We found landing pad no. 2 on craigslist in the sublease section. It was advertised as a 600 square foot garage apartment that was being subleased at under market value. My last San Antonio apartment was 682 square feet and seems huge compared to this place. I have no idea about the under market value part, but the floor tiles in the garage apartment measure 17′ x 17′. I’ll be generous and round up to 300 square feet.
This temporary landing pad is ten times better than the last place. And I’m sure that our next place will be ten times better than this place. It’s best features are that there are no stairs and no adjacent neighbors. We have our bathroom and kitchen sink! Our cat loves it here and has even touched noses with one of the many neighborhood cats.
It is still a little rustic with no stove or oven. We are still “camping” with a microwave and hot plate. Got a little scared when we first moved in and weren’t getting hot water and couldn’t find a hot water heater. There is hot water! It takes a while to get here from the main house and it does occasionally run out.
The space actually has good bones. With a couple of trips to IKEA, some paint, and a dumpster for the old kitchen cabinets and closet shelves, I could really make this place cute. I would be able to get really decent functionality out of this small space….but since, I’m not going to be living here, I have to turn that particular creative power off for now.
Culver City is an interesting little community. I have been enjoying the flatter area for biking and the proximity to Venice–officially one of my favorite areas. We are within walking distance to one of Southern California’s major furniture centers…great entertainment value.
The next piece of our move to LA fell into place this month, when I found a job. I sent out over a hundred resumes and interviewed with 4 companies. I ended up in a GREAT place thanks to the referral from one of my references.
Looking for a job isn’t one of my favorite things to do, but I tried to keep it fun by just applying for jobs that I wanted (or thought I wanted!) Some of them were accounting jobs, but I looked for interesting industries–entertainment and garment being at the top of the list. Some were jobs that would use my logistical, problem-solving brain–like the company, KI, that designs spaces with movable walls. With each resume I sent out, I would image myself in each role. Each offering a different door to a new life.
I learned something critical about myself with each interview.
Resume No. 59: The first job was for an accounting assistant-A/P for a courier company. It was exactly the type of job that I was looking for–simple, non-stressful, adequate pay, access to at least partially subsidized health insurance, one week of vacation after a year, and 6 paid holidays. (I really hadn’t articulated to myself what benefits I wanted beyond health insurance…but waiting a year to get a week didn’t seem like enough–especially working full-time and 6 holidays seemed rather stingy!)
Besides learning that my phone number was wrong on my cover letter, I learned that while I crave simplicity, I also need some kind of challenge to energize me. I would have learned some new systems, including a paperless filing system. But I was sure that within six months, I would have mastered the day-to-day and would have found myself stuck in a company with no lateral growth potential and only the newly hired controller’s position as a very slim possibility.
Resume No. 7: The second job was for a bookkeeper in a bookkeeping company. I was required to take an accounting test, which gave me a confidence boost. The gift that came from this interviewing process was realizing that I really did want to work part time so that I could more easily continue my creative life. I know from previous experience that art is difficult after 30 hours of day job and nearly impossible at 40.
I got pretty excited about the possibility of working here, despite the complexities of a slow ramp up time of hours and money and no benefits. The system that the company uses seemed really exciting and I was attracted to the entrepreneurial spirit of the owner.
Resume No. 87: The third job was for an accountant/admin for a beer brewing company. Another job that I could easily “do” with my experience, but it was pretty quickly evident that I didn’t fit the company culture at all. I’ve never felt so old in my life!
Resume No No.: One of my professional references asked for a copy of my resume when I started the job hunting business. Little did I know that one of his clients in the LA area was looking for someone like me.
It is wonderful how powerful the Universe is. I was telling my mom that I couldn’t figure out which I wanted more–1) the simplicity of a full-time job that took care of my financial and health benefit needs, or 2) the flexibility and autonomy of one, but more likely two, part-time jobs. Since, I couldn’t decide, I left it up to my Higher Self to pick and used the shot-gun approach and applied for both ends of the part-time and full-time spectrum.
What the Universe provided was a well paying part-time job that has health benefits, 2 weeks of vacation, 14 paid holidays, and 5 sick days for a company that seems to appreciate me and where I feel like I fit. There promises to be a little bit of accounting involved, but my biggest responsibility as Accounting and Contract Specialist is doing extremely complex financial modelling for a company that has contracts with the government. Talk about using my logistics/problem-solving mind! And as a bonus, I will also get to organize the filing system.
I always land on my feet. I just didn’t know that I could land this well. I feel like a gymnast who nailed her dismount. I am a very grateful employee.