One step forward, two really big steps back…

So what is the most inconvenient thing that could possibly happen during a week that I am unpacking from a move AND trying to prepare a program launch to roll out with all the bells and whistles in one week?

That’s right, you got it:  my iPad, which has the most comprehensive and best organized files for everything, gets stolen.

Go me.

And of course, at the recommendation of an Apple geek, who explained to me that there were all kinds of problems with the location services in the new upgrade, I deactivated the :find your iPhone” app.

Go me again.

So if there’s anyone out there who would like to drop their life for a couple hours to listen to me vent, or to help me pick up these pieces so i can at least minimize the damage to my sanity and sleep patterns, please let me know.  I knew it was going to be a lot of work to get everything accomplished this week that I needed, but this is ridiculous.

Advertisements

Tired Apathy

Just having one of those days I guess. Feeling completely unmotivated to do anything. Is this just a breakdown from working so much on Aspire, as well as fruitless job hunting, and still feeling like I am getting nowhere? Am I tired, or am I burnt out? Or do I just need to REALLY let myself take a day to myself once Ina while that isn’t forced upon me or the result of feeling like this? I don’t know. For right now, all I want to do is sit here and eat candy and maybe watch some TV, if I can find the damn remote…

Whistle While You Work, or Why I Rock

So I walk in to the office today, and there is like no one there. Only the managers and supervisors and me…so not sure what is going on, I join the meeting, and my boss just keeps going with his supervisor training that he is doing today. Mind you I am not a supervisor yet. At the end of the meeting, I can see my boss pointing me out as he is finishing the training, and talking to me like I already am a supervisor. I know that if things continue to go smoothly this week, that promotion could come as early as next week, which would be fantastic, but to have my boss looking at me and talking to me like I am already one of the leaders on his team feels really juicy.

To top it all off, as we’re getting ready to leave the office, the results from a two week sales contest come in. Out of three offices, four of us were going to be selected, based on our sales and performance, to be guests of DirecTV, in their luxury box suite, to a catered event at Coors field for one of the Colorado Rockies games next week. Aside from the fanfare of July 4th fireworks that night, we will be given the royal treatment, with a catered affair and prime AIR CONDITIONED viewing of the game as stars of the company from three different offices. O the four winners, three were from our office, and I WAS ONE OF THE WINNERS!!!!!!!!!

It is so nice to be recognized for achievement, but even more gratifying to see that my boss and fellow coworkers were actually happy for me that I had won. Hrs work is one thing, but hard work accompanied by the genuine support of the people you se every day makes work simply a joy and a payday every time I go in.

It’s been a real long time since I’ve allowed myself to feel this good about myself. And yes at a couple points today the threat of tears did come through. I am overwhelmed by the good fortune I have had over the past month. I am overjoyed that I have been able to grab it and make absolutely the most that I know how with it. I am astounded that for the first time I my life I can envision and see so many of my most incredible dreams coming true, and that I can see true and total happiness within my grasp and within my control. This also comes with a fear and knowledge that I have a distinct talent for self sabotage. This time thou, I have a stronger resolve than I have ever felt to not let myself get scared. No more what ifs or woulda shoulda couldas. This time, I have the opportunity and the ability and the authority to make it happen. I will make my dreams come true. Not because I have to or I am afraid not to, but because if these small victories feel this good, I can’t wait to see what it feels like when the dreams I have really do come true!

Smells Like Teen Spirit, or Why I Want a Car YESTERDAY

Ok so i am exaggerating a little bit…

But how stupid does it feel when your supervisor invites you to dinner, you think you have it all planned out, and then AFTER dinner, you realize you read the bus schedule wrong…?

This I now know…because I am a dork, and I did read the bus / light rail schedule wrong…thankfully I have a supervisor who is good natured and friendly, and who has allowed me to sleep on his couch. So here I am, almost 37, kind of feeling stupid that I am taking to the charity of a 25 year old…

At least he didn’t just tell me to find a way home, and at least my pride wasn’t so fragile that’s was afraid to admit I was a dork and pretend all was good…so I may be a little rough around the edges for work tomorrow…I’ve dealt with worse circumstances…and at least now I know that I am of course a valued member of the team since we had breakfast this morning for the second time, AND I had been invited to dinner tonight, and after being a total dork, he still (at least at this point) seems to look at me like I am generally a good guy…

Things could be a lot worse…

Gooooooooooooooooooaaaaaaaal!

