Work, Work and more Work

Stealing this idea from my girl at Stephany Writes, but I have had the pleasure of working in many different fields, and by ‘many’ I mean, just two. I have only two modes when it comes to employment Dogs, and Admin. I know what I’m good at and stick to it! (shrugs)  Here’s a short list of all the places that I have worked.

1.) Babysitting

I’m the oldest of six, so it stands to reason that the first job I was ever paid to do was watch other people kids, including my own siblings (which I did NOT get paid for). However, I babysat so much, I was pretty much burnt out on the idea of kids or ever having them for quite some time. Now that I’m a little bit older, the sound like a diverting pass time, but only with the right person. L O L.

2.) Kennel Attendant for Dog Daycare

My first official job (aka I signed tax documents for) was working at a dog daycare. At sixteen I began volunteering with the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, and I wanted to make sure I worked at a place that was going to be cool with me bringing my dogs to work with me. In my hometown dog, daycares were a dime a dozen so I landed a gig with DDDD. It was probably one of the worst jobs I’ve ever held, but it paid my meager bills (read: car insurance and food) and it allowed me to fill a slight sense of independence. However… the D R A MA associated with that place ridiculous. The business changed hands a few times, the owners would yell and scream at each other, the manager hated the owners, the assistant manager refused to do any work. Coworkers were constantly blowing up and storming out. I lasted exactly 8 months before I bailed.

3.) Kennel Attendant for Dog Daycare #2

I moved to my competition smoothly, despite the business owner and manager of DDDD begging me to stay, I happily accepted my new position in a much smaller, better run business. Despite earlier hours, and many weekend shifts I enjoyed my time there much better. I could work on homework and not worry about being yelled at. However, my time there was more of a growing period. I had some trouble arriving on time and remember to do everything that was asked of me. But we worked it out and I was a better employee because of it.

However, six months into my time at this daycare, my dad announced that he was moving the family to a town about an hour and half from where we lived; much to my dismay. But I quickly realized I’d not be able to afford to stay with a parttime salary, so I got online and began searching for jobs similar to what I wanted near our new location.

4.) Advanced Dog Trainer and Progam Manager for Service Dog Organization

You can imagine my delight when I found a locally run service dog organization located just 30 minutes outside of our new home; and even greater moments when I got not only the position but a new home ALL BY MYSELF. Out of all my jobs thus far, this was my favorite – yes my boss was also crazy, but I got to get PAID to TRAIN DOGS. AND I got to work with other people who were raising puppies, and yes there were bad times, but I loved, loved, loved, getting to watch the dogs I’d trained change people’s lives. But. My boss was crazy, and the rollercoaster ride that was working with her was stressing me to the max. So after a year, I decided to cut my ties and go back to pursuing my degree.

4.5) Webmaster for University Police Department

While I worked with the SD organization Is as also working part-time for a University Police Department as their webmaster and social media guru – I only put in 20 hours with them and worked the other 20 with the SDO. However, once I quit the SDO I stayed on at UPD for another two years while I worked on my degree. During my time there Id also work football games, as a Campus Protection Specialist (which I still do to this day) and got to deal with the processing and booking of people who were arrested at the games. THE STORIES I can tell from days spent working under the stadium. Wooo. However, I quickly realized that I’d need more money if I wanted to complete my degree and began looking for full-time employment for the first time.

5.) Receptionist for a Veterinary Clinic

Is it apparent I like animals yet? So once again I pursuing animal friendly avenues. After I left my employment with the SDO I began raising guide dog puppies again and wanted to continue doing that, so I applied and got a job as a receptionist for a very busy vet clinic. I was there for another 2.5 years and that also was a doozy of a job. The volume of customers, the drama from working with four doctors, the dread of going to work was enough to push anyone over the edge. Eight months into this position I realized that I wanted to pursue my bachelor’s degree and once I paid off my debts began searching for a position at the University I wished to attend. That took a solid year of constantly applying before I got a hit; which I took without a second thought.

6.) Receptionist for a University Counseling Center

Ever heard the phrase, out of the frying pan and into the fire? That’s kind of what this move was. IT was a good move, don’t get me wrong – I’ve made lifelong friends out of the people who I worked with, but this also was a place full of turmoil and drama. Things that really shouldn’t be at a place where people are seeking help. I stuck it out because of school, but also spent most of the time trying to find a workplace where I didn’t dread coming to work because I was SO overworked and underpaid. I reminded myself constantly that my main goal was to get free school and so I worked hard on balancing my class schedule and work life. But after yet another year of applying to the University, I was able to move.

