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.  Plus, 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.

Two Awards! Woah!

The lovely Mary from Mary’s Average Adventures has nominated me for two awards! This is always very exciting because it’s nice to know that other people like your blog, and I simply adore answering questions. (then I don’t have to think up things to write about, it’s selfish, I know)

The Kind Blogger Award

It is asked that you have an image of the blog, continue with the nominations, and answer the following questions:

1.) Why is kindness and giving support so important? I simply don’t understand being unkind. Now that’s not to say that I am the picture of perfection when it comes to kindness, but I am very conscious to the point of anxious about being unkind to others. I’ve known unkindness and I’ve witnessed extreme unkindness, and let me tell you, it’s more damaging than most know. I just have no desire to bring about that sort of pain. There’s enough bad things in the world without creating more of it.

2.) What is your favorite thing about helping others? I’m a big believer that the more you help others, the more they will help others. I’ve seen it happen people. Positively impacting someone’s life often leads to them doing the same for someone else.

3.) What do you think is the best movie for showing the importance of kindness? Hmmm…I don’t know. I hate to steal the one Mary used, but Pay it Forward really is all about being kind to others.

4.) If you could give one inspirational message, what would it be? Every person is worth love. I’m not necessarily talking about romantic love, but rather being cherished by other human beings in a platonic or familial way. Even if you don’t feel it or aren’t receiving it, you are worth being loved.

5.) Why did you start your blog and how long have you been blogging for? I’ve been blogging for about a year. I guess I started because I was super self-conscious about other people reading things I’ve written and I thought letting strangers read blog posts would help me allow people I do know read by critical papers. It has seemed to help, plus I really enjoy making friends through blogging. That wasn’t something I expected.

 

The Sandycademy Award

Also from Mary. Here are the questions to order for this award:

1) What story have you shared on your blog that you feel was the most inspirational! Oh gosh. I never particularly thought of my blog as being inspirational. I get the most hits on my book reviews, I also think it’s always helpful to talk about mental illness. I do hope that my writing about reusable menstrual products such as cloth pads and menstrual cups gets someone out there to use them, because I am so passionate about it.

2) What blog post have you found on here to be the most inspirational to you? Hmm…that’s a tough one. 

3) What is your favorite blog post you ever posted?  I think it’s the letter I wrote to my 13 year old self.

4) What is the nicest thing you did for someone? I don’t know that I’ve ever done grand gestures, though I do just try and be a generally nice person. I also raise money for Dance Marathon, an organization that provides financial and emotional support for pediatric oncology patients though, and I think that’s pretty nice.

5) What gives you hope and happiness when you feel down? Hugs and chocolate. 

6) What is your favorite song? Anything by Hozier. Seriously, I need more artists like him.

7) What is your favorite movie? Pride and Prejudice.

8) What is your favorite coping strategy? Yoga and tea!

9) What do you like most about yourself? My work ethic (though sometimes it goes a bit too far and makes me stressed).

10) Where do you see yourself in five years?  Either still pursuing advanced degrees or working somewhere. Hopefully happy.

11) What is your favorite thing to do in summer? Read outside or go on walks when it’s not too hot and humid. 

12) Who is the most important person in your life? It depends on what I need at the time. I know that’s a lame question 

13) Who makes you happy most in life? A sense of community/acceptance.

 

I’m not going to nominate people like I should because I find it a tad too stressful right now, and I have no intentions of doing things that stress me out if I don’t need to.

 

Anywho, a big thank you to Mary, who is super lovely. Y’all should check her blog out. I loved answering these questions.

 

Until next time,

Katie