Friday, October 31, 2014

roommate possibility

I have this friend out here that I knew in middle/high school.  I think we were more of acquaintances with a mutual good friend, but we never hung out alone and only sometimes in groups.  Seventeen years have passed since we last saw each other, but in May she agreed to get together and talk to me about Colorado.  After I moved here we hung out a little bit and it was 'safe' - I didn't know know her, but I knew her.  We shared the common element of growing up in the same area and since I knew her at one time and she wasn't crazy then, I didn't think she would be now.  And I was right, and our friendship accelerated in the short time I've been here.

She knows all about my crazy living situations and wanting to find a place to settle into for a while (to establish residency).  About a month ago she tells me she applied for and was accepted into a college program and she recently reviewed her finances and thought it would be best to give up her apartment and live with someone to save money.  

We started to discuss the possibility of being roommates.  I am not sure if I ever told you about the time I had a female roommate in college - it was a nightmare and I vowed to myself I would never live with another woman.  But, the last three months I've rented a room in a house, which is like having a roommate and it was hard and scary at the beginning and I didn't start to be comfortable with it for at least a month or 8 weeks.  So, I think I can live with someone.  And if it means I can save a few hundred dollars a month for a while....especially because I eventually want to live near a job - a 6 month to a year lease might work well.  It is sort of temporary but it is enough time to figure out my next step.

The option of renting a room in someone else's place or even getting my own place is still a possibility, I hope that the month of November will have answers.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

month three depression

I am having a hard month. I am not sure if it is the stress of still not having a job or a place to live or it is something more than that.  I am overly weepy.  I am not crying hysterical or anything, but I get teary throughout the day and I am getting lazy because I am depressed.  I find that I am not only talking to ManFriend, but that I am starting to wonder if I put on him this position without his consent and so soon after he got to heaven.  I feel like I should tell him he can go, he doesn't need to watch over me...but I am all alone out here and I feel like I need someone to make sure I'll be OK.  How selfish is that?

The depression isn't enough for me to return 'home' already.  It has only been 3 months.  But I am getting concerned about a job and a place to live.  Moving around isn't helpful because I am not establishing residency (although technically you become a resident of Colorado after 3 months) because I do not have an address.  I am torn between signing a lease somewhere for a year when I don't know where a job will be.  I haven't taken a part time job because I am moving around a bit...and I don't want to drive so far for minimum wage and spend all that money on gas.  But I need to do something.  Aside from my laziness, I am starting to lack motivation and I have way too much time to dwell on my sadness and loneliness.  I apply for some jobs, not as many as I should, I am still being picky...and I shouldn't be, but if I get an interview and an offer, I want it to be something that I am interested in, and not just anything.

I am also sad that I feel like I've wasted the last three months.  Aside from the job and apartment search and a few hikes, I haven't done much.  Should I have been taking up a new skill for a job?  a class?  got training in something?  applied for a board position?  started my own business?

I came out here for a better life.  One where I could be happy.  And while I am sort of miserable, it is not because of could be fantastic.  I love seeing the foothills and mountains, I've enjoyed the few hikes I've been on.  I love driving around the state and I want to see and do more.  This has so much potential.  I am not sure if I'll meet a guy before a job...and that would be OK.  But I need a job, a GOOD one.  One I can live off of  comfortably.  Really, I think it just comes down to money...and my fear that finding a job will take so long and that I'll go through my whole savings before I find a job.  It cost a bit to move out here and three months of no job is money spent on gas, rent, food, supplies and whatnot.  How many more months can I go with nothing coming in?  I guess I need to suck it up and get any part time minimum wage job in the mean time and travel where ever it is even though I know I am moving for November and again in December...and then we'll see.  Hopefully in the next three to four weeks I will have a better idea of where I will live from December on.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Maroon Bells & Crater Lake

Maroon Bells...the most photographed mountains in Colorado.  I can understand why.  It is easy to get to, there is a lake which offers a nice reflection and well, you have the mountain, what more does a person what to capture the essence of the moment?

During peak time, you must park your car in the parking area and take the bus up to Maroon Bells...I was there midweek in late September and was able to drive up.  The fee for driving in is $10, but I had the America the Beautiful National Park / Recreation Pass so I didn't have to pay.  The drive up to the parking lot was pretty, with the Aspens changing - even with it drizzling.  I was happy to be driving slow at the speed limit to take it all in.  The parking lot was quite full, I found a spot, but they had rangers telling people where to park to make the most of the room.  There are also two sets of restroom facilities.

