I feel like the only two things I ever talk to anyone about anymore is my relationship and my job. Probably, this makes me boring, but then I realized that right now those are the things that are most important to many of my friends as well, so it only makes sense that those are the things we discuss. I think girls in their 20's are naturally very interested in career success, relationship success, and probably their social lives. Honestly, my life hinges around these things currently. So, I decided to try to venture out and think of other things I've been loving lately. I've compiled a list!
Current favorite fashion trend: Chiffon/Thin Linen/Gauze Blouses
Current favorite TV obsessions: Mad Men (watching live) & HBO Girls (watching online)
This morning was an extra rough morning. I woke up to get ready for work and opened the dryer to find that all the clothes I'd put in there were just wet and warm. Gross. So I turned the dryer back on in hopes of them getting a little more dry while I prepped everything else to head to work. No luck. I ended up first trying on a pair of Jimmy's Dickies (lol) only to find that they are made out of teensy and wouldn't even squish up past my hips. Boo. So I ended up digging around in my bag and wearing a pair of khaki dress pants. Not good considering I was working on the dock today (UPS Freight) and would be exposed to lots of the dust that seems to cover everything on the dock. I got to work carrying my soaked pants and laid them out on a table with a fan blowing on them in hopes I could soon change into them. The dryer delay set me back to where I was unable to stop for coffee and I was still 3 min late for work. Then, I only worked 4 hours today which re-emphasized how unimportant I am and how insignificant it would have been if I had called out...which I have never done. I should have. I needed the rest. I have felt weirdly sick in my chest/stomach since last friday, but I am telling myself it is just stress.
Needless to say, I am beyond enthusiastic to begin my new job next Monday. I feel guilty because I only worked at UPS for 2 months (my first time quitting a job...yikes.), but it was an excellent stepping stone. Getting out of education has been one of the most stressful transitions of my life. Transitioning from high school to college...no problem. Transitioning from GCSU to UGA...no problem. Transitioning from college to teaching...no problem. But, for some reason this last adjustment has been extremely challenging. I never really realized how much an education degree is looked down upon. I think I have a good resume and I think I interview well, but at the end of the day I have a teaching degree and little experience doing ANYTHING outside of education. I have worked in schools since I was 18. With those facts in place, I feel that it was truly a Godsend to be able to get a job at such a respected company as UPS. Sure, I'm working weird, inconsistent hours at minimum pay. But, working for UPS is undoubtedly a resume boost. I really do owe it to UPS that I got my new job, I think. The new job is essentially recruiting/staffing. It doesn't pay as well as teaching, but it pays better than UPS. And the perks are bigger than that.
I love the idea of working in a trendy, high rise building with a cafe to visit for lunch (seriously, I know it sounds dumb, but it is the young, Atlanta dream). I love getting back to a professional environment. I love getting to be around people with a similar education level as me. I love getting to be in a mostly (young) female work place. I love having consistent hours, 8-5pm. I love having a salary (not as much as teaching, but close). And I loveeeee the motivation to work hard that comes with the potential to earn commission AND perks offered by the company for every deal you close. It's not sales, but in a sense...you are trying to get people to take jobs, so you are "selling" them on a position. I think it is something that with the right support and training, I can excel at.
I am just so excited to be able to know how much my paycheck is each week. And to work hours more comparable to the hours most of my friends work. It all just lends itself to a much more stable lifestyle. Plus, UPS sucks your soul out of you. It seems like no one there is happy or nice. Lots of disgruntled employees.
This weekend Jimmy and I got into a tiny bicker about our social life. Last weekend we threw a party for our pals to come watch The Kentucky Derby. I had a great time and I think it just reminded me how boring we can be sometimes. When I was living in Athens, we would switch off the weekends we'd visit each other, but now that I live back in Gwinnett we are always in Atlanta and we do a lot of sitting around. So, I spoke to him about it and we decided on a few ways to liven things up. We are so excited. First of all, I signed us up for an Atlanta Young Couples event. How corny does that sound? But, it is a scavenger hunt through midtown that ends at a bar for everyone to mingle. So far, 14 other couples are signed up. That is 28 potential new friends. He and I have a solid friend group, but I think we are looking forward to expanding it.
The second thing we decided on is to do 2 date nights per month. We will switch off paying for them. We went ahead and made a list of places we want to visit and it will take us til the end of the year. Also, we won't be able to stick strictly to the list because we will obviously choose a social event with friends over completing a list item on many nights. I am really looking forward to getting out into the city more often and meeting people (we may even start a blog about it!). With the new job and with Jimmy and I planning to be together a long, long time...it looks like I need to make a home here in Atlanta. I made a home in Athens 5 years ago and it wasn't hard. Surely, it can't be hard this time around.
The only other thing on my mind? How desperately I want to go to the beach. Last summer, I had taken two beach trips by the end of May (Hilton Head and Savannah) and by the beginning of June I was headed to Ohio.
