Forum: Arts / Diaries

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2014: Let's go. (karma: 4)
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:20 PM
Bumped by Sumayah (204191) on 2015-01-27 18:32:17

So I can't believe I'm putting this out there, but I'm the anon who lost her job.

It was a huge shock, to say the least. It was the best paying job I've ever had in my life but I was so stressed out most of the time, it wasn't even close to being worth it. The thought of not having that steady income is pretty scary, especially considering the hubs is only working part-time and won't be eligible to go full-time until after our honeymoon. And yes, we're going on a honeymoon in less than a month--10 days in London. I don't know how we're going to eat, but we'll manage somehow. The plane tickets are already purchased, so I'm not going to allow this setback to rain on our proverbial parade

Once I got all my weeping out, I realized this might be a huge blessing in disguise. A few weeks ago I went to this Q&A with a whole bunch of paleo authors, and I asked what snacks I could keep at my desk since I was kind of chained to it most of the time. The answer I got was not the one I was expecting: quit your job, because you're obviously bored and you need to be doing something that keeps you busy enough that you can't even think about snacking. On the surface, I was like...uhhh, sure, quit my job, that seems practical! But deep down I knew I needed to take some sort of baby steps towards a career that was more fulfilling.

Based on the amazing advice of one of the moms at my dance studio, I created a list of what I wanted out of my next job, and what I wanted out of a dream job.

What I want out of my next full-time, office job
- Team-oriented environment
- Good communication between coworkers and management; no politics or games
- A place where my strengths are valued, celebrated and cause for advancement
- Management or coworker availability when I need to ask questions
- Trust that I will complete my tasks without being micromanaged

What I'd like in a dream job
- Flexible scheduling (no proverbial 9-5) that would give me the time for self-care / starting a family
- Being able to complete work on my own time--deadlines only, no other time parameters about when to work
- Using my creative talents (photography, writing) to support my family
- Officing out of my own home or coffee shop
- Feeling like I have the power to control my own advancement--i.e., the harder I work, the more success I'm able to achieve

In a more practical, immediate sense, I'm thinking about changing industries to a company that my sister works for. She is having a blast there and they really value their employees and don't like them to stay in one place forever. She's already advanced in the year and a half she's been there, so I'm applying for a senior admin position (which I'm totally overqualified for) and seeing what happens. Ideally I'd love to get my foot in the door and then down the line do corporate communications, because I just love to write and write well.

The other thing that's making me excited to have all this daylight is writing and photography. I've turned to my friends on Facebook to see what kind of photo gigs I could get to make some London money while I'm filling out applications, and the response has been pretty stellar. Tomorrow I am heading over to my favorite coffee shop, sitting down with my favorite cajeta latte, and putting together a Squarespace website to show off my photography. I don't have a camera at the moment, but my cousin works at a photo rental place, and I can rent a camera for almost nothing while I make a little bit of money.

On the writing front, I have something that's more long-term going, and until I get something definite I'll keep that for the mystery box. :)

Anyway, it's pretty amazing how something terrible has turned into something that may be incredibly freeing. I'm going to chronicle my progress (or lack thereof) here. So 2014? Bring it on. I'm ready for you.

35 Replies to 2014: Let's go.

re: 2014: Let's go. (karma: 1)
By celestia836
On Wed Mar 19, 2014 01:30 AM
Welcome back to diaryland! I'm so sorry you've had to deal with the nastiness of that former job and its abrupt end, but it looks like you're dealing with the situation beautifully. I'm so excited for you - for London and your future career! :)
re: 2014: Let's go. (karma: 1)
By Allymember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Mar 19, 2014 07:53 PM
I saw on Facebook Dani and just couldn't think of anything to say, just wanted to give you a hug. I'm so so sorry dear.
Know you're not alone. For the time being, can you pick up any temp jobs through like Office Team or Manpower, so you can make some money? Or maybe substitute teaching?
I've been working a temp job since last April when I quit (pretty much forced to quit) a job similar to yours. I have no regrets, it was an awful toxic environment. I had panic attacks on the way to work and wish I could get in a wreck so I wouldn't have to go in.
I wish I had something positive to say about the job search, but it's been so so hard. I'm just being a realist. I counted the jobs I've applied for and been turned down for, and it's a little over 200 since last April. I've had 2 interviews and one job offer, which I had to turn down because there was no way we could live on the salary of $9 an hour 38 hours a week and not getting paid for 7 weeks. Idaho employment sucks compared to Texas though, so take heart in that.
You are brilliant and educated and have way more job experience than I do so I'm sure something that you will enjoy will come around. I wish you the best dear *hugs*
re: 2014: Let's go.
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Mar 20, 2014 01:24 PM
Thanks to both of you for popping in. I had a really productive day yesterday applying for jobs--knocked three applications out of the way, and they're jobs I'm totally qualified for. I am applying for a stretch job as a pro blogger at a Google-esque development company here in town, which will require a complete retooling of my resume and some different references than what I'm used to giving.

