Moving Day

April 11, 2010

Day 14 of Unemployment

Today’s Accomplishments:

  • Visited my aunt and uncle
  • Visited the refugees and gave them a copy of the documentary they are featured in (Check it out for yourself)
  • Ate a great lunch on a lovely patio with my parents
  • Visited a friend’s storage unit to pick up some furniture she is giving me
  • Packed up the contents of my Nashville home into 1 truck, 1 SUV and 1 Uhaul trailer… my life on wheels
  • Drove the caravan back to Alabama
  • Unpacked said caravan
  • Had some dinner
  • Watched a WWII documentary
  • Began this blog post…

It’s been quite a day. I’m very tired and still have countless boxes to unpack or move to storage somewhere. I’m officially at home with my parents. This feels….interesting.

In other news, I had an interview on Friday that was quite possibly the best interview I’ve ever found myself in. If the interview had of been a date, there would have no doubt, hands down, unquestionably been a second one. The group’s mission statement and my resume’s purpose statement are almost mirror images of one another (and no, I didn’t tailor my statement of purpose to fit theirs… it just happened that way) . So what’s the catch you ask? Well, the group isn’t technically hiring right now. They are in the process of doubling the size of their staff but are in the planning phase. They are laying out what positions they need and what the roles will be. The good news is that when this happens there will likely be a spot for me. The bad news is, the time frame is anywhere from a month to a year. Regardless, I feel that I am off to a good start and am very encouraged by this.

Maybe I should sleep now – it’s been a long day!

Advertisements

I’m Asking for Help

April 1, 2010

Day 4 of Unemployment

Sometimes in life you meet people who seem as if they are placed in your path simply to lift you up.  Lately people have been coming out of the woodwork to offer me help in my job search and, in like manner, in my life’s journey. I am truly blessed and thankful for such wonderful friends, family and connections.

I received a call today from an old mentor. She had no idea about my current life situation. She actually called to ask a favor of me. How quickly that turned around (ha!). I have yet another wolf in my wolfpack out there sniffing out a new career. I sent her an e-mail with my resume and wrote the following:

“I have tried doing the job search thing on my own. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it without help or using my contacts. I did and that wasn’t the best experience. I learned that I am a people person, I network and make friends because I am naturally inclined to do so. I now have no shame in using the resources I have made available to myself over the years especially if it will make me happy in the long run. I have helped several friends search for jobs lately, I don’t know why I was ashamed to ask for help before but I’m over it now 🙂  We live and we learn…”

After I sent it, I realized it was something I needed to share with whoever might be following this blog as it is a little insight into how I ended up where I am.  Sharing this has made me even more ok with asking for what I want. I want your assistance, I want a great job, I want to be needed and important, I want to help people, I want to be a part of something larger than the people in the place where I work, I want to be as happy as I am when I am serving others, I want to be intrigued and engaged in the subject matter I’m dealing with, I want more.

I work with a family of Refugees from Nepal/Bhutan. There are 15 members of the family and it’s growing. This week 4 more arrived.. here’s the skinny:

Grandma/Grandpa

Brother 1/Wife 1  – Baby on the way

Brother 2/Wife 2  –  2 kids

Brother 3/Wife 3  –  4 kids

Brother4

This week Wife 2’s Brother and his wife and 2 kids came to Nashville. Confused yet?

I was originally assigned to just Brother 3 and his wife and kids. However, there simply aren’t enough volunteers for each sub-unit of the family to have their own “mentor”  so I am working with all of them.

I’ve been helping this family since last July. I signed on to work with them for 3 months while they were getting settled in the US. I was to help them understand our culture and customs and introduce them to the many unfamiliar things they would find here.  The family had been living in a bamboo hut with dirt floors for the past 18 years in the refugee camp in Nepal. Imagine moving from there into an apartment complex with carpet, electricity, strange appliances and all kinds of new, interesting gadgets (the day I had to explain the microwave and how it magically makes a cup of water boil in seconds illustrates just one of the countless new technologies they have experienced since they arrived).

Now my commitment to the family has passed. I just spend time with them at this point because we are friends though they still need much assistance. They don’t have a vehicle which makes life next to impossible at times. Nashville has very ineffective public transportation leaving them few options for getting to work, going shopping, visiting friends in other parts of town…   I visit them on Sundays and we usually go to the grocery store. They live within walking distance of a Kroger but they like to go to the Indian market and the World Market which are a few miles away. By the time we return from our shopping trip my SUV is usually loaded down with several 40lb bags of rice, tons of vegetables (most of which I’ve never seen before), a few dozen mango juice boxes and a variety of other things.

Squid Pickle - Rose Petal Spread - White Carrots

In the past year I have learned so much from this family and their experiences. Their ability to persevere through the many uphill battles they have faced since they have arrived is inspiring. They have greatly impacted my life and helped me understand the struggles millions are facing as refugees in camps around the world. I wish I could share their story with everyone I see. I wish I could help others, other Americans, rethink their often negative opinions of immigrants.

