I got my dream job. (!!!!!)

This post is long overdue. (And it took a bit of restraint to not type the title in all caps, but I hope the exclamation points give you a small taste of how happy my heart is)

It’s been a very long, miserable road. If you’ve read any of my old posts, you know that I’ve been experiencing a common twenty-something struggle stuck in jobs I hate with no end in sight, and even questioning what to do with my life.

But to be honest…a small part of me thought that my situation was a little different. I see you rolling your eyes haha “Of course you think you’re different, Lauren…” No ego here, seriously – all of my fam and friends know I’m the last to toot my own horn, even when I sometimes should. It’s just that I’ve always worked hard – almost every summer from kindergarten through elementary school, my grandma (retired teacher) would teach me in a basement classroom; I always got good grades in school, was put in the advanced classes, and was always that asshole shooting her hand up in the air like “ooh, call on me, I know!” In high school and college I was the goody-goody student-athlete – never drank or stayed out late, just won races in track and would ace a test by cramming not too long before. I got academic and athletic scholarships. Did volunteer work and was on the mock trial team as well as a board for the athletic director…

I say all of this not to brag or give you my resume (lol), but to paint the picture of how “rosy” my life has been – because I made it that way. Not luck, a lot of hard work. This was largely due to my AMAZING parents – they are both shining examples of this – my entire life I’ve watched them work hard and make a very good living. So duh, naturally I thought this was they way things work! I mean, even if I don’t confine my views to my parents, you always hear celebrities or a founder of some tech company telling their “rags-to-riches” story – they had a passion and their hard work paid off.

So THAT is why I’ve been so miserable and frustrated the past few years. I just kept thinking “I’m not supposed to be here. WTF happened?” I’d look back at the rest of my life in disbelief – “this isn’t the way things work – I’ve worked hard, so why am I not getting what I deserve??”

And I’ve finally realized that there’s something they fail to tell you growing up – it’s not just smooth-sailing down a clear cut path, and good things happen to good people because they earned it. Good people get held back and crapped on too. I’m sure many of the rags-to-riches founders will tell you that they faced some adversity and had doors slammed in their faces, yet they kept pushing on. But for me, it seemed like I wasn’t asking for much – I wasn’t out to be the next billionaire. I was just a motivated girl who had always seen a direct correlation/payoff (do well, you get rewarded accordingly), and jumped into the real world with my degrees in hand and a big smile ready to work hard and be paid accordingly.

The real world just laughed at me – my first job out of college (sales) turned out to not be what I expected (none of us survived, dropped like flies and quit); I got an entry level job at one of the biggest financial firms in the world, went back to grad school while I was working because I was sure it’d move me from entry level to something higher; and once again, after I was openly c***blocked in that role and everyone hated the department, I moved on to my current department – I just knew that this would be different…turns out I was wrong again.

You see, the thing I’ve really learned from this whole experience – applying and interviewing for jobs for about three years straight – is that not everyone is capable of, or willing to recognize your hard work. Again, the “things they should’ve told me as a child.” I almost feel like you can get where you want to go…if someone lets you. Before you jump down my throat and feed me some “you’ve got to take that job you want!”, hear me out. I’ve wanted a better job for a few years…but it’s not like I could just go walk into a new office and plop down at a new desk like “what do you need done, boss?” And no, I’m not some timid, passive girl who just takes what’s given to me – I’m aggressive when necessary by following up, asking for more money, etc. I know you can’t live life by what people just toss to you – you’ve got to put yourself out there. But again, this is where my frustration was – I’ve worked hard…so why won’t you “let me?” ME – who has clearly worked harder than the rest of these people. The answer is that a lot of the people I saw moving were doing so because they knew someone. SHOCKER. (another one for “things they never told me”) I wouldn’t say I was so naive to think this wasn’t going on, but again – completely contrary to everything I’d ever experienced or thought was logical – I thought I’d be different and I’d “stay true to myself” – surely someone would be smart enough to hire me based on recognizing my track record of hard work.

