The completely unfiltered diary of a 23-year-old (week 40)

5 min readApr 7, 2021

I think I constantly overestimate how much my colleagues expect from me. I was worrying about not doing enough for the climate side of things (a secondary project I’d worked a bit on), and when I asked my manager about it, he seemed surprised I was even asking. Turns out I hadn’t actually been expected to touch that climate thing at all and he was just gonna do it himself.

But anyway, now that I’ve asked, he did task me to do some stuff. Which I’m glad for, because it is a little related to my interests.

I wonder if my team knows I wake up at like 11am everyday and honestly really only put in a few hours of work before getting completely distracted at about 3pm.

It’s terrible. I’m so screwed for when we return to office.

Had my monthly one-on-one with the manager, and he said I need to take more initiative. Damn. How the heck am I supposed to come up with new things when I can hardly understand what I’m currently doing?

Oh well. Just gotta try. With enough smoke and confusion (and confidence) you can get away with a lot.

I went out to the park today and wanted to try doing a cartwheel, but couldn’t bring myself to do it. Damn, the kid version of me would’ve given no shits and just gone for it. Kinda miss the times as a kid when you really gave no shits about what people around you thought (or rather, I guess we were too dumb to realize people could be judging.)

Planted some seeds today. Literal seeds, not figurative “idea” seeds, or crypto “seeds”, or whatever other seeds there are. Anyway, hope they grow.

I was so insanely bored.

Bought soil for the first time today — the shop owner asked what kind of soil I needed and I was like, huh? Isn’t soil just soil? Turns out, nope. So he asked what I wanted to plant and I told him vegetables, so he pointed out two types of soil and said I needed both, in a 2:1 ratio. (Or 1:2. Can’t remember. I assumed it was 2:1 so hopefully I remembered correctly.) It was cheap enough though, $5.50 for both. Plus, I used a payment app and it gave me $4.90 cashback, so it was essentially 60 cents for about maybe 3kg of soil.


Then I came home and realized there were two lizards in my room. Bloody hell. The terror and sheer disappointment cannot be described in words. I sought refuge in another room, then eventually decided to leave the house, hoping the lizards would find their way out of my room.

Unfortunately they didn’t.

Apparently the smell of garlic scares them away, so I’ve made a garlic spray, and now my whole room smells of garlic.

This better freaking work.

It’s okay if I lose all my friends because I reek of garlic odor. As long as it keeps the lizards away. Won’t be scoring any hot vampires any time soon either I guess. Too bad.

My mentor asked to meet tomorrow. It’s happening. I’m so confused. From my perspective, there can really only be two things: 1. He was contacted by the graduate program team, and wants to cover his ass, or 2. He wants information from me. If it’s the latter though, then tough luck, because I don’t know jack about anything.

Or maybe he’s trying to be a nice mentor. Though really, it’s been like five months since we had our last (and first) conversation, which I thought went pretty crap. This is mystifying.

At least I get to see this new office space, I guess. They sent us a list of who’s going back, and it’s like less than fifteen people over the span of a week. And I’m guessing my company has probably 150 people. Ballpark figure. Could be 300.

Every time I go to office, existential dread washes over me when I’m commuting. Actually, it really wasn’t so bad, since I met my mentor (at least some human interaction there) and I actually knew the person who sat next to me.

It was good to actually meet some colleagues.

The meeting with the mentor was also quite decent. Much better than the first one. He smiled much more (though some didn’t look genuine) and actually leaned in this time. Maybe he was in a bad mood the first time. Guess he really is just trying to be a nice mentor.

Plus, someone mentioned how it’s probably weird for him since he’s more than twice my age. It’d be like me talking to a little kid. Of course it’s awkward. Most of the things he talks about, I have no idea. Today I asked what projects he’s working on, and he had to preface his answer with, “Do you know the difference between private and public markets?”

I thought I did, but just to be sure, I said, “Not really.” Well, it actually wasn’t too far off from what I was thinking. Should’ve just been confident and said something like, “Not really, but is it something like xyz?”

At least I get to learn about random finance mumbo jumbo. It’s pretty cool.

He even brought me around the office after lunch, and we had coffee.

Also met a guy called Mitchel. He introduced himself by extending a hand and saying “Mitchel”, but somehow with the mask and, I guess, my debilitating awkwardness, I heard it as “Mitchu”, and thought he must’ve said something like “Nice to meet’chu”.

When I responded, “Sorry, Mitchu?” he didn’t look impressed. Oops.

This new interim office is tiny as hell (it’s a co-working space), but I guess one good thing about that is that you’ll definitely bump into people. And, hopefully, get to form some work relationships.

Ugh. Corporate BS.

I stalked Mitchel a little. Turns out he’s an executive director. No wonder he had no time for my confusion. He did help me pick up a card I hadn’t realized I’d dropped though. Probably another factor why he wasn’t amused. He had to pick it up from the floor.

I made an executive director pick up a card from the floor.


Anyway, I’ve been thinking about it just a little, and maybe I could consider trying to be more serious about my work. Maybe. The intrinsic motivation and discipline will need to be found.

But yes, being squeezed in a tiny office space could be a good opportunity to meet lots of colleagues from all levels and departments.

Fun, though maybe not as fun as making an exec director pick up your shit.

Oh, also, the lizards have yet to make another appearance. I think they’ve left. Not to jinx it, but hoorah!



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