I'm the communications officer for my dance school and (yet another) one of the awesome moms there emailed me and told me I should consider being a teacher. The certification process could be done over the summer, and I know she would put in a good word for me. So that's something to ponder as well.

My website and Facebook page are up and running! If anybody's looking to build a website, dang, I totally recommend Squarespace. I'm still tweaking everything but it looks amazing for not having consulted with a developer once. PM me if you'd like the address.

Wagons ho!
re: 2014: Let's go.
By OvertheOcean
On Fri Mar 21, 2014 06:27 PM
It's awesome you've made a list of what you want out of the job day-to-day. I personally was so caught up in getting/having what seems or sounds like a cool job that will impress people that I didn't realize a lot of those jobs have sucky day-to-day tasks or environments that I hated. I feel like that's something they don't tell you in school about careers...
Anyway, I know that's not necessarily your experience, I just wanted to commend you on making the lists. You don't deserve to be in a crappy job! Also...I definitely think you should go for your TC ;)
re: 2014: Let's go.
By UberGoobermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Mar 21, 2014 06:51 PM
Loving your attitude. Go get em girl!
re: 2014: Let's go.
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Mar 22, 2014 01:44 PM
Minisession scheduled for April 5, 2014. That's the Saturday before we leave for London. Hopefully this brings in some quick cash for the honeymoon, and next week I'll start offering 15% off any sessions booked before we leave.

I have plenty of interest after the honeymoon...I just need some now! I'm ready to start shooting again.

On an unrelated-to-business note, I'm going to be on the radio tonight to talk about my school's fundraiser. We're sending eight kids to London (yes, the same time we're going over--I'm going to be team mom) as well as our two teachers and we're so close to reaching our goal. The audio is usually up for a week, so I'll post the link if anyone's interested in hearing what I sound like. ;)

Now I'm going to try to write. It's been a week since I became funemployed (yes, I'm trying to look at this on the bright side) and I haven't written a single word. Partially it's because I'm busy, and partially because I'm just STUCK on this one part. I probably just need to skip it and move on, but it's a choice I have to make that's vital to the development of the book, so I'm kind of at a crossroads.

Off to look at used camera gear. :)
re: 2014: Let's go. (karma: 1)
By Tiggerpants
On Sat Mar 22, 2014 02:47 PM
Hello, lurker popping in to say that first of all I'm sorry to hear about your job. Second of all, are you on twitter? If you are it might be helpful to follow @SkintLondon as they sometimes have some really good deals up there (restaurants with 50% off meals etc). I'm a new Londoner, fairly frequently skint and I love them!
re: 2014: Let's go.
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:51 AM
I paid off my car earlier this year. The loan was from the Bank of Grandma, but I was happy to have one less payment to worry about. Today my grandma called me and told me she was giving me back the interest I paid on the 5-year loan, because she didn't like that I'd paid interest when none of her other kids/grandkids did before.

I started sobbing almost immediately and she told me "now don't you start crying because you'll make me cry!"

My grandma is awesome, that's all.
re: 2014: Let's go.
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:49 AM
Aaaand I just applied for teacher certification.

Didn't see that coming two weeks ago, but I am thrilled!
re: 2014: Let's go.
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Mar 28, 2014 06:49 PM
Edited by TheMidlakeMuse (78507) on 2014-03-28 18:51:20
Just as I was going to come here with an epic rant about not getting any response from all the sweat I put into my photography biz, I got my first paid client! A friend of mine needed headshots for a beauty pageant and I was happy to oblige. We did photos around her apartment complex of all places, so I intend to highlight that fact as a selling point that I can do pictures anywhere :P I'll be sure to post the link once the blog post is up!

