Crazy Things Have Been Happening!

Its been a while since my last post…..Life turned crazy! A good brutal crazy!

Crazy Event #1: I decided to start looking for a different job…. So I have been working with kids for

In Front of Mooseheart

In Front of Mooseheart

about 4 years now, through the Peace Corps and through my employment at Mooseheart Child City and School. Now I will admit that I loved both of those jobs. Kids fill your life with the unexpected every day, and I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t admit that I had grown attached to the kids I worked with. There were even times while talking with family about my work that I referred to them at ‘my kids.’  So as I mentioned in previous posts I am seeing a wonderfully brutal man. (I might have to think of a new nickname for him…he might have took offense to the previous one…hahaha) Anyhow my job caused major restrictions on having a personal life. I am 31 years old, never married, and I have no  kids….. yeah a personal life seems like a good thing to have. So my job at Moosheart required to me live where I worked. I worked basically 24 hours a day for 5 days a week. Now I was allowed to sleep, but you are on-call while you sleep. My days off during the week were generally 2 consecutive days and they were generally on Thursday and Friday. Now that doesn’t seem too bad. Being off on Thursdays allowed me to go line-dancing with the girls, and I got to see the boyfriend on Friday, but with having to be back to work early Saturday morning lat

e nights out were not an option which limited us basically to staying in and watching TV… Though we are quite enjoying watching Game of Thrones and Modern Family together! 🙂 After a lot of thought and struggling over what was the right thing to do…. because I was basically going to leave kids after having built a relationship with them, and that is hard on the kids as well… In the end I decided that if I were going to give my boyfriend a

nd my relationship a fair chance, and if I were going to get back into the workforce at normal office hours so I can have a stable routine, Now, at 31 years old, was the time to do it. So I went for it and started the job hunt. I blasted my resume out on Monster and Careerbuilder, but all of the jobs I saw on there were generic and most of them didn’t tell too much about the company. Though I wanted to get back to having normal office hours, I still wanted to work for a company that was helping people in some way, shape, or form. Then my friend told me about idealist.org. I had never heard of it before, but it basically is a site that lists jobs, internships, and volunteer positions available with non-profit organization and the like. Their mission statement says: “Idealist is all about connecting idealists – people who want to do good – with opportunities for action and collaboration.”  I read that and was like, “How freaking cool is that! A job board right up my alley.”

The Subaru is All packed!

The Subaru is All packed!

So I started to look and the postings were amazing. So much going on in the world and opportunities to get your foot in them. I applied for jobs in the Chicago area for jobs as an Administrative Assistant. About a week after applying I started getting calls for phone interviews! I didn’t expect everything to go so quickly. I had an awesome phone interview where they asked me to come in for an in person interview the next week. That interview went so amazingly well! I left there saying, “I crushed it!” The of course gave me the whole, “We will finish interviewing this week and inform the applicant we choose by the end of next week.” So I waited in anticipation to hear that I got the job that I desperately wanted!!! While I was having breakfast on the next Wednesday (5 days after my interview) I got an email with a job offer contract in it! I was so excited. Of course I accepted it! Then the hard part came…. telling my boss and the kids that I was putting in my notice. The kids were really upset and my boss was completely confused. I felt really bad.  Then the next hardest thing was packing up all of my crap and moving in with friends. I hate packing and moving! And I had over 2 years of stuff that I had accumulated while working at Mooseheart that I need to go through and purge. That sucked! I threw away a lot of stuff and donated even more. Finally I packed up my little Subaru Impreza to the max and got friends to help me get everything out. I will admit that I cried as I drove off campus.

