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A Break.

I am off from work both today and tomorrow, therefore I have a four-day weekend. It’s much-needed especially after last week’s fiasco at work. I was the calmest today than I’ve been in months. It’s amazing how much stress and anxiety my job causes me. I didn’t feel the slightest bit of angst today, even though I basically ran around like a mad woman.

My boss tried to “make amends” (sort of) last Friday. She was obviously sheepish about what went down and barely made eye contact with me. She went on to explain how she was flustered and just wants things to go smoothly next time. Next time? I hope to God that there’s not a next time. Unless I get a new job within the next month or so there will probably be a next time. And if this happens again, I now know how I’m going to handle the situation. I am going to walk out of the office for a few minutes, compose myself, and then I’m getting my stuff and leaving for the day. Sitting around in my cube all day stewing was exhausting and made me physically ill.

Oddly enough I had a therapy appointment (I still go once per month just to keep myself in check, I haven’t had a panic attack since last summer) last Thursday night. I explained exactly what happened at work to the doctor and he told me that I was psychologically abused by my bosses and that a lot of what I experience at work is abuse. I was confused by that statement basically because I associate “abuse” with physicality. I also am conflicted as to whether or not that’s an overdramatized explanation of my bosses’ behaviors. I certainly identify their actions as being wrong and unwarranted, but I would really hate to say that it’s abuse considering that I know people who’ve gone through way worse than this at work. Either way, it felt great to get this off my chest with my doctor and just get his insights on the situation. I told him about my plans to leave this job and possibly move onto a brand new career; he agreed with my ideas and encouraged me to pursue them, which I found to be comforting.

Through these events, I’ve found my truth; I’ve figured out the right decision for me and my career. I can’t waste my time and my life with people who are simply bad people. I can’t stay at a place that doesn’t give two cents about me or my growth. I need to continue to work hard and be employed, making a living. But that doesn’t mean that I have to sit back and take crap from people as they dangle money in my face. There are other jobs out there; whether or not they’re in investments or a totally different venture, I will find a new job, a better job. One that allows me to grow and prosper both professionally and as a person. That’s my goal for 2012. This is my new focus and I will do my best to get there.

There’s always light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes it’s not that obvious; in this case it didn’t hit me until I got home from work the day of the incident. Regardless of when you figure out what’s in front of you and find that glimmer of positivity, once you find it, you’re golden.

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Finally thinking outside the box.

I finally found a wonderful job that I believe I can excel in. The best part is that it has almost nothing to do with finance (minus payroll/budgeting) and everything to do with college kids and athletics/fitness.

I went to the human resources department website for my alma mater, where I received my MBA, to look for a job. I found an assistant marketing director job that deals with the school’s fitness and recreation programs. It requires thinking about new programs and events for the campus recreation center, in addition to some administration work, which would be great. I’ve really wanted to take on a leadership role, that’s always been a goal of mine.

I love sports and have recently gotten into diet and fitness more so now than I have my entire life. What a perfect opportunity for me.

I mentioned it to my parents, who are skeptical but happy that I found a particular direction that I might want to head towards professionally.

I’m confident that I can do this job. I spent an hour Sunday night writing a cover letter and adjusting my resume. I sent it electronically and got an e-mail receipt yesterday. Last night I mailed out a hard copy of both documents.

Wish me luck!

 

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Planning my future with help from the past.

In my previous posts, the theme has been my professional life and my confusion in finding what I’d like to be doing with my life.

A had a bit of an ‘a-ha!’ moment this morning as I was getting ready for work. I was thinking about a dream that I had last night. In the dream, I was in my old freshman dorm building at college, sitting at a table with a bunch of familiar girls; some I actually were friends with in college, others I just saw around campus. We were talking about how our lives have been post-college and it seemed as though everyone was happy and prospering whereas I was prospering in a sense, but certainly not happy.

