Archive for the ‘Deep thoughts’ Category

Dear Abandoned Chair – With Love, Abandoned Cushion

Dear Abandoned Chair,

We used to sit together all the time. We’d watch the cars go by or try and parallel park.

You were always the tall one. Me, I was walked all over, spilled on, sat on, treated like Foor. We had good times. Didn’t we? Remember that time we had five dogs and three outdoor cats? I still have the scars to prove it.

I don’t know why you thought a “FREE” sign wouldn’t make me seem cheap. Even after weeks of trying it your way, we still had trouble finding a new place to live after our sudden eviction.  I remember you said this “camping out experience” would be fun. I mean we did have friends early on. Couch and Chaise… we had long nights of hanging out under the stars and that walnut tree. Even the kids from our old place would come out and chill. Like old times.

But then the rains came and “FREE” became “POSSIBLE INFESTATION” and “GREAT CREATIVE PROJECT” and later, “SERIOUSLY, TAKE THIS.” Sure, we laughed about it at first. Then, started bickering when the flies came around all the time.

Now, you’re gone. Left this morning without a word. Maybe you found a home or just got a ride somewhere else. I don’t know. But I can’t believe you left me here alone. I’ll never forget you.

With love,

Abandoned Cushion

P.S. So you don’t forget me…

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Rooster Hair and Worry Wrinkles

When I woke this morning, I had the most incredible rooster hair. It actually looked really cool. I may just leave it like that.

No.

Rooster hair tells me that I was tossing and turning – evenly – on both sides. And I was – until I woke in a fit of anxiety. My term on this rodeo has been a wild one – awesome and strange. And its coming to an end is causing all sorts of stress for me. I need to decide my next move and I need to that it’s healthy for both me and my family.

My biggest fear is drowning. I tend to think I can handle something for just a little too long – and when I realize I can’t any longer – I can only hope there’s someone there to help me. So right now, I’m trying to find that balance between wanting to do kick ass work and drowning in it. I’m on thin ice.

It’s kind of wild to be sitting here at such a crossroad. I have always been so impulsive – but now, I’m really stuck. I don’t like it. I just don’t know what to do.

My Grandfather was really my idol (I wish he were here right now to steer me right)… his greatest wisdom to me came when I was screaming through puberty and asked how he got along with Grandma so many years. He said, “You have to have your own life and a life together.” That phrase has echoed through me for close to 20 years now and has helped me to find my balance.

In my mind there is a wooden teeter totter. On one side are my Interests (work, adventures, etc.) and the other are my Loves (family, social responsibility, etc.). Sometimes – when things get rocky – I accidentally let Interests slide over to Loves just to keep things from going completely out of whack. But that’s not fairly balanced – and those Interests (especially work) can erode Loves quicker than Sweet Tarts to tooth enamel.

I was inspired to conclude this with some metaphor where I compare myself to a certain shape. As I was browsing through the definitions in Wikipedia, I discovered this Philosophical argument, “In Plato’s Meno, Socrates questions Meno as to the most accurate definition of a figure/shape. By showing the possibility of there being more than one definition, Socrates shows that a definition cannot wholly and accurately describe something and that there is no one absolute definition for anything including shape.”

I like this.

I need to determine the type of environment that suits best my balanced ratio of Interests and Loves. Once I do that, it is mine to create. I am the one who controls my wooden teeter totter of balance. I always forget that part.

In other news, we watched “Wanted: Adventure Woman” on Fox Sports last night. With my dental guard in, I do an exceptional impersonation of Carmen. Ask me about it sometime.

Good morning

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Finding the Next Gig

Monday will be 4 weeks. Can you believe it?! It’s amazing how fast a month goes when you’re loving every minute and how S-L-O-W a month goes when you’re miserable.

Anyhow, I need to get myself the next gig. And yes, I have decided I will contract for a while. It has taken me far too many years to accept that I do not like settling down with a company. I guess that stability and consistency makes me feel antsy – like I’m confined. I guess it’s also that I know once I am a mom, I cannot flutter around this way and that – so I want to get all of this opportunist behavior out of my system.

Finding a job is like dating. Most people memorize your interests and profile on LinkedIn and claim to be everything you’ve been looking for. A few handful are bitter and self-loathing and almost want you to help them find a new job. Filtering through that is ever so enjoyable.

The key is to flag buzz words “kick ass,” “process,” “traditional,” “growing so fast,” “working out the kinks – perhaps you can help”

They need to say things like “client loves us,” “proprietary,” “resource manager,” “quality of life,” “learning”

Hi – just like I wouldn’t date someone with loads of baggage, I won’t take a job and help you fix all your crap. You’re the boss. You’re the person with the bigger check. Tell me where my desk is,  tell me of my assignment, tell me where I can find the bathroom, check on me from time to time and we’re good. Helping you work out your process or conditioning myself to work without one, no thanks.

