Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I can't believe how awesome my fortune has been lately. Everything is falling into place, and God is blessing me more than I could ever have wanted. I guess when you do let go and give to him, he will take care of you.
Anyway, I know I need to talk about graduation and all the exciting events of this past weekend, but it is almost midnight, and at some point I have to try to sleep. I'll write about it tomorrow if I have a chance.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
1) Graduating in 2 days. It's the crowning achievement on my academic career, and could possibly be the last degree I walk away with. Eh, who am I kidding? I want an MBA even more than I wanted my MA. Regardless, I am proud to be walking that stage in just two days and getting hooded. M.M., M.A. It's kind of catchy. :)
2) My wonderful friends. I got to see two friends this evening whom I haven't seen in a few weeks, and I'm so glad we got to spend time together. I'll see them again on Saturday for my post graduation par-tay, but still, it was nice just sitting back and drinking wine with them.
3) Boston (the boyfriend.) Our story is funny; of course it has bumps and challenges, but it's ours. We've survived those challenges, and we've survived them being 2,000 miles apart from each other. Not many people can survive their challenges being in the same city together, but somehow we've managed to do just fine. Our story is funny; if we do end up married with children one day, it's a story we won't be able to tell until they're well into their adult lives, but it's still a good one. And we need each other. A friend of ours commented today that Boston needs me, and that my move to Boston is going to be a good one not just for me, but definitely for him. So that brings me to:
4) Being needed. Having someone rely on you entirely is one thing, and I'm not talking about that. I mean, having someone need you around. Their life is just fine without you, but it's that much better with you in it; and they need that.
5) The kitties. It's silly, but I need them. They are the first things I have in the morning, and surround me in warmth and love in the evening. They are so amazing despite being neurotic, and I can't imagine how my life would be without them; definitely not nearly as fulfilling.
6) A good economy. It's blessed me with a great job for the past two years, and been good enough to provide me with not just one, but two job offers in Boston. How many people actually have to make a tough decision and choose between their top 2 job picks? Not many people have the chance to even pick their top choice.
7) Seasons. I'm looking forward to going somewhere new where I actually get to enjoy four seasons. I'm not sure I even know what that looks like, but I'm thankful for the chance to find out soon enough.
8) Literature. I'm thankful for people who are talented enough to write a good book, so that I have something to read in my new found spare time.
9) A great job. I'm thankful to have an amazing boss, who has been completely supportive of my leaving the agency, even though I know it pains her to see me leave. I'm going against everything both of us believe in, and yet she still supports my decision, despite thinking I've made the wrong choice. I'm still part of the team, and I think on some level, I'll always be part of her team. I hope that I have the opportunity to work with her again one day.
10) my bed. It sounds silly, but I'm so thankful to have a new bed that actually gives me a good night's sleep. I paid out the wazoo for this bed, and it was worth every penny.
11) Christmas cards. It's the one time of year that people actually make an attempt to hand write thoughtful notes and send them your way. In the digital age, no one actually writes anymore except at Christmas. I remember how excited I used to get to receive hand written notes from my grandmother; it's not the same now, but I still get excited to get a written note from a friend.
12) My large apartment. Now that I'm moving to Boston, I will never live in anything this nice for a while. I'm going from a huge one bedroom with granite counter tops, Berber carpet, garage parking and a massive walk-in closet, to an apartment crammed with 4 people and two cats, not to mention no off-street parking. I complained about my rent more often than necessary, and in less than a month I will be begging to have the luxury of living in a one bedroom larger than 500 sq. ft with a walk-in closet and not paying two grand for.
13) lastly, my family. They have made me who I am today. They are awesome. I'm so thankful to be going home in another week and seeing them. It's the last time I'll see them for a while, and I can't wait.
so what are you thankful for? leave me a comment and let me know.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
For everyone who doesn't know me, I know it may seem like I'm packing up my life and moving across the country for a boy that I'm NOT marrying (not to say that we never will, but that's not a conversation we've had yet) and that may seem like a bad idea, but for those of you that do know me, you understand - which is why that's not the question you ask of me. For those of you that don't know me, let me explain.
