Summer is coming to a close. I feel like I’ve wasted it. Typically, I would have done more but a few things were holding me back.  One is quite sad.  I’ve had a nasty rash for months.  As a result, I’ve attempted to cover up and being covered up in the summer with heat = miserable.  So, I haven’t been out and about as much.  I went to one dermatologist who misdiagnosed it a few years ago.  He didn’t listen and kind of operated in a vacuum.  He was a referral from my PCP.  So recently, it’s gotten much worse.  My mom is a RN had no idea that I’d still been dealing with this issue until recently.  She found a new dermatologist since I wasn’t motivated enough on my own.  He called it pretty quickly and said it was eczema.  Not great since this will be an ongoing issue but at least I have a treatment plan.

Now since I know what is, I’m a little less covered up.  If someone asks, I’m like it’s eczema.  It’s weird that I feel more free knowing this one detail.  So now, I’m restless trying to cram in a bunch of activities.  I saw De La Soul on Thursday at the Hopscotch festival.  I affectionately refer to them as De La.  They were amazing and it was my first time ever seeing them.  I’m going to hold them to their promise to come back to NC!

The next night I hit up the outdoor movie series to see the Grand Budapest Hotel at the NC Museum of Art. I went to both events solo.  I was supposed to go with someone to the concert but the threat of thunderstorms scared them off.  For the movie, I asked a couple of people at the last minute and both already had plans.  I love Wes Anderson movies, they’re delightful and quirky.

Next up, I found a Old School Hip Hop night at one of my old haunts, Five Star in the warehouse district.  One of my friends has said she’d go because she loves Old School Hip Hop and is attracted to my spontaneous energy.  Okay, it feels frenetic but we’ll go with spontaneous.  I plan to dance and rap along with the songs and leave in utter exhaustion.

I hung out with a guy on Saturday afternoon and I told him that I was restless and being at home doesn’t appeal to me.  He suggested we hang out at my house that night.  Wrong!  A) We just met, not safe and B) What part of restless do you not understand?

So clearly, we didn’t hang out.  I ended up calling it early night since I barely ate all day and had a mild headache.  A rationale person would have eaten…

As I type this email, I’m trying to tell myself that it’s okay that my only plans today included church, dinner with my mom and frozen yogurt with a girlfriend.  I want to see the new Woody Allen movie but know it’ll conflict with my mom’s dinner plan…It can’t all be my design!

Thankful for the Small Things

Anyone who knows me, knows that I despise snow. It started once I hit high school. When I was younger, the idea of a snow day was appealing. When you get older and start to have a social life, you realize that snow slows things down. Especially when you live in the South. They put brine down on the roads but they’re slow to clean the roads.

It snowed a bit where I am. Since I despise snow, I usually opted to go home from work before it started to snow. Actually my current manager suggested we go home before the rush. I went home pretty early and then logged onto the network and continued to work. My company opened at 10 this morning, no surprise. I planned to work from home if anything fell from the sky. As did most of my team, I assume.

Then I flipped to CNN. It made me really glad that we have a resources to address snow and the school districts tend to err on the side of caution. I also feel for the kids (and their parents) who were on buses until midnight and stuck in schools (and the teachers and staff). I’m not sure who is at fault, it seems like a combination of issues. My mom suggested that our governor will take credit for doing something amazing since that didn’t happen here. I said he didn’t do anything that wasn’t done by any governor before him. I’d almost venture to say that most departments probably know what to do and how to prepare without him…

That’s what they do, right?

More importantly, I’m glad that I know I don’t drive on snowy/icy roads. Therefore, I need to be home before any precipitation falls from the sky.

Once we got 20 inches of snow. My company was slow to close. The governor made a plea for people to stay home. I called my supervisor at the time and left her a voicemail that the governor said stay home and I was taking a day of PTO. They closed after I went back to bed. I was in grad school and a classmate called later that morning. I asked if he was at work. He laughed and said how long have you been asleep? He told me that the company later made an announcement that they weren’t opening. All that said, I make those kind of decisions for myself!

