29 May 2012

disappointment has a name

Within the confines of my current company, I had two choices: Southern Gentleman or exile.

I have struggled with this decision. Struggled greatly. Needless to say, everything moved into high gear when my 2-to-3 week prescribed (and typically longer) wait was trumped with a job offer last Friday. Interview on Tuesday. Job offer on Friday. My head is still swimming.

My choice of jobs - Work-from-home or Southern Gentleman-ville. A difficult choice. Career versus life/love. A phone call with the Southern Gentleman this morning made the answer very clear and simple.

I chose work-from-home. Better for my career path, and clearly from Southern Gentleman's lack of enthusiasm, the choice of choices. My career takes precedence over the Southern Gentleman's forgetfulness of telling me the distance to his city as opposed to extolling the distances of Asheville, Charlotte, and Atlanta. There was no "it would be great to see you more often"; no pleasantries afforded a platonic, casual friend. So easily, my career and long-term success takes the lead.

I did not press or cajole.I don't want to try to force the Southern Gentleman into anything. My days of bright-eyed, blind hope are dead; his jacked-up perception has closed our delicate dance.My months of clarity have obviously been confirmed with gigantic bold exclamation marks.

I chose reality and my happiness over trying to make someone else happy. It looks like I have learned a thing or two.

28 May 2012

how do you measure a year

March marked five years since my Austin odyssey began. Of course, I have been overly sentimental about the entire contract-coming-to-an-end ordeal. However, I look back at the past five years and I can't help but feel utter and pure awe.

I grew up in Austin. I grew up, learned who I am as well as who I am not. I tested my limits learning where I excel and where I have no business going. For the first time in my life, I made true friends. Friends I could call when Lulu drama was in full swing and those friends would drop everything to help me. Friends who picked up the pieces when I couldn't. Friends who tried. I also learned the difference between friend and frienemy. I learned what I was capable of. The depth of love and unwavering strength that dwells within me. I learned to conquer my fears, to be okay with me. I look in the mirror and I actually love who I see.

Life has changed a lot here as well. People changed, I changed. But the common denominator, if it existed, has made sure our bonds remained strong and intact. While I stay alone, others have married, had babies and yet as life changes radically, our common denominator has remained constant. Friendships growing and changing in a healthy way and oh, how that makes my heart sing!

Thank you, Austin. You gave me a home unlike any other. I found myself here. I learned about me and how wonderful my world truly is. Thank you for both the overflowing joy and the heartbreak that taught me about my capabilities and the capabilities of others. Love. Unconditional. Unbreakable. Pure. Thank you.

Whatever the future holds, I will be ready and able to handle it because Austin gave me the tools I need. 

26 May 2012

because john knows a thing or two...

“I have said that Texas is a state of mind, but I think it is more than that. It is a mystique closely approximating a religion. And this is true to the extent that people either passionately love Texas or passionately hate it and, as in other religions, few people dare to inspect it for fear of losing their bearings in mystery or paradox. But I think there will be little quarrel with my feeling that Texas is one thing. For all its enormous range of space, climate, and physical appearance, and for all the internal squabbles, contentions, and strivings, Texas has a tight cohesiveness perhaps stronger than any other section of America. Rich, poor, Panhandle, Gulf, city, country, Texas is the obsession, the proper study, and the passionate possession of all Texans.”
― John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

25 May 2012

it's here

Reality hit me square in the face Wednesday evening.

The reality being that the mythical end of the month is here.

The end of May felt so far away and now my departure is imminent. 

My heart is sinking at leaving my friends. I decided I can remedy this by coming home for a long weekend once a quarter.

I am actually ok leaving my job assignment and the contract. My interview yesterday with the other company taking over the contract was terribly painful and I would never work for the man. An hour and half interview where the hiring manager grandstanded about himself and was rather condescending. Half way through, I found myself trying to figure out how to end the interview politely. I know he won't hire me as I have too much experience because he is interviewing people who don't have resumes. But I am glad I endured the "interview" because I have no regrets.

Then we have the other two interview I had this week where both hiring managers told me point-blank that I have a very impressive resume. I am rather excited at the thought of those two possibilities, even though each means leaving Austin.

Maybe it is time for new scenery. Maybe this will simply be a little break from Austin. Whatever it is, I hold tight to the intent that it will be for my higher good.

22 May 2012

yet another option

And today the Universe throws yet another wrench into my plans of Austin-stay-puttedness.

