life update: summer 2018

Brace yourselves, it's been a wild ride.


summer

I'll start by getting the big news out of the way: I'm moving! I have a new job! And I'm excited!

The summer of 2018 has been host to some of the most dynamic changes in my life. I graduated from college a little over a year ago, and since then, I've been trying to find my "career job." After my graduation weekend last year, I went right back to the retail position I'd been working during school. I already knew I wasn't going to go into the field I'd studied, and I needed to figure out what my next step would be.

I also moved back in with my parents. I never shared this on my blog or on any social media — partly for privacy and security, but also because, truthfully, I felt that I'd somehow failed. When I graduated, many of my friends immediately launched into jobs within the fields they'd studied. And they moved into apartments with other friends. I was happy for them, but it was crushing to watch as everyone was starting their "next chapter." With my salary at the time, moving out wasn't an option; I desperately wanted it to be, but it wasn't in the cards. My "next chapter" felt like it was put on pause.

At first, moving home seemed to be a consolation prize: I had a place to land post-grad, but I was far away from my friends and the city I spent so much time in. I was isolated. And while working retail, my schedule made it harder and harder for me to see the people I cared about. (Though I will say that I was blessed with some phenomenal coworkers, and I'm still close with several of them.)

I toyed with going back to school for a master's degree, a certification, or just hunting for a job with the skills I'd obtained through running this blog. I wasn't having any success, and I was becoming more isolated as fall turned into winter — retail meant that I was working a lot of late nights. At the beginning of December 2017, I was burned out. So I quit my job. I didn't have a backup plan or anything lined up; I was just going to keep applying for new jobs and hope for the best.

Fortunately, a Portland boutique followed up on an application I'd submitted, and I was technically "unemployed" for a total of five days. It was a complete miracle. Even though it was still within the realm of retail, my new position allowed me to work better hours and receive higher pay. And so in January, I was finally able to go back to school — online — and receive a certification in digital marketing.

Fast-forward to today, and I am a week away from starting a new job. I'm moving out and put down a deposit on my own apartment. Everything is coming together the way I'd always envisioned it. And I am overwhelmingly grateful that it is.

summer layers

I don't regret moving back home, and I don't feel ashamed that I did. But I used to. It's easy to get caught up in the comparison game, based on your own individual standards of what success looks like. I know I'm guilty of that. Over time, it took a major toll on my self-esteem, and the comparison wasn't worth it.

Even though it was a hard transition — not to mention a difficult first year out of school — moving home was a blessing. I experienced an abundance of personal growth because of that situation. It reinforced my beliefs in perseverance and hard work. And it left me better prepared for my "next chapter" than I would have been a year ago.

There's a saying that goes something like this: "Don't compare your chapter two to someone's chapter twenty." This year taught me that it's true.

flatlay

Outfit details: Artizia bodysuit, Madewell button down, vintage Levi's, vintage belt, Tiffany necklace, Mejuri and GLDN rings.