Change is inevitable..

The last time I posted was nine months ago. To say a lot has happened in those nine months is the understatement of the year. I’ve been through, grown, learned and achieved so much in that time it’s insane to think of where my life was then.  In my last post, I wrote about how although bad days happen, a bad day does not mean a bad life. Little did I know, a few short months later my life was about to CHANGE.

Six months ago, I got pneumonia. For 14 days straight I could not work, I could barely eat or get out of bed. It took me 9 days just to get into the doctor to finally find out how sick I actually was. On day 1, I could barely walk to the bathroom. On day 3, I couldn’t eat without coughing uncontrollably. On day 6, my relationship of 3 1/2 years ended. On day 8, I moved out of the place I called my home and moved back in with my parents. On day 15 (my first day back to work), I put in my letter of resignation to my job at the bank. Everything was happening so fast and there was very little I was able to control. I was broken-hearted, my immune system was shot, and I was 21, feeling like the last few years of my life were a complete waste of time.

At this point, it was hard to believe that it wasn’t a bad life. It was difficult to understand why everything was happening the way it was. Everything happens for a reason, right? Well guess what?! You don’t always get to know what the reason is. That’s not easy to accept when it feels like your whole world is crumbling around you.

Now, I know this post seems like a bit of a downer but I felt it necessary to start at the beginning because it’s why I am where I am now.

Well…where am I?

I’m working at a job I don’t dread going to everyday. I’m enjoying going out on a Saturday night and letting the cute guy at the bar buy me a beer…or three. I’m having board game nights with friends and staying up way too late drinking wine with my best friend. I’m going on dinner dates and road trips and music festivals. I’ve experienced more life in the last six months than I ever have and that is an amazing feeling.

The weird thing is, although I feel like I had to start over again as if I was 18 again, I’ve never really felt like I was acting my age until recently. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but I’m working on figuring that out. The last year before all these changes happened I was obligated to make decisions that I thought were going to give me a better life in the long run even if it meant being slightly unhappy at first.

That’s the thing about change. Sometimes it sucks, sometimes it hurts, and sometimes it’s just flat out miserable but eventually it might end up being the best thing that ever happened to you. Whether it’s the end of a toxic relationship, quitting your job, or moving back to your parents house as an adult. Sometimes we have to play the hand we’re dealt and make the best of it. It’s been six months since my whole life changed and through the tears and the heartache I could not be more appreciative of the opportunity I have been given to give myself a better life than I would have settled for….

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What I learned working at my first job

 

I remember being almost 16, work permit in hand, being driven around town by my mom going into places like the new Baskin Robbins that was opening up, asking for applications. I probably only filled out half of them, and never turned in any. Looking back now, I wish I would have went out and got a job while I was in High School. Maybe I would have been more distracted by my fat stacks of cash than why that boy I liked wasn’t texting me back. All joking aside, when I did get my first job, I was fresh out of school, no plans for fall, and not one cent in my pocket aside from change I made babysitting that mostly just covered the cost of gas in my Volvo. I had no idea what to expect, where the job would take me, or even what I was really getting myself into.

The great thing about growing up in a small town, there’s usually one or two businesses hiring, and at least one of them has someone you’re either related to or friends with that already works there. In my case, it was the restaurant on Main St. next to the hotel my mom used to work at. I’d basically grown up at the place. They used to serve Sarsparilla on tap when I was younger. I’d go to work with my mom and hang out next door with whoever was working that day. Never would have thought I was going to end up working there…and when I started I never would have expected to learn as much as I did. No job is perfect, but every job is an opportunity to learn.

For two years I bussed tables. I know, I know, it wasn’t rocket science or anything but my job was hard. Not so much because the tasks themselves were difficult, but working with the public, is physically and emotionally taxing. People are genuinely mean for no reason other than the fact that they can be. There were nights I left work, got in my car and cried my eyes out for fifteen minutes before driving home. I kept asking myself if the minimum wage and crappy tip percentage was really worth it. In the end, the only regret I have is letting so much crap, for lack of a better word, get to me! The drama between coworkers (sometimes caused by yours truly, I mean let’s be real), the stress of a Sunday Brunch rush when the hot head line cook is cussing out the server in the window and there’s a 4 top with two kids sitting nearby listening, the unknown substance I cleaned up off the bathroom floor (more than once), or that one server that under tips and over works you…it’s all part of the job, it’s not personal. Regardless of all that, if you work in the restaurant industry, whether you’re back of house or front, you build a connection with each other and you become a family, even if you’re a bit dysfunctional. For me, I gained a second dad (Love you, C.J.!), a big brother (who doubles as a pretty awesome manager), amazing friends that I know are always a phone call away, and most importantly, the best friend I could ever ask for and would give my life for.

