Monday, February 20, 2012

...and the World Spins Madly On.

These last few weeks have been a blur. School keeps plugging away - I cut hair, I color hair, I make people happy, I go home, make dinner, go to the gym, go to bed, then get up and do it all over again. 

This industry is interesting. If I wanted to be a rockstar stylist and be famous someday (and probably if I was 18 again), I'd be content with what's expected after you take your boards for cosmetology. What's expected is this: apprentice under someone for 1-2 years making minimum wage, folding towels, cleaning up after them, and not touching hair. But I tend to veer off the beaten path and pursue things my peers wouldn't think of. Thank goodness, in this case. Just starting to make a decent living at the age of 30 sounds horrific. I don't expect to have everything, but I expect to be able to pay my bills between now and then. So there's that. 

Then there's him. He graduates in June, too. His career track could take him anywhere. Also with the fear of barely having a paycheck for awhile. Mine is flexible too, but a steady paycheck could be more likely (but who knows these days). So where does that leave us? 

Coming to grips with what both of you are trying to accomplish is hard. All of a sudden the thought of living in my parents' basement together seems way better than living 1,000 apart. So what will we do? The answer is I don't know. Do I wait to see where he might work? Does he wait to see where I might work? Do we actually have the luxury to be unemployed for the time it takes to figure those things out? (That is answer is definitely a No.) 

Living together has been great. Seriously. There have been arguements, moments when we're sick of each other, and every day has been a learning experience. I didn't realize until now that this life could change pretty drastically this summer. Every once in awhile we talk about marriage. Obviously we are very committed already so what's the rush? I came to the conclusion that I like to talk about it because I feel like it gives us something to look forward to. We are a sure thing and nothing else in our future feels that way, so why not talk about the excitement of a prospective wedding and marriage? Guess what I also finally realized: getting married won't make job hunting any easier. Getting married won't mean we suddenly have the luxury to do whatever we want. Having a ring on my finger won't pay the bills. In fact, it will lead to more bills. That just sucked the fun out of that, huh? 

I'm the type of person that is always positive. I trust that everything will work out. But some days, like today, I let reality pull me in and scare the shit out of me. And the reality is this: we have no clue what's going to happen after June. And while that's exciting most of the time, today it sucks. 

Tomorrow I'll get up and my routine will start again. I'll put a smile on my face and keep moving forward because that's what I do: I keep pushing. I keep hoping for the best. So may tomorrow be filled with hope once again.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Welcome to 2012!

Clearly I've been busy with school. I'm back to my normal self after a few very-tired months of catching up and learning the ropes at Aveda. I'm doing hair 4 days a week - color, highlighting, cutting, blow-drying, and hopefully making people feel awesome. I love it, and each day I keep changing my mind about what I want to do in this industry. 

These last few weeks, aka the beginning of 2012, I've thought a lot about goals. For this year, for next year, for years to come - it's been a very thoughtful couple of weeks in terms of what's coming up for my life. And our life - 2 new graduates come June means big stuff for the summer. Whether it's a goal I share with him, or a goal for myself only, I wanted to hold myself accountable for some goals on here. Apparently I think that by posting it publicly, I'll be more likely to achieve said goals. Some will be achieved, some will probably change over time - and that's ok. 

1. Read. I used to read all the time when I lived alone. Thankfully, public transportation allows time at the beginning and end of my day to get some reading in if I can't get to it at home. 
2. Learn. As much as I can about hair. And try new things outside of school. (up next, ballroom dancing!)
3. Play tennis. This would have been 'exercise', but that sounds too 'resolution-y'. Tennis is fun, we enjoy it together, and even invested in lessons. Tennis it is! 
4. Yoga. At least a few times per month, especially when my back feels out of whack. 
5. Phone calls. Make them, take them, return them. I've been a less-than-stellar friend to keep in touch with, so it's time to no longer fear the phone. (This includes text messages) 
6. Girlfriends. Make sure I see people more than a few times a year. Especially when we live in the same city. 

I would have listed 12 goals for the sassy title, but they would have consisted of the typical "eat better" and "manage money better", etc. I think 6 goals of things I enjoy and need to make sure I stick with is a pretty sweet list. Poor me, having to read, play, and talk to my friends on a regular basis in 2012. :) 

Happy 2012, everyone. Maybe this year will be a good blog year, too!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sorry Summer

In May I moved in with my love (and his roommate) downtown. My credit card was under control. We made a list of all the things we wanted to take advantage of in our fair city. Then I got fired. I went home to Indiana for a week. We did some things here and there. I cleaned a lot. I made the decision to go to cosmetology school. I started July 26th. One week in, I got a high fever that lasted for 12 days. Turns out I probably have mono. One more week of rest and I'll be tiredly making my way back to school. But having that one week of my own things outside the house, and then having it 'taken away' for another 3 weeks put me over the edge. 