Teaching sucks, but the perk is summer's off!!
I want this (now):
I want to go back to school. Desperately. I want an MBA. I want to put something on my resume that isn't an education degree. I want to make myself more marketable...and more valuable. I have done a lot of research. MBA programs in GA range from $11,000-$64,000 with a wide variety of admission standards. I think I have decided on the University of West Georgia. It would be quite a drive and a little stressful, but it is 3 semesters. I started a Master's degree when I was 22. It was too much for me then. I wasn't motivated and I was already too overwhelmed with teaching. I dropped out of the program after only completing 9 hours. But, I think now that I am older and have a REASON to get the degree, I can handle it.
I also want to get my debt paid off. The new job should make this easier. Weekly, I will be making about double what I am making now. Which means I should have no problem putting ALL of the extra money towards my loan each month. I'd like to budget $1500/mo. towards it. At that rate, it'd be paid off in about a year. That would be SUCH a relief.
I guess that is all my brain thoughts for now. Here are a few pictures from Derby party last weekend:
I've been busy, neglectful, stressed, etc. Life has really picked up the pace here lately as I look forward to a great deal of change.
Firstly, I got a new job. With UPS as a clerk in one of their distribution center. It's a good job for resume building and experience, but not super great in terms of pay and hours. I will be working there from 5am-11am Mon-Fri. This seems obscenely early and excruciatingly painful, but it also leaves the rest of the day open for a potential second job. You see, the UPS position is nearer to my parents house, so I am going to sort of move home. I will still have my apartment until July, so I won't fully move out until then, but I will be living at home for the majority of the week. Living at home is fine. My parents are agreeable at least, but I think I will desire to stay pretty busy to not be in the house all day. So, I am currently seeking afternoon/evening employment. I am actually looking at bartending or food service since both of those fields usually pick up afternoon-evening, but we will see what comes along. I am uncertain how long I really plan to live at home. Part of me says that it would be good to stay there for a year or so and pay off some of my student loan debt before moving on, but I don't know how long I can bear it. I am just so used to being independent. And to be frank, yes, there is some shame in moving home. I just think it will really make a difference to be able to set out in my future with no debt and a bit of savings. With my current living/working situation, that would take YEARS, so why not knock it out as quickly as possible if the opportunity is there?
With all of that said, I've been busy lately bustling about planning for a move and the new job. Plus, I think I am still going to finish and submit my application to the graduate program I am interested in. I may end up needing to defer the admission, but I am still very eager to go and I think I'd be happier if I could go ahead and knock out the application process so that I can have an answer either way. It's hard to think so far into the future, but even if I did work at UPS for the next year+ and then go to school in August 2014, I would still graduate at age 26. That really isn't SO bad to have a master's, 1.5 year work experience in an area that could help you advance in the future, and (hopefully) no debt. It's all a lot on the brain, but I need to plan for the future, I guess. Like I said, UPS looks great on a resume and positions don't come along often. I think I am very lucky to have snagged this one. Plus, it has room for upward movement. It isn't the dream job I was hoping for, but it is a job with some perks. For that I should be grateful.
My parents just can't seem to get to the "empty nester" stage. My brother was living there until a few days ago when he left to thru-hike the Appalachian trail. He'll be gone until November. At that point, I guess my parents will have both birds in the nest for a while. Yikes. It hasn't been that way since 2004, I guess.
Everything else in life is grand, I have to say I'm a little happy to be moving from Athens. I love this town with all my heart and I know that I will be back for frequent visits, but it is undoubtedly a college town. It's hard to stay entertained by it once you are older. Plus, something about this town seems to slow progress in people. Maybe it is that everything here is so cheap that people don't need real jobs, but I really just feel like if you stay too long you will start to waste away. Plus, my (lovely, delightful) friend group here isn't going anywhere and I am not worried about keeping them all close. We will remain in touch, I know.
Jimmy and I are delightful. Still together. Still going strong. I don't want to jinx anything by discussing the distant future, but I can honestly say that I have never been happier with a boy after 5 months of dating. Usually, by now I'd be questioning what I want long term and doubting things. None of that, currently. We had a delightful Valentine's Day trip together, a lovely Christmas, a joyous birthday celebration for him, etc. I'll throw in some pictures of recent happenings. Lots of other stupid "L Word" type business. :)
In other assorted ramblings... I really want to have a yard sale. I am slowly getting addicted to the show "Mad Men" and watching on NetFlix. I hope my parents let me take over cooking when I move home. The small business I began with a friend (http://myworld.ebay.com/buyhanmidowns/) is doing really well lately and we recently got approved to have a both at a local fair to sell our things. GREAT NEWS. I had a flat tire tonight. I hope it can be repaired and I don't need a new one. :(
Our Stockings Hung By The Chimney With Care.
Our red & green Christmas outfits. :)
New Year's Eve face smooshing.
