Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WILW: Confused Blogger Edition!

Morning lovelies!

I am ready for the day! Just got back from the gym a bit ago--hit chest and tris, and BOY am I going to feel this tomorrow! Speaking of the gym, my training has been a little weird, but GOOD!! Ever since I postponed on my competition yet again, I feel like I have a renewed motivation. I am excited to get big (muscle, not fat!) and I've been working my butt off to make sure I don't slip too far off track. My goal really isn't supposed to be to lean out at this point, and I really haven't been aiming for that anyway, but at the same time, I do want to see my body fat go down a bit more and I want to see my body mass remain fairly constant.
I'm hoping a low hat will make me
unapproachable to the creepers at the gym...
I have not been hitting any two-a-days, though this does make me feel guilty at times, but my plan right now does not require two-a-days. I'm still sticking to my 5am wake up call, because that's when I feel like I am at my best. Nutrition surrounding my workouts has changed too, and I think for the better. My protein shake has been moved to directly after my morning workout instead of before. Before, I am supposed to have protein and carbs, but I find that 2 rice cakes with 2 tbsp of peanut butter does the job. Although I may cut out the peanut butter, still wary of fats.

Since changing this up though, my energy has been through the roof! I honestly can't remember a day since Kevin moved that I had stayed at the gym until 7am. I usually get there right before 5:30 and am done by 6:30-6:45. Well all this week, that has changed. The clock hits 7 every morning and I am either still at the gym, or just leaving--gotta love it! Part of this, though, is because I'm no longer wary about being on time for my job (because I am no longer "stuck" in it). And speaking of which, some job related stuff actually made it's way to my WILW list! I meant to do a post last week, but I'm still catching up on reading blogs, and was trying to scratch that off my to-do list before I posted again. So without further ado, I give you:

WILW: Confused Blogger Edition...
This week, here is what I'm loving:

  • My Loft manager, Caroline--I can honestly say I have never had the pleasure of working with a manager sweeter and more accommodating than Caroline. When I was going through the difficult time with my failure at a full-time job, Caroline was so understanding. And the sweetest part is that she totally didn't have to be. I felt like I had left her high and dry to replace me when I had only just stepped into my leadership role at Loft. I kind of felt like I had let her down and put her into this time crunch of a situation to find someone to replace me. But when I approached her that fateful Monday that I decided the full-time job just wasn't my thing, she was so compassionate that it's not even funny. Side note: when I get super stressed out, my emotions go haywire, so what I wanted to be a normal conversation with Caroline turned into exactly what I expected, a bawl-fest on my part. Word had already spread a bit that I was unhappy at my new job, but this was when I decided that throwing in the towel was the hard but better decision. I asked if she would give me more hours at work while I figured things out finding a new job (she had already found a replacement for me, as was expected), and she assured me that she would. She is even keeping me in my leadership role while my replacement finished training and my assistant manager goes on/comes back from her vacation (so another 2 weeks-ish). I couldn't ask for a more generous manager!
Eating noodles out of a cup on break.
I forgot a plate!
  • The job hunt...kinda--It's official, Charlottesville has a major lack of full-time employment, or anything remotely relevant/worth my time to apply for. In my job search, I have come to find that most posting on online job search websites are: a. scams, b. too good to be true, or c. attempts to lure college grads into a subpar job for little money and long hours. Fail. And while I do have a 4-5 hour long interview with a new home company coming up, I think it's in my best interest to work toward my medical sales certification. This is where the "love" part comes in--medical sales is a lucrative job, and I've applied for some positions, but they all ask me follow-up questions including the dreaded "Are you certified for this position?" My answer has typically been "No, but would definitely obtain such certification upon hiring." Wishful thinking, but not what they want to hear. So, I've decided to be proactive, and with the (financial) help of my mom, a training packet is currently en route to my apartment. I have to pass a test in order to earn my certification, and seeing as I haven't taken any anatomy classes since high school, it was only practical to purchase the training kit. Don't worry--this isn't a scam, it's one of the 2 certifications possible that most companies look for. So slowly but surely, I am getting there!
  • A life/job-search related decision--In addition to good ol' Cville having no relevant full-time jobs, it has been losing its appeal to me. I think I'm ready for some new adventures (well, as adventurous as one can be when they don't care for drinking and are pretty much a homebody nowadays). I have been realizing a few things:
    • Most of my friends are trickling out of town, such that in a couple years, I probably won't have many friends here my age since most of the ones I know are students at UVa.
    • Charlottesville is not a young city, with the exception of the University. It's more of a city where you would settle down with your family. There are not many "young jobs" as I like to refer to them, and almost anything I find here will have me in a similar situation as the job fail--working with all married women/people, and most with kids. Not that I have anything wrong with any of that, but I would prefer to have some people my age with whom I hang out.
    • I feel claustrophobic here. I know that last year around this time I had already made the decision that I was staying, but I just want out. I've heard on numerous occasions that "Charlottesville is a small town" and while I don't do anything crazy to get a reputation, I don't want my resignation to come back and bite me in the butt (although I do not plan on pursuing a job in the same field--EVER).
That being said, I have officially expanded my job search outside of Charlottesville and actually outside of Virginia. I don't think Charlottesville has enough opportunities at this point in my life, I know that I don't want to be back home in Virginia Beach, and I definitely don't want to be in some small rural area, nor do I want to be in Richmond. But I do want to remain somewhat close to some of my family, so we will see. I plan on having the medical sales certification taken care of in a month, and then I will start applying elsewhere (not that I'm not applying for anything now). 
  • Fall weather & flavors--and actually being able to enjoy them (kinda)! I have yet to order a salted caramel mocha at Starbucks, though I desperately want to! But my room is adorned with seasonal scented candles, room spray, etc. My oats are decked out with pumpkin flavors galore! I have a loaf of sweet potato bread somewhere in my kitchen (shhh, don't tell anyone!). Overall, fall is treating me pretty well, although I could do without all the dreary rain!
Beautiful fall morning!
Followed by a cloudless night :)
  • Holiday season--yes, it's officially that time in retail land. Holiday 1 came upon us just the other week, and so far I am loving what I am seeing! That being said, it's taking a lot of restraint to not buy everything in sight! I gave myself a $200 limit, but I really need to start saving money since I have no idea where my job hunt will take me. And I'm in the mood for some out of town roadtrips in the coming months! 
With all these life changes in store/in progress, it's hard to look past a day at a time currently. So with that said, I do not know when and where my first competition will be, but I know that as the pieces of my life start to fall into place, my training, motivation, and energy can only get better. 2012 is the new year for my competition, and I can only imagine how much stronger--both physically and mentally/emoitionally--I will be when I finally step foot on that stage!

