Oh, man. I apologize for disappearing. It was not intentional. Let the excuses begin!
1. Unemployment was getting to me. I was getting stir-crazy, regular crazy, bored, etc. It was hard to motivate myself to do ANYTHING because I felt like I was never going to find employment or be a contributing citizen to society.
2. The opposite of that excuse is this one: I found employment!! I started my new job on last Monday. Today was my seventh day in a row working. (The schedule is being worked out so I didn’t know until this morning, after I was already at work, that today was the start of my weekend.)
I actually wanted to talk about something slightly deep. Life always surprises me. The most frequent lesson I have learned during the last decade is that you really can’t plan life. Well, that’s a lie. I know some people who can plan much of their life. I am not one of those. It feels like things are really out of my control ALL THE TIME. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it feels like it, and it gets me really down, but then things turn out better than I could have made them myself.
Take my career path. I studied journalism and public relations (translation: a LOT of writing) with a side of marketing in college. My first job was with the marketing department of my college. It was great. It was so full of responsibility. It made me step up and show that I could be mature, trustworthy, intelligent, and get sh*t done. It mostly showed ME that I could do something. Before I graduated, I had really low self esteem when it came to future employment. My two best friends were the smartest kids ever and they were super successful in anything they did. They got the best grades, had lots of friends, were just awesome. And then there was me. I got A’s and B’s…some C’s (it was hard to really take things seriously when I didn’t care about them or have any interest in them [WORLD GEOGRAPHY – at the time]).
There was this one time – maybe junior year? – in a class where we basically learned how to try to get a job (resumes, interviews, and all that jazz). Well, we had some fake interviews one night with real professionals who volunteered their time to interview us and give feedback. Well, my two best friends and I interviewed with one guy and mine was HORRIBLE. I felt like complete and utter sh*t afterward. I don’t remember if it was just that I didn’t know how to answer his questions or that he said something (I really think he said something) and I just realized: I have nothing to offer humanity. No one will hire me because I can do nothing for anyone. My bffs both left the interview feeling good. I wanted to jump off a building. I’m pretty sure I cried. I think I almost cried DURING the FAKE interview. It was that bad.
Anyway, so you can see that I felt pretty bad about this whole “getting a job” thing. So my first job, that I got through the woman I had worked for IN college, was really good for me on so many levels. The most important positive, like I said, was that it showed ME that I am awesome and that I can pretty much do anything I want to. Literally ANYTHING. I managed a $200k budget – reconciling it down to the PENNY. I developed relationships with vendors, saved the university lots of moolah, had meetings with pretty much every bigwig on campus, convinced those bigwigs to let me control the social media for the school for six whole months (remember – temporary gig). Half of my job was actually supposed to be the job of the marketing director – of which there was none at the time.
Ok, enough bragging. As a girl who has been unemployed five different times since she graduated college five years ago, I can’t really brag THAT much.
Ok, so I was on the marketing track back then. After that temporary gig ended, I moved to St. Louis to live near my best friend from college and I took whatever job I could that paid rent. That job was as a bank teller. My intentions were to find a sweet marketing gig from there. Well, that didn’t happen. I moved jobs, the second one sucked, I found myself unemployed for the second time since graduation.
Now, here’s where it gets crazy. I found an 8 week temporary gig that allowed me to stay in St. Louis until after the wedding of one of my best friends and then I moved back in with my mom. I NEVER thought I would move back to the city I went to high school in. I didn’t like this city. And I REALLY never ever ever thought I would ever ever EVER live with my mom again. Ever.
See? Things I was never planning on happened anyway.
But here comes the good part.
When I was in St. Louis I randomly started volunteering one day a week (I actually started before I found my temporary job, while I was sitting around unemployed) at a wildlife rescue center. And I LOVED it. That one day was the highlight of my week – and I was working for free! So I decided that I needed to make this my job – and actually get paid for it!
So when I moved in with my mom, she supported me for three months while I did an unpaid internship with the San Antonio Zoo bird department. At the end of my internship (which was for nothing – I didn’t need any college credit – I just wanted to get my foot in the door and gain some experience) I got hired! I NEVER imagined I would ever be a zoo keeper. Seriously. Even when I imagined working with animals as a kid/teen, I never thought about zoo keeping. Ever. But there I was. A zoo keeper. And I cared for BIRDS. I mean, who goes into animal care and works with birds? Well, I ended up LOVING working with birds. I got to the point where I never wanted to go to another department and get experience with anything else because I loved my birds too much.
So, the point to this long story is that where I’m at, working these jobs that I LOVE, was never in my life plan. But things worked out better.
My new job is as an animal caregiver at a sanctuary. We mostly have primates – but we also have some birds and cats. I’m a relief caregiver, so I’ll be working in 2 or 3 different sections throughout the week, when people go on their weekends. That means I get a great variety. So far I work with birds, a few monkeys, lemurs, tamarins, marmosets, African serval cats, and bobcats.
The basic purpose of this place is to give reprieve to former medical testing animals and animals who were once pets and were either abandoned, mistreated, or donated. And let me tell you – everyone loves these animals. We are trying to give them the best alternative life they can have. Though I can imagine that it wouldn’t be hard to surpass some of their past lives. Some of the medical testing stories I’ve heard about these guys sound AWFUL. Cringe-worthy. It’s crazy that these animals seem so balanced. I’m pretty sure I would have some irreparable neurological damage if I lived the lives some of these guys have had.
So, crazy life, man. I’m doing something I never thought about, living somewhere I never wanted to return to (to live, anyway). The only thing I would really like to change now is my living situation. It is time to move away from home again. I used to live on my own. For a few years. Hopefully that will happen again. Maybe this year! That’s my big goal right now. Save up for an apartment.
Ok, sorry for the boring post! But now you’re caught up and hopefully I can resume writing like normal! I’m a contributing citizen of humanity!!!