Work Uniforms and the art of Transformation

Got to Work

I was able to work today.  The company that Life has allowed me to work for is vast.

Meaningful Digression about Writing and Editing

Unlike when I write and edit from home – which I am still willing to do, by the way, in the English language, I had a work colleague with me.  In truth, I have had one case of having a junior work colleague with me ‘in person’.  I have also worked with other people who were also working online.

Working as a professional writer and editor from home, the perception of who one’s work colleagues really are becomes bizarre.  One may write something and mail it to someone.  If a magazine, or newspaper or other customer buys it then the editorial staff have become work colleagues by becoming paying customers.  Compared to many other jobs it is weird.

Back to main topic

The company I did work for let me have a uniform.  Work uniforms: some of you have worn them.  To some of you they are a sign of a lame work life.  For others, they are a token of status – of having a job.  I may not even be the only one who was able to view the thing much like a ‘team jersey’.

They told me to not wear the thing around too much.

 

Transformation

Transformation is what happens to that caterpillar that emerges as a butterfly.  Transformation is what happens to some people if they go from having ‘not found God’ to ‘finding God’ or ‘getting a spiritual teacher’.  Some find that their children transform from puberty.   This can happen to people in both good and bad ways.

A lot of the time, the change is relatively minor.  Maybe that’s not really true.  I mean, when an actor or actress goes into character the transformation is not minor.  For ….this is really me just guessing, 50% of workers going into the job is a lot like going on stage.  One does not have to be entirely false but many are also not feeling ‘free to be themselves’.  Those of you who ‘get it’, can see why the simple action that I will describe below is a transformation.

All I did was don the work uniform.  Today, what made it most amusing or unusual was that I did it in a cubicle at a bank.  The reason was that I wanted to arrive on time ready for work.  I went to the bank as an ordinary customer.  That was myself as ‘a private person’ rather than as ‘part of a gigantic global corporation’.  LOL, but I am glad that I am not part of the Borg now….blogging as Borg….but wow, it is a big company and I am connecting with you through weird technology rather than old and ‘in person’ ways.

Another meaningful digression

Who are we kidding?  I wrote both professionally and as an amateur in this language – in this case the point is not about criticizing my abilities but rather to point out that most professional writers work at a distance.  I had to be told to try working more locally.  My record longest distance contracts at this point were the ones from Kuwait to Indianapolis, and the ones from Singapore and India.  I did not do that many of those, but yes.

Back to Transformation

So anyway, I put on the uniform and felt ‘ta da’ transformed.  In truth, I did not feel like I had suddenly turned into someone else.  Thank God, actually.  One might expect that from psychosis or abusive trauma or strong doses of psychedelic drugs or ‘intense meditation’ ….it wasn’t anything like that.

The subjective sensation was so real, and yet so simple.  We all know one way or another how it is to be part of something greater than ourselves but how that is, can be funny or profound.

I took the thing off again after work.  The actual work was nothing to be ashamed of nor proud of.  The work was not in any of the fields in which I have some kind of personal passion.  I also did not hate it.  My emotion about it was similar to how I feel when I do house work that needs doing except for a small pleasure knowing that I had some ‘social status improvement from working for pay’ and that I would be paid.  My work colleague did not bother me and I was happy to have a colleague right there with me and that we worked as a close team.  It was a pleasure I experienced in contrast to the type of pleasure I get from writing something up and just emailing it to the customer/client/boss who reviews it and then sends me an email about whether or not that is okay.

After post notes

Yesterday, I became excited because I read that more than 100 people began to follow the blog.  This is even though there are no ‘beefcake images’ and ‘no visible boobs’.  Somehow I feel almost proud of you for that.  In all seriousness, if any of you have a nice little story about feeling transformed please drop them in the comments.

‘Real engagement’ is always great, and if you do enough you can raise my awareness of many of you ‘as real people who are actually there’.

