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Happy birthday to me! Thirty trips around the sun and not done spinning yet

Photo by bicameral / by Attribution 2.0 Generic CC

I dashed to the room where my smartphone was blaring a sitar ringtone, and pressed the red button, happy that I’d managed to locate the device before voice mail picked up. Well, I was happy until I realized I’d hung up on the caller, which is what the red button does, which you’d think I would know after having had the phone for three months.

So I opened the call log and returned the call to hear my brother’s voice on the line saying, “Hello?…..Hello?…..Is anyone there?” as I filled in the ellipsis with my own responses that he couldn’t hear with my mute button on. I figured out how to unmute the phone, but only after he hung up. So I tried calling him back again only to get a confused, Spanish-speaking person on the other end of the line, who I knew was not my brother because my brother took German in high school, not Spanish.

Then, finally, I managed to call my brother back at the [...]

The weight of freedom a.k.a. what am I going to do with my life?

Photo by Russell-Higgs / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

I have been freelancing fulltime for 10 months now, and I ain’t broke yet! Working for myself has been fun/exciting/freeing and stressful/boring/frightening. Regardless of what adjectives you use, it has also required math skills and free wifi.

I have learned how to prepare estimates, to charge what I’m worth, and to keep detailed records. I bring up work at any dinner out so I can write the meal off on my taxes. I’ve overcome my telephone anxiety (for the most part), run a meeting all by myself, and I’ve pitched my business in ten seconds or less at networking events.

I still haven’t figured out a long-term health insurance solution, and sometimes I get lonely or bored and don’t work as hard as I know I should. But I also get to shop for groceries in the middle of the day in my flip flops. And I can jet down to Louisville to meet friends on a weekday without having to ask anyone’s permission to do so. It balances out.

Overall [...]

Flying into the future

I no longer have to breath deeply and grip the arm rests when the airplane takes off. I do not focus on the flight attendants as if they are explaining the meaning of life when they demonstrate how to put on the oxygen mask. I’ve traveled several times over the past two years and each trip has made me a little more confident and a little less uneasy to take to the skies.

However, I was a bit worried about that middle section of the flight path illustrated above on my most recent flight that crossed the vast Atlantic Ocean. When we took off from Paris, I could gaze out the window below to see ships skating across the water like toys in the bathtub. Then we coasted above the clouds and I was glad because I did not want to see the vast emptiness that would await us if something went wrong, knowing no one would be there to help us but ourselves.

So when Air France flight 447 disappeared and eventually the wreckage was found, [...]

Your life in ten years and 100 characters

I was clicking on pictures of my high school reunion on Facebook yesterday, feeling about 70% sad I wasn’t able to attend. I saw a couple faces that looked familiar, but slightly different, like the updated logo on the Pepsi can. People were older and fatter and had less hair, but they seemed to be having a good time, or faking it rather well. There were at least a handful of people I would have liked to have seen in 3D instead of on my flatscreen monitor.

The other 30% of me was glad I did not have to question every life decision I’ve made in the last 10 years, that I didn’t have to wonder what my life could have been like if I’d turned left instead of right, if I’d met a guy or had a baby, if I’d started a business or gotten another job. I’m pretty happy with my life, even with my headache and the recession and the toilet that seems to be breaking again. Yet, everyone can fall victim to [...]

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Man looking into telescope

Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

Please Do Not Leave A Message: Why Millennials Hate Voice Mail : All Tech Considered : NPR
I left a voicemail for my younger brother last week which he never got because he doesn't check it. When I asked him about it, he was like, "Why didn't you text me?"

Life in Quarantine for Ebola Exposure: 21 Days of Fear and Loathing - NYTimes.com
I tend to stay at home a lot, but 21 days stuck in my apartment would drive me crazy.

Buy Experiences, Not Things - The Atlantic
Money can buy happiness if you spend it on experiences, not things.

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