Taking the Leap

Sorry for the rather crass title of my last post; I guess I was in a feisty mood.

So I was definitely offered the job as Employment Specialist with the One Stop Career Center.

Before I got the call, my plan was to ask for a couple days to think about it.  As the call actually happened, I heard myself saying that, "Yes, I am definitely still interested," and accepting the position.

The next step will be meeting with Human Resources on Monday to complete new hire paperwork and review the benefit package.

Why did I say "yes" when I had so much fear up around this position?

Well, honestly a big part of that answer is the salary, which she quoted as about $10,000 more than I thought I would be hearing.

Also, I really like her (my supervisor) so far, feel a good energy with her, and wanted to keep that going.

If something else comes up or I decide to go in another direction, I can change my mind, but overall it makes sense to me that I go forward for now and give it a try.

Am I still worried about failing?  about half of the job focusing on paperwork, data entry, and reporting requirements?  Yes!  I am!

But there are enough positives to warrant taking the risk: i.e. nice people, compatible supervisory style (from what I can tell), higher salary than I have ever received, and the other half of the job made up of tasks I am good at and enjoy.

Not to mention that I have been out of work for longer than looks good on a resume or in interviews.

There are other options out there but no absolutes yet, so I am taking things as they come and making decisions in the moment based on the information I have.

Does this make sense? I hope so!

The job is scheduled to start after the Fourth of July weekend, July 6th . . .


Don't Wanna Be Fear's B*tch

In a bit of a tailspin about the job search process right now. . .

On the cusp of this full-time federally-funded case manager job opportunity, and fear is taking me for a ride.  On the one hand, I'm afraid of going through the big FAIL again, hearkening back to my last, similarly funded job: the lack of support, the unexpected new grant tripling my caseload, and the escalating nightmare in which I felt unable to succeed.

And on the other hand, I'm afraid of losing equanimity; spiraling into chaos and exhaustion with a full-time job plus a longer commute.  I don't think the latter fear would be as strong if this job wasn't federally-funded and, as they admitted in the second interview today, 50 - 60% detail-oriented paperwork and reporting tasks.

It turns out this job also has a caseload of 80 - 100 clients.  Granted, they would be adults versus youth and likely much more self-motivated and self-aware, but still I imagine that the career counseling/development process would necessarily be less deep with those kind of numbers.

I have a couple other potential opportunities: as a part-time case manager with a green job training/education organization; and as a part-time career exploration class facilitator for junior high school students (funded through a local community college).

A well-paying part-time job could be a building block to creating multiple income streams, which has been my long-term vision for over 15 years.  I've imagined these income streams including career counseling clients, writing a book/e-book/workbook, teaching a class(es), and co-producing social change theatre/dance projects.

Multiple income streams could potentially create more stability/independence, flexibility, and also more excitement.  I feel like I've lost myself for years at a time in previous jobs, then come out the other side wondering where all the time went.

Maybe because these jobs were not a great fit, but they seemed to suck my lifeforce and leave me with little energy for anything else of substance.  Sounds so dramatic, ha!  Anyway, I'm trying to wrestle with all this and not just react from the fear.

On the relationship front, sh/cm and I are talking a lot and growing closer.  Can't remember if I shared that he came with me to my ecstatic dance group a week ago last Sunday.  So sweet and endearing when someone goes outside their comfort zone for you.

Also really appreciating sharing a non-violent communication familiarity and using this tool on a regular basis.  It makes a big difference when both people are on board, believe me!

When we're together, those waves of strong feeling will wash over me and there's more of a sense that he is "mine."  I changed my Face.book status and received nice comments and lots of "likes."  Silly, but it made me happy.

I think I will write about my distancing pattern in more detail sometime in the near future, because I would like to hear your thoughts and experiences.  It has been such a torment to me over the years.  I told sh/cm that if I could cut off a finger and be rid of it, I would.  Disturbing, but true.

But overall, the way we deal with it together is reassuring, and we seem to keep getting to the other side and feeling closer.

On a lighter note, I'm looking forward to making banana bread tomorrow with a bunch of aging bananas we have in the fridge.

And going running first (in the morning as it's going to be a scorching day) to burn off the banana bread calories, as well as the Taco Be.ll taco salad I devoured this afternoon!


Riding the Wave

Beautiful summer day.  Housemate is out of town for the next week so feeling spacious in my space.  I'm feeling the bullet update today:

  1. Things are moving forward with my job opportunity.  The supervisor has been in contact via email, checking references and asking me about meeting with the two other caseworkers.  Still feeling some fear around this, due to jumping into another federally-funded, full-time job with a commute (40 min), but I believe the supervisor and work environment would be big pluses.
  2. Moving forward slowly but surely on the green jobs writing project with sh/cm.  Meeting about this tomorrow to nail down outline and create a research agenda.
  3. On other, more personal, fronts with sh/cm,  a couple of days ago we officially crossed the line into exclusivity.  On the one hand, so exciting to imagine all the things we can enjoy together now and the potential for some big life goals/needs to be met.  But on the other hand, immediately after, my intimacy defense mechanism reared it's ugly head, and my brain honed in on a perceived physical flaw, which I won't even give weight too by mentioning.  It was literally right after we made that decision. 

