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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Updates and Flashbacks

Well, I got word today that I didn't get my first choice out of the jobs I interviewed for last week. Their policy is not to give explanations for their hiring decisions. I am truly disappointed. I was certain it was perfect for me. I would be getting paid to write for goodness sake. I would be on a fixed schedule and I would be at a company that prides itself on charity. In my head, I was already visualizing how my first day at work would go. As you can imagine, it feels a little like the wind has been let out of my sails but I will be ok. In situations like this, my only options are to let my boat sit still or start to paddle. I got online and looked at more job listings today so the oar is in my hand but my spirit isn't in it. I think I may just sit still and drift with the current for a minute. I have said it a million times, "Sometimes, God's plans are not the same as our own." Today, I am taking that in and holding it close. I am also hoping that there is something out there for me even more perfect than I could imagine.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Abrupt Endings


Last week, hubby and I got terrible news that our friends lost their 11-month old son. Even though I believe that God has a reason for everything, it is hard to accept the loss of such a young life. He was the first child for his parents and back in July, hubby and I were at his paternal grandmother's funeral. She also lost her life much too soon. Such tragic events are hard to stomach but for me they put things in perspective. Nothing that I am going through is nearly as bad. That family is going through so much and they are the picture of grace. I am sure there are private moments of heartache but they are still trusting in God. I take strength and courage from that. Things break us but we can always be pieced back together, often with lessons and stories that make us stronger, braver and a light to others who cross our paths.

"Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy." -Author Unknown

What a Week!

I don't have much in the way of updates but my oh my, what a week. I had three interviews last week. All are for very different jobs. None are in a law firm and all three are jobs that I think would bring me fulfillment, albeit in different ways. As I interviewed for each position, I was myself. I have never been so comfortable while talking about my greatest weaknesses, how I work in teams or how I would handle a variety of situations. Two of the interviews were panel style (me and multiple interviewers) and one was 3 one-on-one interviews in a row. I spent hours at each potential employer. At the end of my last interview, I had never been so tired of talking about myself. My throat was a little sore and when I went to sleep, I dreamed about...what else??? INTERVIEWING! That said, it was a great week. I am so grateful to have had these three opportunities and after months of silence in response to my resume submissions, I am really hopeful that something is going to shake out for me. I know which job I want the most and I am holding it close to my heart. It would allow me to write for a living AND it would allow me extra time to write because of the predictable schedule. Its like I prayed for an opportunity that would be right for me and God sent it to me with a big red bow. I know our plans and God's plans sometimes differ but I am hoping that I will be able to claim this gift as my own.

Friday, September 11, 2009

When it Rains...


It really, truly pours. Blessings are raining down on me in a wonderful way this week. I went from having no responses to my resume submissions to having 2 interviews last week. This week I got word that I am being called back to meet with more people for both jobs. I have a great feeling about both and these positive changes are serving as reminders of what I have always believed. Faith gets you through. Normally, I would be freaking out a little. I would be tirelessly preparing myself to impress people to get a job that I don't really want. I would be putting on my corporate face and hoping that I seemed impressive. After these last few months, I have learned that I am made of strong stuff. I don't have to settle for jobs that I will hate and I don't have to pretend to be someone I am not. I am a much better me than anyone else. I go into interviews differently now. I am more confident than nervous. I still prepare for the interview but in that office, sitting across someone who has the power to employ me, I am just me. I am armed with faith and I am being honest when I say, I want this job.

“When you have come to the edge of all light that you know and are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen: there will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly.” -Patrick Overton

I was on the edge of darkness when I lost my job earlier this year. Actually, I was on the edge of darkness well before that. I sold my happiness for the price of my salary. When I first lost my job, I used to say (through the tears) that I knew all of it was for a reason and that I would be happy in the end. I never really took a leap into the darkness. I was clearly pushed (hard) but somehow, I never hit bottom. I sprouted wings and I am slowly gliding to solid ground. Some may say that I should stop celebrating. I don't have an offer yet. That's true but that is what having a positive attitude is all about. I am already claiming one of those jobs. I have been close before but for whatever reason, things didn't feel right. I wrote law firm names on my vision board. I cluttered my prayers with partner names and potential titles. In my gut, I knew none of those positions were right. I just wanted a job and a paycheck. The jobs I am trying to get now will allow me to write becuase the hours are better and I think I will actually be happy going to work everyday.

