The pupation of my career

It’s been a long time coming.  There have certainly been signs that the end and the beginning were arriving soon.  I’ve been working in the Tech field now for over half of my life in one role or another. There have been so many new and interesting adventures over the years. It all started for me back in 1982.  This was the year the Commodore 64 came out and for whatever reason I wanted it more than anything in the world. Interestingly the Apple IIe came out six years earlier, in 1976. It was good marketting on Commodore’s part, the 64 was for those of us in the middle class.  Apple espcially in the beginning were aiming for people from places with names like Katonah and Bedford Hills were money wasn’t an issue.  I begged my mom for the 64 that Christmas, it was the only thing I wanted. “What are you going to do with it?” I recall be asked. “I’m going to make games and program it.”  Well Christmas came and besides the multitudneous number of gifts under the tree, my mom was and still is not one for small Christmas’s, was my beloved Commodore 64. I was in Love.

I spent countless hours learning to program that 6502 chipset.  Skipping forward many years and many computers later.  Another passion of mine, Astrology found its way into a marriage with my beloved Commodore 64.  About the same time, Compuserve and a new Service called Quantum Link, what everyone now knows at America Online had just made there way into the American market.  It was literally the Big Bang of the Internet. Back then modems were a new thing and expensive.  Telecom companys charged by the minute, ask my mom she’ll vouch for me on this.  I did get a modem and was on both Compuserve and Quantum link. This was a new and amazing way for me to actually talk with others about all of the things that I love, Astrology, computers and in hushed tones there were LBGT chat rooms were I could talk with other like myself.  I formed some wonderful friendships online to the point that I made my first cross country in 1987, to Southern California.  It was here in Southern California that I landed my first I.T. position. I was working a temporary assignment as a file clerk and offered to fix the computers whenever they needed it. It progress from there, I changed my resume and the rest is now history.  I’ve had the oppurtunity for work for big names like Microsoft, Amazon, IBM and RealNetworks, remember them?

So here I am now twenty plus years later. I’ve been happy as a clam mostly.  During this time I’ve developed new interests, writing, blogging, marketing and ecommerce.  This has brought me to were I was at career-wise, the tipping point.  I had said I was happy but the truth is there has a been a growing frustration. I’ve  an ever increasing feeling that I can be doing something else more fufilling than fixes other peoples machines, the corporate grind, the nine to five.  It’s been a slow draining alomost vampiric like process on my soul.  I found whenever I was writing articles or blog posts I felt alive. The same was true when I was building out my Shopify store, Playbears.com, go check it out for some cute things.  The problem was I didn’t have the time to really grow any one of these things, my Shopify store, my freelance writing, the blogs or my Wellness business, which seriously if we haven’t talked about it, we should. I AM in the business of helping you get better safer products into your life, your home all while saving you money and time in the procuess.  Something had to be done, I wasn’t sleeping and wasn’t growing any of my businesses very succesfully nor was I doing my regular nine to five much justice either.  It was a constant daily reminder that I’m not doing what makes me alive. But what about the money?  I’m the primary breadwinner in our family, I couldn’t just leave could I?  After much discussion and planning I made the decesion to leave behind the career that has carried me through almost three decades of adulthood.  It was an easy choice and a hard one leaving the devil you know for the one you don’t is always a risky choice.  Risky choices are not something I’ve ever shyed away from in my life.  On October 1st I went to work knowing this was my Fourth of July from the I.T. industry.  I gave notice today is my last day, thanks for the oppurtuinity.  It was quick, precise, painless. I offered to stay the whole day knowing that wasn’t likely.  In the I.T. and most corporate jobs if you give notice your immediately given a box and a goodbye. I had anticipated this and had removed all my things over the previous week.  I walked out the door at 10 a.m happier than I’ve been in awhile, this pupa has burst forth from his chrysalis.  The excitement for the future is what I get to wake up to, new challenges abound.

My days are now filled with a variety of things, writing, looking for writing gigs, a part-time job to keep the money coming in inbetween the writing.  I will end this post with a piece of a conversation Bill Moyers and Joseph Cambell, noted Mytholigist had.

BILL MOYERS: Do you ever have the sense of… being helped by hidden hands?

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: All the time. It is miraculous. I even have a superstition that has grown on me as a result of invisible hands coming all the time – namely, that if you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.

