The obligatory new year’s blog post:
As the new year is already in full swing, I found it cathartic to join the masses and write about my previous years’ triumphs and struggles, along with new goals for 2016.
The scary thing about creating goals is that I usually strive to make them happen. I don’t say that in a boastful way, or to insinuate that “I get shit done,” but usually, I do get shit done, and it is one of my strengths.
So, for instance, realizing that I am likely going to move from Chicago in 2016, is both scary and exciting.
My dear friend, Teal, praises me by saying, “You don’t just chase your dreams, you race after them.”
Of course, this statement is warming and I always allow myself feeling a moment of accomplishment and feeling good. It of course, doesn’t last as I am on to the next “goal” that I am trying to accomplish.
It also occurred to me in order to post about positive things in life, or goals I’ve accomplished, I should examine all historical content of 2015, and ensure that said content is not edited out– Life is messy and that part needs to be remembered, as it is often the motivating part.
So, lets dive in:
The year 2015 treated me fairly well. To name a few, 1) I moved in with Nick, 2) I raised a bunch of money for Aids Foundation of Chicago by completing the Chicago Marathon, 3) I got a job I LOVE, and 4) I traveled to seem some pretty new and exciting places.
But with all of those things came, here it is: a lot of really hard work… I mean, really tough situations.
I basically was the poorest I’ve ever been. There were many times during the beginning of the year were I had about 50 bucks to last me two weeks.
As a result of being financially strapped I, unfortunately, alienated a few friendships because I became reclusive, and operated under a high level of anxiety, which negatively impacted my health– Both mental and physical.
When one functions with fear and insecurity as a baseline, you make a lot of mistakes. Here are a few of mine:
That’s right, I was an uber driver. Mind you, there is nothing wrong with doing this for a side gig, or even a profession. It’s a great company and relatively easy to become a driver, but it wasn’t for me. I quit after about 3 months.
When I told people, or had a new rider, everyone usually opens with, “You must have the most interesting stories.” To which I would always respond with, “You have no idea.” But the truth is, the conversations are not as interesting as everyone wants them to be. Ever.
Most people don’t talk very much, if at all. And when they do, they say dumb shit.
I did however drive two girls back to a bar where they “lost” their shoes the night before. They were barefooted, for the record.
I worked at Starbucks for 3 days in efforts to make more money, but I decided to quick during training. Actually, I just stopped showing up.
First of all, I think Starbucks is a great organization, and everyone I encountered through the interview and the orientation process was pleasant and truly loved their job.
On my third day I was supposed to arrive at Starbucks at 6pm and work to about midnight. I spent the entire day at my full-time social work job helping a client get much needed help because he was having homicidal thoughts and had the means to act on them. I spent most of the day at a behavioral health unit at a hospital in the south-side of Chicago, only to be told that the client would not be admitted. I decided that I couldn’t do both.
I did try to call the store manager, but she was busy so I left a message. She did call me back, but I avoided returning her call and didn’t show up. In my defense, I was hired under the pretense that I would only work a couple extra hours a week and during the weekends, but when I arrived I was required to work a lot more than planned.
Either way, I quit in a really unprofessional manner, but I actually never felt too badly about it. I was stressed beyond capacity, and complied with my social work job, it was simply too much. I made the best decisions I could at the time, which is all I can expect from myself. I also never got a paycheck for being in training, so no harm, right?
This experience did encourage me to quick my beloved job working with the homeless population, and apply for a “better,” higher paying full-time job, so I could forgo the additional part-time job. Which leads me to another mistake:
I took this job while Mercury was in retrograde, which is always a no-no unless you are returning to a position/company in which you have previously been employed at. On my first day of work I knew I had made a mistake, because something felt off.
The pay was better, which was a necessity as I had rent to pay, and food that needed to be consumed, so for those purposes, it was worth it.
But for the experience, I won’t even do it the honor to write about it. I think it is best to identify it was a mistake, but note that it did help me to start to develop a confidence in working with people, really really rich people, that I have never before had. I began to realize that millionaires need help, too. And not to be intimidated by large sums of money, ever.
Another area that I failed at this year was a couple friendships that I neglected. I essentially internalized my problems, and did nothing to support several friends. As a result of doing “nothing,” it turned into “something,” and I did a number on a relationship or two.
Thankfully, things have been repaired, and I have learned a lot about myself and those with whom I choose to love and surround myself with.
So what worked?
We moved in together. We love each other. We work. I could explain for days all the ways in which we work, but that would over-complicate it.
My best friend, Lauren, always told me that things should be simple in relationships. I found simple, and I like it, protect it, and work at it. I have truly found a partner, one in which I actively choose to be with. Every day.
In 2012 I had a true depressive episode. Clinically speaking, these usually last about two-weeks, and negatively affect all areas of your life. At the time I was working from home, so I literally laid in bed for a week before I called and requested a doctors appointment. By day 10, I considered completing suicide by shooting myself with the pistol I had my apartment. By day 12 day I called my doctor crying and I saw her later that day.
Earlier this year, I felt another one coming and I started therapy. I currently go every week. During the year, depending on what insurance I happened to have, I have paid close to 400 dollars a month to seek treatment. I am dedicated and it is a priority.
I have depression, which is both a mental and physical condition– I am proud to be in treatment. Very, very proud.
I have learned that I deserve to be happy, it is not just a consequence of my situations, it is a state– One that takes constant pursuit.
Crisis Text Line
I began working here in late October, and it is truly the best job I have ever had. Not to mention the fact that we literally save lives for a living– weird, I know, but the company, man the company!!
CTL is a tech company and it is fast moving, supplemented with open communication and a true team. Each day I log on for work I am amazed by how my employment situation changed from barely making it and fighting depression, to thriving in a new, exciting, environment.
One unexpected thing I have gotten from this job is confidence. All of my co-workers are so passionate, and don’t let being told ‘no’ hold them back. They just adjust, and try again– just like me.
Basically, I hear stories of other peoples jobs, and I am convinced that if they ran their organization/program like CTL’s, then it would be better and more efficient. I imagine me going in to consult, and flip their organization around. Mainly, I am just intrigued with “consultants,” as basically they are just people who gets buckets of money, and I want that.
Which, now with CTL and my therapy, I think I deserve it, a lot of money that is. Not that I deserve it more than anyone else, just that I finally believe that I am worthy of it.
Basically, 2015 was a year of learning and growing. It was intense, but I wouldn’t have changed it. Maybe, I would have leaned on more friends to help my stress, but that is a lesson learned.
As for 2016 goals, I have been doing a lot of research on really successful people. Basically, and to no surprise, the one thing they all have in common is working really hard.
With my new found confidence, I have no doubt that I will lean into the things that stand in my way. I will adapt, and power through, while being mindful of the process and learning.
Here’s the goals/wants in no particular order:
- Grow with CTL
- Make more money
- Lean into my improv classes and make myself uncomfortable
- Move with Nick
- Eat Healthier
- Go on more adventures
- Give more gifts
- See family more
- Write, write a lot
I look forward to writing this post next year to see what things I have learned.
All the best,