WELL…the company I’m in is actually a culture of “knowing people” – I’ve been told this by many people internal and external. It’s casually told to the college interns/new grads. I’m not saying that none of them are qualified, but I will say this – a good amount of them aren’t vs others, and I’ve seen most managers make hiring decisions based on knowing someone. That’s not ok to me. (And yes, I even tried at one point to play into the culture on my own terms by joining committees – not to rely on that though, because I was confident that I could back it up with my qualifications…I know you want to say I didn’t get where I wanted to bc I didn’t play the game – that’s not the case). I’m just not one to tap a friend on the shoulder and say “hey can you get me into this job?”, whether I know I’m qualified or not, I just think that you should be hired based on merit and merit alone. It sounds naive, I know. But I don’t settle…

So what do you do? If you’re stuck in an environment that won’t allow you to thrive or is willing to reward hard work…you change the environment. Some people think I’m crazy for leaving such a prestigious firm. And I know this place isn’t the only place driven by the “knowing someone” thing. It really came down to this – I took a deep breath, and thought: hey, at least if I have to deal with bullshit, let it be in a place where I can grow and be paid what I should be.

I ended up getting more than I expected!!! Not only do I get to actually use what I went to school for, but I get to help people, I get more $$, and the company is clearly one to hire/promote based on merit. I know this because they kept commending me on my accomplishments thus far – on the inside I was screaming “thank you, finally! Someone gets it.” haha Also, the current team members have been there for years, and they kept moving up in the team – NOT because they came in from another department and knew someone. I just have a really good feeling about this – it’s something I can see myself doing for the rest of my life. I’ll actually look forward to going to work (what?) I just feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders.

My last day at “yucky firm” is this Friday. Ask me how productive I’ve been the past 10 days. I mentally checked out a long time ago, but am still chugging through. And no rest – I start new job on Monday bc they said they need to train me asap. I can’t wait to jump in – I’m so eager. And I’m so ready to make the most out of this opportunity that I’ve been reading Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In.” This really is a long term thing to me – career, not “the next job” anymore. Wow, that felt really grown-up, yikes.

It feels good that I’m not just running away from something, but actually running to something awesome. Life really has just been falling into place lately – job, fam and friends, getting better at CrossFit…and even a new guy (shh – it’s early, let’s wait to see how it goes and then maybe discuss) Things are looking up (it’s about time!) It reminds me of some quote about when you move towards your “right life” your luck will seem unbelievable. Here we go – wish me luck 🙂

Advertisements

I’m baaaaackkkk

Yay! Ok, so after a hiatus from blogging, I recently felt the need to dust the cobwebs off of this old thing. I know so many of you have been on the edge of your seat lol

I decided to take a break from the blog because well, I felt like it became too much of a venting forum for me. Yes, it’s good to vent and often therapeutic to get things out, but I realized that it allowed me to focus too much on all of the negatives in my life. Ya know, like get too bogged down, kinda stuck and just swimming in a pool of “poor me.”

Well no more! Trust, there will still be the occasional rant (because hey, life gets real sometimes), but I’ve been focusing on pulling myself out of the rut that has been my life for the past, oh 1-2 years haha Between HATING my job, a broken heart/love life, and a few other common quarter-life crisis woes, life’s been a bit bleh.

But I’ve been on an inspirational roll over the past five months. I’m talking avalanche, steam roll, all kinds of momentum over here. No, my life’s not perfect (ha) or where I totally want it to be yet, but focusing on the good things and realizing that things won’t always be this way have helped me out a lot lately.

So what have I been up to? Big things…(for me lol)

  • I’ve been dating (ish) – nothing promising, and I even ventured into the online thing, but I’m proud of myself for getting out there and trying again! If nothing else, I’ve gotten some great (horror) stories to share…
  • I started CrossFit – ok, ok. I’ll try not to talk about it 24/7 like everyone else, but it’s basically changed my life. For reals. I’d actually been interested in it for a few years from watching the games on ESPN, but was super hesitant to try it. My bestie joined and had me go to the open house – that’s all it took. Game over. I joined, am obsessed, and wake up at 4:30am to go. I drank the kool-aid and could go on, but will have to make that another post…
  • I’m back on Facebook – don’t laugh! We all know it’s totally unheard of for someone to not be on FB and have your life revolve around it haha I took the “brave” step last March to deactivate my account because I needed to be away from anything related to “that guy,” and was just fed up with a news feed full of babies and engagements and my life is wonderful crap from all of these people I went to high school with and haven’t seen in years. So I kinda retreated/became a social media hermit lol But I reactivated a couple months ago; can’t say I missed it…I guess I can stomach the posts now, and some people actually post interesting things worth reading. There are also a few friends/family members it’s nice to keep up with. (silly, I know)

