Riding the Bike with One Pedal.

Category: change (Page 2 of 3)

Hope Floats

Sorrow drips into your heart through a pinhole
Just like a faucet that leaks and there is comfort in the sound
But while you debate half empty or half full
It slowly rises, your love is gonna drown

– from the song “Marching Bands of Manhattan” by Death Cab for Cutie

Last Thursday, June 10th, I hit the four-year mark. I anticipated it, I eyeballed the date for days leading up to it. I felt the fluttering fingers of dread rise up in my stomach. Four years since I watched my father take his last breaths, four years that have seen changes and sorrow and laughter and joy and struggles and anger. Oh the mighty anger. In the beginning of those four years, it felt like being in a blender. Nothing would ever return to how it was, the very essence of who I was had been forever changed, and even intellectually you grasp that, of course not, there is a dividing line between Before and After. But you want Before like never before. And you fear After and that it will erase Before and you also find out who your true friends are. People will tell you you’ve changed (and not for the better) and they won’t understand that the faucet of grief doesn’t shut off in three months. That priorities shift and change. In fact, it seems to just be getting started, the grief, because everyone else has moved on and you are rooted in the new reality, confused. And you feel your love and your life will all drown. Your head goes under. Sometimes you think about staying under, too. Nights in the bathroom, on the back steps, crying. Sobbing in the shower, weeping in the car, how can so much sorrow live and thrive in one human’s space?
I miss my dad. Now, though, when I dream about him, it is a comfort. A friendly visit, even if the dream is crazy. His face, his voice, his laugh and the memory of his hugs are etched into my soul. That, I must say, is the thing for which I am most grateful. As I’ve aged, details and names and memories get muddied, blurred, fall away. I feared so badly my father’s memory would follow suit. My grief was my hair shirt, one coping mechanism of keeping him alive, assuaging any guilt I felt about having a laugh or a moment that resembled normal. Eventually I realized my grief became less paralyzing. And in the middle of the afternoon on June 10, last week, I was busy working, as I had been all day. I looked at my calendar on my desktop and frowned. I said the date out loud and then it hit me. It was June 10th. Here and Now. That Day. I felt an instant stab of guilt that I had spent half my day without realizing That Day Was Here Again. Then I thought, wow. All of you people who have walked this road before me were right.
It really does get better.

Mulling Definitions

Friends are mightily important in my life. There are people I know I’d like to give more of myself to, but time/space/energy/location preclude it. But I don’t take friendships lightly, and when I have issues in a friendship, they weigh heavily on my mind. Recently, I had the small realization that just because someone SAYS we’re friends and says all the right things doesn’t necessarily equate to action-based friendship, which to me, is where the rubber meets the road. Then, there are other people who strive to be friends with the people they perceive to be “the cool kids”, so that through association, they are also cool. Does any of this feel like high school yet?

Thanks to the internet, there are a whole bunch of people out there I do call my friends. You are my online friends. You comment, we exchange emails now and then, we’re even friends on Facebook. Thanks to the internet, I found my best friend in the universe. But the internet is also a deceptive shimmery piece of film, where it is easier to ‘be’ friends than to do it in real life. And it doesn’t even have to be the internet – friends in real life, but in a different setting? One of the friends became invisible. This kind of shit really makes me weary. It’s a reason I haven’t posted in a while, because I usually blog about what’s sitting right at the top of my brain, and yes, there have been a lot of great things happen over the past couple of weeks, and a couple not-so-great, but I knew as soon as I sat down to type, this whole friendship thing would start bubbling onto the keyboard. I’m irritated. It makes me want to cull and cut and slice and dice and withhold myself from the online universe.  Yet I’m wrestling with another situation, and I want to turn to some of those people for their advice, their perspective, because I still think most people are good, and care, and want to be needed, even if it’s through the interwebs.

