Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Life with Two Jobs

I have been so crazy busy lately that I haven't had time to sit down and update my blog, or when I do have time, I'm too exhausted and just want to go to sleep. If you know me though, you know I would rather be running around like a chicken with my head cut off than be bored. I HATE being bored. So in a way it's perfect for me to work two jobs.

I have been working in the Special Events department at the museum and I LOVE IT. All the girls in my office are so sweet and amazing. It's so interesting to see all the different things that go into planning an event here. It's also crazy to see how many different internal and external events take place. There is always something going on here and it makes it that much more interesting.

I have had the opportunity to see the set up for several different internal events so far. It's awesome to see the different spaces transformed for a reception or dinner. I haven't been able to attend any events because I always have to leave for work, but hopefully soon we'll have one on a day I can go.

Working at Tory Burch has also been amazing. I can't explain why, but working there just makes me happy. Since it is my choice to work there and not an obligation, I enjoy my job even that much more. While standing on my feet all day and constantly running up and down two flights of stairs isn't ideal, the energy and attitude of everyone around me makes it worth it. Some days it is so exhausting and I feel like I am going to collapse to the ground, but somehow I make it through. Coffee has been one of my biggest support systems when I reach that point.

I have met lots of interesting people and I love everyone who works there. They are so friendly and fun to be around. I feel comfortable around them and they don't make me feel stupid when I make a mistake or ask question after question.

The only downfall working there is that I have already mentally spent my entire paycheck on items I want to purchase with my discount. I found two purses, an across the body small bag for going out, a pair of sunglasses, a dozen pairs of shoes, tops, scarfs, several pieces of jewelry and much more. This doesn't even include the new merchandise we are constantly receiving. Obviously I can't buy all of it, so I am already strategically planning what I am going to buy and when.

The only thing that kinda sucks is that I work every weekend. This means I am no longer able to get brunch with Alexa, I will miss any Baylor games televised during the afternoon, and I can't always go out with my friends. Even when I do get off around 8:30, I am so tired all I want to do is go to bed. I try and force myself to go out with my friends because I don't want to be "that person" who stops hanging out. I feel like when I go though I'm not much fun to be around. My brain is so empty I literally have nothing to talk about or can barely pay attention to people talking to me.

For now life is good though. I know in time I will get used to my schedule and it won't be as bad. It will become normal for me to work all the time and still go out and be fun. Hopefully it happens sooner than later for my friends' sake.

Friday, September 23, 2011

San Gennaro Festival

This past weekend while Erica's dad was in town, we went to eat at his favorite Italian restaurant Angelo's of Mulberry St. in Little Italy. Normally I love going to Little Italy for no particular reason, but this time it was even better since The San Gennaro Festival was taking place!

The 85th Annual San Gennaro Festival is the city's largest and longest running outdoor festival. It is held from September 15th through September 25th on the streets of Little Italy. Most of the restaurants set up a street side seating area to watch all of the festivities. There were a few carnival rides, vendors selling everything from jewelry to Italian aprons and other types of food carts selling different types of cuisine (I don't know who wouldn't want to eat Italian food at an Italian festival in Little Italy though). It also hosts a famous cannoli eating contest!

We decided to eat lunch first since we were starving. Angelo's was absolutely delicious! Everyone's meals were absolutely amazing. (I know this because I have an obsession with eating off other people's plates and sampled each person's meal.) The food was true Italian food and the atmosphere was sophisticated, but not uptight. I can't wait for my family to come visit so I can take them there!

After lunch we stopped by the Ferrara Bakery & Cafe since they are known for their amazing desserts. They had about four different booths set up and were selling sweets like crazy. I decided on a cannoli since I had never had one. It wasn't my favorite thing ever. I wasn't a huge fan of the pastry shell and the inside wasn't all that amazing. Erica and her dad love them though. I want to go back and try some of their other delectable desserts soon though.

While Erica and Tyler ordered gelato, Mr. Johasky and I walked down the street to the stage area. There was a man singing Frank Sinatra songs and I really enjoyed it. I have always said if I could meet a dead person, it would be him. I love all his music and Mr. Johasky and I sang along with the songs while walking down the street.