Hmm, nothing else really jumping out…nothing monumental. Oh, on the job front – the search has been going a lot better! Had some good interviews…I actually have the biggest interview of my life tomorrow, and will hear back by Friday for one I had last month & they said I’m the top candidate. So I’m feeling good about these two! Additional positive energy you want to throw my way is much appreciated 🙂

So yeah…I’ve just been getting out there, living life, and being my happy self again. So I think it’s good I get back to documenting all of these things, especially since I bought myself a fancy camera – I need to put it to good use! I think I’ve distracted myself enough now from my interview jitters…and Catfish is about to come on (hello! can we discuss??) Hopefully I’ll bring home some good news!

I cried at the gyno today

Yes, really.

Just there for my annual visit, ya know. He walked in for the exam and it went something like this:

*examining chart* Ah, you’re 27 now! So young! So, so young! All looks good, let’s go ahead…
*starts exam*…breaks silence with:

Doc: So when are you having babies?? No babies yet, why not??”
Me: *nervous laughter/laugh it off, he can’t expect an answer, merely doing his job by reminding me in a casual way that my biological clock is ticking*
Doc: No, really – why haven’t you yet?
Me: *sighs – clearly he’s not letting this go…* Heh heh, well, I’d have to be married first and uh…yeah…
(I trail off to prevent myself from complaining about the dating pool/being scarred bc he’s in my ‘business’ so this isn’t the time or place)

*doc and assistant share a look of shock as if I just said something politically-charged*

Doc: Oh…so…you’re not even in a relationship? Not even on the way to being married?
Me: *pissed off at this point; but firmly state* NO, I actually have been single for a year and a half.
Doc: Ah, I see, so you actually have to find a guy, one that’s willing to be a dad, all that…
Me: *no response, thinking: yes, asshole it’s just that simple – I’m not looking for a sperm donor; call me crazy but I’d need someone that’s worth it andd happens to want kids…*

-exam ends-
I proceed to walk into his office for paperwork…

*awkward silence as he scribbles, I look around and act interested in the framed degrees…*
Doc: So – No relationship, no steady relationship?! You’re just sort of…
Me: *firmly bc he’s trying to make me out to be a slut with commitment issues* NO – I’ve been very single, keeping to myself and am not interested in anyone.
Doc: *cheerfully* Ah, yes well next time you can actually come see so-and-so assistant since you have no issues, and actually, so-and-so assistant is a midwife, so she can help you when you’re pregnant – yes, that’s perfect! I tell you what, you come and see midwife assistant next time, so that this time next year for your exam when you are pregnant, she can help you with all of that!
Me: *eyes filled with tears, tilting head back to not let them roll down my face…nod in agreement with a fake smile because I’m not about to argue with this man; I’m fed up and have no idea why you’re so invested and how you have the balls to assume I’ll be with child in a year – nothing about this conversation has suggested that, in fact I made it clear that I’m not going to anytime soon, not really by choice but because men are stupid and I refuse to settle*

I booked it out of his office. UGH. Let the tears flow in the car. Like I need another reminder of what I haven’t accomplished in my life but planned on doing. Just rubbing salt in the wound. Such a smack in the face. I guess he meant well, but seriously?! Again, I’m a strong girl, I make a habit of standing on my own and being comfortable with my own decisions despite others’ opinions…but yeah, I still have feelings lol And as much as I’m fine with not getting married…not having kids *killllllsss* me.

I can’t. Gn.

30 Before 30

So my recent 27th birthday has caused me to realize that I’m making the turn from mid-twenties to late twenties, also known as Looming Death & Turning 30.
Thirty is a big deal – nothing really happens after 21, you just sort of cruise through your twenties without a milestone. Then BAM – 30 smacks you in the face causing you to re-evaluate your entire life if you haven’t gotten married, had kids, or established a career.

