Cheers to the New Year!

Ahhhhh vacation! One of the perks of being at the same job for 5 years is having an extra week of vacation, which is why I am blessed to have off for the next 3 days…pair it with the weekend and I’ve got myself six glorious days of not having to report anywhere. I also have no specific plans over the next several days which means no commitments. Now that Christmas has come and gone we are in the lull period leading up to New Years which of course leads to introspection. I’m still not where I thought I would be professionally at the close of 2011, but as I reflect upon this year I realize I actually have achieved some pretty awesome things:

·         Instead of allowing fear of rejection to dampen my spirits and waterlog my motivation, I followed up on a lead from a friend and actually submitted an article to the HelloGiggles website.

·         After that 1st article was posted I was asked if I had a blog or some kind of social platform forum so readers could follow my work and I’m sad to say I did not so I squandered an opportunity. Instead of chastising myself, I got over my own preconceived notions about bloggers and blogging and began my own. If you look at my very first entry (http://cijasquips.tumblr.com/post/8798888414/so-today) you can see how insecure I was about the whole blogging thing which now I feel comes from a place of fear and uncertainty and worry that no one wants to hear what I have to say. I wonder if more people are plagued with this same thought pattern…

·         So I got my blog going and then submitted a 2nd piece to HelloGiggles and was happy to see it got posted, further boosting my confidence and allowing my work to be seen outside of my immediate community.

·         Having my work published on a fun, witty, website surrounded by the work of other likeminded women without creativity-killing editorial rules was a boost of confidence, making me feel that my voice is legit and confirming that this is what I want to do for a living…write witty, funny social commentary based off of my real experiences. I also want to enhance my descriptive writing abilities so I can get paid to write short copy for fashion or beauty-based products, things that I already love and use! I also really enjoy interviewing people for positive stories (I used to be a journalist, hate negative spin). I watch documentaries often and am currently into reading autobiographies because I need to see that I’m not alone in crazy world when it comes to self-doubt and that I can surmount that obstacle.

·         To tie into ‘enhancing my descriptive writing abilities’ I applied to an MFA program for Creative Writing & Publishing. I won’t know if I was accepted until sometime in March or April, either way, had I not done all of the above I would not have had a recent body of work to pull from for my portfolio.

·         I also have submitted blog pitches to two different websites and am still waiting to hear back in regard to whether or not it’s a go. No matter the outcome, this is something that I wasn’t even thinking about doing at the beginning of last year.

Now that I’ve written all of this I have gained a better perspective about myself. As I rang in the New Year last year I vowed to myself that I would be in a position that allowed me to utilize all of my gifts rather than just my ability to multi-task. I even stashed a bottle of champagne to be opened when that moment came…I think I’ll hold out just a little bit longer and change the rules up a bit…now popping that cork doesn’t have to be about having a 9-5 that allows me to write, rather I’m thinking having a steady side-gig (like blogging for a website) that allows me to be creative is just as good a reason to celebrate. I also plan on really utilizing my network of friends and acquaintances for advice, gleaning from their experiences. I’m one of those people who ‘doesn’t want to be a bother’, so I don’t ask my friends for the benefit of their experience or connections, I’m so not good at ‘playing the game’, but something else I realized this year, your friends want to see you succeed and will do what they can to help you if they trust you and what you bring to the table.

I want to dedicate this to the following:

·         My mother, who while listening to one of my stories about another lost writing opportunity (magazine article that was solicited but never published) said the most encouraging statement: “Cija think of these moments as light posts, showing you you’re on the right path.”

·         My younger brother Asa who named my blog

·         My sister Aqua whose enthusiasm has garnered me more readers through her friends and office mates.

·         My younger brother Lanse who likes to discuss my postings and who is always ready to have intelligent discussion about artistic expression

·         My younger brother Seth who made me feel so special when I realized he created a kind of app or desktop image of my blog so he can easily access it.

·         My older brother Mezei for being an artist himself and whose non-stop witty quips provides me with fresh ideas

·         My girl Blaire for being the catalyst for all this, not only did she tell me about an opportunity, she was like, ‘Cija-you can do this’…I guess I needed that extra reassurance

·         My girl Revelie for constantly being my sounding board for all of my writing endeavors, frequently she is my first editor.

·         My girl Jessea for being what the author Malcolm Gladwell would call a ‘connector’, that person that brings others together. She so generously emailed her network of folks ‘bigging up’ my blog without my asking, just because.

·         To all of my faithful readers whether you comment or not, I know you guys are out there and I appreciate your support

 

Happy New Year!

Christmas Potluck Pillaging

I want to dedicate this posting to my friend R.N. (she knows who she is!) who is relentless in her pursuit of free food; mercifully she is shaped like a whippet so this happens to be endearing.

