26 September 2013

The Next Phase of My Life

Wow, for the first time in a long time, my American audience has surpassed my Ukrainian readership. Of course, I have been conspicuously absent from here for months, as happens occasionally.  I give a lot to my day job, and this summer was especially hectic.

As mentioned in previous posts, I work in property management.  The building where I work is a high rise that has suffered large vacancies due to several factors, but my boss and I were brought in as new management when the building went into foreclosure in 2011.  This summer, we lost our anchor tenant, the bank that built the building nearly 40 years ago. A tenant prospect simultaneously began considering absorbing nearly half of the space that the bank gave up.  During the process of transitioning out a bank (Are vaults considered fixtures? How many signs do they have in this place, anyway? How do you get the giant letters off the side of the building?) and wooing a new tenant, a new buyer prospect for the building began a very long process of due diligence.  Mid-summer, the other assistant in our office left to do student teaching, leaving just my boss and I to continue.  I worked long hours, longer than my boss on many days since she has a child to care for, so blogging fell by the wayside.

This is how you remove letters from a building.
I did write a short story, though, that I will expand into a children's novel for the 2nd-3rd grade level (or ages 7-9).  As I picked up A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle to remind myself of what I enjoyed at the age of 9, the building finally sold, the bank was finished moving out, and the new lease was signed.  I prepared myself to stay at this position a little longer so as not to give my boss a stroke by leaving her alone.  It's been my goal to work in editing or publishing for 15 years, and this latest position all but eliminated the creative work I'd enjoyed in other jobs.  I am not a quitter, though, and when the other assistant in the office left, it seemed like the right thing to do to stay and support my boss, working on my storybook at home and trying to get some freelance gigs.

God had other plans.

Two days after the sale was final, I was laid off with 30-days notice.  My last day is October 4th. The new owner cut two positions, mine and a maintenance tech's, to reduce operating expenses.  Being business-minded, knowing it was not personal since the owner didn't know me, and my boss cried and fought for me, it didn't take me long to see this as an opportunity to finally give myself over to the search for a writing job, not just work.  My real estate career taught me many things about marketing, but my current position isn't marketing-focused.  For all of the things I endeavored in my off-time, I almost lost hope in 2008 that I would ever get to actually make a living writing.  Nashville doesn't have many writing positions outside of journalism. Suddenly, with this layoff, I wouldn't have to feel like I left my boss for selfish reasons.  I could search across the country for jobs openly and pimp myself out through every available means.  It gives me the time to search and apply for positions without staying up till midnight (like tonight), and it allows me to pursue starting my own business with a friend, one that is time-consuming and requires some travel.  Now I will have time and a little money to move to a new city if needed and still start that new business because it's web-based.

There is a mourning period that goes with this, of course.  I like the people I work with, and I like my 20th floor office with a view.  I feel an attachment to the building and wanted to see it improved upon and filled up again.  I'm afraid of draining my severance because finding a job takes longer than it used to five years ago.  With all of these fears, though, comes a faith in my calling, and a belief that I am meant to transition back into a creative position, or that my latest entrepreneurial endeavor will pay the bills.  Either is fine by me.

This is what I see from my desk chair: bye-bye, beautiful view.
A couple months after I graduated from college, I planned to cycle up the east coast to Maine.  I had enough money to last one month before I needed to get a job and start paying off my student loans.  I researched panniers and bought a new seat for my bike.  Then, one night before I fell asleep, I prayed for a sign, asking God if this was the right thing to do.  The next morning, I awoke to discover my roommate had moved my bike outside because he didn't like it in the kitchen, and he didn't lock it.  My precious ride had been stolen.  That seemed to be a big sign; I couldn't afford to replace my bike.  Now, with a rare opportunity to focus on finding something creative, an opportunity to even search in other cities, I am applying for positions that focus on marketing, writing and editing.  I can't miss this chance: I must pursue the dream.

The beneficiary of my dedicated service for two and half years,
a quirky building I've grown to love.


Anonymous said...

You may find this talk helpful: http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action.html

This seems to be a time of transition for many people. I pray you find what you need now, knowing it will change in the future. Your talents are so many,I only see good things for you.

Meerkat's Matters said...

I love your bright, positive outlook, and I think you'll be rewarded for seeing the light from the door that has yet to open. I think God has a great plan for you and you definitely deserve happiness :) Pimpin' ain't easy but I'm sure you'll succeed!