Achievement Unlocked: New Home

Well, we did it.

This past weekend, two days after Christmas, we upended our material possessions, and (with a lot of help from friends quite dear) we moved to West Philadelphia.  A lot has happened, though, so let me catch you up.

I made a contact at a company for future consulting work, and potentially, a future opportunity for a full time position.  My contact is very sweet, super honest, and quite helpful.  We talked a lot about my desire to land in either a Managed Services Lead position, or to end up as an accomplished Analyst in the field of business intelligence.

Hanif and I talked a lot about my training and tracking for [redacted], and we have a plan to get me up to speed sooner than I hoped, given my wont to eat a whale in one bite then chew for a year hoping to swallow it.

[Redacted] (!!!) emailed me on Christmas Day morning, responding to my application for a Junior Analyst position to which I’m terribly excited to respond.  It’s essentially a pre-interview technical screening to show [redacted] my strengths and ability to leverage queries to yield meaningful data.  I was elated upon reading the email, not only because [redacted] has a bit of a reputation for not responding to applicants, but also because I feel very capable of giving them full, meaningful responses to each use-case.

We visited families of blood and the heart this holiday.  Thomthulhu replaced a tea pot our cats shattered, and also gave me an HP Lovecraft tee-shirt I like very much.  We go to Lancaster for New Years, and I’m excited to see a small group of friends we don’t get to see too often during the winter months.
I received a very generous year end bonus from the law firm, and an equally generous and heartfelt gift from the attorney for whom I work.

The move went relatively smoothly, and the Sky Warren of R’yleh should be cleaned out and ready for new occupants by this time next week.  I’m desperately hoping that our landlord will find an occupant in time for February 1, so that I don’t end up having to pay another full month of rent at the old place AND a full month at our new home, but HEY IT IS ONLY MONEY WHATEVER WE SHALL DEAL.

Thomthulhu gave his notice Monday last, and today is his third-to-final day of work.  He begins classes at Temple University on the twelfth, and has a full load of courses in History (and Latin, naturally).

I’ve drafted solicitation letters for sponsorship for my Rails Girls event in June of the coming year.  I’m picking up Ruby in my spare time, and have a proof of concept project to work on (and a domain name that will be its home).  I really love the language, and hope to move on to Java and HTML/CSS when I’ve got a good handle on Ruby.  Code Academy has been a great resource for me so far, and I’m hoping to make some Girl Develop It meet-ups in the near future.

It just goes to show how much can change in a year, I suppose.  Inviting people who encourage, support, and advocate for me and my abilities and wonder and desire in a truly meaningful way has opened so many doors and cleared so many paths in my life. It makes such a significant difference to move from people who expend their energy talking about support to people who expend their energy actually just providing and reinforcing support.  I’m surrounded by people who know that I’m a force of nature and that I make good decisions.  My participation in these relationships is not contingent on getting things right all the time, or doing things the One True Right Way (read: their way).  I don’t spend my time mired in Emotionally Intense Constant Exchange.  My relationships are more fluid, reciprocal, cooperative, and trusting.  They’re more mindful.  I’m not expected to conform or assimilate.  It’s like going from a cult to a culture.  We spend time relating, rather than talking about relationships.  We spend more time building and doing than we do processing and discussing.  I went from deeply questioning my value and enoughness seven or eight months ago to rarely bothering to give it a second thought because of course I am valuable and enough!  I ask for reassurance when I need it, invariably receive it, and believe its veracity because it is supported by consistent actions over time.  The cognitive dissonance has almost completely evaporated.  I have not been confronted with a moment of “You’re saying X, but your actions say Y,” since Galactic Collision 2014.

It’s… honestly pretty glorious.  I feel like a pretty darn great version of myself and it’s a great way to begin 2015.

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Achievement Unlocked: New Home

YOLO, or whatever.

I am basically a cartoon.
I am basically a cartoon.

My response to recent stresses was to YOLO my hair.

Yesterday I went down to Salon Sugar, got a pretty wicked awesome undercut and dyed my hair a smokey lavender.  Well.  I didn’t.  Kim Resnick did it.  It took about five and half hours, Molly came to visit, and Kim was a TROOPER, as always.

I’m sitting at work waiting for people to filter in and out of my office and side-eye me, but you know.  YOLO, dudes.  Harsh ye naught my shine.

Other humans might question the wisdom of a rather exceptional haircut and non-natural dye color whilst in the middle of some pretty major career development and change.  I get that, to a certain extent.  However, here’s the thing:

One of the things I’m hoping for in a future employer is a lack of f*cks given about the non-essential.  I have tattoos.  Some of them are visible even while wearing my (really cute) clothes.  I dress the way I dress, which is to say RARELY IF EVER PANTS and a lot of colorful cuffed thigh high knit socks.  I layer like a bawce.  I always look professional, but I don’t ever look conventional.  My work wardrobe is my actual wardrobe.  Everything is black, white, grey, navy, or shades of purple and red.  I wear quirky shoes and accessories.  If I’m going to give someone eight to ten hours of my life five days a week, I’m going to be myself during those hours and not stress out about looking like other people or meeting trivial expectations about what it meeeeeeeeeans to be a career woman in her thirties.

My mum always told me, “Dress for the job you /want/ to have; not the job you do have.”   THANKS MOM GOOD ADVICE!

The job I want is a job wherein people are like, “GIRL HAS SOME BRAINS Y’ALL” period, full stop.  I’d like to land at a smaller company or hip start-up that supports a creative and happy and smart hive of awesome individuals.  I’d like to have the freedom to work from home (or, you know, Portland).  Moreover, I’d like to live in a world in which people’s appearances are not newsworthy.  I am being the change I wanna see in the world, here people.  My work product, my skills, and my talents speak for themselves.  I work hard and smart.  I hope to meet with employers and clients who look at my accomplishments and aptitude and say, “This is the person we want addressing our needs,” and then, you know.  Hire me.  To do the thing.

So yeah, I’m basically a blackberry flavored marshmallow peep now.  I totally love it, and it was exactly what I needed to do to feel like I get to be myself, have power, make decisions and execute change.

 

YOLO, betches.

YOLO, or whatever.

Drowning

I’ve been drowning at work.  It’s been going on for weeks.  Most days, I’m at the office from six in the morning until at least five at night.  I don’t take a lunch break much anymore.  I’m deeply unhappy, here.

I want to skip the firm holiday party and our usual luncheon, but I know I should go.

It feels like nothing on my to-do list can ever wait long enough for me to finish whatever it is I’m working on.  I’m trying really hard not to check out on the job emotionally, but it’s really difficult when you feel like basically all you’re doing is failing for eleven to twelve hours a day, five days a week.

I need to get out of this.

Drowning