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How to Apply for Your Dream Job

Brandy-Resume-Clean

>>YEP. ^That’s my resumé. Design credit goes to the one and only Jermaine Walker.

I share dreams like people share news.

It started two Wednesdays ago. Someone posted in a writing group I’m in that The Washington Post was hiring a religion writer to join their social justice team. I jumped on the ceiling for joy. I called Jermaine, my mom, my two best friends, my mother-in-law, my birth mom, and a couple of people I met one time.

The Post is hiring a religion writer for their social justice team! I am going to apply my heart out! Please please please pray for me and this job!”

I got off the phone and went to the library. Plunking down in the “job hunting” section, I went through every book on that shelf, eventually choosing my favorite nine. My daughter had an MRI that evening, so I sat in the waiting room and took in all I could from those books. What to wear to an interview. Things you should never ever say. How to write a cover letter that will actually be read. I ate it up like manna from heaven.

The next morning, I woke up early and got to work—cleaning. I went from room to room clearing clutter, dusting, wiping away the grime. It was part of the process. I felt it, intuitively. I was about to birth something from the deepest parts of my creative belly. I needed to nest first.

I kept reading. Thinking. Dreaming. How best to do this? On Friday, it hit me. We could create a resumé designed like a page in the newspaper!

I am not a designer. But this! The details. That’s Jermaine’s speciality.

Saturday morning, we put our heads down and started chipping away at it. I crafted a shitty first draft of the most important cover letter I will ever write. He redesigned The Washington Post. I wanted to finish by Sunday evening, but it was soon clear that wasn’t going to happen. All in all, we spent 30 hours over three days.

We make an epic team, even though (or perhaps because) we are so different. I was ready to call it a day by hour 20, but he was not satisfied. By Monday night, we were both exhausted. But I think the results spoke for themselves. We’d given birth to one hell of a job application.

On Tuesday morning, I emailed the hiring manager my full presentation. I don’t have any concrete good or bad news yet. I’ve done all I can do, and now I can only practice the excruciating art of waiting patiently.

But, something has shifted inside of me. Birth, even the creative, non-baby variety, changes you. You can’t help it.

Even if I don’t get this job—and I hope I do!—it may be time for a change. I’ve been in business for myself for almost four years. And I love the work that I do. I love writing whatever the hell I want. I love teaching classes that inspire people to love themselves and to write their heart out. I love writing bios! I love the letters I’ve received confirming that this work I’m doing, it means something.

And I am not ready to stop pursuing my BIG DREAMS—getting published, speaking on stages all over the world, getting paid well to use my gifts. But I’m starting to wonder if entrepreneurship might be the first leg of this grand journey, instead of the journey itself.

When I first heard about this job, my daydreams transported me to future, what it would look like to work there in 10 years. Besides running my own business, this is the first position I’ve ever considered settling into for a decade or more!

So, regardless of what happens, I think that’s my new gauge. When I find a new potential gig, can I see myself there in 2024? Can I see myself there as a mom of a teenage boy (oh God) and an adult daughter (oh GOD)? If I can, it’s worth applying. It’s worth giving my all.

Because my all is a pretty damn good gift. So, even in the midst of the, “Who am I to apply for such an amazing job?” questions from my inner jerk, I can hold onto that. And trust that no matter where this new shift takes me, I’ll land somewhere incredible, full of new and exciting challenges.

merawHi! I’m Brandy. I run this joint, and I’m so glad you’re here! I write here every weekday to share resources, love, and challenges for dreamers and creative healers. I’m aiming to hit that sweet spot between doing work you love, making the world a better place, and taking care of yourself in the process! I hope this post inspires you to reach out and grab your big dreams. Regardless of the inner jerk in your head. Because your all is a pretty damn good gift, too. 

If you really dig my style and my message, then you might want to consider signing up for my newsletter, Voice Lessons. Every Sunday, I write a love letter to all the people on that list, sharing stuff I don’t share with the world. I’ve even been known to give away entire eCourses for free.