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”

~ Moulin Rouge

-1: The Last Day

March 27, 2010

Welp, that was it. I’m no longer an employee of that company. My life is now hanging in the balance. Where will I end up and what will I end up doing… we’ll have to wait and see.

My sweet co-workers/friends got me this balloon arrangement to celebrate my last day. There is a Whinnie the Pooh and a My Little Pony balloon in the arrangement and a large one that says congrats and when you hit it the song ‘Celebration’ plays. They told the balloon lady to put together something really embarrassing. Mission accomplished!  It was really nice of them though. I will miss those people – but I will see them again, I have no doubts. I can be pretty bad at keeping in touch but it will happen eventually.

Well kids, I have some bad news to share. I didn’t get the job in Birmingham. I’m bummed but not going to dwell on it. Everything happens for a reason right? I know I would have been fantastic at that job but that doesn’t mean someone else couldn’t be too. Ultimately, it’s my Alma Mater and I want what/who is best for them/us.  Congratulations to whoever it is who got the job. I’m sure he/she will do great things for the college!

Back in the day I spent many summers at camp. I was a camper as a child and later on I was a counselor. At the end of each night I would have my campers join me in a Pow-Wow. At this Pow-Wow each camper was asked to list the low point of their day (the pow) the high point of their day ( the wow).  If I were having a Pow-Wow today it would go down like this:

Pow: I didn’t get the job in Birmingham

Wow: I have unlimited possibilities right now and have the freedom to go explore them.

“When the Lord closes a door, somewhere he opens a window”

– Maria, The Sound of Music

-2: Rats

March 25, 2010

Tomorrow is my last day!! I can’t believe it. Somehow this day has snuck up on me. I’ve been trying to get prepared to leave everything but I keep feeling like I’m just going on vacation. It hasn’t hit me just yet that I’m not going back, ever. I guess next Monday or Tuesday when I’m sitting at home around 11am with nothing to do I will probably start to get the picture… Though, I won’t lack things  to do. I will have a lot to do. I have to find a new job, pack up the house in preparation for a move, find a new place to live, go to some job interviews, say my goodbyes and much more.

While I was in the process of winding things down at the office today I felt the need for a sweet treat. I don’t like breakfast and usually don’t eat anything before lunch so sometimes I need a little snack to make it until noon. This morning around 10 was one of those times. I keep a candy bowl hidden in the kitchen at the office. I pull the bowl out when we have client meetings and put it on the conference table. Since I’m the only one who knows where the bowl is hidden,

I want a Reese's Nom Nom Nom

I’m also the only one who has the ability to sneak a chocolate treat when I feel the need. Well today I got a little surprise when I went in for my mini 3 Musketeers. I found, on top of the bowl, an individually wrapped Reese’s cup with a hole chewed in the middle and little teeth/claw marks all in the chocolate. There were a few other candy wrappers torn to shreds around the bowl. I proceeded to freak out.  Never has an attempt to sneak a snack gone so awry! Lesson Learned- No stealing from the company candy dish… I get it. Anyway, by the end of the day mouse traps had been set. And somehow, noone asked what I was doing in the candy dish when I found the situation… maybe I shouldn’t give up my candy sneaking after all. I’m so stealth!

-4: Things Fall Together

March 23, 2010

Things seem to be falling together. I was offered several pieces of free furniture by a co-worker today. This will be a great help as I move out of my shared living space and into a place of my own. I can worry about replacing the furniture later when I have more funds to do so.  Things really are coming together. Now if I could just get that little matter of a job taken care of…

When I was considering the title for this post my mind immediately went to the book “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe. I read this book a long time ago and haven’t thought much about it in a long while.  I honestly couldn’t remember many of the key elements of the story so I looked up the SparkNotes for the book as a refresher.  Well, that was depressing.

If you’ve read the book you’ll know that the protagonist’s life begins well but seems to spiral downward until he eventually takes his own life. I first read this book in high school. The topics now seem more serious than I remember them being at the time. Maybe that’s because I couldn’t fathom things falling apart then. When your greatest struggles in life center around who is going to ask you to homecoming and the fact that your car isn’t “cool”… life isn’t too bad!

Life still isn’t too bad (Especially in comparison to the events in this book… ). Things really are falling together. Let’s hope this ball of positivity that I’m currently rolling on keeps moving on down the road.

Speaking of my ball of positivity… I have been extremely positive lately. I usually am but I have been even more so than usual the last week-ish. Clearly the impending life change has me in a good place. I keep finding myself interjecting my glass-half-full opinions into other people’s life situations. “I know you haven’t heard back from the doctor but it’s probably a good thing. I bet they just discovered that it’s not a big deal so they are spending their time calling back the patients with critical needs”… now yes, I would usually say such a thing especially to a distressed friend, but I’m finding myself to be the overwhelming optimist in quite a few conversations a day.  I like it. I should quit my job more often. I’ve missed the old positive Polly version of myself.