This defense has happened in other relationships I've had since completing a 12-step program 10 or so years ago, and I have various theories as to why it happens (more in frontal lobe and less primal in my choices of mate now? or, without the other ways of keeping "safe" and not getting too intimate that I had before the program, my mind came up with this strategy?).  But it's a big pain in the you-know-what.

On the positive side, instead of internally battling with myself and feeling distant, I am able to talk about things with sh/cm and we feel closer through doing so.  It feels like we are building trust, and I am hoping I might be able to ride this reactive intimacy-defense wave through to the other side for once.

Feeling a lot of gratitude and love for him and our connection, as well as sadness that my psyche is putting myself and him through some challenges right now.


Help! Dating 911

Help!!!  I need to go on a date now!  No, really, like right now!  I know it would be good for me and the situation I am currently navigating with sh/cm.

So wishing there were an insta-date service I could access.  I just need a casual, no expectations date - maybe dinner or dancing, home at a reasonable hour, old-fashioned kiss at the door, you know?

Why am I in crisis dating mode?

Well, in light of our fast progression, I told sh/cm that I needed to take a step back from what felt like the "relationship mode" we had entered.  He was surprised and a bit upset.  We talked things through, reaching what I thought was some understanding, and then got together last night for dinner at his house and a cafe discussion of an e-book project on which we may be collaborating (excited about this).

So at the cafe, we are drinking wine, him a bit faster than me, and he suddenly stops and says he has thought a lot and really wants to tell me something.  Dum dum dum dum dum dum DUM!

"I love you."

Aaaach!  What!

And if you're thinking this means the "give it another go" with the ex is now logically and automatically off, you would be wrong.

So the night was actually lovely overall, but I questioned why now with the heartfelt expression?  He did admit that he was taken off guard by my assertion that I wanted to spend less time together, and this may have influenced the timing.

The authenticity of the expression I do believe, but yes, quite frustrated and confused with the timing.  Apparently what I told him about needing things to be less intense didn't land properly.

Anyway, we may see each other tonight at a meeting (if I make it.  I'm currently having a glass of wine, sunning on my porch and the meeting is "optional") and have plans to attend my dance fundraiser, a speaker, and have dinner/a business talk on Sunday.

Not sure how to NOT make plans with him when I am excited about seeing him and about so many of the things we could experience together - reptile exhibits (seriously), bar-b-q, wine tasting, activist stuff, dancing classes, etc.

I'm not good at saying no to myself simply because it's the "right thing to do."  So I need some external assistance.  Please, if you know anyone in the Bay Area, hook me up!

p.s. He did say he is going to see his daughter next weekend, and after this time away, hopes to come to greater clarity and focus on the situation.  Awesome.


Navigating the Relational Rapids

Sorry for the absence.  I finished my NaBloPoMo month and slacked off!

Also, I have been spending a lot of time with sh/cm and my housemate has had a couple of friends from out of town staying with us (in our tiny little house).  Letting them stay feels good because what a great guy my housemate has been great in so many ways, but I am ready to have my space back.

Sh/cm and I have done many life-enriching activities recently, including wine tasting and lunch in Sonoma, a home-cooked yummy dinner at my house - stuffed red peppers with kale, bacon, and pine nuts - and seeing a couple movies and visiting the Farmer's Market.  All of this pretty much in the last week.

We have had some good conversations, too, complete with awareness breakthroughs regarding our defense mechanisms and connections to our pasts.

But I'm not feeling good about things at this moment.  Caveat: I am in PMS mode, which often means I don't feel great about much of anything, but there is more to it.

We talked on the phone a few days ago about some things he was saying and doing, such as making reference to a future together and asking if I wanted to stay the night at his house, and how that made things hard for me to keep our situation in "dating" perspective.

He has since stopped some things but not others.  The invitations to several things every week keep coming, he started calling me a pet name, and he constantly wants to fool around, to be blunt.

Two things have resulted I believe:  one, I'm pissed because I feel disrespected somehow; and two, my intimacy stuff is triggered and I'm judging him a lot (as is my pattern when I get into a relationship with someone).

If we were truly in a relationship, then I think he would be a great person to work on this stuff with, but since we're not, it feels inappropriate or premature.   Does that make sense?

I actually just sent him an email saying I wanted to take a step back because I wasn't feeling comfortable with our level of intimacy considering the context.  I said I wanted to continue hanging out and getting to know him but without so much intensity.

Hopefully, he will be okay with that, but if not, I'm prepared to lose the fun his presence has been bringing me (though I would be sad about that loss).