they pay to kiss your feet

since there's no one else around, we let our hair grow long and forget all we used to know. then our skin gets thicker from living out in the snow.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

screw perspective - or the curse of the roller coaster ride.

being unemployed is like being on a roller coaster.

one day, things are looking great from above. networking is happening. people are giving you work. jobs are available. your poop doesn't stink.

and then the next day, you're plummeting down some random hill, bleary-eyed - unable to see a foot in front of you. because your unemployment benefits have, news-to-you, run out. and the government has not planned to extend them again.

and you really count on that weekly check. because it pays for things like food. your car. and utilities.

it got you through the last year.

and then, it's gone.

and the "funny" part about it is that to make the money it was paying, you would have to work a 40-hour a week, low-paying hourly job.

which means you would have zero time for interviewing for salaried jobs in your field. the field in which you possess more than 8 years of experience. and a damn-good degree from one of the most well-respected universities to get that sort of degree from.

and a resume that boasts awards. and promotions. and references that don't suck.

but still, when you apply for jobs and land interviews, you hear that you're too creative. that you will just get bored and leave. that they can't take that sort of chance.

even if you tell them that yes you will stay. you have tons of other creative outlets.

and for the first time, your creativity starts to feel like a curse. because it's keeping you from a paycheck.

see, perspective gets suddenly turned upside when it's hard to tell who's steering the ship.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


i'm not sleeping well. is anyone sleeping well? lock your windows, damn-it. don't leave a door unlocked. just don't.

and get to know your neighbors. make your community more tightly knit. check on people. recognize when a car is parked somewhere it shouldn't be. notice suspicious behavior.

be empowered. be strong. be courageous. be united. be alert. be aware. be vigilant.

don't let there be a sixth.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


i heard about some people being laid off today. and for a second i thought to myself that wow, i was so glad i wasn't in their shoes. and then i slapped myself upside the head. i guess when it's this long - when it lasts this long - it starts to feel like something different. and it is. it's different than the first day or the first week or the first month or even the first quarter. because after awhile you start to get more connected and you hear of people who actually have your best interest at heart. you learn that someone recommended you to someone else. you find out your name is being passed around. that your ears should be burning. that people like you. that the economy doesn't like you - but that people do. and these are the things that allow you to go on through your day. at a pace that is comfortable and not anxiety-driven like it is at first. like the first hour. the 60 minutes that are vomit-inducing. so as an unemployed veteran, i say to those newly unemployed this one thing: you will get through it. and if, god forbid, a year from now you are still unemployed, it won't feel the same. and you won't be the same. you will be stronger. you will have a larger network. and you will, somehow, have more confidence. i promise.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


sometimes i think that i have a hard time making friends because i don't really believe that i'm fun to hang out with. i bore myself. after a week of looking for jobs and running and going to the gym. and cooking and cleaning and talking to the pets about how i'm sorry i can't touch them much anymore because they make me sick and then feeling bad, calling the dog up to my lap and petting him with my head resting on his. and while browsing blogs and flickr and twitter and facebook and thinking that everyone else's life looks so much more beautiful, fun, enchanting, purposeful and less-allergic than mine. with a new poem forming on my tongue as the shower hits my hair that is in this ugly in-between and i scrub the day from my face and shoulders and that place beneath my ankle bone that collects dirt and grime on nearly every run. when i'm smashing garlic and warming olive oil and slicing onion and peppers and salting. when i'm getting into my car that is the filthiest on the block. caked in winter's guts. and while i drive by houses with chimneys that don't have holes and with perfect paths and non-peeling paint and probably beautifully decorated master bedrooms and tv rooms and the perfect rugs for accent. and when i climb into my bed covered in shabby chic sheets from target and a comfy down comforter that i love and realize is probably the cause of one or more sinus infections. and when i turn out the light and lay. uttering a "thanks" or "forgive me" to god. before drifting off to dream of things that i haven't. yet. done.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

my off-season training.

winter is my "off-season" when it comes to training for a race. i typically pick a goal-race that takes place in the early fall, and then dedicate spring and summer to getting faster, going farther and being stronger.

but winter is when i remind my body that i care about it. that i can give it a break from the constant pavement pounding, sweating and calorie burning. winter is when i cut back on total mileage and long runs. it's the season when i purposefully introduce walking into my workout routine. and it's when i force myself to remember that slower is sometimes better, that walking 1 mile burns as many calories as running 1 mile and that, sometimes, slowing down is the only way to really notice the world around me.

my winter weeks look like this:

4 days a week running a distance of either 3, 4 of 5 miles.
1 day a week walking 3 miles at a good pace.
1 day a week strength training at an hour-long boot camp class
1 day a week complete rest.

but winter is nearly over. and boy am i looking forward to spring.

