Everyone will tell you to follow your dreams, but they will never warn you about the price you must pay to be bought.

There is a large billfold of 100 dollar bills with a small rubber band around it and a lock lying ontop of and against the money.
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Are you happy in your career? Do you remember why you got into your field? Have you ever had a dream that was so strong, but your next thought was, this will never pay me the money I need to live, so I better choose a career that is more practical?

Friends and family seem to confirm your lackluster decision to go to college. You choose medicine because it’s the thing to do and it pays well…


In just a few short months

An aerial view of the city of Sydney Australia. In the photo you can see Darling Harbor, the Harbor Bridge, and the Sydney Opera House. There are many boats in the harbor leaving white ripples in the water.
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Beautiful Australia. It’s almost time for me to return to you and my partner whom I have not seen for 19 months, or 590 days. So much has happened since I last saw you, Australia.

I have spent a lot of time in Australia before the COVID pandemic arrived. I have traveled to Queensland and Greater New South Wales. I have not seen the many different views and towns which bring much character to the country.

I look forward to exploring more charming views and getting to know the amazingly friendly Australians.

I cannot believe this is happening. I am…


Always reach for a better feeling.

There are blue-colored emojis and they are all frowning. In the middle of the blue emojis is a yellow happy-faced emoji. The happy emoji is surrounded by depressed blue emojis.
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How much of our lives are spent in unhappy situations, with a partner who makes us unhappy, or in a job we hate.

In these situations, what would you do?

Would you leave the relationship or try to make it work?

Ask yourself the same question with your job.

Would you try to have a heart-to-heart with your boss to see if you can create a different scenario, or would you decide that it just isn’t worth the effort?

Any action you take has an impact on your life and your happiness. You could give up an opportunity and trade…


During the many fluctuations we’ve seen with COVID-19, your network will be there to help you build.

A man is talking on the phone and he’s wearing a white short sleeved shirt and jeans. There are buildings and palm trees behind him. He is sitting outside.
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Do you ever hesitate to reach out to your network? I hesitate to contact some of the people I am the closest to, even though I know many of them would be happy to hear from me. Sometimes, in my mind, I think they aren’t interested in speaking to me. Do you ever feel this way? I have a large network of friends I could call, but why are we mostly ashamed to ask for help?

We don’t want to seem like to…


The signs are unmistakable.

Two women are sitting outside and talking. They are sitting at a metal table and they seem to be having a business meeting. There is a view of nearby hills. It’s a sunny day.
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I have been let go and fired and here are the signs.

You live five minutes from a satellite office, but you’re asked to commute two hours to the headquarters. All requests for working from home, or from the closest office, are denied.

A crucial part of your job responsibilities is taken off of your desk and is given to a colleague with less experience.

You go on vacation and you are asked to take a vacation without pay.

Your co-worker starts to question everything you do and your manager does as well. …


What makes you want to quit?

Runners in a marathon. There is also a man in a wheel chair far behind the team of runners. They are running on a city street. Palm trees line the street.
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I’ve noticed recently how quickly I give up.

The words of friends and associates are sometimes circling on a continuous loop in my brain.

Usually, it’s the not-so-helpful words that stay with me the longest. Not sure why the brain works this way, but it certainly is effective.

I can still hear the words of one of my English teachers in my head to this day. I wanted to apply for a certain MFA Creative Writing program on the East Coast, and I asked him for a recommendation. “Kelly, you're just not ready,” he said.

I had one flattering recommendation…


I struggle with letting myself be seen.

Woman with blue eyes hiding behind green foliage and looking directly at the camera. Her face is partially covered with greenery. Her eyes look turquoise blue. She has dark brown eyebrows.
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I don’t like being seen.

But words are a roadmap to the human heart. It is easy to see a person’s intent on the page. You can tell with only a few sentences where a person is coming from. Sometimes this terrifies me. But it also inspires me. I am moved by my fellow writers who seem to put it all out there with no stone unturned.

Am I afraid of being found out? Well, I would like to keep my anonymity. I guess I chose the wrong career. I have had stalkers…


It’s time to try something new.

California sunset with palm trees. The colors in the sunset are orange blue and pink. The palm trees line the skyline.
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I have lived in California all my life. I feel tied to this state, but it’s definitely time for me to leave.

I’ve been in a long-distance relationship for about seven years. With COVID-19, and the Australian travel ban, my goals have only become more urgent.

My partner is Australian and it has always been our plan to live in the same place. I have never been in a position where I was comfortable enough to not work, so once I lost my job in February of 2020, and was unable to get another…


And what doesn’t

A man in a suit with a white McLaren sports car. He is young and has dark blonde hair. His arms are crossed in front of his body and he is leaning on the passenger side of the fancy sports car.
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It doesn’t matter if you make six figures.

It doesn’t matter if you drive a beautiful car.

It doesn’t matter if you have tenure.

It doesn’t matter if you have a beautiful home.

It doesn’t matter if you have millions in your bank account.

Being well thought of by others, and having status simply fades and quickly loses its appeal.

At the end of the day, all of this is meaningless.

It’s like the saying goes: No one on their death bed ever said, “I wish I spent more time at the office.”

And you can’t take…

Kelly Burns

writer and sometimes singer/composer & painter. Italian-American. INFP. I write fiction and nonfiction.

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