Enter the Lion

Time goes by so quickly, its really true. I remember my grandmother washing my hair in the kitchen sink as child. I was miserable as a child, scared of everything, still living traumatized by my mothers death, feeling abandoned, not sure why I was still alive or what was my place. turned to her and said “I really wish I were an adult, things would be much better.”.   She briefly stopped washing my hair and with all seriousness said, “No you don’t. I’m telling you and it wont seem true now but you’ll remember when you’re older, when you’re very young things go by so slow and as you get older they go by faster and faster. this is the basic jist of the conversation. I’ve shared all this to say IT is true more so everyday now then it every was. This being said, and life moving faster than ever.  I’ve been pondering a change in my life. Something I’ve want to do for a long time now. I’m looking to become a part of that small segment of the internet world that earns a living on the web. Its this new experiment to see if I can’t earn at least some of what I do in my regular 9-5 job doing what I love which is talking about food, vacation destinations my day to day and talking about all the many many gadgets that fill my home, grab my attention and then just as quickly fade when the new one comes along. I was first inspired by this idea of earning my keep doing what I love on the web from watching one of my favorite escape fantasy shows, House Hunters International. So Enter the lion on a new adventure in a new arena. Please please comment, if you like my posts, if you don’t like my posts. I’d really love to hear what you’d like to see and what you wouldn’t. I only ask that you be civil with one another, there seems to be far less of civility in the world than there could be.

Just another Saturday morning

I really like the life I’ve created for myself.  It’s not perfect for sure, however it is comfortable and familar and reliable.  It has always been the small things that mean the most.  I’ve never been a big gesture kind of person.  The perfect coffee, Splenda, cream ratio, the feel of my comforter when I first wake up or go to sleep, my pillow.  These are the sorts of things that make the inevitable bullshit that we all have to deal with tolerable lessons in life.  Recently, I was laid off from my job, a really good job that I had just started at the beginning of the year after several months of seperating from the job I’d had for the last 8 years.  In so many ways it felt like what I imagine a divorce to feel like.  I was incredibly sad, mourning for the familar schedule, even as intolerable as it was.  Sad that the few familar faces I’d liked there would no longer be a part of my day to day. There was anger as well, mostly because things could have been different but my first job and I had seperate ideas about how they could use my abilitys.  Being laid off from the second job just a few weeks ago has been even more so a blow to my already shaken sense of self-worth and purpose.  Maybe its a Hunter Gatherer sort of thing but in society a mans sense of worth and purpose are directly related to “what they do”  and now here I AM not doing anything.  It’s been a few weeks of self-reflection, assesment, daily attempts at self-healing, at being gentle with myself.  The question now has become How do I move forward, what do I do for an income?  For the first couple of weeks I’ve been just throwing my resume at the wall for more of the same thing I’ve been doing now for the last twenty plus years.  I don’t think this is going to either work or bring me the sense of accomplishment and usefulness I’m looking for.  I’ve had to really dive in and take a look at were my passion lies.  I have another twelve years or so of working before I retire and I’d like for those years to be as joyfilled, as fufilling to myself and others as possible. Culling what you’re good at and what you like to do is an arduious task.  For me I have always enjoyed helping others, its what I naturally do.  So my direction now is a bit clearer than it was as far as what type of work to look for.  I’m excited now because there is a sense of purpose here, firstly to find the work I’m meant to do and then of course to do it.  I’m not sure how long or even were this path will lead but I’m confident that will provide new interesting experiences.  So in the meanwhile, while I’m looking I think I’ll return to this perfect cup of coffee on just another Saturday morning.

 

 

Yule is a hope in the midst of darkness

Driving home at night was always my time with God.  I would go over the events of the day, bring my intercessory prayers and work/wrestle out ideas with logic and love.  Sometimes we’d even argue.  On this night God and I were having a pretty intense conversation about work, my feelings, my many many frustrations with it.  As it turns out it really felt like something shifted that night but I wasn’t sure what except that I knew things would be changing.  It didn’t take long to find out what and when.  The next day when I got to my job of eight years  it became very apparent that I just couldn’t stay any longer.  Between the odd schedule, odd hours, the long commute and lack of opportunity.   It’s been an interesting journey since then.  It’s forced me in a way to look at myself, to look at all of the changes that have happened since I decided to move back to Los Angeles from my comfortable life in Seattle.  My relationship with god otherwise known as the elephant in the room has changed throughout my life (how could it not?) . Here I was again beginning to take a look at not just this relationship but my relationship to all that I’ve known, people, the space I live in.  I’m convinced that God is about all our relationships including ourselves and its were we “touch” and “see” the face, the Will of “All That IS”.  So I’ve been learning just how much deeper MY faith as a Catholic is.  I’ve been learning just how much deeper MY belief in a Panentheistic God(dess) is.  The two are not mutually exclusive BTW.  For many many many years I have allowed catholicism as an organization as a religion to define itself, or rather to be defined by its Hierarchy.  The same thing has been true of Paganism, of the Craft.  I have my beliefs, my shared experiences with both and have learned that I get to not only define the drawings but do the coloring as well.  The greatest source of pain for me within catholicism has been and remains that I as a gay married man cannot be fully embraced as equal within the church organization.  I have struggled with this for years.  I am learning to be ok with this.  I’m being the change I want to see, as my wise friend Trish, a Catholic convert btw pointed out to me when I shared this with her over a few too many cocktails at Seattle’s Emmet Watsons one day after work.