What’s Your Mantra?

I was asked this in a recent job interview. I paused and blurted out, If you’re not growing, you’re dying. I saw this years ago at a trainer’s desk and it resonated. This probably explains why I like “Who Moved My Cheese.” Last night, I was participating in a leadership retreat and we were asked to create a symbol that represented ourselves out of Play Doh.  I opted to create a ladder.

While I believe in trying to try to improve myself in many respects, learning more about the Bible, career wise and exploring my interests.  I also like to take people along  for the ride with me or share what I’ve experienced or learned.  So, the ladder isn’t just about me.  I’ve had people help me up the ladder and I’d definitely like to do the same.

My mother felt the need to check me this week with regards to my passion about moving up career wise.  I get it, I need it every now and then.  I  have a great manager who is supportive and wants to equip you to do your best.  More importantly, she makes it known that there is life outside of the job.  I feel like for the first time that I’ve landed in a position that can lead to a career that I can be truly passionate about it.  It’s not to say, I didn’t care about previous positions, it’s just that there wasn’t identifiable career progression.

All that said, I’ve going to avoid turning on my work laptop for today at least. I’ve gotten a ticket to see a Spring quartet: Jack DeJohnette, Joe Lovano, Esperanza Spalding and Leo Genovese for next Friday.

I’ve been contemplating what big trip I want to take this year.  I’ve been tempted by Paris, despite the fact that I was just there last April.  There’s a part of me that’s tempted to go somewhere I’ve never been before.  Then a package for Bangkok popped up.  It has a lot of appeal.  I asked my dad before he passed away, what was his favorite place in the world.  He was retired Air Force.  He paused for a second and said Thailand.  So, with that I added Thailand as a place that I have to visit before I leave this earth.

Maybe, Bangkok it will be…

Figuring Out My Next Steps

I’ve landed a job on team that I’ve dreamed of, after a lot of hard work.  My love life, I can’t say too much about it, as it’s non-existence.  I’m pretty okay with that. I’ve been solo for awhile and enjoy my own company as well as those of friends and family.  I’ve dreamed of being a mom since I was kid.  In the past couple of years, I’ve felt that I’d be okay if never got married but I wouldn’t be okay with never being a mom.  I’ve had a couple of failed attempts at artificial insemination using a sperm donor.  Trust me, I gave this a lot of consideration.  I’m adopted and while I have no desire to meet my biological parents, I wouldn’t assume that my potential offspring would feel the same way about the sperm donor.  So, I forked over extra money to make sure the donor was open versus anonymous. An open donor would be open to be contacted after said offspring reached the age of 18.  The contact could be via letter, call or face-to-face.   The form is up to the donor.  Yes, I understand that expectations would have to be set that this individual is your sperm donor and not your dad and I’d probably have a therapist assist me with this.  

I also gave being a single mom by choice a lot of thought.  Yes, single mom by choice is really a thing.  Google it.  I got a book and read about how to prepare for situations unique to this classification.  The two failed attempts were emotionally draining.  I’ll go into more detail what my journey was like in future posts.  

After the second attempt, I had to focus on wrapping up lose ends on my old job.  Now, I’m wondering if I should pursue future attempts.  I’m thinking that there are lots of women who don’t or can’t have children that have found life to be very fulfilling without having children.  I always dreamed I get married and since that hasn’t happened, I’ve become okay with the prospect of never getting married.  I could just focus on pursuing my own interests, volunteer activities and travel.  I’m giving myself a few more months to think it over.

I’d say there’s no rush but it feels like there is…

Starting Over

Often starting over is not something we volunteer to do.  It’s something that has been forced upon us and feels unwelcome.  Change feels uncertain.  It means letting go of some dreams and creating new ones.  That can feel sad.  Feeling like you let yourself down is always a disappointment.

