Wednesday, September 17, 2008

No tenga miedo

How much Spanish do you speak? Bastante? Muy poco? Solamente franc├ęs?

I'm done now. Sorry. I sometimes think in Spanglish...or sometimes straight Spanish. Its kind of fun, and yet often terribly confusing when I'm playing word games (like Scattegories) and my mind is thinking of answers in Spanish.

WOW...so back on topic :)

No tenga miedo translates as "don't be afraid." Its a little motto I need to apply and appreciate in my life right now. I feel like I'm at a major crossroads in my life right now, and have no idea which of the 14 paths (exaggeration for effect, i.e. hyperbole) to head down. I don't know if one is better than another, if one is ultimately the wrong choice, if heading down one path will close off the others forever, or if I can choose one, decide its not for me, and be able to come back to where I am now. I don't know that I want to come back to right now either. Not saying right now is bad, but I'm not sure that I'll want to come back to how life is at this moment...mainly the unemployed part. I'm scared to make the next move, and even more afraid to make the wrong move...and/or not making a move and then having my path chosen for me based on my lack of decision making ability.

Does any of this makes sense? I feel like I'm aimlessly rambling over the keys right now...

This has been laying rather dormant and subdued within me. I played it all off pretty cool...the getting laid off again. Just accepting it (which was really my only option) and not being worried about what was next. Well give me the Oscar then...or maybe I didn't pull off the performance as well as I thought I was. Doesn't matter now. What prompted this post, and this confession of fear, was a brief conversation I had with a friend today. Her current job is less than satisfactory, and she's been looking for a new job, and in doing so a new career as well. She wants to do something meaningful and rewarding to her, instead of just having a job for the sake of being able to pay bills. That's important too, paying bills (unfortunate truth of living on your own), but she's looking for a change, even if it may not be as familiar and safe as her current job. She is good at her current job. She did the same thing before she moved to Seattle, and knew she what she was getting into, and how to excel at it. It was safe...and ultimately dull and unfulfilling.

Recently she's been looking for, and applying for new jobs...jobs that she really wants. She found her dream job, but as yet has not heard back (as far as I know). She also applied for another position, working with at-risk/troubled youth...for lack of a more PC and appropriate term. Kids who have issues, by their own doing or due to their environments, and need extra attention and/or strict discipline. A very intense environment, but one where she feels she can make a difference in the lives of these kids. So we were talking about that job opportunity today, and that's she excited because she thinks the position is going to be offered to her...but how at the same time it scares her. Its a new start (a new start she welcomes) but its going to be unfamiliar, unsafe (not literally, but in the sense that its something new and intense) and totally different than anything she's ever done before.

I told her its natural to be nervous and afraid, but that she's going to do wonderfully. She's got a good head on her shoulders, and even recognizes how hard this new transition will most likely be. Plus her heart's in it, and she's just a fabulous person on top of it all. I have no doubt she would be a wonderful asset to this new company, and an amazing mentor to the kids. And if that weren't enough, she's got some great people in her life to help her out when it gets tough.

After talking with her about that, I couldn't help but reflect on my own position of not only wanting to make a career change, but needing a job...because I'm unemployed. Unlike my friend though, I do not know what I want to do. I just know I want to do something different, and I need a job soon. And yet, in the same way that my friend is afraid to go for what she wants, I'm terrified of the unknown in my job search. I liked that sense of familiarity and comfort that a job brings...even if I didn't particularly enjoy the actual work I was doing. I did love the people, and that sense of security.

So I'm afraid. Fearful of what will happen next...because I honestly have no idea what that will be. Very little could change. Everything could change. Enough could change to feel like everything changed, then a few months later I'll realize life is basically still the same. And that's ok with me. I mean, I'm looking for a career change, but it doesn't have to be some life altering change too. In my mind I guess I've kind of made them out to be simultaneous...or linked in that finding a new career means the rest of my life will change along with my new job. But why? Why am I thinking that? I have expressed my interest in moving...that I'm kind of done with Shoreline. It's not that much cheaper (if at all) than lots of other areas of Seattle. It's too far away from everything, like downtown, Interbay, movie theaters (eh kinda), other friends, good bars, Prost!, a bowling alley, and Wendy's. Make fun of that last one but Wendy's is delicious, and the one in Shoreline closed several months ago and it upset me. The next closest one is in Ballard, which might as well be Siberia. (yay hyperbole!)

I don't like not knowing. It may be what I dislike most. Even what I hate most. And in this case, I can't really even direct where this ride is going. I can apply for jobs here, nearby, further away, way far away, but ultimately where I end up for my next job is out of my hands. Granted I need to impress, and wow my potential employers but I don't get to choose if they offer me the job or not. All I can do is apply, and hope that in my job search I find something amazing, exciting or fulfilling enough to get me less fearful about all this, and more pumped. I want to be more pumped about this opportunity I've been given (or that was forced upon me) to go after the very change I was wanting. Eek! Getting what I want is kind of scary this time...wish me luck :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

For the longest time

Oh Billy Joel...how true those words seem right now.

It feels like its been a very long time since my last post, and considering the last entry is dated August 5th, that's pretty much true. What makes it seem even longer is how much has happened over these past 41 days...or at least it feels like a lot has happened.

