Category Archives: Job Search – Life Path

What is your purpose?

Really? Why are we here? What are we doing?

I’ve known for a long time that my purpose here is to be a light and resource for people. A person who connects people to other people or information that helps them find happiness or health or connections to whatever they’re seeking.

But I haven’t always been faithful to that purpose. True to myself. Haven’t always felt worthy of the time and effort to develop myself in this way. Anyway, it’s weird to think about purpose…Like, did I really have to go through the pain of being surrendered? Couldn’t I have fulfilled this purpose without having gone through all that? Or not? I’ve lived in this self-sabotaging thinking for a long time. I’m not smart enough to make a difference. I didn’t study the right things to make a difference. I’m not a good enough writer. I’m not good at anything! Doubt, worry, and fear have occupied many moments in my mind, and this past fall, I decided I was done with it.

I joined a part-workshop, part-class kind of program that focuses on personal development and growth. I’m learning all kinds of amazing things, but something I heard last month really hit me. It related to being alive on purpose and taking up space on purpose. Seriously? I started crying after hearing this. I don’t know if non-adoptees feel this way, but I’ve always felt like I needed to justify my existence. I called my dear friend, who is also adopted and introduced me to this group (…in fact, she and I have technically known each other since we were babies), right after this profound moment. We cried together and after some discussion, she blessed with me these kind words, “You’re like a bridge that connects people.” YES! That’s exactly how I feel! And it felt super validating for her to reflect that back to me. That conversation was part of what convinced me to start writing this blog again. And thus fulfilling my purpose.

Anyway, I’m excited to write more about recent epiphanies and manifestations as a result of this mindset group. And how this new knowledge applies to grief and being adopted. Stay tuned for that!

Okay, what’s your resolution for 2014, Ang?

Okay.  I resolve to go to Zumba class twice a week.  And I resolve to trade French fries for applesauce or cottage cheese or carrots or something.

I’ve been feeling a bit chubby lately.  The jeans I bought this fall are snug.  And I’m not keen on building a new wardrobe to adjust.  I’d rather just get back in shape.  I feel much better about myself and internally, especially, when I’m in a habit of exercising.  I actually feel cleaner when I exercise.

I felt like 2013 was the year I spent taking care of my emotional and mental health.  I came home from Wisconsin with a plan to surround myself with people who truly love me.  Check.  I vowed to get in shape.  Check, for about 8 months.  And I worked with a woman who became a mentor.  We gardened several times a week.  My dear friend, L, was such a positive influence on me this summer.  She helped empower me by teaching me all about plants and seasons and flowers.  I planted my own garden here and watched all summer and fall as my hard work paid off.  I felt connected to the earth, the land, Iowa, and my home.  I really needed that after 2012.  And now, at the end of 2013, I got a job.

Now, I know my problems aren’t magically solved, but having some money to put toward my student loans and such is a HUGE relief!  And it’s time to focus on my body.  I want to prepare myself for the day when I want to start a family.  I want to prepare myself for aging.  I don’t want to be 80 and look back and wish I’d taken better care of myself.

So, Zumba meets three times a week in the next town over.  If I go twice a week, that’ll be great.  I’ve done it before, I can do it again.  And the potatoes thing is that I feel like I use them for filler.  And I’d rather eat a healthier filler.  I’ll know I’ve succeeded in my resolution when I can count more weeks with 2 Zumba nights than weeks without.  And I’ll know daily if I succeed with making healthier (fruits and veggies) choices.  I do weigh myself on occasion, but I normally judge my body by which clothes I can wear.  How I feel in my clothes.  And how I feel without my clothes.  Inside, like in my digestive system.

Since meeting my birthfamily, I’ve come to terms with my body shape actually.  I used to get so frustrated that I carry my weight in my tummy region.  But after meeting my mother and grandmother, I see that it’s just genetics.  That’s where they’re soft too.  And they have short torsos.  And longer legs.  And no matter what I do, this is what I’ve got to work with.  And that’s a great feeling actually!  That doesn’t bum me out at all!


Since I began writing this post, I have since gotten a new phone.  With said phone came a $50 gift card to the Verizon store, so I bought a FitBit with it.  This is not an endorsement, but I will say that I kinda love my little pink Bit!  And I’m proud of myself for taking a real step toward my goals.  The Bit tracks my steps, calories burned, and distance traveled.  It’s kinda fun to see how many steps I can do – it really makes you WANT to move more!  I hope to use this information to target my efforts and be more aware of the types of foods I’m eating.

What are your resolutions for the year?

Has Hell frozen over? Whatever, who cares!

