A Change In Scenery
|August 17, 2012||Posted by Katy under Inner Musings|
“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” -Walt Disney
As I’ve alluded to in the past, the last eight months since graduation have not been easy. It has been filled with a lot of frustration, uncertainty, and fear. Many tears have been shed and my insomnia has come back with a vengeance over the past two or three months.
I’ve been a bit more guarded with my personal life lately because so much has been up in the air, but now I am finally going to share the full story. It’s a little long, but bear with me; I have wanted to share this but have been unable to until now.
Immediately after graduation, I started to apply for jobs in Jacksonville. Initially I started at my gym and a few retail stores, only to be either turned down or not contacted at all. After two months of applying and getting no results, I started looking for more options for the long term, while continuing to look for jobs in town. I remembered reading a post by Allison last year in which she mentioned her year of service with AmeriCorps. I was intrigued by the program and began to research it more for the Fall/ next Spring. I also reached out to Allison and she really encouraged me to apply for programs.
So in mid- March, I researched and applied for four separate AmeriCorps programs- two in Chicago, one in NYC, and one in Boston. About a month later, I only heard back from one program. I filled out the additional questionnaire they requested, and waited for some news. Less than two weeks later, I got my news- but not the news I wanted to hear. I was put on the wait list for a first round interview (and never received one).
I was a little dejected, but researched more programs, and ended up applying for seven more, all across the country including Texas, Ohio, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. I had a little more luck with these programs and had more phone interviews in two weeks than I could count on both hands. However, I continued to struggle to land a position with any of these programs. Either I would receive a rejection letter with the usual “we were impressed with your phone interview but we are seeking an applicant with more experience” or I would not hear anything at all.
Then in early- June, I had a fantastic phone interview with one program and was invited for an in-person interview. I made travel reservations for a three day trip, but a few days later, my uncle passed away. It did not change my interview plans, but it was definitely a stressful situation to be in. It was a long week of travel (Monday- Wednesday in Maryland, Wednesday- Friday in Pennsylvania).
Remember when I went to Pittsburgh for a “belated graduation trip”? Well…I sort of lied. It was for the interview with this program. I kept it a secret because I was unsure how the interview would go. Everyone around me seemed confident that I would land the position, but I remained cautiously optimistic. I had had a lot of rejections and did not want to get my hopes up.
The interview was interesting to say the least. I was able to tour the facilities, speak with the program director and have my interview. I really liked the organization and everything they stood for but the interview was very short and I left the building not feeling confident. However, I blocked it out and tried to have fun during my short time in Pittsburgh.
The following Monday, I received the phone call that I did not want; I had not gotten the position. I was given the same familiar comment- “we liked you, but we need someone with more experience.” Needless to say I was devastated, and angry. Angry at myself for spending all the money for the flight, hotel, and other transportation for the trip and devastated because I was knocking on so many doors only to have them slammed in my face.
It took me a month to dust myself off and move on. My anxiety was at an all time high, I was finding myself slipping into depression, and I was frustrated. I never saw myself in the position of being unable to find a job for so many months. I began to regret how I spent my time in college (focusing on high grades verses finding work) and wished that I could go back and change it.
During this time (around mid last month), my parents and I began brainstorming a plan B. Since AmeriCorps was not looking promising and I could no longer afford to live in Jacksonville, I needed to figure out something, and fast. I was entering the final month of my apartment lease and no longer had ties to the Jacksonville area.
One option was to move back home but as you can guess, I was not exactly thrilled with the idea. Do not get me wrong, I LOVE my parents, but moving back home was not going to help me in terms of moving forward with my life. We sat on this for a few days, and then finally came up with an idea…
For as long as I can remember, I have known where I have wanted to move when I “grew up.” There are many places I want to live in my life, but there is one place on the list where I want to live long term and maybe raise a family one day. It is a place where I first visited when I was eleven, during an annual Safety Patrol trip, and immediately fell in love. It is a place rich in history and a lot of power.
In seven days, I am taking my first steps to make this dream a reality. Next Saturday I will be packing up my car, saying goodbye to Florida and starting a new chapter in my life.
Next Saturday I will be moving to the Washington DC Metropolitan Area, specifically southern Maryland.
I am nervous but very excited for this move. It has been a dream of mine for so long and difficult to grasp that my dream is starting to become a reality. I thought that I was going to have to wait another year (for graduate school in 2013), but right now feels like the right time.
Additionally, after eight months rejection, disappointment, and tears, I finally got the good news I have been waiting for. Today I received an offer for an internship in Washington, DC starting after Labor Day! I am incredibly excited about this internship, especially since it is with an organization I am so passionate about!
The last eight months have been far from perfect, but in some ways, it has made me stronger. I have learned a valuable lesson in tenacity and that I need to go make my own opportunities and not be afraid to reach out to people. After all, if I had not reached out, I would not have gotten this internship opportunity.
I am a firm believer in “things happen for a reason.” Sometimes we don’t understand why things happen to us, and sometimes we never will, but life has an odd way of working itself out.
In closing of this ridiculously long post, I want to thank everyone who has been so incredibly supportive of me this year. It has been filled with highs and lows, but the supportive comments and tweets I have received have helped me more than words can express.
T-minus seven days and counting. Washington, DC (or southern Maryland)… ready or not, here I come!