Monday, January 18, 2010

The Last Decade...

As I start to live out my goals I've set for myself in the new year, I think it's about time that I reflect on the who I am and how I got there. This last decade has been very significant for me, I've been through high school, college, relationships, friends and so much more. I really feel that you can never truly advance in life if you can't learn from your past. This blog is VERY long, I honestly needed to write this more for myself then for entertainment purposes. I needed to reflect and this has helped. 

2000- The end of 2000 signified a new beginning for me. I was one of those kids that was always bored, and never challenge by high school. August of 2000 was the beginning of my senior year in high school. Knowing that I was more then ready to advance in life and find out what was out there for me, I choose to take part in PSEO. In Ohio there is a program, PSEO, which is Post Secondary Education Options, simply enough this program pays 100% for students with a high GPA to attend college full-time. I had to carry 15 credit hours a semester, and it was a great experience. I felt done with high school and this afforded me the opportunity to move on and attend Lorain County Community College full-time, where I completed my first year of college for free!! Not having to be at WHS was a blessing. Maybe the best thing about the whole PSEO thing was not having to attend a day of high school my senior year, I was over it. My high school was an uninspired, unintellectual hole.Prior to the start of my senior year I went on a college road trip with a friend and my grandmother, this lead me to quickly chose my front runner for school, Albion College. I applied for early acceptance and was accepted to Albion!

2001- In May of 2001 I graduated high school and at the same time completed my freshman year of college. After graduation I was very excited to enter Albion College as a sophomore. Albion College, located in Albion Michigan is an excellent institution with wonderful academics, teachers and people. During my first few months at Albion a tragedy struck, one that changed our everyday lives forever, September 11, 2001. I can remember the moment I woke up and they were showing the planes crash into the towers. People were frantic wondering who they knew in the towers and calling family. I had one class that day, a creative writing course. Classes had not been canceled but I felt I couldn't attend I was trying to support friends, and really just understand what was going on so I told the teacher I'd be absent that day. I remember the fear everyone had that we might all be close to attacks. People speculated everything under the sun, mainly that areas close to us would be targeted such as Detroit and Ann Arbor. I can't even imagine if I had lived in Chicago back then I really would have been frightened with all the buildings. It's still rather scary if I let myself drift into thought about the "what if's".
2002- This year marked the end of my relationship with Albion College. I really felt that it was too small for me, I wanted a bigger school with more people and more opportunity. A very close friend of mine from high school attended Bowling Green State University and talked it up quite a bit so I very blindly decided to transfer to that BGSU. We had planned to get an apartment together and out of nowhere she then chose to move home. Although I don't talk to the girl anymore, she really helped spark what turned into a great decision for me. I loved my experience at BGSU. I met my very best friend in the world, Devon, he's like family to me. I credit him for me being able to even be in Chicago. I started out at Bowling Green in August as a junior and ready to enjoy life. I moved into my very first apartment, a one bedroom all for me!! I was a few blocks off campus, it was fantastic. About a month in I still hadn't made any really close friends and it was pretty tough but I was enjoying school. A really tragic evening actually brought my neighbor and I together, who later turned out to be a best friend. One night when spending time with a guy friend we heard a lot of firetrucks and noticed a fire down the street, my neighbor was also out looking and her and I bonded over our nosiness. Through her I met all my friends and got involved with the football program. I worked with the potential recruits and their families. It was so fun promoting a school that I really loved and a football program that was so great. My friends and I were inseparable.

2003- I continued my time at BGSU, really just enjoying every moment of spending time with friends and meeting new people. I met my best friend Devon during 2003 when he started school at BGSU. I also attended a few summer school classes so that I'd be on target to get my BA in Psychology with a Sociology minor! 

