Tag Archives: opportunities

The Stormy Psychic Seas of Job-Huntin'

The thing about the unemployed-becoming-self-employed-or-something lifestyle is, it’s fight-or-flight, feast-or-famine for a while.
It’s a reactionary life. “What’s out there? Jump! Get it! There it is! Don’t let it escape!”
When it’s about job-hunting, other pursuits in life tend to get dropped while opportunity gets pursued.
At the moment, that’s where I’m at. I have to work as much as I can RIGHT NOW because I don’t know what’s coming tomorrow. I could sit around and collect unemployment insurance and do nothing, but I’d rather be working. I’m thrilled to have the chance.
When it comes to taking jobs, I’m old enough to know that not just anything will do. When it’s 25% of your weekly life, including sleep, you better fucking like what you do, or at least who you’re doing it for and with.
There comes a point in one’s life when one should realize a job interview isn’t just about them interviewing you, it’s about them being good enough for your commitment. This is the first time I’ve ever been patient enough to see it that way and I’ve come close with some amazing opportunities, some of which aren’t yet played through.
Unemployment is a hard, hard road. I don’t care who you are or what you’ve been through, if you don’t learn new things about yourself during unemployment, dude, yer doin’ it wrong. Most of us, it’s probably one of the toughest tests, and most educational passages, of our lives.
I’ve been that person in the past who gets laid off, then the next day has a new resume, and nine days later has a shiny new job. I’ve done that. And it was one of the worst six months of my life. Including my mother’s death. Seriously. Bad choices equal bad results.
Getting A job, ANY job, is easy. They have books on it, you know. It’s a method. Look pretty, smile, be funny and warm and engaging, do stuff during your life that looks good on a resume, learn the answers, know how to talk, and really give a shit. It ain’t for everyone to master, no, but it can be learned.
The right job? Whew. They’re like blue moons and honest politicians, they’re out there — it’s just real damn hard to come across one.
Me, I’m in an era of transition. Whatever happens in the coming days will shape my year(s) to come. And it’s totally up in the air.
How often do we get to enjoy THIS? Uncertainty, hope, possibility, unpredictability, the unknown, variety? Most of us, we find a groove in life and off we go. That’s the path we tread for months, years, and even decades: Routine.
I called a dear friend on the weekend and told him a situation I had to decide about. Do I press forward despite the personal risk? He took a deep breath and sighed, we batted the idea around for a while. At the end, he commented, “I’m jealous: The unknown. I don’t envy the choice, but I’m jealous of the possibility.”
For years, he’s gotten up, worked at the same store, same people, same routine. For years, I had, too.
There’s a comfort in such a routine. It’s not exciting, but you know your bank account empties and refills, ebbing and flowing like any river of life.
This fluttery what-will-I-get confusion and possibility I’m living under these days, it’s driving me sort of insane, but it’s also something I know I might not experience again for 5 or 10 years. If ever.
All that being said… I’m glad I’m getting closer to resolution. I’m ready for a new chapter. I’m ready to work on other areas of my life. I want my financial picture clear and reliable so I can move back to feeling, and being, creative — with abandon.
The long things drag on, the more I feel like I should censor my creative efforts. @Smuttysteff who writes The Cunting Linguist? Sure, that says “hire me.” Well, actually, unbeknownst to some, it does say just that. Still, I’m not a fan of this creative apprehension.
A year ago, the Olympics were rolling into Vancouver. Since then, I’ve grown a lot through taking chances, confronting fears, and believing in myself in a quietly persistent way through some trying times. I’ve had refreshers about what’s important in life — and who.  A year ago, I didn’t know I was about to lose my job. I never would’ve predicted the year that followed, but there you have it.
Even now, I’ve no idea what’s around the corner, except that it’s hurry-up-and-wait time.
But what I can tell you is, I hope I never forget some of the lessons I’ve learned this year, or the old ones I’ve been reminded of.
Adversity’s your friend. Suck it up, buttercup. Become better. Find your weaknesses and replace them with strength. Unemployment is a relentless opportunity to discover who you really are and what you really need.
Unless, you know, you actually enjoy the living-and-operating-from-a-place-of-fear approach to unemployment.
It can be a long ride, man. Best advice is, buckle up and see where the hell it goes. It might just be an end destination you never woulda seen coming.
With that, it’s on with my unpredictable-yet-not week. Oy vey.