What are you loving this week? Have you ever decided your city didn't have enough to offer you and made a life transition--how did it go??

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Little Puppy That Lost Her Way

There once was a little puppy. Her name was Liz. She thought she knew what would make her happy, thought she would set some goals along the way. What she didn't realize was that she wasn't considering what made her happy, but she was only considering what was expected of her. She followed along on that misguided journey for a few sad, lonely, frustrating weeks, until she confessed to herself that she couldn't do it; this person she was trying to be just wasn't her. So she strayed off the path and found herself in the middle of the jungle. She was surrounded with the twists and turns of knotted vines and no path to follow. And that's when it clicked--she had to make her own path, and get to her destination on her own time. After all, she was only a puppy, so she has her whole life ahead of her, right??

In case you hadn't guessed, I've found myself standing off the path to my goal. In more than one aspect of life. But before I get into the nitty-gritty details of it all, I want to let you know that I am/will be okay. Worrying doesn't do much good, so I'm finding the optimism in everything.

The Job

I don't think I've ever been more wrong about something in my entire life. I've been gone from Blogger for the better part of 3 weeks now, and having just skimmed back over my last post, I must admit that I was wrong. The new "A-mazing" job? Not so much. As much as I tried to convince myself that I was that person that could handle sitting in front of a computer hours on end, working on a billable hours paradigm, and not interacting with people on a regular basis, I just couldn't do it.

The last time I blogged, I was 2 days in, so I was still in reading mode, and trust me--that was more boring than anything. I almost fell asleep numerous times! When I was finally done with all my reading (by Thursday), I was given bits and pieces of tasks, no real guidance, and I would only get tidbits of training at a time. Then I would have a dozen bits and pieces of tasks thrown at me, not knowing how to prioritize these since I was so new, still no guidance/training, and did I mention it was the end of the fiscal year?? Definitely not the best time to hire a new employee.

I started realizing my doubts the first weekend--I worked at Loft all weekend, but I couldn't help but compare my fun, interactive Loft job with my face-to-face-with-a-computer-all-day-every-day job. People kept asking how it was, and I didn't know what to tell them. I hadn't done much, I didn't know what to do, and I felt like no one had the time to tell me. By Monday morning, I left the gym BEFORE 6 (I had gotten there around 5:20!) feeling unmotivated, and I sat in the car, on the phone with my mom bawling my eyes out.

