Funemployment: The End (and The Beginning)

Me with my Yoga Teacher Training fam; our guru, leader and goddess SC front and center.

I am elated to state: I FINALLY GOT A JOB!!! Not in the industry I spent the past 30 years in, but in the industry I began last April when I started the Yoga Teacher Training certification path. I am now the proud Studio Manager at a bustling, pedigreed, super awesome yoga studio here in Oakland AND I accepted a role teaching gentle yoga to seniors! Everything is coming up yoga!

Can you believe it?! I am so happy I could cry. Actually, I have cried a few times, this is such an incredible turn of events I cannot stop smiling, even through these joyful tears!

The past 6 months I have gone on umpteen interviews for food/beverage/hospitality senior management roles and along the way, was offered a handful of jobs- declined 5, accepted 3- but then something always happened right after I said yes to a role, never in my favor. Last month, I was offered a Catering Manager position at a location I absolutely loved, I accepted enthusiastically, my new boss said, “Welcome to the team!” and then I heard nothing back. Nothing. It’s been 5 weeks and there has still been zero return to my phone calls, zero response to my follow-up emails. I could relay more of my horror hiring stories but I won’t waste our time, on to better things…

And guess what? Now I am done with that industry! Shove it, Hospitality! I gave you three decades of dedication, had some fun along the way, produced so many amazing events, ate lots of incredible food, met some great people, and learned an unbelievable amount. I gave hours upon hours, worked myself to the bone, put up with a lot of challenging people and situations, and was treated horribly all to earn a pay check.

But now I am leading with my heart and it feels oh so good to finally be rewarded.

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Today’s Reason: You

If no one has told you lately, let me be the first: you are awesome and perfect just the way you are. Your journey is unique and no one else can inform your path. Others we choose to bring along our journey become our teachers, even if temporary, and guide us when enduring the hardest of times. The times where we struggle, the periods when the world is just too much and everything is a battle, the days when not one thing goes right. I’ve been there too. We all have. Yet, you are the answer. The power is within you, as it is within all of us, to grab the reigns, bear down, and ride those rocky paths of life with grace and triumph.

It’s taken me a lot of work over several years to finally love myself and have true compassion for others. For way too long, I ruminated on all the things I wasn’t: not kind enough, not smart enough, not accomplished enough, not skinny enough- yet, surprise surprise, that did absolutely nothing for my motivation. All the negative thinking did was hold me in place; stewing in those comparison juices got me nowhere. The moment I started telling myself, “I want to do this, I can do this, I will do this, and I do not care what other people may think!” is when the real action began.

Where ever you are in your journey is the exact right place to be. Remember that! Once life takes you down a difficult road know that you have the ability and skill to choose how that difficulty dictates your life. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Breathe in the good, breathe out the bad.” and I am here to tell you that’s stupid. In times of strife, especially, one must take the good along with the bad as they are a package set. It is 100% okay, even necessary, to see and feel every inch of the bad, every little nook and cranny of it, in order to truly understand it. The good is you, the bad is you and both hold the answers you seek.

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Living Life’s Traumas

I read once that we all experience capital “T” traumas as well as lower case “t” traumas throughout life- Traumas being the bigger, longer lasting incidents such as physical and emotional abuse whereas trauma is akin to short term instances like injuries, illnesses, or losing your job. Many more examples in each category of course but as a subjective concept, your Traumas and traumas will be a very different list than anyone else’s. My Trauma began and continued throughout childhood and as a result, I have continually experienced trauma ever since.

Upon beginning Yoga Teacher Training, we were asked why yoga? Why did we choose yoga, what does yoga provide us, why are we interested in pursuing a deeper understanding of our practice, and why do we want to become teachers? I answered, “As an adult survivor of child abuse, I want to spread the positivity and acceptance that yoga provides for anyone who has experienced a similar situation. From that, I can steer my business to attracting exactly that kind of client, be it one recovering from past traumas or those with PTSD looking for a place to heal. I aim to provide a safe, loving place to practice while nurturing acceptance and compassion for the mind, body, soul, as well as the world that surrounds.”

My Yoga Guru SC has encouraged me to tell even more of my story and I am still getting comfortable with that- this is the first step. I’m not yet ready to face/ write/ share about my childhood Traumas, so that’s not what this post is about (edit: that’s exactly what this post turned out to be!). Currently, I am going through a physical trauma that has dogged me for over 20 years. Injuries and illnesses I am oh so familiar with unfortunately but with my nascent spiritual practices, I am becoming more at one with and accepting of the physical and emotional pains I continue to endure.

One day after spine surgery, February 2021. I can feel my pain just looking at this photo!

