I’m Back + Life Update!

Wow, I have not blogged since June! It wasn’t a break I planned, but it was a break I needed. Lots has been going on and it was definitely okay for me to put my blog down for a little bit to allow myself one less thing to worry about. Now, onto the updates…

Work

Okay, work is definitely the update I have most to say about. I’ve been working at Sephora and absolutely loving it. Sure, sometimes it sucks a little bit – but when I have a good day or do some great consultations and help women feel hope for their skin concerns, or teach them something new, or help a mom and 13-year-old pick out her very first mascara and lip gloss (oh, the nostalgia!), or even help a bride feel confident that she will be able to do her makeup well and feel that much more beautiful on her wedding day, I’m over the moon. I’m also still writing over at My Subscription Addiction, too, and that’s always a blast.

However, there’s some interesting uncertainties coming around, too. Thanks to some connections, a big marketing company contacted me about an account management position they have. The main issue is that it’s an hour south of where we live now, but it is in the area where we want to end up and settle down in. Initially, I said I couldn’t do it, but a few minutes later, I just thought I don’t have any information at all about this job – what if it pays crazy well and what if I’d like it?  So, I called them back and got more details. Turns out the salary range starts just below what my husband’s making now. Now, my husband’s been looking for months for a better job for him down in that area, with no luck so far. We’ve been waiting for that to move down to the city we want to be in, but we never considered the possibility of moving down there because of a job for me. Long story short, we have no idea what would happen if I got it (we could move halfway and split the commute to both our jobs, or we could move all the way down there and I could support us until L finds a job there, too…), but we’ve decided that I should go ahead with the interview process. Hey, maybe I won’t even get it. But maybe I do and maybe I love it. Who knows? (BTW – both the President and VP are women! Yes!) So, we’ll see, I guess.

I’m scared about having to leave Sephora because I love it and I’ve only been there a couple months so far, and I’m also scared that, if I get it, I’ll be less happy there. Terrified of making the wrong choices. All the other jobs I’ve had that I hate I can just quit with very little consequence because they’re like, restaurants and such. But this would be a big-girl, salary position. And if we end up moving halfway so that L and I split the commute, life would be so different with our income essentially doubled, and we’re so anxious to move into a bigger apartment anyway.

Coping post-graduation

This is the first Fall in basically all of my life that I haven’t been going back to school. I didn’t think it’d be weird but it is WAY WEIRD. In a way, I miss having the places to go, the different topics every week, seeing classmates regularly, being in choir, etc. Another thing I had no idea I was going to miss was my wardrobe. I have so many clothes, but all I wear anymore is yoga pants to lounge around the house or my work uniform. I never wear my nice outfits anymore. Part of me wants to just get rid of it all, but I know I want to get to a place where I wear it all again. However, I could really use the usual closet clean-out of clothes I haven’t worn in years, as always.

Also, I feel like life has definitely confirmed my theory that, at least for me, you can work anywhere you can sell yourself to work. I haven’t needed to find a job directly related to my major yet, and I’m okay with that. I have so many passions and so many skills and so much I want to learn that as long as I enjoy the work and atmosphere, and the pay works for us, I’m happy. 

Post-Wedding

I never knew my to-do lists could be so long outside of school! Aside from general, personal/home to-dos, post-wedding things are still lingering to be done, like finding a place for the cards and presents, and finishing up the wedding video edits, and making a photo album. All things I look forward to doing, but all things that tend to fall further down on my priority list than things for my jobs or housekeeping tasks, since both of those effect other people (employers + husband). Not saying that my wedding photos and video don’t effect my family or that they’re not anxiously waiting for them, but, for sure, nothing is riding on whether or not I get those done ASAP.

Well, there it is! Most of what’s been going on in my life. Speaking of to-do lists and work, I really have to go crack down on some of those things, but I’m glad to be back and hope to be posting regularly again! 

xoxo

Why I Turned Down a Job Offer

All in the span of a couple weeks, I finished my undergrad classes! I graduated! I had my bridal shower! I got married! I flew to the Dominican Republic! Not gonna lie, life has been pretty awesome.

But… What’s next?

