2017: A Lifechanging Year

Guys, let’s pretend I didn’t disappear.

2017 took me from one adventure to the next and 2018 will likely astonish me in ways I haven’t even thought of yet. I have to do this month by month. Let’s begin.

January

This was probably the lowest point of my entire life. I was unemployed and I’d worked through all of the money I’d saved up from my previous employment. I was completely lost and had no idea what to do.

Things change so rapidly, though. About halfway through the month I got the one call I’d been waiting for. Travelers. I’d interviewed 12/23 and thought it went well. I had about a month before the start date.

February

Started at Travelers on February 9. It’s been amazing since day 1. But only a few days after starting my dog Charlie attacked one of my other dogs. I got rid of him the next day. I also cried like a baby. He didn’t even look back when they took him from me.

March

A relatively quiet month. I finished my new hire training on the last day of the month, which meant the following Monday I’d finally be on my own at work.

April

The long baseball season begins! The Astros seemed poised for a great year. I embark on my first solo trip to Boston. An unbelievable experience I simply can’t put into words. But the trip told me something about myself I hadn’t yet known. I wanted someone to share everything with. I was having such a great time on vacation until I realized about halfway through that I was still alone. I had no one to share the amazing experience with. While still in Boston I downloaded Bumble, OkCupid, and Coffee Meets Bagel. Dating apps. I had no idea what to expect. I also bought my first car all on my own!

May

Another relatively quiet month UNTIL IT WASN’T. Those dating apps I’d downloaded? I’d found someone. We talked on the app for awhile and then started texting. After another little while we met in person at HALF PRICE BOOKS. Because I’M STILL ME. We had lunch. We completed a puzzle with a bear on it. It was so great. I was immediately drawn to her wonderful laugh and smile. They’re still magnetic to me.

On May 25 we became a couple. Ol’ ordinary me and oh so amazing her.

June

Many of my coworkers were going on trips and I was just chugging along at work. But I had my worst month (performance-wise) of my time with Travelers. But the beauty of working for such a great company is my manager had my back. She didn’t ask me to do anything drastic because she believed in me.

July

I easily got back on track at work. There wasn’t too much going on.

August

I began to realize my relationship with my girlfriend was really in trouble, but remember how amazing I said she was? Yeah, still thought that in August. Couldn’t just give up.

Hurricane Harvey devastated the city of Houston. My city. My hometown. I didn’t flood, but I missed 10 straight days of work. JJ Watt showed what can happen when everyone gets behind something bigger than one person or one team or one city.

September

Immediately after Hurricane Harvey I was selected to help train a large class of new hires. Something only the top reps in the office are considered for. I finished the quarter ending in September as one of the top reps in the company. I signed my first apartment lease! I’d finally be on my own for the first time. 

October

My relationship ended, but my opinion of the girl hasn’t changed. She’s an amazing person. I dont know if she sees it, but I do. The new hire class ended their training at the end of the month. I moved into my first apartment on 10/21. I took 9 days off from work and realized how lonely I really was. I’d underestimated what it would be like to live alone after nearly 26 years of living with my family.

November

THE ASTROS WON THE WORLD SERIES! THEY DID IT! During game 6 of the World Series I went back home to be with my parents if the Astros won. They didn’t. In game 7 they took an early lead and held on to win the first title in team history. I watched with my parents and we all cried. It was incredible to see these guys we’d been supporting all season with HOUSTON in their name winning the final game of the greatest series I’ve ever seen. I attended my first championship parade.

December

Not much happened until the end of the month. My apartment complex told me that the garage I rent from them cannot handle the electricity needed to charge my car. I was/am furious. But I had no other option. The car I only just purchased in April was traded in for a new, gas powered vehicle. I spent my birthday (12/27) more angry than I’ve been in years.

I’m still really lonely. I know people are dealing with way worse things, but I still want someone who wants to share all of their experiences with me. Someone to travel with. Someone to grow with. Someone to wake up next to. Heck, maybe someone to fall in *love* with. 

I’m starting to think I’m Chandler from Friends. I have a good job no one pays attention to. I have money saved up I can’t even spend. I can’t dance at all. I laugh at my terrible jokes. And I’m sometimes overly awkward. I’m me. Just looking for my Monica. I think I know where she is. 🤔

I’m still angry about my car. But in 2017 I learned so much about myself. I’m proud of who I’ve become. I’m proud of where I am. And I’m excited for 2018. I invite you on that journey with me. Come along. Stick around. Pet the dog. Sit back and watch.

I Had Such a Good Start

And yet, here we are. In January I read 10 books. I was off and running. I was going to sprint right past my annual goal. I was devouring each book I opened. Now? Nearly five months and multiple DNFs later my total for the year is 11 books.

Now is when I make excuses. In February I started a new job. In April I went on an eight day vacation. Last month I began a new relationship with a great girl. I mean, those count for something. I’ll just pretend that relationships, jobs, and trips don’t happen for others so I can feel like I have valid reasons for not reading. 🤔

A Small Goal

My reading has slowed down dramatically this month. Now I’m working an 8:00-5:00 schedule until April 1. I typically leave my house at 7:00. Usually get home around 7:00.

Lots of lost free time. So I’m making a new goal for myself. My goal is to read at least five hours every weekend. Those five hours will supplement any time I find during the week. Hopefully this will enable me to continue reading as much as I can.

