Voir Dire
May 24, 2005

You know you're busy when you consider jury duty a "vacation" from the normal stresses of life. In a wonderful turn of events, it seems I wasn't picked as a juror in the three-week civil trial for which I was called. I never stood a chance. I'm all for fulfilling civic duties, but I find it odd that jury summons always seem to come at the most inconvenient times. Then again, last I checked, there's never a good time.

I'm beginning to re-think this whole "being an adult" thing. It's highly overrated. Oh what I would give to have somebody blow my nose, pick out my clothes, and tell me when to go to bed. There are days (few and far between) when I've even considered climbing back into the womb. At least then I'd be warm and have plenty of time for napping. Isn't it amazing how you grow up rebelling against the concept of "naps," and grow old wishing the traditional workday included mandatory naptime? I think I've figured it out. Naps (among other things) are wasted on the youth.

Those ungrateful wretches.

I often wonder the exact time the line between childhood and adulthood is officially crossed. Does it happen when you get your first bill in the mail? When you have your first child? When you buy your first piece of property? Too often we sit back, waiting for adulthood to happen to us. Meanwhile, it already "is." I have friends who are married with children and still can't believe God actually let them procreate. No matter who I talk to, it seems most people have moments of feeling completely unqualified for the task at hand.

I've had this feeling for most of my adult life. To some extent, my moratorium on higher education has pre-maturely launched me into the land of responsibility. Post-doocing, the last four months have decidedly been the most bizarre, strange, unpredictable, prosperous, and mind-numbingly ridiculous months of my life. Quite frankly, I'm exhausted.

As much as I adore it, writing/blogging has been the last thing on my mind (hence the week-long lags). The current contract work I'm doing has drained every ounce of energy I had left. I am kicking them to the curb. The fact that maintaining this website has taken a backseat to the "breadwinning of life" kills me because I am a firm believer that the two need not be mutually exclusive. I refuse to let myself be caught up in the regular job cycle.

I've often talked about taking drastic measures to realize my adult dreams. I wasn't kidding either. Yesterday, I officially accepted a contract position at Google. I'm disclosing my employer now to avoid potential conflicts in the future. I'm excited to have more time on my hands for writing and to be one step closer to shaking this bad habit they call a day job.

If being an adult means literally my own shots, I just might be down.

Posted by Ambra at May 24, 2005 1:49 AM in Life
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Doing what for Google?

That's a big landing! Congrats.

You grow up when you handle your biz on a regular basis at the expense of having fun.

Ambra, The first time I was called for jury duty, I was working for the Port Authority of N.Y.& N.J.
and my brother was an assistant district attorney
in Queens County. The second question the Judge
always asks is; "Do you have a relative working in
law enforcement?" As I answered, I focused on the
pencil of the defense attorney crossing off my
name, trying to guess how many nano-seconds it
would take! I still am proud of our jury system,
when it does some good! Regards, Tom


(trying hard to keep the green-eyed monster of envy at bay)

What DS said. Adulthood is about TCBing.

Congratulations on the Google thing Ambra!

I agree with your assessment of a "day job". I was a Production Manager for 6 very long years and when the company I worked for had to massively downsize due to a lagging economy I decided to leave before I was cut loose. I struck out and began working freelance, that was back in 2000 and I havent looked back sense. A year after I left I found out that the rest of the managers and "crew" that I worked with were all laid off, 150 total! I was glad to have had a head start. Many of them still haven't recovered.

Stay independent and never rely on one source of income(a 9 to 5 or j-o-b), it may be difficult at first but once the ball gets rolling you will never want to live another way.

Congrats on the Google job. Jerry McC. has some wise words. You're smart enough to do your own thing, though it may take a little time to find your niche. And don't worry about us free ice-cream consumers - we can wait until things settle down for you.

Traditionally you become an adult when the nurse hands you a baby and you realize that you don't know how you're going to take care of him. You can read all the books, get all the advice you can, but in the end it's just you and your wits helping a baby to survive and grow. Some folks choose not to have children rather than face that responsibility.

