After College Changes…

I feel semi productive that I was able to write both posts and schedule them back to back.  I always get frustrated with cliff hangers on blogs that last for 2-3 weeks.  I know patience is a virtue but it is a virtue I am not blessed with.  My lack of patience is actually important with this post though.

Here is part 1 of my college growth.

My final semester of college I spent interning full time at a health office in Oswego.  Then I was hired there. (Spending close to another year in Upstate, NY).  Long story short I fully enjoyed my job at Oswego.  It had everything I learned from community health courses, great coworkers, it was what I wanted to be doing, close to Syracuse, Rochester..ect.  I made a lot of friends there.  I hated the cold and weather but that had nothing to do with my job.  There was obviously one large part of my life missing from Oswego and that was my long term boyfriend.  I would be lying if I didn’t say that was 95% I moved.

At the Walk to Save Lives Fall 2012
At the Walk to Save Lives Fall 2012

Until roughly May of 2013, I thought I had my life completely figured out.  After making the executive decision not to stay in Oswego I moved home with my parents for the summer while Tim finished up most of pilot training.

I planned to spend the summer either interning at a health center or working.  I ended up working two jobs to save money to move to Texas (neither having to do with my community health major in college!).  Last summer I felt as though my college career was again a waste.  I was working jobs I probably could have done without a college degree.  They were just that…jobs to pay bills.  I knew once the summer was over I would be moving down to Texas and finding a job similar to Oswego.

So I thought anyways.

Sadly the area I moved in Texas didn’t have those jobs available and I certainly didn’t know what I wanted if those weren’t options.  The closest community college was 2.5 hours away and it’s obvious I don’t even like five minutes of driving.

Oh texas...little did I know I would be here 6 weeks
Oh texas…little did I know I would be here 6 weeks

I knew two things about my community health degree and possible job choices.  I didn’t want to work in a hospital and I didn’t want to work with babies.

Past that I had absolutely no idea and it stressed me out.  (In fact it still stresses me out).  Here I am a year out of college and I couldn’t tell you my exact dream job.   Since my stay in Texas was short lived (6 weeks) it wasn’t feasible for me to find a temporary job let alone a full time job.  (Thank you working all summer).

While I lived in Texas I began to think about my future and my thoughts about pursuing a job when I moved to NJ.  What did I want to do?  Apply to a college and work on campus like Oswego?  Work at the Red Cross?  Work at a nursing home?  I had no idea…all of those jobs interested me.

Since this previous summer I have grown even more.  This past summer though I still worked, I had no idea what I wanted to do the rest of my life.  It worried me.  It frightened me.  It still frightens me.  Do I have to make an executive decision of my career choice right at this very moment?  No.  I have to find a job that I currently enjoy doing and pays bills.

It seems we are asked the “what do you want to be when you grow up” question since we can talk.  I’ve gone from marine biologist to zoologist, teacher to community health worker.  How do we ever know exactly what we are destined to do?  I have thought a lot about the definition of successful and happy.  What makes you successful?  Having a job from the major you chose in college?  Making enough money to pay the bills?  Being happy?

My personal opinion is that being successful comes from doing something you enjoy, not stressed and being financially stable.  Whether that takes you in a completely different route from where you originally started then it does.

Might as well be happy right?
Might as well be happy right?  Look a community health center that probably has a job I would like. I guess I’ll just stop the marathon now.

I wish college had prepared me for that.  I wish someone in college had said there is a chance even after four years of classes you won’t know what you want to do.  You still won’t have it figured out when we hand you (mail you) your diploma.  You will never have all the answers in your life. Do not stress about it and you will find the answer eventually.  

Spoiler: Incase you wondered now (and I owe a post about Jersey) but I am happier right now then I have ever have been.

Question for you: How do you define being successful? 

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Stress Free

The other day I found my happiness and stress free comfort zone. I say it so casually but it’s been a huge personal accomplishment for me.  I can’t really explain to you how or why or how it happened and there wasn’t any sort of trigger that I can relate it too.  I can 100% conclude that I am currently happy with my life.  Though I know that I’ll be a lot happier (is that possible?) when I move down to Texas…right now I couldn’t be more mentally and physically happy.

This summer started off extremely stressful.  Throughout both June and July I thought that it was necessary for me to work two jobs to survive financially.  Two jobs that I don’t hate but at the same time, neither of them I really enjoy  in the slightest.  It was hard to come from a job that I loved in Upstate NY to now two jobs that are just “okay”.  (Though obviously I didn’t enjoy the area nor was it conclusive to where I see myself in the future).  So instead of looking for a full time job in VA, I ended up getting two part time jobs working around 60-70 hours weekly.

Working on top of training I was miserable.  I pushed every nerve living with my parents and would constantly come home from work stressed, not wanting to chat and just not in a good mood.  I wouldn’t want to talk to myself at all so I don’t know why they did.

