I’m not sure what’s up with the cosmos, but if you dig into my career history, you’ll notice a Professional Push pattern emerges during the month of February.  I’m a Cancerian, and I’m wondering if that has anything to do with planetary lineup in my career house at this time of year.  I don’t know enough about that kind of thing…  I just know that my first teaching job out of college began in the month of February, when grant money suddenly and unexpectedly became available to start a full day preschool/child care program at Cocalico Care Center in Denver, PA.

Two years later, I was hired as a Head Start (Pre-K) teacher by Community Action Program of Lancaster.  I remember it was February, because I had to contend with messy driving conditions to get to my interview–I was (and still am!) petrified of driving in the snow.

I started a home-based business when Gabriel was five months old–in the month of February.  And last year, I was already working at a locally owned educational supply and specialty toy store, but I planned my first community event, a Heart-A-Stack (candy heart stacking competition) in the month of February, and it was a great success.

Well.  I can hardly believe it…but it is February.  Again.  Oh hell, we’ve already crossed the halfway point of February.  This is now the 8th week that Gabriel and I have been living with my parents, and…

How can I state this fairly and objectively so that my “Not A Huge Fan Of Sophia” audience can keep their panties from getting all gnarly and bunched up when they read my words with an inflection that isn’t actually there?

Well…I shall tell it like it is:  no one is receiving a paycheck or an unemployment check at the moment.

Naturally, my competitive nature and prove-y’all-wrong attitude is just brimming with plans and ideas.  For you see, there is this whispering presupposition that Sophia is helpless and doesn’t want to work.  No?  You don’t think so?

Well consider this:  My son has been alive for 65 months, and I have earned income (whether I punched a time clock or worked for myself at home) for 53 of those months.  I have been contributing to the family finances for 81% of my son’s life, in addition to being a solo parent 4 days/nights a week during the first four years of his life.

I worked hard and took care of him and the house alone for most of my married life.  Can.  I get.  A fingersnap.

Do not underestimate my strength.  Facts are facts regardless if you love me or hate me.  I don’t know what the future holds, I only know that I have an obligation to provide for my son to the very best of my ability, and I am not doing my job as a mother if I don’t step up and bring home a paycheck.  Or two paychecks.  Or three paychecks.  Whatever it takes.

My father came to this country on a full scholarship from F&M College (after he served in the Greek Army), and he earned money by giving haircuts.  He learned how to cut hair because his father was a barber back in Ioannina, Greece.  My parents got married and had my sister…when she was a year old, he was laid off from Hamilton Watch.

He sold potatoes, door to door…just to put food on the table.  Eventually he found a job at Turkey Hill and later, he found work making animal traps.  Not exactly the line of work you would expect to find an F&M graduate doing.  Eventually, he moved on and opened a restaurant called House of Souvlaki here in Lancaster, before switching gears and getting into the buy and sell business.  My father is Chris, from Chris’s Buy & Sell on W. King Street, across from McDonald’s.  Seventy-eight years old and still working.  It must be a Greek thing.  He’s a champ, and a role model.

I will work at that McDonald’s across the street, if they’re hiring.  I’ll work at the mall, or in a pharmacy, or a child care center.  I’ll slice deli meats or toss pizzas or serve salad and breadsticks–whatever I have to do to make sure his needs are met and to make sure he knows he isn’t too good to mop floors or clean toilets or even sell potatoes someday.

I’m always hearing about the ME Generation–the ones who won’t (or worse yet, aren’t allowed) to work menial, minimum wage jobs.  My God–not me, and not my son.  My first job was at CVS in Centerville, when I was 16.  A year later (and a senior in high school) I was “promoted” to Shift Supervisor and I took on a second part time job as a cart collector and grocery bagger so I could earn money to buy my first computer in 1997.

It sucked.  But there’s just no way around it:  You want it?  You work for it.

So…..UNIVERSE!  It’s February!  And I am kind of, sort of settled in a little bit.  My main stuff is here and mostly unpacked.  I am still working on the basement (total side note:  OH EM GEE, I just want to snap my fingers and make it transform into the 80s basement we all knew and loved)…  My clothes, shoes, and accessories are all present and accounted for, and my makeup is here and set up in the back bedroom (which has become my fabulous dressing room and I feel like Sophia Kardashian when I say that).

Although my degree is in early childhood education, my heart really, REALLY isn’t into teaching anymore.  I guess if a teaching job threw itself at me, I’d take it.  It’s impossible to not bring work home with you when you’re a teacher, and honestly…if I am going to work from home, I’d rather be blogging.  I know I can handle Work, Blog, and Gabriel.  Not Work (teach), Work From Home, Blog, and Gabriel.  That’s too much.

Can I tell you something interestingly funny, though?  In the 8 weeks I’ve been here, I have found ZERO items from my college days (like books.  Practicum In Education.  Educational Psychology.  Stuff like that).

I did, however…find stuff from high school (Hempfield High School Class of 1998, yeah!)  I saved my notebook from Contemporary Fashion I with Mrs. Kronenwetter.  That was an elective sewing class and I LOVED IT.

I also saved my Journalism I notebook…another elective course I took with Mrs. Nolan…1996.  I found this written on the back of a “column” I wrote.

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Mrs. Nolan gave me an A+ on my column and commended my conversational tone and witty comments.  I felt like a million bucks back then…I feel like a million bucks now, too.  Because…loosely speaking–isn’t a blogger sort of like a columnist?

Now let me show you something else, and before you suggest I go take my ADHD meds, I totally have a reason for sharing this…

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I hang dry Gabriel’s clothing and I needed a place here at Yiayia & Papou’s house to do it…so I bought this garment rack and set it up.  It’s on wheels.  Yesterday I wheeled it into the back bedroom (aka “my dressing room”).  And I felt an adrenaline rush.

I think…   Oh boy.  I think I know what my calling is.

I want to be a kick-ass blogger and I want to make fabulous dresses and costumes for drag queens.

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS.  It’s….crystal clear.  I like to write and I like to sew.  I want to write and I can re-learn how to sew.  THIS IS WHO I AM, WHO I AM DESTINED TO BE.  A BLOGGING SEAMSTRESS/COSTUME-MAKER FOR DRAG QUEENS.

LET THE TWERK RIOT COMMENCE.

Alas, I cannot write a book and build a fashion empire overnight.  So I will give myself to the cosmos and trust that I find a job.  A good fitting job.  I’m not picky.  I mean, I’ll be honest–I’m not qualified for much in the Medical/Dental section of the newspaper, and the Office/Clerical section offers some hope, but I’m REALLY holding out for something in the Ambassador Of Fun section.  I keep checking every Sunday, but there are no job listings in the Ambassador Of Fun section.  They don’t even list that heading.  I mean, imagine how tight the job market must be for Fun Ambassadors?  Still…I have faith.

In the meantime, I made a list of my skills and qualities that serve me well in the working world.  Have a little look-see and tell me what you think.

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My friends, I hit a little speed bump this year, but do not feel sorry for me.  I have the world at my feet and the ability to create my future from the ground up.

I feel the potential that exists in what is unfolding now.
The first step to a new future is at hand.
This IS the beginning of the rest of my life.