Friday, January 15, 2010

What I Learned This Week

1.  I learned 6 strategies and tactics that should help me on the market this year (through these folks) - and simultaneously learned that I've been wasting valuable time on my jobsearch.  Oh, and I finally learned what 'personal branding' meant.  (Do you have an interview bucket list?  Me neither!!  Do you have your communication strategy in place?  I don't!)

2.  I learned that I have a short fuse when it comes to gathering consensus.  It's so clear to me what an action plan should be and it pains me to have to wait until other, dithering folks come around.  In other words, I don't frakking care.  You want something done, or don't you?  Then *do* it.

A note:  if you are a non profit taking an advocacy position you are afraid your Board will not support, take the time to cultivate and engage them on the issue; not doing this leads to vague, unclear, ineffective communication,  your advocacy efforts die on the vine, and your Board becomes a hindrance rather than a help.  They individually may not be 'for' tax increases, but the services your agency delivers relies on increased state revenue - which comes from taxes and which impacts the folks you serve.  Effective issue advocacy can't happen unless you have a Board willing to 'get' it.

3.  I've also learned that we (i.e., the U.S., the 'West', France, the industrialized world) have royally, historically screwed over Haiti; the teeny bit of aid we're sending over there is a drop of relief in a vast ocean of FUBAR we (the U.S.) have left them to drown in.

For example:
However, due to the fact that France and its allies (including the United States) forced Haiti to make reparations to French slaveholders in 1852 in the amount of 90 million gold francs ($21 billion today), Haiti was forced to pay France for the next one hundred years for its independence and has subsequently become the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. (here)

100 years to pay rich countries $21 billion.  What the HELL is that?!

4.  I've learned how important it is to be authentically You.  (This isn't about me, but about folks in general, and women of color in particular, so maybe this is about me. But it isn't really.  It really was prompted by something happening to someone else. Really.)

I thought being an academic was my authentic self; but my years with a coach and a therapist showed me how it never felt authentic to me at all and was a burden to me for a long time.  For years, thinking about being an academic, and then not being an academic, gave me panic attacks.  Authenticity isn't supposed to send you into panic.  Sure, am I a smarty pants?  Yes.  But this right now is my authentic self - a self that couldn't exist without that other one.

My 66-yr old father is finally discovering his 'authentic self' and it has nothing to do with being a pastor, father, grandfather or whatever other box we've put him in.  (His journey has made me closer to him and I can only hope my sister can make it through her journey of finding her authentic self - beyond 'Good Wife' or 'Dutiful Daughter.')

5.  It's also freaking hard to eat only 1400 calories a day - especially during a Chicago winter.  And having a boyfriend is great but hanging out with him watching old horror movies. LOST and Dr. Who is making my ass spread (hey! don't be dirty); add to that the stress of work and the few pounds I'd shed creep back.  Dude.  I need to get back on track.  Deciding how to spread 1400 calories over a full work day without feeling ravenous by the time I get home is fucking hard.

But I also have to be ok with myself.  Getting to the other side of 200 will be a long-term commitment.  I'm not going to get it right all the time but, eventually, I'll get there.

6.  Speaking of M-, I've learned that I've chosen my choice.  He's on my team now.  I'm learning what it takes to be One instead of Two.  And, yes, it's just as wrenching as I thought it would be.

Shit.  I'm going to be late.  M- is coming over for movies and whatnot.  Gotta go and pick up some beer.
(Damn! There go my 1400 calories.)


Songbird said...

I'm embarrassed at how little I knew about Haiti before this week.
(And I hope you won't mind if I smile about the last part.)

Joy said...

Amen on the authentic self. When you get it, get there, find it, whatever you want to call the result of the process, it's sort of amazing to look at all the time you spent trying to fit into the other box you thought you were "supposed" to be in. And it feels really good to be authentic.

Thanks again for writing.