All the love, friend. Thank you for stopping by! If you’d like to know more about me, you can read all my gory details here. I hope this post filled your day with a little extra awesome. Take good care.

Week Seven :: On Love and Punishment

Brandy Blogs the Bible

 

The Paraphrase (Exodus 29-40)

The Skinny:

Chapter 29—God gives Moses detailed (and graphic) instructions on how to consecrate Aaron and his sons. The last part of the chapter explains how to slaughter lambs as offerings so that God will dwell with the people.

Chapter 30—More instructions: the Altar of Incense, money from men once they come of age, a basin for washing, anointing oil and incense (fabulous holy perfume lovingly made by a perfumer that is not to be used for any other reason).

Chapter 31—God calls two guys out, Bezalel and Oholiab, and fills them with the Spirit of God (the first reference of God’s Spirit). Also, a word about the importance of keeping the sabbath.

Chapter 32—Scene shift to the base of the mountain. The people, anxious because they don’t know what is taking Moses so long, decide to craft their own god—a calf made out of their gold jewelry. God is so angry with them and wants to destroy all of them. Moses pleads with God on their behalf. And God changed God’s mind. Moses leaves the top of the mountain with all the instructions he’s just received on two stone tablets. But when he sees the people worshipping the calf, he loses it, and breaks the tablets into pieces. He melts down the calf, grinds it into a powder of ashes, puts it in water and makes the people drink it. Finally, in anguish, he throws up his hands and asks, “Who is with God?” The sons of Levi gather around him. He commands them to kill the other people. 3000 people die. Moses goes back up to the top of the mountain. God punishes the rest of the people with a plague—because of the calf Aaron made.

Chapter 33—God is so mad he tells the people to go ahead to the promised land, but that God is not coming, because they’re a “stiff-necked” people and if God comes God will probably end up killing them all. Moses has a unique and bold dialogue with the Lord and talks the deity into coming.

Chapter 34—New stone tablets are made, with the laws and the covenant renewed. Moses’s face begins to radiate from spending so much time with God.

Chapter 35—Moses gathers the people together and they get to work making the tabernacle. Bezalel, with God’s Spirit, becomes a skilled artisan in every kind of craft—from gold, silver, and bronze, to stone and carving wood. Oholiab, with God’s spirit, becomes a designer, embroiderer, and a weaver of fine linen.

Chapter 36—These two, along with every skilled artisan in the group, begin building the tabernacle.

Chapter 37—They make the Ark of the Covenant, the Table for the Bread of the Presence, the Lampstand, the Altar of Incense, the anointing oil and the incense.

Chapter 38—They make the Altar of Burnt Offering and the Court of the Tabernacle. And then there’s a little piece about all the materials used within the Tabernacle. 

Chapter 39—They make the Vestments for the Priesthood, gorgeous and intricate clothes. The finishing touches are put on and the work is completed.

Chapter 40—God tells Moses the specific day the Tabernacle is supposed to go up—the first day of the first month. God goes on to give detailed instructions on how to begin the whole thing. And Moses listened. The cloud of God covered the tent of meeting and the Glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. At night, the cloud contained fire. God was with them.

My own random thoughts

The Holy Spirit makes an entrance

I love firsts. And I took notice when I discovered this first (my friend, James-Michael, told us in the Bible study he led several years ago). What’s even more interesting is who gets to be filled—artists! Sometimes we think of art as nonessential and frivolous. Not so. These artists get God’s wisdom, understanding, and ability in every craft. Gosh, I love that.

A word about detail

One of the unique attributes about this Hebrew God is that this God dwells with the people. God is telling them how to make God’s throne. And it’s a tent! Not only is it modest, it’s mobile! God goes with the people. God leads them, interacts with them. This is kind of a big deal.

I think it’s a way God expresses extravagant Love. All the fuss. It’s important. And necessary. There’s a great example in the Gospels, where the woman comes and pours perfume on Jesus’s feet. His disciples don’t get it. They think it’s a waste. He does, though. And he is moved by her gift (which is, funnily, also holy perfume).

