Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Remember to Relish Good Days

I know that a lot of my recent entries have been aimed at overcoming unexpected obstacles, and that is normally my primary purpose for this blog. I have been blindsided too many times to count and I want to help others to not experience things in quite the way I have. This week though, I wanted to go a little more positive with this entry, as I think sometimes we all forget to really enjoy when things are going well, even if they are small things.

As I’m sure most of you know (because I probably made a point to tell you) my birthday was last Wednesday and I turned 25. I had one of the best birthday days and weeks of all time, and I’m definitely not exaggerating. It was so great to hear from so many people on that day! My boss (THIS IS YOUR SHOUT OUT) decorated my desk and even picked out “25” confetti from a mixed bag of numbers. My best friend and boyfriend planned special events as well and I felt surrounded by friends and family on a day that was important to me! Throughout my entire experience, I really made a point to really enjoy that time, as it was going to end, and it has since put me in a great mood! It also helped that I found out that I AM graduating this August with my Masters FOR SURE! 

I think having this great mood and positive outlook as really helped to make my week great so far. I am stressing out about going out of town in a few days because I am traveling to a city that I am unfamiliar with and I have a connection in an airport that I have never navigated before. I also need to do A LOT of things before I leave and I could be feeling overwhelmed at this point, but I really don’t. Today, for example has been busy from the time I woke up. I need to finish an online defensive driving course by today, so I have been listening to it for hours now. I may or may not be listening to it right now! I needed to leave early today to drop my favorite pair of shoes off at a shoe repair shop as I broke the heel. I also have several pressing and large projects to get off my desk before I leave work today and I also have to run multiple errands on lunch. After work, I need to finish packing, clean the apartment and be sure that my defensive driving course is finished. All of those tasks could really bog me down throughout the day, but because I have really held onto the positive feelings that I have had the week prior, I am able to tackle these challenges a little more easily. 

So my advice this week is relish the good days and it will definitely carry over into the days that could or could not go well. I know that it sounds cliché, but just by having a good outlook on what you are about to encounter really does make the obstacle seem less daunting. I also know that good feelings and moods typically don’t just come out of nowhere. I think really hanging onto those good feelings that are generated by good memories or events is the key to having a longer period of “good” feelings all around.  I’ll be sure let you know how the week is going after the travel and after the errands are done, but I know it will be GREAT!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Now, I normally post on Tuesdays, but I read the 30 day challenge/bucket list on @sexythinker's Twitter account through Talent Revolution and I thought that I should definitely contribute:

  • Go to practice or the gymnastics gym at least 2 times per week for at least 2 hours
  • Participate in at least 2 community service functions in the area 
  • Gain at least 500 twitter followers and follow at least 500 tweeters
  • Take on a larger project at work and rock it out
  • Go on a date at least once a week with Ryan
  • Create a budget and actually stick to it
  • Paint at least one piece of art this month
  • Create overall career goals and understand how to get there
  • Let myself enjoy something luxurious this month
  • Figure out how to take my blogs to the next level
  • Go to HH at least once a week with various friends to stay in touch
I'll let y'all know how it goes, but I definitely can accomplish these as long as I'm not lazy!

Loving this challenge and I challenge all of you to try the same!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mean Girls Are At Any Age

