Today

First Days & Frustrations

Hello friends!

As I shared in my earlier post The One With All The Good NewsI recently got hired at two new jobs and possibly a third!

There’s no update on the tutoring job yet, we’re trying to schedule a Skype interview, but given how long it’s taking, it’s not looking good. Not too worried though.

Yesterday was my first day at my university and earlier today was training for my department store job! Everything went very well at both, although there wasn’t much for me to do at either in the way of doing actual work. At school I just had a little tour and then did some homework, given that it’s the beginning of a new semester there isn’t much for me to yet. Haha. At the store I filled out a lot of paperwork, went through some training, and was introduced to management. I’m excited to start for real at both!

Along with starting work, yesterday was the first day of school! I’m in an accelerated program meaning my semesters are only 7 weeks long and ‘full time’ on this format is only two courses. I’m only enrolled in one this semester and next because they’re the only courses I need that are offered! So I spent yesterday and part of today doing homework to get ahead.

School is where my frustrations are coming from today. Most every student knows the first few classes are about getting the lay of the course, introducing yourself to the class, reading the syllabus, and other similar ‘intro’ activities. In an online course this means posting an ‘about me’ forum and sometimes a syllabus quiz.

Easy enough, right?

YOU’D THINK SO, but this professor is one of the most confusing, least consistent educators I’ve ever had the displeasure of trying to learn from.

In the ‘about me’ forum, we were asked questions about ourselves, our work, our volunteering, what we’re looking forward to learning, and some specific ones about the coursework. I’m a decent student, so I answered all the questions completely and succinctly in my own little voice.

I log-in today and the only comment on my post is from my professor. She replied to my intro post with the same questions that were in the instructions, but with my name as a sentence starter like she was addressing a letter to me. I reread it three or four times to make sure- they were the EXACT same questions.

Like… what?

Now, y’all don’t know, but this professor and I have a history. I took this same class back in May. I struggled and ended up failing (“my first non-A in grad school,” my pride shouts from somewhere in the back). While of course any failure is the fault of the student, I refuse to take 100% of the responsibility (I’ll take like 70%). This prof definitely contributed by taking over a week to respond (IT’S A SEVEN WEEK COURSE) to my emails asking for help and by only replying to the first and last few sentences of every email despite paragraphs of detailed questions covering the material (BUT I’M NOT BITTER AT ALL OR ANYTHING).

So, I’m thinking about all the shit I’ve gone through with this woman in the past and I’m getting so stressed. Is this how the whole semester is going to be? Is my every move going to be second guessed and put under a microscope because I’m the loser that failed? I can’t fucking take that, y’all.


Anyway, sorry to rant and complain like someone who isn’t in control of her life. I’m feeling really anxious about this course and knew I had to vent a bit about this early frustration before I could get back to my homework. Phew.

I’ll be back later this week with another draft from back in April (the one I mentioned in the other post, but haven’t actually posted yet, lol).

Y’all have a good one,

EJ♥

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Adventures

Budget Friendly Weekend Away

Hiya, this is a draft from waaay back in April! Enjoy ♥


When ever I feel stressed or overwhelmed I make wishlists on AirBnB and dream of all the places I’m going to go and the people I’m going to meet and the adventures I’m going to have.

AirBnB lists
My copious AirBnB wishlists

A few weeks ago, I was doing exactly that, but was feeling so down I decided to book Lauren and I a weekend away over Easter. I texted her to make sure she was free and told her not to make any plans!

We drove to Hot Springs, Arkansas and stayed two nights in an AirBnB. The first full day we explored the historic district and relaxed. The second day was really the point of the trip: we went to Magic Springs Theme Park and embraced our inner children! We left on Holy Thursday around 6 PM and returned home early Saturday evening, a quick and successful weekend away!

Overall we had a short and sweet adventure that recharged both our batteries.

Our Budget!

Gas: ~$60

It’s about $30 to fill my tank and I had to fill up twice. This is obviously the most varied aspect of a budget. It depends how far you’re going and even the terrain! I filled up before we left and again before we returned. Hot Springs is only about 3 hours from where we are, but it’s a pretty hilly area so we used more gas than if we’d gone some where flatter, like Texas. Haha.

The lodging: $187

Hotels can be the most expensive parts of travelling, but sometimes AirBnB can save you hundreds! I easily could have spent double if I’d stayed in a traditional hotel. This trip was my first experience with AirBnB and I can honestly say I will utilize AirBnB every time I travel. (Future post coming: Tips to utilize AirBnB. Lol.)