So I dunno. The internet brings us all closer, makes the global village a little smaller, brings us shiny fun videos to share, things we can “like” and things we can have in common. Yet it brings a false sense of closeness, too, and I hate when it slaps me in the face. I want to share my life and I don’t.  Some things can’t/shouldn’t be shared, and those are the things I muddle through with best friends. I’m a problem-solver and it sucks to not be able to find the answers readily.  Maybe that’s the point – not everything has an answer. Some sentences, some problems, and some friendships – are just left hanging.

Many Methods of Measurement…

When I lived in Minneapolis, I worked for a small ad agency that eventually tumbled and crumbled and closed up shop. While I was there, I made some friends, worked on some interesting business, and got some good funny stories (always important.) One of those was sort of snarky, if only because it was brought on by the target of our snark. One of our co-workers (public relations) always behaved as though she was working ‘just to keep busy’, as though she existed on this ethereal plane above us, even when she walked among us. She loved to recount her days spent in New York City, and her favorite line was uttered with dripping nostalgia: “Life was measured in Hermes scarves….” I had to ask my compadre in snark what in the hell that even meant. “Oh you know, Jennifer. They just scrimped and saved and skipped meals so they could afford to buy a Hermes scarf. They’re like, $500 apiece.” Safe to say that was a different life, and definitely a different plane from mine. But my co-worker did a spot-on imitation of her, complete with the wafting of her hand and fluttering of her fingertips, and I could almost see the brightly-colored silk streaming in the breeze.

Since my unemployment started, I’ve measured time differently. It’s odd, and strangely emotional, as I tried to explain it tonight at knit night. Each day that I wear makeup, I take it off in the evening with one of those makeup-remover wipes, the kind in a plastic bag with a seal, to keep the moisture in. When I first lost my job, I wondered if I could continue to afford to buy them. (They’re like, $5 for a package of 30.) After the terror of financial ruin faded, I did continue to buy them, and as I removed one each night, I wondered where my life would be the next time I needed to replace them. Unlike the previous 10+ years, I don’t have the illusion that when the calendar page turns, and the makeup-wipe wrapper is tossed in the trash, life will be the same as it is today. In some ways, certainly, I don’t want it to be the same. But we are creatures of habit. For the most part, we have routines. For 90% or so, that routine includes getting up and going to work roughly 5 days a week. Now I work part-time and cobble up freelance as I can, and wait. And wipe. And wonder. Where will my head, my heart, my creativity be when I wheel my cart down the beauty products aisle at Target, and toss another Boots 4-in-1 Makeup Remover wipes into the cart? Not knowing, in some ways, is good. It stretches you. It pushes you into new perspectives, new paths, as you restructure your New World Order and check your budget and reflect on what you enjoy doing and what you’re rid of, too. In some ways, though, my heart aches to the point of tears for the comfort of knowing. Let me clarify. The illusion of knowing, because none of us really, truly KNOW. We assume. We hope. We wish. We trust. That things will remain relatively the same, because they are comfortable and they provide and they are The Way, where work or goods are exchanged for money or services. So when people say things like, “Let’s plan to do X, I think it’s the third week of April,” my mental calendar is a mystery. I used to know immediately if I could participate or not, what was on my schedule and what the future purportedly held. Now I assume very little and just wonder… where will I be?

That said, I can pretty much guarantee that I won’t be buying one of those silly scarves.