I’m sure that most of you reading this have been bullied at one time or another throughout your lifetime. It seems almost like a rite of passage through school, whether it is at the elementary or college level. With all of the national attention to many tragic events that are a result of bullying, I feel that something outside of childhood or early adulthood needs to be addressed. I’m not trying to take away from those issues as I think children should never have to be put in a situation where they think suicide or something drastic is the only way out of a bullying situation. I just think that bullying never really stops.
I have lived under the assumption that this world is run by professional and mature adults. I have come to find out that this is not the case by any stretch of the imagination. Rather, this world is run by grown children who have come up with better coping mechanisms for their problems and are able to hide their issues better. Now, I’ve been bullied my entire life, starting at age 5 (my bully was a 12 year old girl) to some small tiffs in college between people that seemed to gang up on me. I was lucky in that I had very supportive family and friends who helped me understand why I was being targeted and a mindset of “I really don’t care what you have to say.” I think understanding why you are being targeted can really help you get through the situation, but I digress.
I can say that at 24 (I’ll be 25 tomorrow!) I have been bullied recently by women who are over the age of 30. That I think is analogous to the 12 year old girl bullying me at age 5. What are they thinking?! Bullying in adulthood is almost never physical in nature, or really even all that noticeable. It’s more like little jabs here and there. As Facebook is entering the workplace, even that can be used as a mechanism to bully. I want to be clear on what I understand bullying to be. I think that it is putting someone else down to either 1. Mess with their confidence and self-esteem and/or to 2. Make the bully feel better about their own insecurities. Now this is where I think understanding why you have become a target is necessary to get through the situation.
These individuals are most likely your superiors, bosses or even people that you look up to. If you understand what about them is problematic, you may be able to see a pattern. For example, I’m very sociable and have a lot of friends that are coworkers. If someone at my organization doesn’t make friends so easily, they may begin to say things about how you are always talking or going out, etc. to take away from the fact that they have very minimal people to talk to. That perspective makes me not look at what they are saying, but why they are saying it. And honestly, it just makes them look sad. Rather than focusing your attention and energy to what they are saying and beating up on yourself, the energy is focused on understanding the situation. This focus decreases their power over you and also you can begin to find a solution.
I think solutions for these types of situations vary depending on what you are up against. I personally have that mindset of “say whatever you want, I don’t really care.” I am working to be able to confront that person in not such a direct way. What I mean by that is focus on the behavior that is the problem (whatever they say) and ask that person how we can get through this. That is much easier said than done, especially when that person is “superior” to you in the workplace. Have any of you experienced such a situation?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Paycheck to Paycheck

Lately, I have been feeling like I’m fighting an uphill battle; trying to secure a job where I make enough money, looking for a new car, and basically feeling in over my head. After the Spain debacle, it really showed me that I am definitely a “paycheck to paycheck” kind of girl. I can’t imagine how I lived on less, and when I waited tables, I definitely made more and I can’t even remember how I spent it. It’s been super difficult not to fall back into the service industry when my best friend is making $600 in two shifts at a new restaurant. 

Waiting tables was easy and very lucrative and is honestly SO HARD to avoid now! I know that I’m working for a better career and overall well-being over time, but it’s hard not to be able to do and buy all the things I want and to know that if I switched downward, that I would be able to. I guess that is classified under my generation’s mindset within the United States. That instant gratification. But, I think that it’s explained by more than that. 

Throughout graduate school, I was heavily discouraged from holding one job, let alone the three that I held. I taught dance, coached cheer and waited tables. I fully financed my graduate education through student loans, work and had to commute to school, as I couldn’t afford to move. I kept running into issues of last minute mandatory meetings and an overall bad perception of me for doing these jobs. I actually had a professor tell me that “Serving beers isn’t going to get you anywhere in life.” Well, lady, it pays your salary, is what I wanted to say, but alas I refrained for the first and time in my life.

Now, my job now is great, but it isn’t full time as I graduate in August and I need my degree to be considered for any position. And “serving beers” is one of the reasons I was considered. My consulting firm specializes in selection assessments for the restaurant industry. So knowing the jargon and basic job necessities actually helps me to develop better assessments and I was already up to speed on what they were trying to accomplish. I even use my cheer and dance training to put together flash mobs and talent show acts (if you want a taste, we will be performing something I helped to choreograph at the People Report Summer Camp tomorrow). 

I think people like my professor have no understanding of what is important for companies and individuals in general. Sure, you can have a Master’s or PhD in a field, but not understand an industry or subject for what it is at all.  And its people like this that make me want to go back to work in the service industry. At least then I’m listened to for my experience, make a ton of money and not judged because I’m in school. It’s actually harder to maintain any sort of job with school on the side. I think that I have a tendency to not move forward in life very willingly (or I know I’m like that). That’s really a huge reason why I am trying so hard to not return to where I was. I think moving on is important, even though without my hard work to a degree, I could be making double what I am making now. 

Hopefully, this too shall pass and I can go to restaurants to have fun and support my friends that work there, rather than relying on it for income. And while I think it will pass, it’s still hard to ignore! Have any of you fallen into that spell? I know what’s good for me, but, man, the temptation to do something that will be “good” for me short term is so hard to ignore. I’m going to stay strong (hopefully) and keep doing what I’m doing to have a better end result!