Tuesday, June 26, 2012

When You Garden, You Grow*

My garden is like the job market, full of hundreds of other plants besides the ones I planted there. My seedlings compete with the weeds, just like I do with countless others, for very limited resources. In the case of my garden, the competition is for water, as we have had a very dry growing season so far. Me, I compete for attention, hoping some employer will notice this helpful plant amongst the so many others growing around and that I'll be recognized for what I am- not someone who merely wants to suck up and use precious resources like time and opportunity, but can take those things and grow them into beautiful fruit. What I am searching for is not just a job, but a chance at a career doing something that matters, making the lives of those around me that I share the world with better somehow. I will keep growing tall, hoping to stand out amongst the purslane and crabgrass as a different, somehow brighter shade of green.
I've been diligently sending out resumes and cover letters and trying to wrangle more freelancing gigs, all the while tending to this mini farm and all that goes along with that. I'm not just playing here folks, I'm serious. I'm treating my writing like a business and doing things like spending hours a day joining professional associations and marketing myself and my services to a wide range of businesses and individuals. I know right now I am planting seeds that someday will grow. We're just waiting on the rain here to make things happen.
While I'm surrounded by so many others searching for work, I've learned a lot about the things that make me unique, chief among them this blog and farm. I've learned how to add mentioning my writing and pseudo-farming in the course of an interview and that doing so proves I am both creative and not afraid to get dirty when necessary. I've also learned some great ways to feel more comfortable about myself and my skills, manage my anxiety about not knowing where this journey will end and just appreciating the path I'm following while I am on it.
As I sat out in my garden today, surrounded by the daunting task of getting the weeds under some semblance of control, I realized that I am doing all I can to get my life under control by spending so much time shouting out to the world that I'm looking for work. Just as it's futile to expect my garden to be weed free (a notion that I think is hilarious), it's pointless to stress at what I can't control. I just need to do the best I can when I have the chance to talk to folks to point out that I'm a helpful person, not a noxious weed.
This pace of life is both slow and busy, every minute occupied by either pursuit of more work or the completion of what's already here. There are cages to clean and mouths to feed and I enjoy every second of it.
This Friday I have a chance to try on an occupation I've never done and I am a bit nervous to take that step, beginning again as I have done so many times in unfamiliar territory. I'm not sure where this opportunity will take me, whether it will become a viable long term option or simply be another something to fill up my day. I'm going in on blind faith in my ability to be adaptable and helpful and with trust that this opportunity, if it's the right one for me, will pay enough for me to be able to make it work. It sounds like fabulous fun but hard work and is something I have always wanted to try. Please say a little prayer that it at least turns out to be a fun experience and that, if nothing else, I'll have potentially lined up a new freelance client.
I'm planning on spending countless hours today out in the garden, trying to bring some order to it and some peace to my mind. Weeding is the best kind of meditation~ slow, deliberate and productive~ a way to see your efforts making progress in a world where it's often not so straight-forward.

*Today's title is the slogan of the National Gardening Association, which offers a fantastic visual library of weeds, among other things. Visit their site at www.garden.org.

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