Good On Paper

6 09 2012

whitney-butlerWhen 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.

I wondered:

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.

So instead,

I’ll just feel famous.




One response

7 09 2012

You nut!!! of course you’re famous….I didn’t bring you up to be NOT-famous.
oooooppppps…..taking the cred………….see me tip-toe away ever so quietly.

I love you…Mom

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