From Hair to There

I’ve been adrift in a thought-sea for days now.
Just lost in waves and waves of thought.
About me, my future, what next, why now, where to go, who to see, and a million other things.
I can’t write during those times. I get a little discombobulated and things don’t really happen linearly for me. Writing tends to start, then stop, languishing in the land of Unfinished.
There’s probably a dozen drafts I’ve conjured in the last week for this blog, for me. All starting and then hitting a mental dead-end. But they sit there in the hopes of one day getting cranked into reality.
I don’t really feel into writing today, either, but it’s one of those times that needs to be noted. I’ve spent a lot of time lately working out — turning a lot of lost-muscle-flab back into strength and tone. It’s been a hard, hard, full couple of weeks. I’ve made it past the initiation, though.
The returned-to-it pain that comes from going all Olivia Newton-John on my ass and getting physical is finally settling into a full-body strength and intensity that tells me things are changing, and how. Doesn’t hurt anymore, it’s just a new normal of feeling like I can kick all your asses with ease. I kinda like that. Throwdown Steff, yo.
Today’s a pay-off day, too.
Haircut time.
I’ve been slowly growing my hair out since Christmas. In less than two hours, I’ll be under the scissors as someone turns me into a hair model. I get an experienced stylist hacking my overgrown mushroom cloud of a haircut into something fierce and sexy — because my getting-longer thick mane’s made for fierce-sexy — for free. Why? Because I’m a genius and know where to look for such things.
Adversity isn’t something you need to bend over and take like some listless doll. It requires creative thinking, a smiling face, and a willingness to seize chance as it comes. Me, just because I’m unemployed doesn’t mean I can’t be resourceful about how to enjoy elements of life.
Soon, haircut.
There’s really nothing like a new hairstyle for defining who you feel like at any point in time. I don’t know who I’ll look like in 3 hours, but I’ll know that girl really earned that new look.
I need to feel differently when I look in the mirror. There’s something I’m wanting to see looking back at me, and it’s not there yet. I don’t mean a size 4. I don’t mean something hot. It’s not that. There’s just a sparkle in my eye I want to find every time I catch my own gaze.
I want my amusement back. I want my perennial grin.
I have this card on my bookshelf:

I find that smiling makes people wonder what you’re up to.

It’s that going-through-life equivalent of When Harry Met Sally, after Meg Ryan fakes her orgasm in the deli and the old woman (Rob Reiner’s mom) tells the waitress, “I’ll have what she’s having.”
There’s something fun about BEING the person who LOOKS like they’re always having fun. Other people vibe off of that in really interesting ways, and life gets more entertaining and unpredictable as a result of their reactions.
It’s probably something to do with the law of attraction. Look fun, feel fun, and fun finds you.
For me, that starts with a haircut I can really own, something that, when I look in the mirror, I know for realz that that ain’t the girl who was stuck in neutral for a long, long time — just reacting to life rather than shaping it (for a short while, anyhow).
A makeover doesn’t take much, but it sure has a massive impact when your biggest goal is a different you.
My desire to change myself shouldn’t come across as some “Wow, I sure hate ME, so I’m gonna do something about it!” because it’s actually quite the opposite.
I think I’m awesome. I think I’m funny and entertaining as hell when I’m in the right mood. I can be electric. I know what I’m capable of, what I exude, what I can be.
But most of the time I get in my own way.
Because of stupid, stupid insecurities that have taken a lifetime to develop and need to be undone one at a time, in slow and lasting ways.
As time progresses, more and more of those insecurities fall away. Since my weight’s increased and not been lost in the last year, it ain’t recently about weight or my size.
It’s something internal that’s shifting. That’s how it should be.
A nebulous growth of a new self or worldview, a seedling — small and blooming. That’s real change. It sprouts where you don’t expect it, and it gets along just fine by itself for a while — some inadvertent sun, rain, and away it goes. Then, one day, it needs more and you have to be ready to train it, support it, and give it something to hold to, then it grows taller, and stronger.
That’s kinda where my change is. I’ve sort of got it started, and now I need to define it, make it taller, stronger.
Which is where my head’s been for so long of late.
And today my head gets a new look. My inner self gets a new perspective on its outer self. And change becomes obvious and defined for the first time in a year or two.
All because I get to have a haircut.
For free.
Long hair! Sexy hair. It’ll be awesome. I haven’t had bob-length hair in eight or ten years. Oh, yeah.
So what do you want to change?
Look around.
See what little opportunities for harnessing your life and taking it in a new direction might be waiting for you to discover. If you’re not looking, you won’t see. Pretty simple. Life Through Remedial Math 101.
So, today? This week? Open your eyes. See what you’re missing. Go where it takes you. Enjoy the ride.
I know I am.

When Waiting Can Be Worth It

The trouble with being a fast-food nation is that it’s become the norm to want what you want the way you want it, when you want it.
We’re led to believe that every single day is so important — which is why we need the iPhone, the laptop, the netbook, the fast car, the microwave — that to waste a single moment or wait a single day is tantamount to a national disaster.
And it’s easy to fall into the expectation that because there’s never going to be another today that tomorrow just won’t do, especially when it comes to relationships.
We often don’t have a lot of patience anymore, particularly in love. Me, I’ve never really had it. Continue reading