Photo by Denis Cherkashin on Unsplash

“When will I know I’ve MADE IT?” I yelled to my career coach. This was a few years ago. I was frustrated and angsty after months of trying to advance my career, with roadblocks along the way.

“When will I know I’ve gotten there?” I followed up, desperately.

(I just want everything to be PERFECT, to feel “finished”, to no longer need development. O, show me the way to this hidden utopia, expensive career coach. I must find it!)

After a pause, she replied: “There’s no there there. You’re already there, now.”

Of course, this only riled me up even…

Don’t worry, she’s okay.
  1. Involuntarily wake up at 4:15am. Your alarm is for 6:30am. Now you’re in this no-man’s-land of “want to sleep but can’t” and “awake-enough-to-function but also so excruciatingly tired.” Empathize with new parents.
  2. Sprain your lower back muscle during a workout. You had such good intentions for 2021: Do bodyweight workouts 3x per week. So far, so good! And now THIS?! Exercise, I trusted you. 2021, I trusted you.
  3. Your back sprain is so bad, you can barely move. And when you do, it’s like Frankenstein. Or a robot. Actually, let’s go with Frankenstein, because there’s lots of groaning.
  4. You feel…

Are you prepared for the dreaded “What’s your greatest weakness?” question? After all, it’s job hunting season, aka job interview time!

Other articles offer great advice on acing that question. This post doesn’t.

The 5 worst answers to “What’s Your Greatest Weakness?”

  1. “I guess I’d have to say Mortality.”
  2. “My upper deltoid is very under-toned. It could be stronger. Not sure how that’s relevant to [insert your professional field here], though?”
  3. “Sometimes I get Star Trek and Star Wars mixed up.”
  4. “My biggest weakness? Does carrot cake count?! hahah” (You all laugh at your joke. The laughter eventually dies down. The room becomes silent. You take a sip of…

I started playing guitar when I was 12. And 23 years later, it’s yet to deliver any of the female attraction I was hoping for. Oh, woe is me!

Maybe I blame all those VH1 Behind The Music episodes.

They got me all excited: Every guitarist raved about their popularity with the opposite sex. As a hormonal middle schooler, I had no confidence to, you know, go up and talk to girls. Guitar would be my rejection-proof way in.

Fast forward through middle school, high school, college, and now into adulthood: I’m waaaay good at guitar now. …

(Or, what improv comedy taught me about writing)

I’m improvising this post. Yup, I have no idea what this post will be about. I just showed up to a blank page and started writing. Here’s the thing:

I don’t know what to write about.

So let’s make this post about that:

What do you do when you don’t know what to write about?

To channel Sully Sullenberger flying that plane onto the Hudson: Hang on folks, I’m gonna try somethin…

The Big Lesson: Say What’s Literally Happening

Let me save you 2 years and thousands of dollars on improv classes for this first lesson: When drawing a…

I am a slow walker. And I do not apologize.

There are many more of us out there. But you probably sped right by us and didn’t notice.

Or… it’s the opposite:

We “got in your way,” and you certainly noticed us by letting out a disgruntled “Could you walk any slower?” Or if we’re in the crosswalk, a hand-planted-into-car-horn Hooooonk. You made your turn and hurled an expletive through your window.

Unfazed, the proud slow walker keeps walking. Maybe they let out a casual “Where’s the fire?”

Well there was that time an actual fire truck came barreling down the street, sirens blaring. …

don’t ask me how this photo exists

Some days I don’t wanna be 34-year-old adult man.

I wanna be 400-month-old baby who just wants his momma.

Lately I been stressed.

I been pushed out of comfort zone. Which is both great and really hard.

Month ago, was promoted unexpectedly at work. More responsibilities. But also more EXCITE!

Yes me excited, just like baby excited to take first steps.!!!

But baby no have to deal with: managing people, signing invoices, leading a team and making sure they happy, delegating taksks, making unpopular decisions, having people disagree and question you, and doing it all while somehow taknig care of self too.

And oh…

A comic with illustrations by Carlyn Hill (Hi.Yes.Hello.)

Let’s say the TV commercial is for Chobani Greek yogurt.

For starters, it would be directed by J.J. Abrams.

We’d open on Dwayne Johnson in an open-air restaurant on a beautiful beach (shot in New Zealand.) We hear an Elvis song in the background (licensed by his estate.) “One Chobani yogurt,” a server (played by Emma Stone) says, placing down a picture-perfect cup of Chobani yogurt on Dwayne’s table.

As he’s about to spoon up some Chobani greek yogurt, Dwayne overhears a news report on the TV behind him. He turns a bit to hear the news anchor talking about a dangerous, escaped sea mutant.

Photo by Prateek Katyal on Unsplash

I need to write less. To be more concise with my words. It’s hard: all of my writing — Medium posts, emails, even text messages — skew wordy.

Me? I see no problem with it. I LOVE seeing all those amazing words from my 100% amazing totally non-egotistical mind.

And yet…

I read someone else’s work this week. Very verbose. Dense. Long sentences. Paragraphs chunkier than a bowl of beef stew.

I was like, “Get to the damn point already! Cut to the chase!”

And then… a whoosh of self-awareness smacked me in the face.


That’s how my writing comes…

Hassan S. Ali

I write comedy things. the ha & lol. Also a founding editor of Slackjaw on Medium.

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