Recently, I was stunned when a man I knew personally read some of my blog.  Our relationship still hasn’t ‘recovered’ despite my belief that it is good that someone read my blog who I also interacted with in person.  If that seems weird, go back to the paragraph about writers.

Brain Fry? Cross-cultural Re-entry

Heimat Land

“High mott land” is what that sounds like.  That’s German for native country.  Most of you could guess correctly about what one of the two words meant, which is why I describe the languages as ‘siblings’ at least ‘compared to Chinese’.   Like so much in life, it depends on what we are comparing.

It is now just a few weeks since I have re-entered my native country.  Not surprisingly, I have something along the lines of two way cultural shock, mainly because of how long I was over in Germany.  I am already missing my health insurance and looking for more.  I already miss the trams.  There are some people over there I have also been missing, but to preserve their privacy I am not naming names.

While that true, I am generally reeling from the switch back from “brick everything” to “wood and vinyl house siding”.

What I have been most rejoicing about:  the English language (also delightfully available over in England), the presence of relatives other than my son and – some Germans; I have seen the American flag a lot without it being ‘German fans of the USA’.   I am no longer suffering from the TV Land syndrome that many Europeans have wherein the USA is essentially something seen on TV and in the movies but not anyplace real where one lives.

I was able to get some work quite quickly and I kept noticing the past few days that my work colleagues were speaking English rather than German.  That still made it easier for me, even though I learned tons of German in Germany.  In fact, German is the language I now know best after English.  Sometimes that still freaks me out but it is true.

Other causes of joy: I was able to speak clearly rather than dealing with my persona of being some foreign lady from an English language culture who ‘talks funny’ in German, but they are glad how much I can.  The same rule applies for errors whether by Germans or foreigners:  Deutsche Sprache schwere Sprache.

Meanwhile, I want to acknowledge Kraft Klub as the ‘born in the 1980s’ Germans who made music good enough to get me to practice German….Following after those ‘my age’ and a little older: Nina Hagen and Einstuerzende Neubaten.  If you want to try good music with German, I recommend Kraft Klub.

 

Changes in professional writing 2016

Online, I have managed to gather some writer friends.  I am not always the greatest person about learning every aspect of the job but interacting with some other writers sometimes helps.

About that: I have been particularly bad about learning every gory detail about the industry.  For over 20 years I was just one of the writers who is an artist about writing and was looking elsewhere for a day job.  I had not forgotten that my mother advised that I either try to become a technical writer or else make sure to have a day job.

Harsh reality: there was a reason for that advice.

There have been many changes in the industry during the past ten years.  In truth, the situation has continued to improve and to become worse right along with the improvements.

The reality for those who were getting some income by writing online is just one area where changes made by a relatively small number of powerful business people caused a lot of people to lose their income as writers.  Part of it seems to have been a side effect of ‘affiliate marketing’ and ‘content mills’ but not all of the changes are clear.  In some cases it is just that the environment became much more competitive.

Freelancing websites abound but more people are participating.  Job openings for full time staff writers have been growing in many nations including the USA and UK for those using English.  Even so, many of the writing jobs that women working from home were doing, suddenly disappeared and many pro writers were suddenly told they would no longer be paid for their work.  Elsewhere online, some freelancing sites told people they could work at beginner rates their entire lives or be blackballed.

Meanwhile, more affluent writers balked at the horrors some of their counterparts were going through and urged those others to either switch to way better paying clients or to switch jobs entirely.  The underworld of writers has made it so that some people who want to get paid to write actually can, but like much in life it has both a bright side and a dark side.

In 2016, this situation has not come to an end.  There is some writing work available serving affiliate marketers and there are still plenty of jobs – full time and freelance positions, for professional writers in the English language.  Landing and keeping clients is just one of the many aspects of the job aside from the writing itself that writers may learn at any time in the process.