Back to reality – I was in the kitchen this morning eating breakfast thinking about my college experience and how I messed it up (Whole story is in post, Feeling Strangely Fine). I also thought about how I pursued my MBA as well. I realized that there’s a key point in both situations (and most situations since I’ve graduated from high school) – I have never given big decisions their due time and thought. It’s simple, somewhat obvious, and all too hard to swallow. How could I have gone through life for the past 10 years and not really think about what it is that I want?

With that said, I realized that I have a golden opportunity right here, right now. I am in a job that I know I’m not happy with, BUT it pays the bills (well, I might add) and I’m already self-committed (no contract, etc) to stay until at least September for my boss’ maternity leave. This gives me the perfect opportunity to really think about what I’d like to do with my life. I have six months at the very least to figure it out or at least find a few options that I would like. I have to stop procrastinating, slow down, and think.

There’s no good reason why I need to immediately leave my job. Why? So that I can go out, find a similar job or stay in this field and eventually become equally miserable as I am professionally now? Nah. I’ve decided today that those days are over. I’m going to continue where I am for now, collect my paycheck but at the same time, start myself out on the right path. I’m going to learn from my mistakes; they don’t define who I am. Today the real work begins. There’s going to have to be a lot of internal dialogue and research, but I have faith that this work will payoff in the future.

This realization has helped to give me so much more hope; the most hope that I’ve had in a while, in at least 2 years. Hope that I can transform my life into whatI’d like it to look like, not one formed by the thoughts and opinions of the ones around me. Not one formed on hasty decision-making.

 
 

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Feeling strangely fine.

I’m OK today. Tired, but alright. I went on Facebook today and a friend of a friend came up on my news feed. Her profile picture was a professional glamour shot of her in a bikini for a fitness magazine. Apparently she’s a model, certified personal trainer, former two-sport collegiate athlete, former pro beach volleyball player, NASA astronaut, Nobel prize winner… this list obviously stops right before the NASA astronaut part in reality. But in all seriousness, this girl (who’s close to my age) has done a lot of neat things in her life (some of which I’ve only dreamed of… pro volleyball player… but 5’7” is way too short for that unfortunately) plus her current work as a certified trainer (she has what seems to be a billion certificates ranging from nutrition to strength and conditioning to pre/post natal exercise) and a fitness/glamour model seems like a pretty cushy way to make a living.

As I read her “about me” paragraph and scanned her pictures I couldn’t help but get jealous of her. She’s doing what I’d love to be doing (the training, not the modeling, although I’m sure modeling is much more fun than my job) while I’m sitting in a cube doing data entry. Classic jealously and in a way, rightfully so. Then I got to thinking. She’s been training for almost ten years already, meaning that she got certified and started training heavy herself in her mid to late teens, which has eventually led to this stellar and fun career.

I started to think about what I was doing at that time. I was 16 (for argument’s sake), looking at colleges even though I had no desire to go to college but was pressured to go by my family (especially my mom as she was and still is a high school guidance counselor), playing volleyball for my high school and a club team (both of which made me extremely happy), taking a rigorous workload at a college prep high school, and sleeping on the weekends because I was exhausted (exhaustion has been a common theme in my life since high school). I had no idea as to what I wanted to do in life; I contemplated physical therapy, marine biology, financial analyst… the list went on, I just can’t remember that far back anymore. The point was that I had no clear direction back then and wound up picking a random university when I was 17 and still confused – I attended random university at the tender age of 18, transferred to another school, got depressed because I didn’t fit in, failed my classes, returned to random university, struggled to finish my accounting degree (semi-random, *I somewhat appreciate accounting, degree pick based on practicality, knowing that I’d need a job that made good money with all of the debt I would have incurred upon graduation), interned 30 hours a week at a hedge fund on top of that, graduated, and starting working at a hedge fund in Manhattan at the age of 21. I still had no idea if this is what I wanted to do with my life, but I didn’t mind it, plus it paid the bills and paid them well. I’m now 26, still working in investments (just in NJ now at a different firm) and I now know that I don’t like my job. I’m still not sure what it is that I want to do.