As we were standing by the stage we noticed a crew of Ferrara pastry chefs building a humongous cake to celebrate the festival. Much to the guys' disappointment, Erica and I watched them build the cake for about 30 minutes. It was so exciting each time they added a new layer and iced the cake. The piping bags they used were HUGE.

They had a blueprint of what the cake was supposed to look like when it was finished and it was awesome. We decided not to torture the boys anymore since it would be a while before it was finished and left to explore the festival some more. The streets were so crowded though we didn't get very far before we gave up. It worked out anyways because I had to go meet up with my friend Kara who came to visit from Boston and the cable guy was scheduled to come set up our cable around the same time.

Overall the festival was amazing and our lunch was even better. I enjoyed getting to know Erica's dad and being able to explore Little Italy with them. It was nice to see so many people out in the streets in the beautiful weather. I'm so happy we went and I already can't wait to go again next year!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

We Have a TV!

During the hurricane Erica's dad was slightly uneasy about us not having a television to be able to track the hurricane. Erica explained to him we wanted one, but it wasn't exactly in our budget yet to be able to purchase one. He decided this was not ok and in case anything like this ever happened again he wanted us to have one, so he offered to buy one for us!

He picked it out online and Erica went to Best Buy to pick it up. It's a 46" LCD flat screen and we are soooooo excited and thankful!! We already looking forward to being able to record all our shows we have missed out on the past two months. You have no idea how hard it is for me to go this long without being able to watch the Food Network.

We are excited that when people come over now it won't be so awkward with nothing to do at our place. Also, after a long day at work it will be nice to come home and just mindlessly watch crime scene shows. And if for some crazy reason we ever have a storm again, it will be nice to be able to watch movies on an actual television.

I am so grateful to Mr. Johasky for buying us this TV. It makes our apartment look less empty and feel homier. Erica and I can't wait to start cooking dinner and having wine/movie nights together! We are already planning to cook dinner for our friend Heather next week so she can come see our apartment and we can all watch trashy reality shows (don't judge us, she got us hooked on it).

He actaully bought us the television about a month ago, but because DirecTV is a pain we still don't have cable. Ugh so annyoing. After waiting three weeks to find out DirecTV wouldn't work, I set up a new account with Time Warner. Hopefully we will have cable within a week! Yay!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Finally Employed!!

Last week I became more serious about applying for jobs. After accepting I that might have to work retail, I picked the places I was most likely to spend money at and applied there. I figured if I was going to spend money there anyways, I might as well get a discount too. Later in the week I also had a meeting with a new recruiter and an informational interview at The MET. I decided I was going to do everything I could to find a job.

Long story short, I had five interviews set up over a week. The Met didn't have any permanent positions to offer me, but a temporary job in the special events department was in the process of being approved as I met with the head of HR. (Which was a sign since I scheduled my interview two weeks ago and that day was the earliest she could see me.) She offered me the position right away and said if anything permanent became available, I could apply for it at anytime and be highly considered with my previous experience there. (Plus anyone I have shown my resume to has already been impressed that I worked there, so this can only help me later on.) She said the position would start sometime this coming week depending on when the approval went through. 

After my meeting there I was on my way to another interview when the General Manager at Tory Burch (whom I interviewed with the day before) called me and asked if I was available to go meet with someone at their corporate office. Fortunately it was close by where I was, so it worked out perfectly. 

After my third/final interview of the day, The Met called to inform me that the position was approved and I could start Monday. I was so torn about what to do since I had another interview on Tuesday with a hedge fund and didn't know what Tory Burch was going to offer me. 

The thought of turning down potential full-time interviews/positions for a part-time one was not an easy feeling. On the other hand, I was aware if I turned it down, there was no guarantee I would get the other positions. Also, I knew that I wouldn't be able to live off of the Tory Burch positions salary alone. It was like the cliché "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."

After talking to my dad and praying about it, I decided God had lined everything up for me to take the position at The Met. I decided that this opportunity could only open more doors for me down the road. Plus they said they would give me a week off for Christmas to go home to Texas which is not common here. 