Closed my first deal today, and it felt AWESOME! Feel like the only things standing in my way are structural, and like I can overcome them both so much more easily now that this part of my life is simply going to flow. With the initial worry over getting that first sale closed, I feel like now I have both the knowledge and the confidence to get the job done, and get it done faster than even I might have thought I could.

Found out that the manager’s conference this year got pushed back into November, and also feel like that’s close enough to my original goal, that I can push up my plan to be in management a couple months so I can qualify to go to Jamaica. Never been, so know it would be a great incentive to shoot for.

Gt to fly solo for the first day tomorrow, and I CAN’T WAIT!

Moving Right Along

Attitude is everything. Today flew by. Perhaps part of it was having an extended meeting at the office before going out into the field. I think more of it was hearing about some of the successes people are having, and really seeing how much opportunity there really is for me at this place.

I like to consider myself somewhat malleable: I have managed to adapt to a number of different work environments in the past several years. I have been in counter food service, residential treatment, juvenile corrections, retail management, founding and nonprofit executive management, and now this. With little exception, I have managed in most cases to gain the trust and confidence of my coworkers, respect and accolades from my managers and overseers, and had the benefits of relative success and incredible knowledge acquisition. As I look at all of these, I keep being reminded of how all these experiences keep making me better, and while there have been times in all of these endeavors that I questioned the magic, or if this was REALLY what I wanted to be doing, I know that every one of them has either gotten me closer to “the dream”, or been a strong complement to that process.

I am still not entirely convinced that this opportunity will be the perfect fit for me. As I continue to presently have two full time jobs: this one, and Aspire, Inc., there is a big part of me that wonder if I will ever find a single perfect match, and I am reminded how I was told in the 7th grade this would be one of my most difficult struggles. I can honestly say I am beginning to really enjoy the work I am doing with this new job, and I can tell you the potential is tremendous. I let my supervisor in on my goal to be in management by the first of the year, and to hear such a positive reaction from someone who has been with the company for a year and a half and not gotten there yet was both flattering and encouraging. The fact that after a week he had no doubts that I cold be in that role on my timeline made me feel great. There was even some confusion when I started talking about it, and when he thought I was talking about being a supervisor by the end of the year, he seemed poised to tell me that I wasn’t being ambitious enough, as if he believed that expectation was selling myself short. I haven’t made a sale yet, but there were two things that really hit me today: the first was that just by a law of averages, once I have the store to myself on Saturday, ALL the sales that get made will be mine, and that once I break through that barrier, I know the success will simply start to flow naturally. Especially now knowing that my goals are more than realistic, and that there are going to be people encouraging me to achieve them, I feel like I may really be able to have the kind of success that I want to have at any, but particularly this job.

So much of my life has been motivated by fear and the need to find a way to survive. I got a brief but distant glimpse of what that could look like when I was working at the last job I left. For the first time, I feel like I really do have control over my destiny, and that life is not a waiting game for me to keep looking around for the perfect fit. I can do incredibly well at this job, AND still maintain the nonprofit I founded to fulfill my desire to become a philanthropeneur. I can become a business leader in this industry AND work to empower people and communities through my charitable and philanthropic efforts. I can enjoy doing something that I know I am really good at, AND continue to build on doing something that I already have a passion for.

I’ve never believed before so strongly: life really is what you make of it.

On Display

I am not a fan of initial interviews: the ones where you go in, they take one look at you, smile, and then say “so we’ll call you soon”. Five minutes of their time is at least a coup,e hours of mine, and I honestly find it kind of insulting and a little bit transparent as well. While we all know that it is illegal to make hiring decisions based on general attractiveness, it is clear that this “initial interview” process is used for just that. This is, after all, a marketing and management company, and it’s impossible to deny that in that type of environment, aesthetics come into play.

