Thursday, July 28

It IS soul-sucking

Recently, NPR did a story about what the actors playing vampires and wizards will do now that their successful movie franchises are over. The story was fine, I guess. I don't care to waste time pondering the fate of wildly rich 20-somethings who might never have to work another day in their lives, but if that's your thing then I won't stop you.

What I really, REALLY liked was the photo caption that accompanied the photo that accompanied the story. Such a tiny thing, probably overlooked by many. Never fear little cutline, I'm here to drag you into the burning light of day.

What's Next? Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe, left) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) will soon discover that finding Horcruxes isn't half as demanding or soul-sucking as finding a job.

I love it. Nerdy and truthy.

Friday, July 22

Self-appraisal. Verdict? Fuck you.

Date: July 21, 2011
Position Title: Copy editor/page designer

1. Position Description
a. What are your main job responsibilities?
Designing pages, which includes writing headlines, deckheads and lead-ins to cutlines.

b. Which job responsibilities do you view as most important? Why?
Meeting deadline because missing one throws things off down the line. Writing strong, accurate headlines because they catch the reader’s attention.

c. Have any new responsibilities been added or removed from your job this year? If so, what?
I’ve filled in as weekend editor more.

2. Accomplishments and Strengths
a. List your most significant accomplishments or contributions during the past year. How do these achievements align with the goals/objectives outlined in your last review?
None. Perfectly because I didn’t list any goals/objectives in the last review.

b. Since your last review, have you performed any new tasks or additional duties outside the scope of your regular responsibilities? If so, please specify.
How is this different from question 1.c? I’ve filled in as weekend editor more.

c. To which of the following factors would you attribute your professional development since last year: off-site seminars/classes, on-site training, peer training, on-the-job experience, better exposure to challenging projects, other. Please describe.
None. I don’t think I’ve developed any further professionally.

3. Areas for Attention and Future Improvement
a. What are your goals for next year and what action will you take to accomplish these goals?

4. Career Interests
a. What are your career interests/objectives?
I’d like to be a presentation editor or chief copy editor at some point in the future.

b. What type of assignment/position would you like next?
Not sure.

c. Are you willing to relocate? Yes

Sunday, June 26

Jump start

I don't believe in signs. I believe I have control over my life.

But they're there. They're small, but they're there, damn it.

Recent developments have made my days quieter and me more prone to introspection. Not a good thing. I've been feeling anxious and down for a while now, and to combat that, I've tried mixing up my routine to do things that might relax me and get my mind on better thoughts.

So I've been watching a lot of documentaries. They take me back to my childhood when the only movies my parents could afford to rent from the video store were the free educational films. My sister and I ate those up, and I'm happy to find that my appetite for them was suppressed but never eliminated. Huzzah!

One night I was watching a movie about a climber who got separated from his climbing partner in a storm, broke his leg and still managed to climb, crawl and hobble his way off the mountain and get back to his base camp. I didn't think anything of it at the time, but he said something in the interview that resonated with me later. He said that while he was stuck in this ice crevasse with a broken leg and no way, it seemed at the time, to get out, he remembered something he was told or had read or had heard before: The only way to survive is to keep making decisions.

Once you stop making decisions, even small ones, you're fucked.

Later it hit me. That's what I've been doing. I've been sitting and waiting for something to happen, for a perfect job to open up or for something crazy to happen to jar me from my complacency. I guess I'm surviving (I'm typing this afterall), but that's all I've been doing. I wake up. I make the decision to get ready for work. I make the decision to eat (sometimes). I make the decision to go to my shitty job. I make the decision to leave, go home and waste time before bed.

It's surviving but it's hardly living. I've stopped making the vital decisions, the dreaded "big" decisions, the ones that might change my life and make me happier.

I woke up one morning and put on my bikini. I was going to work in the yard. The weeds were choking out the lilies I planted last year and overtaking the paving stones on my tiny patio — more green was visible than stone. About 20 minutes into the task, after my usual early-morning worried thoughts subsided, I began to focus on the task at hand. I thought about what I was actually doing. I was killing plants, plants that have been decided through generations of gardeners to be undesirable. I was ripping the undesirables, the ones keeping the sun and water and nutrients from the desired plants, out of the ground by the roots and tossing them aside. Not only was I tossing them aside, I was gathering them together and dumping their limp bodies in the hot gravel next to my house.

I was clearing out the unwanted so the wanted, the intended could take root, gain strength and bloom.

Then there was the dream in which I was pregnant OH BOY. I have many dreams in which my sister is pregnant (something she never likes to hear, can't imagine why), but I've seldom had dreams in which I was the chosen vessel. A few days after the dream, while on the pot, I looked up its possible meaning in a dream journal I own. (I'm not a nut. I once wanted to be a psychologist. My best friend knew this so she got me several books on dreams, the journal and "Man and His Symbols" by Carl G. Jung and that's the reason for the journal so back the fuck off.) The book's limited, abbreviated glossary of dream symbols had three words to say about pregnancy: a new beginning.

So there. My signs: make decisions, clear out the bad and look for a new beginning.

I applied for a new job this week in a city far from this one. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, June 21

Still a job hunter, but I've changed into flats

One year, five months and two jobs later — I'm back to square one.

I've been SO lucky in the past year and half. I've worked for two awesome newspapers, made some really, REALLY awesome friends and learned more than I can even begin to put into words. But I'm still just not where I want to be.

Many of you have noticed that I've been talking about movers and moving and leaving Hilton Head on Facebook and Twitter in the past few days, and have been asking where I'm going and what I'm doing.

Well, this is the best I can do right now:

My last day of work at The Island Packet is July 20. (Yes, I gave five-weeks notice.) While I totally love it here and can't imagine a paper where there is a better team of designers to learn from/work with, being 12 hours from my family has taken a lot more of a toll on me than expected. Right now, I am frantically applying for graphic design and/or communications jobs in St. Louis. In my perfect world, I would get a graphic design job and move straight there from Bluffton. If this does not work out, I will take English classes for the next two semesters and next summer begin a program to earn my teaching degree. At the end of this program I would be able to teach high school English and (I hope) yearbook.

I seriously don't know any more than that. It's scary and stressful, but I know it's what I need to do.

NOW, in related news ... My job is open! If you know someone who is a good designer AND copy editor AND who is willing to work hard (but be rewarded for it) send them to this link!

Well, y'all ... that's my update. It's been a long time, and no promises on regular posts, but this seemed like a pretty good way to let everyone know what was up :)