March 23, 2010

On Being a "Grown-Up"

I turned twenty eight in October.

Now, twenty eight may be an anti-climactic age, but this time in my life... I'm starting to feel like I'm actually a real adult. I'm not sure if I like it, but I've accepted it.

I've been younger than my peers for a long time, and it always made me feel like a kid trying her hand at being an adult. In grad school almost all of my classmates were older than me, and I still felt stuck in that college mode of having a good time and looking out for number one (it's a symptom of my generation... we're all narcissists). The thing is, even though I was having a good time, I worked hard. I am proud to say that I earned my MFA (a terminal degree in my field) before I was 25 years old, moved in to a position that was created for me and then transitioned in to what was, at the time, my dream job. I was barely a year or two older than people who, in some senses, worked for me. My first intern, in fact, was actually four months OLDER than me!
 Denny Chimes at University of Alabama, 
where I earned my MFA.

Then, last May, I was let go from that job, and I was heart broken. It was the sort of job that left me working nearly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When I wasn't actually at work, I could get phone calls or be THINKING about work. At the end of my time with that company I was looking for a new job, and I wanted nothing more than to leave, but my deep love for the people and the organization kept me tied there far longer than I needed to be. Though every once in a while memories tug at my heart strings, I have no ill feelings and still think about that company and wish them well

It's been an interesting (almost) year, to say the least. Since being let go I was able to, for the first time in nearly five years, relax. I actually took a vacation in Atlantic City with my family and got to see some friends in New York. I spent time really thinking about what I wanted to do with my life and if I really wanted to stay in the low-paying long-hours world of non-profit arts organizations (the answer - an unequivocal yes).

I applied for jobs across the DC/Baltimore metropolitan area and in New Jersey, Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, and beyond and ended up working in my own backyard in a position that is giving me some of the best hands-on experience I could ever ask for as an young arts administrator. I will leave this job (years from now) with a whole new knowledge base that I never had before.

So, I've been at my current job for more than six months, and though I'm still learning, I'm really enjoying it.
I've also learned that at the end of the day, it's ok to just walk away.

You know what else makes me feel like a grown-up?

I have roots.

I've been a Girl Scout Leader for the last three  years, but have really invested my heart and soul in to it this year.

I've joined the Young Professionals Network of Howard County - part of the local Chamber of Commerce. I also applied to be part of their "steering team" and after an interview process, I just found out that I got the position.

I attended my ten year high school reunion back in November, and I'm trying to reconnect with old friends as best I can. I finally got to have dinner with a bunch of people I hadn't seen in YEARS and it was awesome. 

I've made time for a social life and have a great group of friends that seem to find me really funny (who knew?).

I've developed a love for baking (how domestic of me!)

And, the craziest thing? I made an offer on a townhouse. I could actually be buying a home in the next month or so... just waiting on word from the bank to find out if they'll approve the sale and Keith and I could be moving in as little as 30 days from when everything is final.

 This could be my new house!

    Almost 11 months after being let go from what I thought was my dream job, and I have found myself in a place in life that I never expected.

    And you know what? It feels pretty good.

    March 19, 2010

    What, exactly, is "crazy?"

    Before I start writing the rest of the post, I have to let you know a fact about me: I am NOT crazy.

    I like to consider myself someone who thinks/writes/acts with my stream of consciousness. If something comes to my mind, I say it or write it. That leads a lot of people to find me funny (not narcissistic, just a fact) because, as they tell me I'm quite quick witted. I think I just have an overactive imagination.

    Now here's the thing:

    Some of the thoughts that occur in my head I have to seriously consider this question "if I say this out loud, will people actually think I'm insane?"

    Whenever I'm in an elevator alone, I may do something weird like sing to myself or dance, and then I automatically think "gosh, what if someone were watching me right now... what would they think of me?"

    Sometimes I'll be driving my car and think about what would happen if I suddenly turned my wheel sharply and hit another car or a tree. Some people may also think those thoughts, but that's where they stop. Me? Then I think about hitting that tree, rolling my car over, rolling in to a ditch, and breaking my leg. It's always breaking my leg for some reason.

    When I was younger, I used to have this regular thought whenever I would use the restroom that a snake or other lizard type animal would come out of the toilet and bite my rear end.

    Last night, in fact, I was crawling in to bed, and I thought about what would happen if I stepped on a mouse. Granted, I thought about that because we recently had a mouse sighting in my apartment.