Crazy Event # 2I go on a road trip to Colorado…. The boyfriend has been entertaining that idea of taking a job transfer to Colorado. Neither one of us had ever been to Colorado, so we decided that we should take a trip out there to see what it was like. And neither one of us ever does anything the easy way, so we decided that it would be a GREAT! idea to drive! all 16 hours. I love trips! I get so excited that I have a hard time sleeping the night before. Steven (the boyfriend) didn’t know that about me…though I did warn him that I would probably wake up early. I was up at 4:00am and gently started to nudge him…. he opened an eye and mumbled something about me needing to go back to sleep… at which point I started jumping on the bed and shaking him… I became an annoying 5 year old! I even ran and turned on the light…. He might have definitely yelled at me at the point… I laughed and turned the light back off, but the damage had already been done!!!! He was awake! (I won). So we got dressed, packed the car, made sure that Slayer (the cat) had plenty of food and water, and we were on our way! 16 Hours! That includes us stopping for gas and food, but still. That is a long time to be driving in a car… In hindsight it might have been better to break the trip into 2 days, but we didn’t really have the time for that because I was started my new job on the 1st of June and it was the 27th when we left for Colorado. The first night in Denver we just ate and went to bed. I was passed out drooling before Steven even finished saying good night. The next day we decided to explore downtown Denver. We had so much fun. I had done a little of my Type Awesome researching, and found a few things I wanted to get pictures of and places I definitely wanted to go. So there is a huge blue bear peaking into the Convention Center Windows. Totally cool! I also wanted to picture in front on Union Station just because it was a ‘touristy’ thing to do! 🙂 I also found a place called Voodoo Doughnut that I really wanted to go to because their Doughnuts looked amazing, and they had a captain crunch one that I HAD TO TRY!!!! There was also a Brewing Company that I found called TRVE that I wanted to go to because I love craft beer and Steven loves Heavy Metal…. so a heavy metal brewing company sounded awesome! We decided to try a local diner for breakfast, I believe it was named ‘Doug’s’. It was amazing! I had a breakfast bowl full of potatoes, eggs, veggies, gravy, and other sauces I don’t even know what

Breakfast at Doug's

Breakfast at Doug’s

they were… but all together is was like heaven in a bowl! It was a great way to start our Colorado adventure. So we got to downtown Denver…..after I got us a bit lost, and we started walking around. It was awesome. They even had a free bus that took you up and down the main street mall. We saw a lot of things and I was not disappointed seeing the big blue bear and Union Station. I love doing touristy things. We didn’t make it to Voodoo Doughnut the first day but we were able to get to it on the way out of town (More on that later in this section). In the evening, before meeting an old coworker of Steven’s, we went to Trve Brewing Company, and it was better than anything I had imagined. Steven loved it too! The atmosphere was completely relaxed, dark, and you felt right at home. They had a HUGE long table to sit at, and the bartenders were awesome. Steven and I both tried one of their in house craft beers called Whiskey Funeral.  From the moment they Bartender put the bottle in front of me I was in

Hanging out at Trve

Hanging out at Trve

love. Then I tried it, and OMG! It was so smooth! Now I love a whiskey/bourbon barrel beer….this blew anything I have ever tried out of the water. It was 11.4% and went down like water. By the end of one bottle my nose and lips had started to go numb (of course I am a light weight and I hadn’t eaten anything). It was a good night! Buzzed off of one beer…..I am a cheap date.  The next day Steven and I decided to drive an hour and a half to go to Colorado Springs. We heard there were good trails and hiking, so we just wanted to see the area… and Steven wouldn’t be Steven if he didn’t have a plan for running. So of course we went to a park to run. When we got there we started to doing a few sprints to warm up and then we took off on our run….. I died. Breathing was so difficult, those ‘hills’ were murderous, and I blew out my knee going downhill.  The only satisfaction I got from that run was seeing that Steven wasn’t exactly happy with how his run went either. 🙂 (Misery might love a little company.) We tried to go to a couple of other parks like 7 Falls, but they were closed and not due to open until the next week.  That was a bummer. We ended up going to another area to do a scenic railway tour but we missed the damn train and it was the last train of the day. That sucked. So we explored to cute little town that was at the base of that mountain, had lunch, and then headed back to Denver. It was not the most successful of trips, but we had a good time together. We had planned on leaving Colorado on

