Rekindling the Phoenix

The morning is off to a rocky start. Still drowsy, my mind is being anything but cooperative.

Give me more coffee.

I blog, browse Facebook, send off another job application, and refresh my email.

Garbage. Spam. Spam. Garbage. What the?

Now, you’re seeing things.

I stare at the subject line: “Conditional Job Offer.” Dumbfounded, I open it. Read through the content. Scream. And nearly hit my head on the apartment ceiling.

Fine. Enjoy this. But after you come down, we really need to reconsider coffee.


My mind brims with the possibilities. Everything that Andy and I have been talking about doing “one day” or “when we have the means” is one big step closer to becoming a reality.

Leaving our closet-sized Koreatown studio for a West Hollywood retreat. Adopting pets. Starting an online antique business. Socking-away money into savings. Traveling.

All because we’ve kept pushing the boundaries instead of settling for comfortable.


Right before we moved out here, I was reading a blog by someone who’d made a similar move to California. But he’d moved pre-recession, and had a lot more money saved up than we did. Still, he’d packed his car, left a job he’d loathed, and vowed to start over. It took a lot of work, but it only took him a month to get a new job and start re-building his life.

I’d rolled my eyes at the tight turnaround. Sure. I’ll be able to do that, too. Especially in my field.

But I knew then that I wasn’t going to be searching for a job in cultural resources. I wanted a change, and this was the perfect time to embrace it. So I opened myself up to other opportunities and took a long, hard look at my experiences and what I could cobble together for myself. And it’s paid off. Because I stopped looking to my degrees for all the answers–and started looking in the mirror.

The road leading to this morning’s joy-filled email wasn’t paved with rainbows. It took a lot of work, and a lot of self-confidence I didn’t have when I started. Because I had to remind myself how to dust myself off and keep plugging after repeatedly reading “We wish you well in your employment endeavors.” Both of us have had to keep pushing one another to get the payoff. Because it only takes one offer to negate multiple rejections.

So now, two months after moving here, I have a job that I’m excited about. Not just because it’s another paycheck, but because it’s something that’ll make me feel worthwhile–like I’m making a difference. Plus, I’m in a better place to realize that, while it may be great, it’s still a job. And a job isn’t life. It can improve it, but it can’t be its substitute.

So while this is just one step of many more, it’s one we’re taking together. As we begin realizing that we’re the architects of our future.

That we can build something spectacular.

5 Replies to “Rekindling the Phoenix”

  1. Matt,hearty congrats on the new job! I hope it’s everything you wish for and that your new employers treat you well. Look forward to hearing about it in future.

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