Our hosts were Mickey and Jill and we stayed in a little apartment space they created out of their basement. It sounds like it could have been sketchy, but was actually beautiful and very cozy! Their property is located in a neighborhood called Hot Springs Village, a gorgeous gated community that is literally packed to the brim with things to do.

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Photo taken from the AirBnB listing, for more information click here.

While the AirBnB as a little farther from where we were visiting, it made more sense to make the drive to/from a few times than to pay nearly $50 more a night for the convenience of being a few miles closer. I was also sold on this listing because it had a fridge and microwave! If you want to read my ravings about my wonderful AirBnB experience you can check out my review on the pages linked above, I really go into detail. Haha!

Food: ~$23

Along with accommodations, food can be one of the most expensive parts of traveling. I find that when I travel I want to try new places that my home town doesn’t have or I like to indulge in treats I avoid at home.

To save money on food we made frozen pizzas to make and eat on the road the day we left. As mentioned, I chose our AirBnB because it had a fridge and microwave. This meant we were able to pack foods for lunch and dinner (Mickey & Jill provided breakfast foods/ snacks in the room!). We packed microwave rice/ soup for our in-room meals and a picnic lunch for our day out.

 

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Naan!! Taken from the Tosha Kitchen website.

We planned to eat out once, so before we left I found a restaurant near Bath House Row that was accommodating of our food allergies and was different from what we could find at home. This led us to Tosha Kitchen, a delicious and cozy Indian/ Pakistani restaurant located right off the main street of the Hot Springs Historic District. We spent about $23 there, opting for lunch specials and sharing an appetizer.

Activities, Day 1: ~$57

Our first day was spent exploring the main street right off of Hot Springs National Park. We walked around Bath House Row, a street full of historic bath houses that have been around since the late 1800’s utilizing the areas natural hot springs. We went in antique shops, boutiques, a lot-park, a old-fashion toy store, and of course the Bath Houses.

Exploring the area was free and allowed us to talk, relax, and enjoy everything the area had to offer. We paid for admission to two things,  Hot Springs Mountain Tower ($10 with military discount) and Tiny Town Trains ($12). Both of which were entirely worth it! Check out my post Exploring Hot Springs, Arkansas to read more about those adventures!

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A view from Hot Springs Mountain Tower

The non-essentials that we spent money on were some macaroons ($5) at a sweet boutique, postcards and souvenirs ($12), and a spirograph that we fell in love with at an old-fashioned toy store ($18).

Overall, we had so much fun and didn’t spend quite as much as I had anticipated! The best part is that if we hadn’t bought snacks or souvenirs/toys (that we didn’t really need☺) we only would have spent $22 on admission to the tower and Tiny Town!

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Some of our spirograph doodles!

Activities, Day 2: $53.80

Obviously water/ theme parks can be very expensive. I decided to add Magic Springs to the itinerary because I knew Lauren would love it (she’s a kid at heart ♥). Mid April turned out to be the best time we could have planned the trip. The weather was perfect, and since the water park wasn’t open yet, the admission price was reduced! There was also an April special going on since it was the last month before the water park opened. And of course we had to pay $10 to park.

We saved by packing our lunch, not purchasing a locker, and only playing Plinko ($5) once! Haha. Lauren won two free funnel cakes! Which also saved us money because we definitely had to get funnel cakes!

♥♥

At the end of the weekend we spent a total of: $380.80

However, you can subtract $40 if you don’t count the souvenirs, spirograph, and the game of Plinko. Lol. It was definitely worth it. We had so much fun! I got to revel in the history and charm of the historic district and Lauren got to let out her inner child at Magic Springs. We didn’t break the bank, but we got to have a little vacation.

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Selfie in the park ♥

 

Today

The One With All The Good News

Y’all, what a weekend it has been!! I feel overworked, overstimulated, and exhausted, but I only have good news!

Lately.

I have been looking for a job for awhile, I wanted something low stress and part time so I wouldn’t be too pressed while in school. I’ll admit it wasn’t a priority, but over the summer while I wasn’t in class, I really stepped into gear. I was online most days filling out applications, making calls, searching openings, editing my resume. Or I was out at job fairs or filling out applications. I was repeatedly turned down or just never contacted. It is not a pleasant feeling.