Most writers are known under the nomiker ‘journalists’ and many others work ‘at magazines’ or other types of ‘staff writers’.  Such people often manage to earn a living which often impresses other writers but literary authors and artistic writers are often left with a bitter or sour feeling about it.  Journalists themselves, including quite successful ones I have personally met, have themselves felt beaten into submission and found themselves proud to have earned a living for decades as professional writers but still wondering if anyone would ever pay them for anything they wrote because they wanted to write it.

During the past ten years, as most readers may already know, there has been drama about how much the world of publishing has been changing and about how much electronic publishing formats were becoming powerful and whether or not they were a threat to print media.

Some readers may recall that one of the big thrills of the computer revolution was supposed to be reduction in consumption of forests for use as paper.  That might not be great news for the paper industry.  However, in actual practice, the dynamics and the drama between that kind of ecologically friendly motive and also the reality of where the money in the industry is and how people honestly feel about using electronic and print formats.  The more recent introduction of e readers created another great opportunity for people to look into electronic books versus print books.  Consumer trends, pricing, what will really work for whom and why or why not.

There were hopes and fears that ebooks would overtake print books but after a few years it now looks as if print books are still more popular but that e readers and ebooks now have a nice healthy niche within the book industry.

As it happens, and as referred to earlier, the majority of professional writers are not book writers, but some are.  The most famous of writers are quite often the book writers and a few journalists.  Every once in a while a play write or a poet becomes ‘famous’.  In the meantime, the TV and film writers pull in good livings and end up in situations that are reminiscent of corporate executives or university Deans – they are not really treated as stars, but they really do well for themselves and have good reputations.  Studio musicians with good reputations have a similar kind of experience.

Print and online article writers and blog writers are most likely to be the most numerous kind of writers – especially when ‘ordinary, real journalists’ are included in the count.  It also includes hordes of writers working from home, sometimes as parts of groups and other times as individual freelancers.

The industry continues to change.  The biggest mystery of the world of professional writing is that for those in this vast and broad ranging industry, the paths to success are somewhat diverse and what counts as success is to.  As in acting and so many other professions, the majority are not the most successful and many suffer from shattered dreams.  Many professional writers do best early on and when young whereas there are large corps of others who become successful after age 50 or even after age 65.  Of those, some just try it as a new thing later in life but here and there are success stories from people who really tried hard for 47 years to become successful writers before they finally ‘made it’.  In that respect, some writers give each other a lot of advice and some say only that people should really get a job in a different field if one wishes to earn a living.

Structured Blogging

(Failed attempt to insert images of pretty horses that live in the North German countryside)

The Past

In the past I tried blogging.  In fact, I think that I have done some personal blogging for more than 6 years, including 2 old Uranian Fiction websites, this blog and also Wealthy Affiliate websites that use my name miriampia.org and .com rather than using Uranian Fiction.

After 3 or 4 years of effort, I just started to write a blog with a structured weekly schedule but then suddenly, something else happened which undermined that whole effort.  I don’t even remember what it was now.

The Present

Now, this is also blogging.  I did a little professional blogging in the past – mostly for a Atlanta Real Estate, about a decade ago, but I think I have blogged professionally elsewhere.  I realize that sounds whacky, but if you meet enough professional writers it will seem less crazy.  It is a volume & mind set issue as it relates to memory.

I do believe that structured blogging can make sense.  In my own case, I may have to start all over again.

Topics

The truth is that I like the idea of being able to blog to readers on various topics and even in multiple ways.  Some days I want to produce professional copy as I do write professionally but other times I just want to share my personality with readers.  Not only that but there are also days which are more like ‘wow’ days – to share spontaneously, whether about some new facet of German culture or another travel location or something else.  Maybe it would be about hair and fashion rather than culture or delves deeply into my mood one day – out of nowhere: what some people would describe as ‘random’.

PsychoBunnyBoozePhilosophyW

Followers

The System

According to the system, 138 of you are following my blog.  According to the same system, on some days no one even notices the post, and there was a record best day a few years ago when over 400 people looked at one of my blog posts on the same day.