Say Goodbye to My Leetle Friend

Well, y’know, what with working part-time and being frugal (usually) and meal planning and going to the doctor and thinking about all the foods we eat, what’s processed, what’s over-processed, what’s delicious, what’s not,  I started to look at my Diet Coke addiction. Even diet sodas aren’t all they’re banged up to be, apparently, but I didn’t care when I was over-stressed and trying to get through the day at the Last Place. I drank a minimum of 4/day, and on exceptionally busy days, amped that up to 6-8. Telling myself it had no sugar and all the lovely, lovely caffeine was an easy justification.  I had done a mega-stock-up, shortly before my ‘downsizing’, and I started scaling back to a couple per day.  Then I went to the doctor, where I was informed that it wasn’t the best friend I’d hoped it would be. And I felt a shift in my mind, like maybe it wouldn’t be so hard to just start here. Phase out the Diet Coke. Insert water. I’m trying to wean myself from Splenda, but that’s a whole ‘nother story. Because we also have a lot of Crystal Light hanging around the house, and I enjoy drinking that, too. Small steps. So today, I stop my regular dosing of Diet Coke. That’s not to say I won’t enjoy one if I’m out to lunch, or NEVER AGAIN will I drink Diet Coke. I just think one of the things I’ve learned/re-learned is how much better regular home-cooked foods and baked things taste, and as I get older, I’m thinking and asking myself more often, “What the hell’s in this?” (Years ago, somebody in this house bought some Hamburger Helper, and since I’m also on a mission to use UP stuff, we had that for dinner – with deer burger, I liked to call it “Venison Assistant” in my head.. anyway, omg, so salty. It fills you up b/c you’re drinking a gallon of water to balance out the sodium!)

But I’m not phasing out caffeine – I love coffee, always have, and that is my regular morning routine (even when I was slamming the Diet Cokes!) I think it’s safe to say I’ve cut back on my dependency – of recent weeks, my daily consumption was a cup of coffee and 1-2 Diet Cokes  – but I’m going to have to incorporate some extra coffee or black teas into the routine now – the withdrawal headaches are a total bitch.

So, Diet Coke, thanks for all you’ve done for me. I’ve got quite a few Coke Rewards points thanks to our years together, so once I’ve entered them all in, I know we’ll have a farewell gift to always remember you by…..


Today, my dad would have been 66 years old. By some measures, still young. I’ve dreamed of him a lot lately, but then last night’s dream also included my mother and Katie Horner, so I’m not spending a lot of time interpreting things…

I miss him. I think of him every day, and now, with this gift of time, I have more perspective, a better understanding of how you do continue to live when you lose someone you love. The first months, I was convinced that without grief, he would be gone. Somehow,  losing the daily sobbing would make him fade, disappear. Then in the next wave of months, it felt like I’d been sentenced to a lifetime of wearing fractured glasses. Impossible to see anything the way it used to be, frustrated that others were blithely continuing their own existences, angry that nobody understood and everyone wanted me to be Over It. Guess what? You don’t ever get Over It. You get Through It. And it ain’t easy.

Last night, as I waited for sleep to come (and bring me both my parents plus a local meteorologist), I thought of how the gaping chasm of grief has become a fissure of melancholy. Bittersweet and deep, but it is something to be acknowledged, even appreciated, not fallen into. Today, even now, as I give voice to these things, I will weep, because the sorrow never goes. But those days are not everyday anymore.  Instead, on the ‘regular’ days, I’ll smile, a melancholy or secret smile to myself, when I say something he would have said, or laughed at, or been angry about, or railed at the idiocy of, and we share this. Inside me. When he was alive, he was outside of me, and now in death, he is in my head and my heart. Instead of always mourning, I get to celebrate what we shared, what he taught me, the gifts he gave me.  I’m grateful for those who’ve walked this path before me, who shared their perspective and wisdom, because even though I didn’t necessarily absorb it at the time, I put it in my pockets, tucked it away, because I’m a gatherer and a collector, and I knew it would be good to have down the road. Time. How greatly we want it to stand still, to not have anything change, to stave off death, loss, sadness. Yet time is what gives us relief, peace, perspective and appreciation.

Instead of just mourning his memory today, I celebrate the man who gave me so much, and even in death, still laughs when I do.

Unsolicited Advice

It’s been busy. Between going back to work part-time, and having a huge cool freelance project, it feels like I’ve been juggling my time like old times for the past couple of weeks. But of course, it’s great. Friday, we had an awesome new business pitch, and we did a great job – rehearsing several times, hashing through our messaging points, constructive feedback and just a general coming-together …. let’s just say it was a nice way to do business and built camaraderie.

