You Called To Ask Me When I Was Coming Home, And When I Reminded You That I Wasn’t Coming Home, You Sounded So Disappointed That I Decided To Come Home

My boss called me into her office the day before yesterday to tell me that my contract would not be extended and that I would be let go.

“Like, fired?” I said.

Amazing how I now have a degree in writing and simple words I am unable to understand.

The boss whose dry silence, wry smiles, and wit I’ve admired and loved since the second I interviewed.  The boss whose simple style, and whose kindness, patience, and intelligence are unmatched. The boss who stared through me coldly and said sorry pinching her eyebrows together as if the word had no meaning. The boss who said it had nothing to do with my performance, but rather due to budget cuts in her department. I’ve been in her seat, I know how this goes.

Your friends and family behave like there’s been a funeral when you say you’ve lost your job:

“OoOoo I’m so sorry.”

“This too shall pass.”

“You have been through so much, I’m sure everything will be fine.”

And someone did die a little. And I won’t be. Fine. And although I have a separate writing and fashion description company that I run on nights and weekends complete with interns and quote requests—I still love my day job. Loved. I had a blissful few weeks. I’ve graduated. I gave a wonderful senior lecture, and had a fantastic final reading. My Manuscript Thesis is 201 pages. I am also very apparently unemployed.

So I am available for hire: I have an updated resume and a full suit. I have over ten years experience, and a Master’s degree in writing. I even have a closet helper, although she looks about as sad about this as I am.

Lalanii R. Grant, M.F.A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Title Quote by: David Levithan
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I Am Falling in Love with…

We woke up overlooking the water, french doors overlooking the bike path, his left arm crossed over my neckline and collarbone like it’d been there forever. It was such perfect poetry I thought I’d never move. But I did. I ran straight to the Keurig machine. Starbucks was needed, and I would have preferred Coffee Bean, but that would have taken too long.

Well, everyone, my vacation was superbly startling, and unreal. You know when you have unexpected moments and your heart pivots on its axis and all I could think about the whole time was… Jim Daniels.

The view from the hotel

The view from the hotel

Yes. I have fallen in love with CNF and Poetry. I recently made the switch from my major being Poetry to CNF (Creative Nonfiction). Poetry has always been my first love, but when I started putting words to the memoir I’ve been writing for eleven years, something creatively nonfictiony took over. Poetry is my minor now. I am riding the wavey-rainbow to the pot of gold, or at least to a few golden tickets. Jim Daniels is a mentor at my school and the residency schedule came out on the same night of my vacation. I checked it on my droid phone. There was no way I was concentrating on anything else.

He knew. I even heard him say something to the extent of “You are so, not, here, right, now, are you?” in front of my sugar rimmed margarita, I was just checked out, altogether. I felt bad.

Whyever the love of my life has to be writing and learning, I do not know… but it is. And it, means everything to me. My career-crush on Jim Daniels resulted in a dream after his lecture (on the residency schedule) was placed conveniently at the same time as my current mentor Christine Hale—both conveniently at 9am ON RED’S BIRTHDAY, December 15th. (Is this crazy?) I then dreamed about floating over Jim and Christine’s lectures as a ghost in two places at once—screaming because I couldn’t understand what they were both saying ‘cause they were both talking at the same time. My yell interrupted both classes and I was asked to leave. An impossible nightmare, I know. Yes, I laughed too. It’s the type of feeling that makes me never want to graduate, never stop reading, never stop educating myself. The poor guy.

The Perfect Ambiance— so colorful!

The perfect ambiance—so colorful!

Since my switch over to creative nonfiction I’ve subjected myself to possibly not being able to have Jim as a mentor, and this pains me, to the bottom of my bones. But again, my memoir’s revisions and workshops are what is most important at this time so it involved an executive decision on my part, CNF it was.

I question my ability to give enough of myself to anyone. But is my “I’m too busy” a scapegoat for not wanting to get hurt? Possibly. Is my “I’m too busy with memoir, mentor, studying” a diversion for falling for this one might cause me to have to trust, which is the number one rule I’ve seemingly already broken, somewhat. How many times do I have to fail to get it right? Rejection letters for submissions, break-ups, set-backs bigger than my panic attacks?

“Cheer up beautiful girl, you will love again and it will be magnificent”

My Daddy says things like this to me all of the time. My Mama says things like “Erase, replace.”

Brunch the morning after

Brunch the morning after

Everyone knows you can’t plan love, you can’t plan life, you can’t plan. But I plan. I plan to take 3.5 showers a day, I plan my reading schedule, my Masters lecture, responsibilities, my shopping list. When I go somewhere, I’ve usually checked the ratings, the weather, the menu and the reviews. If I haven’t, I either trust the person I’m going with, or I’m having a particularly “off” day. That’s just a “light example” of the type of over-the-top I am.

