So about living alone…

So, because my life can only be in a state of constant flux, 2014 has proven to be a pretty major year already.

Initially I thought that everything was going to be great. I got a second job as a independent contractor for an SEO company as a writer almost immediately at the beginning of the year. And therefore, assumed this was going to be my year.

In February my boyfriend of 6 years left me. He decided that he no longer loved me and hadn’t been happy for a long time. There was a lot of villianization of me on his part.

I suppose things had not been all the could have been for awhile. 2013 was a pretty rough year for us and I found myself trusting him less and less as time went on. And found myself less and less happy as time went on. But, I kept putting it off as a general displeasure with my job, lack of money, lack of friends, lack of confidence, lack of anything remotely resembling my former self. It occurred to me once or twice that he might be the issue. And I don’t mean that he is a bad person exactly. Just not right for me and the direction my life needs to be moving in.

In any case, the break up came as a bit of a shock to me. I was supremely distraught over the whole thing.

For about 3 days.

I was somewhat distraught for a following 11 days.

Then I was over it. I was still angry. I am still kind of angry. At myself, at him, at anything.

That will pass in time as well.

I’ve been living in my new place, alone, for a little over two weeks now. Granted I was living alone at my last place, but I had shared that with him for 3 years. There were still so many things around that had accumulated during the relationship and still so many associations with him in that apartment. In a way it felt like he was still present. It really didn’t help that he was still paying rent there and I could assume that he would show up at any given moment. Which, he did. To get his stuff or to take stuff that wasn’t really his to take or to argue with me about rent. So that was pretty distracting.

But now I have this beautiful apartment in a house that was built in the 20’s. It has real oak floors and tons of windows and light. There are old-fashioned qualities that took a moment to get used to, but each two-pronged electrical socket, each scratch on the floor, and each pull string light adds a delightful piece of character.

The porch is huge and the paint is peeling and the boards are bowing. The mailboxes are tiny and have metal hanging doors decorated with engravings.

It’s just this beautiful old place with cool neighbors, a huge antique store down the street, and a large cat named Fabio who roams the yard and surrounding neighborhood.

 

Empty bedroom :)

Empty bedroom 🙂

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Loving this kitchen.

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Mountains in the morning.

Even Holden seems to like this place more. Or maybe he just likes the fact that I let him roam freely more than I used to since the place is small enough that I can’t really lose him. Either way he runs around here like crazy. I don’t have air conditioning, so I bought him a fan. He lounges in front of it pretty much constantly and seems pleased with it.

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I’ve also received a promotion at the grocery store, after transferring to the new store in order to have a shorter commute. And I’m now the floral specialist! Not exactly a career, but I really enjoy making the arrangements and gift baskets and getting to have some kind of creativity throughout the day.

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In any case, things appear to be looking up. It occurred to me today that I have definitely realized things about myself while living on my own. And I have to say that I seriously suggest that everyone do it. Being comfortable alone is one of the biggest assets you could hope to have. Anyways, here are some things that I have concluded about myself in the last few months (and especially the last 2 weeks).

  • I really can do things alone. For the longest time I have had this anxiety about doing anything alone. That ranges from sleeping to shopping to even driving. I felt so self-conscious and uncomfortable. It was so much more validating, for whatever reason, to have other people constantly with me. But now I know that I really can just do things by myself. And actually enjoy it. In fact, I am about to start planning a week long vacation to take by myself.
  • I enjoy cleaning. And keeping a clean living space. It is so much easier to clean when you live alone. You’re the only one moving things around or leaving things out. So it becomes so much easier to . My apartment is much smaller now, making it a whole lot easier to keep up with.
  • I eat more healthfully. Now that I don’t have to worry about someone else’s (let’s admit, somewhat childish) taste preferences, I can make whatever I want, buy whatever I want, and eat as much as I want. All the time! Thus making it a lot easier to eat better foods.
  • I have more friends than I thought I did. Without having to account for another person’s schedule or needs or quality time, I can leave whenever or have people over at any time. I can suddenly decide to go to the farmer’s market and drink mimosas with people one Sunday. Or spend Thursday tanning and gardening alone. It’s very refreshing.
  • I get so much more done. I am writing more, reading more, sleeping more, thinking more, walking more, and having more fun than ever before. Again, that other person (whether it’s a partner or a roommate) isn’t around to partially dictate chunks of your time. It’s easier to focus and easier to get things done.
  • I’m ready to move. In a year, anyways. Asheville has been a delightful city and a huge part of my formative years. Now it’s time to go.

