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Question for career changers...

MJB

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    I'm just sitting here and wondering...did you, or have you, ever just COMPLETELY lost motivation for your job? I'm not talking "I don't want to do anything today"...I'm talking "I don't care if I do anything this month, and if I get fired...whoopity do"..

    I've been like this for about a year already, and it looks like I've got at least 6 months to a year left...
     

    samenewme

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      MJB said:
      I'm just sitting here and wondering...did you, or have you, ever just COMPLETELY lost motivation for your job? I'm not talking "I don't want to do anything today"...I'm talking "I don't care if I do anything this month, and if I get fired...whoopity do"..

      I've been like this for about a year already, and it looks like I've got at least 6 months to a year left...

      Oh, yeah. I'm actually going to go into counseling over it--I don't want to screw the pooch so close to my goal.
       

      velouria

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        that was totally me. i spent about 8 months like that. i filled my time by studying mcat on the sly and reading sdn :) and i was getting paid well for it. i really should have been fired, and if i'd had a more competent boss i would have been.
        but remember your bills, health insurance, etc. and try to get thru another day! also remember that you're just on a temporary job while you're working toward your long-term goal. pretty soon it will all just be a distant memory...
        hang in there!
         
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        cfdavid

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          Wow can I relate! My problem is that so much of what I do (I sell automation equipment) is very long term. I can work on initiatives that may not bear fruit for a year or two, so it's a real challenge to stay motivated knowing that I'll be in med school by that time (hopefully).

          In fact, I'm mostly salary, and haven't really done much proactively at all. I'm just managing my territory, and that requires maybe a few hours per day. I do most from my "home office", and I feel guilty as hell. I'm starting to wonder (with a serious lack of major new opportunities in the pipeline) when I'll be fired. My only savior is that I know the game so well that I can talk the talk.

          Selfishly, it makes me feel better to hear others are going through the same thing. Like another has mentioned, this is a means to an end. I keep thinking how nice it would be to get a meaningless job with no outside responsibilities. But then I remember my bills etc.

          Oh well, good luck everyone, and hang in there.
           

          BMW19

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            btg138 said:
            I've been in that situation for almost 2 years! I'm an IT Project Manager and make really good money, but I hate it. My only fear - what if I feel this way after I become a doctor? What if it's me?!

            It won't be you. There is something churning inside all of us to become docs. Because in my eyes if you are going to medical school you are:

            1) Crazy

            2) Masochist

            3) Have a lot of heart

            4) all of the above

            I for one will never look back and will not feel guilty about my lack of motivation. We deserve some laid back months before school (and get paid for it!)
             

            MJB

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              btg138 said:
              My only fear - what if I feel this way after I become a doctor? What if it's me?!

              I honestly don't think this will be a problem for me...AND...there are so many different "variations" of medicine, that I can't imagine not being able to find your niche..

              Corporate Pharma is brutal...
               

              lightnk102

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                mjb said:
                I'm just sitting here and wondering...did you, or have you, ever just COMPLETELY lost motivation for your job? I'm not talking "I don't want to do anything today"...I'm talking "I don't care if I do anything this month, and if I get fired...whoopity do"..

                btg138 said:
                I've been in that situation for almost 2 years! I'm an IT Project Manager and make really good money, but I hate it. My only fear - what if I feel this way after I become a doctor? What if it's me?!

                I used to do as little as possible to get by and hoped fervently for a pink slip. After all, if you're laid off, you get benefits and a few months pay. If you're fired, you don't get anything.

                I'd take naps after lunch in the handicapped stall of the women's bathroom. Or occasionally in the telephone booths since no one bothers you and they have padded seats. I once cried at the airport on my 50 millionth business trip. I amused myself by blogging endlessly about my corporate life, assigning nicknames to everyone based on physical quirks (i.e. Distended Nostril the Partner, String Bean the Analyst, Hobbit the Senior Manager, etc.), and secretly rebelling by not wearing pantyhose. Just think, despite all this, I was recommended for early promotion right before I resigned. Frightening.

                I have the same fears about medicine, but i figure it can't possibly be worse than what I had before. In medicine, at least you won't get the feeling of "i'm wasting my life away". let's face it though - at the end of the day, being a doctor, like everything else, is a job. you're trading in one job for another, have no illusions about that. but i like to think my "new" job as a doctor will have better terms than my old job. and yes, i'm willing to go through years of sleep deprivation and considerable educational debt to feel like the hours of my life are spent doing something worthwhile. you only get one life to live - why do something that makes you feel like you're wasting it?
                 

                laurafinn

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                  MJB said:
                  "I don't care if I do anything this month, and if I get fired...whoopity do"..

