Happiness is…

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Happiness is… a new job

I got a new job…kind of. I’m freelance copywriting at a marketing/branding/design firm on Capitol Hill. I LOVE IT. I love everything about it. I love the building. It’s a wide-open loft with giant windows and really cool reclaimed barn doors leading to the conference room. It’s decorated with hand-painted walls, reclaimed signs, a funky chandelier and a bar. And it’s in a rad location (minus the parking). I love my coworkers. The people I work with are smart, funny and creative. They’re designers and developers and I’m inspired by them. Plus, they sing and dance to the music playing over the speakers on a regular basis. It’s awesome. My boss is the best. He’s smart, funny, creative and has a true business acumen, and although he barely knows me, he has already offered me great advice and has been really nice as I figure out the contractor process. I feel like I now know what it’s like to be around truly creative, business-savvy people.  I’m so happy I was given this opportunity, and I hope it last a really long time. I know this is a huge step in my career, and I plan to take full advantage of it while it lasts.

But getting to the new job was weird. I was laid off from my old job and it was really rough. I started working there when I was 19 and worked full time as I went to the UW. It enabled me to pay for college straight out of pocket, just leaving me with one student loan from my first year of college in Boston. During my first five years, I worked in the call center, first placing catalog orders, then giving out technical product information to customers. When I graduated, I did a job shadow at the HQ, and about a year later, I was hired to write copy for the website. For the next five years, I worked as a copywriter on the PI team. The first few years were great. I gained a lot of copywriting experience, and I really loved my boss. But at the end of last year, she suddenly retired and we were passed off to managers who openly told us they didn’t want to manage our team. It completely changed the vibe of team. While change is often a good thing in the workplace, I’m not sure it was benefiting my team. Tracking took the place of thinking creatively. It was definitely a big change. Seven months later, a guy from California was hired as a DVP. He wouldn’t talk to anyone, and we were told that was just who he was and to work around it. He was basically glued to his phone when walking down the halls, never looking up to say hi. In a team meeting, I asked if he could stop by our row and so we could meet him. I was told “that wasn’t his thing”. So much for the open-door policy. He came from an action sports background, and was definitely out of place in the office. He announced my department was being eliminated, and we would have to re-apply for our jobs. Of the 13 people on my team, 6 choose to leave right away. The other 7 of us applied for our jobs, 4 of us for 5 senior copywriter spots and 3 others for 3 research copywriter roles. Of the seven of us, I was the only one that was laid off. Little did I know that it was the best thing that could have happen. And two weeks later, the DVP was fired for not living the company’s values.

Happiness is… great friends

After I was laid off, I was pretty lucky to have a great group of friends that supported me. My friends Matt and Emily have always been there for me, and were once again really there for me when I was freaking out about my future. I know you guys read this so: I love you guys. My best biddy forever (bbf), Jason, was always there for a good laugh or a good rant. It’s rare to meet someone you feel like you share a mind with. I definitely feel that way with him (which should be scary for the rest of you). The first two days of being laid off were filled with a lot of laughs and fun, Lake Union, Alki Beach, a house party, friends and a lot of great distractions. Throughout the next 5 weeks, people constantly checked in with me, supporting me when I was considering moving to Sandpoint, Idaho for a job, supporting me when I turned the job down, and always being there when I just need to freak out and tell someone about it.

I’ve also made some great new friends courtesy of the Internet. I never thought I would meet someone from the nets, but turns out, everyone one is on the nets so what’s the difference. My new friend Alex talked me through a lot of stuff like being unemployed, telling me I was going to be okay. He taught me how to fix my bike brakes (I’ve already had to push the pistons back and did it like a boss). We went on an adventure that included exploring the north cascades, 2 hikes, seeing my first moose, checking out a ghost town and driving on the US/Canada border. We rode bikes through a crazy tunnel UNDER a mountain. He’s hilarious and interesting and most importantly, a really great person. He definitely helped me figure out things over the 5 weeks I was unemployed. Thanks Alex. And courtesy of twitter, I met Andrew, who is always there with kind, encouraging words. He gives great advice and is genuinely a nice person.
Happiness is…just being happy

I guess what has inspired this post most is today I realized something. I am really happy. I am happy about where I live (I love Seattle). I am happy to have such great friends. I am happy that I know I can accomplish some personal goals I have set for myself. And I am happy to be free of a negative work environment and experiencing a new job that’s absolutely amazing. I never would have thought two months ago, when I was laid off, that I would be feeling what I am feeling today. It’s great!

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