Monday, March 27, 2006
attention 20-something women...
she is looking for 20-something women who have alternative careers, as she defines below, to answer the questions she's listed...answer them yourself and feel free to pass them along to your girlfriends who might also be interested.
Author ISO 20-something women to share their alt career tales
My name is Michelle Goodman and I’ve written about alternative career paths for women in publications like Bust, Bitch, and the Seattle Times. I’m completing work this spring on The Anti 9-to-5 Guide: A Handbook for Recovering Wage Slaves, a book that Seal Press will publish early in 2007. To round out my book, I’d love to hear from some more women in their 20s and early 30s who are either living, dreaming about, or transitioning to a non-9-to-5 work situation.
Maybe you’ve successfully transitioned from a soulless job or field to one you like more, or maybe you’re just getting started down that road. Maybe you’re a satisfied freelancer, moonlighter, side gigger, contractor, temp, permatemp, part-timer, job sharer, telecommuter, swing-shift worker, business owner, mompreneur, or non-profit founder. Maybe you’re an international worker (e.g. ESL teacher), adventure worker (e.g., rafting or climbing guide), or you only work half the year (but work 15-hour days when you do work—perhaps in the film industry or on a commercial fishing boat). Maybe you work in a male-dominated field (truck driving, firefighting, etc.) or in the trades (plumbing, construction, etc.). Or maybe you live in the country, off the grid, in a communal housing situation, or incredibly frugally, which means you get away with working for the man far less than most of us, if at all.
If any of this sounds like you, I’d love to hear about it. Write me at email@example.com and tell me about yourself, your job, and how you live. Specifically, please tell me:
- Your full name (and if I can use it and all the following info in my book)
- Your age
- Where you live
- If you have dependents, a dual-income household, or are someone else’s dependent
- What your job is now—title, industry, how long you’ve done it, whether you work in an office or at home, for a company or yourself, what you did for work before, if you like your job now, and why you enjoy it
- How you got into the work you do now—did you have to convince your company to let you work from home, did you have to save up money for three years to open your own business, did you work a day gig while starting your freelance business on the side, and so on
- The pros of doing the work you do, and the cons
- If applicable: The obstacles you had to overcome to get into this job—be it starting at the bottom in a new industry at age 28, overcoming great financial hurdles such as incurring grad school or other debt to get where you are, working two jobs (and consequently 80 hours a week) till your side gig started paying for itself, overcoming sexism (or other prejudice) or lack of social support as you made your way into your new field, or any other challenges you met
- Your advice to women in their 20s and early 30s who want to get into the work you do
Your answers don’t have to be long. (A paragraph or less will suffice for each question, though I won’t hold it against you for being verbose!) Please also let me know where I can email or call you to confirm any additional details at a later date. I’d love to hear from people by May 15 if possible. The sooner, the better, of course. ;)
Thank you so much, and if you have any questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please know that it may take a little while for me to respond.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
just say no to pretense
webster's lists the following definitions of pretense:
1 : a claim made or implied; especially : one not supported by fact
2 a : mere ostentation : PRETENTIOUSNESS
3 : an inadequate or insincere attempt to attain a certain condition or quality
4 : professed rather than real intention or purpose : PRETEXT
5 : MAKE-BELIEVE, FICTION
6 : false show : SIMULATION
what it all boils down to in my mind is pretending things really are not as they are.
we invite friends over and when they comment on how great our place looks we shrug it off as though it's nothing - when in reality we spent the last six hours frantically cleaning things to make them just spic and span enough for company.
or a friend asks us how our relationship with our partner is and we tell them that's it's going well, things are good, ignoring the screaming match we had on our way out the door about who forgot to buy toilet paper.
you get my drift, maybe for you it's the pretense about all the perks at your great job, which you never mention your boss treats you like absolute crap at. or it's pretense about things you enjoy, you'd never tell your friends for instance that you bought the entire golden girls series on dvd.
'don't air your dirty laundry,' isn't that how the old saying goes? but my question is: if we've all got it then why not air it?
isn't the purpose of relationships to support each other through all that life brings? when we only share the made for tv version of our life with those around us how can this really happen?
what i've found recently is that when we can drop the pretense and be real with each other there is a great freedom and satisfaction that results from knowing our struggles and experiences are not ours alone.
you are not the only one who frantically cleans your place every time you invite friends over, you are not alone in having screaming matches with your partner, and we've all had at least one evil boss.
the world is a tricky place and we are all doing our best to make something of ourselves in it. why not unabashedly share our trials and tribulations along with our successes and celebrations?
what would it mean for you to chuck being 'too cool' and opt for 'too real'?
where does pretense hold you back from showing yourself completely?
i'd love to hear about your adventures in all out embarrassing honesty, post 'em here!