I blog because I feel a strong desire to open up to the great community of my readers and fellow bloggers, and I’ve gotta be super vulnerable with you guys right now. I knew this was coming, but I didn’t think about strategically planning for it: I’m coasting. I don’t have a full-time job; I finished school; I finished putting my new home together post-wedding. What now?

A month before the wedding, I made the big decision to quit a job I hated. I was waitressing, but it wore on me far too much to let the dread of my next shift weigh me down in the midst of so much joy and love and community in my life right before my wedding. It was a great decision and I definitely don’t regret it. And, to be honest, not having to worry about coming right back home to a job after the honeymoon allowed me to get everything unpacked and put away in our home, and easily readjust. L and I have known that the plan is for me to find work soon after getting settled – both for the monetary reasons and for the fact that I’m getting so bored sitting around the house all day! So when I found a great want ad for a marketing management opportunity, I was stoked.

I wrote a kick-butt cover letter, updated my resume, read their entire website, and psyched myself up for the idea of a new job (Yay! Something to do! Money to make! People to meet! Goals to reach!). I nailed the first interview, which was over the phone. Apparently this job was a bigger deal than I realized – from 140-200 interviewees, I was chosen as part of the top 10 to have a second, in-person interview. But that’s where the great stuff ends. Don’t get me wrong, I rocked the second interview, but seeing the job up close and getting the nitty-gritty details (L called this “talking turkey,” which makes me giggle) made me realize that this job isn’t something I wanted to wake up and do everyday. However, I was already on the spot, and uncertain, so I proceeded to nail the follow-up persuasion email, too. It was at this point where they may or may not call me to offer a third, phone interview to in order to finalize bringing me onto their team.

All weekend I knew there was a big chance this call was coming my way. But my intuition wasn’t happy about it. I even found myself telling my mom and my best friend that I hoped I wouldn’t get the third interview so I wouldn’t have to worry about making the call about whether or not this was something I wanted. At about 12:30 today, they did call me, and asked if it was a good time for the third interview or if they should call me back. I requested that they call back at 3 and then reached out to my husband.

I hadn’t been 100% open with him about how conflicted I was feeling. I had been so excited and pumped up over the opportunity that I wanted to be sure it was something I wasn’t excited about anymore before talking to him. I’ve been bored out of my mind and it’d be a huge help for me to contribute a full-time income to our funds, so I felt a lot of pressure to just go for it even if the pay wasn’t awesome and the job itself didn’t sound fun. My internal compass just wasn’t happy and I didn’t know what to do about it. He hugged me and reassured me that we’re not anywhere near a situation where we are “settled down” yet, and we’re hoping for him to get a different job in a town we like better by the fall anyway. He said that, for now, he thinks I should focus on finding something I enjoy. This encouragement meant the world to me, and between that and visualizing not having this job in my future, I felt relieved (not a feeling you should experience when visualizing not getting a job opportunity you’re meant to go for). I knew at this point I could stay true to myself with the most important person to me also being on my team (hey, it’s what he’s here for, too, isn’t it?).

When they called back at 3pm, I politely thanked them and declined. I’ve learned that not all opportunities I am able to take are opportunities I should take. I made a tough call to stay true to and honest with myself and to do what’s good for me. I feel like I’ve taken another step towards growing up. Although I’m left still kind of wondering what on Earth there is for me to do next, I’m happy knowing that I have given myself permission to make sure it’s something I enjoy and learn from instead of jumping for another job that feels like it drains my soul and energy.

Have you ever had to make a hard call to stay true to yourself? What did you do?

sometimes it ends up different #quotes #words #inspiration

10 Things College Has Taught Me (Wednesday Things)

(Today’s Wednesday Things post comes to you in the form of actual blog content! Yay!)

Yesterday, I turned in my final exams for my entire undergrad education and then my Momma and I booked it on the road to Pennsylvania, where I get to hang with a best friend (and go shopping with her, naturally), see some family, and actually meet the lovely lady I’ve been writing for online in person! So far it’s been a wonderful getaway right before the wedding, and when I get home for this weekend, I walk in my graduation commencement ceremony on Saturday!