When I was 19, I had this thought one day that I was going to end up in Boston. I can't explain it, I don't know where it came from; all I know is that one day I felt like the place I was going to end up was Boston. I've spent a majority of my life talking about my east coast dreams and Boston was always at the top of that list. So when he got the job offer in Boston, I thought maybe things were about to change. When he invited me to join him, I couldn't. I still had to finish school, I loved my job (still do!) and we had just started to date. I thought it would be best if we tried the long distance thing for a while and see how that went. Obviously it's gone well, and when I went to visit in October, I set up a couple interviews with some agencies to "get my name out there" and see what my chances of getting a job were. I made it very clear that I wouldn't be able to even move until January and assumed that I wouldn't even get serious consideration until January.
Clearly things didn't work out the way I had supposed. Things happened MUCH faster than I expected (need proof? I had to break the lease on my apartment, which was set to end in March) and I'm moving to Boston months before I ever thought I would. I'm so happy about this opportunity, and I'm really excited that Boston and I will get to date in the same city again. I admit, his being in Boston gave me the courage to make the leap and take the chance on making significant changes, but I'm going into this very realistically. I'm stoked just to be dating my boyfriend in the same city; marriage is the farthest thing from my mind right now, and I'm tired of people looking at me like I'm crazy when I say that. You see, this move isn't about him; it's about me and doing something I've been wanting to do for almost 10 years now.
Just thought everyone should know.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
- I like stress. Seriously... I do. I feel that my brain fires on all cylinders when I'm completely stressed out. If you asked my boyfriend, he would probably tell you the complete opposite, but my friends who have been with me for years would tell you that I'm a nut for stress and that I thrive on it. So it only makes sense that my life is high stress.
- I am a simple girl. Yes, I realize it contradicts my high-stress life, but I like certain simplicities. For example, I get so giddy when I get a text message from Boston telling me that he's thankful to have me in his life and that he loves me, or like today when he called and said he could use a hug from me. He doesn't say these things all that often, but when he does they are usually simple, and yet they fill me with the GREATEST joy I've known.
- I need to quit procrastinating. This again probably leads to my high-stress life, but I'm a huge procrastinator. It's my "thing." Procrastination for me usually leads to the high stress and when I perform my best work, so it seems to me that my procrastination leads me to great work. One day I'd like to test this theory by getting something done BEFORE a tight deadline, but then I'll probably put that off too.
- I love reading other people's blogs. For me, this is like peering into the lives of others without having to get involved. It's gossip for me, and I love it. My favorite blogs are reading about people's struggles. I feel bad saying that, but I think it's human nature to want to read about other's struggles so that we have something to measure against ours. Lately I've been reading a lot of blogs, and I'm starting to find my favorites. I've posted one or two on my links, and as I find more, I'll continue to post. I imagine that one day I'll want to get involved with these people, to comment on their blogs, invite myself into their lives, but for now I'm quite content just to read about their fascinating lives.
- I'm scared. I'm scared about a lot of things, but I'm really scared about the changes coming in the next few weeks. I am trying to play off how scared I am by telling everyone how great this is going to be, but the truth is that I'm scared because I don't know how it's going to be. I am always optimistic, and I'm trying to remain optimistic tonight, but it's hard to let go and put this in God's hands. I'm getting rid of everything I've ever known, and moving across the country to a city where I know no one but my boyfriend, to start a job that I'm not sure I'm qualified to do, and we don't even have a place to live yet. I'm trying to put my faith in God, and to trust that He will not fail us, but that's proving to be much harder. Then again, it could just be that I like the stress. :)
Thursday, November 22, 2007
- God - While I (try to) give thanks to Him every day, I'll start off by saying I'm thankful to God for giving me such an amazing life and filling it with great challenges and blessings. Everything I have, or have done, is because of the gifts he has given me.
- Boston - and I mean the boyfriend here. Ever since he walked into my life eight months ago, I've been thankful for the gifts he has given me, the wisdom he has shared with me, and the willingness to let me into his heart. He is sweet and kind, and loves me even with my obvious shortcomings. He has opened up his life to me, and given me the courage to leap into the new adventure I'm about to take. He has opened up a new world to me, both intellectually and spiritually; he has renewed my faith in God -and man- and I will always be thankful for that.
- Family - They are my foundation. Coming from the self-proclaimed "most functionally dysfunctional" family isn't an easy thing, but my family has given me the tools necessary to grow into a reasonably healthy functioning member of society. They've supported all my decisions in life, and make sure to tell me all the time how proud they are of me, even when it means that I'm moving halfway across the country from them.
