Sunday, August 7, 2011

NEW people, places and things

So a full 2 months into becoming a displaced worker, as the Commonwealth of PA refers to those of use who are in between careers, I'm doing fine. I did have a period of about 2 weeks where I totally thrown off by my lack of routine other than my a.m.walks. I never realized how much I identified myself thru my job even though it was so far from my life's calling.

But I'm okay now, having returned from week-long vacation at Myrtle Beach, SC last Saturday with my extended family. My Lord did we have a wonderful time!!! We planned it in the Spring long before I knew about the impending career transition. Honestly that week was probably the best so far this year.  I love the idea of multiple generations being together.  Seven years ago my parents, my daughter and I were in Germany, Netherlands, and Luxembourg together.  This time there were 17 of us. My family is loud, opinionated, funny, gluttonous and slightly insane but I love them all.  And I am grateful for them.
Last month I had a date - something I don't do nearly as much as I should. Not for a woman who actually likes men and wants to spend some serious time with some/one/whatever.  For some, meeting a new guy is as easy as changing underwear.  Not so for moi probably because for years I was extremely picky but I'm definitely not holding out for super tall, pretty boys with foreign accents anymore but I am and  have always been horrible with subtlety. I pretty much need to be clubbed over the head and dragged to your man-cave or at least told pretty clearly you are interested... in ME...I don't assume anything. My daughter always swears I'm being flirted with when we're out and about but I rarely see it. Could my 14 year old know more about this than me, damn that would be just plain sad - considering she's not had her first date yet.  Anyway, it was an internet introduction and we had a nice dinner at a tapas restaurant near Baltimore's Inner Harbor.  This guy, whose name I genuinely do not remember, was the most unattractive man I've ever gone out with - even his shirt was ugly. I decided that often pictures don't do one justice so I gave him the benefit of the doubt (see told ya I changed) but he looked just like his pic...replete with liverspots or were they freckles!?!??  While he was easy to talk to and there were plenty of laughs and no lags in our conversation - he just struck me as an odd guy who was also a bit needy. OMG neediness is one of the least sexy traits a man can have - I not a damsel in distress so I sure ain't rescuing you!  The others are lying (the worst), crying, being shorter than me and refusing to try or even consider new things.  Anyway, this guy liked me a lot more than I liked him because at the end of the evening we hugged good-bye (that was the Sangria kicking in) and he helped himself to a nice squeeze of my big bountiful bottom. No subtlety there!! I was so shocked I had to ask myself "did he just squeeze my ass?" Since night was falling and he could have been a maniac and I was not packin' (I never am - I'm scared of guns) I said nothing and just proceeded quickly to my car. A day later I got an email from him saying I looked just as I had described myself - a big, buxom, brown babe - see why I demand honesty, because I give it.  Anyway, he'd like to hang out with me again and maybe even get naked. WTF?!?  I wasn't pissed off or flattered but I'll tell ya one thing there's not enough lubricant nor distracting thoughts (nope not even naked Dolph Lundgren) for that to EVER occur  - ewwhhh. I blocked him from messaging again.  Oh well one more frog down, universe bring 'em on, 'cause my prince has gotta be close by now...or at least I hope so.

So my BFF Teri - who did the 5K back in April - talked me into competing in the Baltimore Half Marathon with her in October.  I'll be walking my 13.1 miles while she's planning to run about 1/2 hers.  Anyway, I'm excited by the challenge.  For the first time in my life I'll be a real athlete - for the next 10 weeks anyway.  So far this week, I've put in 3 morning walks between 4 and 5 miles each.  I have no doubt I can complete it - my real challenge will come in trying to complete it in 16 minute miles, right now I'm walking 25% slower than that. I'm also back on a veggie diet after a 4 month hiatus, this is a routine that is refreshing to get back to - with the exception of my birthday celebration which will feature some aquatic life edibles.

On the career scene, I've only gotten one bite from a potential employer so far.  It took me a full day to call back but after I calmed myself down and realized that nothing is being decided today - that this is the first step to see if they like me and more importantly, if I like them and want to spend my precious time in their service.  In the end, I wasn't offered the job but had already decided the the organization was much smaller (less than a dozen staff ) and not in an industry that appealed to me long term.

So now, the next step for me is school hopefully thru the Workforce Investment Act - which really sounds like a major blessing to any who take advantage of it. They offer $5500 tuition assistance  to supplement other grants, scholarships to complete an approved program.  Participant's only commitment is to complete the program within in 103 weeks or less.  Unfortunately there is no changing of majors, programs or schools once started. So having completed an AA in General Studies 5 years ago,  I'm shooting for a BS in Business Mgmt, possible concentration in International Business.

I met with an admissions counselor last week who was so very helpful.  She is reviewing my transcript now to  see if the courses I've already taken and the requirements to complete a BA/S can be done in that timeframe.  It might be a little too tight as there are at least 3 transfer courses I should have taken but didn't that could snag me up. In that case I could go for another AA degree and then continue to completed the BA/S later on my own dime.  My choice is the more advanced degree, of course, but really I'm okay with either. I'm looking at it like this - with the job market realities being what they are - rather than becoming frustrated and fearful in my so far fruitless job search, furthering my education is truly a WIN-WIN-WIN for me!  My brain will not be languishing, I'll be interacting with others and networking so my people/cooperation skills don't flag, I'll be keeping a schedule and completing assignments and projects...and i do genuinely like learning new things. I seriously doubt that my dream job is gonna come along while I'm in school, as I'm not properly prepared nor truly sure what that it as yet.  Of course the issue of limited finances threatens to rear its very ugly head but I believe as I have since this transition started that if I LEAP to better prepare myself for the next 25-30 years THEN the NET of abundance WILL APPEAR to help see me through the process.  People start over ALL the time. Maybe it's naive but the alternative is just worrying and then taking another job where I am unfulfilled nor contributing positively to society just to pay the bills and looking back in 10 - 20 years full of regrets of coulda woulda shouldas. I just don't have that kinda time to waste anymore.... does anybody, really?

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