Weekend Coffee Share 10/1/17

Imagine we’re sitting outside, the finally chilling Fall air cooling our hot coffee. We’d have a lot to talk about, I’m sure. Mostly I’d be raving about the weather. I adore the beginning of Fall. As someone that dislikes hot weather and the midwest humidity that comes from water in the corn stalks heating up (yes, that’s a thing), I just get giddy when the weather hovers around 70 degrees. The last few days I’ve been spending as much time outside as possible, either walking or reading on the porch. That’s why we’re outside as we enjoy our coffee and catch up now.

The biggest news I have is that I started a job this week. Don’t get too excited though–it’s part time and temp. I just hate having no income and sitting around the house all day. I think it will be fine, but it’s nothing I’m in love with. I’m also a little peeved, because never was I told it was a call center job. It wasn’t in the job description, mentioned in the interview, or in my first two days of training. I had explicitly been avoiding applying for call center positions because I tend to get nervous on the phone unless it’s someone I’m comfortable with. But at least it’s for a nonprofit rather than some big corporation. Even if I don’t like the job, I’ll be helping people, and that’s really important to me.

Less time at home also means I haven’t had as much time to blog. Changing up your schedule is really exhausting, so even though I’ve finished a few books, I haven’t written about them yet. Hopefully I’ll get to that soon. I especially want to write about I Hate Everyone But You: A Novel by Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin. I’ve been reading a lot of older books recently, but this one just came out.

I’ve also picked up a new hobby. As much as I love reading, I do need a bit of variety in how I spend my free time. Last weekend I took a quilting class with my mom. It was a lot of fun. Something about creating has always felt good to me. That’s part of why I started blogging. But working with my hands is still a completely different experience. It’s really satisfying too. Unfortunately quilting can be really expensive. Luckily for me my mom already has all to tools, so I just have to buy the actual fabric. It’s a bit of an odd hobby for me to pick up though because of how young I am compared to most quilters, but I live in a town full of the very young and the aging. There’s very few people around my age. Plus I like older people (for the most part). And quilting ladies are kinda quirky, which I enjoy.

On a completely different note, I’m trying to improve my instagram skills. It seems like all my friends are better at it than I am. So look at this picture of my cat, Buttons, that I took today! I think it’s pretty swell. She was rolling around in the gravel while I rubbed her tummy. If you have any instagram tips, I’d love to hear them.

That’s about all that’s new in my life this week. What about you?

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Weekend Coffee Share 8/20/2016

Weekend Coffee Share Header

This week has been, well, a lot. If we were having coffee, I’d have to tell you all about it.

The biggest event is that I had a job interview! YAY! It’s for an adult services librarian position open in a small-to-midsized town about a half-an-hour drive from my hometown. Because of the size, they aren’t requiring a masters even though it is a full librarian position. Honestly, I couldn’t have dreamed up a better job opening. I would even be able to work full-time and get my masters online part-time.

As you can imagine, I was beyond excited to have an interview, but nervous as well. All-in-all, I think the interview went okay. I wish I had had better answers to the questions, but I don’t think I did poorly. It was just so hard to read the people interviewing me. I should know by the end of this week if I’ll be called back for a second interview. I really want it, but I also know I’m really inexperienced and have a lot to learn. We’ll see I guess.

After the interview, I found myself slipping into a brief depressive state. Even though it went fairly well, I started doubting myself a lot. Basically, I don’t feel qualified enough for this job. Since I want it so badly, it got me down. I also haven’t gotten a new therapist yet since moving back home. I really need to do that, but I keep putting it off for some reason. I’m feeling better now, but I don’t want my mental health to start sliding now that I’m home, something my previous therapist was worried about due to my history with my hometown and my parents.

I’m also having a ton of trouble with my ex-landlords. They haven’t sent me my security deposit yet and now also want to charge me hundreds of dollars for floor repairs. What’s wrong with the floors at my old apartment? I have no idea. They did jackhammer it up while I was living there without telling me. I didn’t have water for a week thanks to that, and they refuse to respond to my request for decreased rent. The whole situation is really getting out of hand and I know I’m being screwed over. I was a great tenant but now they seem to just want to squeeze every penny out of me. I guess I’ll have to get some legal counsel, but it’s all so stressful and overwhelming. I can’t just ignore it either. The money isn’t just mine, it’s also my roommates’. Unfortunately I’m the account holder, so I have to put in a lot of the work to figure this out.

My family is also worried that our dog is sick. She has been acting lethargic and bleeding quite often. We’re really concerned because we know she has a tumor that we’re watching. Plus we just had to put our other dog down a few months ago.

On the bright side, I get to see my baby nephews next weekend, and that’s always great. They’ve gotten so big, and I can’t wait to see them in person.

Anyways, if we were having coffee, I’d apologize for all my ranting and ask you how you’ve been.

Landing and Turning Down my First Job Offer

As I’ve recently graduated and found myself on the job market rather than continuing on with academia, I’ve been applying to a fair amount of jobs. Overall I haven’t had too much luck. I’m a creative(ish) in small-town midwest. There aren’t a ton of postings for people with my skills at the moment. The largest town near me is a hub of insurance companies and finance corporations. That being said, I’ve found some grant-writing positions to apply for as well as some outreach postings in the nonprofit sector. While I’d prefer to stay along that line of employment, I’m applying widely. Girl’s gotta work, ya know?

