found via pecannoot
Emma Alvarez Gibson is kick-ass. That’s how I need to start this intro. When I “met” her (through Twitter!), she was working full-time as a proofreader & copy editor as well as blogging her heart out on Old Soul Ink. I became a fan right away, identifying with her renaissance soul, her creative passion, & her quick wit. But in February, her life changed – and when she asked if she could write a guest post for me, I knew she had to tell her inspirational story. If I give you her bio here, or say anything more, I’m going to ruin the story. So…just read on.
It’s last winter. I’m working full-time as a proofreader/copy editor for an ad agency. The branch I work for is based in-house at an automotive corporation. The automotive folks are fantastic; the agency directly providing my paycheck is, how you say, a joke. I’m miserable. I’ve spent many, many hours sending out resume and cover letter after resume and cover letter. Arranging furtive phone interviews in the ladies’ room and from my car, I am in awe at how I’m just not getting hired. It’s never been this hard for me to find a job. Becoming a stay-at-home-mom is totally out of the question; our family needs to be a two-income family. (Los Angeles is many great things, but inexpensive is not one of them.)
I feel beyond stuck. And beyond guilty, reminding myself of the statistic I heard somewhere: if you are lucky enough to live in Southern California, assuming you’re not below the poverty line, you’re doing better than 97% of the planet. It comes in handy sometimes, but in this situation, working-class guilt is a tremendous debilitator. Because even though I’m more burnt out every day, more tired and dull and just lame, I feel like I’m being greedy for wanting something fulfilling out of my Monday-through-Friday.
But I do. I want more. A lot more. And I am beginning to think I’m never going to be able to make it happen. Partly because, although I know what sets me ablaze and what I am really, really good at, I’m not sure how to transform those things into a job. Also, I am busy blaming my inherent interest in the world at large for the position I’m in. If I were the type of person who has always wanted to be a chemist, or a baker, or a cop, I wouldn’t be in this quandary. I’d have found my niche long ago and settled in for the long haul.
Instead, I’m the type of person who finds a million things fascinating. I want to learn about almost everything. I know a little about a lot, and a lot about a little–most important: words and connecting people. My interests would require a few more lifetimes for satisfactory exploration, to say nothing of my hobbies. Needless to say, my work experience is varied. Checkered. Some might say random. I’ve worked in PR, film and television production, publishing, sales, the spa industry, the automotive industry, the dot-com industry. I’ve been a manager three times, a massage therapist once, a director of editorial once and an assistant too many times to count. And that long, meandering path has led me here, to a job that should have been fantastic and was instead awful.
I’m a bit of a pathetic clod at this point, quite frankly. And then along comes February 2. I am laid off, given a short severance option and a box for my belongings, and then escorted out of the office. (My boss doesn’t say good-bye, make eye contact or even remind me not to let the door hit me in the arse. Stay classy, boss man!).
Well. Everything changes.
I had four weeks of my normal paltry paycheck coming, and after that, about 60% of that paycheck, courtesy of unemployment benefits. I had no idea what to do. It was surreal. It was a tiny bit scary.
But mostly, it was effing magical.
Cliffhanger! Come back bright & early tomorrow to see how Emma used her bad news to create the life she’s always wanted (you knew that was coming, didn’t ya?), see where she landed, & get an AMAZING offer to use her services (can we say: “60% off & a treat“?! Yes, we can. I ain’t kidding, people.)!