Someone Wants Me

After upwards of 400 job applications submitted from the East Coast to the West Coast and the No Coast in between, finally someone wants me.

It took until the interview process to realize how much I actually want/need a job. I mean, I knew I needed one, but it wasn’t until something actually seemed promising that I felt that drive again.

I’ve loved the jobs I’ve had. And I haven’t had many. I started at Goodwill when I was 16 and worked there for almost four years, then at a car dealership for almost four years, then at NP Dodge for a year. Then London for three months while I finished my masters, followed by a couple years of unemployment and self-employment.

When the Target opportunity came up, it reminded me of the NP Dodge opportunity. When I was desperately trying to get away from the car dealership, I saw an opening for an escrow officer at NP Dodge and had no idea what that word even meant. I knew I fit most of the requirements and I knew that I was a quick learner, so I went ahead and applied on a whim. Much to my surprise, I was called in for an interview. I remember exactly what I wore. I had a great time in the interview and was told that they had a few others to do, so I should hear at some point. I went home and took a nap and was woken from that nap with a phone call: a job offer.

I ended up absolutely loving escrow and real estate. And I really excelled at it. After a few months, I was promoted to a salaried position and had a junior officer working under me. Soon after that, I was handling all of the REOs and FSBOs. It really killed me to leave. I know I wrote about it in here somewhere. It really did. I should have gone back, actually, after finishing my masters. I was just so sure that I’d land the perfect job in social media somewhere in New York.

Until I didn’t. I had quick-links at the top of my browser for HBO jobs, BBC jobs, BBC America jobs, AMC jobs, NBC jobs, ABC jobs, Discovery jobs, Time Warner jobs; pretty much every major network. I was on LinkedIn for hours every day scrolling through page after page of social media manager jobs and the like. I realized quickly that with the SM manager positions, they required anywhere from 1-5 years of experience. I applied anyway, but it was just one meme after another.

I had limited myself to the coasts, so I started pulling in from each direction. Okay, no one in New York or California wants me, maybe something in Connecticut or Washington? Okay, no one there, so maybe Colorado or Chicago? On top of that, I had started applying for whatever job was available at the places I actually wanted to work (the networks). Got a receptionist job open? Okay, hire me. Someone needed in the mail room? I’ll do it. Finally, I was applying for the same thing in Omaha, wondering if I’d ever be able to do anything remotely like I had dreamed.

When I moved to Minnesota with Andrew, I started looking around at anything surrounding me to see what kind of jobs were available. Lo and behold, the same IT/nursing jobs that were in Omaha were up here, too. i.e. nothing for which I was qualified. I found some social media or otherwise media-related positions open, but either I didn’t have the experience (cue the memes) or I just didn’t get the job in the end.

I’m sure I’ve said it before, but just in case I haven’t: I know how extremely blessed and fortunate I am to having been able to support myself off of my savings/trust for so long whilst looking for a job. I wouldn’t have been able to do it, much like much else, without my grandparents having the foresight and ability to create such a thing. I think it also enabled me to not search as frantically, and it definitely allowed me to hold out for the right job. Even when I panicked and got anxiety about my dwindling savings, I knew I had at least another year, if I so needed. But then it’d be gone, and what would my grandparents say, if they could?

So in the midst of another mild panic attack regarding just that topic, I decided to see if there were any openings at this Target Express down the street. Yes, Target Express. Google it. It’s amazing. I’m obsessed with it. I’m possessive over it. I need one like, in my apartment. Anyway, there was a Team Lead position open. My first thought was, oh I don’t have any leadership experience – thinking, I’ve never had the title of ‘manager.’ But like the escrow officer situation, I did meet the other requirements, so I submitted an application.

Two days later, I got a call about coming in for an interview. That interview was life-changing, no joke. The woman I met with just totally turned my view around: I had loads of leadership experience, I had led many people and many situations. She told me to be confident in that. She even said that I was phenomenal. I can say with 100% certainty that I’ve never gotten that compliment in my life. I walked out of that interview with my head held so high. And I actually had hope again. I didn’t even realize just how hopeless I’d become until she gave some hope back to me. I doubt very much I’ll ever have an interview quite like that again.

