Time Capsule

•October 1, 2020 • 4 Comments
The cat didn’t want me to go alone.

I went to pick up my personal effects from the Paramount lot yesterday. In truth, I was looking forward to the outing even though I knew it would only take me about fifteen minutes to gather everything, return my laptop, and drop off a few thank you notes on other coworkers’ desks.

Walking back into the office was like walking into a time capsule. Time had simply stopped sometime in March and nothing had moved since: the dirty spoon still rested on my desk, waiting to be taken to the kitchen. The lemon I’d picked off the tree was now dried into a hard brown husk. The half-drunk energy shot taunted me on day three of my caffeine detox. I threw it away.

The Edward Gorey calendar pinned to my cubicle wall was still on March. It was still good: the past six months might’ve felt like a decade, but it was still only 2020 and I was pleased to think I could pin it up at home and still get some use out of it, although I felt some regret at all the months I’d missed out on. There were postcards wishing me a Merry Christmas. Postcards congratulating me on the new job- the same job I was now leaving. Postcards wishing me a happy anniversary- mere days away from once again being relative. A certificate of First Flight in a hot air balloon from last October- feeling both like “Just yesterday” and “A million years ago”.

There was a laptop charger I’d completely forgotten I owned. A pair of shoes I’d completely forgotten I owned. A shawl that I remembered I owned, but thought was tucked in a drawer at home somewhere. A parasol that I’ve been missing mightily during the sunny summertime months.

Oh, and a smorgasbord of snacks. Still good. Ish.

So it was quite the journey down memory lane. Now on to bigger and better things!

Flex Day

•September 28, 2020 • Leave a Comment
Details, details

Ahh my first weekday without work. It feels… strange. Suddenly, I can do whatever the hell I want with my time and the freedom is disorienting. I gotta admit, I spent a lot of time flexing on the fact that I could take a nap whenever I felt like it. I may have taken more than one.

Admittedly, my predisposition towards napping might be a result of my (questionable) decision to go on a caffeine detox starting today. It’s been several years since I’ve done one: going ten days without caffeine to let my body reset. Now seemed like the time to take the plunge since I wasn’t going to need to be on call for anything.

Over all, it wasn’t too bad for the first day (of detox or of freedom) although I suspect the next few days might be where the real bumpiness comes into play. Tomorrow, I have to bring the minivan in to the dealership to get one of the airbags recalled. Wednesday I have to return my equipment to the studio. Both days I have job seeking seminars. And I continue to procrastinate on my writing.

Mostly, my attention has been very small: I spent most of the day creating tiiiiiiiny little band stickers to decorate the walls of a diorama I’m building. It’s fiddly little work, but I’m pleased with how it’s all turning out. As they say, the devil is in the details.

Last Day

•September 25, 2020 • Leave a Comment

Welp, this is it: my last day at my current job. I’m sad to go, but the time is right, so I don’t feel overly distraught about it. Still no new job lined up yet, but I did spend my lunch hour in a Zoom seminar with recruiters for another animation studio to try to get some insight into other opportunities and ways to pursue them.

Right now, I’m in a funny twilight time: I’ve finished my work tasks for the day but I’ve got another hour-ish before I plan to go running. There’s lots of little things to take care of: clearing personal information off my work laptop, copying down contact information for people I want to keep in touch with, sorting out when insurance will end, figuring out when unemployment can begin, etc. Not big stuff, but enough little things that I keep getting distracted before crossing any of them off my list.

Needless to say, I’m in kind of a funny head-space at the moment.

History Loop

•September 22, 2020 • Leave a Comment

I make an effort to avoid Doom Scrolling as much as possible: it’s painfully easy for social media to get under my skin and in These Times there’s just too many things to worry about. Yesterday, I made the mistake of reading up on one theorists projections on how the various results of the upcoming election could lead to civil war. Only it wasn’t “could”. All the options led to civil war. None of the options were good.

It’s not that I’d prefer to hide my head in the sand: there’s plenty in life these days that deserves attention and action. But when it comes to the outcome of the upcoming election and whether or not it will lead to the collapse of America As We Know It, there’s not whole lot I can do besides vote and worry. Neither of which feels like it is likely to have a big impact.

My impulse is to contingency plan. Stockpile supplies. Figure out people and places to go to. Learn survival skills. I want to believe it won’t come to that, but I also want to believe I’ll be okay if it does. But really there’s no way to plan for every scenario and I’m once again being faced with my own relative helplessness.

I’m trying to redirect my focus to history: to all the ways that the circumstances of 2020 are mirroring the circumstances of 1920: not because I want to re-live the early part of the twentieth century, because those were not tranquil years in world history, but because the fact history is repeating itself is proof that humanity survived the first go ’round.

Anyway, just trying to learn how to let go of the things I can’t control. It’s a process.

Job Joy

•September 21, 2020 • Leave a Comment

I can’t believe I’m in the last week of my current job. On Wednesday, I will have been with the production for exactly one year, and on Friday I will be wrapped. It’s only been one year, but it feels like it has been a lifetime.

This time last year, I was DEEP in depression. After a lifetime of resistance, I had finally committed to therapy. It helped, but my depression at the time was still severe enough that I finally gave in an asked for medication: something I never thought I would do. I thought anti-depressants would numb me out. Or perhaps make me so chipper as to be obnoxious. Neither of which turned out to be true: mostly, my experience with medication is that it just got my mood back to a normal, level, playing field. “Normal” was no longer six feet under water.

But the biggest life-change: the one I think made the most difference, was changing jobs. I’d been working for a payroll company for several years and it wasn’t a bad job. I liked the company. I liked my coworkers (except for the loud eater- but only because of the loud eating). The work was tedious, but not difficult and I never had to bring it home with me. I had paid vacation and health insurance and a 401K for the very first time. All in all, it was a pretty good gig, but it just didn’t pay enough and I spent every minute of every hour of every day feeling the life being crushed out of me.

If I learned one thing, it’s that a good job can still be bad for you if it’s not the right fit.

So, getting this job was a dream come true. When I interviewed, the film was described to me as “monsters wrestling” which might as well have been “stockcar parachuting” or “soap opera dance competitions” for all it meant to me. But it was a production job on the lot of a major studio in the script/story department so I was IN. And I don’t regret a minute of it.

It took me fully three and a half months of working the new job before I really felt like myself again: I knew I’d finally turned a corner when the Editor commented, with apparent surprise, that I was “chipper” one day. And I realized I was. And not just chipper, but actually happy. And even in spite of the pandemic and the riots and the blazing heat and the oppressive smoke and the extremely volatile political climate, I’ve been happy ever since.

I spent an hour or so this morning writing thank you notes for my co-workers. It made me realize how incredibly grateful I am that fate saw fit to put me with this particular team on this particular project at this particular time in my life.

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