Hope In Career

Those who know me would likely not describe me as overtly optimistic. In fact, I think many think of me as cranky, curmudgeonly, and pessimistic. And honestly, I probably wouldn’t contradict them. I’m definitely not one overflowing with positivity.

I have a friend who is one of the most positive people I know. I don’t see her much anymore, but I’m often reminded of her and was again just yesterday.

Spirituality and Divining What You Want From Life

This friend of mine is… spiritual. She talks to her dead mother and the spirits of her ancestors. Not believing in any of that mumbo-jumbo myself, I always thought it strange. But acknowledging the beliefs of others without judging is something I really strive for, so I never really gave her a hard time about it.

But here’s the thing; it worked for her. I don’t mean she was content and it made her feel at ease. I mean she’d ask for things and they’d come true.

There was a time when I would spend Christmas with her, her family and some friends at a beach house in Mokuleia. One of my favorite places in the whole world, I never missed an opportunity to spend time there. I recall one year the forecasts predicted rain storms the whole week and we talked about not going. My friend made a “request” of her family ancestors, her mother, for a “puka in the sky” and told me the beach house was a go.

It may seem like a silly story and I was certainly skeptical at the time, but it turned out we had great weather the whole week. Do I believe her “request” is the reason? I’m not sure.

And way back when I was still trying to find my own way, a path and career I was passionate about, she used to tell me to just picture it in my head. Ask for it. Believe it and it’ll happen.

My Own Experience with “Luck”

After that, I began to think about it and reflect on my own life. And you know what? There may be something to her approach.

Despite more than my fair share of adversity, I’ve been incredibly lucky. Most recently, I gave up a secure and easy job with the Governor to take on the new challenge of managing a statewide political campaign. I knew the odds were slim we’d actually win, but I believed in the candidate and was ready to move my career in a new direction.

After we lost, I spent the next several months unemployed while I finished my Master’s Degree. As money grew tight, I thought maybe I’d been rash in leaving the Governor’s Office, but I eventually found some work and continued to do work I so enjoy.

Then the legislative session ended and I was, once again, unemployed. While I worked to brand my consulting business and search for clients cash again began to dwindle and credit card debt skyrocket. The months passed and I resisted the idea of finding “another job” or (ack) drive for Lyft or Uber.

I kept telling myself something would come along. As it always has. I’ve always managed to somehow land on my feet.

Stick to Your Guns in Life

A few days ago desperation grew as I started to wonder how I would pay next month’s rent, I reached out to an old friend for a loan. Sick to do it, I told him anything would help, but that I couldn’t promise when I’d be able to pay him back.

While he talked to his wife and I waited to hear from him, I got a call. A firm I’ve done some work for previously called me, out of the blue (kind of) and asked if I wanted to do some campaign work on the mainland.

Whew! Just hours later my friend regretted to tell me he couldn’t help at this particular moment.

Though desperation was taking hold, I stuck to my guns knowing (hoping) something would come through before I was forced to do something that would move me in the wrong direction. And just like nearly every time before, luck kept me on the path I wanted.

In 48-hours I fly to Mississippi and Louisiana to help coordinate field operations in the last stretch before this year’s elections. I’ll get to do what I so enjoy doing and I’ll be getting paid pretty well to do it.

My money problems will continue as I work to dig out from under a mountain of credit card debt, but I’ll be level for a while. And I expect more work upon my return as the next legislative session approaches.

A Pessimistic Optimist

I’ve never been one for faith (spiritual or godly). Given all the terrible shit in the world, it’s hard for me to believe in any kind of God. Nonetheless, I didn’t know when or how, but I was never really worried something wouldn’t come along. Sure, I wish something would have come along much, much sooner. But I didn’t give up the fight for exactly the kind of work I want to do.

So here I am, scrambling to be read to step on a plane for new places, new experiences, and new people. I’m excited and grateful for the opportunity.

When I forget what can happen when you wait for what you really want, I’m reminded how life can somehow work out. It’s just not always how you want.

