Another one bites the dust…

I didn’t get into TFA. Didn’t even make it to the phone interview. This is what I tweeted shortly after finding out the news:

So I’m going to be all emo for a minute, but I need to get this all out. *big sigh* To say I’m disappointed about TFA would be an understatement. I went to bed last night thinking I could push it out of my mind, but I can’t. Shit man! Why can’t just one thing go MY way for once? I’m being a big girl (and not crying), but my god am I annoyed. & then ppl wanna say “Oh God has smtg better in store for you…” blah blah bullshit. This has nothing to do w/ Him right now. It’s all about how I wasn’t good enough YET again. BUT! I need to not wallow and learn from the experience. I’m trying to “rise above” like Miranda Bailey, haha! But the shit is hard when you’re so far down. Ah, well enough of emo!J. Back to my regularly scheduled tweets of randomness and hilarity ;-p

So many people kept telling me, “What are you worrying about? You’ve got this.” It’s so funny because I started believing the hype. Deep down inside though, I knew that I really didn’t “have this” and I needed to prepare myself for the disappointment of another failed attempt. SO I began counteracting every “stop worrying” with “nothing’s for sure”. Every “you got this!” with “no I don’t, stop saying that!”

Nearly a week has passed and I am still a little sad about the whole situation. I haven’t even told my dad yet. Not that I think he’ll be disappointed, but I want to get to the point where I will be able to say “I did not get chosen” without tightness in my chest. I’ve decided that I simply cannot wallow though. Okay, this didn’t work out, but that’s not to say that nothing else will.

So I’m back on my grind. I have a grad school fair to attend in a couple of weeks. I’m hoping to speak with some schools of education that really interest me and get information to be in school by next fall at the latest. All this “woe is me” “my life never goes according to plan” shit is for the birds. I’m changing my point of view and trying to be all around more positive.

Making moves…

On Friday I made a big decision. I decided to apply to join T.eac.h for A.mer.ica (don’t want this entry to come up in google searches). I am not having the best luck when it comes to finding a graduate program in Education that will work with my schedule as well as provide me with my degree in an accelerated period of time, so this is the next best thing. For those of you who may be unfamiliar, the program is one that trains people from various walks of life (recent grads, established professionals, and hopefully me!) to become teachers.

The application process begins with an online general application. From there they narrow the field down and start phone interviews (I find out by 09.24 if I made it thru the first cut. *praying feverishly*) After phoners, there’s in-persons and final selection. If I am selected, then I will attend a summer training session. After the training session, the people are assigned to various placements in rural or urban parts of the United States. During the application process, you get to choose where you would like to be placed (Dallas, New Mexico, & Chicago if you were wondering). One is not guaranteed placement in the areas in which they are selected, but it is taken into high consideration when the time comes.

I really want into this program. Let me say that again so you get me I REALLY WANT INTO THIS PROGRAM. At first I was hesitant to really speak on it because of fear of jinxing myself. Then I stopped the superstitions and told a few people. I spoke briefly with my dad about it the first time I considered applying and chickened out. So I’m hoping I have some good news on Thursday to tell him. If not there’s always my plan B…

I have applied for 5011 6 jobs at Ha.rpo. Some that I believe that I am qualified for and a couple that I know that I am not qualified for in any way, shape, or form. I am convinced that if my quest to become a teacher does not work out (with rapid results ala TFA), then I will be working for Opie by the end of 2010. I have to have faith, haha!

The truth is I am bored with my current position. I sit around harvesting crops on FarmVille and tweeting random thoughts that pop into my head for 8 hours a day. Many people that I work with love the fact that we don’t have any work and are able to surf the internet all willy nilly. I am NOT one of those people. I prefer to have my mind stimulated at all times. I would venture to say that I can accomplish all that I do on a daily basis in less than 2 hours. Quelle ridiculous, non?

I am grateful that I have a job that is enabling me to keep a roof over my head and food in my belly, but I am completely and utterly bored. I did recently get a promotion (hold your applause. NO REALLY HOLD IT), but all it did was add another stick behind my name (instead of a [position title] I, I am now a [position title] II). The pay increase will get eaten up in taxes and I do not have any additional responsibilities or workload.

I hate to sound like Complaining Caroline, but I am sick and tired of not being challenged. I’ve expressed my boredom to several people in charge with no results. They’ll give me “special” projects which are completed soon after they are assigned. In recent history, one was to compile a list of emergency contact information for our team of 20-something people. It took longer to get a response to the emails I sent out than it did for me to complete the project.

My goal is to be in place at a new job by the beginning of 2010 if I am not accepted into TFA. Being proactive and working toward that goal is what gets me in trouble… ;-p

To Live & Die in L.A.

