Update from 2014

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Hi.

*tap* *tap*

Is this thing on? Oh, good. Hi from 2014. Last time I posted, it was spring of 2013 and I was about to graduate.

And I did in May. Here are some pictures of my classmate’s theses and whatnot. Mine is posted in photo form. After a conversation with my landlord, the decision was made to move out by the end of May, too, and then I received word that I got accepted here for the summer. My shoulders left my ears for a few weeks of relaxation, yet with one eye on a suitcase, moving boxes and trash bags.

To Paris I flew with much of my belongings in the dumpster or in a dozen cardboard boxes tucked away in my new home(after a significantly stressful 48 hour move out of studio apartment and into a basement). Once again, I transition from one moment to another moment.

I returned to Vermont with more of my eyes opened, my iPhone full of Instagrams, and my body anxious for the next thing, the next move. That feeling seems to never cease. I was unemployed for the first time since I was 16 and my savings were almost, completely, gone. I sat in coffee shops around Burlington with my laptop(again), but this time it was updating the resume and hunting for jobs. I got hired in August with a September start date to be a member of the SEO team in the digital automotive industry.  My shoulders left my ears for two more weeks of watching “Damages,” “Felicity,” and finishing “Orange is the New Black.”

And now, it’s January of 2014. Four months have gone by since I first received my badge and work swag. I’m filling my evenings with Girl Develop It classes and will be taking a French conversation class in February for 8 weeks or so. It is so cold out and I feel like my days are foggy, but it will pass soon with the weather.

I’m transitioning from living a life of student for two years and now I am back as a working adult, pulling a paycheck covered by benefits and trying to rebuild a savings account. Paying off students loans, too. Slowly…ever so slowly. This time, though, it’s not the same adult. I’m still wondering if this is the city for me, the job for me, the current “everything”for me.

This blog will be changing since I am changing. I am hoping for more dialogue with you about how do you handle life’s transitions? I hope this space becomes a place to talk about surviving a transition, figuring out your path, and knowing you can adapt to any situation. I want to write about my non-expert experience and hopefully you’ll want to read it.

2014 just started and I know anything this year is possible. American University of Paris happened after not thinking it would and I actually found a job in my field. What’s next?

Grad School Facts

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Thought Catalog:

Ever thought of going to graduate school? Read this list. It’s basically ALL TRUE. Almost to thesis show, almost to graduation.

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

  1. Being a grad student is twice the work of being an undergrad and only half of the fun. No, I’m just kidding — it’s none of the fun.
  2. I hope you like reading. Ha. Ha ha. Ha ha ha ha! Excuse me while I jump out of a high window with the five weighty text books I’ve been assigned this semester strapped to my torso.
  3. You have no idea where the f—k anything on your campus is except the two or three buildings you have class in.
  4. Despite what you may have learned as an undergrad, Thursday night is a weeknight. You’re expected to wake up early and get stuff done the next day and everything. Crazy, right?
  5. You’re also expected to refrain from drinking Sunday through Wednesday — including day drinking. Seriously.
  6. There’s a good chance that you’re a commuter student. Enjoy lugging 60 lbs of text books with…

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The Vermont Crows and me

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Vermont Crows evening sky flying overhead winter instagram It seems when I am walking home during the week that it is usually between 4:45pm-5:30pm. I don’t need a watch or a glance at my iPhone because overhead I can hear and see the murder of crows flying to their perches. Willard Street in Burlington has large, old oaks, hemlocks, and pine trees that these birds love to flock to at this time of day. It’s fun to just stand in the middle of the sidewalk and watch this curtain of black birds envelope the sky for a few minutes. It’s clockwork, it’s routine, it’s predictable.

Since I last posted, my thesis work is chugging along with deadlines approaching SOON. My thesis consists of a paper and an artifact(an art piece) that represents my work. I am looking at how people of all ages have accepted or have resisted technological change in their lives. Do we have to adapt or change? Why do we hold on to our nostalgic pasts? How is technology helping us in our work? What are our first technological memories? By conducting interviews recorded by my iPhone, I am digitally editing these interviews on Garageband, and then recording the .m4a’s to cassette tape. Those tapes will be put into Califone shoebox tape players and will be hung up(or mounted…installation final word is still debatable) for people to listen to the stories. Old media meets today’s new media. Obsolete objects that are losing their tangible place in the music world are still relevant, still be used. It’s a metaphor for people-senior citizens can feel left behind or out of touch because they don’t know how to use today’s technologies and today’s “digital natives”(a term I’m starting to dislike) are at a loss of proper social skills or social cues due to too much screen time or the use of digital tools during face to face time. My classmates and I will have a show on May 3rd in Burlington and I’m excited for the show. I graduate the following week. These semesters seemed so long when I was in the middle of them, and now the end is nigh.

