Thursday, June 3, 2010

I Figured It Out!

A few weeks back I set out to explore the career portion of my life and figure out a way to fix this near-miss never-satisfied under-challenged physically-exhausting mess that I have made out of my professional existence. It's a complicated story and I am still a little confused as to how I got here. When did I get so off track? I graduated in 1999 from a California State University with a bachelors degree in Art, Interior Design. I was good at it and liked it well enough so I spent the early part of my 20's working in a sales driven aspect of the field. After I got married in 2001 I decided to make a change. I needed a break from the endless pressure and outpouring of creativity required to make the numbers happen. By this time I had developed into a pretty fierce saleswoman, though, so when Bloomingdale's called I figured a job at the cosmetic counter would be a nice and easy "break" while I figured out what to do with myself. Should I take some CAD classes and try for a position with a commercial design firm? Should I go back and get my Masters Degree? If so, in what? I needed some time to de-stress, to think and ponder and explore... That was 9 years ago.

We moved to San Francisco and I rose quickly, promotion after promotion, into cosmetic management and makeup artistry at a prestigious department store on Union Square. Then I started getting sick. So I quickly descended that career ladder that I had so rapidly sprung up just a few years before. Luckily I had a great reputation in my field and I was a skilled manager and makeup artist with a lot to offer. Quickly I was snatched up by one of the department store biggies and am now a freelance makeup artist for that line. It is a fun job. I love doing makeup. I love meeting and discovering and getting to know all different types of people. I love making a woman feel more beautiful, or better about herself, or more confident. I believe I contribute positively and directly to the betterment of society. But it is also a job that is just too bloody physical for me. So here I am, looking for a career, an inspiration, a purpose. I recently had a day dream that I never do anything about this and find myself floating from job to job, never really satisfied, with no real way to self-support, into my 40's with a very limited set of marketable skills. And realized I absolutely do NOT want that to happen. I am bright and intelligent and deep and soulful. I am developed professionally and have loads of ideas and boundless innovations and want to harness it, use it and challenge it to come together and form into a career that is my passion.

Perhaps this is why I took the bare boned results of my DISCOVER test, the basic precepts of community service, working with people and contributing creatively, and applied it to the only thing I have ever been passionate about for the entirety of my life. I objectively sorted through the litany of options and once I read the curriculum for the MA in English Literature I was a goner. I had fallen in love. I had discovered a way to channel all my interests onto the paper and envelope myself in literary study. I had found a way to research the evolution of our humanity via the written word while defining myself professionally and honing my writing skills! I believe one day my voice will be heard. It may not come from my throat, but it will be loud and resonate clearly. And I feel like I took the first step down that road to success with this discovery.

I anticipate this opportunity to further explore and better myself will absorb my life for quite a few years. I feel I am up to the challenge, for this is something I have chosen. It is not some awful disease that takes over every part of my life and forces me to absorb pain and sickness into every cell of my being. I had absolutely no choice with that one. Fibromyalgia took everything away from me and I have had to fight bitterly for the last 5 years to get some of it back. Taking Spanish and getting an A was truly a transforming experience. It opened my eyes to a whole other side of myself that has been lurking beneath the surface. It perpetuated the confidence to recognize that I am at a point in my life where I can make the commitment, and I will be successful.

Thanks for joining,

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