Earlier today,  a 9/11 tribute came on the radio and had me in tears.  Like most around the world, I remember that day all too well.

I remember walking into my high school English class, seeing the lights out and a TV on.  First I thought we were watching a movie in class, but sadly, nothing I was about to watch was fiction.   A room of stunned 14 year olds sat in silence as we watched the towers collapse.  We’d heard stories of Pearl Harbor but had never encountered tragedy on that scale.  In that small North Carolina classroom we watched the world and our way of looking at it change forever.

I remember frantic calls to my dad, who worked in New York City at the time.  It was dinnertime before I got a reassuring call from my stepmom that he had gotten on the last train out of the city and was on his way home.   My stepdad’s twin brother was in the process of moving into a new office in the second tower.  We didn’t learn until the next day that by some stroke of grace he had gone  to his old office that morning.  One of my uncle’s best friends wasn’t so lucky.  Neither was one of my mom’s good friend’s husband.

Eight years later, it’s still hard to fathom.  I now understand both more and less about what I witnessed on a small TV that September morning.  I think it speaks volumes to our government and national security that we have not had to endure anything like it since then.

This somber anniversary also helps me to put things like losing my job in perspective.   Like I wrote yesterday, I’m alive and I’m free.  And proud – today and everyday – to be an American.

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“I got no money in my pocket, I got a hole in my jeans, I had a job and I lost it…”

This Keith Urban song came on the radio as I was driving home from work tonight.  Fittingly, since I got laid off today.  It sucks but  surprisingly, I’m not as upset as I thought I would be.

Losing this job feels kinda like breaking up with someone you didn’t ever want to marry.  Unpleasant, but I knew it would happen eventually.   The “it isn’t you, it’s [the company]” speech still made me slightly nauseous.  But as much as I will miss some of my coworkers and my paychecks, I didn’t LOVE this job.   Ultimately, I know I could be a lot happier somewhere else, doing something I’m really passionate about.  The hardest part is the process of getting back out there,  into the dark, scary singles job market, hoping that something great will come along and that I won’t have to settle again.  (Just like dating – ha!)

I know that I’m fortunate.  Unlike many in the ranks of the unemployed that I’m joining, I don’t have a family to support or a mortgage to pay.  I can remain on my parents’ health insurance plan for almost two more years.  I trusted my gut and didn’t sign a year apartment lease, but managed a short-term one just though December.  So I’ve got some time to get my life in order before moving on in 2010.

This will be a year of big changes – I can just feel it, and this is just the beginning.

“…but it won’t get to me… I’m alive and I’m free, who wouldn’t wanna be me?”

Never have I ever been so relieved to have a bed of my own, and a roof over my head that I paid for.  (Er, I paid for with the help of my parents.)

Not that being “homeless” was so bad, thanks to true-blue friends that offered extra beds and couches without hesitation and made me feel at home for the 2 weeks-ish that I was desperately searching for one of my own.

Thankfully, I found a woman leasing a room in a townhouse right next to campus.  Although it’s a far cry from my former arrangement of living in an apartment with two of my best friends, it will do just fine for now.

As much as I wish I were still living with my friends, suppliers of endless conversation, laughter, and fashion accessories because “really, you’re going out without a necklace/earrings?? Here – wear this – much better!” (What will I do without them?)  I also know deep down that being detached from those distractions for a little while will be good for me.

I’m settling into a new lifestyle until I get my degree.   More work, less play.   This phase is about deffered enjoyment.  Buckling down and focusing now to ensure that there will be things to celebrate in the future.  And when this phase is over? Celebrate I will.

In bullet form, because not only am I a sporadic blog poster, but a fairly uncreative writer as well.

– The day after my last post, I was informed that I needed to leave my apartment within the next two days before the new tenants arrived.  So I hurridly packed all of my belongings into my unreliable car and promptly drove and hour and a half away to attend a concert a friend and I bought tickets for months ago.  Thank god I had tailgating and good music that night to distract me from the utter mess of my life.

– I should mention that I had to drive my car up to the entrance of a very fancy-shmancy hotel that my friend and her brother were staying at and valet my old, unreliable car that was filled to the brim with all of my wordly possessions.  Short of having a mattress roped the roof, I looked like something straight out of the Beverly Hillbillies.  The valet looked at me for a moment with a mixed expression of curiosity, amusement and horror and asked me – twice- if I was staying at the hotel.  I gave him my friend’s room number and told him I was just keeping his day interesting.

– The day after the concert was an extreme low point in my life.  I found myself driving back “home” without having an actual home.  I spent hours at a bookstore trying to collect myself and figure out a plan before arriving at a friend’s apartment who had graciously invited me to stay with her.  Although I am incredibly thankful to have such great friends, I felt nothing short of a failure driving up to her apartment.

