03 Oct 2012 Comments Off
I just read you can avoid the tears that come from peeling an onion if you run the onion under cold water OR chill the onion first before peeling/chopping. Fact or fiction, it got me thinking about crying — something I have some experience with as of late.
Wikipedia defines crying as shedding tears as a response to an emotional state in humans. It’s debatable whether or not animals cry… I believe they do. Some believe that children and women cry more than men — I say, only more in public.
So, what does “tearing” from onions have to do with “crying” — an emotional state in humans? Or in this case, me?
It was an unusually hot summer. The business climate made me even hotter. My cool self-employment routine suddenly changed with the loss of a very good client who I had come to rely upon for most of my income. This meant suddenly re-thinking everything — not only was I concerned with where was I going to regain the income but, at 49, I was now questioning (after 17 happy years) if wanted to continue to be self-employed. Maybe it was time for some changes. I certainly am successful and very good at what I do, but a big part of me longs again for (among other thing) the energy and team atmosphere a large company offers. Maybe this was an opportunity to go back “there.”
It was time to start peeling my onion to discover what opportunities I could find.
After I peeled the first layer I took an honest look at the situation. This was personal! Truth — I am a smart artist with a mortgage and a bunch of big expenses and there was very little income coming into my design/marketing business! YIKES! Now what? “Sink or Swim” would have been the advice I would have given to any of you. Instead, overwhelmed, I started to cry. Between the panic and tears I did sensible things. I weeded the garden. I reviewed my cottage’s Feng Shui. I painted. I wrote. I listened to music. I cooked. I re-reviewed my cottage’s Feng Shui! I sat for long periods of time and watched my fish swim. I checked my email. I avoided opening my regular mail. …and I nervously pretended it wasn’t happening.
The nights I couldn’t fall asleep, I’d calculate how long my money would last. Some nights I’d envision what life would be like if I had to move out of my cottage that I had worked so hard to renovate. When I eventually stopped sleeping altogether I decided it was time to get my resume together and at the same time started re-marketing my company. I have a great resume — graduated from a top university, 25+ years solid experience in my field, accomplishments, excellent recommendations, blah-blah-blah… As I sent this terrific resume out daily, with no responses back I came to realize — so do a lot of others! When I wasn’t on job-searching/-posting sites sending resumes, I was making connections (and re-connections) for my design/marketing studio and learning new programs so I could offer new services. I was exhausted. There were no serious bites. There was no longer time for weeding the garden. And no money to run the air-conditioner. Things just got hotter.
The heat of the summer just made the crying worse. I just kept peeling away at the onion. It was painful at times — constantly re-posting my resume, updating my portfolio, marketing my creative and marketing services, and reflecting on my miscellaneous talents; but I was discovering layers of myself I had long forgotten. The layers may be smaller the closer you get to the center of the onion, but they are unique and personal. In these small layers I learned to do more with less. AND, oddly I was sleeping late on Saturdays. Could I have been starting to relax? By early September, with no serious responses to my resume or any new significant leads for my business, in order to pay the bills, I secured a part-time job (not in my career field but doing something I also enjoy) — “Sink or Swim, clever girl you decide!”
Autumn arrived last week. There is already a damp chill in the air. I have chilled as well. I continue to send resumes, make business connections and drum up business for my design/marketing studio. As things improve, I am “liking” this new life I have found. I am enjoying my peeled layers — now in a messy pile in full-view rather than neatly bound and tightly hidden away. There is still worry but less panic and stress. My part-time job has given me some freedom from the panic. I have awoken to a different sort of creative energy where possibility lives. I am finding happiness in the moments — interacting with people who are enjoying themselves. I am listening closely to clues the world is giving me and following them.
Today does not have the prosperity of last year but I trust everything will be okay. Who knows, maybe this time next year will yield more than I could ever imagine. By “chilling the onion,” completely peeling it, and discovering all the possibilities (with out crying) I am finding it easier to attract companies to my resume and to my design/marketing studio. After all, if you are crying too much you have to give-up peeling the onion; BUT, if you can stop crying and finish peeling the onion you can enjoy it’s savory favor.
Mary Carol Sullivan has 25+ years experience in creative marketing and advertising.
She is the owner of Arachne Design and is looking for a full-time position as
Creative Director with a high energy corporation or agency.
To view resume and portfolio: marycarolsullivanportfolio.com
You can contact the Best Girlfriend Ever! at Marycarol_sullivan@yahoo.com
© October 3, 2012, Mary Carol Sullivan, Chill Onions Before Peeling • Mary Carol Sullivan is The Best Girlfriend Ever!, www.marycarolsullivan.com