03 January 2015

The View from Another Side

The thing about applying for jobs is that there is no real science to applying for jobs. Instead, there are a lot of questions. Should you only apply to jobs you think you might love? Should you stick to your experience area? Should you start something new? How long should you wait before deeming a prospect dead? How should you react to not getting a job you weren't sure you wanted? 

Additionally, the actual applying is a nightmare. Even if you upload your resume to a site, it's probably still going to ask you to enter your data manually. Even if you write a thoughtful cover letter, you don't have any assurance it's going to be read by a human being. Even if you're qualified, you don't know which people are really hiring versus those just posting jobs for the sake of formality.

I was presented with unique opportunities in June, thanks to knowing people who knew people. I was able to freelance, further developing certain skills and deciding which professional paths I did or did not want to pursue. I could compare it to a professional playground, where I could sample the swings and the slide and decide to master the monkey bars without repercussion. It was a blessing. 

We choose our paths so young. We decide what we want to do so early. As college students we focus all of our energies on reaching one career goal. In some cases - just as we realize it - we're forced to recognize that goal is just a milestone on the way to something greater. And we're faced with the reality of having to figure out how to get to where we suddenly must go. I built a career in news. I met my goal when I got to this market. I then had to ask myself what was next. I then had to accept that my narrow focus - the same focus that helped make me successful - had also limited my capabilities. I hadn't developed enough skills to easily transition onto a new road. Freelancing opportunities helped me rectify that. 

07 June 2014
Cafe des Amis
Let's be clear though - my life was not all self discovery and career development. I ate fancy foods at fancy places.

I talked to the people who called to make me feel better - even though I never felt down.

I think that's important to note. I never felt hopeless or desperate. I mean there were times when I pushed people away. And we've discussed my less than positive reaction to employment suggestions I found to be lacking. But I was never despondent. I always had the feeling that I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing. That feeling of rightness made it easy to stave off the panic that never truly arrived. And it allowed me to be open to logical and not exactly professional pursuits. I got serious about painting.

I didn't take any "before" pictures. I wasn't blogging and documenting wasn't a priority until I started to see my vision taking shape.

First, I had to prime.
Minimal taping required.
The blue.
Additional taping required.
So pretty! 
Even prettier!
(At this point I was reusing tape because I refused to go back to the hardware store.)
Literally just as I imagined it.
This is really where I wished I had taken a "before" picture. I changed the orientation of the room. I changed the color and arrangement of the seating. I removed shelving and added art. My living room had been reborn and I could not have been happier.  I want to write "I finished right on time for visiting friends." The truth is I pushed myself to finish because I had friends visiting.

14 June 2014
Mission Dolores Park

Please allow me to re-present Jon. He's been here (both on this blog and in SF) in the past. We worked together in Las Vegas and though we were friends, I feel like we became better friends after we didn't work in the same place. That might be revisionist but, at this moment, it's how I feel. So I'm going to go with that.

Jon lives a little further up the coast with Miss O. Together they're a gross amalgamation of love. Theirs is a lovely manifestation that gives hope to the once heartbroken and seemingly interminably single. I enjoy them. In the middle of June, we sat in a park and watched a movie.

It was a night containing some of the best SF things. We sat with a few hundred people drinking drinks, eating popcorn and watching Ghostbusters. At one point, Jesse appeared to share our blanket. The whole thing showcased the SF spirit that I love so much. 'Twas among the best times.
What else? I spent time with friends. Together we saw Jarad perform with his band. It's not my kind of music, which is unfortunate because I like a lot of types of music. Nonetheless, I'm a strong believer in supporting passions. We used to go to a lot of independent shows when we lived in Fargo and the same principle applied. I'm not sure when or why exactly that stopped. But I'm glad to have a reason to once again see new bands.

Also, guess what? I went on a trip! Seriously, I didn't see it when my parents called me a jet-setter but we've yet to come across a month when I stayed home for its duration. I love my apartment, Promise. It's just that it was time for Abby to get married.

26 June 2014
Ithaca, NY

We are now at a point when I regret my lapse in writing. I want to describe everything to you. I want to preserve the memories made over the course of those days with Abby, her family and our friends. I want a lot of things. I simply don't have the time to deliver. Still, there are a lot of things I can tell you.

I wore makeup. That's my face, with makeup applied by a very patient woman at Sephora. I was actually in this wedding. I wanted to look the part. Also, my role had been upgraded. Pregnant Tab delivered her baby (as planned) and therefore could not attend the wedding (as was also planned).

Yes, it was a dumb plan. I get that. But the alternative would have been to plan Abby's wedding without Tab in it. Even knowing all the variables that still seems asinine. I'm not as well versed as Tab regarding the things that need doing when you're second in command for a wedding. But Tab gave great advice and great motivation. I really did not want to disappoint her.

So yes - I put makeup on my precious face.

I spent a lot of time just sitting and watching Abby get groomed.
We dined like vegan kings and queens. 
We did "traditional" Ithaca things.
There was a lot of grooming.
When Abby had her makeup done, I had to take pictures and send them to Tab. Everyone in that situation knew I was not to be trusted. My only input was "Wedding. Not a drag show," which is what I told the eyelash technician.


Everything else happened in a blur. My friend got married. I gave Tab's speech. I cried. I saw friends I hadn't seen in a really long time and they still felt like home. I ripped my dress. We all went dancing. I drove the bride & groom to their hotel. I got a calzone from D.P. Dough. There was brunch. There were goodbyes. It felt like graduating college all over again. There was just no way to know when this group would assemble again. Leaving Ithaca this June was the saddest I had ever been to be traveling to San Francisco.

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