After crying and yelling for the last 3 months about how life isn't fair and how I feel like the rug has been pulled out from under me and how living with 2 dudes is less than stellar, he finally told me that he wouldn't complain with me. That I've complained about the same things all summer, but he wouldn't join me in my pity party. I didn't even realize I was throwing one.

I've apologized a lot this summer. All my frustrations have been taken out on the person who loves me no matter what, which is what happens when you live in close quarters. And after I yell and cry, I apologize for being a basket case. But it never occurred to me that my usually sunny disposition has had a dark cloud over it since the beginning of June. 

So how did I spend my summer, really? Did I have fun? Sure. But did I spend the majority of it feeling like a total loser who didn't deserve any fun? You bet. Did you know you can like where you live, and then after 3 months of being cooped up, absolutely hate it? I mean, what did our apartment ever do to me, except give me a roof over my head? I even sunk so low as to start blaming other people for my lack of having a life.

I'm a firm believer in being in charge of your own life - you can make the best of any situation. This summer, I didn't. I tried. I put on a smile. But underneath I just angrier and angrier. And then getting sick, to the point of not even being able to do anything, was the icing on the cake. 

Now that I realize how crabby I've been at home, I think it's time for an attitude adjustment. I think it's time to be ok with splurging on a yoga class or a facial, or new shoes. Not every week, but treating myself to things I enjoy is ok. I'm always encouraging others to treat themselves well and to take care of themselves. The bottom line is that I haven't taken care of me the way I need to be taken care of. How bad does that suck when you realize it's you, and not the world making you miserable? 

Unfortunately I wasted a summer being angry and sad (with a recurring dream about my old job, that couldn't have helped). But it's time to seek out the things I've wanted to take advantage of in this city that make me happy. No one else can do that for me. 

And I'm tired of apologizing. So perhaps instead of letting all my stress out on the person who truly makes me happy every day, maybe I'll take my stress out in a yoga class or jog session throughout the week. I know relationships have their ups and downs, and we'll have more. But I need to remember to take care of myself the way I love to take care of the other person. 

We're going to Boston this weekend to see my college friends get married. We're staying at a b&b near the Mayflower in Plymouth. We're looking forward to relaxing, the ocean, good food, and good friends. And lobster. :) 

Here's to end of summer smiles and less sorries.

Monday, July 25, 2011

New Beginnings

After much deliberation, questioning, phone calls to friends and family, and countless soul-searching conversations, I'm getting my bag together for school tomorrow. 

My love of the fashion industry has seen a few different jobs and where they could potentially lead me. The clothing aspect is exciting, and the thing I find most-fascinating as I don't sew, but it just didn't do it for me. Anytime I've written or worked on the beauty-side, whether it was talking about the latest products, makeup/hair styles, or working in a salon, I couldn't get enough. For 10 years I've thought a cosmetology license would be fun to pursue: and pursue it I will! 

I start my Aveda training in Chicago tomorrow. I'm nervous. I'm excited. I'm praying I remember my checkbook to give them my first day's deposit. I'm antsy about what I'm going to wear. I had orientation earlier this month, but am looking forward to getting to know my classmates. Mostly, I'm excited to jump into something completely different and come out of it next year with brand new skills from a company that is near and dear to my heart. 

I couldn't have asked for more support as I start this new adventure. To go from corporate sales to doing hair is a huge change, and a scary one at that. But last month when I lost my job, I decided that was a sign to take the leap. Having looked into the Institute before losing my job, it sparked my interest, and I couldn't help but wonder if this was the right time for me.

Okay, Universe: I listened and I'm finally moving forward. Let's do it!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

What Relaxation feels like...I think.

I'm helping my parents out this week while they are out of town on business/vacation. Normally when I'm at my parents house, I'm tensely waiting to go back home for whatever work is waiting for me. But this time, I think I'm doing what most would call "relaxing." Here's how I know: 

*I'm not annoyed whatsoever by the dog waking me up by 7:30am. When he wants to hang out in the yard for awhile, I'm happy to hang out with him. And any time he comes to me, I immediately tend to his needs. All of this sounds normal, but before now I was always in a hurry with him and always made him wait for me to finish whatever I was doing. 

*My girlfriends came over yesterday. We sat outside all afternoon with the dog. I had no concept of what time it was, and I was perfectly happy to just go with the flow. When we were hungry, we ate. I had crab legs for the first time (YUM). We went for a drink last night to one of my favorite college bars and were happy to call it a night by midnight. Again, I didn't even bother worrying what time it was, or what time the dog woke me up this morning.