Friday, March 17, 2006
re-envisioning the familiar
the next morning, i awoke to 9 inches of fresh snow. spring time in minnesota is a lot like yo-yo. it's 55 degrees and sunny one day and the next there's a blizzard. as i got dressed to walk my dog, putting on layer upon layer of snow gear to prepare myself for the wintery mix i remembered a post i wrote last summer.
it was about keeping our "vacation perspective" even at home. about remembering that it's not the places we go on vacation that make it a vacation, it's the perspective we bring to the experience. when we are on vacation, we allow ourselves to slow down, we look around us, taking it all in and experiencing the awe of seeing new things.
as i stepped out my front door i realized i had gotten my wish. i was someplace new, someplace foreign. my whole world had been transformed overnight by this beautiful spring time blizzard. and while i wasn't seeing new things, i was certainly seeing them anew.
what would it mean for you to adopt the same relaxed, inspired and fun-filled vacation perspective in your day to day life?
what helps you re-envision the familiar in your world?
thought you might enjoy a snapshot from my vacation down the block, here's a photo i took while walking my dog.
Sunday, March 12, 2006
a special link
today i have the pleasure of passing along a special link. a link to my mom's new blog.
my mom is a brilliant writer and i owe much of my love for the craft of putting words together to form ideas and create meaning to her. ever since i started blogging i've been encouraging my mom to set up a blog of her own. this past week i finally prevailed and sat with her while she set up an account and wrote her first post!
she has decided to call it writer's tree. of course, as with all of life it's a work in progress so i won't give you any summary of what i think it's about or what it will become. i'll just say that if you like my blog and the ideas i put out to the world, then in part you already like my mom because i am who i am largely because of her being who she is. so, i hope you'll join me in saying...
welcome to the blogosphere mom!
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
international women's day
international women's day has been celebrated for nearly 100 years now, and has a long history of empowering women to take action on their own behalf and on the behalf of causes and ideas that are important to them.
as a feminist, and a degree holding student of women's studies, i have long been committed to women specifically and more broadly to people. to our full liberation from any oppression, stereotype or cultural construct that would keep us from being our brilliant and amazing selves. and thereby creating the brilliant and amazing world we all so desire.
this commitment has been expressed through a variety of activities throughout the years. this year, i am most proud of partnering with a friend to bring women together to talk. that simple. we got a group of women together to see the movie north country and then talk afterwards about sexual harassment and the overall mistreatment of women. it was amazing. turns out we don't often sit down and chat about our thoughts on these subjects, and thus creating a space to do this was immensely powerful.
what action, big or small, did you take this year to try and make the world what you want it to be?
what accomplishments do you want to recognize yourself, or the women in your life, for?
it's important to remember that celebrations like international women's day are not just for "those other women" who you see as being more powerful or influential than yourself. the day is what the name says it is, a day for women internationally to celebrate together who they are, what they have done and what they plan to do next!
Monday, March 06, 2006
your best thinking
quite a concept. to really think that actively in each moment about what the absolute best response is to the present situation - never substituting thoughts or conclusions made in the past for your up the minute best thinking. imagine how different life might be!
if you even borrow, as a formula for now, what you did yourself last week, you've quit thinking.
moreover, while the quote points out that we are often pulled to substitute past thinking for present thinking it doesn't even touch on the fact that we often substitute our thinking with the thinking of others, or of what's "normal".
and the plain fact is, we are the people best equipped to think about and live our lives. no one else's thinking is as specifically tailored to our life as our own, and no past thought includes as much valuable data as our most recent thoughts do.
imagine if each time someone asked you your opinion on something, you stopped, thought about it and then answered with your most up to date perspective on that particular subject?
challenging ourselves to really think in this way, to engage our brains and not go on auto pilot is a not just an interesting concept. it's a means to shaping our lives into what we truly want them to be. because so long as we hold back our current thinking, rough draft quality as it might be, we cheat ourselves of creating the biggest life we can presently imagine.
so what is your best thinking, right now at this exact moment?
as always, i'd love to hear your thoughts on thinking freshly in each new situation...post 'em here!