A little side story

A couple of years ago, my daughter was away, visiting her birth dad, and I promised her I’d send her cookies. Days passed and for whatever reason, the cookies didn’t get sent. I made a batch and they went bad before I could send them. I finally finished a second batch. I decorated the big ones with her favorite frosting and added sprinkles because I know she loves them. I went to the post office to send them. I had to overnight them so they’d get to her on time (before she came back to Maryland)! It ended up costing $25. $25 to mail cookies! We didn’t have that. I thought about it while I stood in line to ship them. Should I do this? It seemed almost ridiculously wrong. But, deep down in my gut I felt this tug toward Extravagant Love. Yes, it was silly. But I don’t get the opportunity to love like this everyday. And so I plunged into the silliness for Love’s sake.

Well, it ended up becoming somewhat of a nightmare for my dad, who had to drive all over town looking for the post office that they’d been shipped to the next day. It made him late picking Sadie up, and very very frazzled. Some of the cookies broke and stuck together. Even the tin broke! I felt so bad. And foolish.

Then, my mom, who would have ordinarily turned up her nose at the amount I spent to mail the cookies, lovingly offered to pay for them. And so, a Cookie Near Fiasco turned into two different opportunities for Extravagant Love. And, of course, Sadie didn’t care that they were broken. She said they tasted delicious.

The golden calf

Oh my. This story is hard on many levels. I’ve read this story many many times, and what always strikes me the most is not the people’s disobedience, but God’s (and Moses’) anger. Because I believe that God is loving, kind, and forgiving. And because shortly after this whole horrible scene, we have God’s “self-revelation” proclaiming that God is indeed all of those things. Right after all these people were killed (by the swords of the people who were “for the Lord”).

And I get it, intellectually. I get that the construction of the calf a screaming lack of faith. I get that what God was telling Moses on that mountain was extremely holy and important. And they did one of the very things God explicitly told them not to—the one, in fact, that God warned against.

But, still, the punishment is harsh. How do you reconcile with the God of the Old Testament with a God that is kind and forgiving?

These are the questions I’ve spent the last five+ years wrestling. These are the questions that kept me from finishing this project the first time. The ones that inspired me to quit seminary. Twice.

I still don’t have a perfect answer. I’m still wrestling. But I think that’s okay. I think God invites us to wrestle sometimes. Even if that fight eventually destroys our belief system. I think God that would rather we have honest doubt than blind faith. That’s the best I can do right now. And it’s enough.

Thank you for reading. So much love.

 

merawHi! I’m Brandy. I run this joint, and I’m so glad you’re here! I write here every weekday to share resources, love, and challenges for dreamers and creative healers. I’m aiming to hit that sweet spot between doing work you love, making the world a better place, and taking care of yourself in the process!

Every Thursday, I blog through the Bible—trying to get through the whole thing in the next two years. If you found this post interesting and helpful and you’d like to continue to follow along as I go through, you can read the intro to this project, along with week one, the detour we took into original sin, week two, week threeweek fourweek five, and week sixNext week, we’ll start Leviticus, so read chapters 1-14.

And if you really dig my style and my message, then you might want to consider signing up for my newsletter, Voice Lessons. Every Sunday, I write a love letter to all the people on that list, sharing stuff I don’t share with the world. I’ve even been known to give away entire eCourses for free.

All the love, friend. Thank you for stopping by! If you’d like to know more about me, you can read all my gory details here. I hope this post filled your day with a little extra awesome. Take good care.

Kismet

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Two things.

First, I said I’d write every day. I meant it. I’m doing that shit. I don’t make these kinds of commitments lightly.

I had a post planned for today. But my intuition is telling me that it’s not time yet for that piece. I don’t take my intuition lightly, either.

Second, I’m a little past exhausted. I don’t have the energy to come up with something new and fabulous. Not tonight.

And that’s okay. I don’t mind not being fabulous every moment of every day.

SO. Instead of a full-blown Essay of Wonder, I’m offering a prompt instead.

I was on my way home from the bookstore this evening and I nearly crashed into this rainbow. I literally gasped.