I had been waiting to hear back from Tory Burch and was hesitant on whether I would get the job or not because apparently it's a lot harder to get sales associate positions there then I knew. I don't meet half the requirements and don't have this "book" that is required of employees. (Honestly I didn't even know what the book was, but didn't want to tell her that. Later I found out it was a book of clients you would bring to the store.) I had a good feeling though since at my interview the lady told me she liked me from the moment she met me.

The lady at Tory Burch finally called me Sunday evening to tell me she would like to offer me the full-time position. I told her I would only be able to work part-time and with my availability she didn't know if that would be possible. She said she would have to call her superior to discuss it. I told myself if God wanted me to have both jobs I would get it, if not she would tell me I couldn't be part-time. Well she called me back about 10 minutes later and told me they wanted me to be a part of their team so much they would work with my schedule and offered me the position!

I am aware being a temp and sales associate after college are not necessarily the greatest jobs ever, but I am so excited. I absolutely LOVE Tory Burch, the discount is going to be awesome and I get an allotted employee wardrobe which is so exciting!! Tory herself is in there all the time so I will have the opportunity to work with her which is AMAZING. I will be able to walk to both jobs from my apartment and it will help me financially. The museum is awesome and I already know I love working there. Also, I will be able to attend any event held at The Met and meet all the cool people they invite.

I know I am probably crazy for wanting to work 60 hours a week and one of the jobs is in retail, but right now I'm so thankful and excited. It will be exhausting and in three weeks there is a good chance I will write a blog about how I don't know what I was thinking, but for right now I'm going to enjoy it.

My dad made the observation of how my life had changed so much in just a week. When I stopped and thought about that statement, I was amazed at how God always provides and knows what is best better than I do. I believe this position will definitely teach me more than I realize and I have this feeling something amazing I can't even imagine right now will come out of it. Also, now when I attend all the events at The Met I know I'll at least show up fashionable!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Central Park

Over the past few weeks I have been visiting Central Park more and more. Not having a job kind of frees up a lot of time to make this possible. Some days I want to get out of the apartment and in effort to save up money for this pair of brown boots I want, I walk the six blocks to the park. I haven't found my favorite area yet. It all depends on the day and the mood I am in. 

Some days I love sitting on the benches by the water where people can sail their toy sailboats. It's a great place for people watching. When I'm really stressed and needing to be alone, I will go lie in the grass, close my eyes and listen to music. It somehow seems to heal my soul. Other days when I just want to be outdoors for no particular reason, I will find a tree to lean against and read a good book until my butt becomes numb from sitting so long. Other days I like sitting nearish to one of the many playgrounds (in a completely non creepy way of course). On days I sit near the playgrounds I am always amazed at the groups of people I see in the park.

There are all types of people at the park: families, gays/lesbians, kids, fraternity pledges, elderly couples, teenagers looking for a place to make out, couples having a picnic date, dog walkers, running groups, nannies, friends catching up, work out groups and many many more. 

For people who think New York is a horrible city, way too busy, crowded, a place with no family values, etc. I challenge them to go to Central Park for an afternoon and just observe the people who cross their path. While yes there are some crazies, you would also be surprised at the amount of love and families in the park. 

The other day I was reading up on a hill and was amazed at what I saw. Behind me was a father chasing his little girl while she giggled and ran away, another father playing catch with his son, a couple taking a walk with their newborn in a stroller, a grandma taking pictures with her granddaughter, a family of four eating lunch, a mom helping her daughter control their new puppy on the leash and a dad teaching his son how to ride a bike. 

While I was sitting there taking all of this in, I realized how often people take these common things for granted. So often we believe that families don't spend time together anymore or that there isn't that bond/love between them like it used to be. People look at New York and automatically assume it is a place where family isn't as important as say in the South. After sitting there for 15 minutes, I knew this was nowhere near true.

Seeing all the love these people had for each other truly made me happy. It felt good to see people taking time out of their busy New York lives to spend time with loved ones and to do simple things with them. Often times it is the simple things in life that are the most important and normally it is the simple things that are taken for granted.

