Saturday, March 27, 2010

Unemployment & The Power of Getting Off Of The Couch.

Okay, so the economy is in the shitter. I know. We all know. It's been a rough couple of years, the housing market crashed, Wall Street is corrupt and AIG robbed America. So I've heard. Unemployment is at an all time high, we have a rookie president in the White House and nothing but criticisms rocking our world.

But wait, rewind to that unemployment thing. Unemployment is at an all time high. Real quick, just for me, go to www.Craigslist.org. Pick any major city in the US. Any city; it can be large, small or mediocre. Ooops. Sorry, I meant medium. In the upper right hand corner of that Craigslist page, do you see the 'Jobs' link? Hit that. What pops up? Hundreds of jobs, posted every day. Now tell me again about that unemployment rate? I know how it goes. I really do -- I've been unemployed and desperate for rent/bills/etc, not to mention everything else I want. But let me tell you something; a small little secret, perhaps. IT'S ABOUT PRIDE. Put down your $5 coffee and let me explain.

There is something wrong about expecting your government to subsidize your unwillingness to work. There is something askew with our culture when foreigners are working while Americans are out of jobs... But it's not their fault. It is very much ours. Write a resume, fill out an application or just go in and beg for a job. If you're not qualified, get qualified. There are reasons strippers strip. There are reasons hookers hook and criminals have resorted to crime.

Of course this is rhetorical, but think about it: if there weren't an unemployment fund, what would you do? Sure seven dollars an hour won't buy me a pair of Christian Louboutins. But guess what? If I work hard enough at that $7-per-hour Mickey D's job, I'll get promoted. If I'm honest and willing to pick up shifts and just SHOW UP ON TIME, I will do well. And before you know it I'll be a manager earning $10 an hour. After I'm a manager long enough and I do a decent-enough job of managing my fellow hard-working American friends, I'll start applying for other jobs that pay more for a manager because guess what? I have managerial experience. And someone out there will pay me $13 an hour to be a manager. Or maybe I'll start my own business from my small savings and a business loan.

Have you ever thought about the 'American Dream'? Has it ever occurred to you that maybe the dream isn't an instant one? Maybe that dream only becomes a reality after some hard work and a lot of elbow grease?

Maybe if we stop expecting everyone else to catch us when we fall or to pay us more than we deserve, unemployment will go down. What if we stop expecting handouts and start working harder? What if we really earn what we're paid? Hmmmmm. Just think about it.

Now I'm going to work.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Can Talent REALLY Outweigh Size?

First of all, I'll publish the link that has set me alight with anger and frustration:

http://www.cnn.com/2010/SHOWBIZ/Movies/03/10/gabourey.sidibe.career/index.html

It pains me to see a culture ostracize a human being because they are 'heavy' or 'unkempt' or 'fat'. The movies of high school, where even the so-called 'losers' have perfect bodies but are made fun of for having awful hair or acne. The movies and TV shows about college or real-life or not-so-real life or the thrillers or tear jerkers or the rom-coms all have one thing in common: the people are beautiful and perfect, except for the villain.

So it's great, right? To have an extremely obese girl showcasing incredible talent and being cast in movies and television shows as an important part of society is a step forward, isn't it? This may sounds harsh, but I don't think it is. The CNN article posted above quotes a writer saying she is talented but unmarketable; I definitely agree. She will never play an executive. She will never be an executive. She will never play the object of someone's healthy obsession or a passionate lover or a healthy, well-adjusted mom. She is fat, and female executives get where they are by being complete control freaks. A man will never look across a room and by stunned into sexual silence because of her amazing smile or the way she walks -- because she is obese and unhealthy. No one wants to see her naked, so veto on the sex scenes. Could she possibly play (or be) a great mom? No. Mothers chase their children round and round, all day long and running errands and cooking this or that and creating some type of crafty homework assignment while working a part-time job; that takes a hell of a lot of energy and calories.

I have never met this actress. I don't know her. I don't understand the way she lives or medical issues she may have. I am not friends with her family or close with her manager. But I will say that her weight is completely manageable. Without that self-control or self-discipline, how can one ever be a successful employee or boss or anything? I've learned the tough way that self-control is NOT overrated. I have discovered that discipline and desire to be something/have something/make something of yourself requires a very tight grip.

She does not have it, as evidenced by her obesity.

As someone without a thyroid, I understand what it is like to be completely powerless -- or to give yourself that excuse. I was born without the gland that secretes hormones for growth, muscle repair and most important, metabolism. I take a little pink pill every single day of my life to maintain those hormones so that my body does what it is supposed to. I was made fun of as a child for being fat AND as a teen and adult. I know what that pain is like, to not fit into anything... And then I discovered the fixer: STOP MAKING EXCUSES. What held me back in my education and my professional and my personal lives was the same thing that was holding me in my size XL's -- Lack of self-discipline. I was unwilling to tell myself "No, put down the damn cookies."

I paid a heavy price, as Gabourey Sidibe is paying now. She has realized (or soon will) that whether consciously or sub-consciously, humans respect, admire and appreciate those that can exercise self-control. She cannot. Those who exercise self-control are generally great people to work with. They are generally hard workers and know when to play and when to work. They set schedules they stick with and make commitments they fulfill. Any less than this and they do not succeed, plain and simple. That's how life goes.

And that's the way I see it.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fate favors the fearless.

Over the past year, things have happened so quickly and so abruptly that hours, days, weeks and months have slipped by in the blink of an eye. Even when everything seems so cut and dried, it rarely is. Especially when you think you've got it all figured out. Families grow, friendships end and new paths are carved from the debris left behind. Like a fire, change happens quickly. Small choices develop into massive decisions that shape the path our lives walk upon. We create more paths than we follow and sometimes life is simply an open field waiting to be trod upon. Even seemingly insignificant ideas can suddenly inflate and grow into possibilities we've only dreamed of; opportunities we have considered behind us can be very real and very relevant. Love changes shape but remains the same while sacrifice takes on a new meaning entirely. We work for what we want, take what we need, give up what is asked to make our dreams come true. I feel as though every day is a new lesson with joyful end. Some days are a challenge. Others are surefire failures. But in my failures I have discovered triumph. I have realized that surface appearances are just that -- surface. Empty, irrelevant and unreliable. People are far more than their pasts indicate or actions determine. I understand that challenges only make life more interesting and life makes people more interesting. Fate favors the fearless. So I am embracing my future with B.V. and running towards the edge of my reality, pushing the line further away with each small choice and every tough lesson. I will adapt and grow. I will befriend those who would rather see me fail. I will give the benefit of the doubt to those who have not earned it. I will be charitable for the sake of charity and smile at strangers... Because I can. Because I am a girl who will defy the boundaries and rules set for her. Because I don't accept no. Because I do things 'the hard way'. Because I like my lessons to stick and my triumphs to reverberate loud and long. Because I not only want glory, but success and truth. I want knowledge and understanding. I want kindness and passion. I want it all and I will have it all. Because I can. And because fate favors the fearless.