Thursday, November 7, 2013

Eve Ensler helps me process losing my job

On my commute home this afternoon I was listening to an interview Eve Ensler gave earlier this year, in which she talks about cancer and what it meant to her to be a "cancer patient". Here's what she had to say about it: "[being a cancer patient] fundamentally meant stopping. It meant not being able to do, make, organise, write, create, make the world better… make, make, make. So much of my life had been about proving myself. To stop and not be proving myself, to stop and just be a human being without having to add up to something…"

I have recently begun facing the fact that I wrap a lot of my self-definition up with the things I "do". I do work… boring, mostly unimportant work that I love with every fibre of my logical little being. I do, well, very little else these days. Certainly I fit other stuff in around the working but the thing that I've been doing every day for the past 13-ish years is my work. I go to sleep thinking about it, I wake up thinking about it; my mind is nearly constantly fretting over a work-related problem that I am always able to fix, resolve, or improve. I love what I do, and I love how it has kept me engaged over the years.

And now, I'm losing my job. My company lost a major client and with it a significant revenue stream that we're not able to easily replace. So, the branch I manage is closing.
I've known it was a possibility and I've made small, quiet plans. I paid my car off earlier this year (the fact of which sort of makes me feel as though I've finally arrived at adult-hood), I've saved money, and I've started thinking about what else I might do with my time.

And in all of that, I have had to come face to face with the glaring and ugly reality that I kind of, a little bit, sorta, maybe define myself by my career. I'm good at it, people rely on me to solve problems, to care about their issues, and to make things work smoothly. Now that I won't be doing that forever, I have to re-imagine what it means to be me.

Eve Ensler's comments on what it meant to her to be a cancer patient epitomised the emotions I'm having. I especially liked the bit about being a human being without having to add up to something. I dropped out of high school and didn't finish college after getting my GED, so having the job I do really feels like I made something out of myself… something I didn't set myself up for, something I worked extra hard to get. Losing it now, at this stage of my life, feels pretty gross.

I'm no Eve Ensler, and we already have amazing narrative on feminine empowerment thanks to her so I won't be changing the world, but I feel a sense of excitement at figuring this part of myself out.

Who will I be once my job ends? I'm a woman. And, for the first time in my life, that's enough.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Today was an oddly emotional day for me. I haven't been feeling well for several weeks, and one of my best friends is in town from my company's corporate offices. She's here to work, but I wish there was more time for visiting. We giggled some while working though, and that made me happy. I miss giggling.

I dutifully took my camera with me so I'd have an opportunity to photograph life but didn't really get the chance. Or, I had the chance and forgot to realise that it was a chance, you know?

Oh, I did get an iPhone pic of the pile of new kitty supplies I bought on the way home, but it doesn't really seem worthy of being highlighted here. Also, it's late and I'm lazy.

Even though I've had a short work week, I feel exhausted. Traveling for Christmas, being busy at work, and fighting off intermittent yuckies have all sort of sapped my energy. There are a few things I should do to energise myself, but I'm in this horrible cycle where I don't have the energy to do the things that energise me, so I feel all lazy and sad all the time.

But tomorrow is Friday and I just might have a kitten to bring home. So, that's exciting.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Frosted rose 365:2

As a transplanted Californian, I don't care for the cold. I have lived in the Northwest longer than I lived in California, but that does not seem to have any impact on my tolerance for being cold.

As such, I also do not much care for frost, snow, rain, ice, or general wet-ness. I also sort of hate nature shots but it seems as though frost-covered flora practically begs to be photographed and well… I needed a picture.

So I traipsed outside in my puffy new jacket and snapped a few pictures before work. I was really excited to get home and review them tonight but when I did I kind of hated them all.

I really find my own nature pictures boring. I'm not clever with the camera settings, and I don't always understand about lighting. Some of the shots looked like the inside of a shoebox, others were all grainy and stupid.

There was this one, though. I think this is a rose when it's not winter, and the petals made me think of soft butterfly wings; there's just a hint of colour, promising vibrance in the spring. This bush is right by the dining room window so I plan to look at it often and make sure it's pretty.

If it's not, I'll light it on fire and take a fantastic picture of that.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Daily photo challenge, 365:1

So I have discovered that the Daily Shoot challenge has been abandoned. Today I discover this. The day I have chosen to re-dedicate myself to daily photography. I mean, they discontinued it months ago, but I wasn't dedicated then. So that's unfortunate for me.

Would it be inappropriate for me to start my own project and call it by the same name? I'm annoyed and discouraged at having to be creative all on my own.

So, I'm doing it. I don't have a fancy name for it, but that shouldn't stop me, right? I'm going to build a random generator to spit out daily photo challenges to help me be motivated. It'll be awesome.

I moved recently and had to buy all new appliances; my washing machine is complicated and terrific. The manual for this thing is a small novel. It has 42 different settings. I've used two. I feel like I need a degree in engineering to do a load of towels. But it plays a little song at the end of the cycle to help me learn to want to fold towels, so that's worth it.

On a more serious note, I'm really looking forward to this year. I have more challenges headed my way, and perhaps a test of faith or two. I did that break-a-wishbone thing with my husband though, and totally got my wish, so I'm prepared to believe that anything's possible.

That's a bit of sarcasm for those of you who don't remember.

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