And it has nothing to do with my self confidence. I would consider myself of generally above average in the looks department, and I’ve gotten my fair share of favorable comments when I put a minimum of effort into my appearance. That being said, and even though a company might currently have an upper hand in this interaction, I find it kind of insulting to ask me to out in considerable time to prepare to meet, and then only be given five minutes of their time. I know my time is worth more of an investment than that. Fortunately, given what I know about management / marketing, and what I discovered in researching this company, I have plenty of reason to believe that I will be selected for the next round of interviews. I am supposed to hear from them later this afternoon, and while I do want to get back to a paying job as soon as I can, and I will certainly continue to pursue this opportunity, I’m also not holding my breath in anticipation of any type of result after feeling like, at least to this point, my time was not valued as it should have been.

Boy do things suck, so let’s keep talking about just how badly…’cause that’s productive…?

I feel like I’m doing a lot of defending outside attacks on stuff lately, either my own or (and yes I am having this argument right now) making an attempt to defend public subsidies to PBS.  It’s making me really tired to feel like I have to keep doing this, and how much I hear about how everything is no longer a choice because no matter what, it’s just a choice between the “lesser of two evils”.  Pardon my profanity (well not really, when have I ever been politically correct), but BULLSHIT.

OK.  Some local PBS Affiliates do a really crappy job of contributing to their communities and use federal funds to broadcast a “liberal biased and ultimately unnecesary” set of shows.  GREAT.  Thanks.  You win.

OK.  So you don’t agree with Mitt Romney‘s views on marriage, and Barak Obama‘s ability to influence a democratic-controlled legislature is non-existent.  WOW.  Incredible!  They both suck.  You win.

OK.  Moms on welfare are having 20 babies to support their crack habit in the rent free 2 bedroom project penthouse, and the ones actually following welfare-to-workfare are ending up homeless or in jail because they lost their child care when they got a job and the police found their 12 year old breast feeding the newborn while the were at their second job today because rent was due last week.  FANTASTIC!  let’s just cut all of thos programs and let natural selection do it’s thing.  You win

So now we’re at Critics: 3  The rest of the world that I want to live in: 0

Let’s take away all the federal subsidies for PBS.  Goodbye community forums for the nonprofit sector in Denver.  Goodbye Ice Cream socials on the 75th 90+ degree day in Cheeseman Park this summer.  Sure, there’s some other group with extra money lying around that will pick up the slack. It will be one less station I have to skip over when I’m surfing my cable guide too…

Let’s forget the fact that one of the perks we get with Barak Obama is Michelle:  the most loved first lady since Jackie O, and the most effective since maybe even Elanor Roosevelt.  Not to mention, isn’t she kind of like a Hillary, just without all of the fear of lesbianism and misogyny that has been thrown at our Secretary of State for over 20 years now, and no one will argue that she works her as off for all of us, despite the fact that everyone apparently can’t stand her?  She must be doing something right when  her boss admits on many an occasion that she works harder than he does, and she’s good at it…

And let’s stop supporting the welfare abusers.  Come to think of it, I don’t have kids, so why should I pay property tax to support our horrendous public schools?  Those kids will learn a lot more from having an extra 40 hours of unstructured and unsupervised activity creating graffiti on my front porch than they could ever learn in a civics class…oh wait didn’t we stop teaching that in public school?  That’s right, why teach the kids about how thee government works?  They’re just going to vote for the guy who bitches loudest and most often!!  THAT must be why Obama’s community organizing experience got him the presidency…

I like the fact that kids go to school.  Our educational system as a whole could be a lot better, but I have some theories from my own teaching experience as to what sucks, and it’s NOT the people in front of he classroom.  I can’t say that it’s THE reason I know how to spell, but I will always remember Cookie Monster‘s favorite song.  Because of the work I do I am well aware of the many ills of our political and social support systems, but I also know that there is a whole lot more good that comes out of those things that we never bother to say thank you for.