Here's the link for me on the radio: . . . Select "Irish Aires" from the dropdown menu, and then click the March 22 show. My bit starts around the 8:15 mark. It'll be up for 8 more days. I surprisingly don't sound super cringey! Yay!
re: 2014: Let's go.
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Mar 30, 2014 07:10 PM
Edited by TheMidlakeMuse (78507) on 2014-03-30 19:11:08
Edited by TheMidlakeMuse (78507) on 2014-03-30 19:12:49
I posted this on my Tumblr and I thought I would post it here. I actually got an offer to do a lucrative six-month contract in Birmingham (Alabama, not England, haha) and I turned it down on Friday--mostly because I realized I couldn't bear to be away from these lovely people for that long. I thought this period of unemployment would make me harder and more practical. Instead, it's made the most important things in life stand out in stark relief.


About six months ago some crazy dreamers at our school set an impossible goal: we would raise $14,000 to help offset the costs of attending the Worlds, for a team that hadn't even qualified yet. It was our first time to send more than a single four-hand to our Oireachtas, and we had no idea if we would even do well. That number was so high, certainly if we were short, it would still be a huge achievement.

First, this happened. So we knew the mixed team had a lot of work to do, but that they could hang with (and beat) the best. I have watched these kids (plus two alternates) sweat and bleed and learn over the past four months since the Oireachtas and I am constantly blown away by how much they want this, and how hard they're willing to work to achieve their goals.

Today, we didn't just meet our fundraising goal, we exceeded it, thanks to an entire school who has decided that sending these kids to the Worlds was important. I have read the parents on the Voy boards whine and gripe about fundraising for dancers other than their own, because why should THEY pay money for other people's children to go overseas. Frankly, that attitude baffles me after seeing the depths of generosity possible in our school.

As an example, one of our moms is a dressmaker who donated a custom solo dress to raffle off to benefit our Worlds dancers. (Her daughter isn't going to London, so she doesn't profit personally from this.) The winner was an adult from our school. Instead of using the ticket herself, she gave it to one of our Worlds qualifiers who hasn't had a new dress since 2008, who danced in a borrowed dress when she got 3rd at the Oireachtas this past year, and will dance at the Worlds with a different borrowed dress. I saw the spirit of our school in the tears in everyone's eyes when she learned she was finally getting the custom solo dress she'd been dreaming of for years.

Two weeks from today I am going to be in London, waiting for our dancers to arrive so I can play team mom, thanks to the awesome generosity of my parents who also decided it was important that me, my sister and our spouses should be there too. No matter how the results play out in the end, I will always be proud of them, because win or lose, we stay family.
re: 2014: Let's go.
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Apr 29, 2014 05:50 PM
Edited by Odessa (22571) on 2014-04-29 23:53:24 edited as per user request
So wow, a lot to report. It's been a while since my last entry.

I have a website for my photography. I have three clients scheduled and more inquiries that haven't firmed up into deals just yet; I even got an inquiry about a wedding. About a month ago I would have said hell no, because I've shot wedding before but didn't really feel like they were my bag. In London at the Worlds however--I turned into a photojournalist. It was amazing. I re-learned so much during the week of the Worlds, and most importantly got my confidence back. I knew the images I captured were special but getting the validation on Tumblr was amazing. You can see some of my work from that week here and here. Now I am hoping to go to the North American Nationals in Montreal to do something similar--we'll see if I can collect enough clients to pay my way.

I'm making amazing progress on my novel. I'm shooting for a May 31st date to finish the rough draft, and that's totally doable. I'm at about 55,000 words today, and my target is between 80-90k.

I have a summer job! I am nannying for a dance family. S is a cool 11-year-old who likes reading, Doctor Who and cats. She's pretty quiet at the studio but I'm hoping that will wear off as we get to know each other better. We'll also be doing a little dancing together (which I'm still not cleared to do--argh). I am also tutoring a 10th grade boy in writing in the same neighborhood on Wednesdays after I finish up with S, and may pick up some more tutoring clients.

I was able to secure crappy health insurance for me and Husband through (Insert rant about how I shouldn't be paying for healthcare in the first place, but whatever.) It's pretty much catastrophic only, and I'm downgrading my meds to generics so I can pay for them with cash. I go to the doctor A LOT so this is going to be a big change for me. It'll do until my husband's able to secure a full-time job at his workplace (he's part time but should be able to go full-time in the next few months).

I was accepted to my teaching program but I haven't done anything about it yet. I'm hesitant to get into any more debt and I'm not crazy about the restrictions it would put on my schedule when it comes to travel. I'm worried I reached for teaching just because it was a steady paycheck instead of doing what I really want to do. Being able to set my own schedule and work from home / my favorite coffee shop has been incredibly liberating. I almost wish I hadn't discovered how much I like it because it would be very, very hard to go back to an office job at this point. (I won't count anything out though.)

