Welp.

I didn’t post in September. Lots of things contributed to this. 1) Work. After missing almost two weeks after Harvey, I finally made it back into the office. 2) Change in schedule. Right when I was still unable to reach the office I received word that I’d been selected to assist in new hire training. Which immediately made my schedule M-F. No, that’s not typical. 3) Prepping. Prepping for what, I see you asking. My move. I’m moving into my first solo apartment on October 21. I’m excited. But I’ve been buying all kinds of things (most notably, furniture) throughout the last month. Today I packed all of my books. I won’t be seeing them for a month.

I’ll get back to posting. My apartment is only ten minutes from my job. Which gives me additional hours every month I haven’t had.

Also, I’m late to the party but I’ve been binge watching Friends. I’m through the first two seasons.

Advertisements

The (Un)Importance of Books

Oh boy.

I love books. I love reading. Y’all know this. But I’m realizing that they’re really taking a backseat. And I’m okay with that.

I just recently hit six months with my employer. I love this company and the opportunity I have. The people are great and the atmosphere could not be more conducive to growth.

I’m completely focused on my career. For the first time I’m really looking ahead. I’m not worried about where my paycheck is coming from. I’m not worried about having to look for work. I’m focused on what I can do to reach where I want to reach.

I know some would say I can still make time for reading. 45 hours a week in the office. An additional 2 hours a day commuting. Sleep. My off days are not back to back. Gym. Girlfriend. All of that leaves little time to sit back and read. And that’s okay. Also, moving in two months. So there’s that, as well.

A Letter to 21-year-old me

Four years ago today I walked across the stage in my graduation commencement ceremony. This letter is meant to describe what happens over the four years that follow.

Dear John,

Take in every moment of your graduation day. Every one. It’s something you’ll never forget. The seventh of 8 siblings and the FIRST to graduate from college. I’m still proud of that, though Adrianna quickly became the second. The following events take place over the next four years, which won’t play out how we’d have expected.

2013

You finished school and our plan is to write. And we do. We write an entire book over the coming months. The book may not be comparable to Lee Child or Michael Connelly, but our name is on the cover. Don’t forget the hours we devoted to accomplishing one of our goals.

The book is released in the October following graduation. Again, soak in every moment of this day. It’s unforgettable. You’ll immediately start on book 2, early the following year you’ll abandon it. Nearly 4 years later and that manuscript is no closer to completion. We’ll get back to it. we will.

2014

2014 is rather uneventful until the second half of the year. Then, oh boy does it get juicy. See, during this time we have a friend. She’s someone we met in 2010 just before graduating from high school. Over the course of the four years that followed we realize how utterly fantastic she is. I’m still not sure what it means to love someone, but I know we loved her. And you’ll make the agonizing decision to tell her. It didn’t turn out as we’d have liked. The feeling isn’t mutual. But don’t worry, remember who we’re talking about here. She doesn’t laugh at you. She doesn’t throw it back in your face. She thanks you for thinking so highly of her. Doesn’t mean the feeling you’ll experience doesn’t suck, but it’s something. The worst part of this event is we essentially lose her from our life. Rather than talking regularly about anything, we stop talking altogether. I guess that’s what happens when you confess something like that and it isn’t mutual. Unfortunately, it’s 2017 and we still don’t really talk.

Immediately after that decision you’ll finally apply to your first police departments. You’ll be rejected by both. The beginning of many rejections from departments to come. Keep your head up. We’ll figure it out.

2015

This entire year is rather forgettable. In August you finally quit working at HEB to begin working at Half Price Books. You’ll meet great people and you’ll be paid to be surrounded by books. What could be better, right? Well it turns out it isn’t as great as we’d expect. But that’s not until next year to discuss.

In December you’ll get your fourth tattoo. Still waiting to add to our collection of ink.

2016

The tale of two halves of the same year. In May we’ll go on our first vacation as an adult to Washington, DC! Boy, those four days flew by and before we knew it we’re back at Half Price Books. The trip was nothing short of magical. Cherish the memories from our first vacation. It’ll only grow more distant into the past with each passing day.

In July we quit working at Half Price Books. We refuse to continue working for such a low wage and only 35 hours rather than 40. Our plan: law enforcement. You’ll immediately begin applying to departments all over the state. I don’t have the list in front of me but my memory suggests it’s around 15 departments. You’ll take written tests, you’ll be polygraphed, you’ll participate in multiple review board interviews, and you’ll devote several months to the process. But you’ll fail. Not a single department is willing to give you a chance to become a police officer. Not one. You’ll even cry a bit. It’ll suck. You’ll vow to never go through the process of applying for jobs in criminal justice again. The process is time consuming and we’ve gotten nothing out of it.

Once the law enforcement applications are completed you decide to apply for jobs you feel more qualified for. You’ll submit somewhere in the ballpark of 30-40 applications. Different companies. Different positions. And you. Some will never call. Some will invite you for an interview. Then there’s Travelers. They call. They invite you for testing. They invite you for an interview. But after all of that you have three more weeks to learn of the hiring decision. We’re up to five months without full time employment. Can we afford to wait?

2017

We turn a corner as the calendar turns a new page. We decline two job offers that would have given us more pay and hours. We do so because we’re waiting on Travelers. That opportunity is too important just to pass up before a final decision is made. The second week of January we get the offer. Travelers wants to give us an opportunity. We accept immediately and even cry a bit. It was the longest seven months of our life. But we finally had what we wanted.

Just two months after starting the new job we’ll go on vacation to Boston for eight days. It’ll be absolutely incredible. Now we’re setting ourselves up to visit many new places in the years to come.

Look, the next four years aren’t going to play out like we’d have hoped. They will be rough. You’ll be deflated and nervous. But you’ll always remain confident in yourself. You’ll never back down from what you believe in. You’ll stay true to yourself even in times of great uncertainty.

I’m proud of our growth we’ve experienced over the last four years. And looking forward to what’s to come for us in the future.

Sincerely,

The only person who knows exactly what it’s like to be you,

John Guillen

It’s all About Routine

I finally have a set work schedule. I can set aside time to read each day rather than just picking up my current read whenever I think I have time.

It’s nice to know exactly what I’ll be doing and when I’ll be doing it after several months of uncertainty. I’ll never have enough time to read everything I want to read, but now perhaps I can get into a little groove and at least get some reading done.

Has a defined work schedule ever helped you devote more time to reading?

YES!

Most of you all know I haven’t been working full-time since quitting my job at HPB. I can finally say that’s no longer the case. Yesterday I received two offers and accepted the one I felt was a better fit. It’s something different that I previously had never seen myself doing. But now I’m looking to take advantage of the opportunity given to me. It’ll be a challenge and there will be a bit of a learning curve, but I’m confident in my future success.
It took three months and more applications than I can count, but now I can say I’m starting a new chapter in this game we call life. 

A Long Week

I just worked my first 40 hour week ever. And I’m dead. I know what you’re thinking. That I work full time. How is this my first 40 hour week. Full time at HPB is 35 hours. And this past week was coupon week. Extra hours were available. So I worked 40. But it wasn’t your regular 40. It was two ten hour days and a nine hour day mixed in with two eight hour days. It was LONG. And it was insanely busy.

So now I’m ready to relax. For about a year. My back pain still persists and I’ve recently been assigned to a new section of the store that sees WAY more books than my old section. But it’s okay. Someone always has it worse. And honestly, I don’t even have it bad. I’m just tired. And sleepy. And I could do without seeing any more education books for a few days. Ha.

I don’t know what this is about. Just a post about nothing, I guess. No question this time around.