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

Currently…

Feel happy to be alive.

Loving… having fresh flowers on my table! I bought myself a pretty bouquet while grocery shopping and now I get to use the beautiful, etched-glass vase we had for our wedding as a floating candle votive for our unity candle. I bought it from Etsy and I love seeing it every day. I love having this keepsake.

Watching… Arrested Development. We finally caught up to the season that Netflix did! After this, I have no idea what else to watch. Suggestions?

Eating… Okios Greek Yogurt in their Cafe Latte flavor, loaded up with a ton of ground cinnamon. It tastes like tiramisu. And it’s healthy! Obsessed.

Learning… that not every opportunity I am able to take is one I should take. And, along those same lines, to really listen to my gut/inner compass.

Playing… Battlefield Hardline BETA. Well, technically, I haven’t played yet, but I got into the beta and now I’m waiting for L to finish playing around with something on his computer that “will only take 10 minutes” (he said, an hour ago).

Anticipating… more phone calls from more interviews. If you read this post, you know that I gave myself permission to go for jobs I’ll have fun at and enjoy right now instead of going after whatever un-fun jobs I am able to get that may make more money. And? I’m pretty excited. =]

Trying… to get on one of those regular cleaning schedules? You know, one of those Tuesday-is-laundry-day and Thursday-is-floors-day kind of things? I’m not sure I’m ready for that level of adulthood yet. Also sometimes you need to do laundry or counters before the dedicated day it’s supposed to be done on and then everything gets messed up. Whomp whomp.

Wanting… Too Faced’s a la Mode Eye Palette. Uhhhh I am dying over those colors. I recently got their Natural Eyes palette in a POPsugar Must Have box, and it’s my new go-to. Hopefully, my next job will be someplace where I can get a sweet discount on some lovely things like this! ;]

Loving… my inspiration board. Scrolling through all the colors, flowers, and summery things always cheers me up!

 

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

Hey, everyone! I feel like it’s been a while since I posted, but that’s just because I’ve been really busy (in a fun way!) (except school) (gross).

  1. I know we’re already more than 1/12 of the way in, but 2014 is going to be so seriously exciting and challenging and new and fun. My fiancee and I both have some really cool new opportunities and ideas that may help to bring in some more money and enjoying ourselves at the same time (who would have thought?). And then there’s that whole getting married thing, of course. That’s exciting, too (obviously)!
  2. Some of you may know that my dad lost his job a couple weeks ago. But, before he even finished editing his resume, he got a call from some one he used to work with who needs help with programs my dad designed years ago! Now, my dad gets to work for himself as an independent contractor AND work from home (his dream!). This is awesome. Especially with the added stress of planning a wedding, it gives us just that little bit of breathing room that does wonders for our sanity.
  3. I really miss my Grammy. She’d be so excited to hear about everything new going on and planning the wedding and everything. It’s still hard. But I’m really excited to have a reason to bring my family all together again for a happy celebration, since the last time we were all together was a funeral. It’ll be so great to dance and visit with my family and make those memories.
  4. Count-downs: 73 days until I walk for graduation! Oh my goodness. I just have to survive 73 more days. Basically 10 more weeks. I can do that. Counting down has never really done much for me in the past but when it comes to counting down my undergrad, it seems to make it feel like there’s actually a light at the end of the tunnel. Also, there’s exactly 80 days until I get married. Holy crap. This is the one countdown you probably don’t want to feel like it flies by because there’s so much to get done! Now that my dad has a job again and we have more options, I’m really trying to get back on track and as much done ahead of time as possible so that once finals and such come around, I can focus on finishing those strongly.
  5. Valentine’s Day! I’m celebrating tomorrow, on the 13th, because there’s no getting out of waitressing for Valentine’s Day. I’m really not looking forward to it (like that even needs to be said). It’s one of what we call “amateur holidays,” where people who don’t usually eat at expensive restaurants come out to eat. They often set a budget and then spend just under that, leaving only a small amount for a tip (which often ends up being 10% or less). Also, just about every reservation is a 2-person party, which means smaller check averages. Oh, well. Hopefully this will be my last-ever Valentine’s as a waitress.
  6. Speaking of which, please send some good vibes my way. As I eluded to above, I’m looking into new ways to bring in some good money and I’m really hoping I can quit the restaurant really soon. I die a little inside every time I have to deal with anything related to it.
  7. I was really struggling with some of those evil, self-critical demons this morning. Do you ever have times or days when you just hear those awfully negative voices in your head so much more strongly than usual? That was today. Fortunately, grabbing some coffee, having a sit-down lunch at the table with my Daddy and going on a walk with my parents later all helped me feel better. For now, at least. I always seem to struggle in January and February (Hello, Seasonal Affective Disorder), but being aware of this pattern for myself and having some lovely people supporting and surrounding me is more helpful than ever.
  8. The honeymoon is officially booked! We’re going to an all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Right before the travel agent put the first payment down, I had a moment of panic about how we could probably settle for some hotel somewhere close by for a week. But, I know that one tip for wedding budgeting that I keep reading is to cut money from the things that aren’t so important to you personally (flowers, alcohol, etc) and put the core cash towards the things that are. In this case, I know this trip will be amazing and once-in-a-lifetime. I know that paying for experiences rather than material things can be scary but oh so great. And now that it’s booked and set in stone, I have to be happy about it! It’s a win-win.
  9. Oh, I got my official wedding website set up! CLICK HERE to go see it!
  10. I have GOT to get myself a massage soon. My right shoulder + that side of my neck have been in constant pain for the last couple weeks and my right shoulder actually looks swollen because of how big the knot is in it. Friday’s payday – maybe I’ll finally get around to making an appointment then!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine’s, whether you celebrate or don’t, are single or not, go out somewhere fancy or stay home and eat Chinese. =]