Reading all of that might sound negative but helping me think back to where I was when this girl was starting on her career path makes me feel better and not jealous anymore. Strange but true. I realize that I was young, pulled in many directions with many mouths in my ears. I just went along with what other people wanted for me. The path I went down wasn’t terrible (nothing life-threatening,etc.), it just wasn’t ideal for me in retrospect and that’s OK. I need to accept it because I cannot change it. It also has taught me a lesson – to slowdown and think. I haven’t slowed down yet, which is probably why I’m still questioning what I’d like to do with my life, but at least I have the time (staying at my current job until my boss’ maternity leave is over) to think. I have a few ideas in my head already, but more time and care need to be put into the thought process.

Now if only I can just slow down…

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2012 in Changing My Situation, Life's Goals

 

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The lessening of Facebook withdrawal symptoms.

Sad to say, but I have had some withdrawal from Facebook this week. I haven’t looked at the website since last Friday with the exception of sending a message to a friend of mine and my boyfriend’s who is currently serving in the U.S. Army overseas in Afghanistan. But I haven’t seen others’ photos, status’, nothing for almost a week and needless to say it’s been an overall good experience. However, I still think about what I may be missing, but those thoughts have decreased throughout the week, which is a plus.

When I start to wonder about what I’m “missing out on”, I bring myself back to Earth and realize how much more time that I have to LIVE MY LIFE. My REAL life. You don’t realize how much time you waste on social media until you cut it out of your routine.

With this newfound free time, I’ve been visiting and reading so many wonderful blogs that I’ve found or who’ve found me on WordPress. I’ve been able to devote much more time to this blog and my fitness blog, 6 in Six. I’ve been catching up on the news and communicating more with my friends and family via traditional means (the phone, face to face, etc.).

I’ve been devoting more time to thinking about my life; i.e. what are my passions, what would I like to explore and possibly pursue both personally and professionally, etc. Granted, self-exploration hasn’t been a pleasant experience for me as it’s made me frustrated and downright depressed in the past few days, but it’s productive. It’s better than staring at my computer screen reading Facebook statuses about people who “love their lives and their jobs” or how “everything is perfect”. Because then I’m just sitting there, not being productive and probably more envious/jealous/depressed/angry than I am today. Let’s be honest, if you have to say it out loud, it’s possible that it’s not exactly true. I believe that there are people on Facebook who like to play the impression management game; they show everyone their wonderful lives, but in reality, things aren’t what they seem. Regardless of the truth, the impression or image that they reflect affects the viewer (in this case me). Even if I know something is not true, sometimes I have a hard time separating the truth from the lies, I believe what I see, and then I get anxious or depressed about how my own life doesn’t even compare. Then again, there are genuinely happy people on there, people who are like the way I used to be. Trust me, I’m happy for people who are fulfilled and pleased with their lives – more power to them. I aspire to be there myself one day, but if I ever get there again, I will NEVER brag about it, especially on a social media website. I was fully appreciative of my happiness when I had it; it was sacred to me because it made me feel genuinely good. I haven’t felt genuinely good for a long period of time in almost 2 years. Granted, things have gotten a lot better for me – I have little spurts of happiness here and there, so at least I’m grateful for that. But I still have a lot of work to do; I need to get out of “going through the motions” and really try to live a meaningful, fulfilling life.

Ever since I developed anxiety and depression in early 2010, I’ve valued happiness so much more, which is what keeps me fighting to find it again. When I was happy, I never took it for granted because I knew (and still know) others who have suffered from anxiety and depression. I never understood these conditions, I always thought that they should be easy to pull out of, but the reality of the situation is that they’re not. They require effort and lots of it.

I believe that by cutting out Facebook, I’m just putting more effort into improving my life. I’ve come this far (6 days) without the site at all. I’m seriously wondering if I should even go on it once per week anymore as my plans to not look at the Newsfeed or take a few days off haven’t worked out well. I’m over the general anxiety phase that I had on Saturday and Sunday where I wanted to look at the site so badly and didn’t know what to do with myself.

