Hello hello! My first official blog post, well, well. I am feeling really excited about this blog, if only for the selfish desire to have an outlet for my thoughts. My hope is to make this an honest and real reflection of my world and of the world around me. These have been extremely interesting times in my personal life and in the life of people all around the planet and I feel as though everyone everywhere is trying to find their place in this new world.
For many, the last year has provided a massive shake-up/wake-up call/etc., etc. as home prices have plummeted, jobs have been lost, retirement funds depleted and the world of "I can have it all" has turned into "I could lose it all." But have we really lost it all? Could there be a silver lining amongst all the doom and gloom?
My personal life shake-up occurred about 3 years ago when life as I knew it took a huge detour. I was living with my college boyfriend of 5 years while working at an insurance company when one day I came home to find that he no longer wanted to be with me. We spoke for about an hour when I got up to go to the bathroom for some tissue. By the time I came out of the bathroom, he had left, and that was the end of that. A few days later he moved out and that was it. The path that I thought I had laid out so nicely was in fact not the path that life had in mind for me. Within a matter of a few days I was single, living with my parents again and not even able to comprehend how I was going to pick up the pieces. I lived life cautiously and slowly as I tried to come to terms with what had happened. Days went by in a blur - I felt lost, heartbroken, confused, angry and devastated. I felt like I had lost it all, but I could not have been more wrong. I never would have believed it at the time, but that break-up would be one of the best things that ever happened to me.
One cold and miserable Oregon spring afternoon while working away processing insurance policies, my cell phone rang and for some reason, I answered it. As a child of the technology age where information is instant and necessary, I rarely answer calls of numbers I do not recognize, but for some reason on that day, I did.
"Is this Jocelyn?" the voice on the other line asked.
"This is she," I replied.
"Hi, I'm calling from Laika. We have had your resume on file and are looking for a production runner for the film Coraline," said the girl on the phone.
Laika. Laika was calling me. Almost exactly a year prior to this call I had packed my little Saturn sedan full of all my belongings and made the familiar trek from Orange County, CA back to Portland, OR. After having done this 22 hour drive countless times, this was the one I was most excited about because this was the final drive. I had lived there for 3 years while I got my B.F.A in Film Production at Chapman University, but I had decided long before that Southern California was most definitely, without a doubt, unequivocally NOT the place for this Northwest-bred girl. I left California that day and never looked back. Soon after I arrived back in Portland, I sent my resume to a film production company called Laika. I had been tracking the company for a long time and it was, I thought, my best chance and justification for finding work outside of la-la land. After not hearing anything for almost a year, I had given up hope.
The girl on the phone continued, "Now, you will be working 50 hours per week and you will be on a 4 week trial period which means that we will reassess the situation after those four weeks."
My mind was racing. This was the company that I wanted to work for! But, I had a really good, stable job with a lot of room for upward growth, good benefits and a 37.5 hour work week. Crap - do I have to decide this now? What about money? What about job security? I DON'T KNOW!!!
"Well, this sounds really great. Can I have a few days to think about it and get back to you?" was all I could come up with. Brilliant. They are sure to want me now. Sheesh.
In the days that followed I took advice from anyone who was willing to give it. Looking back, it was such an obvious choice - but at the time, it was a HUGE risk for me. I would be making significantly less money. Significantly. I was only promised a job for 4 weeks. I would have no health insurance. I had just gotten an apartment with my sister and had living expenses. This completely went against my planned and logical nature, but after days of mulling it over in my head, I decided to go for it after having a girl's night.
"Joc, if you don't do this, you are going to hate yourself. You HAVE to do it. We won't let you not go for it." After that night, my decision was made (thanks ladies, you know who you are).
Working for Laika was great. Over the course of my 1.5 years on Coraline I was promoted from runner to Production Assistant to 3rd Assistant Director. I was able to use my degree but learn a TON in the process. I worked long, long, long hours. I found myself challenged daily. I often felt like I was a very small fish in a very big pond - but it was all worth it. The people I met were amazing and the experience as a whole was exactly what I needed to get me out of the funk I was in. Most importantly, I met the man of my dreams. He was brought over to Portland from England to work on Coraline and there was an instant connection. After a year of being really good, annoyingly flirty friends, we started dating. Then, after a year of dating, he took me to Paris and proposed, to which I said, YES, YES, YES!!!! Our wedding is planned for April of next year and I could not be happier. What a change from 3 years ago. What a glorious, exhilarating, fabulous and perfect change.
As I sit here today, I can honestly say that sometimes when you think you have lost it all, you have really just won the freaking lottery - it is just not always that clear. While there are people who truly, truly suffer and who have dealt with far worse than I have, this is just my own little personal story and life lesson. Things right now are so hard for so many people. It seems that person after person is losing their job. Morale is at such a low. Money is tight and patience is even tighter. But we all have to remember that you never know what good will come out of any situation and even when you think that you have nothing left, you have to keep faith that a major change could be just around your corner. In my saying this, I do not in any way want to pretend that I am always able to live by these ideas - but I know in my heart of hearts that they are true and that there is a silver lining to every cloud. Hang in there everybody! Times will get better.