That led me to take an interview with a large national finance corporation, which will remain unnamed online. The interview went well and I was offered the position less than half an hour after it finished. The location worked well for me, the pay was about what I was looking for, and it would have started immediately. I turned it down. Why? Well, it sounded absolutely and mind-numbingly boring to me. All day everyday I would have been going through mortgages, adding up all of the fees, and making sure that was what people were actually charged. Important work, but not work I want to do. I want something a bit more creative. Something where I can interact with people at least a little bit. I may be an introvert, but I need human interaction beyond telling someone if there is an error in the numbers.

So, I remain unemployed. It’s only been about two weeks though, so I’d say I’m doing pretty well. Now if only I could get an interview with one of those creative-esq jobs I’m applying for.

Weekend Coffee Share 7/4/2017

(Yes, I know it’s not the weekend, but I’ve been seeing these types of posts, and I wanna try it out)

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I’m down to one cup of coffee a day plus some iced black tea instead of three cups a day. I’m feeling proud. I also want to work on using less and less creamer until I’m fine drinking black coffee again. Now that I’m not in school anymore, I really want to focus on taking better care of myself, and cutting back the sugar from creamer would be a great way to start. I have sensitive teeth and would really hate to have another cavity.

I’d also complain to you about how much I hate moving. My apartment is a mess as I slowly pack up all of my stuff and take it it trips to my parent’s house. Yes, I’ll be living with my parents as I job hunt. I’ve got no living room furniture right now and there is clutter everywhere. I hate it. I also realized that there has been a box or two of junk that I keep moving with me but never actually unpack. I really should do something about that.

And job hunting! I haven’t been able to focus as much on it as I would like as I’m still working a seasonal job with parks and rec and am, ya know, packing, but I am hopeful. I just sent in an application today that I feel really qualified for and excited about. If I got it I would consider living with my parents a little longer to save money and work on aggressively paying off my student debt. But we’ll see how long I can live peacefully with them. I really hope it doesn’t take me too long to find a job. It took one of my friends nine months. I’m hoping to have a job at least by Christmas–preferably sooner.

If we were having coffee, I’d want to keep hanging out for way longer than we should probably loiter in the coffee shop because I haven’t been getting a ton of social interaction lately and am sure not to get much in my small hometown where almost no one my age lives. ┬áPlus, your company is great. I’d also be super grateful you met me on a weekday since I’ve been working so many weekends.

Until next week,

Katie

The Future is Unclear

The path does not have to be clear to take the next step.

This concept is not something I am comfortable with, but I must adapt. Up until now, I always roughly knew what came next. School led to more school which led to college. That was the path, and I did well on it. It was only when graduation began to loom that my friends and I were truly diverging and going drastically different ways. Some moved out of state and got full time jobs. Some went to graduate school. Some went abroad for fullbrights or peacecorps. The world is opening up in a new way, and honestly, it is terrifying.

I had a plan. I was going to graduate school to get my masters in library and information science. I was going to start my way towards being a rare book librarian. And then I wasn’t.

School is expensive, but with most graduate programs you get funding by being a teaching assistant or research assistant. The problem with LIS is that there is no undergraduate degree so there really aren’t classes to TA for. RAs are often left to PhD candidates. The school I was going to had a fair amount of pre-professional graduate assistantships, but it is also a competitive school and I felt that competition while trying to land one of those coveted positions.

So no funding for me. Without that funding, I can’t afford the degree. I have to defer and get a 9-5 for now, and I am terrified. This was never in the plan and I didn’t prepare to go into the job market this early, but I am. I am taking this side-quest, and I think I will be better for it, but the future is so unclear right now.

Creating Space to Feel

As you may or may not know, I struggle with anxiety and depression. Medication, weekly counseling, the whole shabang. The beginning of the new semester brought me a new counselor, and so far I’ve really liked working with her. In our work together we go about discovering more about myself and healing in ways I haven’t before. Mainly we do chakra work and meditations to help me understand my own emotions and energies better. (I will definitely do a post on this sometime, but that is not the point of today’s post.) One of the things I have found rather helpful in my emotional regulation practices is in fact a very small alteration to my internal dialogue.

Normally when feelings arise, especially if they are negative, I respond by internally saying things like “I am anxious,” “I am sad,” and so on and so forth. The issue with phrasing my emotional states in this way is that it does not recognize that those feelings are just that, temporary states. By saying “I am…” I am unconsciously equating my identity to my feelings. For someone who feels a lot of quote unquote “negative” emotions, this practice can be incredibly harmful and self-destructive to the way in which I see myself. I started to believe that anxiety, depression, and guilt were who I was. I ended up feeling worthless and inherently bad. Combine that with my previous campus ministry’s theology of sin and there was a lot of pain in my life.

After a few sessions with my new counselor, I started attempting to switch out my “I am…” statements with “I am feeling…” So far it has done a lot for me. This slight alteration in the way I speak to myself and the focus on noticing my internal realm has created space for my feelings to be feelings and not my identities. While I’m by no means “fixed” or “cured” (Damn it, I’ve got to stop saying toxic things like that. It’s just so ever present in our society’s language surrounding any kind of illness.)…anyways, I am still definitely struggling with anxiety and depression (and now I’m coming to realize codependency as well… more on that later), but this small act of mindfulness has eased things for me.

Now I need to work on saying “I am feeling…at this moment” in order to remind myself that these feelings are transient. So remember folks, you are not what you feel. You are the conscious being that notices your emotions and the comings and goings of said emotions. Do not get too wrapped up in the feels, but rather create a space for them to exist and allow them to both stay as long as they need to and leave when they are ready.