(I was going to write about my mom's birthday last Friday, which became day 6 of a four-week pleasure cruise, but this comes first.)
On the cover of Fool Me Once: Hustlers, Hookers, Headliners, and How Not to Get Screwed in Vegas by Las Vegas Weekly staff writer Rick Lax, a man looks at a smiling woman standing on a corner of Fremont Street against a brightly-lit casino background, white lights almost blinding. Is the woman smiling at him because she's genuinely interested, or is she thinking of more sinister plans? Is he dazzled by her only or do the lights behind her and the atmosphere around them make him interested and he'll find out that he was only interested in her in that setting?
Las Vegas is full of fantasy of all kinds available to everyone. You can find your pleasure here. But as you either go to Vegas more and more, or you become a resident, the fantasy begins to peel back. You come to a point where you have to separate fantasy from reality. There is reality in Las Vegas, but it's more a matter of adjusting what's to your taste. For example, I love Carnival World Buffet at Rio. I always look around in happy shock, wondering if I died and it's my first day in Heaven. But I can't go there all the time. I'd be right back to what I weighed in 2010 and then about 215% more than that (Outrageous estimates are made up by a professional, so please remember to always estimate with caution).
For people who move to the Las Vegas area, such as yours truly soon enough, you can reinvent yourself. You can keep only what's important to you from past experiences, what will truly benefit you in your new life, and then dump the rest. No one knows who you have been. You're free of what you once were, of insecurities you might have had, of what has bothered you, which, for me, is the Santa Clarita Valley.
For the past few months, as Dad has applied for many jobs in Las Vegas, I've enthusiastically told Meridith over and over that you can reinvent yourself in Vegas. We have so many chances to do what we want. But I didn't listen to myself. I thought being a middle school campus supervisor while reading and writing on the side would be enough.
Dad had a very successful phone interview on Friday for a job that has three positions available, and he was only one of three people interviewed. There's a very good chance that this job, which he'd really like to do, could be our supersonic ticket out of here.
This job combines Dad's decades of experience in teaching and working for Southern Bell/BellSouth. He'll be doing exactly what he wants, and he'll be a lot happier. What about me? A campus supervisor? Is reading and writing after work and on weekends and teacher workdays and holidays enough? No.
If Dad can find the job that completely suits him, so can I. I don't want my reading and writing to be shunted to the side. I want it to be the center of my life every day. I'm not going to get that by being a campus supervisor. It's still an option, as I'm keeping all my options open, but it's not my main hope anymore.
I've decided that I want to be a copywriter or a content developer, and I started by applying to be a content developer for Vegas.com. The company matches my love for Las Vegas and their offices are close to our new apartment in Henderson. I read the requirements, and I fit all of them. I have the experience, the computer knowledge, and I know I can do everything they want. They can ask for copy in any style they want and I will work promptly and diligently to match it. Most of all, I want to explore every inch of Las Vegas once I'm a resident and this is one of the best ways to do it.
This is the year to challenge myself and go for what I really want to do, not what I think I should do so I have a chance to do what I want to do. This will keep my writing the center of my life, and make it stronger because of it.
I wrote movie reviews for 11 years, I worked in two newsrooms, and I know Internet media. I'm a little nervous, but I'm ready. Let's do this.