Letters to Friends

Listening to: Deniz Koyu – Rage (EDM!) and Kitten – Kill the Light (INDIE!)

Are you still an asshole? I would typically feel bad for unceremoniously dumping someone once so close to me, and leaving them at such a low point in their lives, but I don’t know if you ever realized the turn your life took. For all I know, you’re completely content in your current life status. It seems unbelievable that we were such good friends once upon a time. I definitely appreciate those memories. Which is why I know if you one day change and come back asking to rekindle our friendship, I would do it in an instant and put all my effort into it. But until then, I don’t have the energy, time, or desire to maintain a friendship like the one ours was spiraling down towards. So ball’s in your court. – for one friend

You never e-mail me but I don’t even care. I would happily e-mail you without ever expecting a response (but I try to spare you my ramblings). The fact that you make an effort to see me, even after an all-night shift at the hospital, and you’ll come straight to the brunch spot wearing your scrubs, is more than enough evidence that you value our friendship. Also, the fact that you have the most consistently amazing restaurant suggestions helps a TON. – for one friend

We don’t talk when we aren’t in the same city. But I guess you probably follow my social media accounts … and I follow yours (even though your updates are so sparse, I barely glean anything about your life). But ours is the type of friendship where when we see each other in person, it’s like the time apart has made the time together much more valuable, exciting, and delightful. I know you’ll be there for me if I really needed it and I hope if the time comes, I can rise up to the occasion as well. – for several friends

What is it about childhood friendships that forge such a strong bond? Well. I’m sure a couple of people would respond with “PSH. We’re not that strong.” And while it’s true, we are definitely not the same group we once were … maybe I’m being naive or overly optimistic but I really believe if it came down to it, we’d be there for each other. At the very least, because we are all decent people. And I’ve come to realize, as I progress through life, that decent people are not always a guarantee. I think it’s the norm … but when I meet a complete asshole stranger, I always think back to this group and think “damn I was lucky to have such a good group of well-intentioned friends.” – for several friends

Thanks for keeping the relationship alive by e-mailing! It’s always a nice surprise to get personal e-mails. I hope my long rambling e-mails are a fun break in your day. I really do enjoy just hearing from you, so don’t hold back. Even if you think there’s nothing worth talking about, it’s more fun than nothing. – for several friends

I honestly think we become worse versions of ourselves when we are together. I’m sorry to say that. My inability to change is why I’ve withdrawn from this friendship. I wish I could try harder and I tell myself every time that I am going to try harder but I feel like it’s always met with failure. I guess two caustic personalities does not a good friendship make. – for one friend

You’re not the type of person to ever make the first move and ask to hang out with someone. My assumption, based on knowing you, is you find that as a sign of weakness, and you want to be approached, not be the approacher. Or you’re lazy. Or, painful truth, maybe you just really didn’t care for our friendship. Maybe my assumptions are all wrong and have unfortunately led to several years of us not speaking to each other, even though we were once among the closest of bonds. I guess we both still respect each other though – so maybe I”ll run into you at a boba store every few years and catch up on each others lives. Will that be enough? I don’t know. I have a lot going on in my life anyhow. – for one friend

You used to confuse me. Now I realize I was just deluding myself. Well, ball’s in your court. – for one friend

I hope but am not certain that we would remain friends when one of us quits. Work friendships are a strange thing. Especially in auditing. You could spend hours, possibly 60-70% of your week with the same people in a tiny little room. Maybe you purposely never speak to them when you go home. Maybe you find reasons to text them even after you’ve gone home. Maybe you go to their birthday parties, their significant others’ birthday parties, their weddings. Maybe these are the people you are closest to for a certain period of your life. Maybe they know more about you than even your childhood friends or college friends know. They know the most about your day to day life, because they are there with you day to day, and every Monday, everyone asks “how was your weekend” so they know that too. But there’s no chance all of us will stay with the firm till the end. So, what happens after? What happens when you can no longer share stories about a crazy client or a crazy team member or some ridiculous office gossip? I’ll make the effort, but will you? – for several friends

Thank you for being my travel buddy. You make me do things I would never had envisioned myself doing. It’s always comfortable, fun, and laid back with you. Frankly I’m surprised you would travel with me again. I could have sworn I was an annoying travel companion. Do you have a bad memory? If so, it’s served me well! – for one friend

Are you just my year-long friend? I wonder what will be the trivial characteristic/event that causes me to think “it’s time for a new close friend!” I can’t imagine that I could ever get sick of you! Maybe you’ll be that one friend that withstands the test of time/my inability to maintain close, long-term relationships – for several friends, each a year or so apart

You’re currently my closest friend but I wonder if it’s because we are both unafraid to go to each other in our periods of loneliness. – for one friend

I’ve already laid it out on the table and told you if I were to get married, you’d currently be the choice maid of honor. I know that I’m not yours and I’m all right with that. You know more about my day to day than anyone. I am constantly trying to hold myself back from overcommunicating with you, but for some reason, every thought that goes through my brain ends up in your inbox. You sometimes make me feel insecure. You sometimes make me feel amazing. You make me want to be a better person. – for one friend

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Thoughts on my smartphone … three weeks later

Listening to: OneRepublic – Counting Stars

Or really … ten years later … after smartphones became a thing …

1. The main reason I wanted a smartphone was for the instagram app

And it totally is my favorite app. It’s the only thing I have that you really can’t use without a smartphone. Which I always thought was annoying, but now I’m like, no I guess it purposefully targets your market to keep the spirit behind it from expanding to some picasa like product. I feel like me diving into Instagram 2.5 years after it was released is the closest I’ll come to the experience of living in a cave for a few years and then coming back into the real world. For some people I follow, I’m like “OMG it’s like they’ve had a blog this whole time and I never knew!” For tags I randomly think of, I’m like “OMG SO much better than having to go through tumblr.”

