A friend of mine who saw one of my recent posts on social media reached out and asked if I was feeling better. He knew that I’ve been going through a tough time, and wondered if my recent upbeat post was an indication that things were looking up in my life.
“I thought it was universally acknowledged that people only show their best selves on social media,” I replied.
In that very moment, standing in my kitchen waiting for my tea kettle to boil, I despised the kind of person that I’ve become.
It’s unclear how long I’ve been slipping into this person. Maybe it’s been my whole life, the way everyone conforms a part of themselves to societal standards. Or maybe it’s been the last few years, navigating through the world post-college. While I can’t pinpoint the exact moment, I think it’s happened slowly over the last 10 months. I’ve navigated a lot of difficult territory in the last 10 months, but I’ve not been very open or candid about that journey.
I don’t know how else to say this: I’ve felt very lost lately. It could be just your standard quarter-life crisis, but it doesn’t stop it from feeling real to me. It’s felt very, very real. Over the past few months, I’ve had some pretty monumental breakdowns. During that time, I’ve made an effort to dig deep, investigate the scary spaces in my heart, and ask myself hard questions. The result is that I’m lead further and further down into a space that I don’t often go:
Continue reading “Confessions”
If you’re a regular reader of my blog (i.e. my dad, my grandma), you’ve likely noticed it’s been a while since I last posted. To be exact, it’s been over a month since I wrote on this blog. I’m not sure if I can even consider this a blog when that much time passes between posts.
While I don’t want to apologize for my lack of writing or come up with a bunch of excuses for my absence, I do want to fill everyone in on some updates in our lives. Maybe I needed a full month to fully process everything I’m about to share or maybe I just didn’t prioritize the time to write these past 30 days. It’s tough to say.
What’s important is that I’m ready to share some things now. Are you ready?
Here are the big changes in our lives:
Continue reading “Makin’ Waves: Big Changes”
Hey, folks! For those of you who aren’t aware, I post content periodically on a website called Awesome Job Alert. If you live in the northern Michigan area, be sure to check out this incredible resource for “meaningful, impactful or unique job openings” in the region.
Here is one my recent posts about how to update your résumé quickly and painlessly. It’s good to do if you’re looking for a new job or just keeping your career paperwork up-to-date. Let me know what you think!
Updating a résumé might be the only thing more agonizing than filling out a job application. Are your job descriptions too long? What font should you use? Oh, yeah, and what year did you get that certification, again?
In my most recent job search endeavor (which spanned 4-5 months) I rewrote my résumé a few dozen times. Every time I rewrote it, it was still awful. Tweaking a résumé is not fun, and I’m not going to lie to you and say it eventually becomes enjoyable because I don’t think that will ever happen. However, in the midst of all that editing, I learned a few quick tricks that helped me out along the way.
Continue reading on the Awesome Job Alert blog…
When I first arrived in Berkeley, I did something I’ve never done on any of my other vacations: I headed straight for a laundromat.
My two coworkers and I finished up our lunch in Oakland’s Chinatown on Sunday afternoon, we said goodbye to our hosts and hopped on the BART to Berkeley. We all went our separate ways, which for me, meant checking into the Hotel Shattuck Plaza and settling into this new town for a few days.
After seeing the things I saw at our Oakland hosts’ home, I knew I wouldn’t be able to wear the clothes I wore in that house until they were washed. In fact, I didn’t even want the clothes I wore in that house to be anywhere near the rest of my possessions. I started unpacking and separated out The Clothes I Wore In Oakland from Clothes Without Any Oakland On Them. My hotel room was so beautiful and white and clean and essentially the opposite of where I just came from. I didn’t want to contaminate this sanctuary with anything I came in contact with at my previous accommodations.
Of course, in the midst of unpacking everything, I discovered that about 50 of my ant friends found their way into my suitcase (to be more precise, inside the Ziplock bag holding all my toiletries). Upon discovering these ant hitchhikers, I proceed to mumble expletives underneath my breath while I went on an ant killing spree. I took my toiletries into the bathroom and washed out the bag, plus the toiletries compartment of my suitcase, and then the outside of the suitcase. Just to be safe. Because gross.
Continue reading “SOLO ADVENTURES IN BERKELEY”
For as long as I can remember, the great West has captivated me. It’s as though the colonization of America still runs in my blood and makes me want to continue pressing westward, sweeping up experiences and glimpsing into the natural beauty of this wonderful country as I go.
I’ve long dreamed about visiting the West Coast: basking in the salty ocean air, wandering for hours along the rugged coast, bidding the sun farewell as it descends into the might Pacific. California isn’t a secret anymore, obviously, but it doesn’t mean the desire to discover it for myself has waned. Sometimes just spelling its name harkens a sense of longing in my heart. C-A-L-I-F-O-R-N-I-A. Each letter building more anticipation than the last.
I visited Lake Tahoe when I was younger and once we had a 7-hour layover in LA, but it’s hard to validate these as really engrossing myself in California (both the physical place and the state of mind). Until last year, California still felt like a distant mirage: a vision of an Emerald City on the western horizon, perhaps not even real but always a figment of my wildest Midwestern dreams.
Continue reading “California Dreamin’”
The last few days I’ve been out in California, soaking up the sun and learning first-hand why pretty much everyone moves out here. I’m technically in town for a work conference that begins today (Monday). However, since I’m always willing to take advantage of free lodging and exploring new places, a coworker and I flew out on Friday evening to see San Francisco and Oakland.
Right now I’m in Berkeley, since the conference takes place on the University of California campus. San Fran and Oakland were both great, but something about Berkeley has really captured my heart so far. Let’s be honest, though: pretty much all of California has captured my heart.
This is the first time I’ve taken a far-away trip by myself in, like, forever. It might actually be my first true solo adventure, even though I’m with two coworkers (I don’t know them too well, but I certainly know them better now). Traveling by myself is so different than having Sam, family, or long-time friends by my side, and I’m trying to make the most of the experience. If you want to join in from afar, just listen to this song on repeat—it’s been stuck in my head for like two weeks as I’ve prepped to come out here:
I hope to have some recaps (and lots of photos!) to share with you in the next week or so. In the meantime, you can always follow along on Instagram or Snapchat (user: mstych). Or you can wait until I get everything all typed up on this blog. Either way, California is so inspiring that it’s impossible for me to not want to share it!
When Sam and I decided to move to Chicago from our small hometown in northern Michigan, I think a lot of people assumed that we accepted jobs with a higher salaries/pay rates. Full disclosure: this couldn’t be further from the truth. The reality is that we both took pretty significant pay cuts and moved to what most people consider to be a city with higher living expenses. (It turns out, this also isn’t very true. All things considered, the cost of living is pretty equivalent).
Honestly, it was scary for both of us to accept lower salaries when moving to the big city. However, in thinking about what we both wanted out of our future, we knew that we had to make a change to our lives. We had to take some risks and start chasing the other dreams living in our hearts. For Sam, this meant taking a job as a baseball analyst at a sports data company. For me, it meant becoming a part of a community that was totally new and exciting.
But I still had to find work, and it took over six months. My job search was really painful and stressful (more about that some other time). In the end, I found a place at Inventables. I started doing something entirely different than my career path so far, and I had zero experience in the industry.
Continue reading “Why I Believe in the Maker Movement”