The Cover Letter I Wish I Could Send

To whom it may concern,

I wasn’t raised to gloat about myself to strangers I do not know, so I will forewarn, I probably suck at writing cover letters. Not that I don’t talk about myself at all, but it’s honestly difficult for me to appreciate my accomplishments, when I know there are probably a million different ways I could have done it better, given more time and feedback. I’m a deeply thoughtful self critic.

I suppose I should give a better introduction that that. I’m Emily. I’m a graphic designer seeking employment. I have a tendency to be a workaholic, because I genuinely enjoy keeping busy. I love food (both cooking and eating), interesting people, writing, reading, crafting, kayaking, and long walks on the beach when there are huge thunderstorms over the water.

That sounded too much like a dating ad, so let me start over.

I wanna work for you. Like, super badly. Retail has been nice for a while, and I don’t mind the atmosphere at all. I get along well with my coworkers everywhere I go. I’m great with customer service and personal PR. I’m super organized, and keep things neat and clean always. I keep track of the work of others in my department (which is why I am a manager now), and know all the deals and promotions at every counter, even if they are not my own. I just feel it is important to let the customer know their options. But alas, retail just isn’t my place anymore.

I miss design studios. I miss the low gargle of headphones played almost too loud so the rest of us in the space can hear it. I miss the hum of operating Macs, and the pings of e-mail notifications (I fall asleep to them at night. Like a lullaby). I miss the tapping of keyboards and the slight tinge of stress that I felt trying to accomplish tasks before the deadline (In the past I was notorious for being quick and efficient, handed materials for a project only hours before it needed to be in the printers inbox, and being able to complete it in time). I thrive on that kind of stress. It’s like a desk job adrenaline rush, and I’m somewhat of an adrenaline junky (Unless it’s stress caused by a tornado or something. Then I freak out and run to the basement crying…there is a story behind that…and it’s a long story).

I’m also a master of parenthetical statements (in case you haven’t noticed).

Long story short, I think I could be good for you. For your company. I can bring a little sunshine to your work environment with my quirky and colorful personality. I can offer you an excellent employee who knows her Adobe suite programs, works hard, and has excellent turn around time for projects. I can offer you a detail oriented, workaholic, who lives for design, desk jobs, offering thoughtful feedback on projects, takes criticism with grace and humility, and wants to work in creative spaces. All I ask is you provide these things. The feedback and criticism, the stress, and the creative space for me to work in.

Brutally And Honestly,
Emily

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Greener

I kept the window open, but no rain came in, just the smell of damp earth and fresh cut grass. The water patterned on the roof and leaves of the tree just outside. It got harder. I closed the window but continued to listen. It was beautiful, the way the sun shone on one side of the fence, but on the other, a dark cloud rained down its sorrow upon the earth, and in its sadness it brought forth new life. New beauty.

Sometimes the grass looks greener after the tears dry.

Remembering Katelynn

“Today is the 28th?” I questioned astonished.

“Yeah, tomorrow is the 29th. Our half birthday!” She smiled at me and I smiled back, but my heart was not in it. She noticed. “What’s the matter?” I sighed, not really wanting to tell her, but knowing I wasn’t that good at poker faces, I gave in.
“It’s my sisters birthday.”

She looked at me with a smile “what? I didn’t know you had a sister.”

“I don’t. I had a sister.” I said it in such a matter-of-fact manner that I alarmed myself.

Her smile suddenly turned to realization. “Oh, I’m so sorry.” She turned away embarrassed and speechless. I felt terrible for having said anything, so I changed the subject quickly.

I don’t want to go into details, but my sister did not live for a very long time. It was only about a week, and her passing was expected even before she was born. She had multiple birth defects. The doctors had recommended an abortion, but my mother said no. There were chances. And even if there weren’t she wanted to love that little girl until she was gone. I was too little to remember too much. I remember the hospital. I remember singing to my sister a few times. I don’t remember her passing. I don’t remember the memorial service. My brother Paul remembers quite a bit. Once when we went to visits the town my sister was born in for a day trip he told me that it was the town that babies go to die. That really struck me as a child.

It feels strange to mourn the loss of someone you never knew. Even selfish. My parents know how to mourn properly about it because they carried her through it all and then loved her as she left us. I didn’t know her as intimately as my mother did. I didn’t understand it. What I mourn, and perhaps selfishly, is who she could have been. Without her broken body, birth defects, and brain damage, who would she have been? Would we have fought a lot? Would we have shared clothes and hobbies together? Would I have had a change to understand the love that only sister can have? I always wonder. I will always wonder.