Swimming in Style

Swimming in Style

Sunday morning, but the more we talked and thought about everything, with my job starting on Monday morning we figured it would be better to head back on Saturday….. well Steven decided that. imageWe started to morning getting our exercise… Steven went for a run and I went swimming. Then we checked out and started back.  We stopped downtown on the way out so I could FINALLY go to Voodoo Doughnut. The line was out the door, but I was content to wait! I got 4 doughnuts, a Captain my Captain (Captain Crunch), Dirt (cookies & Cream), Memphis Madness (Peanut butter & chocolate on a banana fritter), and a Diablo (chocolate cake doughnut with chocolate frosting and a pentagram design) for my brutally metal boyfriend. 4 doughnuts came to a little under $10… That Memphis madness fritter broke the bank at almost $5. Then we started our drive home. What a CRAPPY DRIVE! I got pulled over in Nebraska for speeding. I was going 86 in a 75 zone.  That cost me $123, and I was as sweet as can be. So after I cried and got pissed off that I had gotten a speeding ticket Steven took over driving cause of course I was then going under the speed limit, and he looked like someone was torturing him as he kept leaning over to glance at the speedometer. So Steven took over and then he got pulled over in Iowa for going 80 in a 70 zone…. He came back with a freaking WARNING! I was so pissed. He laughed and I didn’t talk to him for an hour. Our terrible drive home finally ended at 4:15am. We ate a little snack and then passed out.

Crazy Event # 3: I started my new job…. So I got an email a few days before I started my new job, from my new boss. He informed me that they were moving offices, so that I would not be reporting to the building I had interviewed in…… Great. Now I had no idea where the hell I was heading. I

Bathroom Selfie in my New Outfit

Bathroom Selfie in my New Outfit

immediately started to have an anxiety attack because I don’t know downtown Chicago, the loop, or any of that nonsense. I was imagining myself getting lost and being late my first day on the job. Not to mention that parking in the city is stupid expensive and I hate driving in traffic… so driving to work was not going to happen. So I frantically started looking up how to take the metra train in to Union Station and how to walk from there to the new address. Steven assured me that I would be fine and even took me shopping

Relaxing after work

Relaxing after work

for a new outfit for work to help calm my soul (retail therapy is amazing!). They first day of work was awesome. I like the new office space… it very open and bright. I have an amazing view from my desk. We are on the 21st floor. So COOL! The people I work with are laid back and fun. Everyone is helpful. I feel like I have made the right decision and choosing this place to work. Thus far I am very happy.  Another great thing about changing jobs is that at the end of the day I got HOME. I do not think about work. I am done until 8:30am the next morning. I go home and I get to have a glass of wine (there was absolutely no alcohol allowed on campus at Mooseheart), and sit in the hot tub or watch TV. Just being able to unwind from the day and start fresh in the morning is an amazing thing!

 

View from my desk

View from my desk

Crazy Things I want to Get Started:

I am the type of person who is never content to sit idle. I always want to be trying new things, and now that we are halfway through 2015 (how crazy is that!?!?), and my life is going I. A. Ew and exciting direction – I want to start adding different elements into my routines.

1. YouTube Channel…. Want to talk about all of the things that make up my brutally blissful life…. Kind of an echo to this blog.

2. Add more elements to this blog…. Product reviews, planning craziness (I love planners), book reviews, etc. Maybe even cooking adventures.

3. Starting an Erin Condren Life Planner….. I have been coveting the life planner for about a year. I think I am ready to take the plunge and get one. I also want to try my hand at creating stickers, dashboards, and accessories for it. I LOVE being crafty. I would of course put tutorials and views on my YouTube channel.

4. More outdoor adventures. Now that it’s summer it’s time to get out and see things and take lots and lots of pictures…. Maybe even start a brutal bliss Instagram account!

So those are just a few ideas. If any of you have suggestions please feel free to share the with me.  I also want to revamp the layout of the blog and make it more personalized. So I will be figuring that out shortly.

I will keep everyone posted on how these things are coming along.

More Pictures from Colorado:

Bear Outside the Convention Center

Bear Outside the Convention Center

Union Station

Union Station

Whiskey Funeral Bottle

Whiskey Funeral Bottle

Advertisements

A Different Road….

