Saturday, August 30, 2008
4 Another Update: Here's My "Big News"
So we never made it to the museum exhibit after all. We had to race to DC in order to make my errand in time. Thanks to some rather crafty driving done by Erik, we managed to squeak into the place I needed to go to before closing, i.e., 5 pm. (Hopefully, Erik won't be getting a speeding ticket in the mail; of course there are those darned traffic cameras placed at several points along the route. Fingers crossed.) I didn't realize they had Labor Day hours until about 4 pm when I called the place to check how late they were open. Oops.
So after a mad dash to DC, we decided to go out for Indian food at our favorite local restaurant. Needless to say, our glycogen stores are fully replenished now. ;-)
Although we didn't stuff our faces, we might have to run again tomorrow to work off some of tonight's meal. It's almost two hours later & I'm still feeling full from dinner. Uh-oh. ;-)
OK, so here's the big news: I am going to Hawaii & will be gone for almost a month. Unfortunately, Erik won't be able to join me on such last-minute notice, & I'm going to really miss him & our furry little "cat children," but all the same, I'm really looking forward to spending time with my family, and of course -- you guessed it -- running in Hawaii. Of course, that's not all I'm really looking forward to doing, mind you, but since I've always wanted to go to Hawaii ever since I was a little kid, I just could not pass up an opportunity like this.
Anyhow, I'm not sure how often I'll be able to blog, publish comments, or respond to comments & emails once I arrive there, but I'll certainly do my best. Most likely, there'll be internet access at the place where we're staying, but I'm not 100% sure.
The other big news is regarding my career: It'd probably be no surprise if I were to reveal that my career is currently in a "state of transition." Yes, it's back to the job hunt for me.
So it looks like I'm going to be shelving my jewelry businesses for the time-being. Additionally, I can't really comment on my current part-time position at present (i.e., this is something different from my jewelry businesses), but let's just say that I'm a "fish out of water" that's looking to head back into the stream. ;-) It was an interesting adventure/experiment to try something so far afield of what I was used to doing, & I certainly learned a lot about a new field, about others, & about myself as a person, & it also reinforced a lot of my existing beliefs about various aspects of human nature in general (!); however, I'll be tucking away these invaluable lessons for future reference & will instead be moving in a different direction.
I'm planning to keep the part-time job for a while, & might even continue working limited hours in the same capacity after I get a full-time job, but for the most part, I've decided to hop back into the job market & look for a serious, full-time job, most likely in the fields from which I came -- IT, science, and biotech. Program management, project management, network & systems administration, the federal contracting worlds -- These are the areas of expertise from which the majority of my career has been built upon, & to which I will most likely return.
I will admit that I do have many as-yet-unfulfilled "secret dreams" -- There's a lot I'd still like to do, & if I had ten lifetimes, I'm sure I'd like to try out all of those possibilities. ;-) Of course, I'm still going to do my best to try to fit in as many of those different experiences as possible. Just watch me try! ;-)
For one, I'd love to write, but don't want to do dreadfully dull & boring technical writing, which seems to be much of what the DC area has to offer in terms of writing jobs. And I really don't want to do journalistic writing either. Ugh. Just not my thing.
Even if I were to freelance at a magazine or journal of some sort, many of these jobs pay zilch, & frankly, I don't want to be broke or work for peanuts. I'm fairly certain that you've got to be a big, established name to pull in a decent living from magazine writing. And anyhow, what I ultimately want to do is to write a novel. There, I said it.
Yes, I want to do creative writing, even though I know it's not practical & won't pay the bills. So, I'll probably work a regular job & write in the evenings, like most other regular Joes and Janes who want to publish their "great American novel." ;-)
I think that the main reason I bristle against convention of existing media formats is that I don't want to be constrained by a rigid form defined by others. I want to have the freedom to speak my mind & write in my own way. I'm a trail-blazer, and don't take kindly to being told what to do or how to do it. I've already learnt the rules (grammar, existing literary forms, etc.), so now I can break them. And the world will just have to deal with me as I am. ;-) My mind is not meant to be constrained by others, and I just won't be caged by anyone. Period.
I'm fiercely independent & likewise love writers like e.e. cummings, Richard Brautigan, Oscar Wilde, Kurt Vonnegut, E.M. Forster, & others who dare to defy convention -- of thought & of form; these are writers who dared to break the mold and make a new one, even if the new structure was just for themselves. ;-) I don't want to do what everyone else is doing; I want to do my own thing. This doesn't just apply to my writing. It applies to how I am in general.