And it goes on, maybe I’ll continue another time. But, the point is, I feel like this whole, complete, breathing person. I’m 27 years old and I just remembered that I’m actually alive for the first time in years. And it’s beautiful.

 

That is not to say, of course, that I will want to live alone forever. I’m past the point of ever wanting a roommate again, that’s too much hassle with too little gained. But living with a partner is not written out either. Regardless of the past experience with it.

I think that in a truly good relationship, each party feels comfortable being exactly who they are and with exactly who the other person is. Everyone respects everyone else’s alone time or personal friendships. No one feels suffocated or ignored. Intelligence and wit are well-matched and complementary. Each person still has their autonomy and they have it with each other. There isn’t this weird thing that happens where the couple gloms on to each other and morphs into one rather obnoxious entity. I’m pretty sure it exists somewhere.

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How to ultimately fail at keeping a promise to write blogs. Also updates.

Well, like I usually do, I only remember to write here when there has been some sort of development and then I promise myself that I will be awesome and write more often and bla bla bla. And then inevitably I become caught up in the rest of life and this falls to the wayside.

It totally does NOT help that my f key is broken and I have to ctrl+v every time I want it.

Excuses, excuses.

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But! There has been a development. I completed my internship with Borgen Project back in September. The whole experience solidified my desire to work as a writer full time. But reminded me how difficult that actually is to pull off as well. It also brought out something that I didn’t really expect.

I realized that I want to work for non-profits. I mean I want to make a profit because I have grown really attached to being alive and eating and living in a place with walls and shit. I just really got into the idea of working for a greater cause. Of working to help people and make the world a better place. That, too, is hard to get into.

Borgen actually had an opening for a paid position that I didn’t even get an interview for. That’s okay, though. I’m sure someone more qualified got the job.

So I have just been plugging along at my dead end grocery store job. Making money and doing my best to keep from going totally insane.

When I came back from Ireland, though, I decided to sign up for a website called flexjobs. It is really very neat. You have to pay, of course. But you get access to a TON of online, telecommute, part-time, full-time, flexible jobs. Like writing or design or whatever artsy thing you’re into. And I mean real at home jobs. Not the “give us all your money and we will let you stuff envelopes at home” jobs. But really businesses that are either internet based with no building at all. Or a business with a brick and mortar situation and no desire to have another employee taking up space. They also may just want to open the job up to people in other citites.

So I sat down the other day and applied to 6 jobs.

By the next day I had an email from CEM about a content writing job.

That night I had a phone interview.

And a job offer.

Now it isn’t totally glam or anything. I work for $12.50 an hour starting out. After a two week probation I either get let go, stay where I am, or have a chance to test into the senior writing level. Which means more money. More work, but more money.

At the moment I am opting to stay at my current job, especially since there is really no guarantee that I will even get to move forward. Although I think I will. I also want to make sure that this is something I am not only good at, but something I can sit down and make myself do for hours a day in order to make enough money to live on. I also worry that, while they have a lot of projects and not enough writers right now, the situation could change very quickly and I wouldn’t be making enough money anymore.

The work so far is pretty boring. They want a 1000 an hours output. I seem to be averaging 840 right now. Not bad for just starting out. It’s all very keyword driven. You know, that word vomit that no one really ever reads that is just supposed to get someone’s name up higher in google searches. I did some blogs on chiropractic for them tonight that were a bit more interesting than the other stuff.