                  8 months down, 6 to go. On a rational level, I do care about whether I get fired or not, since I'm hemorrhaging money as I prepare to move overseas. On a day-to-day level, though, I could give a rat's ass.

                  Visualizing various scenes from the movie Office Space helps me make it through the day.
                   

                  doctorjoy

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                    I feel the same way. I am very much looking forward to leaving me job. Now the fired part I am trying to avoid, because the money I get is helping me to apply to school to further my educational efforts. But hopefully by June 30, 2006, I will not have to sign other contract, but get ready to go to medical school :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
                     

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                      lightnk102 said:
                      I have the same fears about medicine, but i figure it can't possibly be worse than what I had before. In medicine, at least you won't get the feeling of "i'm wasting my life away". let's face it though - at the end of the day, being a doctor, like everything else, is a job. you're trading in one job for another, have no illusions about that. but i like to think my "new" job as a doctor will have better terms than my old job. and yes, i'm willing to go through years of sleep deprivation and considerable educational debt to feel like the hours of my life are spent doing something worthwhile. you only get one life to live - why do something that makes you feel like you're wasting it?

                      That's right on. I too make some good money, and while I've been relatively successful and have a lot of responsibilities, I still feel as if I've been a complete bystander thus far.

                      While being a physician IS just a job, I know it will be more personally rewarding for me than my current situation. I just don't have a passion for it (and never really did).
                       
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                      Ergo

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                        MJB said:
                        I honestly don't think this will be a problem for me...AND...there are so many different "variations" of medicine, that I can't imagine not being able to find your niche..

                        Corporate Pharma is brutal...

                        Speaking of pharma...

                        Im one year from finishing med school, wrapping up my last 3rd year clerkship, after quitting a big, ostensibly desirable cushy corporate sales job for a blue chip pharmaceutical company. The opportunity cost of medical school, residency, interest accrued, lost wages and interest gained on the investment of those wages totals at seven figures.

                        And Ive never been so happy in my whole life.

                        Throughout med school, during the scary first year, during the neverending second year closeted with my books 10 hr/d, the boards -
                        Ive felt lucky to have the opportunity to do what I have always wanted to do. Never regretted quitting the 'sensible' job. Yes, I have found my niche.
                        But even if a student didnt find a clinical application, an MD automatically qualifies them for positions requiring a higher level of competancy and pay. Doors open to those with an MD, and not just the ones to the hospital wards.

                        So, for all you wanting to go to med school - keep it a secret (or they may fire you the day you give official notice - its policy at my former company) Save some money, then quit in time for the best vacation you can take. And by best, I mean LONG. Make it long enough that you wash yourself clean of the misery that was your past for a new, successful, happy you.

                        For me, that catharsis happened during two months on Maui.

                        My sincere best wishes to all of you.
                         

                        NY Musicologist

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                          Lab Diva said:
                          This job is not "your purpose". It is just a bridge that is helping you get closer to your goals. Think of it as part of your plan and how you can use it to make it work for you.

                          A hard attitude to maintain, but probably the most beneficial one in the end!

                          As for hoping/waiting/trying to get fired--don't you suppose that, at some point, you'll be called to account for that pink slip (by an adcom, a loan agency, a clinic you hope to join, etc.)? Even if it was a lousy job, totally unrelated to medicine, you'll have to admit to having been fired. And when that happens, you'll either have to confess your shoddy work habits or lie about the reason for your firing, neither of which wins you too many points on the scale of ethics. And who wants an unethical doctor?

                          I don't mean to sound preachy, since I myself am surfing SDN on company time at this very moment and counting the minutes (91) until the end of my shift. Just something for all of us career changers to keep in mind--a firing is a firing, and it's never a good thing.

                          Cheers,
                          NYM :)
                           

                          lightnk102

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                            NY Musicologist said:
                            A hard attitude to maintain, but probably the most beneficial one in the end!

                            As for hoping/waiting/trying to get fired--don't you suppose that, at some point, you'll be called to account for that pink slip (by an adcom, a loan agency, a clinic you hope to join, etc.)? Even if it was a lousy job, totally unrelated to medicine, you'll have to admit to having been fired. And when that happens, you'll either have to confess your shoddy work habits or lie about the reason for your firing, neither of which wins you too many points on the scale of ethics. And who wants an unethical doctor?

                            Pink slip = laid off. You won't be called into account for that. You can blame it on the economy.

                            I believe if you're fired, you're not given any slip, or any thing at all actually. Besides the finger and an order to clean out your desk.