For a mere 3 months way back in 2007, I lived in the suburbs of Los Angeles, California. A friend of mine had been living out there for a while and liked it. I went to visit for a few days in 2006 and really liked the area that she was in. I had been itching to not live in Illinois since I was old enough to realize that it was possible, so moving out West with her seemed like my way out. Fresh out of college, with all the dreams in the world, I embarked upon this move with a halfcocked plan. I had a little bit of a nest egg set aside, put out feelers for temporary agencies in the local area, and put all of my faith in my friend to find us somewhere to live. She was currently living with another person, but was looking for a place for she and I to live. Working at a postal stamp machine company, I was counting down the days until I would leave.

My initial plan was to leave in August after my birthday, but somewhere along the line I got a bit anxious and moved my move date up a month. Things worked out perfectly because my friend (who was from the midwest) had 5 days off from work, so she decided to fly back home, visit her family, and then drive cross-country with me back to LA. I was stoked! I remember a lot of people telling me that I would not make it. Some said that I would not be able to last living so far away from my family. Others warned me of the perils of trying to not only find employment, but a place of residence upon first arriving there, but I simply brushed all of the naysayers aside.

I should have taken heed to their warnings because my time in Los Angeles ended up being pretty sad. My friend and I had a helluva time finding an apartment and ended up in a short term sublet. The sublet was a studio and let me tell you, two women + 1 studio = NO THANK YOU MA’AM. I was jobless for the first couple weeks and bored out of my mind. I ended up taking a job that was horrid and unsatisfying (telephone interviewer for Nielsen). Not to mention, it paid peanuts. I had to call home to my parents to ask for money a couple times to make ends meet. Meanwhile, my roommate was firmly established in her job and making a decent amount of money.

My days consisted of scouring the classifieds for apartments, going to interviews with temp agencies, and working a few hours for Nielsen. Soon, I landed a job through a temp agency that paid more than Nielsen and was full time and things began looking up. Even though it was a temp gig, my bosses liked me and were looking to make me permanent. I made friends with a couple people at the job and was starting to get used to my new surroundings.

Our sublet was running out and I was growing increasingly irritated with my roommate because to me it seemed like I was doing all of the footwork as far as finding us a place to stay once the sublet ran out. We kept getting denied for apartments and I was blaming myself. My credit wasn’t (and still isn’t, but I’m working on fixing it) the best and I felt as if I was to blame. Everything was falling apart and felt like nothing was going right. Still though, I was not ready to admit defeat. I kept working, apartment hunting, getting turned down, while worrying myself into a tizzy.

We were closing in on our last couple of weeks in the sublet with no apartment in sight. My roommate and I were going to look at an apartment in Korea Town that seemed promising. I’d spoken with the landlord, explaining our credit woes, and he was willing to work with us. We arrived at the property and there was no one there. Went to the onsite office and no one there. Called the numbers we had on the landlord and there was no answer. In that moment I was completely and utterly defeated. I was tired of trying only to be met with opposition.

Leaving from the property (we drove in separate cars) and heading to work, I called my roommate and simply said, “I’m done.” I had no more fight left in me. She offered alternative solutions and asked me not to given in so easily, but I could not be swayed. The last thing that I was doing was giving in EASILY. Lord knows that I did not want to go back home. I did not want to be considered a failure. I did not want to have to face the “I told you sos” and sympathetic shakes of heads. But I had to. Otherwise I’d be living in my car and showering at the Y. Clearly that was not the answer.

I remember calling my ma and telling her that I was coming home. She was overjoyed because she never wanted me to leave in the first place. She insisted on flying in to meet me and drive home with me. I think I drove about 22 of the 27 hours that it took us to get home, fortified by Mountain Dew Amp alone.

When I got home, I expected to be bombarded by people who were quick to tell me “I told you so” or rub my failure in my face. There were a couple who did such things, but were too coward to actually say things to my face. Gotta love some of the punkass gossips in my family. At any rate, for the most part I was welcomed back with love and support. That didn’t stop me from thinking that Iwas the biggest failure in the history of failing.

I moped around for a couple days, called my agency I worked with in Chicago, and had a new job within a couple of weeks. I missed my LA life terribly though. It was fun being so far away from every and every thing that I used as a crutch. I tried new things, had some fun adventures, and was the most spontaneous than I’ve ever been. Every now and again, I revisit my decision to come back home. I play the what if game, knowing that there were no other plausible solutions but to come back home.

