Tag Archives: life

Ch-ch-ch-changes (and hardships)

I have spent the past few years watching others fall victim to the hardships of the economic climate.  I’ve seen people fall into depression.  I’ve seen people give up on dreams and turn to security.  I’ve seen people just stop caring.  But, most importantly, I’ve seen people turn to their creativity and enterprising spirits to rise from the ashes and make things start to happen.

Until recently, I was just watching from the sidelines.  Now, that has changed.

On Tuesday, the Courts announced furloughs were being brought back.  This would mean ten unpaid days off over the next ten months.  This, for the lack of a better word, sucked, but was manageable.  Then Thursday came, and I was “called down.”  The good news?  I still have my job and full benefits.  The bad news?  My hours were being reduced.  Quite substantially.  Thirty-two hour weeks with Fridays off.  BUT if there was a furlough on a Friday, I would have to take the Thursday off unpaid as well.  This comes out to roughly a 28% pay cut, which translates to making less income than bills–not including costs of food, gas, etc.

At first, I did not know what to do.  I had become accustomed to a life that, while paycheck-to-paycheck, was comfortable.  And that was being taken away from me.  My job security until August 1st, when my current term ends, was suddenly gone.  What to do?

I let myself feel negative.  I let myself cry.  And then I told myself to shut up and view this as I should–a catalyst for change and an opportunity to seek other opportunities.  A time to get myself out of my comfort zone.

What am I going to do?  I’ll tell you.  First, I am going to look for secondary employment to try and make up the $500+ gap in income a month to cover my bills (so long as administration approves such employment).  I can’t do any legal work per the terms of my current employment, but nothing else is off the table.  I can wait tables again, I can do retail, I can babysit . . .

I will also look for alternate full-time employment.  I consider myself a very loyal person, but there comes a time when you need to just get out.  If a life boat presents itself, I am jumping from this sinking ship.  Before, I was stuck until August 1st, even if a great opportunity came along, because I would screw over the State if I left.  Now, I’m screwed over if I stay.  I love my judges and they are great people and I want to help them as much as possible, but they understand and want the best for me.  With all the cuts, they need as much help as possible and that is not being recognized.  They are good, hard-working people whose value is often not seen by those on the outside of the judicial system.  I am not making a political stand, and these are my personal opinions and not those of the judicial system or the State.

So, here goes nothing.  It’s time to get off my ass, seek a change, find new opportunities, and do whatever I can to help others who may be in a similar situation.

There are so many others who lost their jobs completely and I am very thankful to still have the hours and benefits I do have.  The State has been a great employer until these hard times came upon us, and that should not be forgotten.  This is not one individual’s fault, and no fingers are to be pointed.

I am thankful, and optimistic.

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Problems.

I edit myself far too much lately.  Not out of fear of hurting someone’s feelings or for letting too much out in the open, but for fear of not presenting the best possible version of something.  And then I’ll just let go of the thought of editing–throw out everything I’ve produced into the open.  That way, I think to myself, I can’t be judged too harshly as I don’t think it’s the best myself.

How do I end this?  How do I start creating quality without editing it to death, or not editing enough? Where is the happy medium?

And what form do I want to put my thoughts in? Writing? Drawing? Photography? Music?  I’ll go one direction and when I’m not 100% pleased right away, I switch to another–not necessarily quitting, but changing.

I need a goal, I need a purpose, I need a medium, I need a center.

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Boring Notifications of Adulthood

I admit it:  I’ve been fighting adulthood every step of the way.

I think a big part of this is that not only am I the oldest of my siblings, but I’m also the oldest cousin on both sides (granted, the one side has no cousins).  I’ve had no “big sister/brother/cousin” to look up to for indicators of when to grow up.  It’s all up to me. 

The cousins I do have are all quite younger than me, the oldest being 19 (or maybe 20).  My sisters are 18 and 24.  Where do I fit in?  Sometimes I’m seated at the kids’ table.  Other times, I’m right there elbow-to-elbow with the “adults.”  Do I crack open a beer, or do I sneak it around?  I seem to have a harder time drinking in front of the “adults” than my younger siblings and cousins do!

However, I have noticed some signs that I am slowly but surely slipping towards adulthood.  No, the fact that I live on my own, own my own car (so my grandparents had to cosign for it, whatever!), and pay my own car insurance are not what I speak of.

No, instead I am speaking of things like the fact I have consistently used the same perfume for two years with no thoughts of switching.  I’ve found my favorite fabric softener.  I have a preferred brand of deodorant (although I have switched the scents up a bit). 