I don't want to control or be controlled; I want the ultimate freedom -- complete & utter self-control. And that's why I also have dreams of running my own business empire on a grand scale -- This is not meant to sound "Trump-like" but rather is actually something a tad bit more altruistic and humanistic. I don't want to go into too many details here, because it's a proprietary, commercial venture. All I will say is that it'd revolve around health & wellness. But that's going to take a lot of capital. And I mean a lot of capital. And at the moment, I don't have that kind of capital, so it's still in the dream phase at this point. ;-)
But now, back to the real world.
Now is not the time for me to run a jewelry business, whether as a full-time or part-time endeavor; I'm frankly a bit disenchanted with it, especially with the current state of the economy, & would rather go back to doing a purely services-oriented business. As I've discovered, dealing with product & inventory isn't exactly my cup of tea. Frankly, it's a real pain in the @$$. ;-)
So, during my vacation, I fully plan to take advantage of the down-time to reflect upon my career. Long breaks are the perfect time to recraft resumes, write cover letters, reflect, & refocus. And that's fully what I intend to do.
So, tonight's dinner was actually more of a "farewell" dinner of sorts. Farewell to my old life and a hello to my new, emerging one. Goodbye for a while to Erik & cats & friends, and hello to family.
Yes, there are some big changes afoot. I don't exactly know what direction I'll be moving in quite yet, but I've decided to take a calm & forward-looking approach. I know I'll figure it out. One thing I'm confident about is that I've always been able to move forward & do things that I've never done before. Even if it turns out that it's not for me, atleast I've learned that lesson & can move onto something else. That way I gain skills that I might not have otherwise developed had I just "played it safe" & stuck with my comfort zone & my strengths; however, instead I gained something by taking a chance & working on turning my weaknesses into strengths. And instead of letting "fear of failure" get in the way of progress & learning, I consciously choose to forge ahead on the "road less traveled." It's just something I do and have always done.
Now, if I can just apply the same principles of my running philosophy to my career -- basically, that is, to prepare adequately for the challenges that lie ahead; to take a moderate, balanced, long-term approach; to maintain strong personal and business connections to others with similar interests & goals in the same & related fields; and to build upon a foundation of discipline & mental toughness -- then not only will I find opportunities & success, but my career will also have a richness beyond material value. And of course, one of those important elements are the people who are part of that world.
One thing that the other night's party brought home is the value of long-term friendship. All of us were co-workers who'd known the guest of honor, who was retiring after many years of service to the federal government. Many of the people at the party hadn't seen each other for a long time, & getting together was such an natural, easy, and warm occasion, that it made me think not just about where everyone had been and where they were going in their lives, but also about the many wonderful friendships I'd made while I was there.
One thing I've always felt strongly about was that I absolutely have to be surrounded by co-workers I like and respect. Of course, it's not a requirement that a person become best buds with one's coworkers, & I can certainly be professional & get along with people I don't like, but all the same, I can tell you that it's so much more pleasant when one can develop an easy rapport with one's coworkers. ;-) Or atleast with the majority of one's co-workers. After all, when it really & truly comes right down to it, why would anyone want to make themselves miserable working 8+ hours a day working with a bunch of mean jerks?! Certainly not me!
I don't care what anyone says; I just could never work with a bunch of @$$holes. ;-)
People are not just the "building blocks" of an organization. I hate that phrasing. It makes people sound like mechanical moving parts in a well-oiled machine. Clichés and crap, all of it. People who talk like this are banal & annoying & clearly don't really comprehend the true value of people. Rather, people are really everything to an organization. And the sooner leaders of an organization realize this in a sincere and meaningful fashion the better.
So let's be honest. Human nature cannot be denied. We work better with people we like and respect. Doh.
And likewise, the people I hung out with the other night at our pal's retirement party were not just co-workers; they'd become true friends over the years. Yes, I know we haven't always seen each on a regular basis, but seeing everybody the other night was just like old times. It was like no time at all had passed. It was one of the most fantastic experiences. I just stood there in awe of everyone. It was all completely sincere too. Warm hugs and lots of laughter. Wow, just simply amazing.
This is the kind of work experience that most people dream about having. I'm not saying that there were never any problems in the workplace, but looking back on my experience at this place, it was so great to work in an environment with other people who gave a damn about each other. That is a truly wonderful & rare experience.
"I wake up not knowing what tomorrow will bring, and am excited by the infinite possibility of it all."