Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Roadblock #172

I was so disappointed to find out today that one of my nannying references is actually NOT giving me a good reference. I've never been concerned that any reference provided for me would be anything less than positive. I feel slightly betrayed but mostly embarrassed. 

You may be wondering how I found this out. Well, someone I interviewed with called and said some things the reference said "raised some concerns" and she wanted to ask me about them to see if they were explainable. I was grateful that she brought it to my attention instead of just writing me off, and now I know not to use this reference anymore. She portrayed me as unreliable! I am totally aware of my faults, but I was a great nanny for her and definitely was not unreliable. Of course I didn't hear the actual conversation so I could be off base, but from what I know, her portrayal of me and our working relationship in general was inaccurate. 

I'm bummed because I don't have very many recent nanny references since most of my childcare work was in Oregon many years ago. Despite my education, my skills, and my experience in a variety of fields, I feel inadequate! Whether it's a nanny job or a professional job (not that nannies are unprofessional but I don't know how else to make the distinction), it seems I don't have what it takes. Yuck! I hate this feeling. 

Still I press on. I have an interview on Friday morning so fingers crossed. 

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Maintaining Friendships

I couldn't think of an interesting title for this post. Since I graduated from Chapman, I have been continuously struggling with how to maintain friendships. In fact, I really haven't maintained them at all. I used to think maybe it was due to my relationship, or being busy with work, or just no longer being in such close proximity to your friends. No more club meetings, classes, meals in the cafeteria, dorm living, or sorority events. But that really isn't it at all. At least, that not the entire problem. 

I've been invited to plenty of events. I get the emails, but for whatever reason I don't go. People even invited me to important things like graduations, and I didn't go. I'm not that busy. Most of the time I'm home alone. I don't live with my boyfriend nor do I even see him everyday. Every so often I kick myself in the ass for not reaching out to my old friends, and I pick up the phone. But eventually I run out of steam and I can't keep it up. Or, they flake on me and I get discouraged so I give up. I haven't talked to my study abroad friends in about two years. I haven't seen or talked to my sorority sisters for anywhere from one to three years. I haven't seen my MEChA friends for the same amount of time, and I haven't talked to my BSU friends aside from facebook occasional wall posts for that long either. 

I realize that I kept many of my friends at arms length. I was content to play the role of a silly, goofy person that made everyone laugh but rarely connected with people on a deep level. That's not to say my friendships were meaningless or our conversations were meaningless. I think I always kept a partial wall up. 

When I look at pictures of people who have stayed close, I feel jealous. I don't have that with anyone except my blood sister! It's no one's fault but my own. Do you know how many friends of mine have gotten married? Quite a few. Do you know how many weddings I've been invited to? One. If I got married tomorrow, my guest list would be pretty small. I don't know why this is so hard for me, but I know I have to work on it and work on myself until I figure it out. 

I have known a lot of amazing people, a lot of amazing women in particular, and I need to learn how to be a better friend to them, if they'll have me. 

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Let Your Unemployed Voices Be Heard!!

I have a tendency to give perfect strangers way more information than necessary in response to questions like "How are you?" Once, I told a salesgirl in Nordstrom that I couldn't splurge on a necklace because I had been utilizing retail therapy too much since becoming unemployed and I had to get it under control. I think the question she had asked me was, "would you like to see it?" On Wednesday I left my nanny job feeling overwhelmed and filled with anxiety. So, I decided a trip to Trader Joe's was in order. I filled my basket with strawberries, chocolate pudding, chocolate covered pretzels, cookie dough, and a box of frozen chocolate croissants. The cashier took a look at my items and said "oooh look what you've got going on here," to which I replied, "that's what happens when you're unemployed and start eating your feelings." He didn't quite know what to say, so I continued. "You know, you're feeling kind of sad and down on yourself so you indulge in some chocolate to lift your feelings. You eat your feelings, and feel better. It's instant gratification, but it's temporary." He laughed uncomfortably and said something about 15 minutes of happiness being a good start. 

