the best thing

Two things happened today. I talked to my brother and then I finished my book. In order of thoughts.

Conversation with my brother

My brother, who I generally refer to (out of love) as Ugly, was trying to convince me that I shouldn’t be afraid of what’s ahead. I was trying to explain to him that it’s not fear of being broke or having to move or getting a new job, it’s more that I have such a multitude of decisions that it’s overwhelming. I’m bad a decisions. Often, I’ll spend so long contemplating what to have for dinner that I’ll forget to eat dinner.

It shouldn’t be scary, he said. I have the chance and the push to try something completely different. Something I’ve been dreaming of for awhile. I can move across the country, or stay here. I can take my career whereever I’d like to.

It’s a rare chance, he said. To do something completely different.

And he’s right. There are some decisions that are simpler than others, like when I’m going to move home. The answer to that is soon. Staying with my brother won’t be a huge problem.

I will figure it out and I will find what is best and I will end up somewhere better. I know I’ve been saying that since last week, but I’m slowly starting to believe it. I’m trying not to be as lethargic and to get off my ass and actually do something.

My book

I just finished reading Phillip Pullman’s trilogy His Dark Materials.

It’s amazing. The theme, or moral or what I got out of the book is that you have to live your life for the greater good. Sacrifices are necessary. Things will suck. You will be sad.

It’s not anything I did not know, of course.

But I’m thinking that there is a purpose. I don’t really subscribe to God or Christianity strictly. I’m Pagan, more or less. But our lives have a purpose, whether small or great. We need to not live for ourselves. Of course happiness is great, but it’s not everything. Happiness is a piece of the puzzle.

I think. I’m really typing out loud.

So. I am trying to make the decisions I need to, after talking to my brother, that will be the best overall and lead me to where I’m supposed to be, after reading my book.

It’s almost as if I have two pieces of a photo and I can’t get the edges to line up right. It’s driving me nuts trying to get it done, but something is not working. So here I am moving the pieces up and down and left and right.

wait.

The Boy asked me, not two minutes ago, why I am not blogging more about what is going on (you know, job loss, sleeping in til noon, and drinking heavily)

I am waiting until Friday, which is my last day.

Then you might hear more. If i have the guts.

tweet? nope.

I have mentioned earlier that Twitter lost my account about three weeks ago. I put up a comment on the Get Satisfaction Boards and e-mailed Twitter directly.

They said it was a bug and they were working on it. I patiently waited. A week later I prodded, and they said they were working on it and would contact me as soon as it was fixed.

I wait.

I email again last week.

No response.

I get on the Get Satisfaction boards today to find that no one has gotten their account back and one person was offered a tee-shirt for their troubles.

Really?

I understand Twitter is a free service and that I shouldn’t expect too much. But they could at least reply to e-mails. Their transparency is not going very far for me right now. Customer service is number one for a paid or free service. I ran a community web site. I know.

I don’t want to give up on Twitter, but I might have to forsake them soon and move to Friendfeed or back to Pownce or something. I loved Twitter, I convinced work to use it on numerous occasions. For breaking news and then for the recent elections. And this is the thanks I get. Great.

What’s up, Twitter? How about you take care of the people who promote you most?

an improvement

I know people were worried about my state of mind when I posted about what happened this week.

I’m OK.

I wanted to say thanks to everyone, friends and strangers alike, for being so incredibly supporting and amazing. I’ve gotten phone calls, e-mails, and encouragement from places I never expected. I feel blessed (a term I rarely use) to have such wonderful people surrounding me.

I’m taking a week or so off from stressing about this whole deal to spend with my friends and pretend I’m on vacation. I’ve been able to work on my blog re-design (again), and work on some freelance possibilities. I’m still applying to everything I can left and right, but I’m realizing that yes, like everyone said, this may be the best thing that happened to me.

I can chase my dreams for a bit and see what happens.

I am spending time with people I rarely got to see before. I am sleeping better.

I can do this. I will do this.

But, if you do have a job open or need a kickbutt web producer/blog writer, you know where to find me.

staffing difficulties

I do not usually write about work. I’m actually barred from it, gotta keep up the company’s profile and all.

