My Career

Checklist for 2013

2014 is just around the corner! I feel as though September through November just came and went.  It is hard to believe that just a few months ago, I had just moved back home and had started my job hunt. For the past few years at around this time of year, I have always had a clear objective for the next year: do well in school and maintain a balanced college life.  Right now, after the first "semester" of no school and no extracurricular activities for me, I have time to reflect on the past year and on certain goals that I haven't achieved yet or want to achieve in 2014 (outside of crazy Christmas shopping and celebrations).

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How Not to Settle into a Routine

For the past two months, I've been working and watching lots of television. Everyday, I wake up at around 7am, exercise and eat breakfast, get ready for work and arrive at around 10am.  I work at Noozhawk until 2:15pm and get to my daycare job at 2:45pm.  Then I get home at around 6pm and eat dinner and watch whatever I've been watching on Netflix.  Usually I'll talk to my boyfriend on the phone at around 10 and then be asleep by 2am at the latest.  I've also been trying to get my computer turned off by 10pm so I can sleep by 11pm and not be too tired to wake up early and exercise.

For me, having a routine and having things to do for money is what I wanted all summer.  But, lately, I've been missing the non-routine of being at college.  Ok, I had classes and had regular meetings - but there was always something different going on besides those things.

There are things I have to do - I have to work and I have to exercise and I have to spend time with my loved ones.

But, I've been thinking about integrating some of these things into my week to shake things up and to possibly be more productive outside of work:

  • Reading - I recently interviewed a writer, Tracy Shawn, who reminded me that reading fiction is one of the best ways to get out of your own mind.  I've been trying to read every night before bed, and I've already read more in the past few days than I have in a long time.
  • Catching up with friends -  Grabbing lunch with a friend not only gets me in touch with other people in the area, but it's also fun.  And you have to have lunch sometime - why not have some good company while you're at it?
  • Yoga - I used to do some online yoga routines with friends in my final months of college.  I finally am starting to get back into that groove by taking a class at a yoga studio, and hopefully it can lead into my own home practice.
  • Writing - I eventually want to go publish fiction stories and it's been a long time since I've written anything.  I'm getting to that place where I'm wanting to revise some of my drafts, so I've been taking some time to read them.

It may just look like another list of things that I need to do, but I don't see it that way.  I want to do these things because they are enjoyable and they will help me improve myself.  I could watch television for the four hours that I'm home or I could go through Tumblr posts or whatever - but there's no real quantifiable outcome.

It's ok to do nothing and sometimes, it's needed.  But I'm starting to think that if I'm at least a little bit productive in my personal life, I'll be able to feel less stuck in a rut.


Life Lessons at 22

Image I turned 22 last week.  My birthday passed by pretty uneventfully, which is unusual.  My mom usually asks me what I want to do for my birthday three weeks in advance - either a party or some trip or something.  This year, we kept things quiet.  And I'm glad for it.  It has given me time to spend with the people who are really closest to me and reflect on the past year.

I mean, last year was kind of a big year - I turned 21, went on big girl nights out, had my lasts at USD, graduated, and got some work for myself.   When I turned 21, I set out to have the perfect senior year.  I set out to have a job lined up when I got out of school, I wanted to participate in every possible thing that I could before I left school, and I wanted to get some good use out of my youth while I was with my friends (a.k.a. go to clubs and be crazy).

The past year was possibly the craziest year ever - balancing school, work, and going crazy was a lot harder than I thought.  I was angry and upset for a lot of that year because the balance was off.  All of my responsibilities were taking up all of my time, my boyfriend and I were trying the long-distance thing, my parents grew increasingly excited about my graduation as I grew increasingly more nervous and sad - it was all just too crazy.

I've been wanting to write about what I learned in the past year, and it's really hard to come up with just one thing.  While life has settled down a little bit, the crazy isn't completely gone from my life.  Schedules are similar, but problems are different.  I'm learning new things about myself every day.  I'm learning how to budget my earnings, I'm learning to play the guitar and sing at the same time.

I think the most important thing I've learned about myself in the past year is that I can be really hard on myself.  I wanted to do so much last year, but I ended up getting more crazy than I would have liked.  I know that I can achieve anything that I put my mind to and that I can get what I want - I just have to take it slow, be kind to myself, be disciplined, and remember that nothing comes easily.

As my life just begins, I want to remember these things.  There are a lot of goals I want to meet in the next year, in the next five years.  And looking ahead, I know it's not going to be easy.  All I can do is take it one day at a time.

Hello Again

It's been about a month since my last post and a lot has happened since then.

  1. I went on a NorCal trip with my family.
  2. I met up with friends in San Diego and got to hang out with my besties.
  3. I spent two weekends in a row with my bf.
  4. I started working at my old elementary school for the after school daycare program.
  5. My unpaid internship with Noozhawk turned into a paid internship.

Last week was my first week doing both my Noozhawk internship and my daycare job and it has been pretty hectic.

While I had hoped my time between graduation and eventual grad school would be a little more laid-back, this suits me fine.  It allows me to get into the groove of working during regular hours, and it is helping me understand what it means to have a budget.

I still have a lot of processing to do, but for now, it's Sunday night.  It's a Harry Potter weekend on ABC Family, I just ate dinner with my parents, and have all the ingredients ready to try out this recipe for double chocolate cheescake cookies.  I'll let you know how they turn out.

Put it on Repeat - I Just Need to "Breathe"

[youtube=] For the past few weeks, I've been trying so hard to try to do something.  It makes me nervous to not be doing something structured in this post-grad phase of my life.   

I told my mom about these anxieties last week when we went for coffee. About how just sitting on the couch and doing nothing is stressful.  And how it makes me crazy that I am not making money when I have a lot of ground to cover in my loans.

It was hard to look at her as I said these things because I felt my eyes watering and I could see the concern on her face.  But she always has a way of calming me down.

"You don't have to do anything," she said.  "You should take this time to do some soul-searching."

Even though I said I'd be glad to be done college with it and do nothing for a bit in the past, it's been really hard to stop looking for stuff to do post-grad.  It's been hard to not think about going back to school and it's been hard to stop thinking in general about the future.

Since I talked to my mom about this, I've been obsessed with this song not only because it's telling me to slow down, but it's also telling me to do a little soul-searching.  What I do now isn't an end-all-be-all.  If I watch television all day or if I get a job today, that doesn't define what my future holds.  All I can do is take it a step at a time and see what comes next - for now, anyways.