2004- This was a good year, in the beginning anyhow, a huge milestone in everyones life I think is graduating college. It was only 3 years after I graduated high school, so I graduated very quickly thanks to the PSEO option I took advantage of earlier in life. I was ready to get out into the real world and take over everything, didn't we all feel that way after college? Little did I know it wasn't nearly that easy. Another big thing for me this year was taking my first airplane trip. I always had on my Miss Independent hat and thought I could do anything and everything by myself. I went to a professional sports fair in Miami by myself for a weekend. It was a very nice city but I spent way too much of my time in my hotel. I was 21, perfect party time but I was a little too nervous to be figuring out that city by myself. I did enjoy going out to dinner and walking around south beach stores. After Miami I decided that wasn't for me and I had my eye set on Atlanta. My Atlanta experience truly taught me to not just jump and do things without thinking, it did also teach me that you might not ever know unless you just give it a shot. I decided to drive to Atlanta, which funny enough is a straight shot down just ONE highway from BGSU to ATL. I decided to break up the 10 hour drive into two days because I hate driving. I stayed in KY overnight, after driving through what I thought was miserable terrain of ALL HILLS. I honestly thought that was mountains lol. The moment I crossed into Tennessee, I had to go on this HUGE mountain, this is what I like to refer to as my own personal hell!! Absolutely frightened and having anxiety attacks of someone driving crazily and pushing me off the side of a mountain. I clearly remember stopping and crying my eyes out to my family because I didn't want to drive anymore lol.I finally made it to Atlanta after inhaling 3 energy drinks, and listening to "I Ain't Ever Scared" about 100 times. When I got to the city it was absolutely beautiful but I was so shook from the drive I canceled my interviews and literally spent most of my time in my hotel for a week. I did meet some people and do some shopping and driving around but I was not interested in driving back, I was a wreck. My mother who is awesome decided that her and my sister would fly down and drive back up with me. Seriously whose parent does that? It's awesome!! That's got to be my most embarrassing moment lol. The rest of 2004 I spent a lot of time in Columbus partying every day with friends of mine and just enjoyed life. This was a high in my life where I had so much fun, but it was also a huge time of depression. I didn't know how to deal with the fact that I wasn't getting a job after applying to a lot of places. I was so confused and didn't know where I wanted to go. At the age of 21 I was in a tough place, very depressed with a deflated ego. I thought a job would have already come my way. My wonderful friend Tony, was very supportive of the tough time I was going through, this experience bonded us and made him a life long friend. I'm also very thankful to my friend Jacci who let me crash at her house for many weeks while trying to find myself. She's a great girl and I felt fortunate to have her in my life.

2005- I had decided that Columbus was the place I wanted to be and I even found an apartment. After a very successful interview with a social service agency, I got in the car excited and ready to start my life in Columbus. Not even 15 minutes after leaving I got a phone call from the Chicago White Sox, they wanted me to interview for a paid internship in Community Relations. This was a dream for me, going to Chicago for the first time and visiting with a professional baseball team. I got there for the interview and met with two girls, one who turned out to be a good lifelong friend and mentor. I was very excited and all dressed up and ready to go. My interview went well and after I left I was so excited I went shopping on the "Mag Mile",l and bought myself some new Chanel sunglasses. I was still on a high from my interview so when I went back to the hotel I went to the hotel bar to get a drink. While I was at the bar getting a drink a man came running behind me and grabbed my purse and ran. It was absolutely devastating, my new glasses, makeup, gloves, etc where all gone. Thank god I had been using my phone so that didn't get stolen! The next day I called the Sox to thank them for my interview opportunity, and I found out right then that I GOT THE JOB!!! I was telling the woman what happened and she offered to send money or do whatever they could, I knew at that moment I was going to be a part of a wonderful family. I found out I was to start in TWO weeks, meaning I had to find a place to live and I knew nothing about the city!! My best friend Devon's parents who I'd only met 2 or 3 times offered me his room since he was still at college. They lived in a suburb right outside of Chicago. I am so thankful to them, they really gave me the opportunity to come here and work with the Sox. Without them I couldn't have afforded to live here or been able to find a place quick enough. With that I packed up the Cavalier an I moved to Libertyville, IL! As many of you know 2005 was quite a special year for the Chicago White Sox and I got to experience it all. This by far is one of if not the best experience of my life. I was apart of a championship organization and a family!! After living with my friends parent's for 6 months I found a place on the Near Westside (where i still live). During this year I spent time dating a few people, nothing special or real serious but it was an interesting ride on the dating train. I did date someone for a few short months, and I realized at that moment that some people are complete opportunists. I think before this I gave people too much credit, I always saw the good. This experience really opened me up to seeing the real person, not just what I wanted to see.