Maroon Lake & Maroon Bells
From the parking lot to Maroon Bells was a very short walk.  There were so many people all around the lake taking pictures.  I snuck between a few people and grabbed a few shots.  It was drizzling and very cloudy, so I figured I'd walk around and maybe it would clear up before I got back to Maroon Lake.

Start of the trail
I continued around the lake on the path and saw a sign for a trail.  OK, so I didn't read the map that the lady in the fee collection area gave me yet.  I figured, sure why not, it is cloudy and rainy...why not take a walk.  Many people didn't leave the lake - but just seeing the Maroon Bells wasn't enough for me, I wanted to take advantage of the area now that I was here.  The trail started off as a dirt trail among the trees and it gained elevation.  I had to stop several times to catch my breath.

You will reach a clearing that overlooks the lake from the opposite side.  Many people only hiked to this area and did not continue up to crater lake.  The view was beautiful from this angle too.

Trail gets rocky
The dirt/small rock path continues up and then starts changing to a rocky path for a good portion of rest of the way to the lake.  As it just rained, part of this trail was very muddy.

Crater Lake was pretty.  It started to hail.  I spent maybe 10 minutes resting, had a quick snack and taking pictures of other people.

Crater Lake
Then I headed back down the same way I went up.  Of course going down is faster, but with the rain and hail and slick leaves, I kept a cautionary pace (don't want to fall or sprain an ankle when you are by yourself). There were a few people on the trail going up and going down.

When I got back to the Maroon Bells viewing area, it really cleared out....and it was also much more foggy and cloudy that the few pictures I took - I realized where much worse than earlier - with the top half barely visible.

I had my tripod in the car...I could have spent the time taking nicer pictures at the beginning...but I didn't want to carry it up the hike...and I am glad I didn't because my round trip hike was 3.6 miles round trip, gaining about 500 feet elevation (it seemed like more!).  Carrying water, a few jackets, 2 cameras and a few snacks was plenty for me.  And I did change my jackets a few times because the weather changed so quickly.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Partial Solar Eclipse

I was informed about a solar eclipse early afternoon on the day of.  I spent a few minutes doing research on how to shoot the sun only to find out I needed a solar filter.  Additionally, what was my eyes going to wear?  It was too late to to order anything online.  Do I even bother?

Partial Solar Eclipse - October 23, 2014
But I didn't want to miss the opportunity to see the eclipse, the last solar eclipse I remember seeing was in grade school and they provided glasses.  I was able to find a Home Depot nearby that carried welding goggles, so I run over there and paid about $13.  I drove around to find a park - although that isn't hard to find around here, Colorado has plenty of open spaces and vast views.  This park had picnic tables, so I set up my tripod and camera and put on my big goggles.

I played around with the camera settings, but I wasn't having much luck getting a picture of the sun...I guess that having that filter is kinda necessary.  When the camera actually took a picture, it was overexposed and too bright.  But I was able to get two shots where you can see the sun and I was happy (I wonder if it is because it got a little cloudy).  Hopefully I didn't ruin my camera's lens.

I continue to wait and watch the sun occasionally with my big welding glasses on.  The welding glasses were only a #5...a #14 or above is appropriate for viewing the sun, according to websites I found as I sat there thinking the sun was still blinding me.  I run to the car to grab a CD, and try to view the sun with the glasses and the CD - and shockingly it worked, I was able to see two images of the crescent shaped sun.

A little while later I notice that the sun is getting brighter and the crescent is getting larger...turns out the eclipse was a partial.  I'll be honest, I was a little disappointed it wasn't a full solar eclipse.

We will have one more solar eclipse this decade, hopefully I will be ready the next time by having a camera filter and appropriate glasses.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

fractured toe

It was Labor Day weekend.  I just got home from Colorado Springs and had about an hour before my fantasy football draft.  I needed to eat and do some last minute research.  I run up to my bedroom grab my laptop, mouse and notebook and head down stairs.