For a brief moment I felt embarrassed. Why did I tell him that? Why did I make him feel uncomfortable. Then I realized, because it's the truth! The reality of the recession is that somewhere around 9 or 10% (what's the current number?) of the country is unemployed, and most of us are feeling sad and funky, eating a lot, and probably watching a lot of t.v. So I urge all of you fellow unemployed people to say what's on your mind. Tell the grocery clerk that the only party you're having is with the Real Housewives of Atlanta and Jeff Lewis at this hot new club called the Bravo network. Tell the retail clerk why you must resist her sale merchandise. Tell the guy at the gas station that you can't buy his miraculous windshield cleaner because Uncle Sam doesn't pay enough. Tell them all! Watch them smile uncomfortably and move along. 

By the way, I didn't make it beyond the face to face interview. There goes that theory that once they got to see me and talk to me, I'd be a shoe in. 

Til next time! 

Monday, October 5, 2009


My brother and my niece in Springfield. She was upset. 

With Steph at Starbucks with my family before we had to separate! 

The old water tower literally around the corner from my hotel in Chicago. (Channeling Rachel Zoe with my use of the word literally). 

Sister Sarah holding wigglebottoms  Addison. 

With Mom and Dad at waiting for Dad to receive his fellow award from ASLA

At lunch with my beautiful sisters and nephew in Chicago

Pictures of my nephew will motivate me to figure anything out. This toolbar above my typing wasn't there while typing the last blog. Egg on my face. 

Eating pizza at the famous Gino's East in Chicago

Driving to the park in Springfield

Those are just a few highlights from my trip to Illinois! It's always so bittersweet seeing my family though. When I'm with them, it fills my heart to the brim! But, when we have to leave each other it seems to hurt worse every time. 

A New Obsession

This blog will be less about the woes of unemployment and more about how I've been spending my time lately. Scouring the internet, and even venturing out into the real world to look for, chairs, fabric, end tables, pillows, headboards, drapes, frames, art, wallpaper, I could go on but I will stop. It started as me looking for inspiration to spruce up my little apartment-house. The walls are white, the oddly placed wood trim is oak and NOT white. It's ugly. My windows are beautiful, but my janky white plastic shades are not. 

While searching, I have fallen in love with certain styles that are way beyond my price range and even what space in my little apartment will allow. I read style blog after blog, my favorite one so far being Matters of Style. I should link you to it but I don't really know how. I'm new to blogging. I'm obsessed. I spent my entire weekend looking at things I either cannot afford or cannot fit! I have yet to do any homework this week! It's out of control. The worst part is, I haven't actually purchased anything. Fabric samples, magazine clippings and a few spray painted picture frames is all I have to show for my hours of searching. I'm reluctant to spend money since I don't really have much to spend, but I decided I will either start my tufted headboard project or wall art project next weekend. At least then I will have something to show for my efforts. I will figure out how to add links and photos (I know it's not hard, I just can't be bothered to look right now because craigslist furniture section is calling out to me!) and I'll post my progress. 

To quickly give a job update, I had two interviews with a lovely family in Los Alamitos and should find out today or tomorrow if they've chosen me as their nanny. I picked up some weekend gigs in Irvine and Newport Beach (and those people are crazy enough to warrant their own blog entry or even their own blog). Also, I had a phone interview for what I like to call a career job, as opposed to a nanny job. I believe I have a face to face interview on Wednesday, but it hasn't been confirmed. 

Speaking of which, now I must pose a question to my unemployed peers and others as well. This job would have me traveling within South County, as far South as San Juan Capistrano. Although I'm really interested in the position and we all know I need the work, is it ridiculous that I feel reluctant about it because of location? I guess I could move and just have a long commute to school once a week instead of a longish commute to work every day. Is there any room for being selective in this economy? After all my efforts, what if I'm offered the job and my instincts are telling me to turn it down? How does one balance finding a job as quickly as you can with finding one that is right for you? Considering I'm only 1/4 of the way through the interview process, I very well may be putting the cart before the horse. Nevertheless, I'd love to hear anyone's opinion on the matter. 

'Til next time, when I post some apartment makeover pictures!
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