Getting Used to Time Off

I’ve been nursing a cup of coffee, and the warmth has spread through the palms of my hands and up my arms. A couple of days ago, I almost switched from coffee to green tea, but I can’t do it. Coffee tastes too good to quit. I am on my way to being healthier in other ways still, though! I’ve been getting in physical activity every day, and I’m trying to eat a little better. My biggest issue is going to be eating less. And healthier. I eat too quickly, and I’m addicted to chocolate.

After my graduation in May, I was excited to job search and start a real career. I wanted to get myself into a new gear. But the interim is a big challenge to me. While my boyfriend and his roommates do their homework, I play with the Family Guy app and nap. I’m antsy for things to do, which is part of the reason I started working out more. Yesterday afternoon, I was thinking about what to snack on, and I realized both that I wasn’t hungry and also that I was bored out of my mind. So instead of eating hummus and chips, I went for a half hour run. A little later I ate cookies and a calzone and cancelled everything out.

So I’ve discovered that boredom leads to eating and jogging. I’m going to pick up new hobbies when I have the money, too. This blog is definitely giving me something to do, which is great, and keeping me in practice with my writing, but I kind of want to pick up mosaic artwork, too. I know I was planning to do more research on copy editing, too, so I’ll try to remind myself of that, too.

The break has been very nice, but I think I’m going to start applying to graduate school come December. Most programs would be a year long, and I’m focusing on publishing programs. DU has a good publishing summer program, but I could get an M.S. in publishing at NYU or University of Houston–Victoria. I suppose we’ll see what happens, but at this point I really wouldn’t mind going back to school.

I’m about to cut this short and head to work to fold shirts and dust shelves, so I’ll give you a good picture of my fish. I just cleaned their bowls. The one on the left is actually my old roommate’s beta–when she moved to Nebraska she forgot to leave a cup holder clear for him. I think his name is Akita, and I know for sure my fish’s name is Odin.

Have a wonderful day!

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Bettering Myself

When I was younger, my dad had an idea that was supposed to stop me (and others) from whining. He bought blue Livestrong bands, and we were supposed to switch arms every time we whined. It never helped me, but I don’t wear bracelets anymore because I always mess with them.

On the topic of complaining, I’m sore, but I don’t mind at all. My other has been going to the gym and biking everywhere, while I sit on the couch and watch Regular Show. So this morning when I woke up at 7, I got my butt out of bed and walked over to my apartment’s fitness room. There was only one other person after a while, but she ran on the treadmill and bailed after 20 minutes. I actually feel pretty good night now. My biggest hope is that I’ll sleep better through the night if I continue to run or do yoga or go to the gym.

Eating better is probably going to be harder for me. I think I just have to help my boyfriend in making huge, healthy meals that I can eat for leftovers throughout the week. He is the best cook I’ve met, but I’m not quite sure how healthy all the food he makes is. I just have to dedicate myself to fruits and vegetables for a while, which definitely isn’t bad. I really enjoy salads and smoothies. In fact, I like a lot of healthy food. I was vegan for a bit in high school (courtesy of my dad and stepmom), and I did discover some great recipes. Of course, I often substitute chicken or salmon for tofu.

You know, Livestrong bands and veganism weren’t the only odd things about my childhood. It was always great being with my mom. We fought a lot in my angsty teenage years, but we went to the movies together every couple weeks, and we are now very close. My dad was very entertaining to live with. In the car, he would humor ideas of conspiracies he had heard on NPR, and he would drop conversations mid-sentence only to pick them up again two days later (again mid-sentence). He always had a project running, too. I’m fairly certain he made yogurt, tofu, cheese, soy milk, alcoholic root beer, and much more. He always introduced us to weird foods, too, like ketchup ice-cream and spelt pizza.

I went through a little bit of a dark time in high school, when I was really depressed and hanging out with a few people I don’t even want to pass on the streets now. I never did any drugs or drink any alcohol, though. At that time, I was less fun to be around–I swore a lot to look cool, and I was very judgmental and defensive. I like to think that’s all behind me, now. I’ve changed quite a bit in the past few years, and it’s definitely for the better.

Now, I’m just trying to better myself further.

 

Books, Bikes, and Beer

A flood of cars constantly pours in and out of campus streets. All students, be they graduate biologists like my sister or tiny ignorant freshman, are officially in town, and I am no longer one of them. At the same time this thought makes me incredibly happy, I’m feeling a little sad about it. I wouldn’t mind having a few more intelligent conversations in the class setting. It turns out in the “real world” people are much less interesting and thoughtful than in school. I miss the environment at the university. It is very nice to just have work and chores on my schedule, though.