The truth is, I don’t recall exactly what I did differently that one day when hundreds of people rather than only a few people noticed the blog post.  If any of you do read this post today, I would deeply appreciate it if you drop a comment and let me know how you solved this problem – if you know.

The system does enable a lot that I feel is helpful and useful but I am sure I am not the only one to feel sometimes ‘depersonalized’ and ‘confused’.  For instance – if I click on my own blog page will it show in the stats as someone having looked at it?  I feel that should only happen when someone else actually sees it.  Don’t you?  I have no idea how complicated that would be to do – do you?

These are not intended to be hypothetical questions.  If you actually know I’d love to read your actual reply.

 

Brief Chat about Chakras

What are chakras?

These are the names for some locations along the trunk and head of the human body associated with particularly large or intense amount of energy.  In some cases, they are associated with nerve channels or internal organs or bodily functions.  They are often referred to as ‘wheels’ or as ‘lotus’ or ‘energy centers’.

Why do they matter?

Depending on your social circles sometimes they turn up as a kind of jargon.  Metaphysical or spiritual people may often seem to refer to chakras, to auras, astrology, past lives, deities, yoga – jargon of this nature.

Those who practice hands on healing of most kinds, and acupuncture or acupressure consider chakras in relation to the body’s ‘meridians’ (which generally means nerve channels) and they are therefore relevant to health care.

People who practice yogas and other types of fitness training intended to balance the energies in the body often refer to chakras in relation to those.

Super powers?!

Depending on your own life, you may first hear of chakras in relation to what seem like some kinds of super powers.  Spiritual people and occultists seem to both advertise and protectively guard knowledge and insight about the super powers associated with ‘open chakras’.

What every one of the so-called super powers are, is heightened awareness that makes perception transpersonal to a degree considered to be far beyond ‘normal’.  These are often interpreted as or believed to be ‘psychic’ – genuinely transpersonal awareness.

In detail, the whole matter is more complicated but if you had no idea this is a good, clear intro to the subject.

German Yous

In most respects I strongly prefer English to German but as I have been learning German I am happy to report that it does have a few charms.

One of German’s charms are the new opportunities for personal expression that the multiple forms of ‘you’ allow.  Some of the dissimilarity is misleading but despite that having ‘sie’ and ‘du’ – both of which translate as ‘you’, creates new options.  In simple and general terms the formal you and the plural you are both ‘sie’.  In simple terms, the informal familiar you is ‘du’.

On a personal level this has allowed me to review various levels of meaning and also nuances.  In some cases ‘du’ really means ‘friends and family’ but in other cases it means ‘you who are younger than I am’ .  In a radically different appearance ‘du’ is used more like ‘comrade’ was used as part of socialist and communist workers revolutions.  Often enough people who think they are helping improve life urge others to just use ‘du’ in speaking but mainly they mean ‘if we are on the same hierarchical level at work’ or ‘so that I don’t get confused about how to conjugate my verbs every time we have a conversation at work’.

Most Germans born before 1960 and many born before 1970 tend to call anyone older ‘sie’ and anyone younger ‘sie’ and really – general politeness in Germany dictates that everyone is ‘sie’ until there is a decision – a social choice, of allowing others to call one ‘du’ instead.  In practice it is a lot like whether or not one calls someone else Sir or Madam or Mr. or Ms. Such-n-Such, or by their first name.

I have already noticed that I don’t agree with everyone else about how to use each, but m personal expression disagreement covers only 10 – 20% of social cases.  It is not from suffering from a lack of grammatical knowledge at this point.

In truth I think I had an entirely different idea for today’s blog post and it had nothing to do with Germany or my transcultural experience, but it flitted away with a change in the song I was listening to or something.  I have no idea whether or not it will come again.

 

Woman supporting the German football team - stock photo