Tag Archives: work

Unconditional Love Is a Lie

14 Oct

I’ve been thinking about love and compassion this week.  After some thought, I don’t think love for other people can be unconditional.  (Children and other close family members being the exception.)  However, I think that compassion and love of the self is by nature unconditional.

Love is a deep emotional bond, and it’s not something that we can feel for everyone.  Even forming that bond with someone does not guarantee that it will be permanent; people and circumstances always change.  All of this reverses when I start thinking about myself instead of others.  I need to be able to offer myself unconditional love, as well as unconditional compassion.  I’ve always found it easy to love myself, but I am struggling to offer myself compassion.  It’s something I want to work on, because I believe compassion is a component of love.

I work at a daycare and it’s currently cold and flu season.  I feel a lot of compassion toward our sick kids (and our healthy kids), but I do not necessarily love them.  I want them to recover, and I do what I can to remove their immediate suffering, but that is not love, that is compassion.

I am coming to love some of them, but it’s not unconditional.  I will not be able to maintain my love for any of these children if they grow up to be people I don’t like, but I will still be able to feel compassion for them.  I’ll still see and want to alleviate their suffering; that is unconditional.


What are your thoughts about the difference between love and compassion?  Are their situations where compassion should be conditional?
*(Thanks to Amy at The Handmade and Natural Life for making me think about unconditional self-love.)


Hello, Universe

28 Sep

I went to my interview today; they watched me work for fifteen minutes and then they hired me.  I actually started immediately.  I’m pleased and grateful that things worked out so nicely, but I need to be realistic: this is not a good job.  The pay is terrible, the business is incredibly disorganized, and I will be taken advantage of in this position.  The work itself should be fun, but this is not a good job.

I’m feeling a little stuck, so naturally I turned to Havi Brooks and her brilliantly formatted very personal ads.  I always find that good things come when I ask the universe for what I want, so maybe I should create a space for myself to ask the universe.  Yeah, maybe.

What I Want

I’m trying to be specific, and I’m failing.  What I really want is a job that allows me to use my authentic skills — the ones that are intrinsic to me and the ones I’ve learned.  I want a job that pays me enough to take care of myself and I want to work for and with people that will remember that I’m a person, not just a cog, and my time has value.

The Potential I Can See

I felt sad and hopeless the first time I tried to answer this question.  The question I asked was, “What if I never experience truly supporting myself and taking care of myself?”  What if I don’t need to do it all myself?  After all, the entire point of this exercise is to seek help instead of trying to do it alone.

Fortunately I have some wonderful people in my life, and they gave me the push I needed.  I can see that good jobs exist, jobs that make people happy, that solve people’s problems, that help people travel, that help people through rough times.  I can see that I deserve to have a life free from the stress of worrying about money because my job doesn’t pay enough, or not having enough time because I have to work too much, or dread going into work because it’s a poor environment.

I admit that I am struggling to get from where I am to where I want to be, but I do have faith that it can and will happen.  I might not know what to do, but someone will, and being open about what I need might create an opportunity.

My Commitment

I’m going to apply for jobs.  Every day.  It doesn’t cost me anything to apply and I’ll never know what could happen if I don’t.

I’m going to be open to what might happen, to what might work.  I’m not going to limit myself to what seems practical or logical and I’m not going to let myself get caught up in what I should do.

I can do this.

I don’t belong here.

29 Aug


Pretty, but emotionally toxic.

Today I realized that I do not feel like I belong in Spokane.  As I explained to a friend, I came here to make changes, but this is a city where people settle instead of change.  I do not settle.

The entire impetuous for moving here was to take advantage of the low cost of living while I began working on the prerequisites for the degree program I want.  After weeks of maddening phone calls, today the community college finally admitted they are too understaffed to process my financial aid application in time for the fall quarter, so there is absolutely no chance I’ll get so much as a student loan until winter.  Without financial aid, I can’t go to school.  If I can’t go to school, there is absolutely no reason for me to be in Spokane.