- Friends - They are the ones who tolerate my absence from their lives on account of school and support me. They are the ones who ask if they can attend my graduation... and everyone knows how boring those are. They are excited about the next journey in my life, even though it means leaving them behind. They have comforted me in troubled times, and support me as much as my family. In reality, they are my family too.
- Work - I am thankful that my current job and colleagues have provided me with the tools to make a contribution to the field of public relations, and to take that next step in my career. I am thankful that Moroch showed me what a real work culture looked like, and that you can absolutely have fun while working your ass off. Finally, I am thankful for Emily V., the most amazing boss I've ever encountered. Never does she have a bad word to say about anyone, and it will hurt the most to say goodbye to her. She has shown me where you can go with hard work, and it is her work ethic that I hope to channel in my new job. She has served as a mentor to me for almost two years now, and I know that she will continue to serve as a mentor when I move into my new job.
I know there are a thousand other things I am thankful for, and rightly so, but these are the high, fast ones. I love everything about my life - where I've come from, what I've become, and the possibilities of what I will grow into. So on this day of Thanksgiving, I realize I have so much to be thankful for.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
I'm so excited and at the same time so incredibly nervous! My life is changing so quickly and I'm struggling with how to handle it. In the next 7 weeks I'll be graduating with a Master's degree, leaving a job that I dearlyl ove, taking the boyfriend home to meet my family and then moving to Boston. Yikes! Plus I have to sell off everything I own so that I only take the bare minimum across the country.
On the plus side, the boy and I will finally get to be together, I have a great job opportunity waiting for me, I have an actual winter to experience, and I get to take a cross country road trip! How exciting is that?
Anyway, I'm so thankful for these opportunities coming my way, and I'll post more as everything gets closer.
Friday, November 9, 2007
Also, just got back from Michigan, where I met the boyfriend's friends and family. Everyone was so awesome, and Michigan was amazing! Here's a picture from the tailgating festivities
I had no idea that Michigan was beautiful, and I can't wait to go back! So, Baby, you better take me back there soon! Next up is meeting my family, which we're talking about for Christmas. Hopefully he'll be able to make it home.
So you can see it's been a pretty busy, but great week. Next up is graduation! WOO HOO!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Dr. Jang and I went over the flow of my exams yesterday and here it is:
-Monday, 1 p.m. - begin my exam. I've decided to take my research question first. I think this is going to be my hardest question of the three and it's the only question I'm answering that day. I get 3 - 4 hours to answer that question. Essentially Dr. Christie has created a scenario for me, and I'm going to have to define my hypothesis (es) and research questions, then describe how I would answer those questions. Dr. J. says I need to pick one or two theories as well and talk about that as well. So that's Monday.
-Tuesday, 1 p.m. - part two of the exam. I answer my other 2 questions on Tuesday. One is going to be focused on advertising/marketing, with the highlight on persuasive communication and how persuasion plays into advertising. In theory it shouldn't be that difficult since I work in advertising and my entire job as a PR practitioner is to be persuasive, but knowing theories isn't what I practice every day.
My other question is a general overview question that Dr. Jang wrote that focuses on communication over distance (aka CMC.) CMC is my favorite communication-focus anyway, so this should be a good day. I just need to review my theories (which is what I'm taking a break from right now to write this) and know them inside and out for my oral defense.
So wish me luck! I'm hoping that everything will be fine, but there's always the possibility that I will tank!
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
My other successful interview was with Lois Paul & Partners. Their culture is very relaxed as well, and they are doing great things in the technology industry. They are looking to hire right away and I'm at a disadvantage because I can't move to Boston before early January. My family would be devastated if I bypassed my annual trip home at Christmas to move across the country. So I'm in a holding pattern right now.
In my free time, Boston took me out to meet more of his friends that I didn't get to meet the first time I was there, but I've heard about. We all went out to this nice pub in Cambridge to watch the Sox game and drink beer. I love the beer on the East Coast because we don't get that in Texas (much the same way they don't get our varietals down here.) I got to indulge in my favorite Sea Dogs Blueberry Ale and got to try the Sam Adams Cherry Wheat. I think that Shiner Bock should start brewing fruit beers like that as well! I alone could help support their sales!
My friend Shannon was also visiting Boston at the same time, so we met her and her friends in the North End for dinner at this amazing Italian restaurant. The events leading up to it were awful and frustrating and I won't go into details except to say it was raining, the trains weren't running properly and we were 90 minutes late for our reservations. However, when we got there, we bought some bottles of wine and the rest of the evening was great.
