I am not a Lima Bean.


Well, it’s started.

I can’t be entirely sure what did it. Maybe it was watching me throw up my hands and moan about not even being able to make fried rice. Maybe it was the fact that I’d unpacked BOTH of our suitcases while he’d been at work, or the lemon-fresh smell of Lysol wafting through the air because I’d deep-cleaned our already-sparkling apartment. Again. Maybe it was the Craigslist job page defiantly glaring at the world from my laptop screen like some sort of bubble gum snapping, acne faced, petulant sixteen year old. [A friend told me to peruse Craigslist for jobs. I think my alleged “friend” wants me dead.] Whatever it was, with a glint of determination in his dreamy brown eyes, Kellan told me that he would have time that night to walk me through some of the job search ideas he’d been wanting to share with me.

Surprisingly, I pounced on the idea because I would rather repeatedly scrape my gums with an ice pick than deep clean my freaking kitchen one more time. In the immediate aftermath of a wedding and a funeral and twelve hours in a Budget truck, I had zero emotional or mental energy for anything more complex than a box of Lysol wipes, and that was okay. However, a couple of months later I think I’m ready to rejoin the great big world, and my brilliant husband and his left brain will be an instrumental piece of that.

Taken aback by my unexpected enthusiasm, Kellan seized the moment and ran to his office. [AKA our guest room/storage room/laundry room. Let’s be real.] Before I knew what had happened, a blur of husband, white board and rather ominous looking black folders was running towards our bedroom hollering don’t come iinnnnn!

Ahem. Come again?

Baby. I need to get ready for this, and if you see it before I’m done you’re just going to get overwhelmed and then one or both of us will end up breaking into the wine and eating our feelings.

The man and his left brain know me. Preemptively overwhelmed, I decided to channel my nervous energy into whipping up a chocolate pie. Chocolate pie is the antidote for a world of evil, which was what I suddenly had a sinking feeling I was in for.

I walked into our bedroom, and this is what I saw:


Okay, first? Precious. Kellan had spent an hour consolidating all of his notes and the hours and hours of lectures and workshops he’s attended over the years to get as good as he is at this whole job hunt thing. The man loves me.

Second? TERROR. Blue markered categories taunted me from the white board. Self-Assessment. Skills and talents. Accomplishments.  I don’t know about you, but there is nothing like an empty white board with space to prove to the world that I am worthwhile to make me believe I have all of the potential of a lima bean. My right brain doesn’t do white boards and flow charts—it’s much too busy coloring outside the lines and wondering what shade of orange joy is. Meanwhile back at the ranch, the rest of the world is compiling excel spread sheets and doing their taxes. Bless them for it.

Several years ago, flow charts and I reached a gentleman’s agreement that they would leave town and never return, and yet somehow I suddenly I found a laughing stack of them maniacally staring up at me. The imperialist propaganda was BACK. I saw a category labeled What is your brand? and died a thousand deaths, because RIGHT BRAIN. I wasn’t sure what my brand was, but I was fairly certain it would involve a song and dance number and HOW DO I GET THAT ON A WHITE BOARD.

Taking a deep, shaky breath I sat down and opened the black legal pad Kellan had given me for note taking, because sometimes being brave is rushing into a burning building, and sometimes it is staring at a white board.

Alright babe, what are your skills?

As I fantasized about boiling Kellan alive in a giant vat of chicken broth, my mind was suddenly a vast desert wasteland with not even shriveled up cactus ideas. My mouth dried and my heart began to race, and while I wish I could tell you that I was NOT thinking about a spelling bee that I won in third grade, that would be a lie. I have no skills. Oh dear God, I’m SKILL-LESS! I’ve been FRITTERING away my whole LIFE! Is my CPR certification still good? Damn the devil, that expired. WHY did I quit figure skating lessons?!

Sensing that his audience was already reaching the end of her rapidly fraying rope, Kellan got the ball rolling. I blankly stared at him as he began to write, effortlessly coming up with a list of areas he believes that I’m gifted in. Before I knew what had happened, I’d timidly begun to chime in and suddenly we’d filled each category. I was excited again, at the hopeful prospect of finding something to do that I will love. In fact, after we were done I made up a song about how excited I was and danced wildly around the apartment while my amused husband treated himself to a giant slice of pie. [I had to dance the flow charts out of my soul.]

It’s a sweet thing to know that somebody really believes that you could do anything, and thinks you have more potential than a lima bean. Husbands are great like that.Y’all can pray though, because tonight is round two: LinkedIn and Resumes.

…and Lord help us, we’re down to half a pie.



  1. When I was a freshman in high school and Kellan was a Big Cool Senior Who Was Going To College, he explained my algebra to me at youth group. So I mean. I can kind of imagine this scenario. (That’s a true story btw :-)).

  2. Oh Ashley I love the way you write. You’re obviously super gifted at writing, I wonder if that is helpful? There’s not many writing jobs here in Aus but what about where you are? Kellan sounds like a real sweetheart. What a catch :)

    • You are so sweet! I’d love to get to write, and I’m looking for a job that would allow me to do some of that. We’ll see what I find. :) And yes, Kellan is a sweetheart! :) Hope you’re doing well, friend.


  1. […] Albany job search started with a whiteboard, a LinkedIn profile [still can’t talk about it] and one very large glass of Spanish white wine. […]

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