I’m still determined to leave Chicagoland behind. Something deep in me just thinks that what I am looking for is not here. I’m not meant to live here like everyone else in my family is. I’m not content in this stagnant job, life, world that is Chicago. The only way for me to break free and get things in order (I think) is for me to leave. . .

You should write a book…

Alternately titled The Little Writer that Could…

Every now and again, I will be exchanging emails with my girls while at the plantation and I’ll say something incredibly silly. Sometimes I tickle myself when I am even typing the nonsense out. I always get responses back that say one of two things, “Girl, why are you not writing a book” or “You should be a writer”. While I am flattered (wordplay is something in which I pride myself and judge others upon), I never actually take their words to heart.

There was a time when I thought that I wanted to be a writer. I have always had a certain affinity for the English language. I’m a word nerd, through and through. I’ve been this way since I learned to read. As a child, I used to write stories all of the time. I still have (somewhere) a copy of my epic tale called Underscore, which was loosely based upon the hijinks of myself & high school friends. I reread it a few years ago and laughed so hard. I thought I was a li’l Bebe Moore Campbell–killin’ ’em with my wordplay. Meh…notsomuch.

For a while, I fancied myself a lil Poetic Justice & set about writing verse. Some of them were quite inspired, but most were rather insipid. I shudder while recalling the “love” poems I wrote. (Dude, one of them had a line that went something like I love, need, & want you like that Patti LaBelle song *cringe*) I was rather proud of myself for not sinking to the “rhymey, singsongy” school of poetry though. Soon the well ran dry and I moved back to prose.

I wrote a few fanfics (bless you if you have no idea what that is) when I was fangirling for Jelly. They never saw the light of day. Too embarassed to share my work with others. I don’t think that I’ve ever shared any piece of prose I’ve written (outside of classwork), actually.

It has been a few years since I’ve dipped my quill in the ink and created anything that is longer than a blog post. I get inspired and write down my ideas, but they go nowhere. I keep making empty promises to my friend Lisa that we’ll get together and get a writer’s circle (welp, more like line since it’d just be the two of us) happening, but then I never follow through. BASTA! Enough is enough…

I keep saying that I am not satisfied with my current job situation. I need a new hobby, something to get me through these days and give me something to look forward to. Perhaps, I should stop seeking out something new and go back to the old. Get my arse in gear–pen + pad and start back creating. I want to begin simply at first. Craft a couple pages here and there. Get out some of the things I’ve been contemplating as little rambles or short stories or verselettes or haiku…something.

Channel the frustration and negative vibes that I am throwing off by the boatload into something positive. Create deadlines. Meet those deadlines…or at least try to. Stop being so chickenshit and share my work with others. Accept criticism. Learn from it. Change and resubmit. Until I finally get it right…

…here goes nothin’

Waiting for the other shoe to drop…

Alternately titled: “…are they gonna stand their ground? are they gonna let you down again?”

Here’s a little known fact about me: I love to meet new people, but I’m scared to make new friends. Since I am a walking ball of contradiction, that should make complete sense to anyone that knows me, haha! Honestly, I’ve had some bad luck in the friendship department over the years. The worst of all was when people I thought were going to be lifelong friends turned around and completely gutted me once I was no longer of use to them. Nice, huh?

At any rate, for a long while I’ve only claimed a few people as friend: Ally, Kiks, LTeezy, & C-Squared. Everyone else was relegated to the ranks of associate or people I’m “cool” with. The women mentioned above have been my girls for years. They know some of my demons that I keep hidden from the rest of the world. They know me beyond the facade that I put up to appease the masses. I mean, they’ve seen me UGLY CRY & everything, haha!

Lately though, this circle has widened quite significantly (by my standards). I have had the pleasure of meeting some amazing women that I am thankful to now call friend. In the back of my mind I was still a bit anxious with these friendsips though because of the issues in the past. I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop and drama to ensue. Honestly, I know that this is not likely to happen because all of these new friends in my life are upfront, in your face, women in every sense. If we ever had a problem, I am most certain that they would approach me directly and we’d get everything hashed out.

My birthday this year was a testament to the fact that I am truly surrounded by some amazing people in my life. I sent out an email inviting people to come by & celebrate with me. And honestly? I didn’t expect it to be anyone but me and the friends I’ve known for years who never let me down. Imagine my surprise when MOST ALL of my new friends showed up and showed out. The ones who could not make it expressed their regrets, but sent some token to represent their presence anyhow. There were a few times during the night when I looked around and just wanted to burst into tears because I was so happy.

I’m no longer waiting for that other shoe to drop. I am completely and utterly convinced that these friendship foraged will be lifelong. I trust these chicas with most anything (no one knows all :-/) & would like them to know that they can trust me all the same.