Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Seeking Redemption (Not Religious)

Disclaimer- this is NOT a religious post.

Seeking Redemption-
Everyone is searching for some sort of personal redemption. A few weeks ago I left my family in Costa Rica and returned home to the United States. I had received some information that my former employer was ready for me to return to Washington DC.  I came home to what inevitably turned into a 1099 contractor limbo.  I love my employer in D.C. more than any other career location I have ever had. From the CEO on down, the staff is nothing short amazing. However, the recent snowstorm weather, HR being out of the office, and just overall limbo, I have been forced to go out to look for more steady employment.
In the meantime, I drove down to Central Georgia to visit my high-school friends whom I hadn’t seen in many months, while patiently waiting for a call from work. I received a call from a friend on the West Coast who has just landed a new job with Microsoft in San Francisco.  I rented out my condo in Costa Rica, and I booked a ticket to San Francisco from Atlanta.  
In my life, I can honestly say I’ve lived a pretty charmed existence. I’ve been fortunate enough to see the world and do nearly everything I’ve ever wanted to do. Don’t get me wrong, not every scenario is a winner. However, this past week in San Francisco has been one of the best weeks of my life. I sincerely feel like I have won the lottery, and having a friend gracious enough to let me surf his couch for a few weeks while I work on building a new life is nothing short of miraculous. 
Now, let me point out, that starting over is not an easy endeavor. It involves a tremendous amount of wear and tear on the mind, body, soul, and lets be honest—“The worst part about having a job, is finding one.”  I must have sent out 100 resumes over the last week, and of course, being a bit of a perfectionist, I’ve redone all of my resumes about 20x each.  It is necessary to have several different resumes, and occasionally having to mold it to an actual posted position.  My resume, if I actually put all of my skills, and background history on it, is about 8 pages long.  Thus, I’ve made a single summary page with the basics.  HR managers simply don’t care if you once saved the planet if it’s more than a page long. Chances are someone else did too, and it was only one page.
I had a great interview with a company yesterday that caught my attention in many ways, but most of all the recruiter herself was Hungarian. What a phenomenal phone interview. Not only because I felt it went well and I was qualified for the position, but I was talking with someone else who came here to this city, and made it her home. She also loved her employer and found joy in what she did everyday. There’s not many people who can say that. 
About the same time I was leaving Georgia, another acquaintance of mine was doing the exact same thing.  He had spoke to me on Facebook, a few months back about Seattle. I had told him I lived there for a short time before, so he had plenty of questions. He was looking to escape the great southern stigma against people with tattoos and piercings, among other things.  He works in the restaurant industry as a chef, and in our conversations, he told me he was leaving for Seattle the exact same day I was flying out to San Francisco, except he was going by bus. He had no one to meet him when he arrived there, no friends to speak of in the city; only a dream of a better life tucked away in his back pocket, next to a handful of hope. 
We chatted back and forth via text message the majority of his trip, and since I have driven that route a few times, I gave him a few tips of when to keep his eyes peeled out the window. I wanted him to look at how beautiful the countryside is and the mountains along I-90, especially in the Idaho panhandle.  The roads twist and turn as they wrap alongside snowy mountaintops as if they were out of a postcard in a roadside Howard Johnson.
I told him I would connect him with a few friends of mine who live in the Seattle area so he wouldn’t be alone.  As I am a firm believer, there is nothing worse in this world than being in a huge city with no friends, no place to live, and having to find a job starting from scratch.  Within his first 24 hours my friends came through in FINE style. They fed him, got him a few drinks, and even a job opportunity working under a Su Chef there, in downtown Seattle.  I’m not 100% sure, but I hope I helped Chris find his internal redemption. 
Redemption means many things to many people. To me, personal salvation has nothing to do with religion at all.  It is finding your direction wherever it points.  Like the needle on a compass spinning under a magnet, where the staccato notes are slowly swept into chords of memory making a new resonance that firm us onto a new foundation, now supplanted into our collective reverie.
Right now, I am living vicariously by the grace and kindness of my friend Dan and a little bit of money I have saved along the way. Wish me luck my friends and fellow travelers. I believe I have finally found where I am supposed to be.
Life has a way of taking us places we are meant to go, and with kindness in my heart I hope the Hungarian recruiter who made my day yesterday has a new occupational home for me as well. 

Cheers from San Francisco!!!!

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