I HAVE A JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m so damn excited!!!!!  I get to use my brain every day!  I’m gonna be writing narratives for urban renewal grants, working on EPA reports, and proofreading Iowa city codes.  And guess what?  My boss treats me like an adult!  A competent, real adult!  You might not think it was such a big deal, but trust me, it’s not a given.  I am excited to work hard and earn the amazing benefits she’s giving me.  I’m excited to be part of helping citizens of my beloved state get services they need.  I’m excited for using my degree finally!  I think I’ll just wish I’d have paid more attention in Semantics…..Phonology isn’t so helpful now.  haha

The whole thing came about really organically and really quickly.  I saw my new boss while working for another local company.  She asked what I was up to, I told her, and she took my email address.  I ended up emailing her my resume and references.  Another week later she came back into the store, and we met up last week for an interview!  I started yesterday and already have responsibilities and questions and research to do!

I was quite nervous yesterday morning and had to give myself a little pep talk!  Just because things didn’t work out the last time I had a(n almost) real job, doesn’t mean things won’t work out this time!   The last job couldn’t keep a person like me around for more than a couple years, but this place has employees who’ve been there for about 30 years!  That’s really saying something!  I get a key this time around, which is cool.  I told my boss it’d be more likely that I would be the last to leave, as opposed to being the first one there.  haha  She’s encouraged me to volunteer so I’m excited to keep working at the Gardens in my town on Friday mornings.  She’s encouraged me to be on a Chamber committee!  So long as I’m trusted to get my work done.  Deal.

I’m excited to be an adult again.  Someone who can pay some bills.  Save some money.  Visit friends.  Visit my birthfamily.  Buy a bigger bed.  Treat my mom to something fun.  Treat my friends.  And generally pass on the kindness that has been shown to me by so many friends and family.  No, money doesn’t buy happiness, but it does buy a peace of mind.  A confidence.  Independence.  And I can’t wait 🙂

Angela, how do you really feel?

Pretty much like this.  These fellow millennials pretty much nailed how I’ve been feeling the last five years.  Whiny?  Maybe.  Right?  Yes.  Click on the link to go to the video on Upworthy.

For me, I have been trying to do better.  Tried to rise above the situation.  After college, when I wasn’t getting hired, I volunteered for a year with AmeriCorps to get some experience at life.  I went to grad school to try to get a better job.  And the job thing still isn’t working out.  I haven’t given up.  But it’s tough to be educated and face working part-time jobs to make ends meet.  I know a lot of people do it.  I know.  It’s just taking me a while to deal with reality being much less impressive than my expectations promised.  Than my parents promised.  Than society promised.  So now what?  …I still don’t know where we go from here…

Seriously, Ang, where the hell are you?

Oh, hi.  Yeah.  I’m still here. 

I haven’t forgotten about you all.  I apologize for being missing for like, two months.  Been busy. 

Earlier this summer I worked for a nice woman in my hometown.  She had eye surgery and needed someone to do her gardening since she wasn’t allowed to bend over.  Something about blood in her eyes?  Very strange and quite frustrating for her.  But we had fun.  I weeded and planted herbs and flowers and watered flowers and snuggled with her two outside cats.  Not a bad way to spend the summer!  I learned a lot from her and have been grateful for her friendship. 

I’ve also been working in my own garden.  I planted acorn and butternut squash, zukes and cukes, eggplant, green peppers, and like, eight tomato plants!  The hot peppers didn’t make it.  Nor did the fennel.  But I have green leafy lettuce and kale and basil too.  And CARROTS!!!!  They’re so damn cute when they first sprout.  It’s always a surprise when the first greens poke their heads out of the black dirt.  I don’t tend the garden too much.  I’m a plant-and-see kind of gardener.  I did make a concoction recommended by my Garden Friend to combat the grasshoppers.  Mix water, Dawn soap, and stinky things like garlic salt, cayenne, and onion powder.  Spray it on the leaves of the plants.  The stinkies repel the bugs, and the Dawn makes the stuff stick to the leaves.  Seemed to work pretty well!  Ya know there’s just something so satisfying about going down to the garden to collect lunch. 

I’ve also been working around my hometown a bit.  It’s fun.  Helping out with events and concerts.  Visited friends in Minnesota.  Overall, except for the lack of a real job and tangible benefits, it’s been a good summer.  Oh!  And I went to Florida!  Oh, I’ll write about that soon.  That’s worth its own post. 

I’m still hunting for a job.  I decided not to give up.  A few ideas are quite promising…  And I’ve been working on something pretty awesome for the long term…  Not gonna talk about it until after the test happens because I don’t want to jinx myself too much.  Lots of studying to do yet. 

Future posts to include ideas and stories about my Florida trip, my favorite season, and turning another year older.  Stay tuned!


What’s wrong, Pants?

So asked an ex-boyfriend last week when I texted him.  Pants is a silly nickname I gave him and then he gave back to me somehow.  Started with my cat.  This nickname.  Not relevant to the story except to say that I still appreciate his steadfast friendship.