I have two brothers, whom it love to death, and sometimes want to punch in the face. I wouldn’t trade them for anything though. They are my friends in a kind of strained, all growing up trying to be come ourselves kind of way, but we wouldn’t change anything about one another. All the fights and spats are small in comparison to our friendship, and I suppose losing one of our own helped in that.

Cherish who you have. You never know when you might lose them.

A Fear of Boredom

To certain men before, I was the excitement they wanted. But they only wanted excitement because they were boring, and eventually that left me as the entertainment….and I was so exhausted and bored of them. It pains me to say it. It feels shallow to say it. But it was true. They were bored, and used me as a toy. A dancing monkey while they were on the organ grind. My collar a band of glittering gold they told me was a gift, and next thing I knew I was trapped in a cage, only brought out to dance in public, but ignored in private. So I escaped, but I live with a brokenness and fear of suffering from boredom.

The only problem this has presented now, is that I also relate relaxation with boredom. I fear sitting too long without having a task to do. Perhaps that is partly why I write this blog daily. It is why I make jewelry or doodle. It is why I avoid television and read books instead. It is why my film selection is often heavy and thoughtful, with complex themes and creative visual experiences. It gives me something to do. It gives me something to keep my mind and thoughts busy. My hands busy.

Blogging and journaling has always made me think deeply. About myself. About my world. About the world outside of me. About questions that can unravel the universe and rebuild it. I am in constant need of doing something. But this something brings me to people like you, who see these things. Other deep thinkers and lover of words. People different than me. Outside of me. People who help me unravel and rebuild the universe. People who open my world to minds with thoughts that are different than my own. It opens my heart to people who I can experience emotional connections with at great distances. It makes the world a bit smaller yes, but never has the world been more exciting when I can live it with others.

Life isn’t boring. People who are boring are lifeless. They are something that needs to be feared, because they suck the life out of you. The truth is that no one should be boring, because being different than someone else is never boring.

Seeking

Staring in to the stars above her she wished so desperately to drive. To drive for long hours in a direction and not care where she ended up. To listen to the music of the radio fade in and out. Leaving it on one station, just so she could hear something new. Something different. To hear the change just as she felt it.

She stirred inside. Stirred in a way that made her heart flutter and her eyes hunger for new sights. She wanted to be free. Wanted to be fresh. To twinkle at a distance like the starts. To be visible, but untouchable. To be like bulletproof glass. Completely transparent, and unbreakable.

But she was here. Stuck. Sleepless. Conflicted. She wanted to make peace with a town that didn’t deserve it. To call it home again, and mean it. But what did this town do to hurt her? Nothing. What did it do to help her? Nothing. She and it owed each other nothing. They had become stagnant. Stale. Neutral ground where nothing was bound to happen for as long as nothing could ever happen. Both of them were dying of boredom. It was killing them both slowly. The town, held on for as long as it could, but never would it live to see it’s glory days again. She was dying from a much more severe disease. The kind that you could feel coming, and know it could be stopped, but not knowing how.

She watched all others around her try to find the cure. Drowning themselves in alcohol and drama. Small towns like this were good for those kinds of productions. Where lovers loved, lost, and then played games dancing around like fools from one person to the next. All a stage. One bottle to the next. She felt like a puppet. Knowing everyone played around her and pulled her strings as they pulled the strings of others. She tired desperately once to cut those strings, but they were like iron. So she hid them instead and eventually people forgot to notice they were there. Instead she tried to drowned in retail therapy, and self loathing. Those were her vices. That and blasting music so loud that the world couldn’t help but disappear for a moment more.

Perhaps, she feared desperately once, it would never be cured.

Wondering

It felt almost too late to draw a bath, but then again, such a long day required a good soak. If only I had more time to invest in relaxation, but margin within a busy life is hard to come by. I stood in the bathroom. Staring at the tub. Wondering if it was worth doing now, or tomorrow. Work tomorrow. Later in the evening, but work still. I sat on the tub edge. Staring into the empty white bottom. I got up and left closing the door.

I opened the jar and smothered the cream on my face. The clay stuck heavily and as I painted more and more on, I began to wonder if the facial mask really did much for skin. I didn’t know. It made me feel better about myself and after removing layer upon layer of makeup, it felt good to think things were going to be cleaner. I opened my makeup chest and took out a perfume powder. I may not bathe tonight, but I would still smell lovely. Estée Lauder Pleasures. One of the few floral fragrances I actually enjoyed.

