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

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When it Rains it Pours

I just took three ibuprofen trying to ebb the tension headache that is pounding behind my eyeballs.  So while I wait for my skull to return to normal I am going to do a little therapeutic blogging. To say that the past couple of days have been emotionally draining would be a drastic understatement. I have cried in the privacy of my room for two days. I have gone between anger, sadness, and calm reserve on a roller coaster ride that has left my nerves shot.  So What happened? What happened to all of my positive “You can do anything talk?” That hasn’t gone away completely, but sometimes it gets hard to keep the positive going when you are hit with one thing after another… and the feeling like you are drowning takes over.

I take pride in my work. I want to excel at what I do, no matter what it is. I want people to walk around and say “hey that girl has her stuff together!” I am my worst critic, and I tend to view even constructive criticism as a negative. Is that rational? No not at all, but I never claimed to be the most level headed person in the world. That leads me to my story.

So I was sleeping off my vacation in Yogyakarta (another blog post to come) when my phone buzzed to life. It was a staff member from Peace Corps saying that she had just talked to one of my co-teachers and that she would like to talk to me. I immediately went on alert trying to figure out what I had done wrong. Upon talking to her, I found out that my co-teachers felt like I should be doing more and being a bigger resource to them and their teaching methods. I immediately got angry. I am a decent teacher. I love my kids, they enjoy their class time with me. What was she talking about that I wasn’t doing enough!? Then I thought about all the meetings I tried to hold that were canceled and all of the ideas I have presented that were not deemed acceptable… and my anger just grew. Then I thought about how my co-teacher and friend went directly to Peace Corps to voice her complaints instead of talking to me directly… and my anger grew. Now I am the type of person that when I get really angry… I cry. I don’t know why, but I always have. And I am the type of person that tends to freak out first and then go back and problem solve. Its a little backwards I know, but like I said, I never claimed to be the most level headed person. So I got off the phone after my brain shorted out and I started to give clipped one word answers to the Peace Corps staff, I went to my room, and then proceeded to have the most glorious freak out of my life. When it was over and I could breathe again, I started to think about everything that was said, and really analyze the situation or situations as the case may be.

Situation 1…. Why did my co-teacher / friend go to Peace Corps instead of first talking to me about her concerns.  My first thought was that she must secretly hate me and wanted me to get into trouble. Possible… but maybe a bit melodramatic.  Then I thought about it from her point of view… She speaks English as a foreign language. And when she and I talk we do not always understand what the other person is saying. Peace Corps offers staff members that are fluent in both Indonesian and English. So it possibly could have been more comfortable for her to voice her concerns in her native language and then have Peace Corps be able to relay those to me in a way that I would understand… with nothing lost in translation. Ok. Makes sense. Am I happy about it. No. But I understand.

Situation 2…. What is the issue with my teaching skills?  First reaction was to be like.. “My teaching skills… lady what about yours!” But resorting to being a 5 year old wasn’t going to solve anything. So thinking about it all, I decided… Am I perfect? Hell no. Do I have all of the teaching answers? Definitely not even close. Can I improve on my teacher to teacher communication and lesson planning? Definitely. Does her concern say I am a terrible teacher? No. It says that she wishes that I would give her more teaching ideas and strategies. Understandable. I am only here for two years, she will be teaching much longer after I am gone. So for sustainability purposes adjustments need to be made. So I am going to push to have weekly meetings to lesson plan and talk about what our goals for the week are. We will go from there… I will hear what their expectations of me are, I will share what my expectations of them are, and we will compromise and meet somewhere in the middle. Does this whole thing suck? A little, but it can be tackled and solved.

So with all of that brainstorming I woke up this morning feeling so much better, and ready to start the day. I went to school, to plan and prepare for the radio show that I was doing with my co-teacher and a student to talk about learning English with me. I was still a little worn out, but things didn’t seem impossible.

Then my phone started buzzing this morning at 10:30 and it was Peace Corps, telling me that they would like to have a conference call with me. Again warning bells went off and I started to freak out and get sick to my stomach. So upon reading the message  they said that they would call at 11:30. I had an hour to wait and imagine the worst scenarios possible. When the phone rang I answered to discover that a couple of new issues had popped up in the middle of all of the stuff from the previous day…  1)My host mother would like me to move out and find a new place to live. I immediately felt hurt and betrayed. I thought that we had a very good and close relationship. 2) The school is a bit tired of having to pick me up every morning to bring me to school. Since I got hit by the truck I have been unable to bike to school due to the back injury. So what I thought was a good arrangement apparently is leaving people bitter that they have to be my chauffeur. Again I felt hurt and like I was a burden that no one wanted to deal with.  The tears started flowing again, this time from sadness rather than anger. And I said something that I didn’t think I would say: “I am just done. This isn’t worth it anymore.”I went home and cried in my room again. Calmed down (sort of) and then went to go talk to my host mother. She started crying as she explained that she loved me and that I am family, but the house was very crowded and all of my host siblings are preparing to move back home. So there just isn’t enough room for everyone. I told her that I understood and that I was just sad because I was really happy living with her and her family. She apologized more and I reassured her that it was ok. Then I went up to my room, and screamed “This sucks!” into my pillow.  Then I figured that I can solve both of these new issues with one move. I will move into a home closer to the school.  That way I can walk to school and my current host family has the room they need for their expanding family. It this ideal?Not at all. I hate it. I am very sad and still a little hurt that I am being booted out of what I have come to feel is my home. But I am not going to let it affect my relationship with a fantastic family…. I hope that I am able to continue to be close with them for the next year I am here.

So this brings me to my current place.. Laying in my bed with a pounding head… feeling a bit weepy, and trying to figure out if I have what it takes to hack it for another year.  I hope the answer is yes.  Though I am ready to throw in the towel I know that I have come too far now to just quit… and if I am honest… I would miss my students and Indonesia terribly.

I know you can’t always have 100% positive days. Some days just plain suck the big one. The past two days have been those kind of days. I am emotionally drained and very much frazzled, but I am hoping that tomorrow is better and this rain cloud that has settled over me starts to dry up and I can get rid of this drowning feeling.