Weekend Coffee Share: Transitions & Exiting Hermit-Mode

If we were having coffee, we’d be out on the back deck soaking in the sunshine.  Although Northern Minnesota has been hit with enormous rainfalls over the past week resulting in record flooding, we’ve managed to evade all the severe weather.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I turned down a job this week.  After multiple interviews, a site visit, and several weeks of intense thought, I decided that being an Assistant Manager at a resort just wasn’t the right route for me.  There were so many factors against it personally and professionally.  When it came down to it, I just wasn’t willing to make a two year commitment to a job that wouldn’t pay enough to save for grad school in an area with little to no housing options.  I think I’ve made the right decision. Continue reading

Job Hunting & Tough Choices

I’ve been absent from the blogosphere lately… mostly because life is moving forward faster than expected and, when I finally catch my breath, the last thing I want to do is process things by writing.

Over the past few weeks, I have learned a great deal about job hunting.  When I started this journey, all I wanted was employment.  “Dear magical job fairy,” I prayed, “just give me work!”  I now realize how naive and arrogant that appears.

Yes, scrolling through job forums is boring.  There are so many jobs that just don’t strike me as very interesting.  Sure, I could do well as an administrative assistant and would succeed doing marketing via social media.  But would my heart be in my work?  I’ve learned that I need to identify what I want in a job and be ready to fight for that. Continue reading

Sunshine Bloggers Award

Once again, I’m a bit behind regarding awards.  Oh well!  Better late than never!sunshine-blogger-award-300x300

A while back, Aimee from Pocket Writes nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award!  It’s always an honor to be considered–especially since this award has to do with being uplifting and encouraging.  Thank you so much, Aimee!

Every award is different and this one involves three things: thank the person who nominated you, answer the given questions, and nominate others.  I’m covering two out of those three things.  (See my Award Policies page for more info on why.)

Now for the questions…

What is your biggest fear?

I can handle most insects, but I’m downright terrified of centipedes.  The way they move with all those legs… ICK.  On a more serious note, I think my biggest fear is mediocrity.  I want so badly to make an impact on the world, to help people and bring light and hope to dark places.  It’s so easy to fall short of dreams for the sake of what is easy and comfortable.  But I’m doing my best to make the most of each day, knowing that big dreams happen in small steps.  I’ll get there someday.

Which one thing are you addicted to?

Nutella.  Oh my gosh.  It’s dangerous how much I love Nutella.  Any jar around me needs to be locked up lest I eat the entire bottle in a terrifyingly short period of time.

Do you have any pet peeves? What are they?

I hate it when people don’t shut doors all the way.  I really dislike anything that glows in the dark when I’m trying to sleep.  Also, it drives me crazy when my parents talk in loud voices early in the morning.  My room is right next to the kitchen and the sound goes right through my door, waking me up.

What is your perfect idea of a ‘relaxation day’?

Lounging on my couch in pajamas drinking tea while reading a book or watching Netflix is absolute heaven.  I also really enjoy shopping, especially this time of year when all the stores are filled with sweaters and scarves.

How do you deal with stress?

I tend to avoid it as much as possible.  For example, in college I rarely procrastinated because the threat of being stressed was too formidable.  Most of my essays were written a week before they were due.  When stress does happen, my worldview tends to shrink to the point where I get tunnel vision.  Everything is suddenly about me, my stress, my problems.  I tend to throw a pity party for myself and forget about other people’s issues and concerns.  I think that I become a pretty icky person to be around–which is why I go to great lengths to avoid being stressed.

Which is one habit of yours you wish to improve/change?

We sell these little pumpkin-shaped chocolates at my family’s apple orchard.  Throughout the day, I constantly snitch them.  I’ve been doing this as long as I can remember.  It’s an awful habit and I sometimes feel guilty… but I also love eating chocolate.

Where’s your favorite ‘hanging out’ spot?

Probably my bedroom.  There’s nothing better than curling up in bed with a book.

How do you prefer to spend your weekends?

I currently work most weekends, but if I had them free, they would be lazy with a few social plans thrown in.  If I’m busy one day, I like to have the other to relax and recharge.  I love sleeping in, reading and drinking tea, spending time painting, or going for a morning bike ride.  Sundays involve church, but the rest of the day is mine.  I like spending afternoons doing non-energetic social things like shopping or hanging one-on-one with a friend.

Are you a movie buff? What are your favorite movies?

I wouldn’t call myself a buff, but I really enjoy watching movies and never miss watching the Oscars.  Favorites include Midnight in Paris, The Princess Bride, Ever After, While You Were Sleeping, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, The Sound of Music, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and anything from the Disney Renaissance.

