goals

I was e-mailing with a great business owner the other day and he asked me what my short and long term goals are.

It’ll be good to have these down of (psuedo) paper, so here is an edited version.

1) I’d love to get into blogging more and sharpen my writing. One of my goals is to take my existing blog to the next level or get in with a blog and get big enough that I can call myself a problogger. Being able to write every day is the goal here.

2) I love web production — the act of making sites and content better is invigorating. I Iike being part of the process of improving a site and how it works for its users. There’s so few producers/editors, I think there’s a real shot of success for me in the next 5ish years.

3) In like 10 years, I’d be the editorial director of a site, so I can be involved in both the writing and production. I used to think that it would have to be a journalism-oriented site, but anymore it doesn’t seem to matter. E-commerce, blog, news, it’s all where I want to be.

4) I really want to be part of something that becomes bigger and important. It’s one of the reasons I loved journalism — I felt like I was doing something I could be proud of at the end of the day. I’ve realized something doesn’t have to be blatantly making a difference, but it has to be doing awesome things I personally believe in.

I want to be part of a company, an idea, that cares about the future and wants help their employees succeed. I’ve worked for too many places that only see their employees as just workers, as opposed to people with dreams and goals.

remaining positive

I’ve hard a hard time of it in the past couple of days.

I know Gannett laid off another 1,400 employees, another 1,400 wonderful, well-qualified people out there looking at the same jobs I’m looking at.

I understand I’m good at what I do and I love what I do. I make stories better. I help Web sites relate better to their reader or customers or whoever.

The hard part is keeping that in mind against the thought that there is little money in the bank, I haven’t heard back from places I’ve applied and it seems there are just an endless number of doors closing on me.

I know, because I’ve been here before, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I will end up somewhere better. I will find a company that is financially and culturally stable. They will support me. I will find mentors again. I will grow and learn and I will be better.

The grueling task of my day is to look down that tunnel. It’s the grueling task for everyone who is unemployed right now. Looking down a very long, dark and despairing tunnel.

I am reading a book, The Art of Power, and in it there is a description of the art of letting go. It’s something I’ve had troubles with my whole life. Not grudges, but letting things that have past be. I rarely remain angry at people, but I tend to remain bitter at events. I work at it. I am working, hard, to let go and forget the darkness of where I am, but the light at the end.

back to unemployment

On June 19, I was “let go.”

This time I didn’t sign a confidentiality waiver, so I can talk about it more.

On the outside, I’ve been pretty sunny, saying that I was unhappy anyway and that I didn’t like the company’s direction.

But parts of my are flailing. This is the second time, almost exactly a year later, that I’ve been laid off. The first time I struggled with whether journalism was my true calling and luckily, I felt like i found a job in a new branch of journalism.

So far, I’ve sent out what must be near 40 applications now. I’ve e-mailed and facebooked and linkedin pretty much everyone. I’ve gone to four networking events.

I’m tired and I want to snap at everyone that is complaining about their job. “At least you have a paycheck. I don’t know how I’m going to pay rent!”

I haven’t yet.

I feel beaten down by the system, by the career that I love so much. I feel lost.

Again.

question:

when you’re being shot down, how do you tell yourself that you’re good at what you do. How do you keep your confidence up?

flying on the wind

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the type of person I want to be.

I went camping over Memorial Day weekend with some good friends and at some point, laying on the beach of a lake and laughing, I realized I envied my friends.

All of the people I was with shared one quality. They were people who made it a point to enjoy life, to make the most of everything. For some of them, it was chasing their careers and loving their job. Others, it was spending time with family.

How am I spending so much time worrying about why I’m not happy? Why wasn’t I just spending time being happy.

Seems like a silly realization, but it’s true.

I spend so many hours of the day worrying about work and if I’m happy. Or why I haven’t met enough people in Los Angeles, my new home. Or my aging parents. Or how i could lose one more pound.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve tried stopping. I stop worrying. I say, “I can’t control this and that is as good as it’s going to be.” I say no. I say yes when I want to say no. I’ve been working out and eating not to lost weight, but just to be better.

In a strange way, it’s working.

I’ve lost more weight than I have in a couple of months. I’ve had fewer nightmares about work. I’ve gone out a few times and met new people.

Sometimes, it’s about getting past yourself.

