A few weeks ago, I was given a really fun opportunity. I wasn't sure if it was a good idea or a bad idea, but I went with it. After weeks of waiting, emails, calls, and worrying, it is here.
Earlier in the year sometime, it's quite a blur about when, but a fellow named Robbie contacted me wanting feedback on his new book, "Fire Me, I Beg You." I was obviously sold on doing this because I love adding fun things to my free time that don't involve hanging out with cats. I loved the piece, and I didn't think much else would come from it. Fast forward and I hear from Robbie again! This time he wants to ask me questions about alumni finding jobs. I was super excited to answer his questions, and I felt like a professional for the first time. This person I don't really know is coming to me! How did they get my name? Do I have a reputation for being awesome? None of this could be, but I was still dying to know the outcome.
I found out late last week what questions were being highlighted from me and I was relieved. I was answering the most honest questions to pass a professional. I can't say if I was good, bad, or mediocre, but I can now say that I have helped contribute to an article in the Huffington Post.
Baby steps, my friends, baby steps.
This weekend, I went somewhere new, yet old. A good friend asked if I wanted to go to a local martini bar to see a band play. She had known a few of the players, so it sounded like a good idea to go see what they had to offer. Indeed, they were worth it.
I have gone to see many bands at bars. I have also been to many bars in this city, but this had a special little experience. No, it wasn't when I told the piano player he looked like Luke Danes. That was true, but that was silly. As we enjoyed our cocktails, we looked around and realized that we were really young. That never happens anymore so this was a huge moment for me. We looked around and saw older people that were overdressed, dolled up, ready to dance, and practically sitting on top of each other. I wish I could say it was creepy, but there was something oddly charming about it. Strangers were dancing with each other, seasoned couples were kicking it on the dance floor, and friends were just enjoying a drama free evening. One couple made it to the dance floor and I swear, everyone was smiling. The way the looked at each other after so many years of marriage was impressive.
Dancing is a lost art. Thanks to clutzy people like me, it will go the way of the Easter Island statues and Stonehenge. True love and loyalty is also lost. I can name couples of the true love nature on one hand. It is one thing to love someone, but another to be soul mates. These people were soul mates. I am a pessimist about love, but these folks make me want to be a better person. Or maybe it was just the martini..
Animals are amazing. Everyday, I feel more and more blessed to have two amazing creatures to spend my life with. In the past, I have had multiple animals, all cats, who have made life a little more bearable. Through the depression, anxiety, and traditional illness, it is nice to know that someone loves me unconditionally.
Jacob is a special breed of cat. I don't mean he is an expensive, rare animal. He is a flame point Siamese. These cats have the absolute best temperament. He is my second cat of the breed. Jake and Jack have both been the most loving, compassionate, and loyal creatures to have walked the planter. Both boys have guarded me while I've been sick. Recently, Jake guarded even guarded the bathroom door for 6 hours while I threw up and slept in the bathroom during a horrible migraine.
Amber and Snickers, both tortoise shells, have been the comedic break in my life. Both highly affectionate felines, they live life on their own terms. Most of these terms involve food. I remember Snickers was a big fan of nacho cheese doritos, but Amber, she likes just about everything. Amber likes to wake up at 5:oo am smacking my face because she wants fed. She is perfectly content sitting in a separate room for hours, just as her predecessor did. Also similar, when she wants that attention, watch out buddy, because you have been downgraded.
I know they say you should never shop for an animal. I only partially shopped. Both of my cats are rescue cats. Amber was a year old at her adoption. She had just had her first litter of kittens, and she wasn't a huge fan of being around everyone in the foster home. I didn't technically pick her. She was picked for me by the person who knows me best. My mom and my sister found her and they knew she as the embodiment of Snickers. I didn't know she was mine until an email spoiled the surprise. It was a good surprise. Jake was much different. I had lost Jack about 6 months prior to FIP. I was broken. My sister and I looked at different shelters in Indiana and the surrounding states for flamepoints. They weren't the most common, but when they came in, they went fast. Suddenly we found him. We called and asked about him and they weren't sure he was ready because he was so injured. I said I didn't care. We woud do anything to care for him. He had a huge gash in his side from suddenly living a life of happy cat luxury, and then being outside and facing cats and the elements. If you knew Jake, you would know this is not his forte. Jake is allergic to flowers. His gash healed, his heart healed, and so did mine.
Jake was abused. He is still afraid of strange objects. I have learned to tell him to leave the room when I am going to change the trash or iron. Jake recovered even more with Amber. They are the loves of each others little lives.
