Monday, April 19, 2010

Some bits of Magic and some News...

A few bits of magic occurred last week and I thought some of you might like to hear about them...

On Friday, I was an audience of one for a special poetry recital from a wandering poet named Seamus Navarro* while working in LA's Skidrow area** and just in time for National Poetry Month!

He gave me a choice of themes to choose from, as if he had a "menu" of poetry to recite and I chose the theme of Truth. I don't remember it all but it was quite exciting, he spoke of Beauty and Art, more than about Truth and I DO remember this particular line:

"Beauty only grows more beautiful with age..."

That line certainly warmed the heart of this 44 year old!! I knew this "poetry recital" was a Gift from the Universe meant just for me...

 Seamus Navarro after the poetry recital...



Later that day I was lucky enough to receive a FREE ice cream at McDonald's during my lunch! They were trying to give it away to anyone who would take it and would you believe that a young lad of 8 years actually REFUSED this Gift from the Universe?!?!? His mother was as surprised as I was at that, but I guess the ice cream was meant just for me!


...and on Thursday I received the news that the drawing I submitted for Patti Digh's next book, "Four Word Self Help", was accepted and will be published in September, later this year...


my drawing for Patti Digh's upcoming book...my theme was "Let Yourself be Beloved"

Things are beginning to look up!

Thank you all for your wonderful support in the past few weeks - it means a GREAT deal to me to have such an amazing community of fellow artists.

I'm still dealing with my work difficulties, but after the amazing Gifts from the Universe, things are looking much better! I'm continuing to work on gifts/goods for the etsy launch and hope to have a date to share with you all soon, but I want to be sure it is an "auspicious" date, in keeping with Eastern philosophies...I want as much Good Luck/Good Fortune on my side that I can get!! ;)

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for reading! I hope to be back to my regular blogging schedule soon, so stay tuned...
 

* - I was fascinated by his Irish-Mexican name especially since I'm a Latina with a last name of Irish origin: "Moran"
** - sometimes my work takes me into the Skidrow area of Los Angeles; guess we should add 'put life in occasional danger' to the list of my work duties! ;)

Monday, April 12, 2010

From the tips of my toes...

...to the top of my head, I am filled with the UTMOST GRATITUDE for the amazing words of wisdom, support and sympathy generated from my last post. To say "Thank you" is not enough to convey how much all of your words have meant to me. If I could send each and every lovely lady who responded (here and privately) a bouquet of beautiful roses, I would. I hope these will do in the meantime...



birthday flowers from Dear Boyfriend circa 2008...yeah, he knows i like shades of pink!

I have taken all wonderful words of advice to heart and am working on some ideas/options to get me out of the work situation as soon as I can get out of it. Thank you all so VERY MUCH for reaching out and sharing your stories or sending your friends who had amazing things to say...

Can you see why blogging has come to mean so much to me?

As I work toward the "Big Escape" from one life and move into my next life, things may be a bit crazy, but I do hope you can bear with me if blog posts are not as frequent as my usual schedule had been. It may take awhile but I will post the images of the "Currency" and some plans I have for it in the future*...

Thank you all, again and again for your support - you are so FANTASTIC!! Will you remember that? =-)


* - there are other aspects of the copyright issue that will need to be dealt with for those future plans, but thanks to this fabulous artist, I now have a leg up on that chapter...more about that coming in the future, I promise! And thanks again, Mindy, for asking!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Stuck...

I'm actually not sure that is the right word to use but it's the first one to come to mind about my current mental state...

In truth, I'm in a very strange place and have no idea what it means...

...maybe if I tell the Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth, it will make more sense...

 "Monica sees the Truth. Oh Yes!" Intuitive drawing by Janet Lamb made at Ventura gallery exhibit

***   ***   ***
The Story...
Four years ago on the fourth day of the fourth month of the year, I began working for a non-profit agency dealing with low-income children and their families. Within a few months, things began to go awry. Then they went bad...

I was told by numerous people, including a few that I worked with (after they left the agency, of course) that I was doing the work of an office manager/program manager, though I was hired as an "administrative assistant". I also did several duties of the HR department, did much ordering of supplies for 13 locations, submitted work orders for same 13 sites and the straw that broke this camels back was to move TWO offices into one new location that turned out to be considerably farther than my original commute to work...

Before being placed in charge of the move, I was already feeling the 'creepings' of burn-out/resentment of the workload I had. I found a few awesome sites that had great information on how to 'change my attitude' toward my work situation, but it was looking like I would have to 'change my job'...

Unfortunately, this came right when the economy was taking a nose dive. I managed at least one job interview, where the woman who interviewed me was the ONLY person around me (aside from my dear boyfriend) who really acknowledged the amount of work moving an office can be - and remember, I had moved two offices at the same time. She showed me a LOT of respect for my accomplishment...bless her!! I will never forget it...ever.