Two steps before the stair's bend, I fall.  Everything was in my right arm so I was able to grab the railing with my left and pulled hard on that to lessen the fall.  I bend my toes / feet because the bend wasn't too wide and I didn't want to smack my head on the wall.  It is amazing in those split seconds you can actually make some decisions.  When I landed I wanted to scream...but I realized no one was home...does screaming only happen when other people are around to rush over to you?  I start saying over and over "ouch, ouch, ouch"  Bent funny on the stairs, I realize my large toe on my right foot jammed into the backside of the stairs.

Slowly I get up. I sit on the stairs to access the damage.  Phew, my laptop is in one piece.  I feel fine, except for my toe.  I wobble down the stairs, put down the electronics and access the damage.  My toe isn't moving.

I make and eat some lunch, and decide to bring everything back up stairs to my room because I am more comfortable there.  I didn't really have much time for last minute football research, but I got online early and was ready to go.

The following day, I look at my toe since it was still hurting and barely able to move.  I start to wonder if I stubbed it or that it is fractured since it was quite swollen and black and blue.

I never broke a bone before.  At one time, on my bucket list I had break a bone...but removed it because who in their right mind would want an injury?  I also don't have insurance...not that there is anything they do for a toe anyway.

Thankfully in my bathroom box I realize I packed my ice pack.  I fill it up and continue to ice my toe for 4 days.  I play with my toe, manually moving it so it gets used to bending again.  Little by little the black & blue goes away as does the swelling.

right big toe still won't bend all the way
In the mean time, I called off my plans to travel to the Western Slope because there was no way I was going to hike just days after - my foot was in so much pain in a confined shoe - thankfully wearing flip flops in early September isn't a problem.  Also, I realized driving was extremely challenging.  I guess the way my foot is on the pedals isn't ideal, using the top part of my foot and not the driving was painful.  Between the shoe and driving...I ended up staying 'home' and resting for a week.

Fast forward to mid-October, and I think I fractured my toe.  It isn't distorted in shape, but there are two points where if you push down, it still hurts.  Also, if I bend my toes, that one does not bend as much as all the others, so there is still limited movement.

The good news is that my toe fits in shoes and I've hiked quite a few times this month.  For the most part hiking was fine but sometimes it would hurt especially if the trail was more rocky/not level.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Grottos Trail

Grottos Trail #2180 is off Highway 82 (about a mile from Weller Lake Campground and 9 miles from Aspen).  There was a nice size parking lot with restroom facilities.  This hike/parking was free.

Ice Cave
I started out crossing the bridge and following the sign for the ice caves.  The rocky trail was easy and brought me to the ice caves.  Since I was here in late September, there was no ice in the cave, but water...I can imagine how neat it would be to see this crevice filled with ice in the spring.  Since I was by myself, I did not climb down into the cave...but maybe sometime in the future if i am in this area again I would consider it.  After putzing around the ice caves for a while, I continued over the ice caves and followed the trail to the cascades.

While I didn't pass anyone on the trail, only saw a couple at the ice caves, there were quite a few people at the cascades, including photographers with tripods all set up for the perfect picture...which also made my picture a little tricky because I didn't want someone in it.  I stood there and appreciated nature and the quietness of it all for a few minutes then turned around and followed the same path I took up back down to the parking lot.

When I got to the bridge, I took the other path, there was a nice picnic area and continuing that a little more.  I wondered if I would be able to see the cascades from another angle, so I crossed over and climbed up this rock to realize it would bring me back to the ice caves but from another trail, so I turned around and went to the car.

The trail was short, I am thinking a mile or less round trip.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Weller Lake Trail

Weller Lake Trail (#1986) is between Independence Pass and Aspen on Highway 82.  The parking lot can fit about 10-15 or so cars and it was free...but there was no restroom.

There is a sign pointing you to the trail...but there was no information about it...I went into this hike blind - not sure how long or hard it would be.  This short hike at about .6 miles one way has a bit of switchbacks as it gains 300 feet.  Figure about 20 minutes or so to get to the top.  The dirt trail goes through pine and aspen trees and finishes at Weller Lake.  

The far end of the lake was this amazing green patch of grass that really stood out as did the boulders and tree parts where the trail drops you off.  I climbed over the rocks and trees to get closer to the lake for pictures.

The trail was quite popular, and I was lucky to get a parking spot.  I passed a few people on the trail in both directions - but many people seemed to hang around the aspens near the parking lot taking pictures...I figured they too were just driving around and saw the sign but were hesitant to hike a trail without information....and who doesn't want family pictures with the golden aspens?