When you deal with your emotions and start to work towards your new goals, life gets easier.  You’re no longer fighting the change.  You’re open to it.  When you’re open to new things, you can be on the verge of something great.  The shift in mentality can allow the shift of great things into your life.

Every change isn’t necessarily bad.

Write It In Pencil

Never say never.  We’ve all heard it before.  I’m finding that my goals and plans are shifting.  Not in a bad direction just one I hadn’t expected.  I completed a degree and now find myself compelled to pursue a different interest.  Luckily, it won’t require another degree but it will require some studying, work and sitting for a test.  I’m up for it.  I’m passionate about it.

This past year, I’ve led a project that could be described as a nightmare or a complete bear.  As we know, when you’re on a project, you’re working with others.  I’ve always known that I’m pretty analytical.  That worked to my benefit.  My manager told me that I’ve done a great job and thinks I’ll be great in the role that I plan to pursue.

Presently, I’m on medical leave.  My doctor made it seem like I would be bedridden for the first two weeks.  It wasn’t quite that bad but I knew I had to get things organized before my surgery.  Reaching out the company that manages STD was easy.  I woke up the morning after my surgery and had a voicemail telling me my leave was approved.

I also felt like the mom who was leaving her newborn with a babysitter for the first time in terms of how I probably over-documented what few things were left on my desk.

My last day of work I found out one of my old work buddies was having a similar surgery, on the same day, same hospital with the same doctor.  I immediately, got her a card and placed it in my suitcase.  I also asked my mom to hand deliver the card.

My mom’s birthday was a little over a week after my surgery.  I gave her her present early.  Mainly out of fear it wouldn’t meet her impossible requirements for a black purse.  I’m serious.  If you were to ever shop with her for a needed item, you would think she wants something that might not be created yet.  She loved it.  Well, she thought it was too expensive but I told her to not worry about it.

I also got a card and asked her neighbor if he would pick up a to-go order for my mom’s birthday and gave him the money.  I was going to be staying at my mom’s and wasn’t cleared for driving.

In thinking about cards, I also got Valentine’s Day cards for all my people at once.  I just got cleared to drive today, but I just thought I was going to be crawling around on all fours begging for pain meds.

I also cooked up food prior to my surgery and froze it and then dropped it off at my mom’s.  This didn’t sit well with her.  She felt that I was suggesting that she wasn’t capable of taking care of me.  Or rather that she couldn’t cook.  Not in the slightest, I knew that I was going to be a burden (she hated me saying that) and wanted to lighten the load.

A few days ago, she asked me when I became such a meticulous planner.  The only things I typically planned before this were my menu for the week and vacations.  I told her my most recent project.  I told her it was insane.  I told her if I didn’t analyze/plan I like, my name would have been mud.  Especially since it hasn’t reached completion and they’ve already started on 2014…

That last sentence sounds bad but there are truly extenuating circumstances!

Revisiting My Blog…

I’ve taken a very long break from my blog.  I’ll blame it on school and life just being hectic.  I feel compelled to revisit it due to recent activity and epiphanies I’ve had.

I’ve finished school, waiting for my degree to come in the mail.  I don’t feel like participating in another graduation ceremony.  I highly doubt that I’ll even pursue a career in Health Promotion.  I completed an internship that I enjoyed. I received rave reviews from my manager and others I worked with.  And then my manager gave me an odd, biased review.  It took me by surprise, so I countered a few points and then I just let her finish so I could go home and pack for my pending vacation.  I was pretty pissed.  I couldn’t even talk about the results for weeks.

In addition, I’m not willing to start at an entry-level position and potentially take a pay cut.  I’d take a pay cut if it was a matter of no job versus a job, but I have a job that I’m enjoying.   I’m sure some would suggest that pursuing this degree was a waste of time and money.  It wasn’t.  It’s something that I’m interested in and I’ll still use it some capacity, even if in a volunteer capacity.  Did I mention that my company has a tuition reimbursement program?  Awesome perk!