Monday, February 15, 2010

it's official, my house is making me sick.

just got my back pricked 80+ times at the allergist. i am allergic to :
dust mites
and mold

i live in an old house. with dust. and i have a dog and a cat. but i've been miserable lately. clogged sinuses. headaches. i can rarely breathe out of my nose.

getting rid of the pets is not an option. it's just not. they bring us too much joy.

the allergist suggested allergy shots. once a week. this sounds like a prison sentence to me. once a week. at the doctor. getting a shot.

the only other option is lots of OTC allergy meds that mask the symptoms.

i need help!

Friday, February 12, 2010


i just need to say that it is stressful paying for a wedding on an unemployed budget.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

missing her.

i'm getting married two months from today.

we're having a tiny wedding. just immediate family. nothing fancy. no reception. but i've already told you this.

B is inviting his best friend.

when i was married before, i had this one friend that i always wished had been in my wedding. except i didn't know her on that wedding day. but still, we were so close. and it just seemed odd that she hadn't been a part of that day.

now, years later, she won't be a part of this day either. and while i seldom think of her. she's been crossing my mind a lot now.

and it sucks.

at church, we've been working through a series on forgiveness. and how forgiving people is not the same as forgetting what they did to hurt you. it's not the same as letting them back into your life. it's about setting healthy boundaries. it's working through the pain and acknowledging it.

and B and i are doing some pre-marital counseling with our pastor. and we're working through the baggage that our lives have given us up until now. the unhealthy ways of seeing things. lies we believe. pain. and the goal is to drop those bags at the door of the church on April 10. and to move into this new life together in the most healthy, loving way that we can.

and still, still, there is going to be a little part of me that wants to look back into the pews. while i'm standing there. in my white dress and my blue shoes. next to the love of my life. with God as our witness. with love in our hearts and hope in our eyes. and i'll want her to be there.

so yes, i miss her. despite the hurt and the pain and the questions. i miss her like crazy. and two months from today, well, i'll miss her then, too.

Monday, February 08, 2010


i used to prefer to run in the spring. in shorts. and a tank. maybe arm-warmers. down streets filled with sunshine. past yards wearing jackets of newly-sprouted grass and blooming tulips. breathing freely the morning air fragranced with dew and honey.

but now, winter's my favorite running season. black heat-capturing dryfit clinging to my legs. my torso covered in layers. black hat keeping in the heat. gloves with tread in case i fall. crunching through autumn's carelessly kept leaves that keep emerging from snow-covered yards. picking those annoying and spiky balls from the sole of my shoe every mile or so. and then realizing, they're called gumballs. my favorite treat.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

thoughts almost a year later.

last march, i lost my job. but we all know that. i do. you do. my neighbors do. everyone does. it's been big news around here. because this job market blows. and in the industry i'm in, you can't just find another job easily. because they don't exist. at the same time i was losing my job, other copywriters were losing their jobs. at other companies. companies i wanted to work for. but one cannot exist on the unemployment "paycheck" alone. trust me. so you get creative.

but this creativity - this new way to make a living freelancing and consulting and more - has to be well-balanced with a consistent effort to find a new job. and the tricky part for me has been that i want to stay in advertising. i love what i do. i want to find another ad agency to call home. i want to be inspired by creative directors and a team of art directors and other copywriters. i want to be a creative director one day. i want to push limits and challenge perception and solve problems in ways that have never been done before.

and if i cave and take a job, say, as a receptionist. or at a company in a completely unrelated field, i might be giving up my dream. because your portfolio is only as good as the worst piece in it. and the longer you stay out of the game in this industry, the harder it is to get back in it.

all this to say that i'm blessed to be somehow staying afloat. i've had a couple of temporary gigs. one at one of the most creative agencies in town. and i've networked. a ton. i've met creative directors i'd only hoped to meet when i was back at my old job. but i haven't only met them. i've shown them my work. i've heard them tell me i'm good. really good. and that they see enormous potential in me.

and this - hearing affirmation of talent. that i'm chasing the right dream. that i'm good at what i want to keep doing. this has been sweeter than any steady paycheck could be.

because it gives me hope.

so i'm telling you that i'm making it. and that you can, too. a silly way of saying don't give up on what you know you want to do.

and, by the way, i strongly believe that looking for a job that is a good fit in this economy is the hardest job i - or you - will ever have to do. but persistence has to pay off eventually. that's just how things work.

Monday, February 01, 2010


it's snowing. big, fat flakes of white. from here, what's beyond the window looks like a snow globe. peaceful and quiet and untouched.

but from here, i'm also able to imagine. that the street outside is actually quiet. and that what happened last week didn't really happen. that the world is still full of peace and harmony and no reason to have to fear being home alone or walking or running. but this is all just nonsense anyway. because there's always been evil.

it's just that before now, it had never hit so close
to home.