I just realized I can’t really discuss my current physical traumas without getting into a little bit of those childhood Traumas. Damn. Alright… <gulp> here goes…

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Funemployment: Week 12

You guessed it, I am still unemployed. I have been offered a handful of positions over these past few months but due to one red flag or another (salary too low, location too far, hours too many) I have declined them all. In fact, I declined another one just this morning due to the 10 hour/week commute + a 50 hour work week expectation. No fricking thank you.

Yet, that’s the standard for the industry I chose: hospitality. I started down this path in high school, working in coffee shops and pizza places which built a strong foundation for dealing with difficult customers but, young and inexperienced, I wasn’t very good at that at first- you give me attitude, I will give it right back and you can take your extra-hot-half-caf-dollop-of-foam-5-shot-ridiculousness and your I-am-allergic-to-everything-gluten-free-carb-free-vegan-hockey-puck and kiss my 16 year old minimum wage earning butt!!! (“Let’s have a talk about your attitude, Laura.” Yeah, I got that a lot.)

I matured, learned the elements of successful customer service, becoming oh so very friendly and welcoming that in college I landed at a fine dining restaurant in Beverly Hills as a hostess. This was no Starbucks-Pizza-Hut, no sir- this place was 5 star, this place was expensive, this place attracted celebrities, this place was serious service. And, I loved it.

Fall of 1994 with co-host Michael at Lawry’s Beverly Hills- where my now nearly 30 year hospitality career truly began!
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Funemployment: Week 1

I was let go a week ago. I am recovering. I am no longer wallowing. And I am keeping busy…

DAY ONE: Embrace all the outrage, anger, sadness, and humiliation in the world. Cry in husband’s arms, call/text all girlfriends for support and vent until I can’t vent anymore… then vent more. And cry more. Wanted- in every last fiber of my being- to open several bottles of wine and anesthetize from all these horrible feelings but, I didn’t. Instead, I called more friends and ate chocolate.

DAY TWO: Couldn’t sleep all night, woke up still feeling horrible. Wrote blog post about getting fired to try to feel better about getting fired. Kinda felt better. Kinda didn’t. Started applying for jobs. Successfully stayed away from the Wine Witch but did not escape the Chocolate Chum.

DAY THREE: That horrible, gut sinking feeling remains. Damnit. But holdonwaitasecondhere my job applications are getting responses! Two interviews scheduled already! Also got to the gym and listened to all the angry break-up songs while I attacked on the elliptical and did weights for an hour and that felt great. Rage seems to be abating but pretty sure I need a little more chocolate just to be sure.

Finding truth on the trails.
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New Goals, New Blog

Helloooo new blog!

Hi, I am Laura and hail from the Bay Area here in Northern California. In 2011 I started a blog called Running4theReason to document my fundraising and marathon training efforts for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program and found a good amount of traction and success therein but my life priorities changed, running took a backseat, that blog got a virus, and I found myself in a very different mind frame thanks to all that the pandemic taught (much more on that later…).

I’ve made a lot of adjustments in my life since then and even recently- my biggest accomplishment therein being quitting drinking. As of today, I have not had alcohol in over 200 days. Wow. If you were able to read my old blog (damn virus!!!), you would think I was the poster child for drinking. Most of my races ended with wine and/or beer, I planned life events and all celebrations around drinking, I was even fairly boastful of the next day’s hangover- the more horrible I felt, the better time I had, right?

Nope. Not right at all.

Pretty, painless and all alcohol free!

Giving up alcohol is an interesting ride- really forces you to face your inner demons and teaches you to become your own best friend. I realized quickly how much I was using alcohol as a crutch for nearly everything: if I felt stressed, sad, celebratory, bored, and/or lonely I would reach for a bottle. Removing that option has improved my physical being, but my emotional state can often teeter, forcing me to look to my spiritual side in order to navigate without the anesthetic I was so used to relying on. Plainly put, I’m feeling all the feelings now and some of them are beautiful and some, downright ugly (much much more on that later as well…).

Seeking to gain more inner peace, while missing running as an athletic endeavor and desiring to connect with people on a similar path of enlightenment, I started a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training certification program here in Berkeley and will “graduate” in February 2023. There is an abundance to learn and I am loving all that I am taking in; but, I am feeling a tad overwhelmed balancing work and life with my studies right now- I am behind on homework and have yet to actually try to teach anyone yoga (other than my fellow classmates) but I am working on a plan for all that (you guessed it, there will much much much more on that later too!).

Oooommmmmm…

And with that I say YAY ME for returning to the blogosphere and YAY YOU for joining me on this journey! Where this path will lead, we have yet to know but the bricks we lay to get there is what life is all about… so much more to come…