Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Facebook and Flying Forward...

I just joined Facebook. I know, I'm about 12 years old. Quit making fun of me. I joined it a few weeks ago, actually, as it's the place where my 20th high school reunion is being planned. Will I go to that reunion? Well, that's still up in the air. I could think of about 20 other things just off the top of my head that I'd rather spend money on than a plane ticket to and hotel stay in Atlanta. I'd probably end up skipping it and shopping anyway. But, it's unbelievable to see the people come out of the woodwork on this thing. It's pretty sterotypical, actually. The ones who were kind of nerdy, quiet, and not entirely "cool" in 1989 are doing these amazing things. And the party crew who thought they were the shizzat - they're all bloated and still living in the same place, doing the same things, hanging out with the same people.

They say that people between the age of 35-55 are the fastest growing demographic for Facebook. It's a networking tool, and it's how I secured my new job, actually. Facebook itself is perplexing...so many little gadgets. People are throwing sheep at me and asking me to take this quiz and do that survey. It's quite addictive, though, so I've had to really watch myself and keep my time on it to a non-problematic minimum. So far, I'm not yet at the intervention stage. I believe my sister may be, though. I fear for her adulthood as she slings polar bears and virtual booze at me.

I'm breathing a sigh of relief today. It's my first real "day off" since I quit my job last week. The job that sucked more than any job I've ever had...the job that had me so stressed, I thought I was going a bit, well, cuckoo. For six months, I had a disease and no company seemed to want to bite at my resume. I thought I was washed up...done....kaput. But, I persevered, and right at month six, I got an offer and took it without much thought at all. Beggars can't be choosers, and I knew that my existing job would be the end of my sanity. Three days before my start date for said new job, I got another offer (because of that Facebook thing...go figure). It was better than the first. So, I told number one buh-bye with my sincerest of regrets. Within the same HOUR of doing that, I got another call about a possible THIRD opportunity. That one is still looming, but it may very well be the Holy Grail, as far as I'm concerned. We shall see.

It's weird. Job number two really wanted me. For the first time in my professional life, I was being offered a career - not just a job. They actually looked at my resume and instead of saying, "Holy shit, you have 14 years of contracting on here....this thing is HUGE," they instead loved the fact that I was entrepreneurial. Adaptable. Experienced. SEASONED, I think is how they put it. I remember thinking to myself..."seasoned...OK...you mean OLD."

Job number three - the one still looming as I start job number two and see how it goes - it was a result of good karma. Nothing more, nothing less. Many people don't believe in good karma, but I do. Last year, in a miniscule freelance gig, I helped a company win a really big contract worth millions - I wrote the proposal for them. And, who would've thought that the good fortune of the CEO would come back to call me on the phone and say, "our success is partly due to your expertise...we'd like you to think about coming on board full time." When you do good things, they sometimes come back to you ten-fold. Huh.

So, just when I thought things couldn't get worse for me professionally - just when the clouds seemed SO incredibly dark - the sky opened up. The big man upstairs really does listen...sometimes he just takes his sweet damn time. And, I suppose he wanted to toughen me up a bit more. Job done. Check.

Just as I venture into a new professional chapter, my stepson starts high school TODAY and my stepdaughter leaves for college this week. They're both scared of the new, and rightly so. My stepson would never lead on to the fact that he has trepidation. He's way too cool for that. My stepdaughter, however, is frightened. I can see it when we talk about orientation activities and moving her in and the absolute newness of it all. It's as if she's been a caterpillar her whole life, and she's about to get her wings, but there's a huge part of her that doesn't want to fly. I think she'd rather stay in the cocoon. I look back on my college experience, and I tell her to really soak it all in...do as much as she can...enjoy every single minute. Four years flies by. I'm only a stepmom, but there's that small shred of maternal instinct that wants to tell her all the mistakes I made and have her not make them herself. But I know I can't do that. I know we all must live, let live, and realize that by protecting someone from the world, you stunt them. It's the sheer crap in life - the heartache, the pain, the people who have trampled on my heart - that's made me resilient. It's definitely not the good stuff.

Speaking of flying forward, my birthday is coming up. 37. On that downhill slope to the big 4-0. What do I want? A kelly green Prada purse and a beautiful new deck that my husband has so lovingly offered to build me so I can relax and look at the back five. That's the material portion of the wants. The other wants I'm keeping close to my heart, but I can see them within reach now. Just like my stepson, my stepdaughter, and that butterfly.