Good morning blog-o-sphere, and happy Friday!
So… I may have let it go un-remarked upon here for a little bit, but I was laid off from my job at that SF-based tech startup two weeks ago.
I know, funny, given I had JUST posted about how great I was getting at my job and how two years of sobriety was a big part of that.
I still think I was pretty darn great at my job. And while I’ll admit I have probably gotten worse at political maneuvering as I’ve gotten older and, well, sober, I truly think this was just a case of cutting expensive (theoretically replaceable) resources and retaining hard-to-get engineering resources. In the Bay Area – where engineering talent is hard and expensive to recruit – I can see why the cuts fell to Product and Design vs Engineering. I’m not saying they made all the right choices, but I get it.
Here’s my main point in telling you about this: when they told me I was a part of the layoff, I immediately felt relief and calm.
It’s 100% true. I didn’t take it personally, I didn’t feel sad. I didn’t immediately worry about my financial future. I was totally fine. And two weeks later, I still feel fine (great, even). So I guess it wasn’t some kind of delusional post-traumatic fugue state. It’s REAL.
This is sobriety people. This is magical rainbows and unicorns trampling my inner critic and fear zone.
For the last two weeks I’ve gotten my financial house in order like a grown up, hopefully secured an interesting ad tech consulting job (crossing fingers), canceled all my expensive remodeling plans (temporarily), and started to make what I’m calling “dream-plans.”
I’m reading “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. It’s a 12-week program to uncover my creative self and bring her back into my life. It’s helping me open my mind to other career possibilities, hobbies, and just generally infusing every day with more hope and curiosity than I’ve felt in many years. I highly recommend it.
There are two main things you have to do when you get started:
- Write 3 pages worth of anything every morning, long hand. They are called Morning Pages. I love this exercise. I write the most insanely boring schlock but I can feel it getting into my psyche. I am more observant of the world, looking for things to write about. Being more observant, for me, equals feeling more delight in mundane stuff.
- Take myself out on an Artist’s Date once a week. Last week I went to a sewing class in Pioneer Square (cool old part of Seattle, where I used to live for 10 years). I made a reversible tote bag (pic below). This week I went to a ring-making class that my friend Cat hosted (she’s the extraordinary jewelry maker behind http://www.GraceGow.com). The pic below is of my wax ring I made that will be cast in silver then plated in gold vermeil. I love making things. LOVE it.
This process/program has really helped me refocus my mental and emotional energy on truly life-affirming and life-expanding activities. I can’t sell you hard enough on this book.
It’s also (naturally) led me to actually, seriously consider a bunch of new careers… I have started writing a book about the diet industry, fat phobia and their connection to addiction for women. I’ve revisited and updated my clothing line sketches and reached out to apparel/design students in Seattle to get help making prototypes (and also taking sewing classes to make the damn things myself). I am also thinking about learning how to be a recovery coach, focusing on women who are larger and have their unique challenges getting and staying sober (and living comfortably in a pretty cruel, fat-phobic world). Anyway, lots of ideas simmering – nothing fully cooked yet.
Have any of you read The Artist’s Way? What was your experience? I’d love to hear all about it if you’re willing to share.