Once again, I’m at a point of unpredictability. I’ve been accepted to the American University of Paris’s summer French immersion program and my dream is here. Yet, what if a dream job is offered post graduation? I’m looking at everything from all angles, but I know if six weeks of my life isn’t spent in Paris, I’ll live with resentment and regret.

I guess I just answered my problem. It’s just the usual worries-money, finding a job, money, paying off student loans, money, job searching and job waiting.

Maybe my crow friends have a secret I don’t know-they always know where to land. Everyday like clockwork. When days are tough, I’ll just look up and wait.

Almost the End

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I made it to the Burlington airport about two hours early for my flight today. I overestimated how long it would take to get up, finish cleaning up my place, and make it out the door to run a quick errand before I get something to eat at a coffee shop and to the airport.

I have time on my hands to people watch and to reflect over the last semester. I feel like I ran another race this fall with my four classes, my small teacher assistantship(which really was more of printer paper refilling than actually helping students), and prepping for my thesis work. One of my classes, Collaborative II, was a continuation from my summer Collaborative I class and it was my first time to work with a client for over seven months. It was a lot of work, time, meetings, planning, and a super big presentation in late November. I feel confident that we impacted the group of stakeholders who attended and would love for the project to receive funding, but I want nothing to do with it for four months. I learned to let go of expectations, and just push forward. Focus on myself. Prepare for my future.

Flying home to Memphis this Christmas time may be different that last year, possibly because I don’t know the next time I’ll be in Tennessee. I hope to see people I haven’t seen in months and talk to my grandmother as much as possible. My thesis may get some attention(I definitely need to do interviews), but I also just want to watch the 200 channels my parents have on their TV,  eat barbecue, and see Les Miserables.

These next ten days will be a change of pace, and I guess I need it. Merry Christmas all.

Here are some crazy cool things I found on the interwebs:

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis “Thrift Store”

John Lewis is a English store that apparently does really great commercials. Here’s their Christmas ad from 2011.

Courtesy of my sister who posted this on her Facebook via Lisa Congdon

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Did y’all catch this photo of cast of The Princess Bride 25 years later?

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An entire Tumblr dedicated to everything Christmas.

Probably the most honest statement made about the Newtown, CT tragedy.  It’s not just a gun control issue, but a mental health issue.

Turning 30

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Well, I made it.

I’m thirty years old.

30.

The big 3-0.

I really don’t believe it, but my new Vermont license says so. I knew this birthday was going to be hard in a few ways, but mainly because I still have that nagging feeling of “is this right?” Is this how my life path was supposed to go? Did I make a wrong turn or a wrong decision somewhere back there in my twenties? What if I took that leap and continue seeing that guy after one date-would I be settled down? Or would I have settled? Someone told me a few weeks ago that I don’t look like I should be turning 30. How are we supposed to look like? Or be? I have no idea as I’ve never been this age before. I’ve been steering clear of those “30 Things Women Should Know by 30″ magazine entries because they are bullshit. It was easy to bleed over from 19 into 20-not a big difference. But, I certainly noticed how I’ve aged in 5 year increments. Mentality, emotionality, physically I can tell. My twenties are gone, and I am happy to stuff them in my memory and pull out one or two when I feel like it. But, hot damn, they are done.

I have had a vice grip on the idea that time is running out. Yet, things haven’t really started. Which is pretty much the story of my life. I’ve been in neutral for years, expecting people to make decisions for me, give me the green light and stamp of approval or just daydream of a better life, a better something. Never I did I realize that I HAD the keys to the kingdom the entire time. Long time coming.

So, here’s what I am promising to myself. Always have those keys in my hand and move forward. I have really great intuition, and I need to trust it more.

Trust. Strength. Curiosity. Clarity. Love. Adaptability. These I desire and I hope to receive.

As my thesis for graduate school takes shape, I’ll probably be blogging less. I’m ready for winter, to be holed up in my apartment, to be more introspective, and hopefully churn out a successful paper and art piece. I hope so. I hope so. I hope so.

Thirty years…go by in a blink.