.  Meaning, as is common for people like me, I am not forming strong bonds with most of the people I work with, and having five jobs is surprisingly lonely.  Especially since my shortest commute is just about two hours round trip.  So there is no time, and no money.

But don’t feel bad for me yet!

I am lucky to have a generous and established enough family that I can work several unpaid jobs while not paying rent.  Or groceries.  Or my phone bill. Or utilities.  Or insurance. Or…. okay you get it.  I am lucky. Very lucky.  I acknowledge this, but life is still hard.  Everybody has their own problems right?  Anyway, I still felt this void of loneliness between the long drives and various down time.  If you are anything like me, which I am guessing you are because you are reading a blog right now, then you are familiar with the theory put forth by Thomas Hobbes.  If not, allow me to paraphrase. People. Suck. Like, most of the time.  And for me, there is no better way to feel content than accommodating my introverted need for a lot of alone time than to snuggle up with a dog.  My dog does not judge me for burping loudly [mom], in fact he will probably join me, or at least get chronic puppy hiccups, because who knew that was actually a real thing!?

This past week, I did my usual hour and a half drive to Long Beach at 5:00AM to work ten straight hours at my unpaid internship.  I say it in a negative way because I think the mere idea that this is how the field of science works is absolutely absurd and needs to be changed, but make no mistake, every single thing I do in my life is to make it possible for me to work at this internship.  All of the extra jobs are purely to support myself through this job, or gain extra knowledge that may give me a competitive edge in some unforeseen way in some vague unknown future endeavor.  But this internship is my life, and the first time I ever got treated as an actual human with a brain at a job where am expected to be intelligent and engaged.  People do not shy away from telling me things because they know I will understand. It made me realize that in every job I have had previously, when people would tell me things, they say it with a tone of condescension, and I can tell as they are giving me instructions, they are expecting me not to understand.  Once again though, I am lucky.  I work there every Tuesday and Wednesday and I can sleep at a friends house in Long Beach, cutting my commute in half.  A friend really more like a sister.  What a deal. 

After working my two long days, we headed to my [actual] sisters house to have dinner.  At about 9:30PM I figured I had better drive the forty five minutes home since I had another entire work week to go before my sparing one day weekend. But alas, what the perfect time for my car not to start.  Everyone else having left in their own cars, I just looked down at Cruz who looked back at me with that little confused tilt head as puppies do.  It wasn’t the battery, but the way more obnoxious problem of a locked steering wheel.  Most may say, oh just jiggle it till it comes loose!  Which is easier said then done with my spaghetti arms.  So I called upon my older, wiser, but more importantly, buffer, sister.  She came right down from her apartment, but was also unable to sway it. 

After waiting over an hour for AAA, the guy proceeds to completely fix the issue in less than 30 seconds.  Isn’t that always the way?  So Cruz hopped up in my front seat and curled into a ball.  We started the drive home a few hours later than planned, but at least we were on our way.  Midnight on the 405.  Sweet.  But wait, dead stop traffic.  At this point, Cruz was just keeping me sane.  With another fifty hour work week ahead of me, sitting on the freeway in the middle of the night was certainly not the relaxing evening I had planned.  But one look at Cruz sleeping peacefully next to me, made it feel more like an adventure than any kind of unfortunate incident. All of a sudden it was a girl and her dog against all odds, and the devilish traffic demons of Los Angeles, and I felt I could have sat there all night and been just fine.  Not that I wasn’t thrilled the moment I passed the slight rear end fender bender that apparently required three police cars, four fire trucks, road flares, and the closure of the left two lanes. (!?!?!?!?) Dumb.  We made it home and both collapsed into bed for a few hours sleep before a grueling week.              

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