On Sunday, my boss at Alpine Arts took me to the Denver Mart, where retailers discover new wholesalers and make deals with their current ones. It’s amazing how many different designs you can print on a t-shirt. We were in appointments for about eight hours, and we sat in on a visual marketing seminar. It was definitely worth a twelve hour day at work. 

I stopped at Bailiwick Press this morning to pick up my copies of Jackpot and Goodnight Brew. They both turned out amazing, and I’m excited to see how quickly they fly off the shelves. The release party for Goodnight Brew is in September instead of October now, too, so I’m definitely looking forward to that. It’s going to take place at Equinox Brewery in Fort Collins if anyone can magically stop by!

Tour de Fat is this Saturday, as well, and for once I can participate! I still have to work out a costume, but no matter what I am, I’ll be surrounded by good beer, mimosas, and a great crowd. I’m thinking a ninja might be my only option since I have the costume already. I might end up being one of the girls from the Trailer Park Boys, considering the entire group I’m with is going that route. Whatever happens, it’s going to be a fun time. Fort Collins really is an ideal place to live out your twenties.

This post might seem a little bland, but I’m planning on posting some fiction one of these days! You’ll have the opportunity to see how the gears in my creative mind turn. Just a warning, though–it can get crazy.

 

 

And Nothing Happens

I find updating my blog on a schedule incredibly difficult. I typically work just under 40 hours a week, and I often spend evenings with my boyfriend, but I’m not actually very busy. Part of this is due to the fact that I have been thoroughly enjoying solitude lately, and another part is because I’ve been neglecting several tasks I promised myself I would do once I graduated. The only reason I’m not busy catching up on the last 20 issues of the New Yorker, getting stories published, and running around the park that’s two blocks away from my house, is because I’m lazy.

Instead of being productive, doing what I’ve been waiting most of my life to do, is because I watch seasons of South Park and Dexter at a time. Neither of those television shows are on my “must watch list” either. I only started watching South Park because it was always on when I hung out with my boyfriend and his roommates, and I watched Dexter when I was in high school. The only real plus side of it is that I’m learning how to relax after years of constantly having to do something. I also regularly search Indeed.com and apply for jobs. I applied at becker&mayer! today, and if I get any sort of interview from them, I’ll be ecstatic.

Oh, and F+W finally got back to me. They didn’t hire me. The phone interview went really well, and they called me into the office for a real one. I felt like it went well, but a few of their questions were pretty tricky. Kirsten asked me when the amount of work becomes too much, and my answer was a little iffy. I must say, though, I looked awesome when I went in.

I think I’ve been feeling stressed all August because I’ve been waiting for F+W’s response. I’m more relaxed now, which is good, and after a little break in applying for jobs, I’ve been looking again. It makes me feel productive. So does writing for this blog.

For the past week or so, I’ve been having this weird dream that’s tensing me up, too. It usually changes location, varying from my old high school to places I’ve only seen in movies. In every one, though, I’m back in school, and I’m messing it up. It starts in the middle of a class day, and I just didn’t go to my first few classes for a while. I don’t even know if I’d met the professors. Then I scramble to get to other classes I’d been missing, and when I get there, I realize I’m completely unprepared for whatever the class is doing. A lot of times, it’s discussing books Socratic seminar style, and I haven’t read a single one of them.

My boyfriend and I celebrated our one-year anniversary this weekend. We drove out to Roosevelt National Park and backpacked to a spot a little ways from the river to camp. It was absolutely beautiful. Everything was so green where we stopped. The plan had been to spend Friday and Saturday night there, go hiking and fishing, but it didn’t work out that way. Saturday night was rainy, and my sleeping bag wasn’t quite warm enough–I could feel how cold the ground was under me. I slept a little better after using my boyfriend’s sweatshirt as a blanket. We couldn’t fish, either, because the river was too shallow and too fast. So after a nice morning hike, we packed up our things and hiked back to the car.

On our way back, we passed a very pleasant family, and their dog had picked up a log as tall as me in its mouth. I have never seen an animal as happy as I saw that dog. His tail was wagging, and he marched forward head high. I wish now that I had a picture of him.

 

I might post a photo of my boyfriend and I a little later. Don’t be too disappointed if I don’t get around to it.

Impatient

I still haven’t heard from F+W about the job I interviewed for. They said it would take a while, but I’m feeling impatience creeping up. I’m not so much impatient with those at F+W as I am with my current lifestyle, though.

