Im doin’ me

Since it’s the day after Thanksgiving and I have many events to be thankful for I thought I’d share a few updates since I last posted.

1. Annual Cape Cod Trip

Easily my favorite week of the year, every year. All the family (cousins and all), on the beach, so much food, so much fun.

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2. Moved into my first 1-bed apartment

First apartment without roommates. Just my boyfriend and I. So far it is awesome. Our own space, our own fridge, no cats, no pants. It. is. the. best. I am so fortunate to live in Boston and so fortunate to be able to live with my best friend.

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3. Took an awesome birthday trip to Martha’s Vineyard

My boyfriend had never been to MV, which is one of my favorite places of all time, so we went for my birthday. Took a long bike ride around the Island. Had the best bloody mary. Awesome day.

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4. Was accepted to and started grad school

This was a big move for me even though it might seem like a normal post-bachelors trajectory. I have always had many interested and struggled to really hone in on one “career”. I feel much better knowing that within the next two years I will possess a Master’s degree in Special Education, and will be a licensed teacher. The program I am in at Bay Path University allows me to work full time while in pursuit of this degree, and is very affordable compared to other comparable programs. It’s great to be learning about what I am already doing in the classroom as an instructional assistant. Unlike my undergrad, each class is related to what I will be doing as a teacher. I cannot wait until that day is here!

Pursuing a Master’s isn’t the path for everyone. Most of my friends are doing quite well and do not all have a Master’s or PhD, however, for teaching it’s almost a must. Even if you become a teacher after your undergrad, you are required to get a Master’s within 5 years, at least in Massachusetts.

5. Annual Orchard trip

So glad that my friends and I have this tradition, and that my friends family is so nice to host us at their orchard every year.

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6. Cousin’s wedding

Family weddings are a blast. This was the second wedding for my generation of the fam and it was awesome.

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7. Friend’s wedding

A whole different kind of fun with all my college friends together. Can’t wait till the next one!

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8. Quality Thanksgiving time with family

Though I don’t live extremely far from my family, I still don’t get to see them too often, especially all together. Over the past few days both my sister and I were home and had the chance to relax and spend time with our parents. My family wasn’t always super close and still isn’t, at least in the way I think of “close”, but we love and care about each other very much. I also get to see all my cousins over most of the holidays, which has always been and continues to be so much fun.

My dad always recorded home videos as we were growing up and still today on holidays. Lately, my sister has converted the tapes to DVD, so we’ve been able to watch them all together as a family. Watching yourself as a 4 year old is a strange experience, but it is also so cool. Seeing the video of the day my parents brought my sister home from the hospital and I met her for the first time brought me to tears. I’m so glad my Dad had the foresight to record these moments. I will cherish those memories for a lifetime. One day I hope to have the same record of my own children growing up.

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T-giving 1995

T-giving 1995

9. Quality time alone

Normally, I am not someone who likes to be alone. If there is an opportunity to be out with friends I will take it. However, my boyfriend is between jobs and is off on a 3 week trip around Europe (I really wanted to quit my job and join/had some serious FOMO). However, now I am embracing this time for me. I cleaned my whole apartment, thrilling I know, but it felt great. I finished my homework without procrastinating. I started christmas shopping. All little things, but all things I normally put off. Coming up next in my self-proclaimed staycation is

  • go to the gym
  • watch classic movies I’ve never seen (The Godfather)
  • explore Somerville
  • do a 1000 piece puzzle
  • go to a concert
  • hang up photos
  • put up curtains
  • plan trips to visit friends
  • read a new book (need to stop re-reading Harry Potter)
  • cook 5 new meals
  • take a bath (as opposed to a shower, don’t worry I’m not gross)

Not the loftiest of goals, but things I will enjoy doing by myself.

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Basically I’ve always done me. Don’t think that will change anytime soon.

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“Oh, the places you’ll go!”-Dr. Seuss

There is nothing like a good adventure

I have been incredibly fortunate to travel to a number of countries in the world. However, after plugging in the places I have been on this map, it is clear that I have actually only seen a small fraction of the world.

