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