And through all of this, in the back of my head, I’ve been thinking about unemployment, and how it feels when you first become unemployed, and how it evolves, and things you need to do, and things other people should do when it happens to you. Because it sucks royally.  So I’ve put together a quick list of the core learning points I got from my arguably brief stint on the unemployment lines. I realize my experience is my own, and my time on the sidelines WAS short, so by no means do I fancy myself the most sage and learned person on the topic. But there were some things I was told when it happened to me, and I recently passed some of those on to a friend of mine, and if it can  help someone else, well, that’s awesome.

1. File for unemployment immediately. Do not pass go. Do not wait a couple weeks. Just get yourself into the system. If you received any severance, but you don’t know how much yet, well, just be honest and report everything you can. Your employer will report as well, but the process of starting your benefits will at least begin.

2. If you are receiving severance, get it in one lump sum. You may be getting paid for four weeks’ of time? But if you receive it all at once a week after you leave, you report the amount you were paid, and you’ll discover your eligibility kicks in sooner.

3. Get thee on the LinkedIn. Connect to everyone you’ve ever worked with. Change your status so people know you’re looking for work. There are different camps out there on this? But I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to hear from my client, concerned about my welfare and offering to help me network any way they could. Your soul will need these things. Network, network, network.

4.Get out of the house. I heard stories about some former colleagues who withdrew, just retreated and played video games all day. First off, I haven’t heard of anyone finding a job that way, and second, being isolated gives you WAY too much time in your head to get discouraged. The good/bad side of this vast amount of unemployment is that a lot of folks are in the same boat. Meet at a Panera (free refills!) and just talk. I made some new friends (or finally met my virtual ones) – pensive girl, a new knitting pal – and re-connected with SO many people. I had the time, after all! And it was heartening. To not feel alone.

5. If you know someone (or worked with someone) who’s been let go – reach out. Give them a call, drop them an email, just say “hi”. I had a couple people I shared a lot of time with in my job completely ignore me after I was gone – and even if I didn’t consider us great friends, per se, it would have been nice to at least have heard a “Hey, sorry to hear about this.” I get that there’s survivor’s guilt or you think your own job will be in jeopardy – but at the end of the day, we’re all people, we’re all human beings, and it’s nice to hear that you’re missed. It definitely changed my opinions of the ones who never said a word.  (Of course, there are going to be folks you don’t miss for a moment! So there’s a silver thread in that bit of truth…)

6. Accept that there will be bad days. Don’t beat yourself up for them, it’s part of the experience, unfortunately. We are one of the most ‘working-est’ societies in the world, and if you have a career you enjoy, losing it will feel like part of your identity is gone. You will question your skills, your last environment, try to figure out what could have happened differently, but the important thing is to pick yourself up, and keep moving forward. Even if that means standing in place for a little bit.

7. Get a recommendation from your existing employer as soon as you can. I did not do this. If they tell you it’s got nothing to do with your performance (as they told me), then by all means, get a letter so you have that as a reference.

8. Speaking of recommendations, ask for as many as you can on LinkedIn – because these will give you positive input and help you through those days of gloom and paralysis.

9. Consider career coaching (LandaJobNow.com is a great resource here in KC, specific to advertising/marketing folks) to help you with your resume and identify new avenues. I have a longtime friend at LandaJob who gave me some invaluable advice on my resume. As in, suddenly I not only looked great on paper? I felt great. In real life. Unemployment can leave you feeling like your accomplishments have been devalued – but they haven’t. You’re vital and have something to offer the right place!

10. If you can freelance, do it. Just keep an eye on how much you’ll make vs. how much you’re getting in unemployment. If you make more than you’d get on unemployment, you won’t get UI benefits for that week. (You don’t get to have both.) If you make less than UI benefits, the state will calculate the difference and you’ll get a portion of your normal benefit. Your benefits are supposed to cover you (marginally, granted) while you spend all your weekday time looking for a job. If you cut into that, it affects how much you get.