As a self-proclaimed travel enthusiast I hope to venture much farther from my home and my comfort zone, throughout the course of my life. Though the map highlights entire countries, I only had the chance to visit a few cities in each. My goal is to spend one year traveling around the world to as many countries as I can. I first got the idea after meeting a couple in Barcelona who was midway through their world trip. They had saved up for 7 years in order to take one entire year off of work and spend it traveling. This sounded incredible to me, so I planning to do the same one day. For now, a few snapshots of my favorite places so far…
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Alberta, Canada 1993

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Washington, D.C.

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park

Fraser Island, Australia

Fraser Island, Australia

Central Park, NYC

Central Park, NYC

Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany

Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany

Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre, Italy

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic

Lennon Wall, Prague

Lennon Wall, Prague

Casa Mila, Barcelona, Spain

Casa Mila, Barcelona, Spain

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois

Vail, Colorado

Vail, Colorado

Aruba

Aruba

Bryce Canyon, Utah

Bryce Canyon, Utah

Zion National Park, Utah

Zion National Park, Utah

Grateful

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” 
― Epicurus

Over the past several months, a number of events took place that I am very grateful for.

1. Got a new job working at a preschool as a 1:1 aide for students in a special education classroom. This has been a wonderful experience for me so far and I will continue to work at the school again this coming September.

-For those pursuing teaching without an undergrad in education (like myself), I highly recommend spending a few years as a paraprofessional. It gives you a great exposure to the classroom and an opportunity to learn from the head teacher. You also have ample opportunity to meet the administration and other teachers throughout the school system. It can give you a strong sense of what it would be like to have your own classroom and help decide if teaching is the right field for you.

2. Started babysitting for several awesome families after school and on the weekends.

-Not only is this great supplemental income, but it has allowed me to work with several different age groups of kids, and offered extra opportunity to work with children with autism in a non-school setting.

-Many of the families I’ve worked with have expressed how much they’ve appreciated my help and working with all of these kids has been such a rewarding experience.

-I met about half of the families through care.com which I would recommend to anyone looking for some extra work on the side.

3. Pursued new interests

-Signed up for 3 months of yoga, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but haven’t been wanting to pay for. Saw a good deal and bit the bullet. The classes are at Coolidge Corner Yoga (http://coolidgeyoga.liveeditaurora.com) and so far have been amazing.

-Attended a Dash Hack night at General Assembly Boston on an introduction to front end web development. Learned some basics of HTML and CSS, which are skills I have wanted to gain for a long time. Would like to pursue this interest more when time/money permits. Full courses offered at General Assembly and can be found on their website (https://generalassemb.ly/boston)

4. Traveled to…

LA 

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Aruba

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Sedona, AZ, Grand Canyon National Park, Glen Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park

Sedona, AZ

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Grand Canyon-sunset with the family

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Glen Canyon-smooth water rafting trip

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Bryce Canyon

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Zion-Hiking in The Narrows

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Final Hike at Zion

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Toronto

Scooting around town on an electric scooter.

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View from the CN Tower

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On the ferry to the airport

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5. Signed a lease

In September I will be moving into my first 1 bedroom apartment with my awesome boyfriend of almost 4 years. Super exciting! Already planning to go wild in Ikea.

6. Applied to Graduate School

If all goes well I will start the program for my Master’s Degree in Special Education for students with moderate disabilities grades 5-12 in the fall. I applied for the program at Bay Path University, so that I can continue to work full time while getting my degree. I am very excited to embark on this next chapter!

They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.
-Andy Warhol

 

Everything is awesome

Is the title of the very catchy, yet slightly annoying, song in The Lego Movie, which is excellent and you should all go see.

Aside from that everything has been quite awesome this week because

  • the Olympics are underway
  • the job search is coming to some fruition
  • my parking karma is on point

As far at the Olympics go, some of my favorite moments so far have been:

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Russian baby (15 year-old), Julia Lipnitskaia, killing it on her home ice

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Erin Hamlin making history as the first US woman to win a medal in luge singles

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Iouri (Ipod) podlatchikov win gold in the men’s half-pipe.

