I Feel Okay About My Life These Days: My New Job and My Level Head

When I started off this blog a few months ago, I intended to primarily discuss my final few months of school and my anxiety about entering the real grownup world. Obviously, it’s turned into something else entirely. Let’s catch up:

Mid-September, I got a new job editing live sports so I was able to finally quit my crappy customer service job that was, I think, actually rotting my brain. I’d mentioned this, I’m sure, but I never really talked about it beyond the fact that I’d gotten the job. The day I was hired, my grandma passed away and that kind of, obviously, overshadowed my new-job excitement.

Every Friday morning, I wake up at 5AM and drive to work to edit and publish hockey highlights from the previous night’s games before 10AM. If we’ve ever met, you’d assume that this would make me miserable. The world is cold and dark at 5AM. Nothing good can happen that early in the morning. Except I love every second of it. Well, maybe not LOVE every second, I’d certainly prefer that it would happen at a normal hour of the day, but I still have no complaints about doing it. Actually, this isn’t an assigned thing. They asked for people to volunteer. And I did, even knowing what time it was.

I also primarily work nights and weekends, but still, I have nothing bad to say.

This fact alone should tell you enough. I love what I’m doing.

But, wait! There’s more!

Some Backstory: Last December, I turned 21. I don’t really make a big deal out of birthdays but I was pretty excited about this one. That morning, at around 7:30AM, my boss – the manager of the store I worked in – called me and told me an employee had called in sick. Although I had requested off more than 2 weeks in advance, I’d have to come in that afternoon and the following morning because this girl had “the flu”. (She stopped showing up for work entirely 2 weeks later. I suspect she wasn’t actually sick..). I spent my 21st birthday at work, in a tanning salon. I spent the next morning there as well.

This December, I turn 22 (obviously). This birthday is not a big deal at all, except my 22nd birthday also happens to be the very day that I officially finish college. I’m not participating in a graduation ceremony until May because I wanted to graduate with my friends, but my end-of-schooling is December 20. On December 21, I’m going to see Dave Matthews Band for the very first time and I honestly couldn’t be more excited or ask for any more. But, I figured I deserve to celebrate a little and I could use a drink at the end of this semester so I’ve planned a bar outing for whichever friends want to join me the night of the 20th. I realized after making plans that on Friday mornings, I have work at 6AM. I sent out an email to the other editors asking if anyone would mind switching early shifts with me that week because my college graduation and 22nd birthday happened to coincide. Not only were multiple people willing to switch with me, they were all also willing to simply relieve me of the shift and all had well wishes for my birthday and commencement- most of these guys I’ve never even actually met due to the size of the editing staff.

I was so touched by this. I thought “this is the kind of place I want to work”. These people, most of whom don’t even know me, are willing to simply do me a favor. Sure, they’re getting paid. But they’re also waking up super early in the morning. This isn’t an easy shift to give away. Last year, I was in a place where not only would my manager of 2 years not do me a favor, but stuck me to cover for some asshole ,who was hired against my advice and clearly was incapable of effectively doing her job, on my 21st birthday because it was her day off.

I’m so happy here at this new job and so excited to get to know more of the people I work with. I really, really like what I’m doing and hopefully there will be room for me to grow a little at this company. One of my professors suggested I stay there a while and see how it goes because he sees it being a big company in a few years. That’s really exciting and it’s done a lot to ease my tension about my life post-grad, which quickly approaches.

This matters so much more to me than all the other bullshit going on in my life the last 6 months. My grandparents would be so excited to see my career moving in a positive direction so soon. My grandma, specifically, urged me constantly to find a job that I liked that challenged me and I finally have. She’d be so happy and I’m so happy to know I’m where she’d want me to be.

Friends and relatives keep offering to “set me up” with different guys, but I find that I’m not all that interested lately. A change in priorities is exactly what I needed, it seems. I’m so level headed and focused lately and not really in the mood to get back on that roller coaster anytime soon. Things happen when they’re supposed to. I mean, today I paid all my bills on time and still had money in my bank account. I can put gas in my car AND go out for my best friend’s birthday this weekend. Then, I ran my first ever backup of my primary hard drive. I’m going to the gym 3 times a week. I’ve never felt more like an adult. The stars are aligning. I really feel like things are coming together and I’m so excited.

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Perfect Romantic Moments of my Otherwise Average Life

First of all, school is slowly killing me. I think Hofstra is using this semester as a final test to see if I’m truly worthy of commencement. I am actually miserable, but I have less than a full month left at this point. So, I’m getting there. Eyes on the prize.

Second of all, I have a lot of things to say about Hurricane Sandy and public response, but I’m not going to because honestly I’m just tired of talking about it and dealing with it and I desperately want everything to be back to normal. Maybe I’ll make my thoughts known at a later time.

So, down to business: I’ve been thinking about writing this for a while because I think it’s going to be fun to write and I have a bizarre fondness for nostalgia. Also, my cousin Scott just got engaged, which is very exciting, but it also makes me the oldest, unmarried person in my immediate family. This fact is very scary at this juncture in my life so I need to actively remind myself that I’m not doomed forever. So, here goes:

I’ve talked a lot about my past boyfriend but there were others before him. All in all, I have a pretty average life but sometimes really great things happen and I like to call those the relationship-highlight package of my life. You can watch the highlights of a game but it barely sheds light on the whole story. That’s an accurate metaphor. Here is a short collection of my brief, most perfect, cinematic moments in my almost-22 years.