Not everything about your first job is terrible. I learned a lot about myself and gained the work ethic I lacked for so many years growing up. I learned to appreciate food in a new perspective and gained a huge respect for those who are capable of cooking great food in such a fast-paced setting. I learned that whatever reason that customer or that coworker is being so rude is not my business, but maybe putting in the effort to make their day better doesn’t hurt anyone. I learned that sometimes the reason our bosses aren’t hearing us, is because we’re going the wrong way about reaching out to them. Last but not least, the one thing from my first job that was the most incredibly important lesson; I learned that you aren’t entitled to anything you don’t earn.

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-The Girl in the Glitter

 

5 reasons why it’s okay you didn’t go to college right away

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

I’m just going to be real here, education is ridiculously important. Unless you’re planning on becoming rich and famous overnight, a college degree will at least put you in better shape statistically when it comes to climbing that financial ladder. However, if you know you’re not quite ready to jump back into the classroom, THAT’S OKAY TOO. At 20 years old, not one day have I ever regretted the decision to wait to go to college, and these are the reasons why:

1. Just because you’re “supposed” to go to college, doesn’t mean you have to.

So many of my classmates from high school are now drowning in student loans chasing a degree in something they’re not actually interested in, all because they felt like they were obligated to. It’s easy to feel pressure from parents, teachers, and peers but remember it’s YOUR future, not theirs.

2. You have no idea what you want to do with your life.

Jumping into a University isn’t going to make you wake up one day and realize I want to be a ____ when I grow up. Okay, it could happen, but why spend thousands of dollars on a maybe? Now I’m not saying you can’t take any classes at all. Take that life drawing class you’ve been wanting to take, (p.s. those models are naked and are not limited to ages 20-65) or even take a pilates or kickboxing class and avoid the dreaded freshman 15, do you!

3. You’ve got no idea how to pay bills or live on your own.

Okay, this one is for those of you that were given the opportunity to live at home for free, take classes at your local CC, and be home in time for a nice home-cooked meal from mom. As amazing as that sounds, couple years later when you’re moving away and looking for a job, what experience do you have on your resume? How do you pay rent? Why is car insurance so expensive? HOW much did I spend on food last month, what’s a temporary check and how do I order real ones?… These are the questions you’re asking Mom when you call her begging her to send some cash just to keep the lights on. Sometimes, moving a couple towns over and working a minimum wage job (or a couple jobs) teaches you the fundamentals of adulthood. And Mom is still close enough to come over and cook you dinner every once in awhile. wink. wink.

4. You don’t qualify for any financial aid.

I know there is a billion and one scholarships out there. Sometimes they’re even a little ridiculous. I remember applying for one that was exclusively for left-handed girls with blonde hair…really? Even with odds like those, sometimes your sob-story essay isn’t as good as the next person, and your state and federal says, “Sorry, maybe next semester!” I promise you, paying student loans with every cent you make brewing coffee at Starbz is no way to experience life after high school.

5. The world is out there waiting for you.

Have you ever seen a real waterfall? Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon? Asked the grinning bobcat why he grins? SEIZE THE DAY. One of my best friends hitchhiked from Illinois to California with not much in his pockets. He even lived in a tent for a few months. 6 years later he’s managing a successful and classy restaurant and even helped them achieve a 1 million dollar goal his first year as general manager. This position did not come easy, long hours and hard work but he also has told me some of the best stories of the places he’s seen and the amazing people he’s met along the way. Between music festivals on the rise, and so many beautiful things to see in the world that maybe spending the BEST years of my life in a classroom isn’t where I want to be just yet.

 

This year a lot of the people I went to high school with are graduating with their Associate degrees and off to Universities for bigger and better opportunities. I am beyond proud of them and cannot wait to see what lemons life gives them and hope they’re smart enough to make lemonade! I don’t live my life semesters at a time, I live my life a day at a time knowing there is no time limit on a college education. I will get my degree, on my own time and maybe after I take a trip to Thailand or Brazil. -The Girl in the Glitter