*I'm taking care of things around my parents house that I typically would roll my eyes at or do only because they wanted me to. Perhaps it's because as an adult, you lose the 'tude with the parents. But I think it also has to do with the fact that I currently don't feel like people are asking the world of me during the week, so doing things around my parents house doesn't phase me. And it gives me breaks between readings and Gilmore Girls episodes. 

*I think I just now realized how much work my parents have done with their yard. By walking the yard with the dog, I see they've done a ton of landscaping, put in a beautiful patio, and have potted plants everywhere that make it feel like an outdoor sanctuary. Mind you, I've been to parents house in the last couple of months when all of this was completed. Obviously my brain was distracted. 

*Lastly, I don't feel bad taking my time to get things done. Cleaning, cooking, visiting, walking the dog, reading outside: no time constraints. I don't feel bad for not checking the time every so often because right now it doesn't matter. It's kind of like vacation, except for me I currently don't have a job to go back home to, which makes me relax for real. Honestly, I'm not so heartbroken about it. 

I was a little afraid that being alone for so many days with the dog would drive me a little crazy. Not that I don't check in with the BF each day, or text with people, but just the idea of being alone in my parents house with no cable was kind of nerve-wracking. Now that I'm here (and have activities planned each day anyway) I'm using my quiet time to listen to what I really want in my next venture. And I think getting away from my Now Home to my Then Home is a great way to check-in with myself and get away from the craziness of the city we live in. I never thought I'd appreciate the quietness, the woods, and the fresh air at Mom & Dad's the way I do right now. Funny how that works...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Leaps of Faith

We were watching an old episode of How I Met Your Mother. At the end, I turned to Mr. L and said, "I think this was really good that I watched this when I did." He just nodded, as he does when he's not really sure what I'm getting at, but wants to proceed with caution given my emotional roller coasters over the last couple of weeks.

This particular episode features the main character's friends telling him that even though he thinks he should be pursuing one career, maybe he's running into roadblocks for a reason. We're taught from a young age that walls are built to break through. What we're not taught is what to do when there's a wall and also a small window of opportunity open right next to it. Do we keep breaking through these walls and ignore the windows? If we're told we're good at something, or 'should' do something, we think that's our option. I have to become the best "insert occupation here" I can no matter what - even if everything and everyone is saying no. I know we all run into bumps in the road. But do we continue down the same path even when there are arrows pointing us in a different direction? A direction we hadn't considered before, maybe out of fear of the unknown? 

The moral of this story is that life isn't planned. As much as I like to plan ahead, there comes a point when you say 'fine. Life, you tell me where to go from here.' We shouldn't stop being proactive in our lives, but we should start listening to the world when it tries to help us along. Instead of fighting it, maybe we should just take the leap and look forward to a new adventure we didn't think we could pursue in the first place. 

Enjoy the clip - for some reason the writing at the end is backwards, but it doesn't take away from anything.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Blast from the Past

 I was poking through another blog I've contributed to in the past - some of you may remember "Just a little thing called life." Me and two of my best ladies started it one day with the idea that maybe we'd turn it into a book one day for other 20-somethings to learn from our thoughts/mistakes/successes/etc. Well, you'll see that the last post was January 2010 - one of us is blogging up a storm on her own, I've been taking my own path through life that left writing on the back-burner, and the other one had a baby last year. But sometimes it's nice to go back and see what your thoughts were years ago - which is how I stumbled upon this entry I posted right before I moved back to the Midwest almost 2 years ago. While some things in my life have changed, my overall thought process has not. And I think this is a great reminder for myself and others that happiness is the ultimate goal and we shouldn't be afraid of it. 

From July 13, 2009:

What happens when you realize you thought you had it figured out, but actually have no clue?

My goal after graduation was to work for a non-profit because you learn how to do everything. You have to work really hard to get results and typically others in the non-profit world also work really hard.

I've found all of these things to be true. But it's not enough. So, where do I go from here?

As 20-somethings, we are goal-oriented from the day we are born. All we are told is that we should finish school and work toward a great career that will provide security and insurance. Hopefully, you love what you do, but the biggest thing is to make sure you're taken care of. I have all these things, and my job is fine, but I'm getting to the point where my job is simply paying my bills. As a non-profit employee, I think it's important to want to give 110% every day to ensure the success of your programs. Not even a year in and I'm already tired of giving my 110%. To be honest, I care a little less every day about my job. I still work hard, but it's because I'm supposed to, not because I want to. Is this what I spent my whole life working toward?

And what happens now that I realize this? Do I just simply quit? Do I look for another job, even though I haven't even been there a year? Or, do I pursue what really makes me happy at the expense of losing some of my current security? Would that really be a bad thing?

My fellow 20-somethings, I hope we are all brave enough to take a chance on our lives and strive for happiness, even if it goes against the status quo.