So I basically haven’t blogged since FOREVER. Its not necessarily on purpose or because of some deep meaning other than the fact of being super lazy. So when we last left each other I had JUST started my job at Stetson University. Stetson was an absolutely amazing experience that I wouldn’t have traded back for all the tankfuls of gas it took to get me there. I made some great friends and colleagues and worked with some pretty fantastic students. It taught me a lot about what it means to be a professional in the higher education field and provided me with some pretty amazing experiences.
I graduated from grad school on May 4th and ended my contract at Stetson on May 31st. So pretty much ever since June I have had the pleasure of treading the incredibly frightening world of job searching. I can honestly say I have never felt so vulnerable in my entire life. I feel that every line on a cover letter, every answer to an interview question and every outfit I wear is looked at underneath a microscope. I have had too many phone interviews to count, a handful of on campus interviews and a total of zero offers. I ask for feedback and get the standard “had a candidate that best fit our needs” or “not a good fit” etc. Nothing that can really give me something to work on or toward so thus it leaves me living a sort of in between life. I feel like I cant really move forward and I am not accomplishing anything in my professional life. I have started the process to be a substitute teacher to give my days a sense of purpose, but that still seems a couple of weeks away from happening. I don’t want to abandon my dream of working in higher education but at the same time it seems that the higher education world doesn’t see me as a “good fit” anywhere. Not to mention the shear embarrassment and fear I feel when friends, relatives, and acquaintances ask “hows everything going?” and I have to politely say “great! Im keeping a positive attitude” or “Im sure something will turn up soon” when I really want to say “Ummm pretty awful actually, my sad and pathetic life revolves around my Netflix and Birchbox arrival days and the fear that I will never be able to do what I truly want to do””. I know they mean well and they just want the opportunity to let me know that they are thinking of me but it still feels pretty bad.
So my personal life is where I have to draw my happiness which is a completely new feeling for me. I have always been happiest when I was working. Even if during the craziest of weeks I felt ok at the end of the day because I was doing something meaningful with my time. When you spend the majority of your day sending out applications and resumes with little response, it makes it pretty difficult to draw meaning from it, until about 4 weeks ago. Part of the “perks” I was getting from moving back home was that we would get a family dog again. We had our beloved Holly for about 16 years before we had to put her down last summer and it had taken a while for my parents to warm up to the idea of bringing in a new member of the family. As soon as I moved home in June I was looking on SPCA and petfinder websites trying to find our next family member. For every pooch that I found for my family they found something wrong with it: too young, looks scruffy, looks mean, too big, etc. I was feeling like the one thing that could bring me happiness to my super mundane life was a dog and that was never going to happen, just as my finding a job was never going to happen. But then miracle of miracles, we finally found a puppy that our family could agree upon and that would find her forever home with us. If you follow me on Facebook/Twitter then you have already met Lola, but heres her super cute face again because she really is the cutest dog ever:
And all of the sudden I had purpose back in my life. I have to get up and be present each morning because Lola needs to be potty trained, taught what to chew and not to chew, and just given as many snuggles and play time as her heart desires. She makes me feel like I have a full life again. Even when shes crying at 3am to go out or when shes nipping at my toes, I feel that at the end of the day, shes a better dog because of the love and care I have given to her.
So until I get my next job (Lord knows Im trying like hell), Lola is my keeping my life moving forward.