11. Don’t listen to people who marginalize you for being unemployed. Frankly, with 10% unemployment rates, those people should shut their pie holes and be grateful they’re not in that pool. But I’ve  heard stories of people being sneered at, asked why they don’t just go get any job, how do they like living off the government, living on the dole. Well? It ain’t welfare, folks. It’s not a huge amount of money, but in my situation, I couldn’t just go and get any old job at minimum wage, because that would have brought in LESS than unemployment, and I wouldn’t have had any time to look for a job in my field, let alone interview. Employers pay unemployment insurance, and this is all part and parcel of being a business owner in the US.

12. COBRA benefits. Right now there is legislation that allows you to maintain your health insurance benefits for the first 9 months at a greatly reduced rate. This is crucial and awesome. I believe you only have to pay a third of the regular COBRA rate. And this counts for DENTAL as well. My former employer didn’t even know that and we had a huge flurry of emails hammering it out because I received a notice from Delta Dental referencing the lower COBRA rate that I should have received. I had even done the math on whether or not to maintain the dental insurance, but seriously, just get it, as one cavity and your out-of-pocket goes way up and beyond the insurance costs, even at the open rate.

13. Common sense stuff – create a new budget right away. We shaved our monthly expenses down rapidly, and in the process, discovered just how much money we saved by simply not eating out. Not that we were dining out on the town with bottles of wine and four-course meals, but when you’re working all day, you’re tired, you come home and don’t feel like cooking – well, those $20-$40 takeout meals add up right quick. We dropped our subscription to the Star (which I confess I still miss, though I feel a little better about not amassing all that paper for recycling), went down to one movie instead of three from Netflix, I extended the time between haircuts, and scaled back on shopping and food choices. CostCo and Aldi’s were my new best friends, along with the sale flyer (online now!) from Price Chopper. I suddenly paused at the prices at coffeehouses, trading in my large lattes for a regular coffee, room for cream.

14. But don’t eliminate everything, if you can afford a little slush in your budget. One of the kind things my husband said to me very early on was that he understood and appreciated how hard I was looking for a job, but that in all of this, I should take a little time for myself, try to have a little fun. Another friend encouraged me to do the same thing. I went to a movie (matinees are cheaper!), and spent money on coffees and even went out to lunch with friends. (Oh, how many lunches I owe people, too. What a sweet, sweet gift it was, to be treated. At first I felt very blustery and insecure, absolutely nobody could pay my way, but I saw that it wasn’t the money I was rejecting, but kindness and generosity. So I accepted it, and look forward to repaying the gestures in fun and unexpected ways in the year ahead.)

If I think of anything additional, I’ll follow-up with a part 2. If one person reads this and finds some comfort and assistance, then it was worth it! Always start your day with breathing, and for that matter, end it on the same task. Hang in there.

A Very Good Day, Indeed.

Yesterday was one of those blue-ribbon, splendiferous days that you thought may have faded into the naivete of youth, when birthdays brought a new bicycle and summers were long unending days of sunshine and grass, an enormous hiatus from school and responsibility. Yesterday was absolutely fantastic. Yesterday, I accepted a job. A job I want, a job I’m looking forward to going to, and I’ll start out part-time in a couple of weeks. A couple months after that, I’ll be full-time. But it wasn’t just the job. It was so many things. Lunch with two dear friends. Then I went to the grocery store, where one woman stopped to compliment me on my wrap (the background image on this blog, in fact), and another woman came over and we had a nice chat about yarn, knitting, local yarn stores, and Ravelry. She wasn’t familiar with a lot of the things I was talking about and scribbled notes on the back of her shopping list. My husband coming home and telling me he’s proud of me, reflecting on the life we’ve built together, and how we navigate the waters well together, because there have been dark, bad seas for both of us in our years together, and even in the bleakest hour, there is comfort in knowing you are not there alone. Later that night, we went out to dinner for crab legs, and while James was up getting dessert, the woman seated behind me started complimenting me on my shoes. (Dansko clogs, patent black leather) Random kind friendliness, piling onto the day. We decided to give the slots a shot, and the wheels spun and the bells rang and then my $20 became $40 (being the nervous nelly gambler, I immediately cashed out). It was a day that felt like it glowed, with no nicks or dings or scratches, one that had only improved each hour it was here, and it was so very good.