So this is some of what’s been going on internally for me the last two months.  I’ve been defining what the coloring book for work is going to look like, who’s in it, what I’ll be doing, where I’ll be doing it.  I’ve wanted to make the transition to work that focuses on my strengths, abilities and most importantly my interests. You and I in this post industrial world spend most of our waking hours engaged in relationships with those we work with.  I’d prefer at this point in my life that it was with people who have a somewhat shared sense of purpose.  I’d rather it was with people I genuinely want to be around.  I mean really, who wants to go to work with people you’d rather divorce?  So on Yule this year true to God’s sense of humor and irony, on both the shortest day of the year where the Light is at it’s weakest and yet also finds its own renewed strength to conquer the Darkness around itself and increase, I was given a job offer that fits almost every bit of the coloring book I’ve been creating these past two months.  I start at the beginning of this year.  I’m excited, looking forward to meshing with my new co-workers and sharing my talents to make a difference in the lives of those I touch.

Life, Work and Other memes

So a lot has been going on lately all around me.  Lonnie and I have seemingly fallen into a regular routine again. This is something we both are happy about and value greatly but seem to take for granted when its happening.  Work is as its seemingly always been.  I came close to finding work in Orange county about a month ago only to the offer rescinded as I was just finishing up planning my great escape from the day jail I call work now.  My current job provides me a much clearer living picture of what Catholics call purgatory.  The Blessed relief is that enough prayers are uttered for my souls escape and seemingly I break free to drive through the dark tunnel that is the 405 freeway straight to Sanctuary,or as most people call it Home.  I’m looking for my new day prison a bit closer to home and grateful that I have my current job to keep things floating   I guess I’ve reached that age were I’m just over what I’m doing, too tired to figure out were my real passion lies.  I’m guessing it has something to do with  lounging in my recliner and doing nothing but I haven’t really seen any jobs listed on CareerBuilder for this lately (or ever).   I’ll continue to look for IT jobs closer to home that will use the skills I have and make room for the areas I still find interesting.  I know that I would love to work with new technology, reviewing, playing breaking and fixing.  I’m just not sure how those ideas translates into a six figure income.

In other news Facebook is seemingly all about three things these days.  politics which normally I love discussing, arguing and prophesying about.  It’s getting harder these days to find anyone to argue politics with in a civilized way.  I mean seriously just look at your average Trump rally. Those people can’t even tolerate each other let alone someone that has questions or disagrees with them. the second meme making the rounds is transgender issues and bathroom access.  I find it amusing that this hasn’t been an issue, truly hasn’t been an issue for CIS people (non-transgendered people) mostly because they’ve never had to think about it until now.  The best image/idea that I’ve seen about the subject was a woman holding a sign that read.  “it wasn’t really about water fountains back in the 50’s and its not really about bathrooms now.”  Being crude I think is appropriate here, take a leak in the bathroom you feel most comfortable in.  If you’re a trans woman, use the woman’s room or a trans man use the men’s room. This is not about perverts looking to prey on children.  It is about people needing to pee.  Lastly, if you’re letting your child go into a bathroom by unaccompanied , you have bigger issues.

And finally some reality blew my way a couple of weeks ago. My father passed away (at home thankfully).  As I’ve told most people, he and I had a complicated relationship.   I guess that’s probably true of my familial ties.  The short version of the story is that he was in and out the picture for the first two years of my life. After my mother was killed when I was 3, he was gone completely with the one 15 min visit I had at a hotel some here when I was around 12.  I found him after a 25 year absence and we got to know each other as adults. He was accepting of me and my partner at the time but soon after had a “coming to Jesus” moment and suddenly I was an object of shame and judgment.  I kept in touch with him because he was my father and it was the right thing to do.  His wife, Nana, called me to let me know that he wasn’t doing well and I’ll be forever grateful to her for that.  He had asked to speak to me (while he was still fully here). He told me he loved me and I told him that no matter what I would always love him.  He got to reconcile with a couple of people he had estranged.  I’m happy for him that he got to do this.  So he’s gone now along with my birth mother.  I’m mostly ok with things but I still have moments of intense sadness.  Its not that I miss him, we barely had a relationship however it’s what he came to represent for me.  I have the rest of my growing up family as well as the family Lonnie and I have together.  Overall its been a pretty intense first quarter of the year.   I’m just glad that I have my husband.  I highly recommend you find either a husband or its equally useful counterpart, the wife.