“I have had prayers answered - most strangely so sometimes - but I think our heavenly Father's loving-kindness has been even more evident in what He has refused me.” -Lewis Carroll

This time, it's different. I feel like I am supposed to work at one of these places. I know I don't have a firm offer from either job yet BUT I am filled with expectation. I am thinking positively and I truly feel that everything I have been through has been for a reason. Next week, I'll let you know how the call back interviews went.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Recommended Viewing


Tonight, I watched The Last Truck: The Closing of a GM Plant on HBO. I wish I had seen it months ago. It would have helped me put things in perspective. On one hand, I identified with the feeling of loss experienced by the workers being let go from their jobs. They grieved over their loss and over the uncertainty of what was ahead. Many of them cried about facing the possibility of reinventing themselves at mid-life. I related to that grief. I felt their stress over not knowing what tomorrow held. On the other hand, I took a step back and was able to take stock of all of the positive points to having lost my job. I am not at mid-life. I can reinvent myself, start a new career and still have plenty of working years to re-build my savings/retirement fund. I went to school to be a lawyer and though large NYC firms seem to think I am invisible, there is a whole other world outside of those firms-a world that is bound to be happier-and I am going to be part of it once I find a new job. As I get ready for this week and all of the news that it will hold with respect to the jobs that I interviewed for last week, I continue to be hopeful, thankful and joyful about becoming a new me. There are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I think today (9 months after I was let go and 6 months after my last day in the office), I can finally, truly say that I am on acceptance. I have accepted the loss of one job and I have made room for another. It does help that every time I start to lose faith or stress about money, God sends someone or something to shake me up a little and push me back down the road. The message is loud and clear: CONTINUE THE JOURNEY! Last week, it was a crying friend frustrated with large law firm life telling me to be glad I'm gone. Earlier today, it was a friend reminding me that faith is all I need and that fear is just false evidence appearing real. Tonight, it was The Last Truck. Watch the documentary if you can. Even if it doesn't give you perspective, it may let you know that you aren't alone (if you are faced with job loss). If you are happy with where you are, it will remind you to thank God. For more information about the movie, check out their facebook page or their page on the HBO website.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

What's Mine is Mine!

Unfortunately, this week I was faced with a friend that may not have my best interest at heart. Whether her behavior is motivated by self interest or something all together different, it may result in a setback for me. I'll be honest with you, it threw me off and I had a moment. I talked to my best friend and hubby about it. I read into things so I bounced my ideas off of them to see if I was on to something or totally off base. Both agreed that something didn't smell quite right. I let my negative thoughts get the best of me and proceeded to work myself up wondering what would happen and how it could have been different. When I was just about to surrender myself to a lost opportunity, I forced myself to pause at the risk of ruining my own weekend. As I tried to find a sense of calm, I remembered a saying: "What is meant for me is mine."

If you believe that to be true, then you know there is NOTHING anyone can do to separate you from an opportunity. God has a plan for each of us and sometimes, that differs from our own plans. In the same way, if something is meant to work out for us, no amount of interference by others will result in the loss of the opportunity. As long as I do all that I can do on my end, there is no need to stress. I will be where I am supposed to be-where I am really happy-no matter what. If God is for me, who cares who is against me? Bring it on, I'm still going to succeed...and I mean that in the nicest of ways.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Marathons


I am learning that life is about marathons. I am not a runner but I know that when running such a long race you do it in a way that will conserve energy until needed. You train and plan and when the starting shot fires, you run to win. Sometimes, that means that people will seem to pass you by and sometimes it means you will lead the pack. In going through this process of self discovery, I have come to see my starting shot as the loss of my job. The deafening sound of my office door closing on my last day forced me to move forward. I have been running for months now and though I don't know what lies around every curve in the road, but to find out, I know I have to keep moving. Some days that means working on myself (writing, job hunting, meditating, praying). Other days, it means working on others (volunteering). So far, just moving forward is helping. I haven't found a job, but I have interviewed for a couple of opportunities after months of silence in response to my resume submissions. I am throwing myself into my volunteer work and taking time to be thankful for where I am. Instead of focusing on the fact that I'm still not gainfully employed or that I haven't heard back from the publishers I contacted, I am focusing on being happy about what I do have and reveling in the support of those who love and encourage me. In doing this, the negative feelings surrounding my joblessness have gotten fuzzy and out of reach. I am staying positive and I really feel that something is going to shake out for me very soon. Either opportunity would be great for me. Both are for jobs that I REALLY want and feel would be good for my development. I have only done screening interviews at this point but the optimist in me is shouting "KEEP RUNNING! You're almost there." As it turns out, I won't have to choose between a job I'd likely hate and one that I would likely love based on financial concerns. I haven't been presented with anything that I would hate. God has a funny way of working things out. I can't see the finish line yet, but I feel like I am in the home stretch. I know I will finish this race on top and start another one with better perspective about what is important. I hate to quote one of Aesop's fables but sometimes, slow and steady really does win the race.