No one was swimming in the lake, but I've read websites that people do if you are there on a nice day, bring lunch and hang out by the lake for a little bit.  

I was here on September overcast and slightly chilly day around 11 am.  The view was not as spectacular as many other hikes I've been on...but it was pretty enough for a short hike.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

pre-employment testing

I was notified that one of the positions I applied for, I needed to take a pre-employment test to see if I really knew Microsoft Word.  I received notification a day and a half before the testing time, but that was fine, can you really prepare for something like that?

Thankfully I did a test run, who would have thought
it would take almost an hour to go 15 miles?
I've never taken a test like this before so I wasn't sure what they'd ask.  I hoped it would be that they would give me a document and I had to replicate it or instructions on how to make a problem!  I've worked with these programs for years.  It was nice to set the alarm, wake up early, get dressed and set out for the day.  I miss the routine.  And to prepare to wake early, the day before I did a test run so I can gauge the traffic (remember I said traffic here is horrible?).

But the test wasn't quite like what I envisioned.  I get there and there is probably 15 other people there for the same test.  And the test turns out to be not only word, but excel and outlook too.  Phew, I was wondering what they were going to quiz me on for two hours! But at the same time....yikes, I didn't expect that.  I selected a seat and the proctor gave us instructions.  The first test had a max time of 40 minutes for outlook.  There were few pictures and strange questions...and so many questions I had no idea what the answer was.  How can I fail an Outlook test when I used Outlook for my work mail for 10+ years?  The proctor left the room just as I was finishing my Outlook test and loading my second test.  But the screen didn't load.  I sat there for a while waiting for him to return.  15 minutes pass and I get up and look in the hallways for him...nowhere.  I go to the reception area thinking she can find the proctor, she wasn't there.  I go back to the hallway with the bathroom....nowhere.  People were starting to leave the test - they finished all the sections and there I was not being able to advance to the next exam.  What kind of proctor is able to leave the room for so long?  Was he pooping?  Where was he?  I have been a proctor for 13+ years, unacceptable in my book.  I started to get nervous, the next group of candidates were coming at 10:15 and I still had 2 tests to take and I didn't know how many questions or what kind of time frame was allocated.  I go back to my seat and start hitting buttons; not like there was a lot we can do from a test computer.  Somehow, finally, I was able to get it to return to the main menu and tried to load the next test, and it worked.  5 minutes after that, the proctor finally showed back up; asshole.  I wasted 20 minutes.  Thankfully the next two exams were fairly easy.  Sure I was the second to last person to leave, but it was still 20-30 minutes before the next group of people.

I have to say, the tests surprised me.  I know how to use/work in the programs, but I may not know all the proper terminology...and they asked things like that.  I felt inadequate.  And many times there are several ways to perform a task and how do I know which one is more accurate? Or would they both be correct?

Results are posted in a week or so.  I want to be optimistic - I doubt they only take into consideration the test scores...hopefully they look at the resume and skill set too.  But I am nervous. I haven't felt like such a failure since, well, since I left the examination for my certification in December....but that I studied my ass off for and wasn't comfortable with all the topics...this...this I use all the time.

I left the exam site and returned home to mope.  Two tough job things in two days.  Disappointing.  Discouraging.  But it is now, more than ever, that I need to really apply myself.  Look for jobs, write better cover letters, be more proactive.  But I can't muster up that yet, and then I disappoint myself even more because I am moping around.  I won't get any job if I don't apply.  I know I need to do this, and I hope that tomorrow and the days after somehow re-energize me to want to be enthusiastic about job searching.

I deserve a great job.  I have the skills and education....I just need to keep telling myself that and stop doubting myself just because it is hard to find a job.  I've often thought people were lucky when things just work out so well...they move and land an awesome job just like that or know people who get them a job.  I've had a lot of people try to help, which has been wonderful...but maybe I wouldn't appreciate everything as much if it was easy.  Maybe I need hard and challenging.  Maybe it is more real this way.

Monday, October 13, 2014

minimum wage rejection

I went on a group interview for a retail part time seasonal help position figuring I needed to get out of the house....and make a little money.  The job was kinda far away, so I kept debating whether or not I should go...I didn't want minimum wage for something that I had to drive 30+ minutes for, but I liked the store.