The rewards of having a youngster call you Mom or Dad are beyond measure. You'll know when you're ready - otherwise, enjoy the season you are in and take delight in the Lord.

That's awesome, what will you be doing for google?
I'm about your age and I've said for some time that if being an adult means working 8-5 and then being expected to clean house, get groceries, make friends, be a great spouse, be involved in church...to heck with it!
Best wishes,

adulthood begins with each step you take in life toward personal responsibility for your actions and is for most a lifelong journey; real adulthood is when you make life altering decisions for others; congrats on the job; you're getting closer to that ownership thing all the time:-)


You are now officially not only a nerd, but you have a nerd's dream job. Now all you have to do is shake George Lucas' hand, and have in your possession a lock of Bill Gate's hair to surpass Stephen Hawking in nerdiness. Or perhaps, you've already accomplished this!

And, I believe adulthood has to be a cognizant reality. If you don't realize that you are an adult, and begin to usurp the qualities and character that defines that position, then you'll never become it. There are plenty of 30, 40-somethings, whose lives testify to this.

There are also plenty of 15, 18-somethings who think they're adults and need to be slapped silly.

The key to the adult thing is to live as if there really is no such thing. I'm heading into my late 30's, and my husband is quite older than that, yet a lot of people think we're at least 10 years younger than we look. The secret: life is fun. Not easy, but fun. And freelancing is a part of it--each project and juggling of different part-time gigs is quite invigorating and offers endless discovery and challenges.

Ambra, you cross the line from childhood to
adulthood when you are no longer asking for
help, you are the help! I lived in North
Carolina and became a fireman, and a Emergency
Medical Technician, not because I had any special
aptitude for these jobs, it was just that if I
didn't do it, who would? Regards, Tom

I noticed that I was an adult when I realized that I had a job, a husband, a mortgage, a 401k, and that every item of clothing that I was wearing I actually purchased myself. Being pregnant was kind of a clue too. :o) Suddenly feeling all grown up was scary, so I spent a day lounging on the couch eating Fruity Pebbles and watching my collection of Disney movies. I felt much better. Good luck with the contracting thing. I left my job back in December and have decided that I will never work for anyone else again. 8 to 5 isn't for me either.

About the line between childhood & adulthood. I'm 41 & still waiting for adulthood to sneak up on me.

Congrats on the Google Gig!!!
Well, being and adult-hum, I'd say it owning EVERY decision from as big as a job change to as little as not not blaming someone else for your choice of words (usually bad) when provoked. Children (and spouses, signifigant others) are a really good test of how well you are aware (or not) of the latter one. For me, it's been a fine tuning experience for the last two years. After turning 40, I finally felt grown-up. Now approching 42, I'm thankful not to be looking back on days when I was younger, but making the best of what I have now. Be blessed and YOU GO GIRL!!!

Ambra, I have e-mailed you at several different places. I lost your number so please call me and give it to me.


PS: good post

Naps...how many times have I put a child to bed in the afternoon, thinking, as I soothed (or ignored) their protests: "Why can't I have your nap? You don't even want it, you ungrateful wretch!"

You're quite right: Naps (like youth - who said that, anyway?) are wasted on the young!

Congrats on you're job.

You have jury duty now, too? I'm currently on a federal criminal trial. Fun, fun, and more fun. Especially that 1.5 hour train commute into the city. And how many exits does Brooklyn Bridge Station have, anyways? These are some of the scary things that happen when you make drivers ride trains.

Good luck with Google. Keep up the good blogging, however often you do it!

Favorite quote from great British film "Peter's Friends":

I don't think anyone grows up, really. Adults are just children who owe money.

Whoa. That's what i get for not reading a post all the way thru. Just seeing this bit about Google. Whatever it is you're doing for them, contract or f/t, it'll look good on your resume (y'know, just in case you need one more regular gig before you launch your own bidniz). Congrats are in order even if you don't see it yet. Cheers! ~m

Being an adult must be somewhere between what commenter Bob said (41), and what commenter Doug said (never?). I'm soon to be 58, and most that know me, myself included, will tell you that I've not yet become an adult. Enjoy youth for as long as it lasts!

Aw man, you missed your chance!
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