7.) Administrative Assistant for University Housing

This was finally a move that felt right to me, from the interview process up until my hiring (which essentially happened the same day) – I knew I’d found the place for me. I’ve officially been in this position for a year now, and honestly, love everyone I work with. While I don’t have a lot of job responsibilities, it has been perfect for me completing my last two years of college (8 months until graduation!).

 

If anything I’ve learned over my career as a working woman, its how important the work environment is to me, especially as a full-time employee. I need to feel respected and appreciated at my job. As of today, I’ve decided to strongly look into the Non-Profit field once I graduate. I’d L O V E to work for another service dog organization, but will be happy to be able to make a difference in any other capacity.

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Currently…

January 25, 2018

1 – Age: 28

2 – Biggest fear:  Heights
3 – Current time: 8:53AM
4 – Drink you last had: Coke
5 – Every day starts with:  Kay – Just kidding, that’s wishes … but literally every day starts with the sound of my alarm buzzing.
6 – Favorite song: Currently: How Deep is Your Love by the Bee Gees (except its a cover of the song that I like better. Also Drowning by a Boogie with a Hoodie, and Havana also Kissing Strangers by DNCE (ft. Nicki Minaj)
7 – Ghosts, are they real: Possibly
8 – Hometown: Asheville TN
9 – In love with: Jesus
10 – Jealous of: People who’ve already graduated and have their lives figured out.
11 – Killed someone? Wouldn’t admit it here for sure
12 – Last time you cried: Also not telling you that
13 – Middle name: Leigh
14 – Number of siblings: 5
15 – One wish: That this world would be all that you want it to, you dreams stay big, your worries stay small, and you never given more than you can hold. And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to, I hope you know somebody loves you and wants the same thing too, yeah this is my wish.
16 – Person you last called: Cody
17 – Question you’re always asked: How do you pronounce your last name?
18 – Reason to smile: My animals
19 – Song last sang: Dead & Gone by T.I ft Justin Timberlake
20 – Time you woke up: 6:19AM
21 – Underwear color: I didn’t look
22 – Vacation destination: Cancun
23 – Worst habit: Procrastinating
24 – Your favorite food: Pizza or Grilled Cheese
25 – X-Rays you’ve had: My leg about a zillion times
26 – Zodiac sign: Virgo

Take that L

Thinking positively is so hard when you feel as if you’re floating in a sea of heartbreak and loneliness.

Gah that feels like such a downer!

But, in an attempt to remind myself of the good, here are my good thoughts for the week. (As seen on Twitter)

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Lessons in Relationships

Have you ever gotten to know someone who made you literally question everything about yourself as a person? I have, in my short twenty-seven years of life, met TWO such people in a very short span of time; and I don’t know what to do with myself anymore.

Who am I?

I would consider myself a very passionate, compassionate, sarcastic, outspoken, twenty-something college student, who loves animals with every fiber of her being.

Most of my close friends would probably agree with that assessment of me as a person in general

However, my romantic relationships of late have shown me another side, and one that I’m completely unsure of.

Relationships aren’t my strong suit to be honest. I’m a commitment phobe, I feel boxed in, insecure, pressured and they’re generally something I’d prefer to avoid all together.

(Save for the right person of course! Love you sweetie! Whoever you are!) 

But at the same time I want one so bad!

So I find myself in situationships, that really leave us all scratching our heads – for one thing, where I’m finding these people, how are they so bad for me, (yet for some reason like me SO much) and why I have such a hard time disentangling myself from their clutches?

I have come to the conclusion, these events are placed in my life to teach me a few lessons.

1.) Don’t date in East TN

2.) Don’t date outside of East TN

3.) DON’T DATE ANYONE PERIOD

haha jk kidding 🙂 

And also, this is who you are in a relationship situation Erin. IMPROVE YOURSELF. 

This past year has been very, enlightening – and while I’m sorry for those I had to learn from, I’m also thankful that you gave me the opportunity to learn these things.

Such as, learning how to express myself clearly, learning how to give compliments, learning which personalities I get along better with in a romantic situation.

I’ve also learned loneliness is the wrong reason to enter into any sort of ‘thing’ with another person. I knew this, don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t KNOW this. But it took actually going through this, realizing I was solely hanging out with someone simply because I was avoiding being alone was sobering and unfair to them.

Sure I don’t know if a husband, white picket fence and two.five dogs are in my near future, but I’m damn sure going to ready when he arrives.

(probably won’t, but the intentions are there amirite?)

Catching a Break

You just can’t catch a break!

This was a text message my friend sent me this morning.