This was my first group interview, and it was strange, we sat in a circle with two managers.  First, we went around in a circle to introduce ourselves, giving our backgrounds in education and job positions and why we applied to work at this company.  People were being very honest; a few people also just moved there, a few people were in college, a few people wanted the discount because they were redoing their house.  My turn came and I said something like "Hi, I am Denise, I have an undergraduate degree in ____ and a master's degree in ____.  I also just moved here and I thought I would work part time to get out of the house until I find a real job, woops, I meant a full time position....all jobs are real.  Anyway, I love this store and shopped here a lot; great products and I feel calm here"  We watched video clips and talked about what we learned, what surprised us, what we liked.  We didn't talk about our skills or how we would be a great fit like a 'regular' interview.

So I shouldn't have been so surprised that I was rejected for the position, even though I had full, flexible availability minus one weekend before peak season.

But it was depressing...a retail store doesn't even want me?

I didn't look at or apply for any other jobs the day I got the news...and was I so upset? Like I said, it was far away. I think it was just the whole rejection thing, doesn't matter where it comes from, rejection sucks.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

End of Summer Hike - Estes Park / RMNP

The mountains are what drew me to Colorado, but yet, I haven't really spent to much time within them yet.  I was fortunate that my new friend invited me up to Estes Park for the weekend.  She selected this particular weekend because she hoped it was going to be the peak of the aspen's changing colors...and we were not disappointed.  The bright yellow leaves mixed among the green pines is a beautiful site, and one that captured my heart 4 years ago when I visited Colorado.  The three of us spend the weekend doing a few hikes, driving part of the Rocky Mountain National Park and walking through downtown Estes Park (what a cute town!).

Gem Lake
The first hike we did was Gem Lake.  This 1.8 mile hike only gained 910 feet, but man, those steps towards the end were deep.  The trail was nice, there were a few small aspen groves that changed color and some neat rock formations along the way.  We stopped here for a bit to appreciate the scenery and the perfect weather day.  We did not keep going to the balanced rock, but went back down because we wanted to drive around Rocky Mountain National Park for a bit...maybe see some Elks because it was mating season.  And we did.  We saw a nice small heard, and they were getting close so the park ranger started to have everyone go roadside...and smart thinking, within 5 minutes the elk were were we were standing.  It was neat to see the bull with his ladies and watching them interact.

Alberta Falls Trail
The next day we headed into the RMNP again for a hike.  We parked in a large parking lot and took the bus to the trail head (what a great you don't have to double back to your car...but keep going to the next bus area).  We went up to Alberta Falls and Bear Lake.  The park had amazing aspen color and we lucked out again for having such amazing weather.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

another date

It was a busy 4 days - 3 dates with two different guys.  I told you about the first guy, the second I met a month earlier at a wine tasting event.  We chatted most of the time then and he said he wanted to see me again, so I gave him my number.  After 3 weeks of rescheduling, we finally got together.

I was at the bar, drinking my beer when he walked in 5 minutes late.  He didn't recognize me at first and then sat down with his arms so tightly around his chest.  I thought it was going to be a long afternoon...or maybe I'd just finish that beer and leave.

Turns out the bar had an upstairs roof area, so we move up there and order a second drink and an appetizer (new foods for me.  smoked elk, pheasant, wild boar blueberry sausage with goat cheese, agave pecans, fruit and a few sourdough baguette pieces).   By his second drink he started to loosen up...and because I asked him if he really wanted to be there.  Conversation flowed.  Pictures were shown. I asked how old he was.  By drink three, he was asking me to get together again.

We left and when I got home, I had a nice text thanking me for getting together.

I'll go out again with him, I like him better than the first guy...but his age still concerns me, 50.  I didn't date the guy back home because he was 50...but I enjoyed his conversation and life experiences as well.

I hope at some point to meet a guy more in my age range...but until then, going out with these gentlemen has been good experiences for me because I am learning how to be better about small talk, smiling and listening.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I like 'em bigger

I am not thin, but I wouldn't say I am huge either.  Normal seems too broad.  But my size is something I am self conscience about because my boobs make me look much larger than I am.   Guys don't like large women...OK, so some do, but from feedback I've gotten in the last 10 years, many guys say they like small or fit women or maybe normal sized women.

