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.

Get Mad, Then Get Over It

I have this friend. He’s the type of person who can connect with anyone, he’s wise beyond his years, and he’s smart. I’m not exactly sure how smart, but most likely somewhere between scary-smart and impossibly-smart. And in case whoever happens to be reading didn’t put two and two together, I do have quite the crush on him and he knows, so if he were ever to stumble upon my ramblings (doubtful), no harm done. I feel like a fifth grade girl…

Anyway, a couple weeks ago, he asked me very directly why I’m angry. It’s true that I’m an angry person; my anger positively drives many of the things I do. It inspires me to apply for jobs, it motivates me to write genuinely, it prompts me to ask certain questions. It becomes destructive when it leads me to be defensive, to lash out people I care about, and when I respond with stubbornness.

There are so many things to be angry about. If you’re reading, you can probably construct a list in your head easily of things to be angry about. I’m mad that my dad freaked out because I did not require a 10-minute lesson on learning how to use DVR, I’m peeved that I forgot to ask for my interviewers’ business cards on Friday, I’m experiencing a little self-loathing because my food intake today consisted primarily of chocolate, and I’m undoubtedly bitter about these job hunting shenanigans.

The last thing I want to do is convince myself that being angry is wrong. I’m disinclined to say that any of those things shouldn’t elicit anger. I think the way to increase my affect is to let the little blessings in life affect me just as much as the setbacks.

Before I got ridiculously sick last week, I went on an amazing run. It was everything a fall run is supposed to be. I let myself appreciate nature and what my body could do for that half an hour and it was spectacular. Every once in a while, I do let myself be affected by happy little things. Today I was excited over leaves floating in and out of a truck bed while my mom and I were driving over to see my grandma. I even find myself happy at the day care. Last week, I was sitting on the floor and one of our toddlers gently stood behind me and ran her hands through my hair for a while. I think the more we can notice here and now, the more joy we take with us, and the more we’ll have to offer.

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’m Spinning Certified!

I expected that becoming certified to teach spinning was not going to be an easy journey – I had to travel all the way down to Oxford to do it. Fortunately, I was able to leave work early. I typically hate leaving work early because it means my itty bitty part-time paycheck gets itty bittier. But as someone who stinks at driving after dark because she gets sleepy, I was happy to leave at 4:30 instead of 6:00.

The drive down was hardly enjoyable. First, I have this theory: Google Maps and the Ohio Turnpike are business partners. Every time I use my GPS to drive somewhere in Ohio, Google Maps tells me to use the freaking turnpike. My other option was to drive 20 miles east so that I could go southwest, so that was never going to happen.

So I reluctantly get on the turnpike. My next goal was to locate Panera, as it was nearing dinnertime and I wanted something that was not your run-of-the-mill fast food restaurant. So then I heard a rhythmic tick tick tick tick tick tick as I drove my $3.50 route and glanced around the car for the source of the annoyance. My antenna was hanging down onto my back windshield and that was the end of functional radio for the duration of my drive.

I couldn’t find a Panera until 8:00 and then I realized I forgot my toothbrush. So I’m grateful for the wonderful concierge who provided me a toothbrush and toothpaste.

The certification was better. It was almost like a conference – part of attending is knowing that you’ll gain knowledge and inspiration in the area. When I went, I thought that I had a decent grasp on this instructor thing, but after the course, I know infinitely more that will help me in…four days when I teach my first class. I was able to talk to a friend afterward about odd jobs and life after a master’s degree in KNH. So now I know that there are at least a couple people out there that understand the notion that if you don’t advocate for yourself, no one else will.

How Many

Serious question. How many coins would one need to be able to provide the change for any possible purchase total? I started counting when I was running the other day. All I know is that you would need four pennies, maybe five. For some reason I came up with five, but now that I think about it, it doesn’t make much sense to me at all. This type of problem solving has never been my forte. I prefer to overanalyze and tackle those problems like how to volunteer alongside someone who got a job you didn’t. For the record, I’m doing it well, if I do say so myself. My new intention will be breaking away from the social comparisons to which I desperately cling.

Anyway, Wednesdays are social skills days where I get to learn social skills from my kiddies. There were at least three separate occasions when I posed a question, already having an answer in mind, and found my mind blown by their responses. They are so perceptive, so polite, and so ready to learn and grow. One kid thanks me and shakes my hand when he leaves!

Back to how many – when I got in my car today to head to the hospital I wondered how many supporters would it take for me to feel validated at this point in my life? How many people would it take telling me that I’ll be okay would it take for me to start believing it? I’m not needy and dumb; I know the answer should be zero – that I ought to be able to know myself enough to be convinced of these things.

So when I got in my car today (after babysitting for two hours) to head to the hospital, it took x number of people to validate me. When I got in my car today to head home, I didn’t need to be validated by anyone else. Doing the work that I do with those kids is more than enough. What’s great about this is I can say with confidence that I know what I want. I know this is how I’m supposed to feel after work. I choose to interpret this as meaning I am one step closer!

“Give yourself permission to be content where you are in life. It’s not about what you’re doing. It’s about who you are becoming.”

A friend of mine from graduate school posted this on Facebook today. Cassie is so wise and I just followed her on Twitter, so perhaps she’ll read and take credit for being awesome.

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.

Inspiration

I know I’m not alone in this state of twenty-something “funemployment.” There are some other people out there, aren’t there? I’ve read my fair share of blog posts about what the responsible thing to do is, what twenty-somethings must have/know, and what comprises the perfect girl. Sometimes, I am educated by them, those valuable perspectives of men and women my age or one to six years elder. Other times, I read those posts and decide against selling out, I realize that I’m figuring things out as I go along, and I work on being myself. When I’m frustrated, confused, lost, and lonely, I like to ramble in writing, so here I am.

I came off a Google blog that started for a class on motivation in physical activity settings. I basically logged my exercise on it, but lately it has been awkwardly transitioning into more (awkward – story of my life). So I came here to write something more relatable, maybe I’ll even have the courage to share it with friends. The last straw was this girl: Hannah Brencher, 25.

I have this thing where my immediate reaction is something between outrage and jealousy. Why can’t I have this?! A freaking TED TALK! Maybe it’s just because I’m 24; I still have a year to go and a lot can happen in a year. Maybe I don’t have the presentation.

I like to think we’re all original people with unique thoughts. But what is it that determines who readers find amusing or reputable? I’ve been reading The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. It was suggested by a friend of mine and is the first book I’m reading in a series of what I’ll refer to as “self-help” books. I’ve got the basics of living down (debatably, as I’m relying on my parents for the food and shelter part) and now I’m seeking those things that make life exceptional.

Here’s where I am: I work part-time at a child care center about 45 minutes from my house and I recently accepted a position as a spinning instructor for a local rec center. I live with my mom and dad. I run, I’m occasionally social, I’m single, and I should eat healthier. I lead a social skills group for some wonderful kids at the Cleveland Clinic. These are the simple facts that matter to me now. Let’s see how they develop!