For anyone who doesn't believe me, needs a pick me up, or a reminder that there is still good out there in this world, I say go sit in Central Park for an hour and you will leave with a feeling a love and happiness. If you were having a bad day before, it will instantly be improved. I promise.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Internal Struggle

Since my last day working at the MET I haven't had a job. I have worked a temp job for a day here and there, but I haven't had anything permanent. Part of me has loved having free time to be lazy, run errands, read in Central Park and pretty much whatever else I feel like. The other part of me though can't stop thinking about how I am going to pay my rent, how much money is in my bank account, when will I receive my next paycheck and how am I ever going to afford to be fashionable in New York.

I have been dealing with an internal struggle I can't decide whether or not to face. On one hand I keep telling myself not to stress out and whatever is supposed to happen will. I trust God will provide for me and I will get the job He wants me to have. However, the other part of me wants to ignore the fact that I don't have a real job. It's like if I don't think about it, maybe it's not true or one will just appear when I least expect it.

 I know I can't afford certain meals or happy hours, but the alternative is sitting at home alone in my apartment. It's hard not having many friends in this huge city and choosing not to go out doesn't help the situation. It's almost like I have to spend money to have friends, as bad as that sounds. (Not that I'm buying my friends, but going out to do things with them costs money.)

The other part of my internal debate is that not stressing out about the job search, has made me less motivated to search for one. I am the type of person who performs better under stress. So by trying to not be overly stressed, I'm going to the other extreme in which I'm not stressed enough to do anything. 

I have a friend who lives here and is the same situation I am. He is so stressed that he can't sleep at night. While I am thankful I am not reacting like that, I wish I had some of his fear. I almost feel numb right now and I don't know what to do. I feel stuck in this limbo and I can't figure out how to shake myself out of it. 

I mean I can only apply to so many jobs and never hear from them before I start to begin believing it is ME and NOT THEM. Sometimes I see the same thought on my friends faces when I have to tell them I didn't get another job and that makes it worse. I know the job market is horrible, especially in New York. I know it's the end of the summer so most people are just now starting to hire. I know no one looks at those online applications and it's really all about who you know. I know it's not personal, but it's beginning to feel that way.

The main problem is I'm starting to lose faith in myself. I'm starting to believe I'm not qualified enough or that when people do meet me, they aren't impressed and don't see anything in me. I'm starting to feel like I'm not going to make it like I once believed I would. The confidence and determination that used to pour out of me no longer seems to be present. I might be able to talk to my friends like it is still there, but I don't feel it in my heart anymore.

Friends and family are always calling/texting me asking how the job search is going, When I meet people, the first thing they ask is what I do. I almost cringe every time I have to tell them I am a temp. I can see the immediate change in their face once I tell them. If I didn't know them or thought I would never see them again, I would make up some awesome job and sound really cool. Unfortunately I would feel like even more of a loser having to lie, especially in front of my friends who know the truth. (Plus I have way too much of a conscience to lie and would feel horrible afterwards.) 

Often times when people ask, I want to ignore the question. I want to pretend like it doesn't matter. I want to believe one day I will have an awesome job and people will be jealous, but right now that is not even close to the truth. 

I know I'm not the only/first person in the world to feel like this. I know there are thousands of people across the country without jobs. I know I have friends' back home living with their parents while they look for work. I know one day I will have a job. I know one day I will make enough money to be able to buy plane tickets for vacations and boots/clothes for the fall without having to overly stress out about it beforehand. I know this entire experience will only make me stronger. I know things could be worse and that I am nowhere near rock bottom. I know everything happens for a reason. I know God will provide and I will be alright. Knowing all this doesn't make it any easier to deal with though.

I just want to fast forward to that part, but unfortunately life doesn't work that way. So until then, I will continue to apply for jobs. I will go to interviews and keep my head held high if they don't offer me a job. I will temp whenever they call me and tell me they have an opening. I will smile and tell people I am a temp when they ask what I do. I will continue to pray for God to reignite my faith and self confidence. I will wake up each day, be thankful I live in one of the most amazing cities at only 22 years of age and know that one day, when I tell my children what I went through, it will feel like a lifetime ago and I will just look back and smile.