I am becoming a creature of habit in the arena of scent.  When I think of my sets of grandparents, I immediately connect them with the scents of their homes.  Am I establishing my trademark scent?  Does this make me “old”?

What I do know is that I am going to continue fighting this good fight against being “old.”  I can age all I want to, but I will not become old before my time!  I will continue mixing up my deodorant scent!  I won’t hang wooden ducks in flight on my walls!  I won’t buy an RV!  I won’t wag my finger at anyone!  I won’t plan trips to Florida!

There . . . I think I’m done convincing myself.

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A Repeating Cycle?

What if I’m never destined to “grow up”?  What if I never have the urge to “settle down”?  I’m really beginning to doubt either will ever happen.  I fear being boring, I fear being responsible for anyone other than myself.  Do I have to eventually cave?  Will I eventually cave on my own–part of a process?

Five years ago, I was about to graduate college.  I had a great group of friends I did not want to leave.  I wanted to stay in that state of arrested development FOREVER.  I got good grades, went to class, worked 40-60 hours a week, yet went out every night, didn’t seem to need any sleep, and every moment had the potential to be some sort of “great adventure.”

Then, I got rejected from every law school in the state I applied for (one lost my application–I applied online. WTF?!).  I did get in to a school in Iowa, Drake.  Suddenly, I was facing the inevitable–leaving behind everyone I knew to a state where I knew no one.

I reacted to this in two ways:

1) I tried to find/create a reason to stay. I jumped into a relationship with a guy I probably would not have otherwise.  I figured if I had someone there, I would have a reason to come back often, or maybe a reason to not even leave.  So I threw myself at him, made it more serious than it should be.  I got attached, and it backfired.  I felt like an idiot–a normal reaction when you let yourself get attached to someone you weren’t too crazy about in the first place and then have them end things.

2) Once I got that out of my system, I turned to making mistakes. I didn’t care.  I jumped into situations too quickly, thinking it would cause some drama that would make people miss me less or create awkward situations that I would want to be away from.  This also backfired–I found I enjoyed keeping things casual and apparently I handled such situations in humurous ways that made them not so awkward.  I jumped into friendships with new people and neglected the friends who had been there all along.  And still–nothing was so bad as to make it my desire to leave.  All it did was pack the restaurant for my goodbye breakfast.  I had my friends cut me a rat tail (see following picture).  The summer of Too Many Dudes became a summer of good memories, as opposed to the catalyst for rebirth I had hoped it would become.

adriennegotarattail

I moved away, and for the first semester all I wanted to do was be back there.  I sent letters, made several phone calls, logged hours every day on AIM–all to stay apprised of what was going on.  Eventually, we all moved on.  That wasn’t my life anymore.  My life became school and going out too much for my own good.  Soon I had a newer, tighter group of friends here.

And then my last year of law school came.  This time, I was the one staying.  I went out more, but also kinda “settled.”  I was lazy–not making any new friends or mistakes.  I was playing it way too safe.  And I continued doing that for quite some time after school ended.

Now, I am facing a possible departure if I can’t find future employment around here.  Could this explain my desire to go out as much as possible?  The other things? I don’t know.  I really just think I am having fun, but the summer of ’04 I thought I was just having fun.  Maybe I am rebelling against all my friends that are falling victim to marriage, babies, and home buying?  (Okay, “falling victim” is a little harsh!)  I really do not know.  Will I change what I am doing?  Probably not.

For now, I’ll just keep looking for chances for personal development and focus on figuring out what I want.  I have every right to be selfish in that respect.

But this time I won’t have my friends cut me a rat tail.  That I do regret.

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For the Price of My Education . . .

. . . I could have purchased the following:

1) A 1.5 story, 3 bedroom/2 bath home in Beaverdale!

house

2) A “choice lot” in Norwalk located on the number 6 tee box of the Echo Valley Country Club Golf Course!

lot

3) A Platinum Crunk Cake!

crunkcake

4) A Yalos Diamond LCD TV.

tv

5) A 1959 Chevrolet Corvette Racecar

race-car

Although the crunk cake is very tempting, I would not trade any of these items for the experience and education I gained.  All of those things are just that:  things. Experience trumps possessions  any day.  I do wish I would have worked harder at looking for scholarships and grants, but that is just another lesson I learned along the way.

Student loan debt sucks, but would not having it be worth missing out on singing “I Got You Babe” with Dean Walker two years in a row at Delt Karaoke night?  Or falling down the stairs two years in a row at the Delt Halloween party?  Or participating in the Bobby Knight riots and the March Madness Riots of 2002?  And, of course, would it be worth not having gotten the chance to meet all the people I know call my friends–people I am much closer to than the majority of my high school friends?  Not a chance in hell.

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