Warning - TMI Post Ahead!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

This is another post I intended to write months ago but never got around to it.  I should take that as a sign that it should not be written, however I have a weird fascination with this topic so I'm going to share anyway. 

Last July I got shingles.  I had seen those commercials warning people about shingles, however I had hardly taken notice since only old people got shingles... or at least normally only old people get shingles. 

It started with what felt like a fever.  You know that overly sensitive feeling your skin gets just before you get sick?  It felt like that, but pretty much isolated to my torso.  I thought it was weird, but didn't think much beyond that.  I did notice a little red spot on my stomach, but anyone who spends most of their day sitting in a chair would understand why I just assumed it was from the buttons on my pants or something.  The red spot had turned into a rash on the second day and my body had gone from feeling feverish to feeling bruised, like I had been hit with a bat all over my body.  It was weird and uncomfortable, but I still ignored it.  Then the bubbles happened.  The spot on my stomach turned into a batch of little blisters.  It took me a while to really do some research and when I came to the conclusion that I had shingles pretty much everyone I knew told me I was crazy.  I ended up going to the doctors to confirm it. It's apparently not impossible for younger people to get shingles, but it is definitely less common than finding it in older people.

I was very lucky that it really only appeared in that one spot.  I now, 10 months later, still have a scar.  It took about two months from start to finish.  Some people get patches like this all over their body.  And, while it was gross and irritating, it didn't hurt me anywhere near as badly as it seems to hurt others.  They say it is generally caused by stress or an auto immune problem.  I never really figured out what the cause was for me but I'm hoping it was just stress.

If you want to  be really grossed out, see the progression in the pictures below.

The Apartment

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I intended to write this post ten months ago when I actually moved into my apartment, but that obviously didn't happen.  It seems silly to even write it now since I will be moving again in a few months, but I'm sure someday down the line I'd like to look back and see where I was living at this time of my life. 

Finding a one bedroom apartment that accepts a 70 lb dog was not easy.  Luckily the building I'm in right now is extremely dog friendly.  The rent is of course pretty high, but for the 13 months of my lease this has been a great place to live.

I'm located in one of the old mill buildings of Lowell along the Merrimack River.  They did an amazing job restoring it and even after 10 months I still find myself just staring at the exposed brick walls in admiration.  There is a park just behind the building.  Every evening after work the many dog owners of the building bring their dogs out and let them run.  Again, even after 10 months I still love going out there with Mac and watching all of the pups play.  Not only is this park very useful as a dog owner, but it's is also beautiful.  An aunt who came to visit me said she felt like she was in the gardens of Buckingham Palace.  I'll take it.

There are, of course, some downsides.  Paper thin walls, expensive heating bills, having to stand outside with Mac in the rain and snow but overall I'm very happy to have lived here for the time I have, but I'm also looking forward to downsizing (both in space and costs!).

Busy Busy

Monday, April 28, 2014

With so little time left together, I feel like my boyfriend and I are trying to cram 11 months worth of things into a few weeks. We returned from our cruise last Friday and jumped right into Easter celebrations on Sunday. 

On Wednesday I decided to spontaneously purchase Red Sox / Yankees tickets as a going away present for him for Thursday night.  We had talked about trying to get to a game before he left but other than mentioning that we should do it, we hadn't actually taken any steps towards planning it.  Just buying the tickets on a whim seemed to work pretty well.  The Sox lost pretty badly but it was still fun getting to go. 

Of course that left me exhausted for Friday night where we had to drive two hours down to the Cape for his Unit's goodbye dinner.  It was also fun but even more exhausting. 

Saturday night we joined my friends for birthday/going away dinner and drinks.  Again, lots of fun but another late night. 

Sunday was a going away cookout (I told you everyone was leaving me!).  We kept this one short and sweet since we were both pretty much asleep on our feet.

We saved the late afternoon for ice cream at the farm and naps on the couch.  The simplest part of the weekend and yet probably the most enjoyable part.

Can It Be...