Many blessings to count. Happy Thanksgiving.

Fired Up

It’s a challenge, when you’re unemployed and actually relied on your income for your life essentials, to wake up every day and explode with joy and optimism. The news doesn’t help – hitting you with mixed messages – GDP UP! Retailers are worried about holiday sales! The recession is over! Unemployment in Missouri remains flat! Meanwhile you network and apply for jobs and try to figure out how to crack through the HR Linebacker who arbitrarily (or not) determines whether (or not) you get to interview.

And then you meet people who give you The Look, when they hear you’re out of work. I think the only thing that keeps me from punching The Look off their faces is that I do understand it comes from a place of sympathy, but fu-uck. It rolls pity, despair and pessimism into a tortilla pinwheel of bitterness, and makes you want to cover all the mirrors in the house and wait for shivah to be over. (no, I’m not Jewish, but I could be.) Really? You, who are employed, are going to look at me like I’m Eight Belles and waiting for my overdose of barbiturates and think that’s gonna help? OK, obviously you do, so this is my Public Service Announcement to all of you: IT DOESN’T.

Ask me what I did, what I want to do now. Do you know anyone in your circle who needs those skills? That’s the best response. Give me your email. Send my resume on to them. (And for those who have done this for me, Bless You. You are heroes and on my Jen Got A New Job Party List. Yes. I’m optimistic enough that I have, already, considered the party I will have to celebrate once I’m re-gainfully employed.)

JWo caught the movie “Fired!” one day and told me I needed to see it. So I set the DVR, and once it was recorded? I let it sit. Because I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about it – there’s a certain camaraderie out there among us all, and there are a lot of us, just from advertising alone. I’ve even made some new cool friends and reconnected with old ones because of the shared boat. But sometimes it can also feel a bit like salt in the wound, when someone gets to leave the boat, you wonder how/when/why/where your stop will come, and do I really want to watch famous comedians and people bitch about how they lost their jobs and have since gone on to fabulous Hollywood lifestyles? I’m not even trying to have a Hollywood lifestyle. My blog is as famous as it gets, and unlike some, I don’t pull down half a million or more doing it. So, I let it sit. And then, one afternoon, I watched it, and immediately wished I’d seen it sooner.  It really is good. And the biggest surprise, was that I found myself moved to angry, agreeing tears with none other than Ben freakin’ Stein, someone I consider to be waaaaaay over there (gestures Stage Right) from me on the political scale. So moved, in fact, that I transcribed what he said, because I couldn’t find it anywhere already, and by god, it’s passionate and I couldn’t agree with him more:
“The real problem is an ethical problem. It comes about when the workers are laid off, their pensions are terminated, their health insurance is terminated, and then the management reorganizes the company in bankruptcy  and walks away with hundreds of millions of dollars while the ordinary rank and file has been laid off, fired, their hopes and ambitions and aspirations destroyed and that is happening all over America and its sickening.”

“There’s something extremely unappealing, about saying we’re trying to stay competitive, therefore, you’re fired but I get a hundred million dollars.”

“It is disgusting, it makes me want to vomit that we have people in Iraq and Afghanistan laying down their lives for a just, lawful, compassionate America, and here at home the looters are running wild. That just makes me sick, and I think there should be a stop to it … it disappoints me very much that Mr. Bush, whom I like very much, is not taking major steps to reform the bankruptcy process so that people cannot put a company into bankruptcy, destroy the lives of the employees and then walk off with hundreds of million of dollars in stock, that is a very very bad situation.”