2006- After leaving the White Sox it took me a few months to find a position, the first thing that fell into my lap was an Event position with a singles organization. When I started I really enjoyed it, I worked part-time and planned about 20 events per month. I definitely wasn't making what I should which was the first sign that this wasn't long term. I got into a huge confrontation with a sales manager that sealed the deal. Basically up to this point I'd never dealt with such an unprofessional piece of white trash. Basically as part of my job I needed to host events and make sure everything was going smoothly, sales people were not allowed to be present for the events but that night one of them decided they would come there wasted. I minded my own business but made note of it in my event wrap up notes for the boss. Basically the girl got confrontational with me for no reason, she started screaming and hilariously enough "fired me" which she had no right to do. I then called my boss, DRAMA, and told her everything that happened. Much to my surprise this had happened before with other employees before and the girl never got fired. I didn't need the drama so I left though. I then found a position a few months later with the Chicago Chapter of a nonprofit, what another adventure. This was also the year when I met a guy that I now jokingly refer to as my favorite mistake. It was someone who I had such an electrical connection with but we never had the right timing. If I had to pick one person that I'll always wonder what if about it'd be him. This is also the year I started hanging out with my now ex as friends. Our friendship was wonderful we hung out all the time, and he grew unsatisfied with just a friendship he wanted more.nging out with my now ex as friends. Our friendship was wonderful we hung out all the time, and he grew unsatisfied with just a friendship he wanted more.

2007- To keep this very short; the nonprofit I was working for took the cake and topped my list of unethical places to work. I couldn't have been more miserable and I quit a short 10 months after starting. I then had a really fun position at a Jewish nonprofit that did amazing work for people who were underprivileged and homeless.I'd gone many months during 2007 without a job, and got very behind on bills, I was very close to going home to Ohio to restart my life and figure things out. I fought hard though and didn't give up. During the beginning of the year, I started dating my now ex boyfriend.He was a great friend, who we now know should have always stayed just a friend. As soon as we started dating things with us started off horribly, he was living a separate life behind my back. I won't go into much detail about this but this entire relationship and situation damaged me. I begun to depend on this person because of the tough times I was going through with my life. 
2008- My position at the Jewish organization was short term which left me again without a job for a few months. I don't know if you've ever been unemployed, but it's really rather depressing, you feel like it's your fault. I honestly was way too hard on myself. On March 30th I finally found my place, I got a position at a Catholic school. The organization I'm still with to this day. After being there only a few short months my boss left and I was interviewed to take her position which was Director of Development. I was happy to interview my way up the ladder, I knew I could add a lot to the organization. Towards the end of the year I finally realized I could be alone, and that would be better then being unhappy. My ex and I both realized we never worked together and that our friendship was what had worked in the first place. We split and stopped talking for most of the remainder of the year. Wow and last but honestly not least by any means we as a country elected Barack Obama.

2009- After a year and a half of hard work, and a normination for an Impact Award I was awarded a new title, I'm now the Vice President of Advancement. I have given many many extra hours to this organization, because I honestly believe in the mission and the students. I am happy to receive this title because it gives a new level of respect to me and the work I do. This year signified not only a new title, but starting to feel comfortable in my own skin and doing things for myself finally. I wasn't depending on someone I was figuring stuff out alone. I started dating, nothing seriously, but just learning more about myself with each new experience. I learned more about what I want and what I don't want. Dating honestly, isn't all it's cracked up to be. Having the same conversation time and time again just isn't that fun. I really do try to learn something new each time about myself or what I want.

2010 is going to be a good year. The last ten years has made me who I am, and I'm pretty proud of that person. Join me for the ride of 2010!!!

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