    Seriously. Who thinks about this stuff?

    Oh, yeah. I guess it's me.

    My boyfriend has learned to live with it and love me fact, he occasionally finds it endearing. He reminds me, however, that every once in a while I need to think about things in my head before I say them so that I don't come off as a crazy person.

    March 16, 2010

    The End of Publishing?

    This video is so amazing.

    March 10, 2010

    Good Will Apartment Hunting

    Ok, I know I'm the biggest slacker when it comes to this blog. It's nothing against you readers or Diana, it's just that I'm super busy with work, school, and being dumped by my boyfriend.

    Usually when I break up with a guy, I go out and do something like cut or color my hair. But I really like my hair cut and color right now, so that was out of the question. I was going to go on a shopping spree, but I have to stop spending money, cause I'm poor. So what I've decided to do instead is do a massive Spring Cleaning of my life and start my apartment hunting.

    Apartment hunting, you say? Well yes dear readers, come September, I am moving out on my own. Or at least that's the hope. Turns out that apartments are more expensive than I can afford. But we'll make it work. (Let's keep our fingers crossed for that raise, yeah?)

    Anyway, I started looking for a new apartment. It sucks that in my area of Boston, you have to start looking six months ahead. Everything is aimed at students, and that gets OLD. Especially because students don't care about having nice things. They're only going to be there for a year.

    I was lucky though, and found the most beautiful apartment ever, just in my price range, and within the first week of looking! I wish I had a picture of this place, because it was beautiful. The kitchen was filled with stainless steel appliances, and granite counter tops. Hardwood floors through out. Lots of light. I was all set and ready to see the apartment last Saturday.... and then Friday it got rented. SOB.

    The most annoying part of that experience was that the Realtor offered to show me other apartments instead. I showed up for our appointment at 11am on Saturday, and she had forgotten to tell me that we'd have to reschedule for another time, as she didn't have others to show me yet. WTF? You couldn't just email me that? Needless to say, I doubt I'll be using her services.

    I looked at a few apartments last Thursday, but they look like this:

    The kitchen isn't bad, until you realize that you can't open the stove. And it's really hard to look at apartments when the place is so messy.

    I've decided that I'd rather live in Cambridge anyway, so I contacted a Cambridge real estate company the other day. They told me that I don't even have to start looking until May or June. So I'll be taking a break...

    Although, looking through craigslist for bad pictures, I managed to find a few nice places in my area... maybe the search will continue...

    March 2, 2010

    Spring = Flowers!

    Well, it would if the grass wasn't buried under feet of snow still.

    Ahh March. You're here, and even though spring isn't officially (who decides these things?) due to arrive for another 18 days,  I'm looking forward to seeing green grass instead of dirty snow.

    I know that the adage is that "April showers bring May flowers*" but my favorite flower is one that starts to rear its head (bulb) in mid-February.... the lovely daffodil.

    Also known as narcissus, the name of the flower comes from the myth of Narcissus (you know, the guy who was the original narcissist) who happened to catch his reflection by the lake, fell in love with it and stared at it so intently that he (depending  who you hear it from) fell in and drowned OR couldn't tear himself away so he just starved to death. And the very first narcissus flower bloomed on that very spot.

    The original narcissist. 
    Narcissus by Michelangelo Caravaggio

    For nerds - Narcissus, the person, is also closely tied to the story of Echo.

    Anyway, I really like daffodils. One of my favorite things is that they're always the first flower to pop up, usually in early February and though they typically come in three colors (yellow, white, orange, and the combination thereof), there are a million different varieties. Some are closed buds, some are double layers, and some are just simple flowers - the bell and the petals.

    I think part of the reason why I love daffodils is that when my family moved when I was ten, I went to the store and picked out bulbs and planted a bunch of daffodils around the light post. Even though I didn't pay much attention, this hearty flower bloomed regularly every February.

    In college and grad school, I always noticed the flowers peeking out from the soil on campus. 

    When I was living in Alabama, I noticed that one of my co-workers had a daffodil tote bag. I commented on it and the next day she brought be a whole bouquet of flowers for my desk.

    They herald the spring like little flower trumpets.

    And now, a poem by Wadsworth:

    I wandered lonely as a cloud
    That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
    When all at once I saw a crowd,
    A host, of golden daffodils;
    Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
    Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

    *bad joke alert - If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring? PILGRIMS!! (get it? May flowers...the Mayflower....)