Again, not glamorous. But it’s a job writing. And that is a step in the right direction.

I have also been doing some freelance work with blogmutt. They’re a crowdsourcing web site that gets clients to pay for blog posts to promote their business and get more clicks to their site. I go through as the writer and choose which people I want to write for and then write like 350 words on a chosen keyword. Like fashion tips or party ideas or valentine’s day. This writing is actually really enjoyable. I don’t get credit for it, but I get to have a voice and learn some stuff and be creative with it. Unlike the CEM stuff.

And then I had another response to a resume that I sent in. A fashion site has selected me as a possibility for a job blogging for them. It’s 200 blogs a month. $5 a blog. So $1000  month. The writing is really basic. You find an item and a picture of it. Write a description. Done. It could be tricky getting the item and formatting the picture. But once you get into it would be a cinch to bust those out. So something else I can pursue.

Maybe the trick right now is to cobble together a bunch of different writing jobs instead of trying to rely on one or even just find one that can be an everything job.

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OH. I also have an interview for a promotion at the grocery store tomorrow.

Geez.

Well I am doing my very best to keep a positive outlook on all this new found stress I fell into. I am actually writing every day whether it is in my journal or for money. And that’s more than I can say about the last few years. I also just have to keep reminding myself that I want this. I want this chance and this change and not only do I want it, I absofuckinglutely need this shit. I need it before I lose my mind already. And get stuck at a menial job for an eternity.

2014 go!

Slacker Jacks

I feel like I’ve been steadily consuming a huge box of Slacker jacks. And the prize at the bottom? EPIC FAILURE, DISAPPOINTMENT, AND A LIFE OF RETAIL!

These taste like despair and self-loathing.

These taste like despair and self-loathing.

Every time I have a terrible shift I redouble my efforts to find a new job. But then I just get depressed. Because there aren’t any new jobs. I mean, if I really wanted to work at a different grocery store. Or an auto parts store. Or prostitute myself. Then, yeah, I’d have tons of options. But the point is to find something better and not just new.  All retail is really the same. All customers are assholes. And I really need to stop working with the public before I never go outside again because I see douches and morons everywhere. Everywhere. 

But I keep making the same excuse not to just move to Columbus, Ohio and become some sort of midwesterner. This trip Ireland. I have been really concerned with a new job being like, “Oh yeah, you just started here. Take 10 days off.” /sarcasmfont

So, once I get back in three weeks. IT IS ON. You hear that Slacker Jacks? You’re going in the trash. I’m going to Trader Joe’s and getting some bulk, organic… Successios. Whatever. Success is much more difficult to make into a snack or cereal. Productiveites? That sounds like some form of amoeba. Well…you guys know what I want to do there. Just pretend that I came up with some really good thing. Or stick with the amoeba, if you’re into Biology or something,

As it turns out, if I fail horribly, my current place of employment is apparently not above taking you back if you just walk out one day. So there’s that.

Also, prostitution is always there. The service industry is basically that, anyways.

I imagine most of my clientele like this.

I imagine most of my clientele like this.

Overload.

Things have been a little intense. It’s about 3 weeks since I was hired by Borgen and 2 weeks that I’ve actually been contributing my writing. And 9 articles into it, I’m loving it. But I’m also totally exhausted. On top of my 40 hours a week at my paying job I’m putting in 20+ in research and writing as well. I’m only up to the 5 articles a week part of the internship. But, pretty soon, I’ll be required to do 7 a week.

Part of me keeps hoping that I’ll be able to go ahead and bust out a bunch right now so I’ll actually be ahead of the game.

The other part of me realizes that I’m a terrible procrastinator.

I’ve been assigned two topics that I’m supposed to write most of my articles about. One is pretty easy to find information about, clean water. All over the place there are new purification and desalination processes coming out. And people all over the world are starting new groups and generally coming together to make access to clean water a reality.