In an effort to make changes in my life, I called my wonderful Life Coach, Pete, to see what could be done about getting me out of the job situation I found myself in. By now, I was experiencing a "breakdown", though I didn't realize it at the time (my boss suggested I take a week off from work after the move finalized, but even she couldn't realize how bad things really were because I knew it would take considerably longer than one week to get me back to my own usual self). Things had not changed much at the new office and now I was being placed in charge of several duties pertaining to the new facility, so let's add "facility manager" to my list of 'unofficial' responsibilities as an "administrative assistant", not to mention the longer commute that now took two hours (or longer on a rainy day!) where before it was only 45 minutes round-trip in commute time... (I won't go into the horrors of the commute, aggressive drivers and very near-misses of being hit I have managed to avoid driving in Los Angeles, particularly to the area I work in that many consider to be "sketchy", though I consider it to be charming).

With Pete's amazing support, I gained the courage to start my blog (after working with a 'test' blog), primarily from the office I work in since they had internet service that I could not afford to have at home, due to no pay increase for the last two years and a pay-cut that began this year...

Unfortunately, the internet services have been slowly whittled away by the blocking of several sites and blogs, all in the name of "securing the internet from virus threats". This had actually included college websites, which has created problems for the teens we serve and are trying to encourage toward attending college - it's kinda hard to apply for a college if you don't have access to the website!! But I digress...

The Crux of the Story...
As a result of these 'blockings', it has grown increasingly difficult to do blog posts, especially those with photos. I transfer all photos I capture in my little camera into my flash drive (usb drive), then attempt to upload them into a post, only to find that no image shows up most of the time...(in fact, only three out of six images could be viewed in the upload for this post!)

This situation has become increasingly more difficult in the weeks since Artful Journey Retreat, and now more so as my boss prepares to leave for a better opportunity, meaning more work for me...again.

I am at a loss of how to proceed

I can not spend every evening at my dear boyfriends place to post blogs or I don't have enough time to make things for the soon-to-be launch of my etsy shop and it will be difficult with an increased workload at the office to find 'dribs and drabs' of time to blog as I had done in the past. I don't want to get frustrated with blogging because it has brought so much goodness and so very many amazing, uniquely inspiring, wonderful, funny, thoughtful, thought-provoking, creative, quietly hilarious, brave, good people into my life, and there is still so much to share regarding my "Currency of Strength" artwork, the "mystery project" I have been teasing you all with, not to mention my Office Art Book (OAB)...

"How does it feel to hit a brick wall?" - page in process from my Office Art Book...an official title is in the works...

I do try, on occasion, to find another job situation that is CLOSER TO MY HOME, with pay that is comparable to what I WAS making before the pay-cut, but there have not been many job listings in my area and with the few I found I have received no response to my resume submissions...

(Not So) Hidden Messages?...
I often feel that the Universe is absolutely, positively, under-no-uncertain-terms, trying to tell me that office work is not where I should be going...don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't do it well, I do it DAMN well, much better than many people working in this crazy agency can manage and it's supposed to be relatively easy, leaving me with time to do my own thing in the evenings, but since the commute takes so much time, I get drained when I get home, though I've worked very hard to counter-act that in the past few months and with a modicum of success, I think, if the "mystery project" and this other project are any indication:

my personal collage eyeglass case: music sheet scrap, vintage postal stamps, scrapbook 'button' sticker...


I'm at a crossroads/stuck, though I'm assured by many good friends and fellow bloggers (if you're reading this you KNOW who you are!), that I am doing a LOT, in fact, MORE than most people have ever dreamed of doing...or being for that matter...

but it just feels as though nothing is really happening...

What Next?
I don't like the idea of "going on hiatus",  as folks say here in LA, because I don't know how much longer it will take to find another job that allows me more time to do my Creative Beast thing. Though the the agency I work for is highly impacted by the state budget and experienced lay-offs last year, such a layoff for me may come at the end of the fiscal year, but that didn't happen to me last year, though I anticipated it...and yes, I understand that it may serve as a testament to my supreme skills in 'office management', but that doesn't make me feel better knowing I may continue to be STUCK here for an indefinite period of time...

It's been said that "any man, or woman for that matter, can endure anything as long as there is an end point in sight", but I have yet to see that end point and it has really worn me down...

***   ***   ***
Sincere Apologies/Gratitude
I apologize greatly if the tone of this post is a huge downer and I am SO GRATEFUL if you stayed with me and read this far, but I just wondered if there is "anyone out there?" who has dealt with anything like this type of situation and how you manged to get out of it, or at least, how you managed to cope until things were able to change...I feel I've already done so much due to the book of this amazing fellow, but I'm really beginning to understand the saying:

Pain is the distance between where we are and where we want to be


Any sharing you wish to offer is welcome! And thank you all SO MUCH for getting this far in what I consider to be a not-so-creative blog post =-\

Also, if any of the links to coping in office jobs are helpful to you, let me know!

 
*Many thanks to this Scorpio Soul-Sister who encouraged me to share this phase of my journey...it can be frightening to think how people will receive your words, but this "revealing" may just be the "releasing" I need to make...


*Many thanks to this Fabulous Artist who recently trusted in me to advise her with a new project in her career - it means a lot to me and the involvement has helped me know that "who i am makes a difference" =-)