                            That's why the pink slip is the Holy Grail for every miserable cad who already has their eyes set on something else. You get to leave, with benefits. If you quit, you don't get any benefits at all.
                             

                            NY Musicologist

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                              lightnk102 said:
                              Pink slip = laid off. You won't be called into account for that. You can blame it on the economy.

                              I believe if you're fired, you're not given any slip, or any thing at all actually. Besides the finger and an order to clean out your desk.

                              That's why the pink slip is the Holy Grail for every miserable cad who already has their eyes set on something else. You get to leave, with benefits. If you quit, you don't get any benefits at all.

                              Except...Self-respect?! Knowing you valued your time and energy enough to be proactive about improving your life through quitting, rather than wasting away and/or blaming your misery on something/someone else?! Being the one to give the finger, rather than receive it?! Maybe I'm overly idealistic, but I do consider these to be "benefits" of sorts.
                               

                              btg138

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                                Ergo said:
                                So, for all you wanting to go to med school - keep it a secret (or they may fire you the day you give official notice - its policy at my former company) Save some money, then quit in time for the best vacation you can take. And by best, I mean LONG. Make it long enough that you wash yourself clean of the misery that

                                I still have 2-3 years until med school. I was thinking about asking to work 1/2 time and go to school full time. What do you all think about that option?

                                I guess the worst thing that could happen is they say no and get out. Then I'd be in school full time and racking up loans!
                                 

                                Febrifuge

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                                  Well, I *was* like that for a good long time, and strangely enough, once I got on the track to pre-med (and was working 2 jobs), I found a renewed sense of purpose. I remembered what I liked about the "day job" in the beginning, and knowing there was limited time left helped get through each day.

                                  I have eight and a half workdays left here. I'll miss it... and then postbac will start in 3 weeks, so I'll be thinking of this cubicle when I'm motivating myself to keep studying.

                                  Also, yeah, totally on company time. But I need to write, so I need my mind sharp... right? Right? ;)
                                   

                                  lightnk102

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                                    NY Musicologist said:
                                    Except...Self-respect?! Knowing you valued your time and energy enough to be proactive about improving your life through quitting, rather than wasting away and/or blaming your misery on something/someone else?! Being the one to give the finger, rather than receive it?! Maybe I'm overly idealistic, but I do consider these to be "benefits" of sorts.

                                    I think you got confused on my analogy. Getting fired means getting the finger. Getting fired = bad.

                                    Getting laid off means benefits and an apology from the company for the bad economic times. Getting laid off = good only if you already have something else lined up (like school). Especially since your lay-off benefits will include 2 months pay which you could use for your new education (or to fund travelling before you start school). I suppose the fuzzies of quitting on your own could be worth the $6k you lose in benefits, but I'd rather have the money.

                                    That being said, I've never managed to get laid off and have had to quit to go back to school. Very inconvenient.

                                    You're not pro-active about improving your life through quitting. Being proactive about improving your life means putting a direction on your life. Quitting or not quitting is irrelevant as long as you head in that direction. Once that direction is there, your job is just something that pays your rent until you can start on your new path. I agree with Febrifuge - having an end in sight makes things so much more bearable.
                                     

                                    samenewme

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                                      btg138 said:
                                      I still have 2-3 years until med school. I was thinking about asking to work 1/2 time and go to school full time. What do you all think about that option?

                                      I guess the worst thing that could happen is they say no and get out. Then I'd be in school full time and racking up loans!

                                      I was able to cut down to 80% of full time and go to school part time. The extra 8 hours free helps a LOT--I take one or two classes at a time, depending on how the labs are scheduled.
                                       

                                      Learfan

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                                        Finding this thread of people discussing their total inability to care about their present job was refreshing. At present, I am so mentally checked out and detached at my job that the presence of my body in an office assigned to me is the only indication that I currently have employment. My command of language fails when asked to describe how little I care about my job, the company or 98% of the people with whom I currently share a research complex. I am that burnt out on the corporate lifestyle and the endless stream of foolish and inefficient behaviors endemic to large organizations. The quality of the projects is horrible and the chance for success is less than zero. The chances of taking a research project from idea to commercialization is zero in this environment since you can be derailed by a huge number of factors. Working endlessly on projects that have no chance of success is amazingly demoralizing.

                                        To further add insult to injury, under our new system the technical staff who wish to actually perform research now must write internal grant applications for funds. One of the key benefits of working in industry vs. academia is the availability of company funds to advance projects that have the potential to benefit the firm. The individual may not be able to work on ideas of his or her choosing which is the benefit of working in an academic environment, but the funding for industrial work should be provided. Now, this is no longer true. If I wanted to beg for money, I would have become an academic and enjoyed the intellectual freedom.