I can’t say too concerned about turning 30 – as I’ve said before, I think I’d actually pat myself on the back for being strong if I happen to still be single then (read 99% chance). The things I will freak out about?? If I’m still stuck in a career I despise and if I’m not a mom. The first shouldn’t be too hard, but the second entails the whole marriage thing so, eh…

In any event, I bought a Smash Journal over the weekend – perfect for where I am since I like to write/create things/document things and am doing more photography. (Again, all of my hobbies to distract me from misery) The journals often feature lists like top 10s. I love a good list (I make about 5 a day, it’s how I survive and stay “sane”). So all of these factors taken together, along with New Year’s Resolutions coming up…I’ve got some work to do.

I’ve seen a few 30 Before 30 posts and bucket lists floating around the Internet and blew them off – “Ick, that’s SO far away, whatever…” But guess what? I’m in my late twenties now (is 24-25 mid & 27-29 late??) and 30 is right around the corner. I’ve been inspired to create my own 30 Before 30 list and spend three years tackling it, which is a good pace spread out. I’m still finalizing the list, but I found comfort in noticing that I’ve actually already done a good amount of significant things:

Bungee jump
Get a tattoo
Learn how to live alone
Get a master’s degree
Tell a boy you love him
Own your own home
Swim with dolphins
Learn to walk away from a crappy job
Learn to forgive
Take a dance class
Put a baby to sleep
Go to dinner/a movie alone
Hit on the hottest guy in the bar

So yeah, not too bad – a good foundation. I’m looking forward to lots more. And getting out of this quarter-life crisis; hopefully this list will serve as a guide/help keep me on track and focused!

Oh. I became a vegetarian and MMA fighter in one week.

No big. hahahaha Super casual.

Yeah, I know. Kinda random and crazy but not really. They’ve both been in the works for a while, and upon implementing, my life is already so much better!

So I’ve never really been a meat-eater – just chicken and fish if I have. It’s a combination of taste and health concerns. I’d been toying around with the idea of becoming a vegan, but there are two huge things in the way: eggs and dairy. I can’t go without them! I love scrambled eggs and they’re amazing for protein instead of meat, which is great for me; and daily coffee and yogurt are kind of religious things for me. Every day. I actually really don’t like the taste of coffee but chug it for keeping me alive and focused at work, as well as the metabolism boost. Soo I can’t have it without some yummy creamer! Yes, I’ve tried almond/soy milk – not even close. So I settled on being vegetarian instead of hardcore vegan. Honestly, it hasn’t been hard at all. I don’t crave or miss meat, mainly since I was never really into it. I decided I’d give myself until the end of the month and then possibly convert into a pescatarian (my fav meal in life is salmon/salmon sushi. sigh) Today is my 8th day 🙂 Kinda proud: I feel noticably better and have even lost a few lbs.

IN BIGGER NEWS. As we all know, I’m obsessed with all things health & fitness. I’ve always been an athlete and am always looking for new activities/workouts to challenge myself and have fun. Especially with my whole quarter-life crisis/he broke my heart/I f*ing hate my job thing…ya know, distracting myself with things. I’ve been doing fitness kickboxing on and off for about 10 years or so. Nothing crazy. Two years ago I really got into it and bought a heavy bag for my garage & gloves, and started doing the “fitness MMA” classes offered at my gym. Crazy good workout but piqued my interest for the real techniques behind the fighting styles, especially after watching UFC.

I’d been looking around at local studios/gyms but was kinda meh. Then a month ago I got a free pass for 2 trial classes at a karate studio for kickboxing. Thought it’d be cool to see if they’re more technique-oriented. Fun. Great music. But not so much. I saw people in full karate gear there doing serious things, but it just didn’t seem like they had a good variety/skill levels. Kinda weird crowd too, mostly kids. ENTER LIVING SOCIAL. I’ve always heard people raving about it, and I’ve just said “mm, sounds cool but it’ll just give me discounts on buying things I don’t need.” But I finally signed up for it like 2 weeks ago only because I was looking into CrossFit and the prices here are obnoxious without a LS deal.