So the plan currently is:
- Build my photography business.
- Gain more tutoring clients.
- Do some odd job stuff to make ends meet (I'm currently interviewing/training for a SEO/SEE position that would allow me to work from home). I may apply to part-time nanny with a service after this summer gig is over.
- Work on revisions over the summer and start querying agents in the fall. Maybe start freelancing through my local alternative weekly or the like.
re: 2014: Let's go. (karma: 1)
By UberGoobermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu May 01, 2014 07:21 PM
^If you want to keep name brands, see if your doctor has any samples or search online for any discount cards. You probably already have thought of this jsut throwing it out there!
re: 2014: Let's go.
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed May 14, 2014 05:42 PM
Ugh, it has been a craptastic last few weeks. Everything I've tried to do to make money has blown up spectacularly in my face.

I "failed" the tests for the SEE job. They are letting me do a retake but I'm pretty grumpy about the whole thing, which means reviewing the stupid 160 page manual that I read in one sitting two weeks ago. I was volunteered by the same friend to do a focus group for $200 with her, and they had too many people from my state.

I was fairly confident I could swing Nationals but now I'm not sure at all. At this point I don't have enough clients to so much as break even. Plus I made a terrible mistake in posting to the Voys to advertise my services. Apparently I'm undermining the very foundations of Irish dancing and need lots of permits (?!?) to do what I do. I read one or two responses, then never looked again. My teacher basically said F the haters and that if CLRG PD had a problem with me, they could come to him (and they already hate him, he added parenthetically). I just...Jesus. I hope the self-appointed police officer posting on that thread is never in a similar situation, because it was one of the most discouraging and stressful things I've ever dealt with. It's a slap in the face when you're used to the Irish dance world being a positive, supportive community. We're not going to make rent unless something huge happens, so I hope that person (or people) who were slinging mud at me are sleeping well tonight.

I haven't worked on my novel since the last day of April because I've been hit with so much--first, trying to get the SEE job, then the big photo blowup, then a week-long fever (YUP!) where I was too scared to go to the doctor because I knew it would be too much money. Oh, and thanks to a mix up with THREE of my medications I am currently off my BC, thyroid and headache meds, which have made me a very unpleasant person to be around. My main thyroid symptom is stiffness and pain in my joints, and paired with its fun twin muscle weakness I can barely make it up the stairs. I was going to try to go back to dance this weekend but I can't see my doc until Monday at the earliest.

And in the middle of all this I am missing London like CRAZY. A lot of people wax poetic about New York City, and I never got it, but insert "London" (which is basically "Euro New York") and I'm the same way. It was crazy expensive, and towards the end I really missed home, but damn do I want to go back, and stay back. (It doesn't help that I keep watching all this London-centric media, like Sherlock, Luther and Shawn of the Dead, just to name a few over the past week.) Just another reason to get writing, I guess.

However, I am going to try to end on a positive note and say that the hubs had an interview to go full-time at a different branch of his current job and he said it went really well. He also has an application in for a different position within the same system and I bet he'll get an interview for that one too. I have started the teacher training up again, because freelancing has been kind of soul-crushing--but maybe once I'm able to build up enough business I can "buy" my freedom at a later date.

Blah. I think I'll write...if my joints will let me.
re: 2014: Let's go. (karma: 1)
By Nyssasisticmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed May 14, 2014 06:20 PM
I read that debacle on the voy boards and just rolled my eyes. People are there charging to do hair and makeup and whatever else- NO ONE in authority is going to throw a hissy fit over you doing your shoots. I hope you get enough business to be able to go.

I'm sorry things are going poorly overall. I hope they turn themselves around soon.
re: 2014: Let's go. (karma: 1)
By seannettaPremium member
On Thu May 15, 2014 10:06 AM
I recognized your post on the Voy boards too and just want to say that I hope you don't let it get you down too much...It's just the usual no-life Voy crazies. I hope this business takes off for you -- I peeked at your photos and they are really wonderful.
re: 2014: Let's go. (karma: 1)
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon May 19, 2014 07:39 AM
Have you thought about getting your TCRG (that's right, right?), and teaching ID? I mean, if you want a non-conventional, non-9-5, creative type job, teaching dance is pretty high up on the list. :D
re: 2014: Let's go. (karma: 1)
By Louisemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon May 19, 2014 07:53 AM
I posted about a million times on that thread trying to reason with people (I don't know why I let myself get sucked in, really) but my God there was a serious bypass of logic going on there. I usually hate putting negativity down to jealousy but honestly, I do think some of them were just pissed off that they didn't think of it first. Didn't you know no-one is allowed to make money off Irish dance *eyeroll*

