January 6, 2011

2011: The year I didn't go to Cambodia?

Today I feel good about myself. I gave a presentation about Cambodia to my Grandma's church group, I made some headway on the job search and I maintained a positive outlook on 2011.

Five days in and it's shaping up to be quite a year. A New Year's visit to Kearney cleared my head and reminded me of my inner artist.  My resolution? Glad you asked. Well, I didn't make anything too formal, but I want to embrace the things that make me feel happy--good friends, creative pursuits, language. I want to keep trusting my gut, but check in with my head and bank account along the way.

My parents and I did some math the other night and figured out that my rent  in Flagstaff would cost a whole lotta moolah, so it looks like I'll be getting another or a different job very soon.

On the subject of job hunting, I was thinking about the terrific play on words in that expression. Imagine going after a job like it were wild game, rifle in hand (BTW, guns are not okay in interviews), camouflage attire. Take aim at the big salary and BANG! Job's yours. Job hunt is not a very fair description. Maybe more like speed dating or getting picked out of a line-up down at the precinct. A "hunt" implies a kill and a haul, something you could make jerky out of. My work experience, and especially my job hunting experience usually makes me feel like the wounded animal, begging for mercy--or at least more money.

As part of my application today, I took a few online Microsoft Office/Clerical proficiency tests. I thought my youth and daily use of Word would breeze me though those tests, but it was like I had never used a computer before.I was stumped on nearly every question. Don't even get me started on the typing test. Most commonly struck key? Backspace.

But my self-esteem is up. I don't want to be a professional secretary, I want to be a dynamic teacher and advocate for literacy. And I proved it to myself today at my Grandma's church. Public speaking was once my greatest fear. How could I possibly make a speech last 10 minutes, I'll pee my pants, etc. Now I feel like I could get up there are talk for hours--how can I keep it to 30 minutes? I talked about my experiences in Cambodia, the similarities and differences, the people and places, the heat, the food, everything. I felt so good standing up at the little podium talking about my Khmer teacher and her feminist agenda. My heart is in education--that much is clear.

If this is just the first week, I can't wait to see what the rest of the year brings.

Happy 2011.