(p.s. I didn't write this for any of you to feel sorry for me. Actually that's the last thing I want. I did this blog because it is therapeutic for me to write down my feelings and thoughts (if you know me, you know I don't openly/willingly talk about them very often). Now that I have written it, I am already starting to feel better.)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

A few weeks back I bought Alexa tickets for her birthday since we both love sporting events, and Alexa and I were excited since it was our very first Mets game. They were playing the Cubs, so we figured it should be a decent game (not that we follow the Cubs to know if they are actually any good). The tickets were for this past Friday night. While neither one of us are huge fans of the Mets (actually we aren't really fans at all), we really enjoyed it.

We took the 7 train out to the second to last stop in Queens. The stadium was so nice and huge (like most stadiums). We found our seats along the far end of the third base line. Our section wasn't full so we moved closer to the front for a better view. 

We cheered, laughed at the guys' ghetto dancing in front of us, smiled at the little kids trying to catch fly balls and pretended to be Mets fans for the night. During the 5th inning we decided it was time to eat the obligatory stadium food. Both of us agreed even if you showed up to a baseball game stuffed, you somehow always craved a hot dog or some other over priced food. 

We walked the entire third level and didn't see anything we wanted to eat, so we decided to go down to the food court area at field level. There was a Shake Shack, Blue Smoke, a taqueria place and more. While all of it looked good, we both decided in the end we wanted a hot dog and ice cream. We walked back up to the third level and ordered our food. 

We were standing behind the seats eating and realized this section had a better view so we went and sat in some empty seats along the first base line. While we were sitting there, these two young boys in front of us kept taking pictures of these two guys and finally went and met them. Later we found out the two guys were Snoop Dog's body guards. How those boys knew that, I have no clue.

We left at the top of the 8th inning so we would miss the mad rush to the subway. We found out on the subway the Mets ended up beating the Cubs. While we weren't converted to Mets fans, they did provide a very entertaining game. We decided though the next baseball game we go to has to be a Yankees game. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Labor Day Weekend

This past weekend was extremely fun and relaxing. I'll give you a quick recap of everything that happened.

Friday was my last day to work at The MET. It was bittersweet. I was excited to be able to have some time off to be able to run errands and relax, but I was also sad to be leaving. At 3:00 pm my boss, co-workers and I went to the rooftop bar and had a few drinks since it was my last day. The weather was perfect and it was a nice way to start the weekend. After we had been up there for about 30 minutes, my boss' husband showed up with cupcakes from Sprinkles for me. I was so excited! He chose six different flavors and we all sampled each one. It was sad telling everyone bye, but I have an informational interview with the head of HR this next week, so I'm going to grab lunch with them to catch up.

After work I met up with some friends to watch the Baylor/TCU game. Through some alums in New York I found out there was a designated bar to watch the game at, so we all went there. There were about 30 alums and it was so much fun! We all drank, ate, cheered, did Sic' Ems in the middle of the bar (which is something I'm never ok with, but when there are TCU fans cheering against you, I decided it was ok), and screamed like crazy when we finally won. It was the most exciting thing ever. While I would have killed to be in Waco at the game, I was glad we were there with other Bears. After the game, I went out some of the people I met there and had lots of fun.

Saturday Erica and I walked around our neighborhood and looked for a kitchen table. The weather went from being very nice, to hot and gross within a few hours. As soon as it changed for the worse, we headed back to the apartment to chill until her friends came in town. We all went out later in the evening and met up with some other people they know if the city. The day overall wasn't too eventful, but we met some new people which is always fun.

Sunday I was even lazier and didn't leave the apartment until around 9:00 pm. (Yes, I know that's extremely pathetic.) I went and met up some of the people I met at the game on Friday night. We went to the Frying Pan on the Hudson. It is an old war ship turned into a bar and dance area. The weather was perfect for sitting outside, so we hung out there for a while and then wandered around the area looking for new places to go.