Anyway, I had ya back. And still sad that I didn't say hello to you when you walked a few rows in front of me on Wednesday or Thursday at the Worlds, I thought I'd probably see you around again but I never did! :(
re: 2014: Let's go.
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:57 PM
T, studying for the exam is definitely on my list, but more of a long term goal! The amount of work needed to pass the exam is at least a year-long process, though much more for me when it comes to the practical dancing aspects. :D

Thanks for your support, y'all. I am definitely not going to Nationals now because there just wasn't enough interest to justify a trip, but I'm at peace with it. London was enough of a stressful working trip; I didn't really need another.

I opened myself up to doing wedding photography with a steal of a deal, but haven't gotten any contracts yet. In fact I had a client tell me the check was in the mail--and even borrowed $500 off my parents to cover that check that was TOTALLY, DEFINITELY in the mail so we could make rent--only to be informed that they'd actually gone with another photographer. Ummm, wow. You wouldn't believe how angry, dehumanized and sad I was when I read that. I told my folks today I'd have the money to them by Monday, since that's when I'm getting paid next for various things, but they've decided to make it a gift instead of a loan, so that takes a huge load off of us right now. I could've cried when my mom told me I didn't have to pay it back.

I have been trying to get better about letting people help me during this time in my life. I have been working since I was 17 and I'm very firmly in my late twenties now so it's just a weird feeling to have to rely on others instead of relying on myself to get out of a jam--but people who care about me really want to help, so who am I to deny them that experience? I have done a pretty bang-up job of handling this month, which I knew in advance was going to be tough, but I fell just a little bit short. THAT'S OKAY. I need to keep yelling that at myself.

I start nannying on Monday and think it's going to be really easy. I went yesterday to get the lay of the land and my charge is a really cool kid. We're going to be doing some dancing every day, and she has piano lessons and chess coaching but that's about it as far as planned activities go--and I'll have at least two hours in the morning to study, edit my novel or catch up on Doctor Who :) Her grandmother is going to come visit at some point this summer, which means I'll probably sneak up to Kansas City and visit some good friends there (before I visit in August, again, for Irish Fest and the competition there).

I went to Comicpalooza, Houston's Comic-Con two weekends ago and had an absolutely fabulous time. I got to meet the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth doctors (Paul McGann was my unquestioned favorite--totally charming), as well as John and Carole Barrowman. I ended up being quite the Carole fangirl, as I attended a whole bunch of her writing panels (above is a pic of me and Carole) and ended up at both of John Scalzi's talks. (John Scalzi's "Financial Tough Love for Writers" was interrupted by a loud Pokemon battle next door...only at a Comic-Con.) The whole weekend was super inspiring and challenging, especially when it came to my writing, and I was almost as bummed when it was over as I was when we left London.

To end this entry on a positive note--you may have noticed further up there I said I'd have time to edit my novel. Well, I finished it. I finished the first draft of my novel and I am so, so elated. It hasn't really sunk in yet, but I've never gotten this far before and I have been working on this concept for very nearly five years. If nothing else good comes of this weird period in my life, I will be able to point to my laptop and say I WROTE A NOVEL. Don't get me wrong, it is not close to being ready for primetime, but I am so much closer than I was just a few months ago.

So now it's the summer of ripping out my hair and getting this thing polished and tightened up, sent out to my beta readers, and then hopefully a subsequent fall of querying agents. :)
re: 2014: Let's go.
By Celebrianmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jun 09, 2014 07:25 AM
I'd love to read some of it, Dani! I know people don't like to show before they've edited (like ME!), but I totally understand when you haven't edited yet that it's a rough rough draft and that the spirit of the work is there. So if you want a reader, oooh, me me MEEEE!!!!
re: 2014: Let's go.
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:27 AM
^ I promise when I get to a point where I'm not totally embarrassed of it, you'll get a peek! :) I'm leaving it completely alone for a month while it settles. It dawned on me the other day that I really have NO idea how to edit a novel, because I've never gotten this far before. Good problem to have, but a problem nonetheless!