After that, I interviewed with that woman’s mentor, who has been with Target for as long as I’ve been on Earth. Then I got to move on to the next one, and the next one, and suddenly, I’m at the First Ever Target to make sure I will be a good fit. When the store leader of THE Target said she’d love to have me as part of her team, I legit got choked up right there in her office. Someone actually wants me. Someone actually sees value in me. Someone thinks I’d be a good addition to their team, their company. It had been so long.

I walked straight out onto the sales floor and bought a few pairs of khakis and a few red shirts.

My goal is to not only sail through training and rise in the ranks, but to hopefully express just how thankful and honored I truly am for this opportunity. I know I expressed in each interview just how much of a Target fangirl I am, but I mean, I’m actually sitting here in tears just writing this up.

Who knows what this opportunity has in store for me. And Andrew. And for us. I mean, this is going to help us with our goal to find a house in another year or so. This is going to save us so much money on groceries and everything else we need. Personally, this is going to give me something to do. Something to get me out of the house. Something to feel like I’m part of the human race again. I have worth again. I can get rid of the guilt I’ve felt for depleting my trust. Hell, I can better serve the purposes of Far From Everything Films. Just.. so many good things.

Oh, one of my favorite parts: I had forgotten to take my lip ring out when I was meeting with HR, so I apologized for it. She said, “so what? You can wear that here.”

I have half of my head shaved, gauged ears, and a lip piercing, and all of that is okay. (Here come the tears again). Seriously, it’s never been okay. I had to ask/beg permission to put blue in my hair while I was at Goodwill. I got written up at Woodhouse for forgetting to take out my lip piercing. The head on the stud was stuck and I couldn’t get it off without greasy pliers from the service department, cutting up my lip in the process. I couldn’t wear it at NP Dodge either. Nor do I remember having any sort of wild hair along the way.

Now it’s okay. Now I’m okay just as I am. Not like these things make me who I am, but they are part of me. And they’re okay. What a relief.

This whole situation is such a relief. Finally, someone wants me. Target wants me. And Target wants me for me.

 


 

Speaking of someone wanting me, I’m also blessed to have a partner who wants me, and wants me for me. In spite of the fact that I worry too much and I’m a shit and I’m petty and I hardly ever put any effort into my appearance (subject to change with impending job) and I never help with the dishes and leave hair in the shower and otherwise leave the house a mess and whine when he stays at work late and whine just a lot of the time, probably, and make the occasional comment about wanting a ring and a baby and a house and an additional dog (or four) and all these other things, he seems to love me and even like me.

I’d quote a bunch of Sara Bareilles lyrics now, but I’ve already wept enough during this post.

What Is Life

Almost a month ago, I spent my last night in Omaha.

Most of my things were moved already, and all that remained were a few odds and ends, and my furniture.

The morning of the big move, I was seriously anxious. What was going to go wrong? What was going to get broken? What if this happens? What if that happens? I was also very emotional, even though I tried my hardest not to be.

My parents showed up to say goodbye; mom was a bit weepy and, of course, my dad says the things I always need to hear: I am worthy, I deserve everything I want, I can do anything I want to do, and I am loved. So, there went the tears. My brother showed up a bit later and stayed with me until just before I hit the road. He helped calm me down and let me know on his way out how well the moving truck was being packed. Phew.

The drive up here went by quickly and slowly at the same time. I got caught in five o’clock traffic just two miles from my exit and I was absolutely livid. I just wanted to be there!

That evening, and the week after, are a total blur of unpacking, buying shelving units and other fun IKEA things, building said things, hanging photos, organizing the kitchen, organizing the closets, etc. Oh, and sleeping poorly because one huge window in our bedroom was missing blinds. Waking with the sun every morning, regardless of when I went to sleep the night before, was aggravating as hell. And didn’t really restore me for a new day of work.

By the next week, we were already looking at puppies to adopt. I got Andrew caught up in the search and essentially all of our texts consisted of puppy photos all day. We knew we wanted a bigger dog and we wanted to adopt a rescue. In looking at the adoption process, I got discouraged. An application, an interview, references, a meeting, a home visit?! Jesus Christ, are we adopting a child? Applying for a government job? I had no idea it was so thorough and difficult. I understood and completely support the method behind the madness, but for those of us normal, decent human beings who aren’t going to chain the dog up outside 24/7… ugh.

