I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.
  
  - James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man


I keep reading and re-reading those words. I want it to be my reasons for going too. I want those lofty ideals to be why I moved to Portland. I want that grand vision to be the fuel that drives me to keep going through what has turned out to be quite a difficult adjustment.

But the truth is, real life just isn’t that eloquent.

It’s messy.

I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.

- James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

I keep reading and re-reading those words. I want it to be my reasons for going too. I want those lofty ideals to be why I moved to Portland. I want that grand vision to be the fuel that drives me to keep going through what has turned out to be quite a difficult adjustment.

But the truth is, real life just isn’t that eloquent.

It’s messy.

This is so true:

What Office provides is a language for doing office things. You don’t go in front of an audience without a PowerPoint deck. Businesspeople “live” in Excel; its language (it actually is a crypto-programming language) has become the language of money and budgets. People who do work with symbols and language to make a living organize their thoughts into the containers and systems that Office provides. Office is not so much a software product as a dialect that we all speak as we proceed about our labors.

So, there that is.

In 2011, the organizational psychologist Matthew Davis reviewed more than a hundred studies about office environments. He found that, though open offices often fostered a symbolic sense of organizational mission, making employees feel like part of a more laid-back, innovative enterprise, they were damaging to the workers’ attention spans, productivity, creative thinking, and satisfaction. Compared with standard offices, employees experienced more uncontrolled interactions, higher levels of stress, and lower levels of concentration and motivation. When David Craig surveyed some thirty-eight thousand workers, he found that interruptions by colleagues were detrimental to productivity, and that the more senior the employee, the worse she fared.

Infants are the drill sergeants of parenting bootcamp. They give you four basic tasks — diapers, burping, feeding, and napping — and then scream at you when you do them wrong. There’s no encouragement, no smiles, just crying and quiet. And they give you tasks at any time, day or night. Just finished changing my diaper? Change it again. Good job, now change that one.

After a few months of breaking you down, they build you back up again. They smile at you. They sleep through the night. They hold their head up, so you don’t have to.

And after it’s over, the tasks you learned — swaddling, diapering, bottle prepping — are tasks you will likely never use again. But the skills you’ve gained — patience without sleep, calm in the face of screams, moving your hand into the shit instead of recoiling — are skills that will serve you the rest of your life.