It’s been an incredibly frustrating couple of weeks, but I just assumed that everything would get worked out.  I applied months ago, and I’ve been on top of all the necessary paperwork and I’ve been very proactive about calling.  How hard is it to get into community college?  Today I had to abandon those assumptions and reassess.

What I want to do now is get a small business loan or a personal loan or whatever it takes to get my business off the ground.  If I can give myself a few months to focus on this, I think I’ll have something that will support me by the end of the year.  If I can make this happen, Spokane will be a very good place to be for the next few months while I build my income potential.

This is a huge departure from my original plan, but it’s very much in line with what I want for myself: interesting, location-independent work.  Before I’ve always had an excuse not to pursue this, but I’m quickly running out of excuses.  Initially this felt like a set-back, but I’m starting to see the potential.

Self Love

27 Aug

Photo credit: stephcookie @ Flickr

Tuesday I headed to Portland to visit Brad, a cowboy I cooked with in Tahoe.  (When I describe him as a cowboy I mean that in a literal sense: the day we meet was his first day of work in a fine-dining restaurant.  He was wearing skin-tight jeans, an enormous belt buckle, broken-in boots, and a Stetson.)  I’m broke and I do not have a reliable stream of income, so taking any sort of vacation seemed ridiculous, but this trip seemed like it was make or break for our friendship.  We haven’t seen each other in about a year, I’d already postponed the trip once since I’d just quit my job, and he’s planning to move to Kentucky.  I enjoy being friends with him, and the trip was the best chance to show him that for the foreseeable future.

I began to feel better as soon as I arrived.  We spent most of the time just talking and talking and talking.  He’s a talker by any measure, but even I wanted to reminisce and catch up and just share my life.  He managed to make me feel better about quitting and about the quality of the work that I do and about my new venture.  We’re very, very different people, but both of us are more curious than critical, so we can enjoy each other.

We also went up to Seattle to visit our friend Breann, another former coworker that I hadn’t seen in over a year.  The time we were closest was a time of transition for all of us, so it was nice being around people who understand that part of my history.  As Brad and I discussed, we’re all very different, but we’re all intelligent have similar values, so we can enjoy each other.

It’s that simple enjoyment that I’m still thinking about.  All I did was spend some time enjoying myself and remembering what I have to offer and enjoying my friends and appreciating what they have to offer, but it made me feel more alive and more optimistic and more ambitious.  (It also literally made me feel better: on the drive down there I was developing an earache, but I felt great the next morning.)

Seeing people who care about me and having the opportunity to show them care and love made it easier for me love myself.  It’s not much of a revelation, but it could be a revolution if I can live it.


22 Aug

Last night brought the first flow of income from my new venture!  I enjoyed the experience and hope to replicate it tonight.

I’m coming up with several ways to learn new skills, and more importantly, I’m following through with them.  I’m worried I’m being self-indulgent and that I should be more focused on finding a “real” job so I have a steady stream of income.  I’m trying to remember that very few things on my resume have ever made me happy or given me the income I wanted.  Why would I rush back into that?

Well, because they provided me with the income I needed and I’m going to need more money very soon.  School starts in a couple of weeks and I have to be able to pay for it.  I should learn my financial aid status by Friday, and while I originally didn’t want to take loans, now I’m willing to do it.  I’d rather spend this time focusing on improving myself than being a wage slave.

I’ve been thinking about class lately and how I was raised and how that differs from what I want for myself.  My family is working class and while no one is struggling or suffering, money is always a factor.  Anything that is not a necessity requires careful consideration before purchase and many purchases require planning and saving.  I don’t want to live like that.

Instead, I’d rather know that not only are my basic needs always going to be met, but I’ll be able take a brief vacation on a whim or buy a new pair of skis when I want them or donate money to a new charity when I find it.  I don’t think that’s a lot to strive for, but I think it’s becoming increasingly difficult for many people to achieve.  I’m not sure if I think that because it’s true, or if I think that because of the socioeconomic class of the majority of my friends and family.