For as much as parents do not want to hear their children cry, they do not want to hear that their child doesn't like her first full-time job. So as my mom started to react to the situation: "What!? You just started there--you can't not like it when you have only been there a week!!" I proceeded to hang up on her (note: not a proud moment there, but it's become habit when I'm frustrated). I drove the really short drive home feeling so alone and so miserable and fighting back the tears that came out anyway.

At work that morning, I felt more tired than ever, more run-down than ever, and generally not in a good mood. And nothing changed from the week before, except that I was given longer tasks and the one girl on my team that works remotely every other week was in the office. I kept having to tell myself that I just had to make it through to this upcoming weekend (I'm going out of town for a fun visit!). But as much as I told myself I could do it, every day I got further in, the more miserable I was feeling, the more alone, and the more tired/unmotivated/frustrated/stuck. I was even lashing out at friends and family. I was a non-stop complainer (of which I'm generally not).

By last weekend, I had let word loose at Loft to my assistant manager that I didn't like my new job. I wasn't looking to stay in my sales lead position, because I know how that works and I didn't want to be an indian taker-backer (for lack of better phrase). I had actively started applying for any and every full-time job I could last Monday, and by Tuesday morning, I already had a phone interview set up. I felt like that was definitely a sign.

I stuck it out through the weekend, and by end of business Monday (3 days ago), I realized I couldn't keep deluding myself. I may be a people-pleaser, but sometimes I just have to do what's right for me. I honestly could not picture myself working at that company for 6 months...a year. I realized that I wasn't stuck--I have control over my life. The job had me so stressed out that I was unnecessarily checking work email at 11pm, in the middle of the night when I got up to use the bathroom, and over the weekends. I was having legitimate nightmares about it. And my training went to crap. True fact: I've only been in the gym in the evenings mayyyyybe twice since I started the job. Granted, I only skipped one morning...

So Monday night, I realized I could only be mentally, emotionally, and physically healthy if I did what's best for me. In this case, that was sending in my resignation. After going into Loft, crying to my manager, asking her if she could give me some hours next week while she is on vacation. And of course she said yes. I'm so grateful to have such a wonderful manager, it's not even funny. I know I can't continue with my sales lead job past the 2-3 weeks I have left to stay in it, but I know she will definitely help me out.

As for the other boss--she completely understood too. She said I was doing a great job, but if I'm miserable doing a good job, then she understands. I didn't burn any bridges, but I'm not going to put this on my resume any time soon. So now, I'm back at Square One, and I don't even have a sales lead role to look forward to. But as I said earlier, it will all work out.

The Competition/Training

In light of the recent events and the blow to my motivation, I am once again postponing my competition date. I realize and am willing to admit that I lack the motivation that I had for what was supposed to be my original competition date back in July/August. Then, I lacked the money. Now, I lack the motivation (and the money will become an issue again...student loans have to be paid back starting November!).

I met with Pleasants today and we are going to go with a bulking phase and settle for a competition in the new year (hopefully Spring--and I'll be competing alongside my friend, Toni! Although she does bodybuilding, not figure). I'm much more calm about this decision because it was exactly that--a decision. It was a conscious choice on my part, not because I can't afford it, but because I want to be my best and I think that I need to go this route in order to get there.

I think this has been one of my proudest moments in recent time. I know that everyone says that you're supposed to get a full-time job right out of college, etc etc, but I don't think that's the course for me. Yes, I would love a full-time job, but not in my field. I'm an interactive person. I'm a people person. I would rather be happy making less money than miserable making more money. And to be honest, I wasn't making all that much for the depth of work that I was doing.

I do want to do a quick shout-out: I haven't kept up with much blogs (I promise to catch up soon!) but I checked to see how Lacey's competition went the other weekend. I was so sad to read that pneumonia kept her from the stage, but her attitude surrounding the whole thing was so calming and inspirational. She recognized the work she put in (trust me, we all recognize the amazing work she put into her training!), but in the end she had to do what's best for her. I like to think that I took a page out of her book and gained the courage I needed to make my own decisions this week.

I may be that little puppy off the path, but I am still on a journey. Some journeys take longer than others, but I still see my destination, and I will make the best of the path I follow until I get there!

I have missed you, my blogging family! So glad to be back!