I’m getting bored by the behavior of some of my friends. They’re doing things I would have just laughed off last year, but for whatever reason when an acquaintance tells me about their public snorting habits I’m more annoyed and concerned than apathetic or amused. I want to ask them how long they plan on doing drugs and sleeping in unusual beds. I admit that I have bad habits of my own I would like to rid myself of, but so many people aren’t recognizing how dangerous their behavior is. I knew kids who overdosed on black tar heroin when I was in high school. I know several people who have been to rehab multiple times. Anyone could be one of those people if they ignore responsibilities and good judgment for long enough. (I think I might sound a little bit like an old woman right about now.)

It seems, too, like I should be making more money. I work the same old one-digit job that I have since I started college in Fort Collins, but having graduated and looked at the possibilities out there, I cannot wait for someone to pick me up. I don’t want to worry about whether I’m going to have to nibble at my “don’t touch me” savings account every time I get a bill delivered to me. At least I have an income, I suppose, but I am very ready to have a more substantial one.

Every day I want time to pass more quickly so that I can finally start my life as a real live adult. There are so many opportunities I cannot grasp from the level I stand on.

Wish me luck on being a real person soon!

Figuring It Out

I’ve been looking for a job lately, and it’s been a much harder process than I’d like it to be. I have a steady retail job, but I recently graduated. So I’m looking for an editing or publishing position in the book industry.  I’ve had to prioritize a lot in the last few months. I had to ask myself a lot of questions that I don’t necessarily have answers for.

  1. Where do you want to live?

Washington. Oregon. Colorado. Texas.
This isn’t a question I can answer so simply, though, because the most successful editors flourish in locations with worse traffic. I’m not sure how living in New York or Chicago would work for me. This also isn’t something I necessarily have to worry about until later in my career, though.
On the other hand, if I want a job sooner than later, I might have to look at places I’ve never considered living before. Some of them are fine, like Indiana and New Mexico. Others of them would take years for me to adjust to. The plus side of this is that I could do it for one year and begin applying for other jobs for which I would then be qualified.

  1. What sort of position are you really willing to take?

My first impulse was to apply in very limited locations to as many positions as possible. I looked at copy editing jobs for medical journals. Although this would be an interesting job, I cannot quite imagine myself loving it or feeling fulfilled by it.
Lately, I’ve been focusing my attention more on what I really want to do—book editing and publishing. Books and short stories, not scientific journals or newspapers, are my true interest. I don’t mind if they’re on a kindle or in hardback. Early in high school I went through a phase of manga and vampire books, but then my mother exposed me to Anaïs Nin’s diaries. In them, I discovered what literature should be. From then on, writing and editing have been my passion, and my goal in whatever genre is to help quality books be born.
I suppose, then, that the answer for me is that I am not going to sporadically apply to any job posting including the words “editor” or “proofreader.”

  1. How qualified am I?

I’ve had some difficulty answering this question. While I did get a degree in English in three years while doing internships, I’m not always confident that I can fulfill the duties of every job I apply for.
For instance, I apply eagerly for many jobs that require knowledge of AP style, but my thought process is flawed. I don’t know anything about AP style, really. I just figure I’ll figure it out on the way. This is not a way to make a good impression if you actually do end up with the job: “Thank you for hiring me! I’m going to be terrible at this for at least two months!”
To fix this particular problem, I’ve decided to buy all the essential style guides and learn them. Then—guess what—I’ll actually be qualified. I’ve begun to take the same steps in regard to web design and Adobe InDesign.

I’m also slightly confused by my own years of experience. While I had a year-long internship and a semester-long internship, neither was full time. I apply to anything requiring up to three years of experience, but I don’t always feel honest for claiming a year and a half even if it was.
It’s particularly funny that this is worrying me, however, because it is probably an easy question to look up on Google. I’ll save that activity for another day.

  1. How much will my future job impact my relationship?

This feels off topic because it’s a personal issue, but I honestly have no idea what could happen with this. He graduates in a year, so if I get a job it might be long distance for a while. I also worry that he wouldn’t be able to get a job where I decide to live, or vice versa.  For now, I’ve been avoiding thinking about it. Number four just feels like such an imminent life complication.

  1. Should I stop all my bad habits?

Yes. Yes, I should. I know. Geez. Get off my back.
I mean should I stop all my habits because I’m looking for a job or is that a bad reason to grow up?
I don’t drink very much. It wouldn’t hurt to cut back, but even if I continue to drink as much as I do, I don’t drink enough to damage my health. One or two beers a night isn’t the worst thing I could be doing. I’ll just have to work out a little more pretty soon.
I smoke tobacco. Dokkha and hookah. I only do it at home, though, so, again, I’m failing to see why I should stop. It wouldn’t affect my job performance.
I have more bad habits, but so far they’ve only been justified like these two. From this I have to ask whether I’m just avoiding quitting them or am being irrational in calling these bad habits.