I’ve Set a Goal, Made a Plan

For the first time in a long time

I’ve set a goal! In my opinion, goals are difficult, but this one shouldn’t be too bad. I just decided, whilst perusing Pinterest, that I want to have a job by Halloween. This gives me a deadline for my goal, which makes it a plan.
I know I can do this simple goal. I’ve figured out, for the most part what I want to do, and I can do anything I set my mind to doing. I just have to find someone to hold me accountable. It’s always easier to stick with something–if you really want it–when you have a friend to remind you of your goal. All I really need, however, is to remember that unemployment funds don’t last forever and I’m halfway to six months.
I know this was a short post, but I’m tired as it’s far past my bedtime (I read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child tonight). Did anyone else read it yet?

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Dogs Surround Me

All the Dogs!

I think I’m only writing for practice. Practicing my HTML skills. I’m still pretty far behind the curve on this one, but it’s not that difficult, just memorizing what to use, when/why, and how: same as every other thing in life. Apparently learning to code is important for everyone, now that our world runs on the internet, computers and smart devices (phones, tablets, etc.).

When I did my internship with KeyReads, they gave me a few PowerPoint slides on SEO and HTML but I fell off using them because I finished my internship and ultimately dropped out of Graduate School, which was a mistake, to go into cooking, which wasn’t a mistake. I don’t know what my life would have been like if I stayed in my master’s program and maybe tried to cook part-time. It got me to where I am today, regardless. I have good friends and live in a place I love because I attended 1/2 of the program to which I applied.

P.S. are you still wondering why I mentioned dogs?

I only mentioned the dogs because I really am surrounded by dogs. My mom’s business is called P.E.T. Your Dog. She does pet sits, CPR/first aid training, and doggie day care, as well as overnight boarding. So, there are always dogs at her house, which my mom’s cat isn’t too happy about. Now that my mom’s business is well established, she can be more selective when it comes to taking clients. Sometimes the cat can hang out with the dogs, not too often, but it happens occasionally.

Ultimately the fact is

If you read my comments on this blog, you see her perennially saying she’s proud of me. I’m proud of her too.

As I Sit Here, Wishing to be Weird

As I sit here, completely uninspired and desiring to be, I watch other people. I always have watched other people; I watch them, wondering if they’re inspired or even happy. I’m not happy. I’m sitting here writing what feels like prose poetry, forgetting the definition I learned in school, catching every spelling mistake and getting frustrated because I hate prose poetry. Why can’t we keep the two separate?

And I realize that I need to cut my fingernails because it is no longer satisfying, but annoying to have them hit the keys on my keyboard. Maybe if my nails were stronger, but they don’t feel strong. I don’t feel strong. I’ve been sick for the last week, and I still feel exhausted. The coffee and bagel aren’t helping my energy levels…

2016-07-10 2016-07-10 001 003

I am still sitting here writing whatever this is. Whatever this is that is completely inspired by my utter lack of inspiration. My desperation nags at me. I don’t want to be writing right now. I want to read, reread The HobbitPride and Prejudice (no zombies please). I want to do something where it’s considered acceptable to do nothing but read all day, the same books I’ve read a thousand times, if I so choose. I always talked about going to culinary school while I was a cook. Well, maybe I am still a cook, but not right now, right now I’m funemployed, as I’ve called it… My little joke, euphemism for not having a job because my old employer lost interest in us.

And I remember how fun it is to have my hair “weird” colors. I miss pink and purple and I long to try “opal” and I can’t because I worry that I may actually get an in-person interview with a company who doesn’t want to hire people with “weird” hair. At least I grew out my faux hawk. Not to mention, this is San Francisco, the mecca of weird hair, weird people. WEIRDNESS. I long to be more weird, but it’s expensive to be weird. Tattoos, hair dye, piercings, unless you have awesome weird friends with talents they’re willing to freely give away. The services required to look “weird” are not cheap. Unless you wanted to look cheap as part of your weird. I don’t know. I want my hair to look artistic and cared for, not just weird.

I am still sitting here and I’m glad, knowing that my goal of forcing myself to write something down would make me write anything and would also literally make me feel better. I do. With my “normal” blonde hair, or maybe it’s bland, I don’t think so, yet. My shirt that says “but first, coffee.” Another attempt at normal I guess. If I stopped being so normal, I would be more brave. I miss being weird. When I first moved here, to San Francisco, I was more weird. I had more “muchness” to me. But I’ve been scared and become lazy too; I think that’s the problem.