Occasionally, I’d give up hope and just distract myself with loads of housework or Netflix binges. Some days I would look up get-rich-quick schemes and half convince myself that I could cheat the system and actually get rich quick. Hell, one day I even half considered replying to a Craigslist ad for a nude housekeeper. It’s been a hard summer, okay?

Ya Girl’s a GA!

So, one of the many online applications I put in over the past few months was for a graduate assistantship in the Fall of 2017 at my university. I figured my history with the department, specifically the department head, would immediately put me out of the running. When I didn’t hear anything back the following two weeks, I figured they’d ‘gone a different way’ or something equally cliche. However, I was emailing the department head about something else and asked at the end if there were any updates on the GA position. And when she replied to say she wanted to meet with me about it, you could have knocked me over with a feather!

The interview was this past Friday and even though we were both late (I got lost!) and I was sweating like the devil in church, things went great! We filled out the paperwork then and there and she said to wait for an email to finish the process. I start the 28th!! The hours are really limited, but it’s something!!

Holiday Hiring Event.

Before the news of the interview at LSUS, my mom brought home a flier from a local department store about a holiday hiring event they were having on the 19th to bulk up their staff for the coming busy season. While I feel SUPER ICK working for a company that sells clothes that were probably made by children or disadvantage populations in countries without labor laws or safe work environments, I decided I’d try anyway as long as I wasn’t working in sales. (I know, I’m a fucking sell-out, and I’ve already resolved to donate a percentage of my paycheck to stopchildlabor.org ok? I feel like shit, but until I find something more fitting to my morals that pays enough to start saving for an adult life, I’m a little bit stuck.)

The interview process went very well and while I still need to verify with the HR department the hours I’ll be able to work before the position is truly mine, I’m marking it down as a success!! I’ll be working back of house, unloading trucks and setting displays. At least that’s what I’m told. I really don’t think I’d be able to stomach working front of house, selling people clothes made by people who probably couldn’t afford them if they saved for ten years, because their country doesn’t have wage laws. Anyway, it’s sort of good news and it’s only a seasonal/ part time position anyway.

UpWork.

Recently, a travel YouTuber I follow put out a video on how to make money online. Now, I don’t follow Amanda Round the Globe for her financial advice (I prefer her travel tips), but I watched the video because at least I could pretend it was for a job search instead of procrastination. In her video she mentioned a site called UpWork. It was something I had never heard of and it didn’t sound too sketchy so I went to the site, read their about and ‘how it works.’ Decided to sign up!

UpWork is basically a better functioning, less ‘nude housekeeper,’ Craigslist Help Wanted section. Clients post jobs, short or long term, entry level to expert, and freelancers send in proposals and are interviewed. So far I’ve been putting in a ton of proposals, mostly for jobs that take about a week or less to complete. Haven’t heard back except from one or two people, no payments YET. However, I was invited to interview for a position tutoring Chinese students as they learn English. The best thing about it being that the position lasts anywhere from one to three months! It’s hourly and there are up to thirty hours of work available a week. I’m optimistic even though I can’t say I’ve been hired. It just felt good to get the invitation!

I find anything in the education field generally admirable and I think being chosen to help out with this tutoring thing would off set the guilt I feel about the store job, as well as boost my self worth. Because, you know, something cheesy about how it’s not about the money, money, money and I just want to make the world dance or whatever.

(Funny story, once I was stuck at an airport and the restaurant right next to my gate had an electronic ad with speakers outside their door that played about 15 seconds of that song with about 10 seconds of dialogue on a loop. A few of us made eye contact about the fourth time it played and kind of laughed, but half an hour later we were ripping our hair out, and by the time we got on the plane some of us were humming it and then violently shaking our heads and groaning. It brought us together. True story.)

Looking forward.

Now that I’m hired somewhere and possibly two other places, I just need to stay motivated and take my own advice about keeping a schedule and shit. With school starting and now work, I’ve really got to cut down on the b.s. and stay in control. I’m nervous about it, but excited to start saving more significantly- though let’s be honest I’m going to blow it all on visiting friends, Costa Rica, a wedding (not mine!), and travel before I have enough to put aside for rent somewhere. Whatever, as long as I’m traveling, right?

Wish me luck, friends!

EJ♥

Today

Today, the first one II

9:22 am

Well I’ve at least got some housework done (“Gimme the points!”).

Before leaving for the out-of-the-house tasks, I was fucking around on the internet again, nothing as good as Zoella or Superwoman though.