Fast forward, last week I randomly scanned my e-mail and saw a deal for unlimited MMA classes for a month for 70% off. Don’t mind if I do. It was meant to be. I stopped by yesterday and signed up in a hurry. Went back in tonight to do my fitness evaluation (max reps of push-ups, sit-ups, frog jumps, squats, and squat thrusts aka burpees you can do in 60 sec each. I felt sick). The owner told me that most people do the evaluation one night and start classes the next. NOT ME. Watching everyone got me too hyped. I just stared in amazement. And everyone is super chill and nice – as I was remebering how to breathe against the wall, one of the instructors stopped to introduce himself and told me to jump in whenever I wanted to. I felt weird because everyone knew what they were doing and had their assignments – I didn’t want to waddle in and disturb them. Like “eww, new girl, you’re taking up my space.” But upon meeting the friendly instructor, and because I already had my awesome pink gloves with me, I walked right on over and said “What do I do?”

After jokingly calling my gloves “toy gloves” (hater – they’re Everlast; he wishes his were pink), the owner walked me through the right way to punch – as in, keeping in mind you need to protect your face lol – and then had me keep going. Then he had one of the “pros” come over and work with me more. To paint the picture: think legit UFC fighter. He was shirtless with tats allll over; fauxhawk and I think a nose ring. Bad ass. And he was one of the 3 guys in the actual ring. So I know I’m learning from someone good; he clearly knew what he was talking about and was very encouraging. Highlight of the night: as he was first holding the heavy bag for me to punch, I threw my first few punches and made him say “wow, girl – you got some power! You clearly have good leg strength which is a good base for punching.” Duh. hahaha I’ve been told that before and I guess it makes sense with all of the track. It feels good to be “naturally” good at something you love.

I could go on and on. I’m obvs going back tomorrow. Can’t wait. Oh, sidenote – my mom’s not too thrilled. I told her a few years ago that I want to train and become a pro cagefighter, and she laughed it off/got sad saying that I’d get hurt and it’s dangerous. When I told her yesterday that I signed up?? “Why can’t you just do something safe?!” lol Sorry, I love our crafts and photography classes, but this is my calling, mom. She’ll be front row at my competitions, I’m sure. Oh yeah – this gym has a team that competes on like pro and amateur circuits and the owner asked if I want to compete. (yikes – a lot different from training; I could do it though and think I’ll try it & surprise myself)

Ok, ok. Gotta get to bed. Yay for things that make me happy and forget about my job/feelings! I can’t change my situation yet, but this helps a lot!

I’m baaaacckk

In case you were worried. Basically, I have my life back now – the exam that I’ve been studying for/bitching about for the past 7 months? Took it on Saturday. Did I pass? Do I care? Am I thrilled to be done? Probs not, no, and YES. Hopefully the outcome will be irrelevant soon since I’m…

Still working on the whole move 800 miles away and live my dream thing. Listen: I am EXTREMELY proud of myself – I’ve been talking about it for so long, but now I’ve actually turned my words into actions. After lots of researching apartments and jobs/salaries/companies, I pulled the trigger on Sunday and applied to a bunch of jobs in Atlanta! I’m so excited. No, nothing is concrete yet, but I really like grabbing life by the…er, taking control of your future and doing things you said you’d never do…in the midst of a quarter-life crisis.

Not to mention that I’m growing less and less fond of new job every day. Yeah, I still like the “challenge” and most of the people are really nice and smart, but there is one asshole I just can’t deal with, and I can’t avoid the interaction, and this is saying a lot because I get along with anyone. Yeah, I make a special effort to get along with him too and act like it for the most part, but it is clear that everyone else thinks he’s an asshole so I don’t feel so bad. Kill em with kindness. And I won’t lie – every time I feel the sharp words rising up inside me to throw a shot back at him, it’s nice to take comfort in the thought: “wow, I am SO glad that soon I won’t have to deal with you anymore!” Clearly, I don’t want to leave because of him (I can go toe to toe, don’t try me; the managers still talk about how I threw some words at him, thankss). But not having to deal with him, working in something more in line with where I should be, getting a pay increase to save up, and duh – Atlanta…all great reasons to peace out. Also, the department has become a bit of a disorganized crapstorm. I’ve only been there for 2.5 months, but soo much has happened and that doesn’t make newcomers feel too comfortable, seeing everything crumbling around you. Good to roll out before I get comfortable / in too deep (like a bad relationship) It may be short-lived, but at least I haven’t had to be miserable in old job for the past few months, and I’ll still count this as a good experience…