— Ben Stein, in Fired!

So, off I go, to check in at the unemployment office, where I will go through a ridiculous government-created mouse maze to prove that I am a real human being who is unemployed, because writing out my name with a two-inch pencil and turning it in to one person, who then sends me to another line to put my SSN into a keypad, and I’m directed to a bank of computers, where I’ll punch in my PIN, on the same website I can access from home, and wait 60 seconds for the computer to process my information, all of this will allow me to keep receiving my unemployment checks, which will tide us over until my boat stop arrives.

This time, though, I’m taking some hand sanitizer with me. And that, my friends, shows us that in every situation, no matter how mundane, demoralizing, or trivial, there are lessons to be learned.

Lovin’ Every Minute of It, Nah-Nah, Nah-Nah…

So, there are jobs out there, it’s just a long process to hurtle yourself through the door. I had an interview this week, and am glad I had some inside scoop on the job, because it was one of the fastest interviews ev-ah.  Apparently that’s how they roll. Mkay! I shall write my thank-you note and we’ll see what happens. I’m also continuing to network like a mo-fo, so much so, I am a little challenged to even keep up with it all. Fortunately, I also have a friend who’s gone out on his own, and he has SO MANY connections. He was following up with a contact I’d emailed and never heard back from, despite phone messages, and he was able to get some more info (guy’s out of town, totally slammed, and is going to call me next week.)

Add to all of this three small-ish freelance gigs!

It’s not easy, waiting and wondering and not knowing. I mean, I know. I realize that nobody gets up, goes to work and knows for sure what’s going to happen. A meteor could hurtle from the sky and squash you like a bug, that would be un-anticipated. Not on your mental agenda. But being unemployed means you really don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring. A phone call?An email? Some communication that will unfold into a meeting? An interview? Where? Will they like me? Will they like me more than the 20 other people they talk to? Will they like me the most? So many unknowns, a gal could go crazy trying to run them all through her head. Yet even with all this uncertainty, I’m … happy.

What I am happy about is when my one freelance opportunity came to be, the person hiring me was describing his process of how he came to arrive at me, he said, ” I think she has experience in this particular industry, I know she’s smart, I..” I didn’t hear much after that.  Thanks. For recognizing I’m smart. For smartness not being a threat. I told a sage agency owner I met with that first week of being unemployed, all I want to do is work someplace where I don’t threaten people. Because I’m smart. He got it, having been in the same boat himself at previous jobs or interviews. Finished my sentence for me, actually, because I didn’t want to sound arrogant about it, but he got it. Was already there.  Knew that it’s not about having a crazy vocabulary or being able to spell really well, it’s about everyone having confidence in what they do, what they bring to the table, to not be fearful if someone has a great idea. A couple of the jobs I’m going for are big deals. They carry a lot of responsibility, and should require a lot of brainpower. Some aspects of the job, I’m not going to know. So I have a choice. I can be fearful, that I don’t already know how to do every single thing, or I can be excited, because I’m capable of learning, and I know that even while I’m learning, I’ll make a difference.

The other thing that I’m loving is how supportive everyone in my life is. From my husband to friends, the great MommaLinda to former co-workers, to new friends who are skimming alongside me, in their same unemployment-issued skiff, the positive energy is just tremendous. So thanks to everyone for this, because it truly makes a difference. And not that I’m counting my chickens before they hatch, but I had a mental flash yesterday of just how big the celebratory party is gonna end up being.


I met with a freelancer today & got a project she doesn’t have time to do.

While I was meeting with her, I got an email from a former co-worker, with a freelancing project that may come to fruition down the road.

While I was answering the email on the second project, I got a message on Facebook that my friend sent my email and name to his old boss who’d just posted they needed media freelance help.

My mind is whirring. And whirling. And wondering.

Is it a sign?

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