Hindsight is Always 20/20

Blog fail.

I have to apologize for my two weeks of absence.  Lots of changes have happened in my life, and it’s been difficult to put fingers to keyboard and write with one clear frame of mind when my energy is focused on trying to get my life in order.  I normally don’t write about the little details of my life here.  And I try to be super positive and inspirational, but even inspirational people go through hard times.  We’re human, but sometimes the blog world forces us to put on a happy face and write about all the good things.  When in reality, the true human experience isn’t always good, it’s not always sunshine and unicorns and puppy dogs, even though I love me some puppy dogs.

So I’ve got some things to say, and…

the first big announcement: I left my job in the DC area.

Probably not on the best terms either.  Oh well.  It’s okay.  I wasn’t happy and I’ve figured out that Paula + desk + computer isn’t the best combination.  You learn things in moments like these; I guess I learned that maybe I’m just not cut out for the conventional 9 to 5 workplace.  That I really need to be doing something I’m passionate about when it comes to my career.

And then maybe another thing I learned is the company I worked for sucked majorly.  I wish I could rant and rave here, perhaps insert some expletives on my blog about, as I will, in all professionalism call them “Company X”, but I’d like to have a real-life job again one day and future employers (hi there!) might be reading this.  And well, “Company X” doesn’t really deserve the letters that I would type about it anyways.  It’s water under the bridge.

Second announcement: I’m moving back home to live with the parents for a while and figure things out (read: save money).

Eight months ago, I thought that moving to the DC area was going to give me some big epiphany.  I had visions that awesome, intellectual people would surround me every single night.  Maybe I’d even find a boyfriend, stop being so lonely, but all the single guys in DC suck  that definitely didn’t happen.  I also thought that I was missing out on something.  What is this something?  Does it even exist?  And in reality, I wasn’t.

I did the DC area thing for eight months.  Eight months of traffic, crappy public transportation and expensive rent.  Eight months of gas that was 30 cents more a gallon than in my hometown, a major city just two hours south.   Eight months of hour-long commutes five days a week.

I learned that unless you’re actually living in “DC proper”, you really won’t be doing a lot of “DC things”, nope; in fact, you’ll be doing a lot of suburbia things.

So I learned.  Would I live in the DC area again one day?  Yes, if I was living in the confines of the District.  But never again, Northern Virginia suburbia.  Never.  Ever.

And I know this post has been very pessimistic about my DC area experience.  I know, I know, who wants to read Debbie Downer’s blog? I certainly don’t.  And there were a lot of really awesome things I had the opportunity to experience during my time there, which I definitely touched on in some of my prior blog posts.  But this is what I’m feeling right now.  This is why I’ve decided to come home.

So what am I doing with my life now, you might wonder?

Well, I’m going to be working a less than my education level job as a pool manager, but that’s okay because it means no more Paula + desk + computer.  Yay!  I like being outside, I like people, and I like not staring at a computer and scanning receipts for eight hours a day.  And I used to lifeguard about five years ago so I kind of know the territory.  At the end of the day, I’ll also learn some valuable skills like, how to save people’s lives.  That’s kind of valuable, I think.  Maybe.

And it’s temporary.  Right now, I really need to, for my sanity, save money before I embark on a big life adventure I have tentative plans for this fall.

More on that later.

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Moving On

I moved!  I finally got out of the dreary dungeon basement that I had been sleeping on an air mattress in for the past four months.  The basement room was originally found on Craigslist and it also happened one of my coworkers lived in the house as well.  It wasn’t as bad as I make it seem, however, the basement was always freezing and I constantly ran a space heater to keep the temperature at a balmy 65 degrees F.  Living there was really noisy (it was located right next to I-66), the room had no real door (used a curtain), and I didn’t feel really safe living near a metro and having an outside door in the basement.  I also didn’t have a guaranteed parking space, and if I came back late at night, would have to park on the street or even at the metro and it was a huge hassle.

And as awesome as my housemates were, it just wasn’t the ideal living situation.  Because they were all guys, it was hard to relate sometimes.  Not sure if it’s like this for others, but where I live can have a huge impact on how I feel.  When I was living in the basement, I was in a huge slump.  I didn’t care to get out of bed in the morning because it was always so dark, I didn’t care to make myself look presentable for work…I just didn’t care and was in a horrible mood.  And when I finally moved, it was like a huge weight was lifted and I felt purposeful again.  But it’s situations like this where we learn how to overcome adversity and things we don’t like and move on from them a better person.

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My new room + real bed + cat

So now, I’m living “inside the beltway” off of Arlington Boulevard near Eden Center, which is like Vietnamtown in Northern Virginia.  I get to live in a highrise condo, with a secure entrance, my own bedroom and bathroom (with a  bathtub – score!), two friendly cats, and a great female roommate.  I can see downtown Arlington from the apartment, as well as the Washington Monument and Capitol Building in the distance.

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WM = Washington Monument C = Capitol Building (The other white dot in the sky is an airplane leaving Reagan Airport) – this is clearer in person

 The rent is the same, but includes utilities, so I am just paying for internet/cable.  And because the utilities are included, we turn the heat up – so I went from living in 65 F to 75 F and I love it!  And I finally have a real mattress (things we take for granted)!  And there’s parking, a pool in the summer, a convenience store, fitness facilities…condo living.  The only downside is my commute to work is 15 minutes longer (takes me about 40 minutes to get to work in the AM and probably 1.25 hours to get home).  I’ve been going to the gym after work though to avoid rush hour.

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Bathroom – so excited for a tub!

Because I’m stubbornly independent and have a skewed idea of the amount of “stuff” I have up here, I figured I could make the move by myself, super easy.  Well it wasn’t.  The one carload has turned into 3, and thankfully my new roommate has helped me move stuff in.  I know I’ve definitely downsized, but material items definitely add up.  I absolutely hate to inconvenience people, even my own family because I feel like I’m sometimes a burden.  So I like to do and deal with stuff on my own.  Next time, however, I will be asking for help!