Boston and I spent Sunday afternoon driving through New Hampshire to look at the fall colors and he took me to the ocean at sunset. Apparently the beach is now "our thing" and there are no complaints from this girl! It was very romantic, very chilly and very perfect. It's funny to think I spent my entire life never having seen the ocean, and it becoming this question of "when will she finally see the ocean?" and in the short 7 months that we've been together, Boston's taken me twice! It's sweet that he knows what I consider important and then indulges me.
Naturally I cried when we had to say goodbye, and cried the entire flight home. It drives me crazy to be so far away from him, and I pray every day that things work out so that my plans can become definite and I can get up there to start our life together. He's talking about it more too, so I know he's getting excited. It's very exciting for the both of us.
I will keep you posted on the hunt and the upcoming move to the East. Next up is my trip to Michigan to meet Boston's friends. I can't wait for that trip!
Friday, October 12, 2007
So the guy giving the lecture, aka conservatard, is actually a technologist who was talking about social media, and how he uses it. What makes this lecture so interesting is that I've been recently learning about all this stuff he talked about. Boston has been introducing me to his tech-know, which means that I've been reading Slashdot on a daily basis, and our conversations lately have more to do with parallel universes and l33t speak than our days at work. Not that I'm complaining; I'm really excited that he's incorporating me into things that are important to him. It means that we're "growing." But I digress. This lecture today made so much sense because I've been reading this stuff. The web sites he referenced are sites that, up until two weeks ago, I'd never heard of; but today, I did know of them. I'm actually feeling a little smarter thanks to him. And our conversations are sweet. I love debating about parallel universes, or talking in code using gamer speak. It's fun!
On another note, I met a girl at the training today from Texas who did her Master's program in Boston. We're going to have dinner on Sunday night to talk all things Boston, like where I should venture to when I visit in a few days. I'm also excited because she's proof that Texans can survive in the freezing cold weather! In fact, she said it was colder in Chicago than Boston! Imagine! Speaking of the Boston cold, my new peacoat arrived in the mail yesterday, and the weather in Boston has just turned cold, so I'll actually get to wear it! I have never been more excited for cold weather!
Also, I take my comprehensive exams in 2 weeks! That's it!! I'm getting really nervous, but after studying I've realized that I remember more than I thought. Hopefully it won't be too bad.
So that's it. I probably won't post again until I'm in Boston or after I get back. But just think about how much I will have to talk about then! :)
Monday, October 1, 2007
This guy is the first person I've known to pass away from AIDS. I suspect he won't be the last either. I've realized for about 2 years now that life as I've always known it will never be the same. I'm meeting more people who are divorced, more people who have diseases, more people who have been addicted to drugs. I wonder if my parents or grandparents ever had these issues when they were my age. Maybe it wasn't the same situations, but I wonder if they realized as they were getting older that life as they knew it would never be the same, and that they were going to meet more people who had been afflicted with some tragedy in their life.
I guess that it makes me realize that we can't take life for granted. All the stresses, complaints, fears that we have shouldn't matter. We need to be thankful for every day that God gives us, for every challenge that we have to endure because it means that we were lucky enough to have another day to face our challenges, and another day to love the people in our lives.
On that note, I say a prayer for my friend who will never get to experience the joy of life again, and I pray for my friends and family who are going through hard times right now, that they may realize how lucky they are to live another day. I love you all.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
I've also been going through a rough time in my personal life. I knew this time would be coming; I'm sure you're wondering how I knew. Have you ever had the feeling that things were going so well, that eventually something was going to go wrong and bring you back down to reality? Well, that's what happened. For months now everything has been going better than I could have ever imagined, and then I was given a challenge to bring me back to reality. I won't bore you with the details, but this test in life challenged me in ways I never thought possible. Each day I prayed to God for the strength to get me through my adversity, and to show me the way. While being tested, I did some things that I am not proud of, but I admitted my mistakes with the ones whom I was hurting, and I feel that God gave me the strength to get through my trial. While I'm not entirely out of the woods yet, I feel that my relationships with God and my partner were strengthened, and there is nothing better than that.
