31 May 2010

Blog for the Dumped

If you've been following along, you may have noticed that I bought a house on April 29th.

Day 028: Enjoying the downpour

And then on May 18th I lost my job.

Don't fret, I feel very positive right now; I feel a sense of relief. Granted, I am scared (I just bought a house, remember), but I believe opportunities are approaching and many good things are going to cross my path; I am open to explore, try new things - and I always do. I am not a spirit that can be trapped within a box; I need flexibility and opportunity to seek and find creative solutions to problems that others do not realize exist.

In this economy, losing one's job is a frightening thing. But for me, this might be the best thing that could have happened. Otherwise, I'd still be there, feeling miserable, and wishing things were different. I now have the opportunity to make things different. I had a remedial job and was quite unhappy with my quote-responsibilities-unquote. I cannot work in an environment where suggestions for improvement are interpreted as obstruction; avoiding new approaches will inevitably impede growth and lead to deterioration within any organization. 'We've always done it this way' is inflexibility, ignorance, arrogance, and will do nothing but lead to failure....especially when the competition is evolving. He was exactly right when he said I wasn't a good fit for their disorganization.

Day 029: The back of my phone looks like this

Hmmmm, now what?

I'm not sure what my next step will be, but I cannot feel satisfied when my sole responsibility is literally faxing and emailing applications, with no room for advancement or learning.... I digress. This post is about moving forward.

I've been struggling for a long time - years; this struggle wasn't triggered because I suddenly lost my job. I've been struggling because I'm searching for a box, a way to define or give a title to what exactly it is I want to be "when I grow up." By default, at 32, I am now a grown up. I need to take action and find a way to make a living and be happy. I have to stop trying to fit myself into a box someone else constructed. I need to take this opportunity to weigh and understand all my options, explore every path I can brave and find a way to be happy.

I decided this a while ago; I just want to be happy.

I blame myself for trying to follow a path that isn't a good fit for me.  I seem to be making choices for reasons that feel right at the time (seems like all the other girls are working for someone else, in some office job, for health insurance eligibility reasons), but in turn, those choices make my life more difficult and miserable than it needs to be. If I depend on some person or entity, who doesn't really and truly make me happy, just to pay the bills, what is my purpose in life?


People think I'm joking when I talk about how I'd sit at work all day and ask myself existential questions about my purpose on this planet. All these wars and accidents which result in a weeks-long, catastrophic oil spill with no end in sight - these thoughts encourage me feel to feel like my purpose is nil - just like every thing that lives and breathes on this planet - I am here for a short time and then gone forever. Earth evolves over millions and millions of years, but any organism that lives and breathes is here, then gone, and eventually replaced by a new species.

If I only get a limited amount of time on this planet, how do I want to spend it?
So where do I go from here?

Bamboo Forest

Find my path.

No matter how I imagine my future to be, it never works out in the way I envision. And that's exactly what makes life so awesome - the unexpected.

What makes me happy?

I love talking to Strangers
. Like today, @Roseyland came to do some touristy stuff and after a long day of this, we're strolling through Abe Lincoln's 'hood and see these two dudes. One guy is the cameraman and the other guy was doing other stuff, kinda like when I'm on a shoot with Bill. I instinctively run up and say to the 'not Bill' guy - who I'm now imagining as myself, doing the same things I do as Managing Producer for BRICK by Chance and Fortune - and I ask, "What are you guys doing?" And he responds with a British accent, "Working on a documentary." I excitedly replied, "I'm working on a documentary - about bricks!"

Now I'm stunned that there are two dudes from England in Springfield filming a documentary and he's stunned that I'm working on a documentary about bricks.

*photo removed*

In the least eloquent way possible, I attempted to say this. He was intrigued and wanted to check out our trailer (you should, too) so I wrote three things on a piece of paper and handed it to him:
- StLBrickFilm.com
- JeannetteEatsSpaghetti.com
- The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret
(That last one is way off topic and I couldn't help bring this up, but I've no time to explain it to you now.)

I walked away and couldn't stop thinking, "D'oh! I should have gotten his contact info." As we were about to leave I decided, "Screw it, I better go back and find out how I can find about their documentary when it becomes available."

My point is, I like talking to strangers, asking them questions and learning about them.

Day 024: Future Mosaic Pieces

Which brings me to photojournalism. I love taking pictures, it helps me remember. I take my camera everywhere and I take a ridiculous amount of pictures and then upload a few and sometimes write a story about it. (Problem is, I don't write about the typical stuff. Of aaaaall the things that appealed to me the most at the Illinois State Fair, I was most intrigued by the Butter Cow's Va-Jay-Jay. Yet somehow I never got around to writing about the blow-up slide in the shape of sinking Titanic. I've also seen this blow-up slide with a certain fast food chain's logo on the smokestacks.)

But, yeah, I like going places, meeting people, experiencing things and writing about the nuances I discover. I have a variety of interests that are ever-expanding. Heck, I was even featured in a local magazine for my mosaic work. I never thought of it is as something that anyone else would care about. I've always been drawn to tile so for my first attempt, I laid a floor mosaic (hallway and foyer). And those brownish accent tiles, I made those in a pottery class. That's right, the photo below, is my first mosaic. And it's not a little one, either.