– I spent the following few days at two different friends house’s, on the verge of mental collapse from the stress of finding myself actually homeless and having little luck finding a new place.

– Also, for four days I parked my car at the furthest edge of my work parking lot, terrified that someone would see my car and question me about the TV in the passenger seat and the boxes that filled the backseat to the roof.  I’m new there, and while I’d love for them to think they should pay me more, I don’t want them to think that I am a complete mess at life.

– That weekend I drove to my mom’s house and emptied my car of everything except my clothes and bathroom stuff.  Then I  spent my 22nd birthday moving my younger sister into her freshman college dorm, at my rival school.

– Luckily, one of my best friends attends rival school, and so we all went out that night and introduced my sister to her college bar scene.  Oh, and downed LOTS of drinks/shots, thankyoubirthdaytiara.

– Although I definitely could have used that weekend trying to find myself a new place to live here, I had promised my sister months ago that I would help her move in.  I remember all too well moving myself into my freshman dorm, and it was not an experience I wanted her to have.  Getting a chance to talk one-on-one with my mom in the several hour car drive back w

– After another week of crashing on a friend’s couch (friend is getting a serious thank-you gift basket and a lifetime IOU from me), I have FINALLY found a new residence.  Barring any unforseen disaster, will be moving in tomorrow.  It’s a room in a townhouse close to campus.  The roommate situation is slightly awkward (hi, older woman and PhD student I’ve never met)  but it’s clean and in a safe area, and most importantly, is ready to move in immediately!

– In addition to moving, I’m also starting class tomorrow morning, as well as meeting with a professor to discuss classes I took last fall.

– It has been a stressful past few weeks to say the least, but I’m finally starting to feel like I’m getting back on track.  The next few months are going to be busy, and likely emotional, as I figure out how I strayed so far from my former perfectionist self, and how I get myself back into success mode.  I can’t say I’m looking forward to it, but I’m ready for the challenge.

Before you start imagining me blogging from a shelter or my car or under a bridge,  I should clarify that I do have a roof over my head.  It’s just that the lease on this roof expired on July 31st and I have yet to vacate.   (It’s university affiliated housing, I’ve got at least a few more days till students start arriving.)  And um, apparently the leasing office isn’t too efficient because no one seems to notice/has made any attempt to contact me and tell me to leave.  Until they do, I’m perfectly okay with living for free and buying myself some time to figure out my next move.

See, I’m supposed to be signing a lease for an apartment, er, yesterday.  An apartment I’m supposed to move into on Monday.  A year-long lease in a not-outrageously-priced-but-hardly-a -steal apartment with a friend of a friend who is starting grad school.   Which I was pretty excited about – until I had a little chat with my boss a few days ago where he hinted that several jobs in my department may be cut in the near future.  And now I’m all, sign a year lease?? When I may be unemployed soon?  Uhh.. no thanks.

Of course, in a few days, four girls or guys are going to arrive at my current apartment and wonder why the hell some girl and her stuff is here, and I am going to need a new place to crash.

I’m in the awesome position of having to find a new, more temporary, living situation – and quick! – while bailing on a perfectly nice girl that I was looking forward to living with who will now probably hate me for ditching her at the last minute, and possibly straining one of my best friendships with the girl who put me and former-future roomie in touch.   Ugh.

All of this, and I don’t even know the status of my job.  It appears very likely I’m facing a lay-off, but there’s always the oft-chance that they keep me around, perhaps because they pay me a fraction of what “more seasoned” employees make.  The uncertaintly of it all is what kills me.

At least I can’t complain my life is dull?

According to my archives, I fell off the side of the earth after the election in November. In truth, I simply got caught up with my senior year of college and completely neglected my poor blog. I might get around to posting the private records I kept of the past few months, but I don’t really think it’s necessary since I can sum up the past 9 months with “everything changed, but nothing changed.”

Anyway, I’ve been inspired by Molly’s These Little Moments Weight Loss Challenge (I sincerely doubt I have any readers, but if I do, you should check out Molly (theselittlemoments.wordpress.com) – she’s amazing and doesn’t go on months-long hiatus) to both get my ass in gear, and record the process. So, we meet again WordPress.

I’m excited and ready for this. I’ve been in a rut – physically, emotionally, financially – for awhile now, and am using Molly’s challenge to not only give my body a healthier makeover, but my life one as well.

Stay tuned for details on how I’m going to accomplish this transformation.

“The world may never know the truth about your life; that’s because they don’t care to. But when you find the ones who want to know every detail of it, they’re the ones to keep. They’re the ones who keep you alive."
November 2017
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