On a brighter note, I'm getting excited that I'm less than a month out from seeing my significant other. It's been too long since we've seen each other, and this trip is going to be a good one for us. While the partner is out working (ah, the joys of taking mid-week vacations), I'll have the opportunity to hop on the train and explore Boston the way I want to. I'm thinking a trip downtown, as well as hopping different lines are in order. It will give me a chance to better orient myself with the city that I am quickly growing to love. I've dreamed for a decade now that Boston is the city I'm going to call home, and I'm excited to see it for all that it is. Everyone I've ever talked to praises the city - minus the brutal winters, but even that I've been told will be all right. "Bundle up and you'll be fine" is what I hear most. Oddly enough, I think that's true. When you want something so badly, nothing seems to get in the way of that; not even brick walls of freezing cold.
Speaking brick walls, I watched the most amazing lecture the other day. The other half asked me watch it, telling me that it would be inspiring, and while I never doubted his enthusiasm, I had no idea what I was in for. Everyone should see this lecture from an inspiring individual, Randy Pausch, professor of CS at Carnegie Mellon University. Randy gave a heartwarming lecture during his "last lecture" and I don't want to give away everything, but if you get a chance, watch the lecture. http://www.etc.cmu.edu/global_news/?q=node/42 I promise that you won't be disappointed. The lecture is sincere, the lessons are simple, and the take aways are priceless.
On that note, I should get back to studying, so that I actually earn my Master's degree. I found out that my official graduation day is December 15, so I have a goal now. How cool is that?! Until next time...
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
This semester is going to be tough! My course work load is going to be heavy, with at least 2 case studies in each class and 2 presentations. Not to mention that we have weekly quizzes in each class! Oy vey! How nuts is that?!
On the plus side, my classmates are awesome, my teams are picked, and I'm ready to go. I can't tell you how good it feels to know that in less than 4 months I'll have a Master's degree! In reality, it seems like just yesterday I was starting grad school. I can't believe it's already drawing to a close.
Oh, and for those of you who have been asking about how grad school works for me, here's a little detail. In my college (Communications) you can either do thesis or non-thesis. For the students who choose non-thesis (like myself) you must complete 36 hours of coursework and then take a comprehensive exam covering all your coursework. In your 24th hour of coursework you select a 3-man committee who will prepare you for comps. Your committe chair will petition each of your professors for a question, and then you must prepare for each of the questions you are given. The written exam consists of 3-4 questions selected by your committee that you answer over 2 days (you are given 2 hours to answer each question.) A week after your written exams you go before your committee for an oral defense of your written exams. In your defense you justify why you used a certain theory or did not choose to use a theory, etc. I've heard that your defense can take a couple of hours - YIKES! If you pass, then you graduate; if you don't pass, then you're in trouble.
With all that being said, I am confident that my committee will prepare me to master my exam, and all I have to do is study my keister off for the next 3 months in preparation for the exam. :)
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
I decided to finally join the network of people who, as WOMMA founder and serial blogger Andy Sernovitz says, are crying for help! I'm not going to pretend that I'm doing this to become a "famous" blogger or to become an expert in Web 2.0. I've been interested in reading people's blogs (call it nosy or gossippy or curious) for some time, and I felt like I was entering probably the craziest time in my life, and wanted to document it. I'm not expecting anyone to read this -not even my parents! - but I did want something that I can one day look back on. So with that, I begin my post. If anyone does decide to read this, here's some information about me, and why I think my life is about to get crazy:
I am in the PR industry, working at an advertising agency in Dallas. I've been with my current agency for over 18 months now, and I LOVE my job. I don't mind the long work days and the low pay (although it makes me cry when I break down my salary-to-per-hour ratio) because I feel that my piece of mind is worth more than the money I don't have. I have a second job, and that is graduate student at UT Arlington. I'm in my final semester of grad school, and stuff is about to get crazy! I'm taking a business management class and a business marketing class, AND preparing for my comprehensive exams. All this is in addition to my job, and balancing my social life and finding time to visit my Boston boyfriend. Whew! So you can see that I have a lot. That's why I wanted to document this time in my life. The time between now and mid-December is going to be nuts, and it will probably help everyone who won't see me from now until then to know what is going on in my life.
I hope you enjoy this, and I'll try to update it as much as possible. I'll include things that are going on in my life, and try to balance it out with some interesting industry happenings that I come across. Feel free to give any comments or criticisms, or tell me when you can tell that I'm starting to lose my sanity. It's going to be a great ride! :)