Though I was sad that Shaun White did not have the best day, I was impressed by his gracious acceptance of 4th place, and the fact that he went over and congratulated the guys that medaled.

I am happy anytime I see someone perform at their best and experience what I am sure is a feeling of pure elation at achieving a life-long goal. I think many people dream of going to the Olympics (I definitely did) and seeing people realize those dreams and have the run or routine of their life when it counts is very awe-inspiring.

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On the job front-

The search is going well, I had another interview today, I attended BU’s career fair and I made some more quality contacts.

Fingers crossed, I will have another job soon. If not, then I’ll keep trucking.

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Parking karma is just exciting because having given up my parking space to save some money, I am always grateful when I easily find a space on the street.

Basically when you find a parking space in Boston it feels like this:

borat

and this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buFRknN1ckM

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Also, in a very thoughtful gesture, my dad gave me a Starbucks gift-card so that I could sit and focus on applying for jobs. So that was very nice and unexpected and I’ve been filling my belly with delicious drinks all week.

So, all in all, everything is awesome, and seriously go see the Lego Movie (in 3D, which I normally hate) because it is so funny and cute, and definitely made for adults.

Whine and cheese (without the cheese)

Yesterday I was hosting my own little Whine club, but today is a beautiful snowy day and I am renewwed. It’s time to set some concrete goals again. Goal-setting began thanks to my gymnastics coach from age 9-17 and I continued it through college. For each meet, we had to set four positive goals for each event (something short, couldn’t use the word “no” or “don’t”) and focus on them throughout each routine. For a very nervous competitor, which I was, it helped a lot. In everyday life, this practice is also great. It is kind of like a to-do list, but with fewer items and more focus.

Yesterday

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Whine and Cheese club on Parks and Rec

Today

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Snow is magical!

Tomorrow

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Our goals were always private, so I won’t share mine, but if you get in a rut, try it out sometime.

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What should I be doing?

Probably not trying to start a blog, but that is neither here nor there. I could try to appeal to the masses with cat videos and twerking (which my computer keeps trying to auto-correct to tweaking; don’t worry, I’m sure it will be added to the dictionary soon), but I guess I’m just utilizing yet another outlet to publicize my life. Basically, being vain and thinking people will read this.

To keep it short and sweet, I should be aggressively applying to jobs right now, but I’m going to take a break to do this because it’s fun and new and means writing something besides a cover letter.

Finding a career to match your passions is no piece of cake. Especially when your passions lie all over the map and your expensive education and year and a half of post-grad job experience qualifies you for…well, less than you thought. Feeling like you wish you could send a Howler (HP reference, if you don’t like Harry Potter, just get out now) to every job that didn’t even give you an interview, though you’d be perfect (though obvi I’m sure there were lots of perfect people) doesn’t help the situation.

List of sentiments I would like to express i.e. the post-willingly quitting your job, job search

1. Why did I quit my job?

2. Because it was a good choice because I was miserable

3. Was I miserable?

4. Yes?

5. Fuck

6. Omg I’m so excited to look for new jobs. This is so fun.

7. Monster, craigslist, indeed, idealist, angel, simplyhired-WOO options!

8. This is a shit-hole.

9. OMG interviews, I’m amazing.

10. OMG job offer!

11. I don’t want the job being offered.

12. Shit.

13. Just offer me one of the countless other jobs I’ve spent hours applying to and that I really want.

14. I’m so awesome can’t you see that?

15. Maybe I could…

And here-in lies the reason I’m starting a blog. Because what better way to express how truly brilliant and marketable I am, than all over the internet! I’m only half kidding.

But, for serious, I’m a promising individual with many talents and positive qualities such as,

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backflips

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turning into a cat and reading your mind

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natural business acumen (bonus spelling skills)

El robe from Taiwan

passion for fashion

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endurance

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culture

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B.A. (badass)

So we shall see where all of this general excellence takes me.