Through My Eyes

Timing was everything.

Posts Tagged ‘graduate

Completely Present And Available

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As I write this, I’m sitting in my parents’ home in Rio Vista. They moved here 5 years ago. It’s a gated senior community sitting on a golf course located an hour and 15 minutes northeast of San Francisco. I’m not sure how likely there are other 28 year-olds living at home in this community.

I arrived at SFO last night after having spent a month and a half in Asia, road-tripping through the U.S., and helping my sister settle into her new studio in Los Feliz, CA. For the most part, I was able to put aside any feelings of anxiety towards what I would be looking forward to upon returning ‘home.’ Being a new graduate in a challenging and competitive economy can raise fear, or it can be a blessing in disguise. Having supportive and loving parents who have welcomed me back into their home is allowing me to take some time in my next job and apartment search.

It’s really easy to rush into things for the sake of necessity, or really, what we think is necessary. I remember my first job out of UCSB. I moved up to the Bay because many of my friends had found work there, and my parents were living there at the time. I stayed with my parents for three months while working as a contractor in Google Blogspot’s legal department. Because a lot of Google contractors were dissatisfied with the unstability of the positions at that time, we continued to look for jobs with more definitive, or foreseeable, futures. I finally went to an interview at a real estate marketing startup in Oakland and secured an account management position. I should have known several things – I wasn’t ready to make cold calls selling ad services to huge development projects in Asia, the startup founder was literally funding the company from his own pockets, and this was not the job for me.

When I left for a technology services sales startup, I was then able to move into my own studio in the Piedmont area, eventually transition into a San Francisco apartment, save enough money for annual travel, live a very comfortable lifestyle, and even put away for a rainy day. That rainy day turned into a grad program at the Academy of Art.

Now that I’ve spent almost all of my savings on tuition for the last 18 months, I’m starting over again. This time, I want to take my time. I’m not rushing into anything, I’m going to do everything in my power NOT to feel the need to settle on something just because I want to get back to SF or Oakland – I’m going to look for something that feels right and is right for my skill set and personality. And if I don’t find it, I’m going to create it. There’s something to be said about being young and just plain ballsy. The optimism, the idealism – I still feel it within me. Sure, I’m more mature now, so that I’m realistic….but I do still feel a fire that tells me to go for things. Just do it. Nike was onto something.

I read this op-ed in the New York Times last night before going to bed. It was about how we self-impose traps of being too ‘busy’ in our everyday lives. For the past few years, I know that I’ve answered invitations, emails, text messages with, “I can’t right now – crazy busy.” How many of these ‘crazy busy’ days were because I overbooked or committed to events/workshops/shows I really didn’t need to attend? Too many times. As I sit here and look out the window, the pace of life is slow. I can swim in the evening, read old books, watch all the movies I’ve been wanting to see, re-cut versions of videos I’ve been wanting to finish, sift through all the footage that’s been shot on my new camera and do something with it, and…I can take some time to find the job (and home) that is right for me.

During the eight days on the road, Wendy and I encountered watercolor sunsets, hippies selling cheese at farmer’s markets, men fly-fishing hours on end, bison holding up traffic, reminders of the Native American presence throughout this country, people piling all of their belongings in cars, crossing one coast for the other, eyes filled with hope…it reassured me that life isn’t about how you fill up each of your days, how many people you see, how ‘busy’ you were – it’s about how you feel at the end of the day. Are you happy? Are you proud?

I hope this patience lasts…ask me how I feel in a month or two.

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Written by winniewongsf

July 3, 2012 at 9:19 am

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