I've been meaning to get back here. To update. To blog. To vent. Not sure why I was suddenly so compelled at 1am on a Sunday evening/Monday morning to sit down and actually start typing. There has been lots of things going on, and many of which have almost steered me back here, so this post may be a bit all over the place, so please bear with me.

The biggest and most noticeable change is my employment...again. As I have blogged earlier (I believe I have anyway), my entire office was laid off at WaMu back in May, and then transitioned rather effortlessly to Wells Fargo. Since then, we have all gotten the hang of the "Wells way," but unfortunately the market improved very little if at all. For me, and for four other co-workers, this meant our termination with our new employer. Last Monday, the official word of our termination became finalized as rumors and speculation were put to rest with one simple conversation. The office knew cuts were coming, and then we knew how many, but until Monday we did not know for certain who would be cut...well everyone except me.

A few weeks ago, actually about an hour after I got back from my most recent Vegas trip, I went into work and spoke with my office manager about what was going on with the rumored lay offs. He was optimistic and hopeful for the future of the office and the market, but relayed to me that this job was only for someone who was truly dedicated to the craft...to the mortgage industry...to helping people with their finances through good loans...through hard work, long hours, perseverance and ultimately, sales. I don't sell. I can't sell. That's not easy for me to say because I don't like to admit defeat, but I am not a salesman. Not even a little. So when my manager had finished what he had to say, I responded as honestly as I could...and in doing so I more or less volunteered to be laid off. I said I loved the office, the things I had learned and the people I had worked with, but that mortgages, banking, sales, etc wasn't what I wanted to do. I was for a fresh start in a new line of work, even though I didn't (and still don't) have the slightest idea what that looks like yet. And as much as I didn't want to lose my job, I didn't feel right pretending I wanted to stay just for the sake of being employed...especially when I knew there were others in the office who truly wanted to stay.

So a week has now passed, well almost, and I am once again "unemployed." I put that in quotations because I'm still going to be paid by Wells Fargo for the next three weeks, and yet I am not required, or even expected, to go into work. The silver lining to yet another crappy situation. Last time it worked out better than I could've ever expected, and this time has worked out better than anticipated, but the fact remains that I do not have a job.

I took the last week "off" to rest up, relax, have fun and just enjoy not being at work for week. If only I could keep that up...unfortunately a job isn't going to magically appear like it did when I joined Wells so the next three weeks (hopefully not longer than that) are going to feature yours truly looking for a new job, everyday, until I find something new. Not sure what that will be, or even where that will be, but for now I'm open to just about anything in the business field. For the first time since I started my "professional career," I'm even ok with moving to find work...moving as in out of state, or across the state, or 100 miles from Seattle....or more. I've known for awhile now that mortgages and banking wasn't what I wanted to do for a career, so maybe changing jobs will also bring a new city, a new place to call home, a new opportunity for success. I don't know what will happen, but right now I'm ok with whatever "it" is.

That's unsettling and exciting at the same time.

Along with all this fun job stuff, I've had a myriad of other personal matters going on simultaneously. Most of that however is still not yet ripe for sharing, as I'm not even sure what it all means yet, but its been an interesting mix of pleasant and bothersome surprises. All I know is a few weeks ago I was the happiest I had been in a long time. Things were going well all around me, and I had started having these amazing conversations with a new friend that were helping me find inner peace. Not to say I was filled with turmoil, but I found these chats to be very calming...not immediately, but after reflecting on the topics we discussed and getting more introspective...I felt great. Sadly those chats haven't happened as much as of late, and coupled with the ever looming task of finding a new job, that brief tranquility has been replaced with a familiar and yet completely new stress.

Now don't read this and freak out that I'm an emotional wreck over here. I actually feel emotionally stronger than I can remember. Just a little stressed, and yet too calm at the same time. I knew I was losing my job, so when it finally happened it wasn't a big surprise, and I was at peace with it...but it hasn't quite sunk in yet that I am no "unemployed" and need to find a new job...PDQ (pretty damn quick) or else these little stresses are going to turn into big time problems. Luckily I have some money saved up if the job search only turns up a few lemons, and if I had to, I can always move back home...tho the logistics of that aren't easy to figure out right now.

I just wanted to update people who read this and may not have heard about my job situation, but its also a way for me to let out some stress. I am doing well though, and will turn this little rotten apple of a situation into a delicious apple pie (ok wow...horrendous metaphor there...I apologize and promise I will end this soon and get the sleep I clearly need right now :D). Whatever happens though, I know I'll be ok. I have a great family who I love dearly, and plan to go see this next week with my time off :) And I have amazing friends. I really do. I'm truly blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life. I know I don't always show my gratitude so well, and could definitely tell them more often how much they mean to me, but I hope they know how much they all mean to me...in so many different ways.

Ok. Enough with the sappy ending. I don't know why it always takes me so long to figure this out, or why I don't realize how often this happens and do something about it sooner...but my current stress level (being higher than normal) is (and always has been) a direct correlation to how good my relationship with God is. I haven't been to church since my last post about the Lord's Prayer, and while that's not the determining factor in how close I am to God, it helps. Its the time every week where I make the time for Him...I know I need to make more time for Him, but that, just like me, is a work in progress. Maybe I'll take my own advice (from the last post) and actually pray this week...and then go to church on Sunday.

Just typing that...thinking that...makes me feel better already :)