the elegant rubble

ashes to ashes / funk to funky

surprised a friend of mine by telling them of the upcoming Hiddleston-y Loki Marvel streaming show.

Well. Not just a friend. My girlfriend. Partner. Somewhere in there. Close Associate of the Heart? Does that invoke visions of shoulder pads to anyone else? Or is that just me?

Anyway.

This is why she hasn't made many appearances in my (admittedly sporadic) journaling. Sometimes, heart so full that can't word good about certain things in my writing.

A different type of darling to protect. And cherish.

Anyway.

Not just Loki. Scarlet Witch too, with the lost Tanner daughter and everything.

Cool, right?

Current Mood: smitten Current Music: Ashes to Ashes – David Bowie

#babble #thepickleinthesoup

Just submitted my last work for my soon-to-be-former-part-time coding gig.

(Actually I guess it's not 'soon-to-be'; it's.... 'now'.)

It struck me that my new job, while in the tech sector, isn't a coding position. It's technical, it requires coding knowledge, but I won't actually be shipping code.

And I find that very... exciting. Because now, for the first time since I was a kid, coding can be something I do entirely for fun. The whole reason I decided to get into professional coding in the first place was because I remembered how much I loved teaching myself HTML and CSS so I could dink around on <old>geocities and myspace</old>.

And now I actually know what I'm doing (HA. Well. You know what I mean.) I wonder what sort of Professional Caliber Dinking I'll get into!

Current Mood: excited Current Music: Yonder Mountain String Baaaaand

#babble

So. I got the job.

In my last post I mentioned getting a second interview. Then I got a third interview. Then I started to question how dedicated they were to filling this position “as soon as possible” since they had been stringing this process out since before Christmas. Then they offered me the job, and I cleared them of all wrong-doing and now recognize their good taste and sound judgement.

I start next week.

I am beyond excited. I've been under-employed about two-and-a-half years. I finished coding school in Summer 2016, and watched classmate after classmate slide right into actual, grown-up jobs. We all did the same things, applied the same places, had the same skills (roughly). Worked on resumes together. And yet the herd thundered on ahead, while I was left behind.

I picked up part-time freelance work. It was nice to have a marketable skill. The theatre degree I have tucked away in a drawer somewhere wasn't paying the bills. I know I am extremely fortunate to be able to scrape by at all. But I am not good at marketing myself. Looking for freelance work is a full-time job unto itself, let alone actually doing the work. And I found job hunting to be very, very dehumanizing.

It probably was not a coincidence that Fall 2016 blew the doors of my mental health, and I slipped into what I “lovingly” refer to as Depression Year. Being depressed made looking for a job even more taxing, and not having a job made the depression.... etc. etc.

I climbed out of Depression Year in Fall 2017. I had lost ground. My skills were rusty. My network was in tatters. My professional life (and, er, my personal one, too) was a duct tape jalopy. I couldn't look for a job in that state, right? I had to, of course, Fix Everything. I'd look for a job when I was Ready. All I had to do was get Ready. I'd know when I was Ready... right?

Right?

(Speaking of, I am currently waiting to be notified when I am Ready to start writing prose, composing poetry, making a zine, and learning how 401ks work. Any time now. Aaaaaaaany time now.)

I did work, haphazardly over that next year, at preparing myself for another job hunt. I learned new frameworks. I dove enthusiastically into the freelance work I had. I polished my resume. And polished, and polished, and polished. (Still looked the same tho.) I even took a copy-editing gig, to see how I liked it, and how it felt to drift away from the industry I hadn't yet broken in to. (I actually ended up really digging editing, and had this new tech-industry job not worked out, very well might have leaned more heavily into editing. In the future? Maybe!)

I set deadlines for when I'd stop preparing and start applying. But they weren't there to motivate me; they were just another way of saying I don't have to do it now. I'll do it... then. See that deadline? That's when I'll do it. But now? No no no, it's not time yet. See? It's in my calendar, it has to be true.

This fall, I relaunched my 'professional' website. I realized I had that, a portfolio of work, a resume that was as polished a turd as I was going to get, and a fair amount of debt and bills. I had everything I needed. So maybe it was time?

I still couldn't bring myself to Officially look for a job. So I started unofficially looking. Putting in applications, sending resumes as low-stakes practice. Rather than get wrapped up and stressed out, I thought: This is just practice. Doesn't matter to me either way if this goes anywhere, or not. Just stretching out the muscles. I'll do the real work later, when I'm Ready.

Then I saw the posting for the job I just got. And I was mad. This was a job that I really did like, and felt I was uniquely suited for. Why couldn't I find this post when I was Officially looking?? I can't apply for it now, it's not time!

At this point I was very sick of myself. So I applied, mainly to shut myself up.

Funny thing is, they called back.

Amanda Fucking Palmer, one of my idols, talks about waiting to be hit with the Magic Wand of Legitimacy. “You have to hit your own head with your own handmade wand. And you feel stupid doing it,” she says.

