Upon looking at my usual mountain of things I need to accomplish today, I have decided to confront the issue I having been facing for the past 8 months: I need a personal assistant.
I noticed this at when I was going through my notes in my phone to find one of my to-do lists. There are a few dozen, at least. I found this wonderful note I left to myself some time ago, which I proceeded to edit with a list of names I like and would consider for my own children. If you are my friend and you are reading this, consider your future children not allowed to have these names. If you name your child one of these, I will probably disown you.
This is probably an accurate representation of how exhausted I am on a typical basis. First of all, if I am ever awake before 9, that is typically a bad sign (3 or 4AM is my bedtime so this is justified). Second of all, I am writing myself “Hang in there” notes reminding myself that this semester too will end. Third of all, I was for whatever different and exciting reason that 1. I was listing the names of the children I want to have eventually in the distant future and 2. I added it to a completely unrelated note – suggesting my possible confusion or delirium at the time. Maybe I was telling myself “You know DandyLion – your life is what most people consider a living hell. And while you skip through it la-de-dah like it’s no big deal – deep inside, you know you’re really tired and want to sleep more than anything. But we both know that’s not possible. Good news though! After probably 6-7 more years and you attain your Ph.D., there is a light at the tunnel! Provided you have found someone that will marry you despite your fun quirkiness, there are kids somewhere in the far-far-away future! Children! Look to the kids!”
I’m pretty tired as I am writing this and probably won’t remember what that meant in the morning but it seems to make sense now. If ou have any questions as to how embarrassed I must get by the openness of my blogging, here is your answer: I don’t have the embarrassment bone. I feel no shame! I believe in honesty – and more so I believe in sillyness. Anyhow…
It is amazing to me, actually, that there is a tangible need for a 20 year old to need a personal assistant. If I heard anyone else my age say they had this problem, I would probably have to quell an urge to strike them across the face. (Not really – I’m completely a non-violent person… but I would probably look at them as though they were some kind of dimwit and elect not to spend any time with them, ever.)
However, I have a real issue. I am one of the most organized persons I know; you have to be with a schedule like mine. Most days, I go for 15-16 hours straight without a break for food and definitely without what a normal person would consider anything resembling a respite from their daily tasks. I am a college student, yes – but let’s face it: if you are a driven college student, you are busier than many adults with careers. For example:
I have 19 credit hours.
I have a part time job that varies from 21-25 hours per week.
I have an internship that is approximately 15 hours per week that I have to commute via metro to (+3 hours).
I do research in a clinical psychology center.
I do research with one professor and graduate student during the week.
I do research with the same professor but another graduate student also during the week.
I am in the process of undergoing a lot of work that involves heavy advising, leaving me with about 4-5 extraneous hours of meeting times.
I am in the process of completing what I need to complete for my graduate school applications.
I am also completing a 4-year college program in essentially 2 years (really, 3).
In the time that I am not scheduled, I do have to do things like homework and studying.
Not to mention that I may want to spend a few hours with the minimal close friends I have at the University… and talk to my family every once in a while.
I know for a fact that I am forgetting things. These will include mostly your more basic things: food shopping, eating, showering, sleeping… but I don’t do much of those. For example, I had my first actual meal of the entire week tonight. Today is Thursday. I have not had time to sit down and consume a complete meal until Thursday: five-sevenths of the way through the week. That is absurd. So anything that regular people do every day are not a part of my daily schedule; like I said, I go for about 15-16 hours straight usually without eating a meal.
Therefore, when I need to do things like buy people birthday presents, buy people thank you presents, write thank you notes, go out for the occasional celebratory dinner, go food shopping, make meals (I won’t buy ready made food. I cook everything fresh. I abhor American eating pattens. Food should be food. FRESH food. Actually out of the ground. So that’s what I eat.) and so on and so forth, I cut out more of the few hours I sleep every night. On average, I sleep about 5 hours per night. I know this is horrible for you. I do not have much of a choice. I want to sleep, trust me. My pillow is my best friend and closest confidant (hyperbole… but I do love my bed).
So anything that is slightly extracurricular, I do not have time to do. I just don’t. There isn’t physical space in my schedule for me to do them. There are some things that I have been trying to do for literally months and months. For example – my white Ralph Lauren oxford shirt had a huge, horrible pink stain on the back of it. Now, normally I love pink. But I don’t know where it came from, how it got there, or how long it had been there. It looked like pink highliter had thrown up on the back of my shirt and then someone tried to sort of dab it a way with a wet paper towel but really didn’t make that much of an effort.
This is my favorite white Ralph Lauren oxford shirt I’m talking about here. A staple in my wardrobe. Ridiculous as it sounds, I can’t go months without it. It needs to be incorporated in my outfits from time to time. It is important to me that it is included.
I just last week, 4 months after noticing the stain’s presence, finally brought the shirt to dry cleaning to have the stain removed. Good news: they were successful in its removal. Bad news: my closet cried every day for months in my shirt’s absence.
Let me provide another example: For my study abroad applications, I needed to have two recommendations written for me: one in English and one in Spanish. The letters were written for me (I’m assuming beautifully – I did not have the privilege of seeing them) far before the deadline. Usually, in thanks for such types of favors, I bring people my favorite litter treat: A fresh Sprinkles cupcake, wrapped super pretty with bright stickers.
These letters were written for me in January. It is not practically April. Spring has arrived. The sun is desperately trying to fight off the cold winter weather and winds.
I have still not had the opportunity to make the 1-hour, round-trip venture into Georgetown to purchase this thank you gift. That is pathetic. I mean it, it’s completely wretched and abhorrent behavior. It is thoughtless and inappropriate. When somebody take the time, effort, and energy to do something nice for you, you do something nice back for them. It is extremely basic to say “thank you”. And while I have the common courtesy to have done that already, I still have not gotten around to my cupcake tradition. And for that, I am ashamed of myself.
“But DandyLion, you don’t have to go all out. You could have brought them a chocolate bar or something. It doesn’t have to be so complicated.”
“Lovely observation OscarTheKnowItAll. You’re right, I could have done that.”
And I tried to do that. But I do not see these people on a regular basis and do not venture into their native grazing areas. I have chocolate bars sitting on one of my 5 desks. I literally have not had the time to walk it over. I literally (I am saying literally because I mean literally) have not had time to even go on a walk – and that is also something that is very important to me.
“But DandyLion, if you have no time at all, then why do you always write these really long blog entries?”
“Great catch again OscarTheKnowItAll. But in my own personal, self-testing recent research, I have found that blogging helps me clear my mind at the end of the day and expel and semblance of stress that might my creeping into my body – and it helps me sleep at night.”
Therefore, with everything said, I have come to the conclusion that I need a personal assistant. I am quite serious.
I will pay you $10/hour.
It is very easy work.
You will get exercise – you will mostly be running my errands: food shopping, picking up cupcakes, getting me coffee – and the occasional other work.
You will also make me brunch and dinner – I will show you how.
I will be very nice to you and write you a wonderful letter of recommendation for other personal assistant jobs you will want in the future.
It is practically free money.
So job hunters out there: apply now!
A Very Sleep-Deprived DandyLion