Sweating The Big Stuff

There was a moment today when I felt okay with getting nowhere at my job. Usually when I reach this point in a day I happen upon a post from someone on Facebook or Twitter about how stellar their world is, which, in turn, makes me feel like a jerk for being so quick to be satisfied with being mediocre.

Today, however, I received a note, via LinkedIn, from someone who was (and for all I know, is) mediocre. He was a manager of mine once, although you could have fooled anyone that he was my manager. I’m one of those crazy people that sees a manager as a leader and a coach, not a figurehead, and I imagine that mindset will be getting me into trouble for the rest of my (hopefully natural) life. The good managers see where your talents and your passions are and guide you into a career. This guy did a lot of what I’m sure he thought was guidance. He insisted I’d make a great career in sales. I insisted that I hated sales and that I would make a better career in workforce management, or marketing, or e-commerce…anything but sales. I hate sales. He felt I could make enough money in sales to make up for hating it with my communication skills.

He’s a salesman. In fact, he directs a bunch of salespeople now, in my beloved City, the lucky bastard. But he got there not by working hard but by talking until the right people’s ears bled. I’m sure, in some dark corner of his brain, he now wants me to be one of his salespeople.

I’m sure he’s still not listening. My passion is still workforce management, my passion is still teaching, and my passion is still writing. I’m not buying, babe.

*****

At work, I’m not getting listened to, much, either. This past weekend I crossed from the threshold of “Maybe it will all work out” to “Contract position thinking.” Trusting myself always pays out, and I never try it first–too many people in the guise “I know better” have killed my straight paths and created too many detours. Letting go over the weekend was the same release that I got from saying no to sales.

This San Diego, this job, it’s not forever. Someday I’m going to be back in my City, passionate and allowed to be.

Onward.

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New Path

This post is getting on the web with the help of a lot of caffeine, a brisk walk, and a folding keyboard. The fragility of the keyboard scares me, but I love the Get Smart-ness of it all, the joy of having a keyboard that starts out no bigger than a CD case that folds open to regular size, with an easel for the monitor hidden in the keyboard shell, the monitor being my iPhone.

I started with smart phones way back in 2008 with a BlackBerry because the eventual goal was that I was going to write on it, long pieces, too. But the trackball on the BlackBerry let me down, and I got an iPhone under duress–I hate touch-screen typing. I’ve had this phone for two years in October and the damn screen typing still makes me crazy. Now, though…now I just need a purse big enough for the two of them, my iPhone and my keyboard. Coach makes a clutch that will hold them.

I’m still getting used to it, of course. The right shift key and the period key are a bit off. The keys look a bit…makeshift. I need to keep a small, pointed object with me to press the “pairing” cavity that syncs up the keyboard with the Bluetooth on my phone (the cuticle pusher that I keep in my cosmetic bag works; the girl stuff can come in handy for more than just foo-foo existence after all). The keyboard requires batteries, but the same size batteries as all the other funky electronics I own (I won’t list them, as one of them will make you uncomfortable). But I have a feeling that with practice I will get used to it, and all of its little requirements.

My new pen.

Onward, dear reader.

What I Have Been Doing Lately

Not sitting in trees, but…

Dearest Reader,

I scratch this out to you from the burnished side of a trip to San Francisco, something that I best do every three months so that I remain sane.  I go there, expel the breath that I have been holding, and then come back to the dry, desolate desert of the state and hold my breath again.  There is, nearly, nothing here that I admire; or, if there is, I forget it in the blasting of the sun and sour moods of the other people sentenced to live here.

“But there’s sun and the ocean and the weather’s so nice.”

It rained this week.  The only time it rains in Southern California is if there is so much humidity in the air that violent thoughts come to mind.  78 degrees F and rain forest humidity make for crankiness.  Pair that with my hatred of the car culture and lack of mom-and-pop businesses here and I sit in despondence.  I feel trapped.  I feel trapped one week after returning from San Francisco.

This last visit to San Francisco was the longest one to date–five days made five hours longer by an earlier flight that Virgin was trying to fill and a runway catastrophe the day before return.  I minded enough because I was going to be a burden on the folks back here (carless, I’m always a burden to them), but I didn’t mind because of all the amenities in Terminal 2 of the San Francisco airport.  I got time to write, read, sit meditation, let someone go, embrace someone else closer, develop a game plan for the next step in my writing, and breathe in a world that accepts me.

Next week I’ll be receiving a travel keyboard for my phone to write in the smallest space, a space that I try to squeeze myself into in a world here that has no problem showing me every shade of animosity.  I’m taking steps to dig my way out.  I’m sitting meditation more, walking meditation more, and trying to love the desert while the dwellers loathe me.  I pray for wind.  I chop green things, tune into new music, take the classes that everyone else calls a podcast, and watch baseball whenever I can find it in any sense.  

Onward.

Yours in transition, always–

JoImage