This isn’t my first full-time job, but it is by far my longest commute. It’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make for a salaried position.

Let’s hope my reading picks up soon!

What’s your biggest obstacle when it comes to reading?

A Fresh Start

I’ve been keeping a secret from all of you. But there’s a back story I want to tell first.

Y’all know I worked at Half Price Books. Y’all also know I quit that job in search of something better. Y’all know I haven’t been quite as successful in my job search as I’d have liked. But y’all don’t know I accepted an offer a month ago.

In December I interviewed with a highly respected and very well known company. It’s a company I firmly believe shares my values and encourages inclusiveness and diversity at every level of the company. People say a lot of things about millennials, of which most are patently false. But I know this is one that’s widely true. Young people want to work for a company that shares their values, and I’m no different.

I spent a Friday afternoon taking various tests for the position I applied for. Then interviewed the following Friday. After months of interviews with different companies and law enforcement agencies, this interview was the longest and most conversational. I didn’t feel like I was being interrogated.

They said I’d get a response after about three weeks once all interviews were completed. I got the answer I was hoping for. My first day is today.

I know no two experiences are identical. And I’ll be the first to acknowledge that I’m fortunate to have found a position within such a great company. But so often I see people essentially giving up. Sometimes they’ll blame the economy or they’ll blame politicians or they’ll blame themselves. I could have done ALL of those. I believe in December the unemployment rate among college graduates was less than 3%. Underemployment was slightly higher, but I wasn’t underemployed. I was unemployed. I could have lashed out. I could have let the months of not knowing really get to me.

But I didn’t. I kept applying. I kept reviewing my resumé to make sure it was polished. I kept interviewing with companies from all kinds of industries. But most importantly I kept believing in myself. And that’s what I’d tell someone in a similar position. Believe in yourself. Be confident. Be open-minded. Be true to you.

Today I start what I hope will be a long journey with a company I’m proud to work for. And not everyone gets such an opportunity.

I’ve had plenty of encouragement from a number of people on here when I’ve written about my job search. It is ALWAYS appreciated.

Also, I’ve posted every day of 2017! Ayye!


Goodreads

Bookstagram

Twitter

YouTube

Firsts

We experience a lot of firsts throughout our lives. First day of school. First day living on your own. First child. First time on a plane. First trip to Disney World. First house. The list could go on forever.

Today I get to experience my third first day working for a new company. I imagine it’ll go exactly how I expect. The company has a great atmosphere and the people I’ve met have been great. So, here’s to something new!

*raises metaphorical glass*

What’s your most memorable first? I remember a few of my own if you’re interested!

Still Here

I decided a few weeks ago to take time off from blogging. Mostly because I wanted to focus on my job search. I’ve never been busier in my life. I’ve been all over the state for testing and interviews over the last week or so. The outside of my car is covered in bug guts from all the hours spent on the open road. But I’m still here. I’ll likely get back to posting regularly this week. I have a little break in all the traveling and driving and interviewing and testing. No one said getting into law enforcement was supposed to be easy. And it isn’t.

August is Over, Fall is Near

Whew. August is over. Can’t say it was better or worse than any other recent August, but it wasn’t so bad. And some rather interesting things happened along the way. But as always, first with some stats. Previous record in parenthesis.

Posts: 31 (31)

Likes: 793 (837)

Comments: 936 (2121)

Followers: 3205

Books Read: 1 (4)

Poems: 0 (2)

YouTube Videos: 1 (3)

Nothing too spectacular to discuss here. It wasn’t really too bad at all. But it could have been much better. But there were some days that I just didn’t feel like getting on WordPress. I actually did not read a single blog post all last week, I just didn’t feel like it. And I was sleepy. But I’m not going to “catch up” as other bloggers might do. No one writes posts specifically for me to read. I’m sure everyone is just fine with or without me reading their stuff. But I’ll be better this week. I already have been.

The one thing I will say is that I did actually write a poem for the first time in months. And I think it was pretty decent. But it’s not for the blog and I won’t be revealing why I wrote it in the first place, just that I did.

Last thing before I get into some posts. I made the decision about halfway through the month not to make any more videos until September. It was mostly a time thing. I’m not stopping completely. Making videos is actually pretty fun for me.

Now for some posts.

Top Post

Killing Main Characters

Favorite Post

Day 1 at Half Price Books is Done!

Post you may Have Missed

Auto buy Authors

There aren’t too many firsts once you’ve been blogging steadily for more than two years, but something happened for the first time this month that hasn’t happened before. The top post of the month wasn’t written by me. It was written by Amy. I’m calling it luck. Her top post had only four more views than mine. Oh well. I guess it’s finally happened. Someone has posted on my blog and become more popular than me. *sigh* It actually very nearly happened earlier this year when I had my week of guest posts, but I was able to come out victorious. Ha!

And I haven’t forgotten that I started working at Half Price Books about halfway through the month! It’s been fun. And I think I’ll be getting a few more books tomorrow after my shift. I think. I’ve learned plenty and still have more than half of my training left.

So that’s it. My August in a nutshell. Plenty of sleep. New job. And the seventh consecutive month of blogging everyday. Oh, and I made an Instagram account! How was yours?


On this day in 2014 I published The Reader in Me Part II.