Once I gained my composure, I found a parking spot in the garage and ran my happy ass back to the park.

Because, c’mon! This is breathtaking. It made me feel like something magical was on the horizon. Especially since not five minutes after I arrived, the clouds came in and covered over all the colors. If I hadn’t been there at just the right time, I would have missed it entirely. 

So let’s talk about timing. And magic. What’s happening in your life right now that feels a little too kismet to be coincidence? And, just as important, how are you going to show up and do your part to give Lady Luck a hand?

merawHi! I’m Brandy. I run this joint, and I’m so glad you’re here! I write here every weekday to share resources, love, and challenges for dreamers and creative healers. I’m aiming to hit that sweet spot between doing work you love, making the world a better place, and taking care of yourself in the process!

If you really dig my style and my message, then you might want to consider signing up for my newsletter, Voice Lessons. Every Sunday, I write a love letter to all the people on that list, sharing stuff I don’t share with the world. I’ve even been known to give away entire eCourses for free.

All the love, friend. Thank you for stopping by! If you’d like to know more about me, you can read all my gory details here. I hope this post filled your day with a little extra awesome. Take good care.

What to Do When You Realize You’ve Gained Weight (Part Three)

photo-9

To recap—the first three things to do when you realize you’ve gained weight:

1. Recognize that it’s not your fault.

2. Take a deep breath.

3. Trust that you’ll be able to do something about it (if you choose).

 

The next three things to do when you realize you’ve gained weight:

4. Consider that you may be addicted. And again, that it’s not your fault.

5. Practice radical self-compassion.

6. Focus on what you CAN do.

 

And finally, the last three things to do when you realize you’ve gained weight:

7. Know that this is not about willpower. And also it is. And you can do something about yours.

So, okay. The thing is, willpower is a muscle. Like all muscles, it can be strengthened. And that’s good! But, also like all muscles, it has its natural limit and it needs rest. You can’t push yourself there. It’s not physically possible. That’s why we gain it back so often. There’s another way.

And I wish it were simple. I wish I could say, “Do this, and there you have it.” But the truth is that the road to vitality will look different for everyone. The good news is, you don’t have to know all the ways. You just have to work out, with hope and trembling, what works for YOU. And honest to God, if what works for you right now is to eat an entire cheesecake, that’s okay! It’s okay to “slip up.” It’s okay to eat things that have no nutritional benefits. It’s okay to be where you are. Because it’s where you are!

If you’re in North Carolina, you can’t force yourself to suddenly be in Maryland (trust me, I’ve tried). But with the right tools and gads of patience, you can make the trip up north when it’s time. It’s the same with willpower. We have to at least acknowledge where we are before we’re able to move forward. It’s like pushing a car uphill.

If you have an hour to spare, Kelly McGonigal has some great things to say about willpower.

8. Let yourself eat (whatever you want).

No, yeah. I’m serious. And I’ll let Geneen Roth share her wisdom in this subject and elaborate further because I will likely botch the brilliance.

But ask yourself this:

What does your body want? What would it look like to not deprive yourself of anything? How would that make your body feel? What if you could let go of the fear of deprivation? What would it look like to trust your body?

9. Determine your next right steps.

This is where I want you to actually come back and share your experience. In other words, I’m giving you homework.

When I make a weight loss plan, it’s usually something like: Lose 35 pounds in the next three months. BUT. What if we made five year plan for our health? Where do you want to be in 10 years? How do you want to love the body you’ve been given? How do you plan to shower it with feel-good healthy vibes? What would THRIVING look like?

Work backwards from there. Create a doable plan that makes you feel excited. I’ll create one, too. And we’ll meet back here for one last Tuesday rendezvous. If you want, email me your plan and I’ll share some of the ones I receive in the post next week. 

Ooh. I’m pumped about this. Hehe, I love plans. But I think these ones—they might actually stick!

 

merawHi! I’m Brandy. I run this joint, and I’m so glad you’re here! I write here every weekday to share resources, love, and challenges for dreamers and creative healers. I’m aiming to hit that sweet spot between doing work you love, making the world a better place, and taking care of yourself in the process!