Then last week I had an epiphany.  I had saved money and created a plan for this very reason. (The reason of no I don’t want to stay in Upstate NY forever, no I’m not in the place to apply for a full time job and yes I need to have a reserve fund so I don’t go into debt).  So despite not having a full time salary job I could still survive for a little while (ie: this summer) and not have to work 70 hours.  Why was I doing that to myself?  Why was I making myself miserable? 

So in August, I decided not to worry or stress.  Not to stress about work and realize that I have a month left of living at home with my parents.  Hopefully the very last month I’ll ever life with them and to just enjoy this time by working a normal amount of hours.  Sure it will cut into my savings a little bit but that if I work all these hours and never spend any money…why am I working?

I think achieving my happiness honestly came from taking my running philosophy and putting into “real life”.  It is pretty obvious that my running is pretty carefree.  It has never bothered me to run 9 minute miles during morning runs because I know my body will adjust to 6 minute miles when it needs to at races.  I don’t worry about individual bad runs or exact mileage and pace.  It has always worked for me to be more casual.

So it would make sense that I should take that philosophy into my real life and not worry about small minute details.  Did I work 59 hours instead of 60?  Is that extra hour of pay really going to kill me?  My post college life has been nothing like anyone in college told me it would be like.  I did not magically find a perfect job because I got a degree and still have no idea what I want to do when I grow up.  (Will I ever grow up?).  Moving to a foreign town for a year (though I enjoyed the people I met in Oswego as well as my job), then living with my parents for a summer, I would hardly call my after college life a success right now.

But I can say it’s a mental and emotional success because I am truly enjoying myself though I have absolutely no idea where my life is going.  When I stopped worrying about small minute details and just focused on the bigger picture is honestly when I can say I stopped being stressed and truly started to enjoy myself.  With my move about a month away, the last thing I need is to add that to my stress too.  I want to truly enjoy my last month in VA and not worry as much about how can I work and how much enjoyment can I fill my life with. 

Let’s Look back at that Bucket List

Remember in October when I posted about having an Oswego bucket list?  No, you don’t remember every aspect of my blog?  Oh okay well it’s the end of my internship so let’s see where that whole thing well…maybe far…maybe not. 

My work made me a list of things to do while in Oswego working.  Aren’t they adorable?   So I decided to add a bucket list aspect to my blog.  When I complete one…I’ll post about it.  Which I I didn’t do). Interesting life stuff.  I realize that you probably won’t have any idea what any of these things are when I just list them now…neither do I but hopefully I’ll get to go to each one.

  1. Go to the famous Oswego Sub Shop

I did but I got a salad.  I’m not a sub person but regardless it was amazing.

I even had them deliver it.  I was eating healthy...no need to walk up there for more bonus health...
I even had them deliver it. I was eating healthy…no need to walk up there for more bonus health…
  1. Visit the Lighthouse
  2. Eat at Vonas

I actually have a work end of the year party so I get to do that Tuesday.

  1. Eat at Canales

My coworker, Danielle, and I went with in November and it was so good.

danielle

  1. Water Street Café

This was my favorite restaurant by far in Oswego.  LL @bakes recommended it and it was amazing.

  1. Go to Port City
  2. Eat a Crazy Bagel at Oswego Bagel shop
  3. Order an entire cake at Cakes Galore
  4. Run with Mindy

We ran in Hogwarts.  It counts.

  1. Eat at Stones Candy
  2. Eat at Azteca

We did for a coworkers farewell party and it was so delish.  Who doesn’t love Mexican?

  1. See a sunset

I saw just as many sunrises as sunsets and on the lake they are gorgeous.

lakesidesunset

  1. Sing and dance at Open Mike

Yes, I did this at Ugly Sweater night…but I didn’t actually perform and it was better that way.

  1. Go to White Out Hockey Game

The only game I go, we lost (I posted about it yesterday but I did make it there).

You saw this photo yesterday but pretend it's new...
You saw this photo yesterday but pretend it’s new…
  1. Go to Open Skate

I was very weary of doing this because of my foot injury.  I like ice skating but never got around to it since I was essentially injured most of my internship here.

  1. Feed a squirrel

I threw a cracker at one..that is as close as I come to those crazies…or the geese.

  1. Witness humans versus zombies

Does anyone elses campus do this?  Potsdam did, and I nearly hit people when they’d lurk in front of my car and dart across the road.  Crazies.

  1. Participate in Run for your life 5k

I was just coming off my injury when this was occurring, so I decided it was best to watch.

  1. Coffee Connection

Please I lived at the CC and there is actually a new coffee shop opened that I need to go to.

  1. Kyack at Wrights Landing
  2. Bluffs
  3. Rock Climbing at the Wall
  4. Wear Gorilla Costume
  5. Shoot t shirts from cannon
  6. Experience Hogwarts

Secret underground tunnels that I was surprised I didn’t get fired, arrested or creeped on under the campus…so yes…and yes there are underground tunnels on the campus.  It’s real life.

hogwarts

So I did pretty well.  I think.  I wish I could have done more, but sadly being injured I couldn’t.  I also found myself running out of time to accomplish everything between work and real life.

Question for you: What is something awesome to do in your area?