If I go back in time and log all of the times I was happy, it would have been all of the times I was doing what I love to do – organizing chaos, brainstorming, creating, leading, actualizing, optimizing, learning – all that. The times I have been miserable have been when I could not or was not doing what I wanted to do – like swapping static graphics on a Facebook tab or coding a page myself due to lack of resources.

So this will be an interesting exercise.

What is this, by the way?

The Volvo Sign Looks Fuzzy

It snowed last night. There is approximately 2″ on the ground and I am just dying to see if anyone comes to work. Snow here is like rain in LA. People just don’t know what to do. I find that cute.

Anyhow, my morning view is tucked under a fuzzy blanket of fog and mist – so sad – yet so mysterious.

This coffee is awful. We got it from whole foods and it’s like the free stuff you get from the airplane. The flavor disappears when it hits water. I am drinking brown water. I wonder if I add a few extra scoops if that will help things. I’ll experiment with that tomorrow.

In other news, since part of my team is in the UK and the client is on the East and my creative director has gone somewhere near the equator, I like to check my e-mail when I wake up. So. Turned on the Mac to see 28 unread messages. I felt anxiety. But I kid you not, every single one of them was a happy e-mail. Good news, positive conversation. It was remarkable. Has never happened to me before.

I have been working 12 hour days – so I am a bit tired. But I feel good. This week and next week are critical weeks. The following two weeks are more for the event producers to worry about – so I won’t be as taxed. This project is so cool – I’m a senior integrated producer on it, so I get to put my fingers in all the pies: creative, ux/ia, technology, development, strategy. And everyone I am working with is super on the ball – so I am learning every single day. Me like.

Did you know we have a nap room in the office? Isn’t that stupendous? I may have to visit it today. We’ve been getting 7/8 hours, but I think it’s my brain that needs a rest more than my body.

There’s something wrong with my 8 key. I have to hit it really hard 8 8   8  8. Yeah – see those spaces? Those are ghost 8s. Not good.

Well, I’m going to get caught up on my Facebook and e-mail Spam now.

It’s been one week since you….

Today marks the 6th day at my new gig and the 8th full day here in Portland, OR.

I do not regret my decision to leave my job, nor do I regret the decision to pick up and temporarily move all the way across the country. I do best in extreme chaos. When I feel stressed, I clean messes – helps me to focus and find the right path. I thank God that Jaime supported me. I am lucky that she believes in me as she does.

The gig is awesome. I am working with some really seasoned people from all over the states and Europe. Every day I am challenged to go out of my professional comfort zone. Every day I come away with new skills or honed existing skills.

I have a lot of stress though – being a contractor is stressful because your margin for error is a lot less as is your stability. When I was the director of production at a previous job, I had to let some really great people go (maybe the client didn’t like them, maybe the project was off schedule and we didn’t have enough funds). I try to ask a lot of question and research the e-mail threads and conversation history before I jump in too deep. I also go above and beyond to organize information and the workflow. I want them to know I am doing my homework and that I really care.

The major stressor is “what happens when the gig is done?” This isn’t just work – it’s my life.

I am not sure I want to go back to New York work environment. I’ve loved the energy so much, but it’s not where I do best. Now, I loved my first agency until they worked me to death (which later I learned I had let them do), but after that – just really hated it. Too much chaos, too much sexism. You spend all day doing something, you should love what you do and you should feel that you’re growing. More important, the ratio of what makes you angry to the ratio of what makes you happy should be much in favor of the happy. I was angry nearly every day in New York. Most of the time it was masked behind grinning sarcasm, but sometimes I would just be glaring  mad. That’s not healthy. I couldn’t even make friends because all they or I could talk about was work.

Out here, it’s much more chill. There is still stress and bullshit, but there is a better quality of life. People go out and get a cup of coffee – clear their heads. There’s a community in the office – dog lovers, bikers, skiers, whiskey drinkers (yes). They’re just happy people who want to do good work. And that’s not just the production team, either. The account team is the same way. They like to know what’s going on, but if something goes awry, they’re not going to slap you with a splintered ruler – or cry. Hate it when they cry.

So now’s the time where I need to really think about what’s next. Which is insane, because my campaign completes in 5 weeks – so while it’s “go-time” I’m also planning my next move. I will have to work hard to find balance so that I don’t stop enjoying the moments here in Oregon. Life is about balance, faith, love and happiness. If you have those things, you can find your way through some pretty fucked up shit.

Okay, sun’s rising; time to get ready for the day

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