The other topic, the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, is proving way more difficult. I’ve only found one hearing so far that has anything to do with global poverty. A fair amount that deal with human rights issues. And a TON that deal with why certain groups think Obama sucks. Not the least helpful. Not to mention, the news team posted a topic that needed to be covered this week that dealt directly with the committee. But some girl (who isn’t even assigned that topic) snatched it before I could. Ugh.

Oh well, I’m sure I’ll come across more things over the next 10 weeks. And I am allowed to write about other things sometimes, it’s just the majority of my stuff has to deal with water and the senate.

I really am enjoying it a ton, though. It’s challenging me to think and write in different ways than I normally would. And I’m learning a lot about poverty that I probably would have missed otherwise.

The weekly conference calls are a little boring. but I understand why we have to do them.

Here are some of my articles!

Protests in Brazil Escalate Over FIFA – Chelsea Evans

Students Stand Up For Clean Water in Kenya – Chelsea Evans

They also had us create a Crowdrise account for fundraising. If you feel some great humanitarian need to donate, that would be great. If not, no worries. The money goes to what we do; traveling, informing, debating, and learning. We don’t physically do aid or give the money to people as Clint Borgen actually works with our government to promote us actively taking a larger part in global aid for poverty.  But none of the money lines the pockets of the employees, this is a strictly non-profit group. These people are either volunteers or interns working for Borgen part of the day and holding down normal jobs the rest. If you want to learn more, go to Borgen Project.

Official Intern.

So, today is my first official day as an intern with The Borgen Project. I’ve reveling in it for a week already, but after participating in my first volunteer and intern team national conference call and actually knowing I was on the phone with the man who started the whole project (and a hundred other interns and staffers) really brought it home for me.

clintborgen

Meet Clint Borgen, the founder and President of  The Borgen Project. He’s the man behind everything that we do and the one who meets with the members of the government in an attempt to persuade them to support funding to end global poverty. See, instead of taking donations to help the poor and instead of sending groups of volunteers to the impoverished countries, Clint works from within our own country.  He, and his staff, believe that in order to really eradicate poverty to wealthiest country needs to be playing their part. Sending volunteers and aid is great, but the countries of the world all need to really pull together to actually put an end to it. During the day he works for Borgen and at night he tends bar and serves since he needs to make money to live on.

mantra1Meet Mantra Roy, the manager of the news team for The Borgen Project and, therefore, my boss. She oversees the numerous bloggers, journalists, and editors (while doing much of the editing herself). Unfortunately I don’t know much about her other than that, but she seems like a nice person and just as determined as Clint.

These two people are already an inspiration to me, and I’ve only really been hired for a week. Understanding what they give up themselves so they can help those in need, people they’ve never even met, is seriously overwhelming.

I’m very excited about this opportunity and I’m doing my best to quell the massive amounts of nerves that keep popping up in the form of anxiety attacks in the middle of the night. I just have to keep faith in myself that I can do this and that, maybe, what I write will get more people interested in the cause and therefore the government more interested in the cause and we can really start to actually DO something about this Millenium Plan and this ever-growing (but actually slightly diminishing) problem of extreme global poverty.

I am not simply doing this for myself and my resume and my future. I am doing this out of a very real desire to help other people.

Huzzah!

Picture credit: theborgenproject.org

Picture credit: theborgenproject.org

I think I must be really good at getting internships, even if I seem terrible at getting real jobs. Maybe that can be my thing. I can work terrible jobs to make money and then do a lot of side work for internships doing stuff I like. It would probably be pretty annoying, but at least it would be better than just working the terrible job and sitting on my ass all day.

So, yes, I received an email today informing me that they liked all my stuff and the interview went well and BOOM I will be writing blogs for The Borgen Project!

I should be starting that in about a week, and I’m very excited. I am really starting to think 2013 could be a good year. Maybe not the year where everything turns around for me, but at least a year that acts as a stepping stone or something.