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some photos make me chuckle no matter how many times i’ve seen them, or how long it’s been since i looked at them.

this is one of those.

from left to right: dan, can’t remember, bill, hal, can’t remember, val, doubt, me, and some woman (i don’t think she was with us)

this was probably in 1998 or 1999? maybe someone in the picture (who actually reads my blog) will be able to fill in some of the gaps in my bad memory.

i can’t recall why exactly, but it always makes me think of the reservoir dogs. except we’re all young and jewish.




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traveling during the holidays is always an interesting experience, though one i haven’t had in quite some time. most of my regular readers (i’m learning i have quite a bit more than i thought) are aware that i have returned to my childhood home in overland park, kansas for thanksgiving.

its been a good visit so far, particularly as i’ve had lots of time to spend with my youngest nephew, who i haven’t spent as much time with as i’d otherwise prefer.

and its COLD here. i know, i know…. its not really cold, but i’ve embraced the reality that i’ve become a complete sissy to temperature extremes since moving to hawaii more than 14 years ago. so, for the average kansan, the weather has been brisk, or chilly, but not really cold. of course, i beg to differ. friends and family alike have taken some delight in my suffering given where i live.

a couple of quick photos (i’ll share more later).

i was surprised, but pleased to see bubbie’s mochi ice cream for sale at whole foods in overland park. is it terrible to be surprise that folks in kansas know what mochi ice cream is?

here’s an experience i haven’t had in many, many years; waiting patiently while a train moves through the area. i was there for a minute, or two before i could continue….

beyond all that, i haven’t much to share. i did want to take a moment, however belatedly, to wish everyone a happy, healthy, and safe thanksgiving holiday. i hope you’ve all been able to enjoy quality time with loved ones.

i’m certainly thankful i’ve been able to.

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weddings are nice. they’re an excuse to travel. they’re an excuse to drink and celebrate. and, if you’re fortunate enough not to be in the wedding party, they’re an opportunity to gather with friends and relax.

this was the case back in september 2004, when i attended a college friend’s wedding in columbus, ohio. i had moved to hawaii just a couple years prior and it was the first time i’d seen a lot of my college friends since i left oxford.

a “selfie” of me looking hairless and chubby. at the time i was keeping kosher and wearing kipper at the time.

my good friend and former roommate, hal. the birdie was a pretty typical pose for him (and for me too, actually).

me. rudely awakened the morning of the wedding.

from left to right: erin, melanie, missy, and me. “my girls”. though not evident in the photo, i had a bit of a thing for erin, who i’d see next at hal’s wedding several years later in chicago.

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i’m spending the weekend on kauai, not for r&r, but to help my friend gary hooser run for reelection to the kauai county council.

the last time i was on this island for any stretch was… several years ago when i flew over for a week to spend time with family who had come for vacation. Those were the times when I used to rig a paddle board for kids and reprobates in the area and engage in a little fun. a small, sleepy island, it’s definitely a change from my normal honolulu scenery. its been good.

immediately after landing on friday afternoon, i joined a sign waving already in progress at the intersection just outside the airport. it was a great turnout, despite the occasional downpour; i arrived about an hour into it and there were still roughly 50 people there.

saturday was a canvassing day. i’m not terribly fond of canvassing, as i’m usually not comfortable knocking on doors and talking to strangers. it’s ok, though. intent on helping, despite my discomfort, i was tasked with placing campaign signs. and by placing in mean hammering into the ground! it was labor intensive, but still much preferred to the alternative. by the end of our three-hour shift, my group had planted something like 30 signs.

we returned to gary’s house for lunch, after which the afternoon group went out. having not gotten much sleep the night before, i stayed behind to do some data entry… and have a nap.

saturday night was the kauai turno ball and gary’s campaign had purchased a table. i’d never been to one and though i didn’t really know what to expect, it was a very nice evening: music, dancing (not by me), good food, and an entertaining program. i even donned some of the traditional attire. all in all a good evening.

exhausted, we came back to the house and straight to bed.

aside from a campaign meeting this afternoon, today will be relaxing and low key. a trip to the beach is in order, if the weather clears. otherwise, lounging will be fine with me too.

sorry no pictures, but i hope you enjoy your sunday.

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