Welcome to Ryley Writes, a collection of thoughts, stories, and work from deep in the heart of Texas.



Well, I knew this time would come, but it feels like it snuck up on me.

My internship at Kingsland ends in August, which means it's time for me to start planning and preparing for what comes after.

I know. I'm sad, too. Excited for the future, but it's bittersweet, as usual.

I've officially started job-searching, specifically in the north Dallas area. And while I'm just in the beginning stages, it's been a much more peaceful experience so far than it has in the past.

This is partly because I have more experience under my belt, and therefore can demonstrate existing skills to potential employers rather than just being a one-woman desperation parade. ("I know I'm 21 and just graduated from college and have no proof to offer you whatsoever, but I swear I can totally do this job.")

Additionally, though, and more importantly, I'm a lot more humble and a lot less picky this time around. I know the Lord wants me involved in ministry and I know he wants me writing, and neither of those have to be my job for me to do them. And that's freeing. My calling doesn't hang on me finding a 9-5 that fits it to a tee. I mean, that would be awesome; but also, I can just get a job! I'm not confident I can get The Perfect Job, but I'm confident I can get A Job. So that's a relief.

Even so, job-searching can be draining.

It can feel like a bunch of try-outs via a single sheet of paper — 98 percent of which is the obligatory name, contact info, education and job history. That leaves two percent of wiggle room to try and work some personality in there. (There is always the cover letter, of course, but cover letters are awkward and I'm very suspicious that anyone actually reads them. Does anyone actually read cover letters? Someone please comment and let me know if you personally hire people and read their cover letters beforehand.)

As I've emailed off my own resume to everyone I can think of and started filling out online form after online form, I sometimes wish it was acceptable to write, "IF YOU KNEW ME, YOU WOULD TOTALLY HIRE ME." Anyone?

Obviously, all the information on a standard application is important, but I feel like there's a lot of great stuff that goes unasked about during a job hunt.

So! I have decided that along with a resume (and cover letter, I guess, if someone vouches for them in the comments section), job-seekers should also be able to submit an un-resume of random, seemingly-unrelated-but-still-very-valuable skills they've learned along their journey, interesting talents, fabulous personality traits, etc. Don't you think that would be nice?

For example, I make a very good latte. I am also overly empathetic and a sympathy crier, so you will never have a bad day all by yourself.

In one of my past jobs (I won't say which for the sake of the establishment, but, um, you can guess pretty easily) I discovered that I can catch live rodents like an absolute fiend. I caught a mouse under a bowl, herded a sizeable shrew out of staff housing, and, in my best work, cornered and trapped a mouse between my feet. Should I apply for pest control jobs instead of communications jobs? Maybe.

I am excellent with names. I handle awkward situations beautifully and with a sense of humor — possibly due to my vast experience in, with, creating, and escaping them. I don't always toast marshmallows, but when I do, I toast them perfectly. I have been told by an eight-year-old that I am "the cutest babysitter," and I receive that.

I can sell just about anything if I believe in it. I am generally low-maintenance. Moms love me.

My jokes are sometimes funny, I have never lost a game of Bananagrams, and I brush my teeth like six times a day (I don't know if that's a good thing or a My Strange Addiction thing, but I already typed it so it's too late). I have decent Instagram game and will take and edit photos for you — and even offer caption suggestions, on occasion. I'm tall and will always reach things on the top shelf for you. I laugh at pretty much all jokes, so I am great for your self-esteem; and I know more about sports than the average American man but am nice enough to let them think otherwise if I sense that they are insecure.

I thrive in high-pressure situations and remain collected during emergencies. As a bonus, I'm type I diabetic and super fine with needles and blood and the like, so if someone in the office needs an EpiPen or busts their head open or something, I'm ya girl.

Celebrities and/or riches do not impress me, so I will never embarrass you by fangirling. I blend well into other cultures and social settings — give me five minutes of conversation with pretty much anyone, and I can establish common ground and at least one inside joke. I won't go so far as to say I was the backbone of my college intramural broomball team (the Ice Ice Babies made two consecutive, very deep playoff runs, for those who don't follow our sport closely) but I will give myself, like, the femur or a ribcage or something else fairly important.

I can eyeball alignment with extreme accuracy, so hit me up when you're hanging stuff on your walls. Or scrapbooking, maybe, if you're into that. I give decent pep talks. I have a firm handshake. I am generally enthusiastic and will believe in your crazy dreams.

And none of this goes on my resume! Imagine what stuff isn't on yours. There's probably all kinds of wild awesomeness about you that no potential employer ever asks about. It seems unfair for all parties involved, if you ask me.

So, this is my promise to you, lil blog fam, that if I'm ever hiring people in the future, I will make sure they have the chance to send me both their resume and un-resume, just in case. Because you never know when you'll need a perfect s'more made or a rodent wrangled; and wouldn't it be comforting to know that the random 20-something-year-old copywriter you hired had those skills in her back pocket? The un-resume should be a thing.

Until then, though, I'll just stick to my more professional (and, fine, probably more helpful) resume and applications and know that at least you people know the important, un-resume stuff. And if any of you are in the same boat and want to send me yours or share it here, I will read it and know for you, too.

Deal? Deal.

High-Five Friday: May 12

High-Five Friday: May 12

High-Five Friday: ¡Cinco de Mayo!

High-Five Friday: ¡Cinco de Mayo!