Which event do you feel changed your life the most?

There have been several, but my first major life event happened my freshman year of high school.  Believe it or not, up until this point, I was a committed basketball player.  I started playing on teams as early as they were offered.  In middle school, my winters were consumed with multiple practices a night.  But as I got older, the game became more serious and it was evident that I wasn’t able to keep up.  My teammates excelled while I regressed.  I had a coach tell my mom that, “I can’t have your daughter on the court screwing things up while the other girls could be out there winning.  If anyone had been cut this year, it would have been her.  Be thankful she’s out there at all.”

Scarred from a diminishing basketball career, I entered high school and joined the marching band.  There, I made tons of new friends with whom I shared more interests than any of my former teammates.  At the end of the season, all my band friends started talking about how they were joining the Speech team once winter came.  Up until this point, I had planned on staying in sports… but I started to reconsider.  Why stick with a sport I’m not good at with people I don’t like very much when I could be giving speeches and hanging out with my friends?

Long story short, I joined Speech.  Looking back, this decision was absolutely HUGE.  Speech shaped me in ways that sports never would.  It gave me a chance to write and perform my own pieces, to become a comfortable public speaker, and hang out with my friends.  My Speech career was extremely successful–I ended up captaining the team for two years and competing in the State tournament.  In college, I was able to judge meets assist in coaching for the local high school team.  Through Speech, I gained my voice, learned leadership, and picked up critical thinking and analysis skills that I know will play a key role in my future.

What did your ten-years-younger self think you’d be doing right now?

Honestly, I don’t think twelve-year-old Amelia had many lifelong ambitions.  She wanted to go to college and someday get a boyfriend.  She’d be pleased to know that I now have a degree, but probably wouldn’t be too thrilled that her twenty-two year-old self has yet to date anyone.  It’s okay, little Amelia.  There’s still lots of time.

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Thanks, again, Aimee for the nomination!  She answered similar questions to mine, so be sure to visit her Sunshine award post to see her answers.  Check out her blog as well–she’s a really good writer, likes books, and does really cool cross-stitching.

To Stay or To Go (Writing 101, Day 12)

All I ever wanted was adventure–to leap into the unknown–to cut ties with everything familiar.  I wanted to lose myself in the wider world and, in the process, truly know what it is to live.

But I don’t know what doors to knock on.  I don’t know how to maintain responsibility whilst plunging into adventure. I’m considering applying for a big-girl job in my home town because student loans must be paid somehow. I’m making this up as I go along.

Am I settling?

Will the chance to leap come again?

This post is inspired by an assignment for the Blogging University class Writing 101: Finding Everyday Inspiration.

Am I the only one who hated today’s assignment?  I feel like fussing with word count sucked my inspiration rather than fueled it.

The Perks of Being a Cat

Oh, to be a cat.

“You really have it made,” I told Paco, who is yellow and as apathetic as a stuffed animal, as I gave him the best pet down he has ever experienced in all his nine lives.  “I mean, all you do is sleep all day.  You come into the house, something none of the other cats get to do, you lay on this chair, and you sleep for hours on end.  You always know what your next meal is and you don’t get tired of eating the same food every day.  You always have people petting you.  You don’t have to worry about things like work, school, or money.  You don’t have to make major decisions.  You don’t even have to think.  You’ve really got it made.”

I’m a bit envious of Paco, actually.  He doesn’t have to think about things.  As much as I value having cognitive ability, there are times when all I want to do is flip a  flashing red OFF button on my brain.  Sometimes–scratch that–most of the time, I think WAY too much.  This only gets worse when I have serious things to ponder: what I’m doing with my life, if I should go back to work at camp this summer, what books will I bring to school this semester, etc.  You know, not-quite-real-adult problems.  In a few months, they’ll be but tiny blips on the surface of my life.  But, for now, they seem massive–an ever-looming force that induces panic when touched by thought.  If you don’t think about them, they fade away.  But, unfortunately, there is no OFF button in my brain and I’m certainly no cat.    I can’t close my eyes, lift my head to be scratched, and let the burden of possessing thoughts fade into oblivion.

If I was busy, all the cares floating around in my brain would fade into the background.  But spending days on end cooped up in your house usually gives way to boredom.  That’s what you get, though, when you live in Minnesota during winter.  The temperature dips to ridiculously low degrees (we’re talking -20 here) and you’re unable to go anywhere because your car won’t start.  And, as wonderful as the Internet and Netflix are, they only keep your thoughts occupied for so long.

In four days, I’ll be back in school, surrounded by friends, with plenty of textbook reading to keep my mind busy.

Until then, I’ll continue to pet Paco and try not to think too hard.