Anyway, the point is, because I am not thin and tiny, I prefer men with a little bulk or bulge. I am more comfortable with a larger guy because I look smaller in comparison to him, whereas with a thin guy I look huge.  Example was MountainMan, he was tiny...his shirts didn't fit over my breasts.  I was able to lift him off the ground with ease.  If anything would have happened between us, I would have been more worried and stressed the whole time to not gain weight, which is hard at the beginning of any relationship when eating out or drinking is frequent...and he could eat.

And that is a lot of pressure, who wants pressure at the beginning of a relationship? That is the time to have fun and enjoy each if that is what it takes for me...being attracted to and wanting a guy bigger than thin...well, so be it.

As you read this and shake your head in disapproval, I hope you realize that I am not the only woman that feel this way, there are lots of us out there with this mentality.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

first dates in Colorado

A few posts ago, I told you that when my sister was in town, I landed a phone number for our bartender.  I knew his family was coming into town so I didn't reach out soon after I got it.  But a month later as I was cleaning and organizing, I came across his phone number. What to do? Do I call, do I not?

But it takes a lot for a man to give his phone number (maybe) so I figured I should at least acknowledge it.  I called and left a message, something like "Hey this is Denise, I met you at your job about a month ago, and well, I just found your number and thought I should at least call since you went out of your way to give it to me.  If you'd like to call me back, my phone number is {provided}and if not, well, no worries."

The next day this guy called me and we talked for 75 minutes.  That is the longest I've been on the phone with anyone since the occasional call with ManFriend.  Conversation flowed surprisingly well and I really enjoyed our conversation.  We made plans to meet up later that week for the Thursday night football game.

I am glad I didn't have to walk into the very crowded restaurant/bar to find him because I really couldn't remember what he looked like.  He found me in the parking lot, we get a table in the bar area and ordered a beer and food.  Honestly, he didn't look like someone I would have approached first in a that would have been awkward if he didn't find me.

Conversation was OK, I am glad I had the game to watch half the time.  We chatted about a lot of things and when the game ended he paid 70% of the bill, but I put money in and made a point to say that I wanted to pay because I didn't want any obligations. He walked me to my car and asked if he could see me over the weekend.

Wow, that is a little fast.  I am not ready to spend so much time with one person.   No, that is not true.  I want to find a great guy and start, what it comes down to is that he is not that person.  I told him I was not yet sure of my plans, but he could reach out as the weekend progressed.   He messaged me when he got home that he had a great time.

My plans for the weekend actually changed and I no longer had plans, but I was looking forward to having the place to myself and kinda doing nothing (crazy because that is how I spent the last few weeks!).  Then Saturday night, he messaged me about spending time together on Sunday.  While an easy hike would have been great, I told him I actually wanted to spend the day watching football (who have I become?) so he agreed and we met for the first early games.  That was the first time I went to a bar/restaurant that had ALL the games on....too much to look at, very overwhelming.  So we chatted a little bit and ate lunch...but really the conversation was slow. I had nothing to talk about and I really didn't want to be there.  But I smiled through it and made the most of the time.  At the end, he walked me to my car again and asked about the following weekend, but I am actually going away.

So, OK, I know I am not interested in him, but I am really glad I went out both time with him.  I haven't dated in forever.  I mean, I didn't date much in my teens, in my 20s I was with Cop#1 and SI.  After SI, I only went on a handful of dates, less than 4 I'd say.  Then eventually I met ManFriend and was very resistant to that at first and that wasn't really like dating, we just fell into this routine.  So...I don't have much experience in dating and making small talk with strangers.

I am meeting with another gentleman that I met a few weeks ago, but think both parties know it is not a physical thing. He is much older...and he recently lost his wife.  So I am thinking that will be more of a friendship/support thing.

But I am confident that I do OK on dates; I have a nice smile and I ask questions.  It is just a matter of finding more appropriate people who are interested in me (closer in age, some similar hobbies, similar values, etc).

Saturday, October 4, 2014

little bumps along the job way

I was corresponding with my previous boss and he said they take recidivists.  I smiled, that is so sweet, a compliment.  But as horribly frustrating this job search is, I am not ready to call it quits yet.  I still have to give it a go for a few more months.

But the job searching is taking a lot out of me.

I knew when I moved from the NYC area, more than likely I would have to take a pay cut, but I was not prepared with how little so many jobs pay.  It is not enough to live on...and if you have debt, like school loans, car payments and want to eat...there is no way you can survive on some of these salaries.