Monday started off as a hot and humid day, but the weather changed for the better later in the afternoon. I met up with some friends for a picnic in Prospect Park in Brooklyn. They all had blankets, sandwiches and snacks. You can't drink in the park so I stopped at Starbucks for a cup of water to pour my wine in. We all hung out there for about four hours. Afterwards, some of us went out to dinner to meet up with some more friends.

Overall the weekend was amazing. Baylor beat TCU, I made new friends, found fun new bars, was able to relax and catch up on sleep. I thought I would have this whole week to relax, but I already have another temp job today and tomorrow. It's from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm which will be exhausting, but I'm just thankful to have something!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cocktail Tasting

Last week I was looking around on the internet I found a cocktail tasting at Crush. Each week they have different wines or liquors featured and offer people to come and sample them for free.

This past Thursday was a cocktail tasting to celebrate the end of summer. Alexa, her mom, Erica and I decided to try it out. We figured if we didn't like it or it was too crowded, all we had to do was leave and go to a bar nearby. 

Even though the event was free, I had to RSVP for it which I thought was odd. We arrived a little before 6:00 and signed in. They featured four different types of cocktails: The Blue Bandit, The New Old Fashinoned, Denizen Daiquiri Derivatives, and a Mayahuel Melon.

The Blue Bandit was made with Bluecoat Gin and Bar Keep Lavender Spice bitters. I have never had bitters before and found it to be interesting. It tasted like I was sucking on a Lemon Drop. It wasn't horrible, but I didn't want to get another on either.

The Mayahuel Melon was made with an agave tequila (the guy explained the difference, but I don't remember). The presentation was very pretty and the mint garnish was very strong. Our favorite part was the watermelon at the bottom of the glass.

I had one sip of the New Old Fashinoned and immediately poured it out. It had whiskey in it, so that is why I probably instantly disliked it. Alexa had been dying to try one though and enjoyed it more than I did.

The Denizen Daiquiri Derivatives had an option between four different bitters: Apple Bake, Thai, Raspberry and I don't remember the last one. I chose the apple bitters and thought it tasted like an apple pie. Alexa didn't seem to think so though.

While we weren't overly impressed by any of the drinks, the alcohol infused chocolate they had was amazing. They had three different kinds: Prosecco, Absinthe and Whiskey. My favorite was the Prosecco infused chocolate.

The cocktail tasting didn't introduce us to any drinks we would ever make at home or order at a restaurant, but it was fun. It was nice to be able to try drinks I normally wouldn't order and taste new kinds of alcohol. They also have a wine tasting this month we are already planning to attend. Hopefully we will like the wines more than the cocktails.  

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My Year With Eleanor

Ever since I graduated, I have been reading more than I did while I was in school. I have come across some amazing books lately that I want to share with you. Every couple of weeks I'm going to share some of my favorite books I have recently read. I just finished reading My Year With Eleanor by Noelle Hancock. I began reading this book after my friend Alexa gave it to me and it is AMAZING.

It is about a woman who lives in New York and was laid off from her job as a celebrity blogger. After writing about other people's lives for so long, she realizes she has forgotten how to live her own life. Over the years she had allowed fear to control her life. It got so bad to where she was afraid to go to dinner parties with her boyfriend anymore. One day on the chalkboard in her local coffee shop she saw the quote "Do one thing every day that scares you." by Eleanor Roosevelt. This simple statement resonated with Noelle and she decided to dedicate the next year of her life to conquering her fears. 

While reading her book, I not only related to her, but I also began to think about all the things in life that scare me. Reading her book was very inspirational and has been encouraging me to force myself out of my comfort zone and do things I normally wouldn't do. (A blog about some of these things will be coming shortly.)

I highly recommend everyone read this book even if you don't have a problem with fear. It is relatable, hilarious, comforting, encouraging and purely entertaining. You won't want to put it down, I promise.

Today my salad was comprised of broccoli rabe, quinoa, cranberries, tomatoes, grilled chicken and raspberry dressing. It was delicious!