Appropriately, here is a list of things I’ve learned throughout college:

  1. I have learned just about every in and out there is to know about doing research, and I am really darn good at it, too.
  2. It’s not just something people say – it actually is all who you know.
  3. I’m a serial Rick Roller. It’s my favorite, and that’s about as crazy as I get. The worst it gets for anyone is that some one feels a little bit dumb. This year, a girl somehow got a hold of the list address through which to email every single undergrad student in the entire university, and when people “reply-all”-ed we learned that we could all communicate to each other like some big, university-wide forum. Some people got angry, the better people enjoyed the heck out of it. Some one even copy+pasted the entire text of War and Peace. I Rick Rolled the entire undergraduate class and also spammed everyone with some doge/shibe memes. I may be getting my bachelor’s degree, but my participation in this event is also an accomplishment I am uber proud of during my high school career. I even got recognized in the school paper’s list of the best emails of what I affectionately call “the OU email fiasco of 2014.” Good times.
  4. A very personal and important thing I learned is that I could have walked back into being a voice performance major when I transferred to Oakland if I wanted to. (Read this post to find out why this is a very big deal). My fear and anxiety distorted my perception so significantly, and I am back to owning myself and skills more than ever.
  5. I made the right choice by transferring back home. I originally started at Grove City College in Grove City, PA as a voice major but changed everything and came back home after one semester. I’ve always known that I don’t regret starting here (a list of what I learned in my time here is a whole post for it’s own day), but every time I come back and visit for a few days I’ve always felt like I’m in some alternate dimension where I stayed, and part of me has always wondered “what if.” Even though this trip out here has been wonderful, it’s been the first trip that has left me certain that I made the right choice by coming home.
  6. It’s okay to have friends that aren’t super close. My best friends have always some how ended up living very far from me, and that can really suck when, say, you’re engaged and can’t have a proper bachelorette party because all your girls are in separate states or when you just want some one to hang out with in sweatpants and each doing your own thing. But this is okay, because I’ve learned that I have a lot of great, not-super-close friends in my life and how to reach out to them to spend time together. It may sometimes mean leaving my comfort zone (omg: one-on-one conversations?!) but it almost always pays off, even if it’s just because it was something different than sitting around at home. College has definitely taught me how to utilize and enjoy this dimension of socialization.
  7. College is seriously so much harder than high school. I mean, duh, and we all already knew this going into it, but in high school the biggest single assignment I had was a 10-page paper that we spent all semester on and wrote in segments. In college, I’ve had to write multiple 20+-page assignments in a week or less, and especially in one night thanks to procrastination.
  8. Ask for things. There have been so many times that I or my mother have gotten something just because we’ve asked. Like, real things. Like jobs and discounts and opportunities. For example, I got my new favorite writing gig because I shot the website’s contact email asking if she could use any help. Especially in situations where asking for/about something involves have nothing to lose, I say ask.
  9. There are more important things than whichever test or school assignment you’re killing yourself to try and get a 4.0 through. Your GPA, especially in college, is not worth being bad to your body, mind, or spirit. Mistreating yourself by getting zero sleep, refusing every offer of socialization, chugging 5-hour energies (which are to high school students what Monster energy drinks were to high schoolers in my time), and never allowing yourself any down time is so not worth it.
  10. Being busy is not cool, nor is life a competition about who is busiest. Seriously – “busy” should not be a response to “How are you?” Have you noticed how people turn conversations into competitions about who’s busier than the other? Being super busy should not be a life goal. Enjoy your downtime – it’s good for you.

Wednesday Things

Nelson Mandela

1. Tonight, I get to sing Carmina Burana with some amazing people at Orchestra Hall in Detroit. If you’re sitting there thinking you have no idea what Carmina Burana is, you actually do. It’s where this is from – it’s actually the first and last movement of Carmina Burana. You know that song. It’s not something I have to do, but I’ve been rehearsing with people all year and when am I ever going to get the chance to sing this like, ever again in my life?

2. Okay, okay, here’s the big news this week: I quit my job. I know, I know, I have three jobs, but the main source of my income has been from waitressing, which I absolutely hate. So I quit. The bottom line was that there is just too much wonderful in my life right now that I am being held back from enjoying or really immersing myself in because I had this dark cloud of work hanging over my head. Also, I wasn’t planning to work in April anyway, really; I knew I’d be crazy busy and basically unavailable for an actual work schedule anyway. This is only a good thing for me right now, and I’m really committed to making sure that my next job is a day job (so I can be on the same schedule as my soon-t0-be-husband), that’s not retail or waitressing and is somehow related to my degree (Wellness and Personal Development/Health and Wellness).  Besides, it’ll be so great to be able to come home to a fresh start after the honeymoon.

