When I decided that I wanted to look for a different job, I felt pretty confident. I’ve learned a lot over the last year and as I get better at writing and marketing in general, I have found that I’m pretty good at making myself look fantastic on paper. And on Monday that was about all I felt: good on paper.
A few months ago I had asked a friend who should remain nameless for the sake of Homeland Security to get me a pirated version of Adobe Photoshop, a very expensive and complicated program for people who want to take Facebook profile photos to another level. I jumped head first into the program and in about a month I started to feel pretty good about my seemingly impeccable knowledge of a program most people go to trade schools to understand. I was producing rudimentary info-graphic marketing material for various projects and felt inclined to update my resume to include Graphic Designer Extraordinar! In retrospect that may have been presumptuous. Because when I actually landed a job as a graphic designer for a regional magazine in San Diego, all I could think on my first day was, …and why did you hire me exactly?
The truth is I have about as much logistical Photoshop experience as my gay friend Sean has with touching women: He knows what all the buttons do, but not always in the best combination or how to really make a girl scream. But unlike Sean I have every intention of making these images climax off the page.
So while I was freaking out at my new desk doubting my abilities as a creative designer I was missing the endless possibility that lay before me.
This could very well be one of those stories where a downtrodden girl finally gets a break to do something really cool. Including fashion shoots with real models and coordinating the entire look from start to finish. Who am I to pick hair and makeup looks for models in a fashion magazine? (That’s exactly what they asked me to do.) Our character struggles to keep her phony identity a secret while she gets help from a friendly office mate who shares her love of American muscle cars keeping her secret safe as she rises to the top only to tell her boss three years later: Yeah I had no idea what I was doing when you hired me. But by then she is too fabulous to get fired and she lives happily ever after.
Or, in a separate but entirely possible parallel universe, she gets fired and finds a new job.
So while self-doubt and a pity-party for one seems easier to manage than actually believing I can do this job, I have no choice but to fake it till I make it; because I don’t believe in luck or miracles. But I do believe the universe has an extraordinary way of providing us with the things we need when we need them, very often not a moment too soon.
I was looking for something on Craigslist: a display for a tradeshow I will be attending later this month. I found what I was looking for and emailed the seller to ask if the price was fixed, as it was listed $40 over what I expected to pay.
Mr. Lopez replied back with the following message:
Yes, it’s available still. I thought your name sounded familiar. I read your article Piñatas and S&M in The San Diego Reader. I’ll give a fellow artist the discount.
P.S. If you ever need help with graphic design, I’m a wiz.
He later offered me Photoshop lessons in exchange for a good laugh over coffee.
Aside from being utterly flabbergasted by the sheer coincidence that a random stranger on Craigslist remembered my name from an article that got flack for misconstrued racism, I couldn’t help but notice at how attractive luck looks when things go your way. But that would be foolish, to feel lucky by this seemingly attractive situation.
I’ll just feel famous.