Monday, September 24, 2012

Such a Great Quote

It's so fitting to come across this quote at a time when I'm unsure of my future. This is the second time it's inspired me to move forward. The first time it took me to New Zealand. Where will I end up this time?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Human Library?

While researching social media I came across this strange phenomenon: A library that loans out people in a human library.

Basically, you "check out" people to have a 45-minute conversation about who they are and hear their story one-on-one. It's to help us get past our prejudices and the stereotypes that exist around someone that we've never actually had any interactions with like a gypsy, a transvestite or a person of a different religion.
It started in 2000 at the Roskilde Festival. A poster from the event said in big bold letters: "Don't judge a book by it's cover" and then in Danish underneath, "especially when its not a book." The far right corner continues in Danish:

"Borrow a person you normally would think you would not like. We have a wide selection of unpopular stereotypes. Everything from gays to hip hoppers to immigrants. Take a walk, have a talk or dont. Just remember to give back the person within two hours".

The event was so popular that it has since spread across the globe. Here's a video from The Guardian, regarding an event in England:

I love the idea that a personal conversation is being used in such an interesting way to fight prejudice and stereotypes. In this case, it's marketing for a good cause. And possibly a good back-up plan if my other career options don't pan out. I'm just not sure if I would be a better "book" or "reader."

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

When Risk Doesn't Pay

Risk can be a great fact, it's created a lot of wonderful memories in my life. But when it doesn't pay out it can feel like a punch in the stomach. Yesterday, I felt that direct hit when I was laid off from my job. It was a risk when I stuck with the company last Spring on a contractual basis. Unfortunately, the company is struggling now, so I'm back at home looking for work.

My favorite comfort foods
Specifically, my position was cut due to the financial situation at the company. Although I knew the company was struggling I had thought my blow had been dealt when my weekly hours were cut from 32 to 20 less than two weeks ago. As far as I knew I was going to continue through the end of the year with fewer hours but with a job. Unfortunately, that changed.

During my particular meeting, I was reassured that it was a decision that was made based on the company's finances and not on my performance. It was meant to be reassuring, but it was all I could do to stop from breaking down. I couldn't even concentrate on putting pen to paper to leave my personal contact information. And when the meeting finished, I was asked to leave the office without saying a word. So I took a few minutes alone, put my chin up and walked back to my desk, packed up my things discreetly and made my way out the door. But that meant that I couldn't say goodbye to my co-workers who I have become friends with over the last 9 months. I couldn't pass along my contact information or wish them luck with the remainder of the year. That was probably the hardest strain of all.

Pesto kept a vigil
What I don't think all companies understand is that some of us know it's about business. It's not personal, there are still a lot of people that are depending on companies to make good financial decisions right now so that they can keep their own jobs. But if you take away too much of the personal feel, it becomes just cold. I was left with a hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach. Fortunately, I know that tomorrow is a new day. Now back to my Oreos and wine...

Things to be thankful for:
- Good friends and family
- A cat that keeps me company
- Books to temporarily take me away from reality one page at a time
- Better tomorrows

Friday, September 14, 2012

Privacy on the Web?

How much of my life should I publish in a blog and how much should I keep between me and the few people I let into my weird little world? It's a hard question to answer. It's one that has kept me away from the blogging world for the last few months.

When I returned to the United States I enjoyed travelling all over the US visiting friends and family. Blogging about that is easy. It's travel and sights and fun stories from far off places. But last Fall I settled into a routine with work and a job search and I located myself in one city. It was then that I started focusing on other things like friendships and love interests. And blogging about that is more difficult than I expected. How can I write about the man I'm dating or the person I fall in love with? How can I convey the heart ache when the relationship doesn't work despite our best efforts? Those are things that I'd love to share because they are certainly not unique to me, but exposing so much of myself just doesn't feel right. So I stayed quiet. Through hilarious stories of dating mishaps, through love and heartbreak, and now I'm back. I may still not explore the romantic side of my life but I realized that even in my daily life "at home" it's still pretty interesting. And really my blog has always been about living life to it's fullest.

And on that note, I'm going to shout-out to a college friend of mine from MU who is enjoying her life to the fullest as well. She keeps a regular blog and was recently featured on the Jeff Probst Show due to her incredible energy and approach to really living, even after being diagnosed with cervical cancer. Since we met our freshman year she has had this energy. And as our paths crossed now and again since she's never lost it. But what's impressive is how she's maintained that zest over the last year in the face of adversity. See her clip from the show.