Monday, April 21, 2014

Can it be that I have FINALLY figured out what I want to do with my life?  I've been moping around quite a bit these last few weeks because I'm fairly settled in everything I have going on and I'm not exactly thrilled with most of it.  I'm now on my third (fourth? maybe fifth?) desk job.  I've officially decided that they aren't for me.  I don't think they are ever really ideal for anyone, but for many people the idea of making a decent salary is very important.  I would like to not be broke for the rest of my adult life, but I don't live a very materialistic life so, while having nice things is a priority for many, having a fulfilling job is much more important to me.

I've spent much of the past few months trying to figure out what I WANT to do.  I've gone through dozens of ideas.  There have been a lot of things I think I might enjoy, but they would require more schooling and there is no guarantee I would enjoy them for long. I've come up with ideas for my own businesses however those, for the most part, require some type of start up cost. 

I really feel like a dumbass for missing the one thing that I am qualified for, I know I would enjoy, and wouldn't require an up front investment. 

During Easter yesterday my cousin (one of the three history majors on my mom's side of the family) mentioned that he got an internship with a museum up in Vermont.  He described to me the exhibit he would be working on and the types of items they had there and I was instantly jealous. 

I spent the rest of the day sulking about how lucky he was and how awesome doing something like that would be. 

Like I said, I'm a dumbass.

I live in city that is home to at least a dozen museums (several of which are in walking distance from my apartment.) I have a degree in history.  There are hundreds of volunteer opportunities in the area. 

I know most of the jobs at museums are highly competitive but I know that if I got an opportunity to impress a person or two I'd be able to work my way in some how.  I read the job description of various curator jobs around the country and they honestly sound like they were made for me.  Better yet, the pay doesn't even seem that terrible.

Ironically I even interviewed for a job at one of the museums after undergrad.  I also looked there back when I was leaving DRC.  At the time my rent/loan combo kept me from taking a pay cut, but there is nothing from stopping me from volunteering now.  Nor will there be anything stopping me from potentially making a career move should the opportunity arise after July 31st when I move back home.

I've already got my application for volunteer opportunities completed.  It might be a long way off, but I finally feel like I might be on the path to a career that I would actually wake up looking forward to every day!


Sigh.  I just returned from a 5 day/ 4 night cruise with my boyfriend.  It was wonderful.  There isn't a whole lot to share since we spent 90% of our time lounging, eating, or drinking.

We flew down to Miami on Sunday and spent the night there.  Other than venturing out to a nearby Cuban restaurant and stocking up on wine and sunblock for the cruise, we didn't see much of Miami.  Early on Monday we headed to the port and the rest of the week was spent in blissful relaxation.  Other than a ridiculous sunburn on my chest every thing was pretty close to perfect. Our ports of call were in Key West and Cozumel, but we chose to just wander around in each instead of booking any excursions.  It would probably have been nice to go out and see the sights, but I was more than happy with strolling around each place for a bit and then heading back to the boat for more of the eating/drinking/lounging routine. 

It's kind of scary to think that in total I only have about a month left with my boyfriend before he heads out to Texas and then on to Kuwait, but this was a perfect way to just put that all at the back of our minds and spend some quality time with each other. 


Friday, April 11, 2014

I am weird.  On so many levels.  For the most part, though, I understand the weirdness.  The one thing I don't get is my weirdness with work.  I feel like everywhere I go, everyone around me is working furiously and I'm always bored.  I never seem to have enough work to keep me busy.

This was definitely the case at my last job.  I actually begged my boss more than once for more work and yet it still didn't seem to fill more than a few hours of my day.  Taking on this new job was supposed to solve that problem.  I am still much busier than I was at DRC, but nowhere near as busy as I'd like to be and it appears nowhere near as busy as everyone around me.  Am I just not playing the game right?  Are they all just pretending to be busy and relishing the free time they sneak in when they aren't?  Am I supposed to WANT to not be busy?  Should I be slowing down the speed at which I work?

Right now I have my own job, I am covering for the woman out on maternity leave, covering for our office manager while she is in Vegas, AND I asked the VP of the company yesterday to throw any projects my way. Oh I'm also going on vacation next week so I'm working on getting all kinds of longer term things taken care of before I leave... but I still find myself busy for probably less than half the time I'm in the office.

What am I doing wrong? 


