Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mama said there'd be days like this... (Timing is Everything)

Last week was a disaster. Ok, that's a tad dramatic, but it did leave me feeling down and drained by Friday. Early in the week I had been buoyed by my approval as a writer for a internet-content studio, only to be deflated to find that none of the thousands of titles I could select were within my expertise and/or interest. Later, after a great deal of time invested in training with the language consultant company I had been so excited about joining, I decided that, for a myriad of reasons, it wasn't what I wanted to create here. Finally, the one student I would have had (through a separate language school) cancelled, which they failed to alert me. It was a week of time, money, and energy wasted.

Just then, I stopped into a little café for an espresso duplo and a chocolate eclair.

Thanks, Mr. Baker, for that beautifully-timed reminder.

I went home and stayed in all weekend: I read books and watched TV (which is very uncharacteristic of me), and oscillated between fight and flight strategies. I came up with good plans and supporting reasons for both staying strong in Sampa during this volatile test of will and patience, and for crawling back to the comfort [yeah, right, I know] and predictability of the Chicago cubicle.

I decided not to make any decisions while I wasn't sleeping well. Bless my super-cool roommates who invited me to stay here in their fully-furnished apartment--but I just don't sleep well on a foam mattress and wood slat bed frame. I have been waking up progressively crankier and pained, spending the first few hours of each day walking like an 80-year-old with severe spinal curvature until I could manage to warm up and straighten up.

I dismantled the frame and tried the old foam-mattress-on-the-floor trick. Nope.
I tried the futon in the living room. Nope.
I went to the mall and bought an inflatable camping mattress.

Ahhhhhhh. (Last night was Night 1, better.)

While I was at the mall yesterday, I stopped in at Claro, my cell phone provider. After a week of unsuccessful in-person and telephone attempts to get a São Paulo phone number, on this visit I just intended to unblock my phone so that when I eventually did get a new number, it could be with another service provider. Success in bureaucratic procedures frequently depends on luck of the draw, that is, who you talk to and whether they are in a helpful mood. I walked out of there with my phone unblocked and a new number, without proof-of-address or dropping a dime. Huh. (Self: Don't question it. Just say "Obrigada, Rafael.")

The timing was convenient. Now I can list it, alongside the São Paulo Skype number I just bought (in a moment of creative problem-solving), on the business cards I designed between sitcoms and will have printed this week. I hope they will be as attention-generating as I expect, when I hand them out to the strangers I'll be chatting up at nearby office towers in the coming weeks. (Marketing plan: check.)

So maybe things are looking up a little. Tomorrow I will join a new gym. It is a simple facility but it's clean and suitable. It's freaking expensive but very close to home. I figure it's a great way to minimize the stress and maximize the downtime of these uncertain weeks.

Flight is a last resort. First, I fight.