Realistic, not Optimistic.

Today I have some exciting news to share.

And no, the photo I attached to this blog has nothing to do with the contents. But how cute is Butters? Seriously. Animals are just the best companions. ❤

Remember how scared I was of that math placement test I had coming up? Well – I studied my ass off (www.khanacademy.com & http://www.mathhelp.com) and finally went into school to take it.

I was met with so many obstacles to take this test that day. I showed up, paid my $1 for 45min of parking (The test is 45 questions in 20min — 45min of parking SHOULD have been enough). I went to the testing offices and showed them the voucher that I received for attention a 2 day workshop on financial aid services… I got the voucher because I scored high enough on my CASAS exam. The testing monitor told me I needed to head to the cashiers office to obtain a receipt.

Ooooook – fine. No problem.

Get to the cashiers off, she looks up my student ID – oh look, no money available on my account. So the cashier then tells me to go to the woman who issued the voucher and have her put the money in my account.

Oooook – fine. No problem.

So I head to go see the woman who issues me the voucher, she applied it toward my account — back to the cashier.

Cashier: It’s still not in the account, I don’t know what to tell you. Here, take this paper I printed off and highlighted “no funds available” and see what she has to say.

Ooooook – fine. But now I’m starting to run out of time on my parking, and I’m cutting it close to the time they refuse to allow students to test after.

Back to the woman who issued me the voucher.

She says, “What the heck! I put the money in there. Oh crap – it’s cause the system is still stuck on summer quarter and this is issuing for fall. Hang on – let’s go see what we can do.”

So we walk back to the administration building and find a woman who can help us by switching the system temporarily, then back to the cashier where — TA DA! — I now have my money in my account and collect my receipt and can walk back to the testing offices.

Oh wait – now I have to go talk to security/parking enforcement and ask them not to ticket/tow my car, because now I’ve been parked there for 42min trying to get everything taken care of.

Me: Hi… um… the cashier told me to come talk to you because I was originally only going to be here for 20min for my testing, but then I’ve had some complications getting funding taken care of and now I’m hoping you wont ticket me because I’m going to be parked there longer than planned. Could you please not?

Parking/Security guy: No problem, that’s the least of our concerns right now is monitoring visitor parking, we’re short-staffed today. Good luck on your test.

YESSSSSS – back to the testing offices.

Where at this point, all the anxiety about testing I had has now been transferred to anxiety about the stupid parking/payment arrangement. So – I’m exhausted at this point and ready to go.

Grab my scratch paper & pencil and get to it.

20min later and some extra surveys they made me take after the test, and I’m done!

I walk out to the main entry where they grab my results off the printer and say

Monitor: Well, you did about as well as you could’ve done.

Me: What does that mean? *starting to sweat at this point*

Monitor: You score a perfect score, 500/500 — 100%. Good for you!

Me: Oh god. You’re serious! Omg. Omg. Omg. All that studying paid off! Omg. Omg. Can I hug you? I’m so happy. I’m just tickled. Now what?

Monitor: Well, now you have to take the advanced math test.

Me: Shit.

Monitor:  You still have time today if you want to just take it now

Me: Um… no, let me go home and study and maybe I can score 100% on that one, too!

I immediately called my mom, no answer, then I called Scott (my step-dad) who couldn’t answer because he was at work, but texted me immediately to ask how it went. Then I called my brother Taylor, Jacob & Ryan. All of whom answered my call and congratulated me. Then I called my friends Ilana & Nina to share the good news – who also congratulated me. Then I called my sweetheart who was driving crossed the country and was currently in Missouri – he couldn’t answer, so we text and his response was:

J – “F-yeah! I knew you could do it! I’m so proud of you!”

Me – “**blushing** thanks babe!”

Now, I’m not usually one to toot my own horn, but after studying my tail off for 3-4 weeks and being up until 4am the night before, having to juggle getting a shift covered so I could take this test, and then studying even right BEFORE the test – being met with all those obstacles — I was F’n STOKED!

Now I just have to study for the harder test. Ugh.

More good news to share though…

A veterinarian I previously worked with (about 2.5yrs ago) made a post on Facebook that her clinic was looking for some help. Either someone to work PT/FT/relief. I thought, how great would it to be to work with someone I know, some place closer (it’s about a 30min drive from my home) and make some extra money? I sent her my resume that night and heard from her hospital in the morning where we scheduled a meet & greet for the following day.

Also that day, I heard from a hospital I had applied to 2 months ago. We had a brief phone interview that landed my an in-person interview for later that week.

I went to the interview and was offered the job within 10 minutes. They showed me around the clinic and introduced me to everyone and told me to expect my offer letter later in the week.

I couldn’t help but feel pressure to accept the position as well as embarrassment for being shown around like a show pony. I was anxious about it because here I was — finally getting my foot in the door to a fantastic healthcare company, one where I can go anywhere once I’m hired. But yet, the stress of trying to juggle school and a FT job seemed to make me feel increasingly panicked.

