Tag Archives: Single Again

A Funny Thing Happened Today at Cartier

Or at least it will be funny when the new watch I ordered comes in and is fitted to my left wrist and highly satisfying to take a hammer to the one I’m currently wearing because god help me if I’m ever that mortified again.

And in the same vein,

I love that I’m independent.  I love that I have the ability and fortitude to rectify this and any other situation.  That no matter what I can take care of myself – and do so without pretense or fabrication.  I love that I can spend Saturday running errands, then indulging in a little bit of retail therapy without buying things as a salve for a deeper emotional issue.  I love that I can come home late Saturday afternoon, strip to my skin, and throw myself a mini-spa hour (and a half) – and I love that I can then order a pizza with pepperoni, sausage, canadian bacon, meatballs, prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, ricotta, sun dried tomatoes and spinach — with extra garlic.  I love that it’s Saturday and I can stay home, curl up with a book – or I can go out and have a glass of wine alone – or I can wander the aisles at Whole Foods and come home with a odd mish-mash of really good food.  That I live by myself in an apartment I really love (even if I don’t love the management company) and that I can provide fully for myself and my family and those I love unconditionally.

Maybe it’s just been awhile since I’ve been in a good mood.

Maybe it’s just that I’m settling into a good groove and I’m optimistic about what’s coming next.

Maybe I’ve let go of the hidden worry and fear that I won’t be loved again – because I will.

And I’ll even tell you why: because there was a moment yesterday afternoon when I (finally) saw how important it is to love myself, if only because I’ve made others suffer because I haven’t.  I’m not the enemy of myself, though I’ve sure as hell waged a damn good twenty-something year battle of self v. self.

Cliff’s Notes version: I’m the problem.

And because I’m the problem, I’m the only person who can change it or fix it or do something about it, whether it’s straight up abatement or temporary injunction or imperfect compromise.

Which brings me to a related issue:

I’m a creative person who likes – no, needs – to be immersed in collaborative work.  Simply, I need to work with smart, creative people.  Who are not like me — who are more than me.  More visionary.  More creative.  Smarter.  Faster.  More more more to combat the collective weaknesses (my own included) and enhance the collective strengths (my own included) and achieve the common goal.  This isn’t a lofty abstract desire; this is a need.

The problem with collaboration is that it requires true commitment.  Discipline.  Passion.  Attention.  Even habit.  And the emotional, personal connection with collaboration is crucial – you gotta be a believer or it all falls apart.  You take make anyone play on a team, but if a single member’s heart isn’t in it, the whole collaborative process is a sham, a ruse, a shell of false idolatry.  Add in an inability to effectively communicate (ahem, honestly and openly), add in a layer of politics, and add in a disaffected attitude, and welcome to disaster.

Also known as my personal hell.  The wide-eyed promise of collaboration for an amazingly awesome goal torn apart because the discipline, attention, and passion of one single team member rings hollow.  To see the house this team has built is a case study for the gods – yet this house will be bulldozed because we didn’t choose the perfect wallpaper in the living room and there’s a leaky faucet in the bathroom, that…it destroys me.  It disrupts the collaborative process – that discipline, that habit, that passion – and for what?  Something trivial.

Maybe it should be seen from another perspective – that I allow the destruction of this one house to distract me from the neighborhood of houses previously constructed.  That I’m the disruption on the team rather than the guy sitting in the ‘dozer.

Problem is, the guy sitting in the ‘dozer doesn’t know how to operate heavy equipment…and probably doesn’t realize what’s going on or what he’s about to do.  Yet another sign something is in rotten in Denmark, another indication of poor communication and inadequate leadership.

And here we come to another rampant weakness of mine: reason and precision.  Always tell me why.  If only because it’s the only thing that will convince me that at minimum you understand what it is you’re doing and see the scope of things as something slightly larger (at minimum) than yourself.  Or you don’t, but are still okay with things not being larger than yourself.

And another weakness: trust.  I’ll trust you until you give me reason not to.  You can earn trust back after that point, but not without a considerable amount of effort and energy, at least to partially compensate for the time, effort, energy I expended in cleaning up the mess I trusted you not to make.  (An honest “I’m sorry” typically does the trick.)

Despite the weaknesses, I don’t know what to do about the breakdown of collaboration.  Smear a layer of frustration and disappointment on as well; it brings out the troubling flavor from the overmasticated texture.  Some say go to the mattresses; others say mercy; still others wonder if there’s a trusted resource able to do anything.  I fear the die has been cast and only now are the implications of betting everything peaking through the veil of a hasty, backed-in-a-corner decision.

Two Emails

It’s Monday.  This day is associated with a variety of negative connotations, but for today in particular, even Hitchcock couldn’t come up with a day quite like this one.

I’d like to state for the record that I could not survive without email and I’ve maintained a GMail account for the past six or seven years and archive just about everything I’ve ever drafted, sent and received, even the stuff I’m “supposed to” legally destroy.  (I have a common name –> common email handle –> commonly receive emails not intended for me, though most are from the same ten people who can’t get it through their skulls that no, they’re not reaching the person they’re looking for, and no, I’m not interested in the inane forward you’ve just sent me that displays your chronic inability to think for yourself.)

Today’s adventure in reaching the wrong person via email (though, as you’ll see, I’m not convinced I was an unintended recipient) came from an email address I’ve never seen before and from an otherwise anonymous source: no name, no true identifying information, though the headers and IP address indicate Dallas, Texas.  Came straight through to my Inbox, never triggered the Spam filter.  No text in the email, just an embedded YouTube video.  After an eye-blink debate, I clicked the link, not thinking of potential consequences of clicking on things in weird, unrecognized emails.  Something about it just didn’t ring warning bells – just curiosity.