I founded a nonprofit that uses our action statement as our mission and driving force “empowering individuals and communities, redefining philanthropy”.  More often than not, I get a reaction of disbelief when people hear that out loud.  I’m going to redefine philanthropy?  So it probably comes as no suprise that I have gotten many a giggle when I start to explain that this action statement comes from a belief that i state as follows:

all people, if given the opportunity, will make the choice to do the right thing

Think about it.  How often do we state explicitly something like “you can make a real difference by volunteering at an animal shelter one hour a week”, or “your five dollar donation will buy a volunteer dinner so that they can lead tonight’s field trip to the aquarium”, or “thank you for being an involved parent and making sure that your children get the support they need at home to do well in school”?  More often than not, and I admit my own guilt in this, we scoff at Alyssa Milano asking me to give 50 cents a day to save a child’s life in her UNICEF commercial?  I know for a fact that her service to UNICEF is a lot more than her 30 second spot, and has cost her thousands of dollars that she has NEVER asked or been offered alternative compensation for.

Maybe if we too a moment out of our day, and choose to make one less criticism or complaint, hell let’s go for the big score and even replace that negative statement with something GOOD about what we wanted to criticize, might we actually learn to appreciate that there is something out there worth our appreciation?  Maybe if, instead or telling our kids to “make good choices”, and informed them of what those good choices actually were once in a while, maybe those would be the choices they make instead of doing what we told them exactly NOT to do?

Maybe if we started creating more opportunities for good things to happen, is it actually possible that good things just might become our reality?

Why Karma Never Needs Help

This summer has not been an easy one, but nonetheless it is one that I am ever thankful for, and the results of it are anything but extraordinary:  despite all of the bad, much has now come full circle again.  I feel almost complete, but a hell of a lot more so than I did before it all began.  I got rid of a lot of the bad things in my life this summer:  people that were dragging me down and holding me back, vices that were making it impossible for me to feel like anything but a hypocrite and a joke to myself, and attitudes that were making it impossible for me to envision, let alone achieve the things that I wanted for myself.  I have stared to put back into my life the things that really matter to me:  I researched apartments for myself last week; I visited a skating rink and am looking for a place to get my blades sharpened; I went to Church for the first time in a LONG ass time.

There have been some really hard days, but there have been some incredible people who have helped me through them, and I will never be able to fully repay the efforts of these individuals to come close to all of the good that has come to me in literally just the last 24 hours.  Aspire, my dream and my labor of love, will launch it’s first major philanthropic campaign in November with a huge event.  We have a venue, we have supporters, we have a vision, and we have an incredible concept for not only the launch party of the Fairygodmother Project, but for the launch party as well.  Today, after over three years of being unemployed, I was made an offer for a job working with the State, and working back in one of my most comfortable elements.  This job will not only allow me to support myself, but I know it will keep me energized, and will allow and ignite a fire to continue my work with Aspire.  Tonight, I was recognized as one of the 25 most influential young business professionals in Colorado:  an honor which I am overwhelmed and astonished to have such esteemed company.  At the event, I also received a cabled package worth over $2000 that will allow me, along with the new job, to get a new place that I truly WANT, rather than one that I can just afford.  I also got a text that one such place, originally out of my price range (but not anymore), has just come available and I could move in as early as October 1.

I have said it before, I will say it again, and I hope that those who hear it will keep believing:  KARMA NEVER NEEDS HELP.  I know a lot of people who have had their own difficulties over this past spring and summer, and I have continued to say to them that we are good people; as long as we stick together, good things will happen for us, because we are good people and we deserve them.  It’s been a long time since I’ve felt so right about something, and just as long since I have felt so good about so many things.

For those who are starting to turn the corner, keep going.  We all need to stick together to maintain this momentum.  To those who are still struggling, I am sending my energy your way.  I want to stick with all of you because 1)  KARMA NEVER NEEDS HELP, and 2) WE ARE ALL GOOD PEOPLE, AND WE ALL NEED TO STICK TOGETHER:  STICKING TOGETHER, GOOD THINGS WILL HAPEN FOR US BECAUSE WE ARE GOOD PEOPLE AND WE DESERVE IT.

Enough of me on my soapbox for tonight.