I forgot my lunch today and didn’t realize my department was buying us lunch so there was a brief panic-at-the-disco moment when I wondered if I would have to go out and buy lunch at one of the bland yet pricey spots immediately surrounding my building. Turns out there was no reason to be concerned because today I was overjoyed to discover Christmas potluck pillaging. See, it’s like this, while in the trenches multi-tasking trying to get all of my work done prior to my time off next week, I found time to ear-hustle and take in my surroundings and what I gathered is that there were a lot of potlucks in the building today. That being noted, my aforementioned partner-in-crime gathered ‘data’ and parsed information to ensure she could clarify who made what dishes for FDA approval. By the time our lunch hour hit we cruised the halls checking empty meeting rooms for abandoned yet still fresh food and came across potlucks still in progress. Although we thought about taking the ‘Wedding Crashers’ approach to things, we remembered we were not on a college campus somewhere but rather 30-something year old women at work. Speaking of college, did anyone else frequent every art opening on campus, like myself, mostly to scavenge free box wine and some cheese and crackers? I have no shame and clearly that has followed me on up into my 30s. Back to today. We final stumbled across a potluck jackpot thanks to some good primary reference intel and boy was it beautiful. The table was laden down with homemade cookies, cupcakes, seven-layer taco dip, rotisserie chicken, pulled pork, and chips just to name a few things. In all honesty I was so busy glancing across the entire table that I couldn’t take everything in.  Now my girl R.N. immediately went to work, managing to mentally sift through the available items and put together a pretty comprehensive plate. I, Miss Nervous Nelly, was looking for homemade goods so ended up only getting 2 chocolate drop cookies…I’m ashamed…I should have done better. I wanted to share pics of our experience today. Enjoy and if tomorrow at work you have an opportunity to not be wasteful aka Christmas potluck pillage, it is your civic duty to ensure that no food item goes uneaten.

Picture 1: A sign beckoning us

Picture 2: The room beckoning us

Picture 3: Pirate’s booty

Picture 4: Cookie!

My First Grey Hair

So I wanted to share a ground-breaking moment that just happened for me and many others before me…drum roll…I found my first grey hair! I’ve been obnoxiously happy that up to now at the ripe age of 36 I have never had a grey hair anywhere, well now I can no longer revel in this former fact. So where did my grey hair appear? On my eyebrow! Right smack dab on my right eyebrow. I was chilling in my favorite chair with ottoman (this is a recurring theme, have you noticed?), feet were kicked up, head thrown back, floor lamp on full-blast, tweezers in hand with my little mirror held up close just tryna groom myself when I saw a flash of grey, like those random silver fish that pop up in bathtubs sometimes and then disappear just as quickly. I actually gasped at the sight then figured I must be hallucinating since everyone else I know with grey either have it on their heads, sprinkles in their beards, or the piece de resistance-their hair down there… Well turns out I wasn’t imagining things, that grey hair is very real and I refrained from plucking it for fear of inviting some of its friends to the area. Truth is I’m not upset over it, although I will be if my eyebrows go white in the next year, then I’ll have a problem, but for now one grey hair is not going to mess me up.

While we’re on the topic I do have to say one of my getting older phobias is grey hair in the nether region. Like Samantha so famously said on an episode of Sex and the City -when she tried to grow out her pubic hair for her boyfriend, discovered a grey then dyed it Homie-the-Clown red- “no one wants to fuck grandma’s pussy”. As crass as that looks in writing I remember laughing so hard because that’s real. I betcha my calm reaction to my single grey eyebrow hair would be a whole different story if while drying off I discovered a grey in the nether regions. I’ve taken an informal survey with some of the many 30 and 40 something year old women I know just to see if they’ve had grey pop up, most say yes, I go one step further and ask where, if they say in their pubes, I go still another step further and ask if it’s just a random strand or full-on grey. I’ve heard everything from several strands, the single strand that was quickly plucked, down to what one woman described as a “skunk patch”-I geeked off that one, like nahhhh, but she confirmed yep! I asked if she ever experienced any resistance from would-be suitors and she said and I quote “girl please-they don’t care!” So there you go, along with the rice krispie sound that happens when I get up after sitting somewhere for awhile, the now quick intoxication that happens after 2 martinis, and a grey eyebrow hair, it is now official I’m not in my 20s anymore.  

Remember seeing these everywhere? Shoot I remember being left in NYC…everyone thought I was in someone else’s car, meanwhile they had already headed back to campus, which left me stranded in mid-town…back to the pay phone, if it wasn’t for the pay phone I wouldn’t have been able to call Miss J @ the front desk and get a ride. Funnily enough I’m reblogging this from my iPhone…wow!