                                        My contempt for the senior management here knows no bounds since several managing directors were recently dismissed for seriously misrepresenting the position of the company. In required documents such as our 10K and the annual report, the value of the firm was inflated by about one third. Several of the executive managers left, of course, after recieving several million dollars each in hush money so the full extent of their lying will never be known. The scandal was in the newspapers for a few weeks and the company subsequently paid substantial fines in excess of $100 million to the SEC and to the equivalent regulatory body in the UK for all of their lies.

                                        I have spent my entire career with a large oil, refining and chemical company whose name would be familiar to anyone reading this. In my previously position at this firm, I worked as an in house new business development specialist on the chemical side of the company. While working as a solo contributor, I initiated sales in a significant new market with over 300 million pounds of material sold to date. I subsequently volunteered without knowing all of the details to join an in house entrepreneurship team whose stated purpose was to initiate novel less capital intensive ventures by adding service components to our existing chemical product line. BAD MISTAKE ON MY PART.

                                        Our team of people was assigned to a mentally deranged manager, deprived of funds needed to act, not given any standards concerning what constituted an acceptable vs. an unacceptable venture and then turned loose on the world. We had the ability to travel which proved to be pleasant as I got to see portions of Brazil, Equador, Columbia and Peru but everything else proved to be a disaster. Since our team had chosen to work in non-traditional jobs, we were promised political protection so our careers would not be damaged by the experience. Needless to say, that promise proved to be an utter lie. We recieved no protection and served as the butt of every corporate joke in the chemical division.

                                        The psycho-manager worked non-stop to destroy team work, crush morale and destroy our ideas for novel business ventures. The waste of resources counting the time of the people who worked on the projects that went nowhere or were discontinued as well as cash expenditures on the projects amounted to about $20 million. All of the ventures failed completely. For this disasterous result, the mentally deranged clown we had as management was promoted. No, that is not a joke. It really happened. At least I can take some comfort that his manager, a person at the vice-presidential level, was finally fired for advocating the construction of a $520 million plant that was built, subsequently never used and currently sits idle. Thats right, this individual had a pivotal role in wasting half a billion dollars.

                                        In the end everyone in the entrepreneurship group scattered to jobs in other sections of the company while I had trouble finding a new position since I was trained as a chemist, a field that is heavily over staffed throughout the economy. Currently, only 38% of chemists at my degree level are able to find work in their field. My experience as a business manager did not count since I had not worked in any of the main stream product lines and I did not have my MBA completed. After being told that a personal lay off had been arranged, I scrambled to secure a position on the oil side of the house by considerably inflating my familiarity with oil field technology. I did have the pleasure of explaining to my former boss all of his short comings mental, moral and genetic the day before I left.

                                        After that experience, which lasted three years, I found myself utterly contemptous of the entire organization as well as totally embittered. They lied to me in more ways than I can adequately enumerate. The jobs are utterly purposeless and completely without meaning. The projects go nowhere, leaving the scientists and engineers feeling powerless, completely fustrated and depressed.

                                        I have spent the majority of the previous three years while nominally working a research position on the oil side of the house studying to complete an MBA program, reviewing for the August, 2004 MCAT and then going to medical school interviews without using too many official vacation days. Thus far this year, I have performed about two weeks worth of work. My goal for the remainder of the year is do no more than one additional week worth of work prior to check out. I do not care any more. I wish they would offer me a layoff package. Given the usual deal offered to people the company is letting go, the package would allow me to collect an entire years worth of salary and skip the long boring commute to a job that I loathe until med school starts in August. I am just waiting for punch out day which for me is August 1st.
                                         

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                                          NY Musicologist said:
                                          Just something for all of us career changers to keep in mind--a firing is a firing, and it's never a good thing.

                                          No offense, NYM, but from your previous posts, I have a feeling you haven't worked full-time in a corporate environment for any length of time. There are a fair number of toxic workplaces that could run the most conscientious person's motivation into the ground.

                                          Plus, people are fired for all sorts of reasons -- incompetence, sure, but just as often they've fallen out of political favor, couldn't deliver an impossible-from-the-start project, offended the boss' son, etc.

                                          I've never been fired, but it's really not the worst thing that could happen. And it's not hard to truthfully and non-defensively explain what happened from your perspective.