I don’t know where to go to become inspired. I want people to call me to hang out and they don’t. I don’t know where to go. I want someone to guide me a little. Help me become weird again. Instead I sit in the cafe, drinking coffee. Pretending to be normal. Wishing I could play guitar. Maybe in an alternate life I learned to play and became a busker. Maybe that’s in the future.

Soul-Searching for my Next Move

Working on Me

Officially unemployed, but still finding a lot to doRelaxing with Mom

I’ve been struggling lately, trying to figure out what to do with myself now that the closure is official and I’m unemployed (by choice). I had no desire to work in our sister restaurant, a restaurant that does more than 100 covers on a nightly basis and is open for lunch. It is just too much for me. I have loved my restaurant coworkers more than any other aspect, which is crazy thinking about the fact that the actual cooking is what originally pulled me into the career. If I were a great cook, I would stay because I would love every aspect, but I just do not have the skills or drive anymore.

I decided to take a few days to myself, no boyfriend, no friends from work and visit my family. I got to go to the river and camp two nights, I shopped with my mom (not my most responsible part of this episode) and just relaxed. I needed a bit of perspective and I enjoyed the crap out of it!

My recent soul-searching has led me to take many career and personality quizzes. Apparently, I am a tribe member, a high-octane collaborator and an ENFP. I never saw myself as an extrovert as a child, but I know now that I just did not learn to be one until more recently. Working in the kitchen–and not being near my old friends, or my overly supportive family, who I relied on too much—has led me to become a more active extrovert who is willing to get shit done. However, I have not done much of anything constructive outside of my last job, too tired to write, too preoccupied to think about anything other than paying rent really. Now that I have this opportunity to take a deep breath—inhale relaxation, and exhale stress—I cannot let it pass without learning about who I am. Therefore, I took the quizzes as a basis for my soul-searching.

In summation of the quizzes, this is what I have gotten:
Energizer bunny that you are, your dream career is probably heavy on action and involves lots of hard starts and stops: a journalist, a project manager, a chef, a doctor, a firefighter, or anything fast-paced that relies on quick response time. And as an extrovert, you’d be great working in customer service, HR, or any role that involves reading and interacting with others (Bornforthis.com).

I also “love to interact with all kinds of people” and have an “expressive and warm manner that ideally sees lots of affirmation flowing both ways” (http://www.celebritytypes.com/test.php). According to my results clarityonfire.com, “To you, there’s nothing more rewarding than working toward a big vision with a team of people you love.”

I am clearly very motivated by working on a team and collaborating with my coworkers. I will shy away from solo projects because I find the interaction more motivating than just working by myself. As a tribe member, it is beneficial to me to eschew the ”responsibilities of business ownership, … use your leadership prowess to manage a team, take the reins on a project, and get to spend your valuable time doing what you’re good at” (clarityonfire.com). I want to be the one coming up with cool ideas and having other people work with me to reach unique, exciting, team-engaging goals. Most of all, I just want to feel like I belong to a group and am a necessary, contributing member of the team.

The last weekend

Aziza’s last weekend as Aziza, as I’ve grown to love it, is now upon me. As I sit on my ass during my lunch break, I have started to worry a little bit. Finally it’s hit me that I won’t have anything to do for an undefined amount of time–other than a much-anticipated trip to Harry Potter land and a baseball game for my birthday –this summer. I have decided that I’d like to avoid burning bridges and promise to come back when we reopen, but I’m also still intending to use this time as a respite to go visit family and see if I can’t improve my resume a little.

Proper Training

If given free rein to change something at a previous job, I would insist that all employees be trained properly. At most of my jobs, I was trained like a monkey, to just do the job and not to strive for anything greater. There was no learning other than how to make one version of one singular recipe. I feel like this is an easy change to make, but most chefs don’t have the time or energy (understandably) to train their employees in this manner. However, when they also tell me that culinary school is unnecessary because you can learn it all on the job, I feel this is misrepresenting the facts. Not all cooks have the drive (or at least know where to begin) to learn everything they need on their own, even if they know what they want.
To check if the chefs are training their hires properly, I would ask the cooks to make me something of their own, to riff on an existing recipe at that restaurant or think of and execute a recipe for a component that would complement a current on-menu dish. I believe Michael Ruhlman was correct in that chefs need to know the appropriate ratios, not just one recipe. This is something I have struggled with in the industry because I learned it this year instead of three years ago when I started out.