Day 324: I laid this mosaic

I'm still in shock that I was approached about and interviewed for breaking stuff and making it into a mosaic. They were interested in my 'art.' The only other time someone ever called me an Artist was the dude who I see at Salvation Army on Saturdays (but first he asked if everything was alright at home... because I stopped in every weekend to buy dishes).

You know what else I like? Working crazy shifts for days and days and weeks at a time, while taking a break every so often to run an errand, then sleeping in one day (any day - not just Saturday, Sunday, designated holidays, sick days (those are no fun), vacation days, non-paid days off or whatever). I want to work as hard as I want, when I want and when others need me to - but the schedule will vary, have terms and limits that are agreed upon by both.

The entrance is mangled; but you can still enter

And in conclusion...

How can I fit this in a box? I'm searching for a non-existent box created by someone else -- and that is an unattainable goal, like Partnership for a Drug Free America. Side note: There has never existed a society or community throughout all of time, even pre-recorded time, which has been completely 'drug free'. Drug use and misuse has always existed; the drugs deemed acceptable, are openly used and the ones frowned upon by society are hidden.

I have no idea what you're thinking after reading this, but I'm thinking that I have a limited number of days on this earth and my life can end at any moment; I want to spend my time exploring, meeting others, sharing my experiences, making a positive difference, being challenged and challenging others' perceptions. I want to feel passionate about my career. I want to work with people who are open-minded, accepting, compassionate and helpful - like me. This can't be done spending the majority of my waking moments in a remedial job that's going nowhere. Other people make their living doing things they love - so why can't I?

Origami should be my hobby -- not mosaics, photojournalism, working on documentaries and other film projects, writing and exploring a lot of random opportunities - all those things I love to do should be my career and not my hobby. (Super awesome to look back at this post two years later and know how much my passion for food and growing it, has grown. Life and its evolutions = amazing.)

Listening to: Ben Folds Five - Song for the Dumped

Rainbow legs


  1. Awesome post, J-dawg! I'm somewhat on the same path as you; in a new city, looking for a job that fits my passion. We have to keep motivated and find things that excite us so that we can keep going until we find that perfect fit!

  2. This a great post! I love the pics, love stripey socks and mosaics! This happened to me - I got laid off Oct 2008 and bought a house the same month. Ever since then I've worked odd jobs and somehow manage to scrape by. Each month is a different challenging adventure. Never know what to expect, but have kept on top of my bills by petsitting, nude modeling, selling my underwear, subjecting myself to lab experiments, and even more interesting things. Definitely not bored. THINK OUTSIDE THE CAGE.

  3. I found this post of yours Jeannette to be very inspiring despite your current loss of job... Always seen you to be a very "Free Spirited" individual & know with all the positive aspects in your blog you can go nowhere but up!!~ I enjoyed the trailer for the upcoming documentary about STL Brick & look forward to seeing it.. Also, you take amazing pics!!~ ~Wishing you nothing but well & the ability to think outside the box!!

  4. Is it just me, or does the Michelin Man look like a chubby guy wearing a body sized ribbed condom?

    Anyways, great post. I too am jealous of the people who can set their own schedule. I love my job, but I wish I could just work whenever I felt inspired, the 8-5 thing get old after awhile. Like now, it's 11:30 at night, and I could totally get in 3 productive hours. But even happiness involves trade offs now and then.

  5. This is the best post I have ever read. You opened up 100% and let it all out! Too awesome! *high five*

  6. Don't become a grown up too fast my dear......sure get a job that doesn't fit the box and expresses exactly who you are without becoming suppressed by society.....but that whole growing up thing is a total waste of time. I would love for my daughter to grow up and be like you.

  7. Great post. Don't forget writing too - you are a great writer and that can be a career. Right out of undergrad I worked for a business. I remember spending vast amounts of time thinking those big thoughts and it was then I realized I cannot have a job with a sole purpose to make a (white) man rich. Since then I've been in nonprofits and there are rewards every day (and a somewhat flexible schedule, if you do it right).
    Good Luck!!

  8. You definitely need to do something that enriches you and makes you happy. I'm a lucky soul in that I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up as a designer. Sure it's not all sunshine and lollipops, but being able to design does make me happy.

    I know the losing your job after buying a house feeling. Hell it's why I started my own business in the first place. Keep positive and good things will come your way. This song was practically my anthem for the last year http://www.thesixtyone.com/s/IHkgtDLBcgj/

  9. Great post Jeannette. I think you have really hit on something it takes a lot of people a lifetime to realize. "Do what you love to do and the money will follow"

  10. as someone trying to get out of the cage, i agree with the beautiful kind... think outside the cage. :) this blog made me very excited for you, and i must admit, a little envious and lonely being stuck here in cubeland hell. however, this is about you!!! go forth and set the world on fire, Jeanette. you know that you can.

  11. Sorry to hear what happen to you. Hope things would get better soon. Have a nice day. Just blog hopping.

  12. An acquaintance of mine put it best: We should all ask ourselves what we would do for free, and then find a way to make money at it. (She is a former teacher who chose to become a karaoke DJ to nurture her passion for music and joy.) Your positive outlook is inspiring. I've read several articles about people who lost their jobs in this brutal economy and found the hidden toy surprise. Now they are doing what they love. Sometimes we need a little extra nudge, like a baby bird being shoved out of its nest so it can learn to fly! Okay, that was cheesy...

  13. Just ran across your blog for the first time and had to say how much I'm enjoying it thus far. :) You're in my RSS reader now!



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