Thursday, October 25, 2007
Progress Report #2

This is where things get harder. It's been just shy of a month since I left Memphis (feels like five times that long), and I'm now stranded in that aching place between the ecstasy of escape and the reality of starting over in a new city. Today I submitted my resume to another nine temp agencies and put in applications for a couple of miserable jobs that I really don't want. Tomorrow I (finally) have a meeting with one agency for a crap job that I really, really should be able to get; if that fails, then I've got another couple of miserable jobs to apply for. And then I'll take the weekend off, because job search-wise, you can't accomplish jack squat on the weekends.

On the brighter side, on Sunday I'm taking the volunteer orientation class for a super-amazing local cinema, because I have a feeling I'm going to need something to keep my morale up.

Also, predictably, as soon as I'd given up on finding a place, a really good prospect turned up. It's a nice room in a nice house, with a nice (and sane) potential house-mate, in a part of town I really like, and within the budget I've outlined for myself. It would be a very lucky find. The catch, of course, is that the landlord is a realtor and will be demanding about my references -- and if you'll notice, I don't have a current employer (yet.) It won't be the end of the world if it all goes to shit -- I'm not letting myself get too attached to anything -- but it would be awfully cool if somehow this came together. We'll see.

Do you ever have the feeling that your senses have been dulled by life? Or maybe it's not the senses I mean... maybe it's my response to what my senses present that I find lacking. And I don't mean in a "nothing's any good anymore" way -- this isn't anything unusual or different, and that's the problem. But sometimes, for instance, I'll hear a piece of music and I'll think to myself, "this should be affecting me more than it is." I fail to be moved by moving things, and I wonder why that is. It's not a lack of emotional response, it's more like I simply fail to recognize some things for what they are. There's an intellectual/perceptual element to it.

Then again, maybe it's more a question of type than degree. I'm not a specifically auditory person, so maybe music isn't the most direct path to my limbic system. Since getting to Portland, I've been able to go out walking in a much more interesting environment that I generally could in Memphis, and I'm rediscovering some senses that I haven't used as much in recent years. Like smell, for example. I walk around Portland feeling surprised and interested in the way it smells. And yes, that sounds really gross, though it isn't really. One house might smell like incense, and another like curry, and another like wet leaves. Now and then -- often when there isn't anyone else visibly around -- I'll catch a whiff of what could only be pot. (It probably says a lot about my relative drug naievete that I always have to think about it for a second before I can identify it.) The point is, I haven't appreciably felt my sense of smell engaged with my surroundings since London. And while it brings some minor risks (have you ever caught something like cooking garlic on the breeze, savored the aroma, and then realized that it was actually a portable toilet? Stuff like that happens to me all the time,) I'm enjoying it a lot.

But I still worry that I miss a lot of what goes on around me. I'm good at catching visual things, less good at auditory things, and I often wonder whether things like television and a lot of the music I listen to have dulled my appreciation for life's more subtle beauties. It's an intangible sense of not quite fully experiencing the world around me.

What it probably really calls for is hallucinogens. But not while I'm still looking for a job.

Update: It looks like I'm about to get my first official temp assignment in Portland, so that's a small relief. I'll say more about it, I'm sure, once I've actually started -- not that there'll be much to say. For the record, incidentally, my measured, tested, scored office skillz = teh hawtness. My MS Word and Excel scores were perfect. Not good, perfect. And I type like a motherfucker. It's so nice to be appreciated, even if it's only for bullshit.
10:15 PM ::
Amy :: permalink
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