But yesterday, I was called in hours earlier than usual, to meet with my bosses’ bosses’ boss.

Yesterday, I lost my job.

Yesterday, I was laid off.

I am fine for hours at a time, and I think clearly. I will file for unemployment. I will have to give my land lord notice. I need to sell my stuff. I will move home in a month and a half.

But there are hours, like when I woke up this morning, that I am not OK. It hits me like a ton of bricks that the place I had called my second home for nearly two years no longer welcomes me. I no longer have a job. I no longer have a steady paycheck. Despite all my griping and grumbling, it was work and there were people there that made me happy. Made me laugh and made me proud. I had a job that was close to ideal and bosses that I liked and could deal with.

I was in journalism, a field I loved. I had plans to do amazing things for our web site. New, innovative things.

None of those plans will see the light of day.

For hours, I am just sad. Sometimes I’m angry. What did I do wrong? I know it was a business decision, but it feels so personal. I seem to have an unending reserve of tears for this. I always told myself that I am one of those people that has passion for their work. No matter what job I had, i was proud of it and I loved it. It was in the core of my being.

I am at a loss now. What am I supposed to do?

I am very thankful for the coworkers who came by to bring me food and comfort me. I’m thankful for the friends who called to express their outrage and tell me that I am a wonderful journalist and I will land on my feet. I’m thankful for my understanding family, who is solidly behind me and my wonderful boyfriend who listened to me cry for 30 minutes, offering what hope he could.

I’m finding it hard to leave the safety of my bed. (I’m writing this in bed). I feel like I am mourning the death of something. Not just my job, but a period of my life cut far too short. I am mourning my faith and love in this industry. I do not know how I’ll find it again after this. Passion for your work does not keep you a job, apparently.

I am one of 1,400 people doing this. One of 1,400 people who are sad, shocked, and angry.

I am finding that in the face of all of this, I can’t find my optimism except for fleeting moments. I tell people that I think I’ll be OK, that I have a plan. But I am really scared, and I am faking it. I do not know what to do today, tomorrow, or the days afterward. I do not know where my life goes from here.

news: I woke up to hear this

McClatchy said it is reducing workforce through both voluntary and involuntary separations, as well as managed attrition, involving about 1,400 full-time equivalent employees (FTE’s). The company will retain its strategic focus on sales, news and online operations as it realigns operations, with decisions about the size and profile of changes differing by location.

McClatchy historically has not used broad layoffs to manage staff size, relying instead on attrition and selected job eliminations through outsourcing. This has been an effective strategy, resulting in workforce reduction of 13% between the end of 2006 and April 2008, but today’s more competitive media environment and challenging operating conditions mean the company must move more aggressively to shape the overall workforce.

I don’t have anything to say…yet. This is scary.

Read morea bout McClathy’s announcement.

thinking about: war

I’m not outwardly political, because being a journalist I’ve learned to keep quiet on my thoughts.

Right now, I’m watching Flags of our Fathers. My father and brother really like war movies. I do too, but sometimes I have to turn them off, especially the ones about the Vietnam War.

War has had a profound effect on my family and my life. I was born shortly after my parents reunited from a 5-year separation. my mother bore my brother alone, in the middle of a war zone. After Saigon had fallen, there was still gunfire.

I’m thinking about this war that we’re in right now. I’m 25. I grew up in a time of peace. We had a strong economy, everything was good. I was a freshman in college when 9/11 happened. It did not change everything. It was a terrible thing, and it changed many lives, but I was far removed. I had a friend who had a friend in NYC. That was it.

I have lived my life in pretty much the same way. Day to day, war has barely touched my life. I have known soldiers, but I have been lucky enough to know that they have all survived. Whether they are the same men I knew, I’m not sure. Whether they have been changed irrevocably, I do not know.

I’m thinking about my children. Some day, this era will be in the history books. The choices this nation has made will be recorded and my children will ask me what it was like. I’m almost ashamed to say that I won’t know what to say.

“I was not involved with the war sweetie. Because I was a reporter then I couldn’t really protest against it, even if I wanted to. I don’t know that anything was different for me.”

What sort of answer is that?

War kills. People have lost husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. It is a big deal. A big , big deal. And my life has been the same.

What sort of answer is that?