Why would I want to relive that start all over?

Maybe I’ll see how long I can holdout for and if I’m feeling brave enough and ready, perhaps I’ll finally delete my account.

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2012 in Changing My Situation, Facebook Rants

 

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Safe and secure jobs, business ventures, or both.

I think that I’ve made it pretty clear that I hate my job. It’s not a bad job per say, but it’s better suited for a college student, or better yet, a chimp. I make the minimum amount of money that I can because my employer is too cheap to pay me better, but on the other hand, there’s not a lot of work to do because the stock market is volatile and we’re not doing all that much anyway. So my days are relegated to printing reports and data entry… all for the greater good of the firm, of course. I sit here, day after day, wasting away professionally. I’ve been on three interviews since receiving my MBA and all three potential employers said that I didn’t have the experience that they needed, which wasn’t shocking to me.

So where to go now? The economy stinks. Jobs are scarce, credit is tight, and I’m not from a wealthy family, so I don’t have a golden parachute (although sometimes I could really use one).

The tentative plan is to continue working in my current position and collect my paycheck, with medical/dental/vision benefits. I’ll continue looking for a new job in the meantime and perhaps get a second job or start a side business of some sort. I’d really like to payoff my student loans by the end of 2012, but I don’t think that I can only rely on my bonus and tax return to do that.

I need some advice here; I’ve been looking into possible businesses. I’ve really been looking into personal training as I’m in the process of getting myself into good shape, plus I’m passionate about weight loss/obesity as my uncle passed away as a result of fatty liver disease and was morbidly obese at the time of his death.

I’ve also heard a lot about real estate, but with the way the housing market’s been, it’s a bit concerning.

In addition, I have a lot of friends who’ve gone the sales route with Mary Kay, Lia Sophia, and the like. I’m not into holding inventory and trying to sell it though.

Any ideas that you can share? Or better yet, any success stories that you have regarding changing your professional life for the better?

I think everyone could use a positive story in this environment.

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2011 in Changing My Situation, Job Search, Life's Goals

 

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Being the rock when you don’t feel completely capable.

I’ve been on this positive thinking kick for five days now. I feel very good, very in control of myself at the moment. Nothing’s changed in my life, but I’ve seriously worked on changing my thinking. By doing this, I can feel my self-confidence coming back. It’s about damn time; I’ve missed it.

Although the past few days have been good to my mind, they haven’t been so generous to a few people around me. My boyfriend is having a crisis of confidence in his own right and a good friend and coworker of mine is having serious relationship trouble. Both of them have come to me; to vent, get advice, things of that nature. As much as I want to help them and try my best at doing that, I can’t help but question my ability to be a reliable outlet for them.

I, myself, was out-of-it, messed up, and at a breaking point at this time last year. How am I qualified to give advice?

As I ponder this question, I thought back to my experience with depression and severe anxiety; thoughts and reactions so bad that I considered suicide at one point. I needed people around me and I needed to talk, whether I was having a panic attack at my desk to the thought of considering quitting school and my job. I used every possible human resource I had from my parents, to my boyfriend, to my friends, coworkers and everyone in between. There was varied exposure between these parties; some learning much more than others, but the idea was that I needed to vent, I needed someone to tell me things will be alright and I needed support in working on my issues. That’s exactly what I got and I can say that one year later I’m a changed woman thanks to all of the help I received.

I do feel that at this point in my life I can give reasonable advice, but some days the confidence in my ability to do so waivers. Do I feel somewhat hypocritical for doling out advice when I had a serious moment of weakness in my own life? Yes. But I do feel that I have to pay it forward; I have to help anyone who comes to me in their time of need and needs assistance. So for now, I have to push aside my fears of being a hypocrite and just do what’s right.

It’s the least I can do.

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2011 in Communication

 

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