So yeah – moving towards living my dream is pretty awesome. Sure, I’ve only taken the first step, but it kinda makes your day a little brighter: “hope” I think they call it. And no, I can’t jump directly into it once I move down there, I’m being realistic – but the beauty is that even in the interim, my life will be a million times better. Just that new start/fresh feeling – I’m looking forward to taking in new surroundings and feeling cleansed of all of the emotional bullshit that old job and a couple of relationships have dropped on me. Not running away from my problems – just embracing newness and all that comes along with it: like my dream job. But not those people/feelings, they don’t get to come along.

On the boy front: I think I have a mutual crush situation happening in my building?! Some new guy. Hot. Tall. Dresses well. HOT. I mean, he initiated conversation with me…twice in the past 6 days. (we caught each other checking the other out; yeah.) No, I don’t know his name, and yes, I will accept an inviation to a romantic dinner. Or just lunch in the caf, whatev. My mother is relieved that I still have a “giddy” pulse, and I guess I even surprised myself – even after the past year’s events, I still have a heart? What, what’s this? It’s such an odd feeling, considering I’ve been dead on the inside for a while. NO, PEOPLE. Let’s all calm down – I still am repulsed by the thought of a relationship/still have the same stance on not wanting to get married. But hey – I still appreciate some eye candy – especially when it’s conveniently placed in my office buliding for daily enjoyment. I like to look…just keep them at arm’s length: You’re hot, and I’m sure you’re a nice guy…but I’m emotionally unavailable, bye!

I love myself.

Also…exes have been coming out of the woodwork this week. “Sorry, I’m caught up in a non-existent, emotion-free relationship with a guy in my office building. I don’t know his name, but it’s pretty serious.”

All I want right now:

  • for someone to bring me unlimited amounts of iced coffee on demand – I just ran out, need to study more, have a taste for it, and don’t feel like driving to get it
  • to not have to study anymore
  • to quit my job (no matter where I go, the corporate world is NOT pretty and I’m over it – it’s not a necessary evil; there are other things in life and I need to get there asap; I liked new job bc it isn’t old job, but now I’m realizing that it’s still corporate bs)
  • to travel the world
  • …so basically, those 3 are possible if (WHEN) I win the Powerball tonight.
  • to go to the gym again – I went this morning, tried some new moves, and am addicted. That’s my idea of fun (??) And I’ve always feared/hated pull-ups. Now I’m hooked because they’re giving me the arms I’ve always wanted and everyone keeps complimenting me – I don’t hate it.
  • …no really, this is a big deal – ten years of track and zero definition in my arms until this year – they were always just there and blah. lol
  • to have a job that requires me to walk around in spandex all day…my dream. I just want to have my own gym.
  • that if I still have to have a finance job, at least make it one that has me in a different city every week (are you noticing the pattern – I just need to gtfoh? yep.)
  • to let go of my anger towards him/relationships in general. it’s eating away at me and really not cute.
  • …actually, people in general are annoying me lately – oh, look at that, I just ignored a call lmao I just want to be left alone – I just have a lot of resentment/have lost faith in people, and kinda want to be left alone. Just let me be a hermit until I build up enough strength to deal with people’s crap again…
  • 6 days til the Bahamas – I just might not come back. As much as my urge to travel lately has been to go and see what the world has to offer, more and more it’s also to run away from my problems…not that you really can…because I’d be feeling the same stuff no matter what country I’m in – your feelings stay with you even if you’re not seeing certain people. I mean, I haven’t been seeing a lot of people lately, but I still have to deal with the emotions. But taking in new locations can serve as a great distraction, ya know?