So now it’s about living my dreams. I just got this necklace. On one side is says “Love the life you live.” On the other, it says “Live the life you love.” I’m trying my best to embrace that.

dreams: walking to McDonalds

I remember my dreams a lot, so I’m going to try to blog them. Maybe a dream expert will come along and tell me what’s up.

What I remember: I was walking to McD’s. Instead of looking through the POV of first person, I was looking down at myself, like in video games (this may be because I was playing Fable II before bed).

I’m running through the woods, on path after path, and I finally see McDonalds. It’s in a field, near a housing development. I walk toward it and there are two cute black ladies walking there as well. They’re adorable, but I’m really freaking hungry.

This is the nicest McD’s I’ve ever been in. You have to walk through one set of doors and then up (or down, I don’t remember) an escalator to get to the counter. I’m relieved.

Things that may or may not have happened: Some interaction with a homeless kid? Something more about the housing development?

I think it really boils down to me playing too much Fable before bed. Decipher at will.

I miss…

being near the ocean

being near the woods

getting my feet wet

the excitement of learning something new

the kind of night that flies by way too fast

making egg rolls with my family

getting dragged out to the bar by my roommate

the smell of orange blossoms

Chinese food that never disappoints

BBQ

snuggling close to The Boy, even when I’m hot

knowing that someone has my back

talking to strangers, and having a good reason for it

the camaraderie of a newsroom

making fun of whatever the Mayor’s doing now, or even knowing what it is that he’s doing

whispers he thinks I don’t hear

listening

I had two conversations today that ended up with me thinking about listening.

In the first, I was trying to communicate some frustrations. I’m not sure if I’m a better writer than I am speaker, but clearly my concerns weren’t being heard. I heard the same response that I got last time I aired frustrations. It’s like talking to a wall, you can say all you want, but you’ll get the same response and somehow it’s up to you to keep talking until the wall understands — except it never will.

In the second, I had the reverse problem. I wasn’t listening, The Boy said. I’m easily distracted and was only having half a conversation.

Do we listen to each other at all anymore? Or all we all talking to walls?

on being in the spotlight

If someone ever asks me if I want to be famous, I usually reply that I’d like to be famous enough for people to know my name, but not famous enough for people to know my face.

In truth, I have no idea. In college, my senior year, I took a independent study to make my last semester easier and to also take on a project on diversity that I’d been wanting to do.

I worked hard and no-so-hard, depending on the day. The last two months we hammered something out that made me happy, but not overjoyed. I had wanted to leave a legacy. I have no idea where that document is now. I’m pretty sure no one ever read it.

That’s one time out of a million where I decided to do something and it failed. Usually when I try to do something amazing. Apparently, I’m better at mediocre work than amazing things.

That’s a very sad truth about my life and I’m not trying to be modest.

So when someone asks me if i want to be famous, the real answer is that I know it’s probably not going to happen. That’s fine, not everyone can be famous, right? Not everyone has a legacy to leave behind.

However, it’s pretty disheartening to think that and wonder just what I’m doing with my life then. We can get into theology here, but suffice it to say that I’m not entirely convinced my soul is going anywhere beyond this.

So we’re back to: What am I doing here? The question I end up posing more often than not.

A while back we decided we needed some help in an area I’m not all that familiar with and being the person I am, I tried to help out some acquaintances. It didn’t work out. Not because they weren’t qualified, but more because we’re a start-up and we have a grand goal and the details can get kind of muggy. The part I feel worst about is that no one ever really told these perfectly talented people that we ended up hiring no one. These perfectly talented people are — of course — not too happy with me.

I still feel guilty about that and God knows how many other things we’ve done wrong. I have never been in charge. I’m groping in the dark sometimes here.

I try to live my life without regrets, but in this case, trying to do something awesome, yet again, bites me in the ass.

So, I tell myself, that mistakes must be made and sooner or later I’ll get it right. Sometimes, I believe myself. Most of the time, I wonder why I try.

I’m not looking for any sympathy here, just airing my thoughts on futility.

on being a bookworm

I was walking out of the library after a rough day at work.

I thought, “I love books. They talk to me, teach me, help me escape. And they never fail me. They may not be as good as I hope, but they’re there for me.”

I stopped when i finished that thought.

Every Sunday when I was younger, I went to the library with my father. He read, i amassed a gigantic pile of books that I would absorb in minutes. It was exciting.

I’ve always used books to escape. You travel through land, space and time in books. You find yourself in characters. You find lovers, friends and enemies.

I love books.