We ended up applying for a dog that we totally fell in love with and then got denied because another couple was ahead of us in the process. Then we applied for a couple more and the same thing happened. At this point, I’m going, Jesus Christ, I’d almost rather pay double to just get one from a pet shop. But instead, we applied for a few more.

Finally (I say, finally; it was probably like, within a couple days), we got invited to go meet one of the puppies. He was adorable and cuddly and I think Andrew was pretty goddamn set on him. We fell asleep that night discussing ridiculous names, such as: Sterling The University of Nebraska Cornhuskers versus The University of Iowa Hawkeyes… [last name].

We communicated to the foster mom and the lady from the shelter that we indeed wanted this little pup… and then we never heard anything from the shelter.

Then, in true things-happen-for-a-reason fashion, the day I was bitching about the lack of communication and consideration, I got a call from another foster mom about another puppy we’d applied for. Apparently the people who wanted her were having trouble coming up with the adoption fee (red flag, much?), so if we want her, she’s ours.

I think this was a Wednesday. We set up a meeting for Friday, we filmed a home video (in lieu of a home visit) Thursday, we drove an hour to meet her Friday, and that night, we brought her home.

Meet Olive Adventure (and insert heart-eyes emoji):
Olive Adventure

She’s a (now) nine-week old Shepherd Mix. We aren’t sure what she’s mixed with, but we’re pretty sure that it’s a wirehair of some kind. She’s a joy and a laugh and a little shit and a snuggler and a whiner and so sociable and sweet. She’s super outgoing; she’ll go up to anyone and any dog. She wants to play with everyone. She doesn’t like being hot and will whine (kinda like me) and she has recently started fording the stream in the park across the street.
Olive in the stream

Andrew and I are now ‘daddy’ and ‘mommy’ and we’re just totally in love. (Cue: ‘awww’)

We’ve had her a week and a half now and, well, she’s exhausting. ‘Daddy’ is at work five days a week, so ‘mommy’ has to do the most potty breaks and cleaning up accidents and trying to get her to stop biting or chewing on absolutely everything. Not to mention, she’s up with Andrew when he gets up for work (somewhere in the neighborhood of 6am). So yeah, I’m getting a spa afternoon on Thursday lol

Adding to the frustration, I’m getting paranoid about my dwindling savings, so I’ve resumed the job hunt… again. I’m being fairly goddamn picky because I just am, but I want it to be within walking distance (which isn’t a huge ask, seeing as we’re downtown), part-time so I can be home with bb most of the time, and not a receptionist or food service job. Actually, what I’d really like to do is some writing from home. If only I could get myself to finish that ‘novel’ I started.

I’ve also resumed the fitness journey. Buzzfeed posted that circuit workout a couple weeks ago and I’m on the third week today. You’re supposed to up the weight each week; I started with 10lb dumbbells. Because the tiny rec in my building didn’t have 12s, I had to go straight to 15s… And to be consistent, I need to use 20s tonight. I’m a tad nervous I won’t be able to do it all, because I also have to up the reps by two. I don’t know how much physical change I’ll see in two more weeks, and I haven’t weighed myself because fuck the scale, but who knows. I’ll prob just keep going with it and eventually be curling 50s LOL

Anyway, I love Saint Paul. I keep saying it’s like Omaha and London had a baby because it really does feel like home and the city I adore. Our apartment is brilliantly located a block from the train and ten meters from the park, a few blocks from the river and a half-mile from Starbucks (win). There are a bunch of microbreweries and awesome restaurants within walking distance and anything else is on the trainline. I probably came up here with 6100 miles on my car, and I noticed the odometer read 6171 today. So, about seventy miles in almost a month? Not fucking bad.

The only driving I do now is to the chiropractor, which is still only about seven miles away. It’s a different technique than I was getting in Omaha, but apparently, this is the next step in my treatment that makes the most sense. Here’s to hoping I get back to 100% after a couple months of this. I got really emotional when I had my consultation with the new bonebreak. It just dredges up all of the accident memories and memories of all the pain. It’s almost been a year and I’m still dealing with everything. Thank God for Andrew, seriously. What a loving, caring, thoughtful support system I have. I’m embarrassingly lucky to have him. And my family, holy shit.

