When Opportunity Knocks, but it Isn’t Looking for You

How about those women’s marches? I feel better about my country than I have in months.
View of the January 21, 2017 women's march in a major city with protestors filling the street between tall buildings and holding signs
As it happens, I didn’t attend one. Pop-up protests over the past few years have been a major source of stress in my life, and I’m pretty angry about that. The same few demonstrators show up to anyone’s march, looting, breaking windows, vandalizing random cars, and stoning police. Not a constructive way to espouse a cause. I depend on public transit, and a few dozen demonstrators can close it down for hours. As I result, I have often been stranded far from home, in the middle of a very tense situation, lugging 30 pounds of perishable groceries.

Because of this, I am on alert lists for the bus company and police department. Which is how I heard about the women’s march – the bus company sent out an advance email about expected service disruptions. Other than that, I saw only a TV commercial, which surprised me. Protest marches advertise? That’s new. But given aforementioned experiences with protests, I wasn’t intrigued enough to find out more.

But on the day of the march, when texts from the police department started coming in with massive numbers, I realized something different and historical was happening. I briefly considered going, until I got a text from the bus company saying they had completely closed down bus service to the downtown core. I texted back “completely unacceptable!,” but I was relieved from the decision of whether to enter an intensely crowded, noisy situation where my ability to retreat would’ve been severely limited.

Maybe I would’ve risen above the limits of sensitivity on the group high. Then again, I tend towards disturbed-hibernating-bear syndrome in January, so maybe not.

But even from my armchair, it was pretty cool. And the more I learned about it, the more amazing it got. It wasn’t just the massive turnouts in major cities. There were also hundreds (not an exaggeration) of marches in smaller towns, and even tiny villages, some of them in very bad weather and/or unfriendly environments.

I’m something of a coward about putting myself physically and visibly on the line. I’ve found some peace with this reluctance, now that I understand it’s a pretty natural reaction for an HSP introvert. There’s more than one way to be an activist. Still, I respect people who expose themselves in that way, even if it feels less risky to them than it would to me. If you participated, thank you. A lot. Thank you for showing me I wasn’t alone.

But this post isn’t about that. The rest of it isn’t, anyway :)

What’s New – or Not – with Me

My self-employed career isn’t going well. It turns out there is a fatal flaw in my business plan (this is a figure of speech. If you happen to be comparing yourself with me, I don’t want to deceive you into thinking I have anything as organized as a written plan). I’ve done a really excellent job at finding people I emotionally resonate with as clients. Over and over, they tell me they chose to work with me because they felt I understood them.

And I do. They are people who are going it alone, carving out their own career niche, plus a few passionate bloggers who just have to write. Like me. Most of them are struggling financially, also like me, with a very limited budget for things like… my services. I have done an excellent job of finding my peers. At creating myself an income, not so much.
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This Day, This Moment

Old pen & ink drawing of girl reading by the fire with her cat sitting next to herBoth of my cats are still alive, so you can guess what I am thankful for today. Turns out there are a lot of people around who have been traumatized by euthanasia decisions, which does not surprise me at all. It’s the emotional equivalent of asking someone to decide to put their own child to death. In states where euthanasia has been legalized, that only applies to adults, because a child can’t legally consent. And I think we recognize that asking a parent to make that decision would likely haunt them for the rest of their lives, no matter which way they decided.

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Working Title

I haven’t written much about my short-lived summer job. I meant to, but it got shuttled to the back burner by the premiere of Sensitive: The Untold Story, and other more time-sensitive topics, and by the time that was over, it was old news.

Two Roads Diverged

A sign that reads "You don't have to be crazy to work here. We'll train you."I felt a certain empathy for my boss and her issues, but eventually concluded they were impacting my life to an unacceptable degree. I was so proud of myself for figuring out that I needed to make a change before the need became urgent. This time, I’ll find another job first, I thought.

However, she must’ve sensed it, because she blew up out of nowhere over something trivial, and abruptly I was out of a job without a replacement income. The time since has been nerve-wracking. Each month, it has been a miracle that I managed to pay my rent. I’m pretty pissed at her. I was a good employee, and I deserved better.

Then I learned that she was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness two weeks after I left. I was shocked and saddened, of course, and I hope she survives. But I can see how very much that is a part of her path, and I can also see that I don’t need to go down that path with her, which would’ve been a lot harder to avoid if I was still working for her. Interesting timing, isn’t it? Continue reading

Call Louder, Won’t You?

A photo showing the ears of a horse, pricked up as if listening to some soundAs regular followers of Sensitive Type will know, I’ve been struggling for a long time to find a path that worked for me. Along the way, I followed a bunch of blogs about making a living online and/or by blogging. For awhile, I did a lot of reading. Sometimes I wondered whether it was a good investment of my time, especially with the financial wolves howling at my door.

It seems like I only use about 1/10th of what I’ve read, but since I’m forging my path in introverted solitude, it’s worth all that less-useful reading when I find something that affirms my own experience. The post below is an example:

The Complicated But Beautiful Process of Finding Your Calling

While I agree 100% with the title of this post, my perspective differs from the author’s on several points. First, he doesn’t mention luck, which IMHO plays a huge role in the success of any endeavor. After reading numerous success stories, I noticed how often fortuitous timing was a major factor, a point not always noted by the writers themselves.

Aha!? Uh-uh.

Secondly, aha moments are over-rated. Even if you have one, the story doesn’t end there. I’ve had many. Continue reading