Here’s what I received:

I have to say: it’s catchy.  And I’m a Cee-Lo fan.  And there’s no missing the point in it.  But the question remains – was I the intended recipient on this one and if so, I gotta admit it’s a great way to get me into a Russian countryside full of ancient yet deadly landmines.  So, to you dear reader: respond or not?

The second email is related to the job search.  I’ve been in an email blizzard due to recruiters who “came across your resume” and “believe you’d be a great fit for” their organization.  I understand that for the access and ability to put myself out there, I gotta give up some modicum of privacy in order to find what I’m looking for (much like the first few dates with a new person).  But…first, if you can’t seem to proofread your emails recruiting me, it’s probably not gonna work out.  Second, I’m a writer with marketing experience and a JD degree – how does that qualify me to give financial advice or sell cars?  Not to be snotty, but not only would those occupations cause me to put forks in my eyes, you probably wouldn’t/couldn’t/shouldn’t pay me enough to compel me not to find the nearest spork and threaten to do so.  (Must stop with this imagery, I’m grossing myself out.  Moving on…)

But, as I mentioned before, today was odd.  I got a response back for a freelance writing gig.  I was driving at the time, just saw there was a new email in the chain.  Now, my email to them, sent yesterday, was duller than the knives in my kitchen – basically the quick, simple “here’s the position you’ve advertised, I’m uniquely qualified – just look at my resume, let’s talk why not how’s this week for you.”  No showcasing or showboating, just a ‘please don’t reject me but if you do, it’s okay ’cause I didn’t too much effort on this even though I should and do actually think we’d both get some great work from this’ email.  Needless to say, I was pleased just to see something back.

And when I arrived at my destination (thanks, GPS navigation!), and opened this email response, the spring breeze of pleased approached the nuclear blast of shocked.

The response (identifying information redacted; green color added for effect):

Anne,

I’m going to be honest in a way that is rarely expected when considering someone for a job position (in the sense that tact and professionalism typically impose stipulations to the contrary); your writing is absolutely enthralling. I checked out your blog to get a feel for your writing style and I was blown away. I want to say that you have a way with words but it is certainly more than that. It is painfully evident in your writing that you possess a degree of sincerity and the ability to think and feel in a way that I think most people try to avoid for simplicity sake. When I read your post about your former co workers failing to invite you for lunch or your separation from your boyfriend I felt true empathy for you. That’s no small feat considering that I usually find the typical self-reflective blog post to be disingenuous, pseudo-poetic and trite. Basically what I am getting at is that if your goal was to spill your guts about your personal life so that you could impress a semi-elitist jerk who has no discernable creative writing abilities or technical skills of his own yet he still likes to criticize the work of others, well, then mission accomplished.

In all seriousness, I am very impressed with your writing but it may be too good. What we are looking for is someone that can generate rather banal and repetitive content. Certainly the content is informative and helpful to our clients but it is by no means fun or edgy. The ideal candidate can take what has already been written and regurgitate it in such a way that it stands apart as unique but still delivers the same feel and message. Where I’m ultimately going with this is that if you are interested then I’d like the opportunity to discuss the possibility further. However, I suspect that this is something that you ultimately would not find to be very engaging and there are a ton of other potential writers who write just good enough to achieve what we’re after. On the other hand, maybe you can wear many hats and writing this stuff is second nature to you. Just let me know what your thoughts are. Keep up the good work. The internet needs more writers who actually have something to say.

Here’s hoping you’ve got a good sense of humor…

Come on, say it with me: holy. f#$&*#@. shit.

I don’t get a whole lotta feedback on my writing – I instead get feedback on the fact I’m a writer.  Exchanges typically go like this:

Stranger #1, at some break in conversation: “So, whatd’ya do?”

Me: “I’m a writer.”

Stranger #1: “No shit?  That’s cool.  What’dya write?”

Me: “Mostly fiction…published a book of short stories back in January, working on a novel and a screenplay at this point, though it’s taking a little longer than originally expected…” (I’ve stopped telling folks that I keep a blog or website UNLESS specifically asked or I think it will lead to some type of commissioned work – the advent of web browsers on smartphones usually leads to instant mortification when my blog is read aloud, with alcoholic intonation, at the bar.)

Stranger #1: “Awesome, where can I get your book?  What’s your name again?”

Me: “Really, anywhere – Barnes and Noble, Amazon – here’s my card.”

Stranger #1, who hasn’t read a book in, oh, five years, and shops at B&N or Borders for the latest Maxim: “Sweet – I’ll definitely order it!” Then, to Strangers #2-5: “Hey, this chick is a writer!  We’re all gonna be in a book…”

(end of interaction, typically.  a dirty little secret though: I know they don’t order or purchase the book.  and it’s not just suspicion or playing the odds that a late twenty-something male doesn’t read. I get all sorts of demographic info from the publisher and from retailers.  I’m kinda big in Japan.)

But to get feedback on my writing – even if just from this very source – is exhilarating.  Maybe you missed it though: SOMEONE OUT THERE THINKS I’M GREAT!  I mean, there’s only so long one can listen to her mother (“I think you’re a good writer, you just need to find the right material…now go be a lawyer and don’t bring shame on the family.”) or to friends (“Sure, you can write, but why do that when you can help me with my dreams instead?”) or to critics (“writing is dead.”).  And if we extrapolate this email, for each person who comments and tells me I’m great, there are 25 others thinking the same thing.  Twenty-six people!  We’ve just made my millennium – and renewed the spunky vigor to get back to the Molly project and finish before the close of the year.