Left Behind

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I have always been the one to bounce around from place to place.  I've been the one to leave family and friends behind for a year at a time.  I've always been so focused on adventuring that I never really worried about leaving anyone behind.  But things are changing.  One of my good friends just got a job in New Jersey.  He and his girlfriend (my best friend) will be moving down there in the next couple of months.  Two of my other friends both work out of Manchester, NH and both are in the process of looking for apartments in that area.  One friend is still off traversing through New Zealand with her new husband.  My former roomie Kat is based out of NYC right now.  And D-Day (deployment day) is rapidly approaching for my boyfriend.

I am the one being left behind.

I am really very happy for all of them.  They are either in the middle of or about to start some amazing adventures and yet I can't help but feel like the cool kid in high school.  The one that seem to have everything they could want in life, but 10 years later is still living in the same small town working some dead end job with really nothing going for them.

I know that is me being overly dramatic but, hey, this is my blog and I can be as dramatic and whiny as I want.

I have been so lucky in the past to experience everything I have, and I know there is nothing really stopping me from doing whatever I want in the future, but I just can seem to wrap my head around what it is I want to do with my life.

Lamest Blog Post Ever...

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Sometimes I wonder if I'm better off keeping my mouth shut and just pretending I'm not such a huge dork.  But that would basically go against all dork-ly instincts so instead I just try to embrace it.  My newest dork obsession? Audiobooks.

One of the benefits of my job is that I can use headphones while working.  I spent a while just listening to Pandora but I got bored with that pretty quickly.  A few weeks ago I downloaded an audiobook copy of a book I was reading. I had been having a hard time actually reading it since by the time I get to sit down and open a book I'm in bed and on the verge of sleep. I struggle through a dozen pages and at some point drift off (which always forces me to backtrack the next night to figure out where I actually stopped reading and started dreaming.)

I used to use audiobooks while running.  I usually receive a look of horror when I tell people this, but when you're running for 2+ hours music just doesn't cut it after a certain point.  Plus I feel like I am making such better use of my time.

I am also sick of every song on the radio so the audiobooks are perfect for my 45 minute commutes.

I went from reading a book every 2-3 weeks to listening to a book every 2-3 days. It's definitely different from reading, but I do get the same information.  I tend to save my non-fictions books for listening.  I prefer to use my imagination for the others but I'm assuming listening to anything by Stephen Hawking is much easier than attempting to read it.

I feel lame enough that I actually listen to audiobooks, but the fact that I felt compelled to write about it show just how truly sad my life is. What's even sadder is that I'm genuinely pissed that I finished my book today before lunch and now have nothing to listen to for the rest of the day. 

I'm so cool.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Is it incredibly conceited of me to believe that I am destined to do something great?  Perhaps it's simply more delusional.  Maybe I am just living up to every stereotype of a millennial.

I struggle on a daily basis to accept what I am doing.  The routines I go through, the monotony of every day.  The easiest days are the ones in which I am too busy to stop and think, but when I do I immediately feel down.  I feel like I am letting myself down.  I know I am smart and capable and yet I find myself, day after day, doing the same thing.  Even worse, I don't actually do anything to change that.  How can I be mad about not doing something great when I'm not actually committed to working towards that?

I'm sure this is something most people struggle with at some point in their lives.  I don't think anyone is every fully satisfied with where they are and what they are doing and I'm not so full of myself to believe that I should be doing something better than everyone else... just something better than what I am currently doing.  Perhaps for some people what I am doing right now is more than enough, but I can't honestly say it is for me. 

I am thinking about moving back home.  I've asked my parents to speed up the timeline of their basement renovations and I will hopefully claim that as my space.  My motivation to do this is in part to save money, but more so because right now I feel trapped.  Aside from not having money to do anything, I feel like renting an apartment could hinder me from jumping at a great opportunity when it arises.  I know nothing is going to be handed to me, but I genuinely am afraid that if and when I suddenly have that enlightened moment about what I truly want to do with my life, I wouldn't be able to chase after it because I'd be bogged down with a lease and debt. 

As much as I hate all of the millennial bashing, I know that most of it is true. But after watching my parents struggle to make ends meets for the last 26 years, why is it so outrageous to believe that I might strive for something greater... something bigger than myself?  I don't have dreams of changing the world or being the next overnight millionaire,  I really just want to do something I enjoy and make enough money to survive.  That, to me, would be greatness.