As one door closes, another one opens. Sometimes it takes a few shakes of a lamb’s tail. Sometimes it feels like you’ve tredged up the hill both ways in the snow, barefoot, exposed, vulnerable, in shark-infested water with no life preserver, on an island by yourself with a volleyball for a best friend….
Wait. Too much. Dial it back. Sometimes I get so excited to tell the similar tales of endearment and struggle I was raised on by my (founding) father(s) that I get too ahead of myself. I also remember that although we share the foundation of struggle, our stories and generation gaps, so to speak, fill the holes. They pave a way of evolution for the tykes that come next. That in spite of our differences, we share the same principles. We raise and are raised to fight. We fight to make this world a better place.
That said, I can only speak to unemployment in this day in age, and that is what I’ve been. Unemployed. You feel like a bright, eager, talented, little twerp. You feel so passionately about pouring yourself into your career and being the best and the most. You feel so much feeling that when the checks stop, the spirit leaves you. You hate the phrase, “The glass is half full” because you are drained by being a drain of resources, knowing you can be a source that recharges the economic battery. Wanting to do that. Feeling that. Lots and lots of feeling in our generation…
And sharing. Pouring it out in public, looking for dignification.
I have been one of the lucky ones. I posted an article here on The Recovering Politician about my laments of being unemployed, and within ten minutes, I had multiple responses. People reaching out to help. People reaching out to learn how they could help. People as conduits. People offering to learn more about me in an effort to hire me directly. People that had known of my struggle, but when pen came to paper and a Word document met a blog, felt too, the existence of empathy – generational gaps and all.
That article was my own personal white flag. I thought that before I had done so, I had reached my bottom. It wasn’t until I wrote those words and exposed my feelings that I truly felt like it was time to make the climb. It was then I realized I didn’t have to climb alone – up the hill, both ways, in the snow, shark-infested waters…yadda, yadda, yadda. It was time that I changed “feeling” into acting.
As soon as I acknowledged I needed help in the most public and Gen-Y way possible, my digital smoke signals got picked up by the captain of a major vessle.
I am so pleased to announce that I am no longer unemployed – and haven’t been for some time. Two weeks after I posted the first article, I sat down to have simple, genuine dialogue that would pave the way for a brand new journey. Walking hand-in-hand with the most surprising of mentors in the most serendipitous of circumstances.
My Old Definition: Mad Woman Among the Mad Men. Advertising Agency World left me cold, bitter, ill-adjusted, unrefined, crass.
My New Definition as a Work In Progress: Polished Professional Woman, deemed so by her peers, her predecessors, succeedors, family, friends, and mentor: Shelia Bayes.
I have been taken under a wing of a strong, female mentor. As much as I have been taken under a wing, I am also being taken very seriously. I have a full glass if I choose to partake. I also have the responsibility of filling the cup. I plan that, the time I spent wallowing and feeling pitiful about how eager and passionate I am, that I am overdue to have this cup runneth over. For myself – for the company I am proud to be an ambassador of – and – for the people willing to take a chance on me when I was sailing uncharted, scary waters.
I think big. I dream big. I fill my heart and my hopes with nothing but…big. I am the quintessential millenial with big hopes and big dreams. I would be kidding if I tried to state anything less.
So, as one chapter closes, another one opens. Thus is the beauty of life. I said in closing of my last article: “Career, life and love are like great bourbon. They’re fun when they’re young, but there’s something sweet and powerful when they get a little age on ‘em.”
“Oh, and they’re more of a commodity too. Because they’ve grown to become something very special. The days of boxed wine and cheap seats are over for this gal. At least that’s the metaphor. I will be drinking boxed wine and looking on from the nosebleeds until I find a job that soothes the pockets…and then lines them….”
Well, folks? Career seems to be shaping up to be beautiful medley of foundation, confidence and passion, coupled with the good old fashioned molding from those who take a special interest in raw, unpolished, mouthy pieces of (art)work. Boy, she’s got her hands full. Pat her on the back when you see her, will you?
I close with the same phrase as before, with subtle differences: “Love? I assume that may be next. Life? Well that’s what I’ve had all along. I won’t be waiting for wrinkles to become special. This is one thing I’m confident of; a sweet gift I do have in my half-empty pocket that is sure to surprise.”
UPDATE: Here’s to lining pockets, wrinkles in time – not on faces; faces that smile, smiles that ignite. Here’s to a remix to ignition, a new definition, and yes, if anyone asks? We DID start the fire.
Here’s to fires that burn so brightly you can see them from space. Here’s to opportunity, whether it be from failure, honesty, success, or flat-out digital SOS smoke signals. Here’s to sweet, simple, serendipitous moments and the spirit for life that can manifest again and burn so brightly – for a little twerp like me – ready to take things on with vigor. We have a new captain, a charted course…and we are full steam ahead. That’s so stinking cool. Oh, life…aren’t you full of stories. You wanker, you.
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