“We wish with our hands, that’s what we do as artists.”
― Jandy Nelson,
This is basically a summation of the past two months of my life, when a ton of growth happened and shot me into 2016.
First, there was a job. I spent most of November lazily applying for jobs, feeling a loss of hope that 5 months had passed since I had left K feeling vibrant and intelligent, only to have prospective employers throw me away as if I wasn’t worthy. I decided to try for the mall, hoping some holiday seasonal position would scoop me up and spit me out in January, or even hire me on full time. It was a last attempt before I sent my resume out to temp agencies. And honestly, I was exhausted from just trying anymore. This summer, I was approached to work for an individual (who wanted me to edit his manuscript, only to flake out on me after 4 months of scheduling conflicts, Starbucks brainstorming sessions, a few over-the-phone Google doc edits and one paycheck), was called by 4 retail or food prep positions, sent in over 75 job applications, interviewed for 4 jobs, and was “hired” once (only to not hear anything back ever again).
Finally, I applied to LUSH Cosmetics, a company I have long adored for their commitment to sustainable packaging, organic ingredients, fair trade, and refusal to test on animals. LUSH’s claim to fame is the bath bomb– a typically round ball of baking soda, essential oils, and food dyes that turn baths into fizzing, whirling wonderlands that smell amazing. I could talk about LUSH for days, but I won’t. I’ll leave it at this: I applied, I was hired, I spent approximately one month putting my persuasive skills to use and selling hundreds of soaps, bath bombs, shampoos, etc., all while meeting some really great people. Maybe some day I’ll be willing to talk about the shit storm I ran into with them, because there are always pros and cons, even when it came to just simply getting a paycheck, but hey, it’s all water under the bridge now.
During my month at LUSH, one of my best friends, Kaleigh, came home from school which meant I was visiting her house and talking to her parents more. Kaleigh’s mom recommended me for a temporary position as a graphics proofreader at her company. For me, this was such an honor, especially since my experience at LUSH was nearing its end. I received a call for a phone interview, and waited. After a week, I got another phone call saying that the position had been filled, but they were so happy with my phone interview that they wanted me to come in to interview in person for a different position in their financial reports department. So I did, and last week, I got an offer!
I know it’s a far cry from my first job goals after graduating college. I always told myself I would never be able to work in an office and do the same thing everyday. But once I interviewed, and after a solid month of wacky hours, grumpy sales associates and customers, and making a little over $9/hr, I decided it was time to try something different. The interview was very relaxed; I barely talked about myself, but was more told what the job would be, and how they understood that no, this job was not what I was looking for with my degree, but that they saw it as a really good opportunity for me to gain new skills, get the company name under my belt, and be a good stepping stone for me to go into editing or whatever I chose later on. To me, that was an amazing concept: I’m not expected to be there forever, and they aren’t trying to squelch my current skills, but explore other areas that I may be good at while I start looking into grad school and pay off some of my student loans.
In the past six months I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I want, and I truly believe that for right now, this is it. I get that some people see it as me wasting my potential, or giving in too soon, but I have been so stressed about money or getting a car and paying my bills, that I want some security. To me, security is a worthy adventure to go on until I find myself wanting something else.
Second, there was alcohol. And maybe it wasn’t a lot, my post-grad drinking has significantly decreased since June, but it still exists, just in more of an adultier way. I accidentally got a little past tipsy on New Year’s Eve from my margarita bar I made for my friends and I. Accidentally. As in I was like “ah I’ll just enjoy one drink or two” and those two drinks made me drunk. Safe to say my alcohol tolerance went wayyy down after not going to Pitcher Night at Waldo’s for a few months. Funny enough, though, my desire to drink has also gone down since I graduated. Maybe it’s the fact that my parents don’t really drink so I would be drinking alone, or that drinking is expensive, but I currently have three limes going bad because I haven’t taken advantage of my friend’s Christmas gift of Moscow Mule ingredients. That’s besides the point though. Here it is: Going to a bar and having a drink or two with friends I haven’t seen in a while, or even going to get one drink with Kaleigh before going to the movies has drastically altered my drinking experience. It’s more thoughtful, especially since we have to get into a car and drive after we drink so we are more careful. The memories I’ve made are sharper and more fun to me.
Third, there was a lot of friendship. The months of December and November consisted of me doing a lot of things to be with others. I worked a lot, made new friends, and got to start the gifting season by thoughtfully making things for people. My friend Chelsea’s birthday and my lack of funds sparked me to wing an embroidery project that she really loved and I loved working on. I started embroidering more things for people, and while I still have some finishing up to do, I’m glad I took the time to make things for people instead of just buying stuff. Ultimately, I have had an amazing support group of friends for many years, but the three pictured above have been so wonderful and I cherish them every single day that I get to spend with them. We were often too busy to see each other in the past months, but when we get together, it’s phenomenal fun.
Finally, there was a book.
“This is what I want: I want to grab my brother’s hand and run back through time, losing years like coats falling from our shoulders.” — Jandy Nelson, I’ll Give You the Sun
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson was the first book of 2016 I’ve read. It’s a great YA novel, not just because it focuses on LGBT*QA issues, but because of the language. Nelson’s ability to mesh fiction with poetry made my reading experience so page-gripping and thoughtful, it was refreshing. Because of this novel, I started writing again. I wanted to write this post, I wrote a poem a few days ago. Hell, I stared writing a NOVEL I had an idea for over a year ago. Just having this book come into my life and to relish it made me realize how much I love to write again, especially using my storytelling poetry skills again. I even started looking into grad schools.
I just feel like this turn of the year has been off to a great start, and I am very happy to share these next moments with you.
Until next time,