1. July 4, 2008

Late on July 3, 2008, my grandpa was admitted to the hospital for one reason or another. I know this because the next day would be the first Fourth of July I didn’t spend with my family. July 5th was my grandmother’s birthday so this was typically a non-negotiable holiday. (I was 17. All holidays were then non-negotiable family time. My relationship wasn’t recognized as real. I was a child.)  At the time, I was dating the rather unremarkable John, but I was forever in love and since I’d found an out on a family holiday, I would spend the day meeting his aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents for the first time. (This was also the time that I learned that when meeting someone’s family, if you’re polite and the kids like you, you’re basically in; A useful tip for anyone half as awkward in these situations as I am…)

We spent the whole day at a BBQ at his grandparent’s house with his whole family. From what I remember, he has a lot of little cousins on top of his three younger sisters so we did a lot of running around and playing with them. Because the kids were so young, it was slated to be an early evening. As it started to get dark, it started to rain – not hard or anything, not enough to stop any fireworks – and John and I walked back to his house ahead of his family who was helping clean up (against my protests. I always offer to help my boyfriend’s mom/aunts clean. It’s the polite things to do as a guest and just makes you look really good as a girlfriend). It was only a few blocks back to his house and fireworks are one of my favorite parts of the summer so I wasn’t about to let a little rain prevent me from seeing them. We got set up on the hammock in his backyard (which I never once sat in gracefully) and watched the fireworks together in the rain.

Honestly the memory of this day has gotten a little hazy over the past four years and I couldn’t accurately recall to you the things we said or how it smelled or anything and I’m not all too willing to give him credit for doing anything too outstandingly wonderful, but I remember desperately trying to commit to memory the moment his kissed me in the rain, under the fireworks because I knew that these things don’t happen to everyone every day. It was a perfect moment in time. I like to think of it as the first great cinematic moment of my life.

He had some other great moments, but a collection of great 30 second clips doesn’t make up for hours and hours of crap. This is true in Film and in life I’ve come to realize.

(Also he broke up with me in Toys R Us on my best friend’s birthday. How’s that for a shitty person?)

2. Coney Island

The end of my freshman year of college, I briefly dated an older guy who, for about two weeks, I was completely taken with. He was charming and was more than willing to go completely out of his way to spend time with me. Smitten is a good word for what I was. He even got to meet my friends (A mistake I will never make so early in a relationship again). We had hung out a few times but on June 5, 2010 we went on our first official date. It was the best first date I’ve ever been on despite me falling way in love long after this guy was gone. He set the bar super high.

He wouldn’t tell me where we were going and I had no idea how to dress. (I can still, however, tell you exactly what I wore). Upon picking me up at my front door (a rule my parents stick to hard and fast) he revealed we were going to Coney Island, as long as that was okay with me, which it was, obviously. He drove us into Brooklyn and we rode the Wonderwheel and walked around a bit. He won me a goldfish, who, despite my best efforts, is still alive more than two years later. Then, we went for pizza at my very favorite pizza place in all of New York.

Again, things get blurry over the course of a couple years but I can remember a few distinct things from this night. First, I remember being kissed on the WonderWheel and thinking “I have now been kissed in the rain and on the WonderWheel. I have a sick list. My friends are secretly so jealous”. That’s not a joke. It actually happened.  I remember him being unimaginably sweet to me the whole night. I remember sitting in his car outside my house afterwards listening to Brand New and holding hands. I remember him telling me he was going to flush the goldfish and then me protesting vehemently. He laughed at me the next day when I went to the pet store and bought the fish a tank and food because it “wouldn’t make it to next weekend”. And then, he stopped calling and answering phone calls for the next 2-3 months. I’ve heard from him since.

The fish, Geoffrey, is stil alive, no thanks to him.

3. The time I liked a Frat guy

First, don’t do this. With very few exceptions, they’re douche bags. Stereotypes exist because they’re true. But anyway, last fall I had a couple classes with this guy who was very much my type and let’s just say he was hard to miss.  I was feeling pretty ambitious, I guess, so I made sure I sat next to him and struck up witty conversation at every chance I got all semester (witty read obvious) (I should also mention that I have a constant worry about how I will meet people after college because literally my only game is “Do we have anything due? I forgot to write it down in class”. I take the best notes ever. I never forget to write dates down. Nonetheless, it works. Boys are dumb). Halfway through the semester, he offered up his number to me one day on facebook and I knew I was in. My hard work was paying off.

The Friday after the last day of classes, right before finals, he texted me to come to a bar near campus, but none of my friends were having it and obviously I wasn’t going alone to hang out with him and his frat bros. I regretfully declined and told him I’d see him at the final. I was devastated I was missing my moment. He texted me back about 20 minutes later telling me he was leaving the bar, would I like to come over?

Yes I would.

I knew what this was. I’m no idiot. But also sometime’s I’m a little stupid in the decisions I make. I had put in too much time and effort to go to Christmas break with nothing. He was graduating in May and we had no classes together in the spring. This was my window. He was obviously a little drunk when I got there but he showed me around the house and then I awkwardly sat on the couch (like I do so well). He offered me a beer and then asked me to dance. I was pretty taken aback but then we were slow dancing (SLOW DANCING) to Christmas music under christmas lights and I was all melty and girl-like. I was won. That was the end. I would marry him if he asked me.

He didn’t though. He told me unprompted that he wanted to see me again and had a great time, never called and was in a Facebook-official relationship with some girl in some sorority less than a month later. I never saw him again and we’d avoid eye contact when we ran into each other for the next 6 months on campus. It’s like that sometimes. It’s a shame. He was kind of funny.

More to come someday. I hope.