Sunday, October 01, 2006

And the waves of hell run rampant.

Sitting still in bed, with laptop where it was made (but perhaps not so well designed) to be, I try to conjure up the feeling that has been welling and festering deep inside my brain/soul. What is this all-too-familiar feeling that has been with me since I checked off that admissions application: "Computer Science" instead of "Biology." Granted, those were only two of many majors that Cornellian-to-be-hopefuls could choose, and little did I realize at that time that all those majors listed on those pages were just a handful of jobs that one could choose from in a lifetime.

Ignorance is bliss, I am told, and that I am coming to know from experience. So many people, so much to account for, and so many feelings to feel. How many people like myself go through each day in agony over why they get so caught up in thinking, and can't just do, "like everyone else does?" I know for certain that it's not just me that thinks that everyone else is like a robot caught in a web of pre-programmed thought called "society." From the looks of things, I expect that there exist intelligent robots, happy in their busy daily chores and blooming careers, taking the lumps with the cream, taking on each challenge with readied sleeves. I also expect that there exist intelligent free-thinkers, who are discontent with every single little thing on this planet and in their lives, who question every single little piece of experience and observation that comes upon them, who - through questioning - deny themselves the bliss that society can give in its normal operating mode. I am simply volunteering when I say that I am the latter form of being. And it is what I need to think through.

Lisa, you're so full of potential, I am told by one of the closest friends in my life. Potential is what is left when thinking too much knocks you off the board. Thinking about perfection, yet fearing the glory of reaching such a level of defined success. It is painfully contradictory to me. How can one lust for success so badly, yet fear it so much? Where does the fear come from?

Honestly? I fear reaching success. I fear living a passionate life. I feel that it would be much too good to be true. Yet I am not masochistic in any way. On the contrary, I feel that I protect myself to the highest degree by spending money and time on comfort - massages, personal training, clothes, make-up, home decor, much too much sleep, anti-pain medication, anti-stress programs, homeopathic treatments, acupuncture, chiropractic appointments, yoga, and the list goes on. So much comfort, all spawned by the media and the availability of money. Money used to come easy as General Manager. Now that I've been reduced in my own mind to Receptionist with a meager hourly wage, the availability of money is at a risk, causing my comfort to come into danger and elevating my need to find comfort elsewhere.

I fear experiencing something too good to be true because I don't believe it should happen. Logically. I fear that I don't deserve fame and fortune, because it is a creation of society, a position of royalty and celebrity which is an inflamed goal, set by crazed societal followers.

I looked up at the sky on a windy day, this Friday, and I saw the clouds billowing past a historic church steeple on Newbury Street. There was such strength and power in that external force, with such overwhelming intent that could drive the clouds at such high speed. And then there was man, as I imagined it, dabbling away with all his might in his own little section of existence. To what end? What is a job among the clouds and the true intent of nature? What kind of job exists in which I wouldn't feel insignificant in comparison?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

OK, Conor. You win for now.

So a very dear friend repeatedly, and not quite surreptitiously, has been urging me to blog about my life because "it's so full of new and interesting things!" according to him. Well, I'm honored and flattered that you think that way, sweetie. It's just life to me. But in high hopes that my life events can become good reading, I find myself with a day off from work, so... here it goes again. My life of constant curvatures.

Since the last time I blogged (9/11/2005, about a year!) I have since:

  1. Been promoted from Assistant to General Manager of an academic publishing company in the vicinity of Harvard Square (A note to all you high-ball hopefuls: I was promoted within 3 months of starting at the company without relevant experience, only a deep sense of professionalism and organization).

  2. As General Manager, seen my personal, romantic, and social life disappear before my clouded eyes, my overall stress level increase, and unhappiness level decrease, to the point of physical debilitation. Hey now! On the flip side, the bonus of that life-giving effort was the rewarding experience of achieving a complete turn-around of the structure and organizational systems of the company, a complete overhaul of the company marketing and advertising campaigns, customer service, image and website presentation, and a 300% increase of circulation of several company products.

