Essay Question

Back in school, one of the types of question teachers liked to give on tests were the old compare/contrast free text.  I was pretty decent at those, because they allowed me to BS a little.

Slight sidebar.  My last French class in college required me to write a paper (in French) about a play we had just read (in French) about who the main character of the play is.  I remember next to nothing about it.  There was a very obvious choice that the play was about X.  I argued that W was the main character because he was the only character alive at the end of the play, and he would shape and move the narrative forward from there on.

I got a B.  The teacher disagreed with my thesis, but he liked my reasoning, thought it was an interesting analysis, and most of all, most of my French was reasonably comprehensible.  And let me tell you, that was no small feat.  I probably still have that paper somewhere, along with some scripts and assorted essays.

Anyway, compare and contrast.

Where I was going with this us that for the second time in as many weeks, I am going to show you side by side photos.

Are you two sisters?  Alternate Caption:  Chagrin and Grin

These were taken exactly one year apart.  Down to location (front porch), time of day (morning) - they're roughly the "same".

The one on the left was my next-to-last day at UL.  If you look closely, I look terrified and vaguely nauseous.  It's cold out, and rainy.  I have attempted to look professional, because I have to go to a user group meeting and back up a presenter.  I remember my boss' boss was not too pleased with that, but my boss had OK'd it, so there wasn't much to be done.  So I've got on a gorgeous dress that I bought in...New Jersey, I believe.  And I have on my pretty green trench coat that I still love.

But my smile is a little grim.  At the time, I was terrified.  I knew that leaving was the right thing to do, but I was worried about being able to do the work, making friends, having to come crawling back... the usual anxiety.

I had flown in the night before from Ohio, so I looked (and was) tired.  The hair.  Well, it was not my best look.  But I've had worse, too.  At the time, a big concern was that my hair was falling out en masse.  Every time I shampooed, I had enough hair in the drain to make Barbie a fur coat.  My doctor had checked my thyroid and it was fine,  which left stress as the culprit.

On the right, was this morning - I've been at the new job just a touch under a year.  The smile is genuine, the eyes are a little crazy to ensure that they weren't shut.  Still wearing plenty of green, and the hair is banging.  And it has STOPPED FALLING OUT.  My stylist noticed it when I came in this past Friday.

Because in that year, I have learned that I did make friends, I made absolutely the best decision, I love my work, and I'm not half bad at it.  And I don't have to move backwards.

Living well is the best revenge.  Feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

When you look back a year from today, how far will you have come?



Christopher said…
At first I misread this as "easy question". Boy, did I misread that. Whenever anyone says "Living well is the best revenge" I always remember Niles's line from Frasier: "It's a wonderful expression. I just don't know how true it is. You don't see it turning up in a lot of opera plots. Ludwig, maddened by the poisoning of his entire family, wreaks vengeance on Gunther in the third act by living well!"
Obviously Ludwig and Gunther were not characters from the play you read since you were taking French, not German.
Anyway, a year from now? I can barely imagine what I'll be doing tomorrow.