thursday three

Thursday Three: Outlooks

These last few weeks have been filled with lots of high and lows. I’ve had interviews and rejections, leads and false starts. It’s not easy realizing you’re pretty unqualified for most jobs, especially when you know you could pull them off. It’s been a tough sprint, but I’m trying to remain optimistic.

1. Homemade brunch with friends is wonderful. Yesterday I had the pleasure of entertaining my old college roommate, Erica, for brunch. We made chocolate chip pancakes and scrambled eggs, mimosas, and coffee, and tea from Ricky’s gaiwan. And we talked. I love spending time with Ricky, because we’ve grown into socially aware individuals on pretty separate paths. But when we sit down to chat we fill the silence with stories and shared passions. We discuss the nuances of growing in our communities and our families. It is always a blessing to be in her company.

2. Rejections come in bundles. Today I got turned down for a job that I interviewed for (that makes four rejections this week alone). But I also had a freelance blog post accepted, and was invited to interview for another job I applied to ages ago. I’ve thought a lot about perspective today, and wondered if the negative at all clouds the positive. After a 3.7 mile run today, I’m going to say that the perspective is in my control. Failures don’t negate achievements. (Now ask me again when my rent check is due…)

3. Having something to look forward too will save you. Lots of things are coming up this season, and most of them come faster than you expect (I’m looking at you, Christmas). With the impending terror of the holidays, it is good to have something else to look forward to. For me, it’s NaNoWriMo. I’ve decided to have a launch party, celebrate the craziness of the month. I’ve also got lots of plans with friends in the next month, and I’m hoping these things will help me stay balanced. That, and the kitten snuggles I get to have every day I spend at home. That’s lovely too.

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Thursday Three: Much Needed Color

Welcome to another rousing edition of Thursday Three. This week has been strange and stressful, but I’m trying to look at the positives.

1. Nail polish is easy to take for granted. Working in a food service industry, I wasn’t allowed to wear nail polish. I don’t get my nails done, and I rarely buy expensive polishes (unless we’re talking topcoat, in which case, take all my money), but when I read in the code of conduct that I could not longer paint my nails, a little part of me died. Initially, I didn’t think it would be a big deal, thinking I could paint my nails on my days off. A fantasy world really—I’d never have more than one day in a row off. And the idea of putting myself together enough to put on nail polish for less than 24 hours seemed useless. But one of the little joys in quitting my job is realizing I can wear it all I want. So tonight I treated myself to a personal manicure. Because their must be tiny victories.

2. Optimism is difficult. This morning things were going great. I baked brownies from scratch, I made some veggies patties, I even cooked some tomato sauce. I wanted to use up my produce before it went bad, and it was a great track—I was the kitchen master. But just as quickly, things went downhill. I missed the final delivery of a prescription cat food because a (well-meaning) neighbor brought my signed door tag inside. While on the phone with FedEx I burned (and ruined) my tomato sauce. After finished a load of laundry, I walked in on one of the cats licking the top of my homemade brownies! The positive attitude of the morning quickly fell off. I no longer had everything together—I was barely holding on. I don’t have a job, I’ve gotten three rejections today alone, I can’t make my resume look good: I’m USELESS. I had to remind myself, repeatedly, that a few bad things in my day would not color the rest of it. Bad things happen, but I don’t have to let them control me.

3. Stir crazy is real. I’ve been in this apartment (for 24 straight hours a day) for well over a month. I don’t have any expendable money, so I rarely go out with friends. Any trip outside is to the grocery store or for a run—I don’t interact with people. And the emails from potential employers that begin “We regret to inform you…” are starting to make me nuts. So I’m giving myself a leave of absence. I can apply to jobs and write from anywhere (the magic of the internet). I’m running away. I’m going to spend a little while with my sister in Cincinnati because a change of scenery will do me good. Sometimes you just have to take a chance on your well-being. Hopefully the field trip helps.

What have you learned this week? Can a bit of color change your outlook?

Thursday Three: Inspired

My friend Samantha creates these posts called Thursday Three, which are often remarkable discoveries/observations of her week. I’ve found them very insightful and honest, and I like her blogging style, so this week I’m going to do a Thursday Three update.

 1. Writing is hard. These past few weeks I’ve really buckled down on writing. I write my fiction at a remarkably slow pace, and I’m trying to speed up, but I like working with the nuances of scenes, the structure of the sentences and paragraphs, the show aspect of “show don’t tell.” I’ve written several novels at whiplash speeds (NaNoWriMo vet), and found them entirely trash-able. I don’t want that to be the case, but I don’t want to spend the next five years writing one book. Every time I sit down the write it’s hard, but when I don’t it’s even harder.

2. A healthy dose of fantasy is a must. This past week I’ve caught up on the phone with an old friend, and it felt so wonderful to chat, to be part of one another’s lives again, to feel connected. She is moving to London shortly, and we spent a bit of our conversation fantasizing about high tea in cafes, going to graduate school in downtown, living in the same city, being a part of each other’s lives. This week I’ve thought about being a flight attendant, moving to Boston on a whim, starting a company. None of these things will likely come to pass, but that doesn’t mean that the fantasy is not helpful. The fantasy is lovely, and I will imagine cream tea with Anna for as long as I’d like.

3. Saying yes more often has its perks. As an introvert I tend to say “no” a lot. I would much prefer to stay inside and watch Netflix than go to a party. But when you’re unemployed staying inside all day is a dangerous thing. So tonight I will go to a bar and write terrible poetry with my college friends. And tomorrow I will celebrate the successes of my best friend as she goes off to grad school in Seattle. And these upcoming months I will go to concerts with new friends and find people I like to spend time with. Saying yes is wonderful.

What have you discovered this week?