                                          Of course, being pink-slipped is a whole lot better, but only because of the money aspect. (I've been pink-slipped twice, gotta love the dot-com bust :eek: )
                                           

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                                            I love you guys! :love:

                                            I never verbalized these same thoughts to anyone. I don't enjoy my job but I am only keeping it because: a) I need the money b) It is getting me closer to my med school goals.

                                            I love that so many other people are validating what I feel. I have been laden with guilt for how little I actually care about what I am doing and I almost feel like I am "cheating" on my job because all of my time and energy is devoted to studying for my classes and plotting (and scheduling) shadowing, lectures, meetings with faculty and adcoms, etc... Not what I should be getting paid to do :oops:

                                            And, oh, when I do get accepted, I will resign from my position in May before school starts in August (assuming I know by then :eek: ) and just spend that last summer soaking in the sun, being lazy, playing with my daughter and relaxing and I won't feel one bit guilty about that! :)
                                             

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                                              samenewme said:
                                              I was able to cut down to 80% of full time and go to school part time. The extra 8 hours free helps a LOT--I take one or two classes at a time, depending on how the labs are scheduled.
                                              I was seriously thinking about asking for 20 - 30 hours/week and taking Bio, Physics and Spanish. Since school starts Aug 22, I'll probably ask after the 4th of July.
                                               

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                                                Em&M said:
                                                I love you guys! :love:

                                                I never verbalized these same thoughts to anyone. I don't enjoy my job but I am only keeping it because: a) I need the money b) It is getting me closer to my med school goals.

                                                I love that so many other people are validating what I feel. I have been laden with guilt for how little I actually care about what I am doing and I almost feel like I am "cheating" on my job because all of my time and energy is devoted to studying for my classes and plotting (and scheduling) shadowing, lectures, meetings with faculty and adcoms, etc... Not what I should be getting paid to do :oops:

                                                And, oh, when I do get accepted, I will resign from my position in May before school starts in August (assuming I know by then :eek: ) and just spend that last summer soaking in the sun, being lazy, playing with my daughter and relaxing and I won't feel one bit guilty about that! :)

                                                All I can say is ditto!
                                                 

                                                MJB

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                                                  The thing that sent me over the edge was getting my tuition reimbursement denied...knowing full well that they have paid for other folks to take the same classes.

                                                  I am going to put my time in and get my money, but loyalty is very low on my list right now...and will be even lower once my wife is out of school and can cover our bills if need be...

                                                  The utter stupidity of supposedly intelligent people is just mind boggling...
                                                   

                                                  jaylily

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                                                    Odd, I was just talking about this exact topic to some coworkers today. For a while now my enjoyment of my job has been plummetting (hence my decision to go to med school) But two weeks ago my Dad died and I flew across the country to be with my mom. Today's my first day back at work and I could honestly care less about it. All I want to do is quit, move back to the east coast for the summer to help mom sort things out and pack stuff up, and then return here for school in September. If I didn't have a damn apt to pay for I'd do it in a heartbeat.
                                                    I was originally planning on doing contract work while I was at school from Sept - May, but as of now, the quicker I can get this job permanently out of my daily schedule the better. I have no devotion towards it. Frankly right now the only thing it's doing is paying bills, and making me miserable.
                                                     

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                                                      I have been counting this down for a few years. I didn't know what I want. I was miserable in one job. Switched to another one. There were times I just spent most of the day on SDN. Today I have posted more than I have honestly in the past 3 months combined I believe. I took a hiatus because of life and school. The past month I worked my @SS off for a nice bonus for the month of may to pay off my car loan and two credit cards. I will be debt free in July (less already accumulated school loans). I will have a very small savings but its emergency funds. I worked hard and planned for this.

                                                      Yes a job is a job but when it comes down to it, honestly the guy/gal next to you probably feels the same way. You have a light to your tunnel though he/she doesn't. Remember that. :luck: Honestly part of that got me through the past few months. :thumbup:
                                                       

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                                                      1. Resident [Any Field]
                                                        I was in a meeting yesterday morning, and all I could think of was how glad I am that I sucked it up to develop a plan to pursue something that truly interests me. The above poster mentioned having a light at the end of the tunnel. How true it is that it really helps one through the tough times.

                                                        Keep the faith everyone. We'll all get there sooner or later.
                                                         

                                                        Febrifuge

                                                        Grizzled Old Newcomer
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                                                        1. Non-Student
                                                          Just as an aside to this discussion, my last day in Corporate America was last Friday. Right now, a bunch of my stuff is in my gf's basement, and everything I am taking with me is in the car. Tomorrow we leave on the road trip to my post-bac.

                                                          Funny thing is, I've been too busy to post here for a while. 'Keep the faith' is right on.
                                                           
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