“Actually, I did… “, I typed back, smirking slightly as I hit send. Catch a break I did! I’m currently sitting at work, for the first time in two weeks. My right leg is encased in a gray straight jacket of sorts, propped on an orange and white pillow, which was carefully placed on rolling stool beside my desk. (I’m v. Uncomfy, thanks for asking.)

What happened was as follows, two weeks ago I decided to purchase a Penny Skateboard, on a whim. We’d just bought one for my dad the week before, and I’d had so much fun riding it I decided to get one for myself.

Why not? I’m 27, I can do and purchase what I want. (slightly defensive. Sorry)

It arrived Tuesday evening, January 31st 2017 in a long box. I was in a hurry, I’d just left an appointment with my therapist, was slightly pissed off at some events of the day and looking forward to using my fun purchase. I’d also promised a friend I’d meet her for a study date / dinner but wanted to take the board for a quick spin before I left.

After changing clothes, I grabbed my roommate’s hyper pup, tucked my cell phone and keys in my sweatshirt pocket and ran out the door with the board. The initial start was a little dicey, figuring out how to work the dog and board in synch, but by the time we rounded the corner we were rolling at a good pace.

A little too fast for my liking, and as we turned down a second street I was starting to feel uncomfortable at the speed we were going.

“It’s definitely time to slow down before I accidentally kill myself,” I thought as I put my right leg down on the ground. That was literally the last thought I had, before I was hurtling to the ground with the sound of a distinct crunch reverberating in my ear.

It’s a sound I will never. forget.

I laid on the ground for a second, the wind knocked out of me as I did a quick self evaluation. I hurt, but not that bad, so surely that cracking sound was the skateboard. After all, if I’d broken my leg I’d be in much more pain, right? Right.

I rolled over.

My leg continued rolling at quite an unnatural angle.

Yeah, my leg was definitely broken.

I just broke my damn leg.

Fuck.

 

I sat there for a second trying to make sense of what had just happened. Piper was concerned and plunked herself on my lap as we stared off into the distance.

How the heck was I going to get back home? Roll on the skateboard? I attempted to lift myself onto it. That was a definite nope, and letting the hurt leg dangle DEFINITELY hurt. That was out of the question.
I looked at my cell phone, my roommate had just texted me a minute ago, I picked it up and immediately dialed her.

“Hey, I have Piper, but I think I broke my leg, could you come pick me up?”
Yeah, I’ll be right there.

We sat in the road for an eternity. Me thinking of all the implications of this break, and Piper getting her self as tangled as possible in a near by bush. (Can we all take a moment to appreciate the fact that I never let her go during all of this?) 

Eventually I saw her SUV creeping down the street and waved her over.

“Can you walk?”

Dude, if I let go of my leg right now it’s going to flop over!

Ok well, I’m going to have to pick you up.

Are you sure?

What other choice do we have?

Ok, let’s do it.

We secured Piper in the house, got my  purse and insurance card and headed to the hospital. Me giggling (slightly hysterically) that I Erin [Last Name] Was on my way to the hospital WITH A BROKEN LEG. After placing a call to my friend, family and parents; we arrived at the hospital where the orderly instructed me to get into the wheelchair on my own.

That was fun.

The following hours were filled with lots medical staff wheeling me hither, thither and yon, some accusing me of hogging a wheel chair unnecessarily (Because I wasn’t crying, screaming or acting as if I were in pain, which I wasn’t since it really didn’t hurt that badly) others sympathetically looking on, once they reviewed the x-rays.

Bless your heart!

You broke it real good didn’t you.

I do try. Thank you.
I was finally placed in a room once the X-rays had been viewed by a doctor and given pain meds.  This relieved me of the burden of holding on to my leg, but only if said leg was propped up on 20 pillows.

Well, so we will be admitting you tonight and performing surgery in the morning.

Hahahah wut.

I don’t get a cast and get to go home?

(Insert crying emojis here)

Let me double check, but I’m pretty sure we’ll get you in in the morning probably around 8AM. Parents would you like to see an x ray? You can take a photo of it to show her.

So not only is my leg in a million pieces I have to have surgery? I have to spend the night at a hospital? What more could go wrong?

(Never say that btw)

Fast forward some. The surgery went well and I spent a couple restless days cooped in a hospital room on a floor that resembled something from the Walking Dead.

Because I had a shit ton of metal in my ankle and through my tubular, I got to skip the fun cast option, went straight to crutches, with strict instructions to be No Weight on said foot.

Cooooool.

Two weeks later now we’re here. I spent a few days at my parents house, before moving back home. Where I spent my days alternating between my bed and the couch and cursing the side effects of my meds.

I was overjoyed to return to my work (mind you, I’ve only worked here for a week at this point), but now that I’m here I’m am exhausted and more go ready to go home.

