Once Upon a Time

I’m watching “Once Upon a Time.” This has become a Sunday thing followed by viewing “The Walking Dead.” Typically I have to do something else while watching TV – stretch, read, write, whatever. I haven’t written in a while because I have felt completely and wonderfully insane. All my time not spent at work is spent planning, pining, and being excited about my new job and my new life. To be fair, I do a lot of this at work too. (I only have four more half days at the daycare!) My friend Kim yelled at me on our long run yesterday for all this planning business. She makes a valiant point: what’s wrong with just going with the flow, starting a job, and figuring things out whenever they naturally arise?

I love me some structure. It’s easy for me to structure my mornings and afternoons and since I’ll be working second shift, I’ll be running, spinning, lifting, or volunteering in the mornings, working, and then going to bed. I told Kim that I already know I want to go back to school in 2015. I’m not sure what program or even whether it will be to pursue another master’s degree or a PhD…or a PsyD. So there is a lot to consider. However, I have never spent a year and a half researching and experiencing to make a decision, so I don’t understand why this would be any different.

On another note, I went out on Friday with some people from my summer job. To sum up my experience there, here is an Eleanor Roosevelt quote that I just found appropriate for the situation:

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face…we must do that which we think we cannot.

For approximately six years, being unemployed or unsatisfied with my employment situation has been my biggest fear. Perhaps this is a characteristic of people who plan as much as I do. I saw no purpose in attending college and graduate school if it would not lead to full-time fulfillment. Simply being offered something that I perceive as fulfilling has changed everything.

In social situations, I’m an observer, I’m quiet, and I don’t particularly like meeting brand new people. I’ll happily meet friends of friends when I’m out, but strangers are a different story. Regardless, I met a stranger with prompting from the people I was with. I communicated well with many people Friday night and apparently portrayed myself well. In short, I genuinely believe that confidence makes all the difference. After disappointment and uncertainty, no matter how small it seems in retrospect, I achieved something I wanted and got an offer. That alone led to me carrying myself differently.

So to wrap up, I do have a question. Why is it that every time a girl meets a guy in a bar, one of three things must happen? 1) He completely forgets who you are and nothing happens. 2) You become a booty call later. 3) He wants to start dating. Maybe I’m strange (I’m definitely strange), but why can’t you meet someone in a bar and begin a friendship?

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I Got an Offer…

…And I accepted it!

I accepted in an extraordinarily awkward (characteristic of me) fashion, but maybe it’s endearing. Just before I got the call, I went downstairs to whine to my dad about how hopeless I was becoming. I dropped my phone on the fireplace and complained for literally two minutes before it rang and I was offered the position. So clearly my new place of employment is psychic and also has a sense of humor. I start November 18th with mass amounts of training.

As awkward as accepting a new job was for me, giving notice that I was quitting at the daycare was even more awkward. I told my director that I needed to speak with her and of course she wasn’t thrilled – I didn’t expect she would be, but I was hoping for genuine well-wishes. Following my short discussion with the director, the preschool teacher approached me with this whole, “I couldn’t help but overhear” business and wanted my contact information for her undergraduate daughter.

This isn’t my worst fear by any means, but one of my preoccupations with starting a career has regarded how many toes I have to step on to get what I want. Before I got my call, I almost wrote an entry about how much I “need” to have something full-time. As someone who has been drilled on the importance of concise and accurate language, I reconsidered what I “need.” I am making payments on my loans with a part-time position at the daycare. I received First Aid and CPR training through the daycare and they paid me the hourly rate that enabled me to make the long commute to and from work. And instead of showing how grateful I am that this daycare hired me when I really could use the income, I am leaving them at the first sign of something better. The working world is a mean and cutthroat place.

So the bottom line is that I’m never going to please everyone. I’ve been doing a lot for me lately and have yet to regret any of it. In addition to taking that job, I got my spinning certification for myself, I’ve been running and eating healthier for myself, and reading to work on myself… Those are the things that are not affected by what I do for a living. I realize that I have not been blogging about this job search for my entire “funemployment” period, but if I had been, it would have been quite obvious that I identify strongly with what I do and I also judge myself incredibly harshly based on the impact I’m having. I’m not exceptional at caring for toddlers; other people are. My place to make an impact is where I’ll be two weeks from Monday and that’s an incredible feeling.

Expect the Worst and Hope for the Best!

I was going to write about anger, but I suppose I’ll wait because… I had a job interview today! And better yet, it was a job interview at a place I loved. Believe it or not, the last place I thought I would love rejected me for these reasons: 1) I was overqualified 2) I expressed interest in continuing my education, and 3) someone who had resigned decided they wanted to stick around…

…Needless to say, I was more than a little devastated. So here’s why I’m so in love with the place I interviewed today: 1) I was specifically asked about my master’s degree and whether I was certain I wanted to apply for a position that is a bachelor’s level position, 2) continuing education is encouraged, and 3) they were recently one of the NorthCoast 99, which I interpret to mean that they treat their employees pretty well, or at least they did a couple years ago.

Overall, I know the prolonged nature of this job hunting business has made me a stronger person and I’ll appreciate a full-time position so much more when I’ve earned it. But it has also made me afraid to be hopeful in this type of situation. I can’t help but fear being invested in the uncertain. If I’m invested, I have a week to wait until I’m elated or devastated. Regardless of whether or not I want to be invested in the outcome, I definitely am. So here’s hoping that “a week” is actually a real life week rather than an application process week. And, of course, here’s hoping that I get the job!

In other news, I taught my first spinning class on Thursday! I had planned the perfect inaugural workout the weekend before, added music, did some mental rehearsing… And then I couldn’t do it. I got so sick on Monday night that it’s taken me until tomorrow to eat a real meal and not regret it. My perfect first workout was going to be a strength ride, but I was too sick for that so it ended up being a more flexible endurance/interval ride. I received positive feedback for it, but I’m excited for Tuesday to see how my favorite workout plays out.

I’ll be headed back to NickReboot.com now to watch some Legends of the Hidden Temple and end this boring post. Writing about anger next time will be infinitely more entertaining for me.

I Get Knocked Down…

“But I get up again / You’re never gonna keep me down.”

I got rejected today approximately 90 minutes after I completed a phone interview. I didn’t get my “more qualified candidates” email until I got home from work, so I cannot offer any perspective on the situation. Oh well. Philadelphia is pretty far to move for a part-time gig anyway.

I have a couple more applications out there. Unfortunately, some places don’t even contact me to update me about my own life. How am I supposed to fuel my anger fire without impersonal, insensitive rejection?! It’s simply reassuring that I’ve dodged a bullet and I will not be working for an organization that is so inconsiderate of my time, investments, and feelings to disregard my application as if it were nothing. The more rejection I receive, the more determined I become to get what I want. It’s funny; the first time I received bad news about a position, I was in tears, verbalizing my fears that I would work part-time at a daycare for the rest of my life. I have since arrived at the point where I asked for feedback via email, saying point blank:

“I am looking for all the feedback I can get, as I know I can perform the duties of this type of position. I just need to figure out the best way to convince other people I would be a good fit as well!”

The exclamation point is strictly for the purpose of being perceived as friendly. Rejection hasn’t broken me of all social norms just yet.

Maybe the purpose of rejection is to kindle my own conviction, to ensure I know who I am and what I want. Maybe it’s just to piss me off enough to omit all the fluff of the application process and be myself.