Jess McCann author of “ You Lost Him At Hello” says it’s not a game, it’s a strategy. She also says:

You need a strategy to get anywhere in life. If you wanted to start a business you would need a business strategy. If you wanted to lose weight, you would have a diet strategy. If you wanted to get your finances in order, buy a new house, land a new job, you would need a strategy!

I believe in a blueprint. I believe in growth and gradual increases. I believe that there is some type of (at least) semi-strict form that one must stick to, or else, there is not going to be any progression. No progression = boredom. Boredom eventually = unhappiness. Unhappiness + Stagnancy + Complacency= Resentment.

Resentment for anything is the worst feeling I’ve ever had. Worst feeling you’ve probably ever had, that you didn’t know you were having. This is what happens without conversation and a plan, people get let down.

Daniel G. Amen, M.D says in his book “The Brain in Love,” that “no forethought equals no foreplay. Understand how the brain works and influences our behavior—and intimate relationships.” Sometimes, the worry is worth it, sometimes the anticipation is worth it. Sometimes when you have such high hopes for career, for love, for life in general, the apprehension helps you along. Other times you freeze up.

I am in the middle of a hot pan, frozen scared. Everything on the verge of anything. Over and over and over. In the middle of a vacation, I’m stuck on impossible, planning the lectures I want at residency. In the middle of a vacation I am stuck for words, somehow I have “Talkers Block,” which far surpasses Writers Block—and my disbelief in it enough to ward it off. Which makes me [seem] less witty, carefree, and sexy. And more gigglish, nervous, and scared. I probably should have woke up surrounding him in French kisses to match the French doors, but all I could think about was if maybe Jim might read a bit of my work and give me a few words of feedback, and anyway if the guy is right, he’ll understand.

I thought about Jess McCann again who also says midway through her book: “This is real life and not a chick flick. In real life you have to be smart and savvy to get what you want.”

P.S. walking along the beach, [redacted] held my hand.

I’m in love with Daniel Pink, except he’s married. But still, it was the best 55 minutes in bed, of my life.

Laying across my duvet, laptop open… watching this video:

Dan Pink Click Here

“A picture might be worth a thousand words, but a metaphor is often worth a thousand pictures.”Daniel Pink

Because he started his career in law (like I was supposed to- having a 4.0 GPA most of high school and undergraduate school) and then went on to write books and become a motivational speaker, I sat back to watch him tell about his experiences with the working world. What I got from it? MFA’s and right-brained thinkers will be more valuable and less expendable to the automated world than will all of the professions that can be computerized. Aha. Creativity and outside of the box thinking is harder to cultivate, and it could be because we have been taught to think that the safest professions are the ones to shoot for. Putting food on the table is what is most important? Well, yes, and no.

I explain: For me, the most important factor in life isn’t necessarily providing for  my family. Wait, for it. This is why most of the six figure incomes I know, are racking it up in psychotherapy bills for unhappiness, habits that turned into addictions, or in the middle or end of their divorces. Maybe there’s no correlation, but happiness has to have coincidence since karma is too hard to prove. Maybe it’s just my own experiences, but I find it self-soothing to go after the things you love to do— and then spend that time trying to figure out how it can make you a living. I can’t provide for my family (I now know) if I’m so depressed that I can’t get out of bed. If I am so stuck in myself with not enough free time to do what means most to me, and for me that’s writing. Again, for me, that’s spending time with myself. Then I can attempt to waveboard with my young lad. Me first, him second. Without being ok, I cannot take care of another. This applies to relationships as well.

Pink touches on the way “high-pressure environments” affect production, and how when given more freedom (such as at jobs like Google where 24 hours is given to employees to create whatever they want and present to the company the next day) more progression and discovery is made.

It is true for me and I’m sure for many that when you do things for the love of doing it, you just do it better. Everything else falls in line or doesn’t. I would have hated to have gotten that law degree when my heart is filled with words. I suppose my luck, love, and faith in if that was the right decision or not can be summed up in my borderline agnosticistic/wanderlustish behaviors and in Anne Lamott’s quote from Traveling Mercies that I am reading:

“Looking back on the God my friend believed in, he seems a little erratic, not entirely unlike her father— God as borderline personality. It was like believing in the guy who ran the dime store, someone with a kind face but who was always running behind and had already heard every one of your lame excuses a dozen times before— why you didn’t have a receipt, why you hadn’t noticed the product’s flaw before you bought it. This God could be loving and reassuring one minute, sure that you had potential, and then fiercely disappointed the next, noticing every little mistake and just in general what a fraud you really were. He was a God whom his children could talk to, confide in, and trust, unless his mood shifted suddenly and he decided to blow up Sodom and Gomorrah.”

 

So much actually depends on the belief you have in yourself and the way you apply yourself to what you believe in.

So thank you for following my latest obsessions that include Daniel Pink, which happens to be a name that combines one of my favorite first names and one of my favorite colors. Yes, his videos and blogcasts are witty, inspiring, and so easy to listen to. That’s all for today.

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