Wednesday, November 13, 2013

First Trip Home and Other Assorted Goodness

I don't even know how to start this post, so I'll just throw a life summary at you, and then you can choose whether or not you'd like to continue reading:

I quit my job without having another job lined up, I went back to NJ for the first time in over 2 months, I came back and might have a new job now. BOOM.

Basically, I decided it was best for my own physical and mental health to peace out of my current place of employment. I am going to miss the clients and my coworkers so, so much, but I know this was the right decision for me. It just happened to be a very risky, terrifying one to make, seeing as Eric and I just moved in to a new apartment and need to pay bills... But I'm not going to be able to pay any bills if I have a breakdown. A lot of times, people in the counseling field forget to put themselves first, because we are so worried about taking care of other people. It was time for me to remember that I need to be the best I can be if I want to give my clients the best care possible. I explained this to my employer, and he was very understanding and supportive.

So, goodbye steady employment with benefits and good pay and supervision hours. Hello not having a clue where my life is going. My last day is Thanksgiving Eve.

I hopped on a plane with Eric that night to head home for the holiday weekend. My dad picked us up at the airport and brought us back to my parents' fall-festive house, where Eric's parents were waiting with my mom (and a crap load of cheesesteaks and pizza and snacks... score). It was the best feeling ever to get out of the car and smell the fall air and see the changing leaves and pumpkins on the porch. My house is the best in the fall. My mom left all the Halloween decorations up for me:

I guess it was nice to see family, too ;)

The weekend was a blur. We tried to see as many people as possible while we were home. We spent time with our families on Saturday. I went shopping and got my hair done with my mom.

Then we went to Dave and Sunny's wedding on Saturday night, which was amazing! It was so interesting to see Scottish and Indian culture combined. The groomsmen wore kilts and the bridesmaids wore saris. Plus, it was literary-themed, so all of the tables were named after Game of Thrones houses, and bookmarks were the favor. It was beautiful and unique and perfect. And I got to see a ton of MelUFriends!

Sunday we spent time with Eric's family in the morning, and went to Landmark for the Eagles game in the afternoon, where we probably got a little too into celebrating the fact that the Eagles were winning and we were in a bar filled with friends and locals wearing Eagles colors. I just can't bring myself to turn down $2 jagermeister shots after touchdowns. What can I say, I haven't changed too much...

We went back to my house after that for a giant family gathering, where I became a slightly intoxicated, emotional mess. Sorry guys, but I really was just so happy to be with everyone again. I couldn't stop thinking about leaving the next day and how much I miss everyone. Especially the kids. And Aunt Sean's chocolate chip cookies...

ANYWAY. I stopped by the Robins' Nest house on Sunday to see the girls and my old supervisor and coworkers. That job had some of the toughest hours I've ever worked, and it was difficult to get a new program started, but I can definitely say that it was one of the best working environments. I was actually EXCITED to "go to work" on my last day home. I really do miss everyone there.

Linny and I had a little Starbucks/Barnes & Noble sister time after that, where she bought me my first pumpkin spice latte, which I actually enjoyed, thankyouverymuch. And then, we did the most important thing on my entire trip home... Got pretzels. 10 for me and Eric, 10 for Kristin and Ben. She might have murdered me if I didn't bring them back. BUT I DID. So all is right with the world.

Of course I hadn't packed anything yet (gotta stay on top of my procrastinating game), so when I got home, I really needed to pack for the flight that afternoon. So we did a little fall scenery photoshoot instead, obviously.

Now, here is the crazy part. I pack all my shit up, and I'm sitting there about to cry, dreading going to work the next day, dreading leaving my family and friends, and dreading not knowing what is coming next in my life. I felt like I was back at square one, only with bills to pay now. So my dad is about to load the suitcases into the car and drive us to the airport, and I get a phone call.

I am basically the biggest introvert ever. I know I appear bubbly and outgoing and talkative, but it takes a LOT of energy for me to be that way. That being said, I screened the call from the unknown number, because it is terrifying for me to not be prepared for a phone conversation. I need to be able to read body language. Anyway, I listened to the voicemail when it came through, and lo and behold, it was a prospective employer calling to talk to me!

Needless to say, I called back immediately, risked us being late to the airport, and set up an interview for the next day at 9AM... the morning after flying back to Florida and not going to bed until 1AM... I do what I gotta do. It ended up going well. Everyone there seems very friendly. I would be a substance abuse counselor in a school, which means school holidays off, including summer vacation. The pay is not nearly as good as what I am making now, but I've definitely learned that money is not everything. If I can pay the bills and still save some, I am more than willing to cut out unnecessary expenses, like clothes and alcohol.

But maybe still buy SOME clothes and alcohol...

You get the gist. I could get a summer job as well during the off months. Even if I don't get this new position, I think it is way too much of a coincidence that things just keep magically working out for me. I know some of the decisions I have been making are risky, but the whole point of moving was so Eric and I could pursue HAPPINESS. So that is what we have been doing, risky decisions and all, and it has been working out for us somehow, some way.

It is obviously important to be prepared for the future, save money, and have a job, but it is nonsense to hold yourself to incredibly high standards that you know are jeopardizing your well-being. I would love a job in the counseling field, but I am willing to work at Starbucks, Publix, as a nanny, I don't care. Happiness is the main goal here, and I think American society as a whole has this idea that you are a failure if you aren't making six figures while working at a job that kills you.

You know what? I don't care. I want to be happy. If I'm happy bagging groceries with a Masters degree and I can still survive and pay my bills, leave me alone. There is nothing wrong with that. I am tired of being overly cautious and anxious and scared to do things that make me happy. Life is too short for that nonsense.

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