2. I have no e-mails to look forward to anymore

I never really leave my gmail open when I work so when I came home I would get to be surprised by e-mails randomly sent to me during the day. But now there are no surprises since I set it so everything just gets pushed through. Now there’s nothing to look forward to!

Who am I kidding. I barely used to get personal e-mails on gmail. I’m pretty sure it’s evenly split between friends who e-mail me and concert reminders from listings I had to sign up for.

3. I may finally become the well rounded, educated person I have always wanted to be

Somehow, reading news is better, not just on an online format, but on a smartphone format! Everything is more compact, it seems like apps designed for smartphones have way more concise articles (is this just a psychological thing though? Maybe I am totally just reading the same articles that are on online format) and I can just catch up on things when I’m bored! I love BBC News the most, I’m finally getting into NPR which always seemed overwhelming for me on a computer, and Flipboard is like my last resort “I have nothing to do but stare at my smartphone but I don’t even have any text messages or e-mails to read so I may as well learn about the world” activity

4.I now feel the need to commit myself to MORE fees

Damn this smartphone. Attached with it came a $30 data plan. And now I’m thinking I totally need a wireless speaker system because I love streaming things off 8tracks and soundcloud. And now I’m like, YES a premium Spotify account sounds like a FANTASTIC idea! Only $9.99 per month! I feel like it’s a slippery slope …

5. I don’t even need a personal computer anymore!

I haven’t been downloading as many songs to the personal computer lately, and now there really is no reason for me to turn it on except maybe if I’m in the mood for typing and I don’t feel like reaching into my backpack for my work laptop.

6. Night time buddy

I have started this weird routine where I go home, habitually turn on my personal laptop, turn on my work laptop to do stuff on the floor of my room, and then plug my smartphone in to charge for the night. When I’m ready to sleep, I turn off my work laptop, take my smartphone to my bed, then slip in between the covers, and do random stuff on my personal laptop. THEN when I feel like sleeping, I’ll turn off the lights … AND THEN FREAKING just sit huddled under my covers and text people and browse instagam and the news and stream music for ANOTHER hour. Only THIS time, in the dark and on this TINY little screen. It makes no sense yet it totally makes sense?! It’s like, I still need to get my electronics fix … but this way I don’t have to sit back up to reach over and turn off my light. I can stay under my warm covers all the way until morning!

7. I am one of those totally rude people

I was watching TV today with Amy and couldn’t stop texting people. I now leave my phone out on the table at work and if someone messages me, I’ll check it off there whereas before I wouldn’t really check my phone until I got back home at night. I do like that I can google stuff instantly. Before in conversations, if it came to a point where all of us were like “oh I don’t know the answer” “me either” and no one did anything, sometimes I wanted to just say “YOU HAVE A SMARTPHONE JUST LOOK IT UP this does NOT need to continue to be a mystery!”

8. I am SUPER OBSESSED with new things that I never even knew you could be obsessed about

a) Data usage – I don’t have an unlimited plan, yet at the rate I use my phone, I really doubt I would reach my data limit. Mainly because I think the youtube app is so annoying I feel no need to stream videos on my phone. But I can’t help but constantly check my data usage and seeing which apps are taking the most data
b) Instagram – ugh. As Amy said as I was trying to take pics of her curry “I guess anybody can be an artist these days.”
c) Free, unsecured wi-fi networks even when I really do not need it

9. Things I hope I never do

a) Download the FB app
b) Download the tumblr app
c) Sync my work e-mail to my phone
d) Attempt to text someone on this phone while driving
e) Take selfies and post them to my instagram

Lies that are told in auditing

Listening to: Sander Van Doom & Adrian Lux – Eagles

1. Work flexibility

I typically tell people that I do have work flexibility … but this usually really means that I just sometimes have the flexibility of working from a cafe … or working from home … into the late hours of the night …

2. “The first year is hard but it should be easier the next year”

Based on my experience, the first year is hard but it can still get worse next year because you learn more about the client and then you start realizing … omfg they are doing this and this and this wrong … you just know the client better so you can tap into more than you did the first year when you were going around blindly. Only now you have the added expectation of finishing the job faster and with less errors and instead I’m just finding more errors that probably existed last year as well. Also, the firm might come out with some ridiculous new guidance that wasn’t budgeted and is probably useless in the long run but you have to do it anyway.

3. “We will have a meeting to figure out our staffing issues and make sure teams are staffed appropriately”

This does not ever happen. Somehow the firm still keeps surviving despite high turnover … which is probably why no one cares enough to do anything about understaffed jobs

4. “January through March is the busy season”

There are rare occasions when I’m not busy for some days during this period. There are often days during the rest of the year when I am at the same level of stress as I was during busy season, only now it’s not as easily sympathized unless you explain in detail your situation. During busy season you can just go “UGH” and someone will respond “I KNOW”

5. “This will be a great learning opportunity”

Translation: I don’t want to do this so here you go. I don’t have time to teach you how to do it or I don’t know how to do it myself. So figure it out.