Tell me, what is my life without your love? Tell me, who am I without you by my side?

Surprisingly, Okay

Lately, I think I’ve been stressing (mildly, I admit) about how it’s been since September I’ve been back now and I still haven’t found a job. I keep thinking it’s because I’m not physically ready – as in, in shape, and that’s partially true. However, it’s also incredibly mental. As in, intellectually/psychologically. 

In this time of being, not only completely jobless, but completely single, I’ve obviously had ample time to myself. Time to laze about, time to think, time to suss out what I truly want in many different aspects of my life, but more importantly, if not most importantly, I’ve had time to learn

Not only learning facts and information about the world, but things about myself. 

I feel like the lesson is done once you’ve learned it. I learned an exponential amount about myself, culture, others, etc while I was in London, but that came to an end unfortunately. I learned valuable educational information from my masters program, but that came to an end, thank God

I felt myself in a state of flux, again, being done with my masters, but not having a job. I was not, and I’m still not, driven to take up a job just for the sake of it. I want my next job to be something I wholeheartedly desire, from which I can grow over the years, and maintain as a career. (I know it’s a lot to ask as a baby). I still want that. But during a rather luxurious shower this morning at sun-up, I realized something that brought a sob of relief out of me:

This time has not been wasted in the least.

I can’t even put a quantity on how much I’ve learned since I’ve had nothing doing. No wonder I’ve never been bored. No wonder I’m not itching to get a job to pass the time. This entire time, I’ve been absorbing vast amounts of knowledge. And sometimes food.

I’ve read so much that I had to get eye drops for the deserts that had become my orbital sockets. I’ve watched so many documentaries and biopics and have been able to hold the most brilliant discussions with friends. I’ve not even gotten started with all the meta-analysis on Sherlock, but  boy, what I’ve done so far makes me salivate. I’ve had my poor, dry eyes opened on so many occasions in the past four-ish months. I never stopped my quest for wisdom, I’ve been on it all along. 

It’s been entirely fulfilling and rewarding. I’ve been spending such wonderful time with my parents, my brother, and consumed a mass amount of tea (and coffee). I’ve Brit-binged thanks to BBC America and Netflix. I’ve applied for about fifty jobs since October. I’ve even been able to get a feel for the housing market in LA (not as bad as I imagined), Manhattan (half a mil for a studio?!), and, because I’m a bit of a masochist, London (sorry, what per week?!). I’ll be prepared when I get that call.

I have the brightest goddamn outlook for myself, it may err on the side of fantastical. 

But that’s okay.

It’s easy, well, sometimes, anyway, to look back on a situation or time of your life and think, ah, that’s why I had to endure that: I learned __________. Hindsight is usually 20/20, as they say. I seem to have House-epiphanied my reason for this time in my life, which simultaneously thrills me and frightens me. 

Does that mean it’s over? Or close to being over? Lesson-mostly-learned, right?

Until I know for certain, I’ll keep on this path. It’s not one I’m looking forward to leaving, but I know the next turn will be an exciting one.

Expedited Shipping on my Order of Patience

I’ve been home from London since September 10th and done with my master’s degree since September 16th. I took some time to get my shit together – as in reorganize and de-clutter my apartment. Then I started looking for jobs online.

The last time I job-hunted was about two years ago. I was dying to get out of my job at the time and made it my second job to scour Careerlink.com. I started out looking for jobs to do with my psych degree: something at the Department of Health and Human Services, something at a local counseling center, etc. Then I thought, well, I have training in customer service, so I’ll look for customer service/receptionist/administrative jobs AT those places.

After being denied for absolutely everything, I started applying for any and all administrative jobs. I applied to be a receptionist, a secretary, a mailroom clerk, only to be turned down with an email. According to the (likely automated) email, I didn’t meet the minimum requirements for literally everything for which I applied.

Oh, so being in customer service for six years doesn’t meet the minimum requirements to be in customer service? Being a receptionist for three years doesn’t meet the minimum requirements for being a receptionist? Having a brain for twenty three years doesn’t meet the minimum requirements for being a mailroom clerk?

I applied for one more position – an escrow officer at a real estate company – on a total whim before I started looking at GoArmy.com. At this point, I was down to part-time work at my job and knew I would have to move into my dad’s basement in about a month if I couldn’t find anything.