3. Don’t even make me get started on the dang snowfall in April. I don’t care if we did break our most-snow-ever winter record, I was not a happy girl about it. Get your stuff together, Mitten State.

4. Countdown update:  I walk for graduation is 10 days and the wedding is in 18! I’m officially in giddy freakout mode, which also consists of not caring one single bit about the remaining paper/exams I have for my classes.

5. Next week, I’m taking a road trip with my Momma to PA to spend a couple of my last single days with my best friend Sandra at my old school and also finally meet Liz from My Subscription Addiction, for whom I review/write. I’m really excited about both of those things, and it’ll be great to have some girl time before the wedding with a friend I never see, especially since I’m not able to really have a bachelorette party because all my girls are scattered in different states.

6. My new mantra is one that my new internet friend, Rachel, tweeted: “Life is too fabulous to be sad.” Seriously, I need that on a shirt or bracelet or something!

I know that’s short, but I now have to go get ready for the performance tonight/actually do my homework later!

Wednesday Things

Image

1. Our wedding guest book arrived!! I know I mentioned that I second-guessed it for a hot second in last week’s Wednesday post, but now that I have it in my hands, I couldn’t be any happier. I’m so excited to read the things everyone I love has written in it after the wedding.

2. Today has not been a day when the universe has been nice to me. I slept through my alarm (for the second day in a row), realized I forgot my wallet at home only AFTER I ate out for lunch, went to the wrong meeting place for a group project and didn’t realize it for an hour, got cussed out for walking into the grocery store (what?), and was then honked at and given the finger for safely and legally getting into the lane for a Michigan left (I had signaled, then braked, and then merged into the left-turn lane, all while monitoring my mirrors like a good citizen. I have no idea what this guy was angry about).

3. Today I had my last choir rehearsal ever. Probably for ever ever. My director said the sweetest thing to me after specially recognizing the graduating seniors; he said “what a neat opportunity you gave to me by auditioning and joining Chorale this year.” Although I’m slightly terrified at the fact that, in a little less than a month (WHAT?) I’ll be graduated and will likely never get the chance to sing with a group of people ever again, and almost definitely will never get the chance to sing with such a wonderful group of people who are just so dang good at what they do. You can say whatever you like about what you’re going to miss when you graduate, but the connection and belonging you gain by being in an amazing choir with a director who is the most enthusiastic and loving person I have ever met is something that will break your heart when you leave. Even though I’ve only been in Chorale for this past year, I’ve learned so much about who I am, who I want to be, who I can be, and what I value through the process.

4. Some of you know I write for MySubscriptionAddiction, a company that reviews subscription boxes. Because of the fact that boxes are only mailed out monthly (or bi-monthly, or quarterly), it’s taken some time to get a good number of boxes sent my way even though I’ve been employed for a couple months. Things have really gotten going this month, and I just have to say that this is one of the neatest opportunities I’ve had. I’m loving it. It’s also so much fun to try new things! I mean, sometimes I get clothes or high-end beauty products, and sometimes I get a box of Japanese action figures? All in all, though, it’s awesome.

5. Did you know that Audible lets you return audio books for 365 days after the purchase date? You can only return like, two online and then you have to call their customer service for the rest, but it’s so easy and they don’t even bug you about it. They might ask why you’re returning them, and you can literally say “just ’cause.” Guess who has 6 new books at once to listen to! This gal!

6. Can we just talk about how my fiancee actually researched relationship-related books and asked for us to get them to read together to prep for married life? On his own? It’s like he’s some sort of rare mythical beast or something. What guy does that? A great one, that’s for sure.

7. Does anyone else find it hard to feed yourself for real when you’re all by yourself? My parents have been out of town and, with it just being me here, I’m living off of cereal and grocery-store sushi even though I make great things when I’m cooking for someone else, too. You’d think I’d rather make something yummy and not have to share it when I’m on my own. Is this just me?

8. It’s just about the most fun ever to get the mail when there’s a couple cute RSVP cards awaiting your arrival every day.