I thought about opening my book, but it felt too weird with the facial mask on, and I was too distracted. So I sat on my bed. Pondering. Wondering about things. Creating deep and thoughtful questions. My boyfriend had said that I tend to think of things that don’t matter, but they feel like they matter. Why would they be questions at all if they did not matter? Besides, it gave my mind something to do, which mattered a great deal to me. It is difficult to be a mind that has no thoughts. He told me that I need to turn off my brain, I doubt there is a person who can really turn off their brain, and if they can, there is a great deal of blessing and distress in such a talent. I am not on who’s mind can turn off. It has never stopped imagining.

I looked at my face in the mirror. Green and flaky as patches of the facial mask began to dry. Soon I would wash the clay off my face and a fresh new self would appear. A clean slate. In the morning I would paint it again, but in that moment just after washing, I would enjoy the clean. I would enjoy the freedom of not having to try so hard to have a certain look. My skin would feel healthy. Happy. Glowing and youthful. It would be like those commercials.

But it never actually was like those commercials. I took off the mask and the flaws became more prominent. The vein down one side of my lip leading to my chin was still there, and made me look like a ventriloquist doll. My eyes looked as though circles had began to form beneath. I saw my age coming through. Not ugly, but not so very graceful. I knew one day the beauty would be gone. The pretty would fade.

The mind might one day too.

So I would wash my face, and lay on my bed, a keep wondering until I could not wonder anymore.

Break

She woke. Filling her void brain with the sights and sounds of her typical morning. She clothes herself. He fed herself. She entrusted herself with the responsibility of feeding the animals. She forced herself to answer e-mails she didn’t want to answer. She forced herself to keep the book closed so she would not be late to work. She reminded herself that she was important to the world. That her existence mattered. But the only problem was…

She did it all alone. All by herself.

She did not receive affirmation. She didn’t want to feel that she needed it. But she was lonely. Lonely in the way that exiles are lonely. Lonely in that the room was crowded, but there was no one there. Lonely in the way that desolation feels. Stranded on islands of nothing. Having nothing. Wanting nothing. Yet within her festered a desire she would never speak of.

It wasn’t like her though. She was accustomed to being alone. Satisfied with it most days. Alone but never lonely. When did this happen? When did it become never alone, but lonely? Could it be traced? Could it be cured? What did it take to cure it? The tracing? Too many questions. She had been comfortable with the loneliness before. She knew it well. They were old friends and lovers. Why was she no longer satisfied with this independence? What made this freedom so empty?

She didn’t know. All she had known was it was a new feeling. A strange feeling. One that was odd and desperate. Perhaps tomorrow it would be gone, but until then she had to wait. She didn’t know if it would pass, but time tends to heal things, and perhaps something in her decided to break while she slept and it would heal if she slept again.

Faith is Not a Gender Issue

Many ask me how I can be a Christian Feminist. Not because they think it’s counter productive necessarily, but they can’t understand how a feminist could be okay with a Patriarchal God. I often laugh at this question, because for one, God isn’t necessarily patriarchal. God is perfect. The perfect being with perfect intentions and all seeing knowledge. It isn’t about gender for me. Faith isn’t a gender issue. Faith is putting my belief in perfection. God may be seen as male by most, but if anything, God is the perfect male. Perfect in understanding. Perfect in judgment. Perfect in love. The gender of my God doesn’t matter, what matters is God is perfect.

To think that the gender of God matters is almost more damaging to my views as a feminist as well. Why would I be offended that God is male, if there is equality in male and female? I feel the same about feminist man bashing. Why are we bashing men when we seek equality with them? To bash a man feels almost like we are lower than they, proving the patriarchal ideal that women are inferior. That we feel inferior. It is almost as if we have already given in to the inferiority and need to bring them down to our level. But what does that accomplish? Very little. People do not respond well to childish insults and name calling. What they respond to is intellect. Confidence. A sense of self worth. They may respond hurtfully, as some often do when they encounter something unfamiliar to their beliefs, but to be hurtful in return is to concede to their ideal. It seems far more counter productive.

It is sad we have to keep this as an ongoing conversation. Never will there be a day where it won’t be a social issues topic, but what I can say is that just because it is a “forever”problem doesn’t make it irrelevant. It isn’t going ways as long as humans realize differences and imperfection, like poverty, literacy, disease, and mental illness, weightism, racism…forever doesn’t make it unimportant, in fact it makes it more important.