Yesterday, I was listening to an audio book version of Girl Online and the main character Penny talked about going online to look at things she knew would upset her, as if compulsively. She called it something along the lines of a self destructive path. And that’s what I felt compelled to do this morning waiting for the bank to open: self destruct.

My junior year of college my best friend and I had a severe falling out. I don’t know her side of the story because she stopped communicating as soon as she figured out that I knew she was lying to me. I was heart broken and felt incredibly vulnerable and raw. I had panic attacks so harsh campus emergency services were called to help me breathe. I was terrified of her, I skipped classes and ate in my room- or just didn’t eat. I stopped going to social things, except to drink nearly every weekend because I knew she didn’t go bars. I would burst into tears randomly and uncontrollably in public. I was miserable and afraid all the time, I felt as though she had turned every one in my life against me. It took me months to feel normal again, and even a year later I’d get panicky if I thought I saw her somewhere.

She has a blog and sometimes, when I’m feeling particularly low, I get overwhelmed with the need to see how or what she’s doing. Maybe today it was a mix of exhaustion, frustration and fear that made me search her blog title. I don’t know. But two of her latest updates really shook me to my core and I felt the same old prickly heat and shivers that preempt a panic moment, my vision spun out of control and I felt sure I would throw up.

It’s in those moments that I think about all the terrible things that happened to me because of her, either because of lies she told me or people in my life, or because of my reactions. I think about how I would spend nights and days staring at my ceiling wondering how long it would take me to pack all my shit and leave Bonaventure and if my parents could afford a flight on such short notice. I think about how many people walked past me while I sat on a curb with an oxygen mask on my face, tears streaming down my cheeks, limbs limp, but lungs and chest so tight I thought I was going to die the first time I had a panic attack. I think about the pangs of hunger followed by the waves of fear and isolation when I started skipping meals to escape the possibility of more confrontation and panic attacks in the dining hall. I think about the people that started avoiding me, not because of any thing she had said to them, but because I was just too miserable to be around. I think about how many times I would put on my party girl face and get drunk so I could use ‘hungover’ as an excuse for staying in bed the whole weekend.

But normally, just before all the memories and heartache send me over the edge into the darkness and isolation, I remind myself that I lived through it! I tell myself that if I survived it, I can certainly survive the memory of it all.

Today though… it just doesn’t feel as easy as that, because I’ve been pretty low lately. And when you’re low, the people that you see as enemies or villains aren’t allowed to be happy and successful. At least that’s how it feels. My head is telling me that no matter how well she’s doing or what incredible news she’s writing about, I’m still allowed to succeed, I’m still allowed to be happy. But it doesn’t feel like that. It feels like a race, it feels like there can only be one winner. It feels like as long as she’s doing well I’m never going to accomplish anything or lead a good life.

And that is so fucked up.

Anyway, I think the bank’s open.

Today

Today, the first one.

4:45 am – the plan

Good morning! I’m lying, I’ve been up all night because I’m on a really shitty schedule and feel like I have nothing to do, which isn’t true! I have things on my to do list that I’ve been putting off because I’m too busy feeling sorry for myself and sleeping all day and reading or fucking around on the internet all night.

Some of that fucking around includes watching YouTube videos (hello, why do you think I wanted to start a blog, I’m obsessed with Zoella, whatever, get off my back, she’s a God damn gem). One of my favorite vloggers to watch is Lilly Singh, aka Superwoman. She’s someone I’ve heard of a lot in my YouTube binges, but only recently started watching. At the start of her vlogs she lists a ‘mission’ and then gives her self points through the day as she accomplishes what’s on the mission.

Like… how simple and effective is that? Then you think about it, and you’ve heard it your entire life: set goals, plan your day, etc. etc. However, I like her way of doing it better than the flashbacks I’m having of some mustached middle school teacher telling me to pick out my clothes the night before and list daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals in my school issued agenda. I mean, her’s has a rainbow…

Anyway, in an effort to motivate me to blog everyday, or at least more regularly, I’m going to adopt Superwoman’s style of documenting her days by listing my goals at the start of them and updating the post as the day passes.

Here’s the mission:

  • Post Amber’s box
  • Take recycling
  • Drop off magazines at library
  • Bank
  • House stuff
  • Email LSUS/ULM
  • Call vet

I know it doesn’t seem like a lot, but for someone that has had trouble getting out of bed the past four months and who has been basically nocturnal for two of those months, it feels like quite a feat.