Today I had a phone interview, it was my first one ever.  The email said to plan for 10-15 minutes but it was 30 minutes.  Just like 2.5 years ago, I made flashcards with possible interview questions, I researched questions, I researched responses.  The phone interview went pretty well.  At the very end she said she wanted to be upfront about the salary, and I nearly fell off my chair. It was about the same as working a PT retail job...but with much more responsibilities, stress and well, hopefully benefits.  I really thought this job was up my alley, it was for an association whose mission I like, in a town I had hoped to live, and the work would have been great.  But I am not independently wealthy and I don't have a husband who makes so much money that my job could be 'fun'.  Tomorrow I will have to send a thank you email to her and regretfully pull myself out of the running.

Sadly, it took 4 weeks to get that interview.  I've heard from several companies with the standard "we selected someone more qualified for this position" and many I haven't heard from....and if you don't hear from them within a week, it is a good sign you probably won't be invited in for an interview....unless their top contenders all turned them down.

I've been debating if I should get a part time job while I am waiting.  It would get me out of the house and it would help not run my savings dry.  But, ah, retail?  I don't know.

I questioned myself a few times if I made the right choice to come out here...and today was one of those days when nothing seemed to go right.  But, it is still 'early' in the search, this journey wasn't supposed to be easy.  I've learned even more about myself and after an evening of reflection, I do still think this is where I am supposed to be.  Things will fall into place when they are meant to.  Until then...I have to remember that there will be bad day and good days, days of disappointing news and days when I get excited.  But what has been wonderful is the two gals I know out here have been so sweet, supportive, encouraging and helpful.

More job searching tomorrow.

Friday, October 3, 2014

a new friend

I actually left the house today to have lunch with this gal.  I'd like to say we are friends now...and I am very happy about that because I went to a meetup for female friends last week, and I didn't think any of them were good friend material.  An acquaintance sure, but I want a good friend.  This friendship came on a good day, as I started to feel a little lost and hopeless.  And what is even better is she has two adorable little boys, and its like they can be my pseudo nephews.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

still no routine

Now that the excitement of the first week passed and a few days of a visitor...I am left alone.  I signed up for some meetups and went to trivia at a bar, game night at a girls house and a few hiking activities.  Other than that, I've been a little confused if I am allowed to have fun when there is the work of finding a home and job.

I've also been out for meals with a lady I met right before I moved who was also moving here.  I think I am going to adopt her two kids as my pseudo nephews.  And a girl I knew from high school.  My mother and a few other people also gave me the names and numbers to people they know in the area, but I have yet to call to make that connection, that is so outside my realm of comfort...and that realm has been pushed a lot since I've been here.

A few days ago I decided to give up on the hunt for a place to live, and continue to stay with the lady I met through airbnb.  She is more flexible with knowing that if/when I find a job, I want to live close to the job.  We aren't in a lease so I can leave when something comes up.  Only bad thing about living here is that it is sorta far away from a lot...which has been tough on my wallet and gas tank the last 3 weeks...but if I am driving around less since I am staying more put, then hopefully it won't be so bad.

My days have not yet found a routine, which is hard.  Hours are usually spent researching jobs or writing a cover letter.  I try to go to the library, but that is restrictive if I get hungry, thirsty or need to use the restroom.  Today, as I type this, I am sitting outside on the patio, a nice change and I am loving the fresh air I would miss if I was at the library.  I am a homebody, so not leaving the house is usually fine with me...but since I am living with someone, I want to make sure she has her time too, that I am not always around.

I'd love to tour the state a little bit...but feel guilty to spend money I don't have.  But now is the time...I don't have a work commitment.  And truthfully, it would be a little research like too, since I'll know if I should apply for jobs in towns on the Western slope.

So that is it...the postings will probably slow down quite a bit...maybe even go back to real time.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

no tears

Day #31 of being here is the first day my eyes didn't tear and I didn't cry.  I know, that sounds insane coming from a mid-thirties woman...but sadly, the stress and emotions of doing this has been very difficult.   Not all the tears were from the move, one day it was from a book I read, many other days was thinking about ManFriend...but today, today shockingly there were no tears most likely because I was distracted at my friend's family's house.  Even in my private time before I sleep, sometimes tears come since I am super depressed.  Maybe I just cried them all out the day or weeks before.  But it is a stepping stone.  I hope once I find a job and get more 'settled' here, that the stress will start to fade and I can be happy.  Let's see if it continues.