Back to the shopping. I didn't shop for some expensive cat. I was searching to honor a memory and a life. I loved Snickers and Jack more than anyone could love a pet. I had snickers for 18 years. I was the one who said I can't see her the way she is (crippling arthritis and not grooming) and took her to be put down. You don't even want to know about the vet bills when Jack died, but rest assured, he is sitting on the highest shelf of my living room.
Love comes in many forms. I just happen to believe it walks on 4 paws.
Maybe I feel this way because I was a political science student, but I truly believe that having communication with your legislators, national, state, and local, is an essential part of the political process. I won't tell you what I have contacted my legislators about, but each time, I had very different experiences.
Earlier this year I emailed Todd Young and Joe Donnelly. Reasonably, they don't check these, nor answer these, but the message you get back addresses your general topic. I had a response from Donnelly within a day. I seriously almost high fived the computer. It was a very well thought out response and it was speedy. Young, was lacking. Young's camp didn't reply until after the vote I was opposing. They answered not with a thank you, but instead a this is why we are voting the way we are and sorry you don't agree. I will set one record straight. I have never once in my life called myself a democrat, but I was swaying like a flag on a windy day in Donnelly's direction.
Fast forward to today. I have been churning this idea in my head since the beginning of the month. I need to be sure to write something amazing to my local government officials to support sidewalk upgrades and repairs. I need them to give us more engaging things to do.
I emailed them all. It has been an hour and two responded. Both have been very kind and asked me questions back. I appreciate my officials taking the time to ask about me and learn my story. They can't do that though unless I introduce myself.
What is the difference between a job and a career? Are you trying to tell me they are not the same? Well a career is a job, but a job isn't necessarily a career. It is a weird twisted story. I'm sure if I thought long and hard enough, I could think of an analogy for this, but no. I'm focusing on the topic at hand.
I have had many jobs. I have worked in retail, restaurants, and salons. I never once thought, wow, I wish I could stay here forever. My bosses were never kind enough to make me want to stay. Except Goody's... that place was like a home. I could tell you horror stories about Pier 1.
When I started working at my current place of employment, I knew it could be a long running job. I have gone through a few different positions, but overall, I love the place. They have little controversies, but I still love them.
I think the real difference between these places are the benefits. No retail establishment gave me any reason to be loyal or stay. Yes they both had amazing discounts, but at the end of the day, did that help my health or retirement prospects?
Benefits make a career job worth it. I have around 20 days consistently banked in vacation time. It is truly amazing thinking I could just take two weeks and travel if I wanted to. Most jobs wouldn't allow that.
My career makes me happy. I am always striving to learn more and do better. I may have tried that in a job, but I had no where to go. Careers have potential for advancement. It doesn't matter if it is position, monetary, or just expanding your knowledge, it is worth it.
I am thankful for the career I have been given and for the jobs I had that got me there. Not everyone is as lucky as me, but I hope you can find your dream job/career as well.
A few weeks ago, I mentioned how my nephew was mildly obsessed with death. I, being stupid, told him my car was named after Marquis de Lafayette, because of course that is a totally badass name. Calvin was entranced and appalled. It really was strange.
Today, I received a very early call from my mother. Cal and Daphne are staying with her for the week while Lisa is in Vegas. This helped Eric so he could work normal hours. Well this call shocked me and almost sent me to the floor laughing. "Victoria, you need to FaceTime Calvin sometime today and explain to him about the bad day Lafayette had and why he was so sad." For the record, he didn't buy my save last time when I said he died from sadness when he had a premonition Justin Bieber would be born one day.
Children have incredible brains. I was lucky to remember where I hid my toys at his age. He is mourning Revolutionary war heroes. Calvin may be my hero.
It is amazing what time does to a person. A few short years ago, I had a large expansive group of friends that ranged from high school pals, to sorority sisters, to college friends, to work colleagues. I had no idea how the dynamic would change because of life. Relationships got in the way, rumors got in the way, and sometimes my schedule got it in way.
About 5 years ago, I felt like I lost everyone. I understood that my decisions to choose work and stay in Fort Wayne played a part, but my decisions to take opposing sides of fights played a huge part in these chasms between friendships. I started to like my life with limited friends, but I felt so lonely when I looked on social media and saw my old friends together without me.
A few weeks ago, something was feeling different. I started to feel like I was getting along with these people on Facebook. I had one friend post something that struck me and I replied. Apparently she had me in mind when she wrote it. Finally, this weekend I ran into an old sorority sister. Our friendship was very hot and cold sometimes at the end. We chatted like we never had any drama.
