Wow, really? Two weeks since my last post? Hmm. Well, a few days after I last wrote, I spoke with my dad again. I know, sometimes I’m a glutton for punishment, right? No, actually he had called to update me on the broken water heater for his DC condo. He had been gathering quotes for a new unit, and two of three came back around $1200. Then, he called a third plumber (recommended by a real estate friend), and that guy quoted $600. Yup, mondo difference. What’s the lesson? Ugh, I dunno: I mean, is there really a “range” for home improvement and construction projects? Seriously, my friends in Seattle are gathering quotes for a kitchen remodel. The range on that shit is like $10k to infinity. I mean, I get that appliances and materials can vary greatly with quality, brands, consumer/professional grade, etc. But STILL. An unbounded upper end?? Totally crazy and yet completely true. So yeah, dad called to brag about his cheapie bargain.
Afterwards, he kept asking how I was doing. “No really, how are you doing mentally and physically?” Ugh, why do you keep asking me? I’m fine: I’m doing my job hunting still! And every time I talk with you or mom, you stress me the fuck out! I’ve been reading all about the process: clarifying my values, my skills, my targets; I’m working with a coach; I’m networking, doing info interviews, putting myself out there: this is a full-court press… But you keep making me feel like I shouldn’t be so selective, that I should never have left my job in the first place, that I’m desperate for money, and I should therefore take ANYTHING! I have explained to you my situation: John and I are on the same page, and yet every time I speak to you, you just don’t get it.”
And I feel so much worse after I talk to my parents. So then, dad explained that he and mom have different life experiences that cause them to have a different perspective. But they trust that I know my situation best, and I will make the best decision for me. In the future, if they say something that doesn’t jive with me, I should just ignore it. Riight. I suppose that’s been the advice everyone else has given me: can’t I just listen and then let it go? Apparently, I can’t. I feel judged and doubted, and it throws me into a tizzy. I don’t know why I can’t just let it roll off my back. Maybe I have my own doubts, so when they question everything, all that internal strife just stirs the muck again. I dunno. John said he was glad that I talked to my dad about it. He said I even spoke in a calm way (ha!!). Of course, I haven’t talked to them since. I’m not angry at them. I just have nothing more to say. Shrug.
Meanwhile, I’m still working with A, my coach. Last week, I was supposed to write a Pain Letter, in the style of Liz Ryan, my latest idol. She’s this super sassy HR professional who started a company and column called The Human Workplace. I’m obsessed with her approach. That said, I just couldn’t get myself to draft the Pain Letter last week. I suppose partly, I was feeling like I needed some additional credentials under my belt before I pitched myself to my target (a tech consulting firm)… so this week, I’ve been taking a ton of webinars on philanthropy, grantseeking, grant writing, proposal budgeting, and the like. My goal is to draft the pain letter this week. We’ll see what happens. I’ve been feeling a little stuck these last few days.
On a positive note, I sent out three more info interview requests. So far, I heard back from one: she’s a grant writer for water.org, one of my fav long-time charities. We’re going to chat in April. I also circled back with my bud L (from the plane) and my contact at the Salesforce Foundation. I need to reach out to her contacts to learn more about the new marketing department at the Foundation. Interestingly, I got an email last week from C, the guy who works at the personality testing company in Mountain View. His timing was pretty crazy, because I had just jotted a note last week to check in with him!! We were last in touch before the new year! Now his company has two new job openings, and he thought of me!! I’m pretty excited. I’m going to apply– it’s a corpo branding job, but I’m keen on the opportunity. It could potentially be a dangerous concoction: unlimited access to personality/leadership assessments. Muhhaha!
What else. I went to a networking event on Tuesday, and the people I met convinced me to make a business card. This, after John and J had an entire conversation disparaging the antiquated use of biz cards. Oh well. If my target area is marketing and communications, that kind collateral matters, you know? So I just blew two days trying to create a card that would best “represent” me. Ugh. Yup, talk about OCDing on words. Even down to the job title and other slogans on the card… Seriously, how do I capitalize on all these messaging tools to convey my coolness, er desirability?? See why I’m stumped? Fuck man. I swear, everything in life goes back to trying to make a great impression and trying to be well liked. Pick me!! Be my friend!! It’s exhausting. I mean, on good days, I enjoy the challenge/gamification element of all this, but still. It’s a lot of frickin’ work. My brain is tired.
And on my down time I’ve been giving some thought lately to just how pervasive pain and struggles are to people everywhere. This L’Wren Scott suicide. The Paltrow-Martin divorce. Sorry to use examples from the cultural elite… I guess I’m just using them for simplicity’s sake. But yeah, people always say “You are not alone…” as if that’s supposed to offer some kind of consolation. I actually hate it when I discover how widespread and indiscriminate misery can be. I want more people to be happy; fewer people to be miserable! For example, one of my favorite bloggers… God, I love the way she writes. And from her Instagram and photos, she seems to have such a glamorous and fabulous badass life (especially well-deserved after such a shitty past). Every time I read her posts, I think to myself: “Goddamn: this girl’s got a super smart, good kid; a wonderfully supportive and understanding hubby; a stable/posh life; superb fashion sense; plus her killer writing… Life is good!!” And then, she reveals that 2013 was an especially difficult year for her, because her depression resurfaced. Say, what?? Part of me can’t help but feel sad: why can’t life be just as it appears? Is that naive of me?
Today I was thinking that I might write her. She lives in LA. Shit, thanks to all these info interviews, I apparently have zero qualms now about contacting strangers.