One of the most difficult decisions I have had to make, came once I finished my physical therapy after my back surgery and the doctor cleared me to go back to normal. Do I apply to return to my Peace Corps service in Indonesia? Or, do I forge ahead and take a different road in life? After seeking advice from many people and getting comments about how I am “Not a Spring Chicken any longer” or how my “baby bearing days are almost at an end” I decided to think about my decision and come up with a plan that was best for me. All I knew at the time was that after being in pain and having limited movement from May 2012 to January 2013, It was time to take action and get my life jump started. After much debate, tears of frustration, and talking to other Peace Corps Volunteers and friends, I made the decision NOT to go back to Indonesia, and try to start my life here in the States. My best friend Emily (We banded together in College when we sat next to each other in an African American Lit class with a teacher that didn’t really appreciate our thoughts and views, and have been best friends ever since) told me that she had talked to her parents about my staying in the States and wanting to start fresh, and they were kind enough to make me the offer to move up to Chicago and stay with them while I looked for a job and got on my feet. There would be no rush, and I could take my time looking for a job that I actually wanted. After thinking about it and weighing out all of my options, I decided to take them up on their extremely generous offer and moved up to Illinois smack dab in the middle of winter in January.

Jacket

Where I am living in the suburbs of Chicago is pretty amazing. I am getting used to the cold out here, though there are days that I look like an Eskimo when I go outside. We have tons of farm fields out here and wide open spaces. Every time I take a drive, I can’t get over how pretty it is out here. There are also tons of birds of prey around here. I see hawks and falcons every day. Harry and Libby (Emily’s Parents) took me to go Eagle watching a few weeks back. It was pretty amazing. We bundled up and went out to one of the dams in the area. There were about 5 bald eagles in the tree, and we watched as they flew around and swooped into the water to catch fish. There were a ton of people out there taking pictures with these amazingly awesome cameras and lenses. I WANT ONE! Maybe one of these days I will be out there with them. We have gotten a couple of snow storms and are due for another this week, but nothing too terrible. Its giving me good practice for the future winters. I even went out and shoveled the walkway (it seems just plain wrong to sweat that much when there is so much snow all around you).

Neighborhood

I am not that far from the city. I live probably 5 – 10 minutes from the train station, and just take that right in to downtown. That being said I have only been into the city a few times. I went a few weeks ago for a night out with my friend Travis. We went to an underground circus show that totally blew my socks off. The people were beyond talented and it was absolutely breath taking. I can’t even imagine the stamina and training it takes to do the things that they were able to do… tight rope walking, trapeze, ribbons. etc. Absolute craziness. But it was an AMAZING time and we had a lot of laughs.

Circus2

Circus1

I also started the craziness that is Job Searching. There is nothing that stresses me out more than having to sit down and search for a job. Its not just looking for a job that doesn’t sound like I would want to scratch my eyeballs out while working, it is the nervous wreck I become while I sit and wait for a call back, or go for an interview. I always wonder why haven’t I heard back from anyone? Am I not qualified for a job that I felt like a monkey could do? So needless to say I have been a little stressed and irritable. That being said, I did find a job, and even though it seems like it took FOREVER, it didn’t take that long… maybe a month total. I was hired at Mooseheart Child City and School as a Family Teacher. Mooseheart is a residential childcare facility, located on a 1,000-acre campus west of Chicago. Its a home for children and teens in need, from infancy through high school. The position requires me to live on campus in one of the homes of the kids. I will be there to help the kids with every day life problems. homework, teaching them how to do every day chores and tasks, learn responsibility, how to do laundry, banking, etc. The goal is to teach them the skills they will need to survive after graduation when they are on their own. I will be working in the boys community. I am nervous and excited at the same time. I start mid March, and have to go through 3 weeks of training before I take on responsibilities at the house. This is exactly the kind of job I was hoping to find. I am still striving to do good, and help kids in need. That to me makes the perfect career, and I couldn’t ask for a better way to start my new life.

Moose Statue on Campus

Moose Statue on Campus

Also new… after over 2 years of growing my hair out naturally and not having anyone touch it (not even a trim) I decided to go and get my hair trimmed to remove the split ends and help it grow. To cut my hair they had to flat iron it straight. I love how it looks. It is tempting me to permanently straighten my hair.

Straight Hair

So my new journey has started here in Illinois… Lets hope this one is successful and fulfilling.