9. I’m debating what I should do with all of my extraneous belongings like books and clothes and such. I’ve been thinking about making some sort of online store via facebook, or maybe setting up an Amazon seller’s page or something. Basically, a virtual garage sale. Do any of you have any experience doing something like this? Any brilliant ideas for me?

 

 

Wednesday Things

Gold Foil Print - Let Go of the Heavy

credit: BrittanyGarnerDesign on Etsy

1. I know I’ve been MIA for about a week or so. This past week, my fiancee’s grandfather was admitted to the hospital, then hospice, and then went home to glory last Friday morning. My weekend has been full of time spent with family and catching up on homework. Both grandparents that I have lost (my Grandaddy in 2008 and my Grammy in this past October) were taken from tragically and suddenly. I still struggle every day with the loss of my grandmother and I’ve never been in a situation where my loved one had been suffering for a year (or any extended amount of time). Being able to find some solace in the fact that at least the pain is over for them now is a new concept to me. I’m so used to being angry and confused in the face of tragedy. I was so grateful for the immense number of family members who are so close to each other coming together to celebrate Grandpa Ervin’s life.

2. The wedding is in 45 days. THE WEDDING IS IN 45 DAYS. And, I have to admit that the panic starting to set in a little bit. Not only did I just realize that I had to like, get some one to make a cake and other details like that, but I’m also starting to second guess things because I’m neurotic right now between school, tragedy, and wedding plans and decisions. No second guessing about the marriage at all, but little things like the guest book I’ve already ordered. Silly (?) things.

Probably the source for most of my panic is this lurking feeling I have like I’m a 6-year-old worrying that no one’s going to come to my party. I can’t have a bachelorette party, either, because my bridesmaids all live in different states (save for my sister/matron of honor!). My mom made the point that at least Luke has a huge family so even if only family shows up, it’ll still be a big party. That both did and didn’t make me feel better.

I don’t know, I just want every thing to be fleshed out and for me to be able to just sit back and enjoy the party. I keep visualizing being at the resort on the honeymoon and the amazing beaches and it’s really what’s holding it all together in my brain right now. I know that no matter what happens, I’ll get to that beach. =]

3. On to good news… Luke’s done with school! He just took his last final for his curriculum for his bachelor’s degree. This is such a wonderful thing in and of itself but also because it means I only have to worry about getting myself through school. No more of those Sunday night “I hate everything” panic attacks… for him, at least. I’ve still got 37 days. Struggling with it. But I’m so close!!

4. I went to a Bed Bath and Beyond registry event last week, and it was a lot of fun, plus I walked away with an amazing goodie bag with some really high-quality kitchen tools, gorgeous crystal candle holders, two pretty nail polishes, and lots more. It got me wondering… can I just like, go to this every year? At different locations? For the free things? How would they know? Am I a terrible person?

5. I’m out of TV shows (as usual), and I’m thinking of either re-watching Gilmore Girls or actually wacth Friends for the first time?

I’m out of things to say. I’m unfocused and uninspired right now. I’ve been so far from the top of my game (no, seriously. I went to the wrong class room for my class today and I also thought it was Thursday instead of Wednesday?)  I’m looking forward to taking more time to clear my mind and take care of myself this week!  =]

How’s life for you??

Wednesday Things

a b

1. For the last week or two, I’ve been experimenting with different makeup products and looks with the intention of defining and practicing my wedding-day look. Unfortunately, I’ve had no luck with landing the look that feels just right for me. Many of you know that lips are my beauty soft-spot. A bold and bright lip is my signature look and I’ve decided that I just need to give up on the expected “romantic smokey eye” or “natural makeup” and stay true to myself by staying true to that. Now the fun part is experimenting between all my lip products to see which stay in place best, have the right amount of pigmentation, and the perfect amount of glam. I mean, obviously, this is what I do anyway, but I just have to pay more attention to it now!

2. Saturday night was the last shift for me at the restaurant I’ve worked at for just under 2 years. Friday night was actually one of the better nights in a long time, followed by my last shift being one pretty lame and all-around disappointing shift. Part of me is glad for this because, were I to leave on an amazing night, I may have questioned my leaving or been sad about going. But, the other part of me wished I could have gone out on a high note. The next place for me is still waitressing but I got a job in a town that is much closer to everything else in my life. In fact, it’s right between where I live now and where Luke lives. This means I get to complete training and get somewhat settled in before the wedding, and then have someplace ready to come back to once I get moved in with Luke. It’s also even more fine dining than the last place I worked and is supposedly hard to get hired into; the manager said she hardly ever interviews because everyone stays there so long. To me, this indicates that they have good systems set in place as well as consistency in the management and cash flow. I’m trying to stay more positive than anxious.