Is it true that friends really are forever? Do we just need breaks from people sometimes so we can grow? I know I have grown mentally over the past 5 years. Maybe not emotionally, but I think I always loved my friends. I would always stick up for them, but I just needed a reminded that the person I cared for still existed.
Thanks to my friends for still tolerating me after all of these years!
Get Ready to Run – Preparing with a Great Runner’s Diet
SweetsDark Chocolate – Chocolate? We all love chocolate. Chocolate is great for your heart and is full of antioxidants. I consider that a win!
ProteinEggs – Eggs are one of the best sources of protein around. You have many options on preparations and they are pretty tasty. You can also eat them at any time of the day. I feel pretty silly eating chicken in the morning, but breakfast for dinner is amazing!
Salmon – Besides tasting amazing, salmon is a good source of omega-3 fats and it helps with inflammation.
Chicken – Chicken is great because it is easy to cook. It contains selenium, something that will help protect muscles from damage.
DairyLow Fat Yogurt – Yogurt has many health benefits. It helps with digestion, contains probiotics, and has anti-inflammatory powers. You can also mix yogurt with other food groups such as sweets, proteins, or fruits for added taste and effect.
VegetablesMixed Greens – Who wants a boring salad? I certainly don’t eat iceberg (since it has 0 nutritional value). I personally love a mixture of spinach (a super food) along with romaine and kale. The more you mix, the more benefits you will get from the different types.
FruitsOranges – Oranges will help with soreness when you are running because of the vitamin C. Remind me to take supplements, drink orange juice and eat nothing but oranges before my next race!
Mixed Berries – It seems that the popular theme in runner’s advice is to pump yourself full of food with tons of antioxidants. Whether you are eating fresh or frozen berries, you should try and get as many as possible because these are great for muscle repair and can help with future problems that could arise.
GrainsWhole Grains – Whether it is breads or pastas, go for the whole grain. It is easier on your digestion, contains more nutrients, and has more health benefits.
I have lost my faith in humanity. Granted, I didn't have much after most of the current events of this year, but I was holding on tightly to what I had.
Yesterday, I was leaving work and I was alarmed by what I saw in the parking lot. I normally park in a way that I walk to my door from the front, but yesterday, I did something different. As I was walking passed the back of my car, I noticed the back drivers side area near the wheel and trunk were smashed. Was I in a car accident? Nope. Did some idiot hit my car and not leave a note? Yes.
The not telling part was alarming to me. Who hits a brand new car and just leaves? Aside from that, I was disappointed in myself. Why you ask? This happened last week apparently. All of my coworkers had already seen it, but I hadn't. I am not made at them at all. Not one bit. How is anyone to know that I am constantly so self absorbed and hyper focused on me that I don't notice my poor Lafayette is in pain. I know this may be an extreme leap, but it is true. I would say about 60% of the time I have a balanced view of how things impact everyone. The other 40% is solely on me, my survival, my success, and my happiness. This has ruined relationships, potential relationships, friendships, and so much more.
I know this is a lot to take away from some jerk hitting my car, but you know what, maybe we are all at fault sometimes. They were definitely at fault on this, but maybe I am wrong more than I know.
It is summertime and many of you young folks are going off to college. Okay, fair enough, many of you older folks are as well. It is an exciting time for you and your family as you make hard decisions for your future. Good luck. I am glad it is you and not me. As a seasoned graduate and higher education professional, let me give you a few quick tips to finding that perfect major.
1. Read a newspaper or watch the news. - Using basic common sense on world events can be instrumental in selecting a major. For example, if their was an over abundance of nurses, you wouldn't want to go into that. There never will be, thank God.
2. Listen to your heart. - Don't pick a major that your heart isn't in. Parents have no right selecting a major. Many schools won't even let them speak or be in a room when the selection is happening. This is your life and you will be living with it.
3. Listen to your wallet. - I'm not telling you to be cheap. I'm talking about a return on investment. What is the world looking for in terms of trade? Could you find a passion doing something like that? Remember that being a clown may be all fun and games, but it won't pay the bills. That is unless you are Ronald McDonald.
4. Consider going undecided. - You have time to decide. Take a year and take your pre-requisites. See what you love and see what you hate. You may want to be a business major and find out that you suck at accounting.
5. Get an internship and externship. - While you are deciding, try experiencing the field. You may find a workplace environment that you like and they can guide you to the best major.