First week of nannying almost completed, and we are having a blast. My charge is so low-key and thoughtful and cool, and we're into the same things which very much helps. On the way back from her piano lesson Wednesday, we spun this elaborate, funny and very sarcastic fiction about a truck who lives under a bridge and was convinced he was a vampire, and we've discussed some of the finer points of our favorite Doctor Who episodes. Plus I get there so early in the morning I have a few hours to myself while she sleeps in, which is helping me get photos edited and teacher training worked on.

Speaking of teaching, I had my first tutoring lesson / homeschooling class on Thursday! It went so well. The boys are eager to learn and actually interested--I don't think I could say the same if I was forced to take a class over the summer, haha. They had great questions and really want to get better at writing, and I am excited to help them out. Plus I get to flex my lesson planning muscles and even had a syllabus ready for them :) It has really helped convince me that I can actually teach and will enjoy it this fall.

Heading to a feis for the first time since February this afternoon. Just doing ceili while I work my way back after this dumb injury, but totally happy to be on a team and dancing again! Being at a feis is way more fun when you're not competing, I've found. :) I'm looking forward to seeing how everybody does tomorrow--plus, I get to have dinner with Sumayah tonight!!! Eeeee!

Attached are a few of my favorite shots from my most recent photo sessions. I'm hoping this streak of good things continues.
re: 2014: Let's go.
By Sumayah
On Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:09 PM

-caps locked filter disengaged-
re: 2014: Let's go.
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Jun 22, 2014 07:37 PM
So big news: husband got hired on full time at the library, at a branch that's super nice, and that means insurance and VACATION and sick time and retirement and PENSION and educational assistance so he can go for his Master's. Holy cannoli has this been overdue. He's been trying to find something full time since he graduated in December 2010, so it's been nearly four years. It doesn't pay super well but we are so excited to get him into the system. This is a job he can have for the rest of his life, if he wants, and that is huge. It's so amazing for him to have a career instead of these little stopgap "for now" jobs, and I am so, so grateful.

In teacher training news, I'm pretty sure I missed the cutoff for the testing to teach Grade 7-12 Language Arts for this fall, and I'm pretty mad at myself for that. In addition, the next round of testing for Generalist 4-8 and Language Arts 4-8 won't come round until August. So I've basically got to try to convince a school to hire me without seeing my scores. I'm already applying to other jobs as a backup plan. I have really enjoyed nannying so I'm thinking about applying to do that full time for a year while I get the rest of my ducks in a row, if I can't get them lined up in time.

Writing updates: I've started a collection of Irish dancing short stories and should have an ebook's worth by the end of the summer. I don't really expect that to be commercially viable, except to the small sliver of Irish dancers that I know, so I don't feel weird about self-publishing on Amazon and having that be a small source of income.

So I think that's it! It's good to be back dancing again, even though my stamina is utterly horrible and I still am just doing ceili and not solos just yet. I'm planning on creating a little regimen of self-directed strength training and running this summer, and then hopefully Prelims in Kansas City--if I can get my teacher to agree.
re: 2014: Let's go.
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Jun 22, 2014 07:46 PM
Oh, I forgot--this was cool too. I got to tell paleo author Diane Sanfilippo (see my very first entry!) that I'd finished my first novel and was so much happier doing things that make a difference. Here's the full text of my email:

Hi Diane! So this is totally not about eating/living paleo, but I thought I'd share a "testimonial" just the same.

Earlier this year during your Paleo tour you stopped in Houston and I asked you a question about snacking at my desk. Your answer was a bit unconventional, as you said I should pursue something I was more passionate about and I wouldn't have the need to snack all the time. You said it sounded crazy, but I'd be emailing you someday to let you know it had made an impact on me. I'll say up front: yes, it did sound crazy. Quitting my job didn't seem very "practical" (har har). Well--this is that email!

I'll admit only get half credit because I didn't quit on my own; my contract ended after six months and I was let go from my job in March. It was a huge shock, especially seeing as I'd been making the most money I'd ever made in my career, but once I stepped back I realized that no amount of money was worth the stress and stagnation I'd been experiencing. After ten years of being in the energy industry I decided to take stock and really focus on what I wanted to do, and now I'm in training to become a middle/high school teacher. I also recently completed my first novel--something I've been working on for five years and never had the time to finish--and hope to be shopping that around to different agents this fall.

In short, your words had a HUGE impact on me during this very strange time in my life and really helped me build my confidence that I could take steps to a more fulfilling career. I don't know that I would have been as driven and focused on getting in touch with my needs for my next job without your mandate.

Thank you so much!

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