Amazingly, the awesome people at NP Dodge must have liked something they saw in my resumé and further saw potential in me during my interview, because I was hired as an escrow officer within a couple days.

Seventy five applications later, I had a job.

I’m so glad none of those admin jobs worked out. I would have hated it and really, those jobs didn’t meet my minimum requirements.

When I started looking for jobs in October, I chose some companies: BBC America, Time Warner, AMC, Fox, Twitter, Discovery, ABC, NBC, Dreamworks, Sony, Apple, etc, and checked them every day. I think I’ve applied for at least forty jobs since October – all in New York or Los Angeles. After more thought, I have essentially stayed away from LA and really only apply in New York. I’ve always loved the idea of New York thanks to Sex and the City – getting up every day and taking the subway, grabbing a coffee at this Starbucks every day – just that city routine. I loved that in London – taking the tube, stopping by the neighborhood Starbucks, walking the busy streets. I feel that New York would be the closest thing to London. For now, anyway.

I have that strong feeling again. Before I went to London, I had such a strong feeling about being there and how it would be when I was there. I was not disappointed in the least. Like I said, I’ve got it again. This time with New York. I can see myself there. I can see my apartment, I can see the streets, I can see my office, I can see everything.

Just need the job now.

That’s where I tend to get discouraged. It feels like I haven’t been job-hunting for long at all, but then I look back and realize it’s been just over three months. (Of course, spelled out, that sounds like nothing). My apartment lease is up in May. If I don’t find anything in New York by March or so, I’m going to have to find something here. If I have to do that, I want to get a house.

There are so many if,thens and they’re stressful to think about. I really only have two months left before I have to start looking here (the hopefully-easier-job-market to penetrate this time), and then at that time, I’ll have to find a house and start the escrow process so that it times well with the end of my lease.

I just had to stop and put my hands to my face.

Okay.

I mean, I know I can always rent my apartment month-to-month – whether I find something here or find something in New York and have to delay moving one way or another. Six of one, half-dozen of the other. It’s just the job thing… I hate temporary things.

People have told me that I “should just get a job here because it’ll look better if I’m currently employed;” and I “should just get a job here to get some experience and keep applying for others while I work.” While I can see the logic of the first, well, and the second, suggestion, I don’t like either of them. Currently, I’m a co-owner of a film production company with a couple friends, so technically, I am ’employed.’ That mostly solves the first should. As for the second, I am a long-term kind of person. I’ve had three jobs since I’ve been 16; so, three jobs in nine years. The thought of going through the rigamarole of the hiring process, getting acclimated, learning my responsibilities, and being trained for a job I’ll have for fewer than six months (hopefully) just makes me shake my head. At that point, I’d be torn between keeping the job that I’ve invested in and packing up and leaving for a job in New York. Which sounds utterly ridiculous after everything I’ve just said.

Also, if I have to ‘settle’ and get a job here, I can’t help but feeling that it’ll be just that – settling. As much as I adore Omaha and could easily live here for the rest of my life, now that I’ve got this desire and drive to be somewhere else, it’ll just never measure up. New York isn’t London, but Omaha isn’t New York.

I’m getting a bit restless and I’m always impatient. People (lovingly) telling me what I should do makes me feel rushed. Yesterday, I was on the verge of a mini-freak out when I found this a graphic that said, “Don’t rush and never settle. If it’s meant to be, it will be.” That was a perfectly-timed find, along with another graphic that said, “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway. – Earl Nightingale”

I was completely meant to find both of those things when I did. I need to take a breath and try not to rush things, as well as not resigning to settle. I don’t want to settle for Omaha and I don’t want to settle for a not-quite-perfect job in Omaha. About the only thing I will settle for is a not-quite-perfect job in New York: as long as it’s at the company I want and there is room to move up, as far as I’m concerned, that’s a gold star.

I am also glad I was reminded not to give up on my dream to find a perfect job in New York. And the time is going to pass whether I keep working for it or not, so I might as well keep working for it. I just have to keep trying.

Getting a perfect job in New York could mean so many steps toward getting back to England someday. That alone is enough encouragement to not rush and not settle.

My only ‘resolution’ this year is to spend next New Year’s Eve in Times Square – which will only have been a subway ride away from my apartment.

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