THWACK

AFP is right, I feel a little stupid. But not for my self-administered Thwack of Legitimacy. No, for wasting so much time, for avoiding the process as long as I did. For tying so much of my tremulous self-worth into job hunting, and stressing myself out to the point that I was immobilized. I had this wand the whole time. (THE WHOLE TIME?) Maybe it shouldn't have taken me 2+ years to figure this out, but then again, if it had unfolded differently, I wouldn't have the amazing opportunity that I do now.

Either way, I have found my wand. And there as few more things I think I need to thwack myself about.

...

Wait.

Reading:

Watching:

  • Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 2
  • (Still deciding on a 22 minute show...)

Listening:

Playing:

  • Super Smash Bros Ultimate
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Fortnite

#currently

Well, I haven't posted here in over a month. So it's good know I bring the same dedication to creating original content here as I did on Tumblr.

And that month has been a MONTH, ya know?

I'm glad things are finally settling in, and the rhythms of the new year are starting to show. Don't get me wrong, for as crazy as the last month was, it was generally a very good month. But after a while it gets hard for me when each day is completely different in structure and schedule than the one before it. And being human, it's so much easier to dwell the stressful and hectic than the meaningful and restorative.

Nothing fucks with a schedule like the holidays, but it wasn't just the holidays. I took on my first copy editing freelance gig. I upped the dosage on my medication. I had an intense job interview that required preparation.

The end of the year really did feel like a time of change. The calendar was turning over, and it was time for me to do the same. I thought a lot about how I wanted the new year to be, but first I had to get there. And sometimes the waiting is the hardest part.

I grew pretty restless. Literally and figuratively. The first two weeks of higher medication dosage really screwed with my sleep. I wasn't falling asleep until 3 or 4am, and then getting up at 7 or 8. And yet I felt fine. Well, not fine. I felt like a stimulant was keeping my brain awake 20 hours of the day. But at least I wasn't sleepy?

For most of the month, the weather wasn't helping. Up until about a week ago, it felt like we were stuck in an extended autumn. I love autumn, but what I love about autumn are the moving parts. The weather cooling, the leaves changing, the days growing shorter. It felt like autumn came, did its thing and was ready to clock out, but winter never showed up to relieve her. For most of December it was just cold, gray, and dead. Being Colorado, there was also the occasional unseasonably warm day thrown in there. But a 70 degree day surrounded by bare trees and brown grass isn't just unseasonable, it's unsettling.

And yet:

The holidays were very good. I completed my copy editing project ahead of schedule. I eventually got some sleep. I still don't know if I got the job, but I did get a second interview.

In the first week or so of the new year, my restless, anxious energy was beginning to congeal into something more robust and sustainable. The world was making a little more sense, and fitting into the spaces I wanted it to.

And then my cat injured his ACL.

I didn't even know cats had ACLs. But if someone in this house was going to get a sports injury, it sure as hell wasn't going to be me. We don't know how he did it. He just showed up in the kitchen one night with a BAD limp. So we packed him up and took him to our vet (which thankfully is three blocks away and open 24 hours).

They determined that he had done something to the ACL in his back left leg. They couldn't tell if he had torn it or just aggravated it. The only way to know for sure was x-rays. But first, they recommended a week of no jumping or climbing stairs and a course of anti-inflammatories. Then, if there wasn't significant improvement, we'd take him back for x-rays.

Tycho (the cat in question) lives his life spread out over three floors. This meant he had to be sequestered, ideally with someone who could intercept any attempts to jump or climb on anything and generally keep an eye on him. Since I work from home – and since his food, water and litter are in my room already – the role of nursemaid fell to me. I didn't mind at all. I was worried about him, and having him in the same room as me all day every day made it easier to monitor his progress and hopefully assuage my apprehension.

It also turned me into the world's lightest sleeper, as any noise overnight might be Tycho needing me. Of course, the vast majority of noises each night were not Tycho. But the fragile peace I had just made with sleep was now shattered. Sigh.

Tycho didn't actually need much attention from me. He took to his isolation pretty well. That was worrying for a while. He was very low energy the first few days. I mean, he's a cat, so even at perfect health, his energy is usually channeled only into moving from one nap spot to another, but this was different. He curled up in my TV chair and didn't move all day, except for food and bathroom time, and even that was much less than usual. It took until Friday before he was interested in going on his 'rounds' in my room. He'll inspect my bookshelves, poke at Joy-Cons, sniff my laundry, attack my shoelaces, push things off my desk. Normal cat duties.

Yesterday was his first day had access to the whole house again. He didn't even notice until lunch time. But today he was back to most of his old routines. He still has a bit of a limp. It's clear that his leg is still causing some discomfort. He can't sit like a loaf very long without having to flop his hips over and stick his back legs out. We're still monitoring him, and probably will be bringing him in for a follow up soon. But he does feel like Tycho again.

Yet again, I feel like things are starting to settle down, like I might get a chance to see what 2019 is “really” going to be like. But the truth is, it will probably continue to be exactly like it already is. Exactly like 2018 was. The real question is: what will *I be like?

“Time changes everything? That's what people say. It's not true. Doing things changes things. Not doing things leaves things exactly as they were.” – House (S03E12, “One Day, One Room”)

Current Music: None, but I have the horse riding song from Breath of the Wild stuck in my head

#lifeupdate #tycho