Jimmy's Birthday Night!
Birthday Celebration With Jimmy's Parents
Valentine's Mountain Trip Puppy Walk
David and I with his piñata at his going away party before he left for the Applachian Trail.
Really stupid/silly getting ready picture before heading to a friend's birthday party.
Probably, "honeymoon phases" are no myth. Probably, that statistic about the 6th and 18th month being very revealing times in a relationship is true. Probably, nothing is perfect. Probably, things change.
But, for now, it's hard not to just say "I love you" on repeat. It's hard not to want to scream it from the rooftops. It's hard not to smile every time you say it, hear it, write it, read it, think it. It's hard to think about the possibility that things could ever be any less than this.
So, I think it is decided that education wasn't the field I hoped and dreamed it would be. It's disappointing to pour so much time and money into a degree that you possibly might not use. What's more disappointing is to stack your resume with experiences that make you a highly qualified candidate for nearly any job in your field, but that leave you vastly under qualified for just about everything else. I'd say that for 23 years old, there are few people out there more qualified than I am for teaching. However, talent or qualifications can't make you love a job.
Due to all of the above, I recently began seeking opportunities in a variety of other fields. I don't know exactly what I want to do, but I think I'd be happy with just about anything customer service related including sales or marketing or hospitality. Unfortunately, I have little to no experience in these fields and most positions even at the entry level require 3-5 years experience. So, lately, I've begun to consider the possibility of going through a program that ultimately trains you for these types of positions or possibly even a staffing agency. It's a tough pill to swallow to essentially set aside a $30,000 diploma to embark into a completely unrelated field and start out as a true greenhorn. However, it's also exciting. I think I'd be enthusiastic about just about any of the jobs I've applied for. Or, at the very least, more enthusiastic than I generally was about going into the classroom each day. I'm excited for the future. It's just hard to hurry up and wait for the future to arrive. I try to squelch that impatience by continuing to actively search. I've probably filled out upwards of 100 applications. And although I know that many companies take months to sort through the high volume of submissions, I don't think that makes it okay to sit back and rest on your laurels just hoping for something to come through. So, needless to say, the hunt is everlong.
So, how is all of this related to potential life partners?? Firstly, I think choosing your life long career is similar to choosing a life partner. You date a few jobs and see how you like them. If you aren't keen on them, you can break up with them (or maybe they break up with you) and you meet another one. So on and so forth. Ultimately, the goal is to find one that you are willing to spend the rest of you life with. One that you can fully invest in and make little babies with. Babies like retirement funds and pay raises, obviously. Needless to say, I am not beating myself up about not having found my "job husband" at 23 because I think 23 is a wildly inappropriate time to consider engagement or marriage. Am I right?
Needless to say, some do not agree with this thought.
Namely, my boyfriend.
Tonight begins my job hunt vow of silence with Jimmy. For some reason, every time I bring up my job hunt to him he gets irrationally angry. I really cannot pinpoint the root of the anger. Tonight he claimed that I "sound like an idiot" when I talk about job hunting. I'm not sure which part of what I said to him tonight sounded idiotic. But, he vaguely mentioned that he felt that I was letting the parameters of my degree hold me back and that I seem "worried" about my qualification level. Neither of those things are true. This leads me to believe that the real cause of our disputes lies somewhere in the communication.
For this reason, perhaps it's best not to talk to him about it. All that ever ends up happening is me crying, him texting me crap that isn't helpful, me losing steam/feeling insecure in my job hunt, feeling wildly unsupported by the person who is supposed to be by my side in things, and ultimately just being pissed off for a while. I hate that I can't discuss it with him. I hate that I feel like he doesn't really hear what I am saying when I try to.
Mostly, though, I hate the lurking suspicion in the back of my mind that it all comes down to the fact that I am just not as successful as he would like for a girl that he is dating. But, if that's the case, he probably should move on. I imagine this transitional stage could last a while and I don't think it's fair to have to feel insecure in my relationship for as long as it lasts. More importantly, I think if it provides him SO MUCH discontent that he is willing to hurt me over it, perhaps he'd be doing himself a favor by moving on as well. Maybe we could come back together at some future point when our life paths are more closely aligned.
I won't be made to feel guilty for the choices I've made. All things considered, I don't think I could've done things better. I dated a job, I didn't like it, so now I'm back on the market. And if a boy dates me and doesn't like it...maybe he should just put me back on the market. It doesn't seem worth wasting tears on.
Besides, I think I am making active steps towards my personal happiness. Not to mention, I am happy currently. With those things in place, why should I concern myself with trying to make someone else understand my choices? Sure, I'd like his understanding/support, but at the end of the day this is no one's life but mine.
P.s.- This entry was written as an alternative to literally standing in the middle of my bedroom and screaming at the top of my lungs for 5 solid minutes. I think I made the grown up choice and now I might just be able to sleep.