And if you really dig my style and my message, then you might want to consider signing up for my newsletter, Voice Lessons. Every Sunday, I write a love letter to all the people on that list, sharing stuff I don’t share with the world. I’ve even been known to give away entire eCourses for free.

All the love, friend. Thank you for stopping by! If you’d like to know more about me, you can read all my gory details here. I hope this post filled your day with a little extra awesome. Take good care.

Monday Memoirs :: The First Three Days

Daycare1

 

A blog excerpt from October 8th 2012. 

I tried to keep him dry by covering the opening of the stroller with a blanket, but he wanted to see, so he scooted himself around in front of it, his face thrust defiantly toward new adventures. I didn’t notice until he was so rain-soaked that water was dripping from his ears, and the Cheerios in his tray became a soggy pile of mush.

He started to wail. I gave him his pacifier and sang him a sweet-although-off-key serenade. Entranced by my overtures, he threw his pacifier overboard not once, but three different times. Each time he’d wait a few dozen steps before filing a complaint, and I’d have to backtrack 50 feet in the rain, scouring the ground. I’d vow not to give it to him again, but then I’d think of his soggy Cheerios and rain-soaked ear lobes and give in.

We were on our way to his second day of full-time childcare. I have big plans of world domination by way of freelance writing, and it just wasn’t happening with him at home. We have a car, but on Tuesday my husband needed to go in to work early. The childcare center is in our neighborhood, so I decided to walk Brooklyn to school. On a whim, I set off along the scenic route, figuring I’d sneak in some exercise along the way. Yeah. It turned into a two-hour round-trip with a layover in Dallas. And it rained off and on the whole way.

As we walked I fought an internal battle. I wanted so badly to give up, to admit we couldn’t do it. He needed me. I was abandoning him.

But last week, I was so sure. It’s what I’ve wanted for months. To find good childcare so he could make some baby friends. To build a career for myself and use my gifts to change the world, and bring in a second income for our family.

Pushing that stroller in the rain, I was crippled with the guilt that often comes with following our dreams. I walked home dejected, feeling like I’d failed.

And then I remembered Jermaine’s salty wisdom. I’d shared with him all my doubts and uncertainty: “What if I can’t make it as a freelance writer? What if childcare completely screws up our son?”

Jermaine laughed, “I think you should just schedule overwhelm into the first three days of any big scheme you undertake.”

So, that’s what I did. I put on dry clothes and poured hot coffee. I spent my Tuesday doing dishes and listening to inspiring podcasts from people changing the world. I read Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly. On Wednesday, I penciled in one more day of overwhelm—overwhelm overtime. I talked to my best friend, worked out, and savored more good coffee. And when I felt the gremlins creeping in to whisper that I was a lazy mom for putting Brooklyn in childcare before I had a “real job”, I took a deep breath and recognized them as overwhelm, self-doubt, and fear.

Thursday morning, I woke up ready. I’ve so got this. I can become a well-paid freelancer writer, speaker, and life coach. I can create a free online magazine that inspires people to break good. And I can find gigs as a housekeeper to bring in the cash we need to stay afloat in this transition period. And that’s just what I did.

Yes. This is it.

 

merawHi! I’m Brandy. I run this joint, and I’m so glad you’re here! I write here every weekday to share resources, love, and challenges for dreamers and creative healers. I’m aiming to hit that sweet spot between doing work you love, making the world a better place, and taking care of yourself in the process!

Every Monday, I share an excerpt from my memoir. Working diligently behind the scenes to put it all together by the end of this year. My prayer is that it sets up like some kind of gorgeous word soufflé.

And if you really dig my style and my message, then you might want to consider signing up for my newsletter, Voice Lessons. Every Sunday, I write a love letter to all the people on that list, sharing stuff I don’t share with the world. I’ve even been known to give away entire eCourses for free.

All the love, friend. Thank you for stopping by! If you’d like to know more about me, you can read all my gory details here. I hope this post filled your day with a little extra awesome. Take good care.

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