  3. Left my job as General Manager. If I were asked the reason why, I would say that after bringing the company into the black, the vision and direction that the owner wanted for the company did not agree with my own. In absolute honesty and in perhaps unwanted detail, it was because the relationship of owner/general manager was an abusive one - both due to personality, business, and cultural differences, which may possibly be a stressor for any intelligent, self-respecting, competent person. The company products themselves are outstanding due to the solid collaboration of the international editorial boards. All I can say still now, after trying to convey this message to the owner, is this: Given a more coherent business plan/vision and corporate relationship structure, it would become a wonderful place to work and succeed. It still dumbfounds me as to how different "business common sense" is to different people, yet many still make it with what they have. This should give me inspiration...

  4. Spent the end of July and all of August decidedly not working, trying to recooperate from overdoing myself and my nerves at my previous place of employment.
I have to stop here and point out that one of my favorite abilities that has been with me since I graduated from school is my natural knack of being able to exhaust myself to the point of illness without blinking an eye.
  1. To continue, I went to a therapist who was with me while I negotiated my resignation at the publishing company, and who recommended going to a Stress-Reduction Program at the Mind/Body Medical Institute in Chestnut Hill, Boston. After researching it and finding out that it was covered by my insurance, I signed up for the program that started on September 7th! How could I resist learning about meditation, yoga, nutrition, exercise, and the Relaxation Response! (Yeah, I don't know if I'm being sarcastic yet, either. Read on.)

  2. However, despite my glorious plans to go unemployed for a few months to "seriously" figure out what I wanted as a career for life (again, for at least the 4th time), after a few weeks into it, I decided I wanted my hair cut off. Short. To hell with all removable burdens! So my hair used to go down to the middle of my back. Then, in the pursuit of grandor and all things hopeful, I research the top salon in Harvard Square (gotta stay close to home, after all!) and come upon a classily represented place on the web called Gino Salon. After wavering between Gino and Alfred Salon, I choose Gino and book a "Can I come in today?" hair appointment. It coincidentally and luckily was a booking with Marisol, who has had 13 years experience and is one of the best at the salon (or so I read on CitySearch after the fact). My appointment with Marisol was where two things happened: a wonderful and liberating hair transformation was one. The second was enlightenment that: "Hey, being a hair stylist would be really exciting and fulfilling. I could help people therapeutically through consulting with their inner needs and improving their natural self-esteem and image." The thought conjured up unremembered memories of walking by this small, local salon in Cornell's Collegetown that had the sign on its windows, "Stylist wanted. Will train." and thinking that I would have been interested in pursuing that option, had I had my real way with my own life decisions.
Well, if anything has been more pushed in my face in the past few years and especially in the media, it has been the idea that we all as human beings shouldn't be fixated on defining success as the amount of power and money you have, it should rather be defined as the level of fulfillment in other areas such as in mental health, spirituality, and a freeing of your inner soul and strength.
  1. In logical conclusion, therefore, I chose yet again to put aside my superb collegiate training in Computer Science and pursue what I thought at that time may have been a whim, a burst of that juicy adrenaline and euphoric hormones which give men the will to climb mountains and build airplanes. I chose to look up Beauty and Cosmetology Schools in the area and found Empire and Blaine, among others. After visiting them and finding them all fine and comfortably non-sketchy, with a Lisa-friendly period of schooling (only 8 months full-time), I decided the best bet, since all them schools require a sum greater than my life savings, was to do some simple low-stress investigation in the form of Receptionist at a high-end salon, where I would want to work as a stylist on my way up to the top, and determine if I am willing to make the investment.

  2. That pretty much brings us to today, the here and now, I currently work as a Receptionist working hourly wages for a high-end salon on Newbury Street. Been here for two weeks, feeling out the industry, the people, the attitudes, the chance for progress for a lass like me. It's an interesting and confounding change, being involved in an industry where there are so many different types of personalities and so many levels of intelligence, business sense, and drive. After all, being a stylist really is like working for yourself, developing your own set, however large or small, of specific clientelle. This is no simple task, the likes of which require proper marketing, service, skill, and follow-up, just like a business operation.

  3. Lots more in my mind, but it's already 11pm! More reporting to come as my dear friends push for more! This means you. ;)