The next five weeks are going to be hell.

Six Days In…

 

I can never start a semester without some sort of drama, and Spring 2017 is proving itself to be no different. (Why Jesus?)

I knew changing jobs would mean I’d have to make some adjustment, but I was extremely careful with how I arranged my schedule so it wouldn’t make that big of a splash. What’s that they say about the best laid plans? I have no idea, but I’m sure it goes something like: even the best laid plans go array.

So now I’m looking a semester with only one class ahead of me.

For those of you who haven’t been working on your bachelor’s degree for the past 10 years (I haven’t either, but it sounds more dramatic that way), this might not seem like a big deal, it might even seem logical, as I am working 40 hours a week. For me however, it’s set back. My goal is to graduate May 2018 and I refuse to be deterred from that. I only have thirty-nine hours of credits left before I can graduate, and if I (could have) took 9 credits this semester, 9 in the summer, 12 in the fall, I could easily have finished up the remaining 9 in the summer and happily accepted a job in …….. or Austin Texas (where my bestie lives).

Why are you in such a rush? – This quote from He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named  was one that frequently ruffled my feathers.

Because, dude.

I’m kind of ready to get on with my life. Have my own place, actually have a boyfriend, be able to have all my animals in one location, be on my own again; and for that I need money, and for money I need a bachelors degree. Not too mention, I do kind of want that masters degree, which will also cost money and time, and I do kind of want to have kids at some point. THAT’s why I’m kind of in a rush.

But God is saying no.

So.

I’m going to be ok with this. This is fine. I’m fine. We’re fine.

Narrator: But everything was NOT fine. Stay tuned for the next episode of “I don’t know how I got here…” 

#intentional

Ya’ll already know what it is! (Now watch me whip…)

I’m just kidding. (But yes, that song is stuck in my head now)

Every where you go on the internet nowadays you can see someone talking shit about 2016 (as if it did something to them personally) which, I get, its been a hell of a year. But let’s be honest… a lot of it, we did to ourselves… I can admit that at least.

I literally had no goals for 2016, and while I thought at the time I was being badass, bucking the trend, taking life by the horns, dealing with what came at me,  when it came, I can’t say that it was a better way to live. ( I did have one goal actually, and definitely crushed it this year, but I can’t tell you what it is…) 

The majority of the reasons this year sucked, was  was a result of my actions / inaction. I started last year in a place of confusion, stress and anxiety; which continued to play out throughout the remainder of the year.

Twenty-Sixteen was the year I fell in love, a first for me to be honest; and  I didn’t know how to cope. I know that might sound strange, but this is who I am. I allowed that person to dictate my every action, to a point where I felt like I started to lose who I was as a person.

This is not to say that this is their fault, by any means, I fully own my actions. But they were the catalyst to many decisions I made over the year. I wanted to impress them, so I did things that perhaps could have waited, in order to prove to them that I was worth being around. #insecurityforthewin

Looking back, I sometimes am not sure how I “survived.”

The emotional anxiety of being in a relationship with no definition, the stress of finding roommates, finding somewhere to live, dealing with work stress, job hunting, passing classes, the financial burden of sick animals, traveling, maintaining friendships, losing friends…the recognition of developing a generalized anxiety disorder.. felt like too much for one person at times. Despite all of that, there were still bright spots.

I’ve formed close bonds with my coworkers, made new friends, took a cruise to the Bahamas, Road tripped from Montana to Tennessee, passed all my classes with A’s and B’s. (Except for one out lier, but that doesn’t count) and obtained a new job.

Twenty-Seventeen will be different.

They gon say they hard, I’m a say I’m harder
They gon say they grind, I’m a grind smarter
They gon say they shining but the lights is on me
Only three things:
Stunt
Shine
And flex!

Ballin Hard /  Wacka Flocka Flame

That Guy and I agreed to take a break for a couple of months to reevaluate things. If we’re not on the same page this time around, I’m out. (That sounds cold, but i’m really freaking out about this) 

Obviously I’ve made a change in my work situation.

This coming semester I will only take two classes instead of 3-4 (pushing on potential graduation dates, but I’ve got to do what’s best for me) 

I’m going to continue therapy… not a huge fan of it to be honest, but I will see it through.

I will be more intentional about how I live life. Last year I floated, took things as they came, made decisions on a whim instead of planning like I normally do. I thought perhaps I needed to change somethings about myself, but I really didn’t.

But that’s all part of life. Living. Learning. Loving… amirite?

am i right?

Let’s do this 2017!

To being more intentional and less … well un-intentional this year! 🙂

Cheers!

E