3.  I mentioned in my Wife2Wife link-up post of Marriage Goals for 2014 that I was determined to get a real dining table into Luke’s apartment for us. I’m so happy to say that I finally accomplished this goal. My university has a Facebook page for people to use as a forum to seek or offer items for free or for sale. Fortunately, when I asked if anyone was selling a table and chairs, some one reached out to me with a great set for very little money. We were initially concerned because it’s a metal frame with a glass top, but once everything was put together, no amount of leaning or pushing can even make that glass table top budge! I even got a cute, coffee-themed tablecloth for it. We were ridiculous when we got it all together: no one has ever sat down at a table so excitedly. We beamed at each other and I said “wow… what do you want to do with it??” Luke responded with “I dunno! Do you want to, like, make dinner? And eat it? Here? At the table??” I know it’s silly, but eating food while sitting on a couch for months is a huge pain. The table isn’t going to be what lasts us for the next 30 years or anything, but it’s infinitely better than no table, much better than expected, and will hopefully last us for some time!

4. I was raised thinking that everybody just went to college. I thought it was just what everyone did. Only now, as I’m nearing the end of my undergrad education and have more opportunities to meet people outside of my university, am I realizing just how few people actually finish a bachelor’s degree. Luke and I were talking about it and he made me look up the statistics. According to the census bureau, only 30% of people aged 25 or older in the US have  bachelor’s degree. Only 40% have an associates, and 8% have a master’s degree (which just makes me want to get my masters even more). I feel very fortunate for this clever bit of strategy on my parents’ part to ensure I attend and complete college.

5. Okay, so I know I haven’t shared many details at all about the writing job I got – it’s the best thing ever. I’m the first writer (other than the founder) that My Subscription Addiction has brought on to write reviews of subscription boxes! If you’re unfamiliar with subscription boxes, they’re monthly (some are bi-monthly or quarterly) packages of goodies that get sent to your door. The kinds of boxes range from makeup to kids toys and products, to organic/natural home goods, to snacks, desserts, and recipe boxes (with all the ingredients inside!), to clothes and jewelry. Really, there’s something for just about anyone. There’s even boxes like Mantry and Birchbox Man that are for gentlemen! (There’s also a box dedicated to different kinds of meats each month!) My favorites are Birchbox, Ipsy, POPsugar Must Have, and Wantable (I love their intimates box – it’s something different than all the rest and it sends you lots of high-end tank tops, leggings, socks, under garments, tights, nightwear, etc!).  Basically, I get free stuff sent to me and I get to review it for My Subscription Addiction!

One of the coolest things about the site is it has a Swap Site where you can list the samples and products in your boxes that you don’t want and swap with other subscribers for the ones you want!  It adds a whole new layer to the fun.

6. I know the whole world has already finished talking about the Oscars, but I just have to say I’m so sad that Leo’s never won one. I’m perpetually rooting for him. He’s more than earned quite a few, in my book.

7.  I have to set my own bedtime. Seriously — I’ve been worse than ever at actually getting myself to put down everything, turn the lights out, and go to sleep. Aaaand I’m definitely paying for it. I’m so exhausted all the time.

8. All I’ve been eating this whole week is fish and seafood because I stocked up on takeout on my last shift. I’m now sick of seafood. Whomp whomp.

9. Speaking of which, my first day at my new job is tomorrow night. It’s Italian, and the menu is huuuuuge. As dumb as it sounds, if I can just have someone read me the names of everything once, just so I know how to say it, that would be a big help. I get to wear all black, and I don’t have to wear a tie. It’s already an improvement!

10.  I know I applied for the Master’s of Public Health at my university, but what I’d really love to study for my masters would be Positive Psychology. I suppose the next step is seeing where that masters program is even offered! I hope there’s one in Michigan, and even better near me.

That’s all I have for right now. I hope everyone’s doing well!

What’s something you’re excited about in your life right now??