I countered their offer. Hoping that they would either:

  1. Pay me what I was asking.
  2. Rescind the offer so I didn’t have to worry about making a choice.

They didn’t quite match my offer, but increased what they had.

I accepted the position.

I start August 21.

Sooner or later you must take some risks. I’ll be heading into a completely different field. One I have no serious experience in, no current mentor to help me, and I’m scared. I’m scared of how I’m going to do it all and perform to the high expectations I’ve set for myself. But the thing about being good at something, really good, is that you have to fail – a lot.

When I was applying to positions at veterinary hospitals I had no experience. It took me 3 years of applying to a clinic in west seattle before I finally started my own business (remember Sticky Situations?) and that’s when they called me in for an interview. I was once again, hired on the spot. I was so excited to start working in a field I was actually passionate about. I continued to work as a barista in the mornings and then drive to west seattle to work at the clinic. I did that for a few months until my stand was sold to someone I had a tough time getting paid from, so I quit.

I worked as a receptionist and was lucky enough that a veterinarian took interest in the fact I wanted to be more “behind the scenes.” He taught me EVERYTHING. I was so lucky to have that opportunity. All I had to do was refine my skills – but at least I had the knowledge behind them.

Transitioning over to the next clinic was much easier because I already know the position and what it entailed. I was able to further my skills and knowledge while working there and it was so much easier since I already had the background to support me.

But now I find myself in a bit of a pickle. I’m starting a new field and have no idea what’s expected of the position. I’m scared. One thing that my mom and Markie keep reminding me and that I keep telling myself is, “If they don’t let you find balance so you can work and go to school, or you don’t like the job, you can always quit and go back to doing relief work.”

It’s so true. I need to stop putting so much pressure on myself to excel at everything and force a commitment when I don’t want to.

So for now, I’m just “trying it on” and giving myself the space to think realistically about the outcome.

I often struggle with something called, “future casting or fortune-telling.”

For those of you who don’t know what that is…

“Fortune telling is a cognitive distortion in which you predict a negative outcome without realistically considering the actual odds of that outcome. It is linked to anxiety and depression, and is one of the most common cognitive distortions that arise during the course of cognitive restructuring.” — http://cogbtherapy.com/cbt-blog/cognitive-distortion-fortune-telling

Basically – I think I can predict that’s going to happen and immediately assume the worst case scenario. Which almost NEVER happens — but if I ruminate on it, I’m sure I could MAKE it happen.

Just as we have the power of positivity and using that positive energy to manifest good things in our lives, we have the power of negativity and using that negative energy to manifest our biggest fears.

There is security that comes from working a job FOR someone/a company. It means I don’t have to completely rely on myself to get work and generate income. I return to working for someone else and receiving a normal paycheck. (Not only that, but the benefits are AMAZING!)

With that security – I decided to take myself shopping, bought myself some new clothes and scheduled a hair appointment.

I also decided that depending on my sweethearts schedule, I would use the money I’ve saved up and take a weekend trip to go visit him in Atlanta for the weekend prior to starting my job — that is, as long as everything works out.

I don’t work hard for nothing. I have a “realistic” approach to things which others can view as optimistic or pessimistic. I choose to take a step back, examine the facts, and make a decision based on those facts.

I don’t consider myself to be a risk taker. But once I do take that step back and examine how I’ve handled the last 2 months of my “unemployment” I realize I took the biggest risk of all. I took a leap of faith in myself and I achieved more than I thought I  was capable of.

Often we sell ourself short. We assume we can’t do it. We’re too scared to even try. We’re comfortable with what we’re good at and find ourselves feeling like we’ve committed to something so we must sacrifice ourself and our well-being for some other “greater good.”

To me, this was sacrificing my mental/emotional health for a job that didn’t appreciate me. I was good at my job. I arrived on time, performed my duties above and beyond the expectation, but in the end – God had a different plan for me – so I was fired.

But guess what, it would’ve gone one of two ways:

  1. Allow the negativity to swallow me and fall into a pit of depression
  2. Relax, take pride in my work ethic and come to terms that I wasn’t happy there and that the job I had wasn’t going to ever be “it” for me.

Take some risks. Have some faith. Be realistic. Stop worrying. Read a book. Drink a glass of wine. Spend time with family and friends. Find work/life balance. Be your own role model. Never give up on yourself. Follow your heart. Recognize your potential. Be brave and unapologetic (unless, of course – you’re a dick and should apologize).

If there’s one thing I’ve learned – you can succeed at whatever you put effort into. You will fail. You will fail so many times. But guess what, the toddler that kept falling down while attempting to walk, eventually walked. Because they were determined to do what felt like an impossible task. Keep that mindset for yourself while you’re an adult.

Responsibilities will always be there. Pay your bills on time. Monitor your credit. Be financially aware. Take risks, dream big, work hard.

It’ll pay off.

 

Until next time,

xo-Jack

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