A random internal job interview for a gig in the Carolinas. Of all places, a job I didn't apply for but obviously a result of a VP contacted a long time ago. The Carolinas. The land of none other than the infamous Southern Gentleman.

Years ago, I would have KILLED for a Carolina assignment. Now, it is merely a thought providing pure entertainment value. In actuality the job itself was right up my alley and one of my top two right now.

This could get very interesting...

21 May 2012

where the day takes you

Some days the Universe absolutely amazes me.

Action is key, even if you don't realize you are doing the action that gets the ball rolling... as to keep the laws of motion, well, frankly in motion.

A leisurely glass of wine at the hotel reception tonight meant running into a run-in.

Said run-in resulted in a two hour conversation, which will most likely turn into an Austin based job.

The magic of Austin never ceases to amaze me. 

15 May 2012

the doctor is in


An hour and twenty minutes is an awful long time to be on the phone for a Southern Gentleman who proclaims he hates talking on said phone. 

But alas yet again, he yammered on and on and on. As if to be told I was his confidant regarding an email he received from his ex-wife. Well, don't I feel special? I listened, offered my insight, my ideas. What I should have done was sent him a bill for psychiatric services rendered.

At first I thought Southern  Gentleman's ex-wife's reaching out was the product of her spending some quality time with a shrink of her own. But as the tale continued to unfold, I really believe she is angling to get back with him. While Southern Gentleman told me he'd not entertain a reconciliation, I have my doubts. Serious doubts. 

I feel that we should place bets on the Southern Gentleman's future. I'm going all in on the following notion: ex-wife dumps current husband (the man she originally cheated with and dumped Southern Gentleman for) and gets back on the Southern Gentleman train in nine months time. 

As they say, time will tell, but I am certain I have a winning bet.

10 May 2012

another suitcase in another hall

Adjusting to hotel living has been difficult.

"Really?" you ask.

It is when you move from Stepford into a small studio hotel room with the complete knowledge that this is the end of the Austin road. Of course, the associated downsizing of clothes, shoes, and accessory options does not help my clothes horse heart. Limited choices has truly damped my heart.

No oven and two burners. My ability to cook has been robbed and I miss it. Powered eggs have replaced my organic, free-range brown eggs. Oven roasted vegetables are but a memory.  My days of clean, minimally processed eating are hampered.

I cannot run outside on the street as I am by a major shopping complex; crazy drivers are everywhere and I am very fond of living unmaimed. I tried a lesser road, but the sidewalk stopped half way through the route, so I had to trample through brush. I was leery because brush in Texas piques my great fear of snakes. As a result I have been reduced to learning how to run on the treadmill. I am coping with being attached to the machine, but I certainly do miss communing with nature on my outdoor runs.

On the plus side, I don't have to make coffee in the morning. I just put on some shorts and simply run down three flights of stairs to fetch my morning must. At least the coffee is strong. Sadly that is the only plus.

And another day on the countdown continues...

06 May 2012

the bus at a crossroads

Yesterday as I drove down the highway, I grew melancholy as I passed the exit for RR620. That particular exit, that particular road is where I took Lulu for her internal medicine doctor, the man who saved her life and gave us six more weeks together.

Upon being taken back, I started talking to my Lulu. Telling her how much I missed her. Specifically naming the things she did that I so dearly miss. Lulu sticking her head against my knees while I took my first morning pee. Her waking me up at 4 AM and on the weekends at 7 AM too; there was never any sleeping in with my happy snappy morning hound girl. Knocking her nose on the door to command me to open it. Those big beautiful eyes. Her huge loving heart. My baby girl.

A few exits down, I got off the highway to head back to the dreaded hotel. On the side of the road stopped was a greyhound bus. There in unmissable technicolor was a greyhound. A message from my little girl. Of course, I cried until I reached my destination. My girl remains with me.

05 May 2012

well i guess it would be nice

Tick tock. The days are flying by. I continue to live in denial. 

Well, that's not entirely true. 

I have seriously stepped up my bid to find a job down here. Attacking LinkedIn and actually completing my work history on there. Making sure everyone knows that I don't have my next assignment yet. Chatting up everyone I meet and inquiring about positions. Applying is my new middle name, Aggressively Applying.

My new vision is that I will return to Austin this fall. I will not be gone for long, unless some other completely undreamed up fantastic plan presents itself before then. Yes, I have gone from despair to openness. I have always landed exactly where I was meant to be. This time will be no different. As George Michael sang, " 'Cause I gotta have faith. "