Something has to change, and right now it’s me.

Career Revolution: Day 3

3 Aug
Excel 1992-94

Image via Wikipedia

I failed at my meeting today, but I applied to four jobs.  I’m so excited about this process; it’s forcing me to look at my options and to re-evaluate my skills and experiences.  I feel like I’m learning useful things.  I do expect some of these applications (probably a lower percentage than in previous job searches, due to pushing myself outside of my comfort zone) to turn into interviews and the interview process is always educational.  I’m also hoping I receive multiple job offers so I can improve my negotiation skills.  Women don’t do nearly enough negotiation and I want that skill in my repertoire.

Skill acquisition has actually been today’s theme.  I’m having a hard time filling out the skills segment on LinkedIn and that’s ridiculous: I have skills, so why wouldn’t I make sure people know about them?  Instead I keep thinking about the skills I think I should have, but don’t.  There will always be many useful things that I don’t know, so what’s important to me?  What skills are important enough for me to spend my time learning them?

Excel is the one that keeps coming up.  I am actually embarrassed by how little I can do with that program.  It’s such a basic and useful skill and I don’t have it.  I found a course that looks promising and a great coupon, bringing the cost down to $15.  I was going to take a class at school, but $15 beats the price of tuition by far.

The other skills I’m going to focus on?  My ability to use html and css.  I do have those skills, but they are not impressive.  I think I’ll build a website for my dad’s side business as a way to improve.  I’ll have something to show other people, and something for his birthday in September.  Win.

Today’s big win was doing a small copy-editing job for a friend of mine.  It was my first experience copy-editing and I was a bit nervous about making changes to his writing, but he loved it!  Yay for both of us.

So, tomorrow, I must not fail at meeting with a counselor at school.  I’m also going to apply for two jobs and purchase the Excel tutorial.  And of course I will continue using LinkedIn (which I’m really starting to enjoy) and Brazen Careerist, along with trying to use Facebook and Twitter in a productive manner.

Any advice about learning Excel or html and css?  Resources?  Tips?  I’ll take all the help I can get.

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Career Revolution: Day 2

2 Aug
A MacConkey agar plate with an active bacteria...

Image via Wikipedia

Due to cystitis I didn’t accomplish nearly as much as I intended to.  Being slowed down by forces outside my control is frustrating, but the infection is what inspired this project.  I tried to go to work Saturday, despite being in a lot of pain.  Usually I’m able to accept things as they come at work and try to rationalize away anything I dislike.  I was too sick to do that on Saturday: I had to face the reality that I am not satisfied there.

I was unable to see a guidance counselor today, but I’ll be able to get in tomorrow.  I did spend part of today preparing for the meeting though; if my credits transfer properly I am halfway through the prereqs for my program.  I’m continuously getting more excited and I feel like I have a solid plan, something I never felt during my previous two attempts at school.

So, today I applied to one job and began participating in groups on both LinkedIn and Brazen Careerist.  I’m not sure what to think of Freelancer.com though.  It looks like a deluge of people competing for some very low-paying jobs.  I do want experience, but I do not want to waste my time.  I’m not sure what to think yet.

Other things I’m not sure of?  I received a response from the sex positive community I mentioned yesterday.  Their response turned me off the job completely.  They want me, along with all the other candidates, to write three fictional stories for their website and the one with the most traffic will get the job.  That does make sense, but I didn’t apply to write fiction (for good reason) and they’re not behaving in a forthcoming manner.  It sounds very much like they simply want free content and I can’t see how it will benefit me to provide it for them.

So tomorrow will bring one meeting, two job applications, and more tweaking of the social sites.  I’ve given both LinkedIn and Brazen Careerist halfhearted attempts in the past, but this time I can see their value.

Educate me: Does anyone have an opinion about Freelancer?  Or favorite groups on LinkedIn or Brazen Careerist?

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