What is wrong.  Well stuff.  Of course it could be worse.  I wrote about this all last week.  However, today I had a conversation with my mom that got me thinking.  And needing to write.  Bless her heart, my mom.  She looks for jobs for me all the time.  She has been super supportive of my time off to grapple with finding my birthfamily and deal with the job in Wisconsin not working out last year.  Emotionally and financially.  I totally appreciate what my parents have done for me and I would be in a bad place or dead if I didn’t have them to lean on.  But what can I say?  I’m scared.  Paralyzed, really about this job search.  I mean, do I break down and try applying for minimum wage jobs?  Do I apply for admin asst jobs that are probably below my skill set and hope it leads to something more?  Do I hold out for something that would challenge me, let me grow, and be a true career?  I suspect the true answer is something in between all these options.  Which sucks because I’m just so tired.  Tired of trying so hard.  Damn.  It’s really hard to be hopeful these days.  And yet somehow I keep trucking.  Not sure why most of the time, but whatever works.

Wish me luck at my doctor appointment this Friday.  If WebMD is right, I’ve got something      between bronchitis and pneumonia.  Awesome.

Whatever happened to Minnesota nice?

Right?  I go up there to visit some friends and end up getting robbed.  Sorta.  They threw a rock into my car, shattering the glass and damaging the opposite door.  And they stole my backpack!  I hope they enjoy wearing my favorite jeans, awesome sweater, favorite t-shirt, scarf I got in Poland, earrings I got in Guatemala…..And all my makeup!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now, I’m just saying, I have gotten quite used to not wearing makeup in the past year.  Mostly because I worked at the Y where no one else wore any, so I’d go with miiiinimal makeup.  But still!  I spent a lot of money, hard-earned money on my makeup!  Damn. Double damn.

They stole my glasses too.  Who knew I’d miss my glasses so much!  They were pretty awesome.  U-Turns.  Look em up.  Very cool.  But apparently discontinued.  Shit.  I picked out two new pair and will pick them up soon.

Before you roll your eyes at me for being shallow, in addition to the huge violation of my privacy and my stuff, it’s really the inconvenience of replacing everything and having to shell out the cash that I really don’t have to do so!  Like, really, Universe, I promise I was already feeling bad enough about my life and poor enough without this.  Thanks.  Under my mom’s impressive clandestine guilting…*rolls my own eyes* I try to learn something from each experience.  Maaaybe getting robbed is supposed to put more fire under my butt to write coverletters and apply for jobs.  Problem is, I’m having a crisis of confidence.  It hasn’t really been since the new year that I’ve been applying for jobs, it’s been the last five-six years in general.  Since college.  I’ve been doing these one and two year stints at volunteering, jobs, and grad school.  I’m just not sure it’s been building up to anything.  Through therapy this past year I’ve come to appreciate myself and my talents much more, but it’s still hard to translate that into something….really useful in my job search.  Gaaaaah!

The past two weeks have been tough.  Of course I know that many many many people are having a harder time than I am.  Of course.  But like I tell my mom when she gets too gushy for my taste, that’s fine, and I’m sorry for those other people, but this is happening to me.  Right now.  And it hurts.  And I’m scared and lost and just want something to go right for me.  Something I want to go right.  Not what I need, but what I want.  Bah!

Aaaaand that’s my rant.  In other news, it’s getting warmer.  And that’s nice.  …except the allergies part…. ha.

What’s up, Buttercup?

My mom says that to me all the time.  Mostly when she calls me to say hello.  The phrase may have come from my grandpa, not sure.

I’m writing to say that I haven’t forgotten about my blog.  My next post is about something very important to me, and I feel like I need to get it right.  This may be the only time it gets written down for real, and I want to make sure I get everything in there.  I’ve considered compiling all my posts and expanding on them to create a book someday.  A memoir I guess.  We shall see.

Aside from working on that post, I’ve been visiting friends and family, working odd jobs around my hometown, and trying to figure out what the hell to do with my life.  At the very least, I’m feeling better about my “friend situation.”  Someone wise once said that friends are the family you choose….or something like that.  I agree.  Friends I’ve met through an adoption connection are some of the best I’ve ever had.  I’m super thankful to the Universe that these people have come into my life.  I’ve always wanted sisters, and through my adoptee friends, I finally have a few 🙂  I’ve got a fantastic brother already, but I’ve even managed to add a few brothers to my family too.  At least that part of my life is getting better!

I continue to struggle with the job search though.  Last night I watched the Dustin Hoffman episode of the Actors Studio on youtube.  One of the last things Mr. Hoffman says to the students is what a shame it is that we’re pressured to know what we want to do with our lives while we’re in our 20s.  “It’s a question mark decade….if you’re waiting for the job,  you will die.”  Okay, two things then.

1. Apparently I need to give myself a damn break.  It sounds silly, what with my year of volunteer service on a Native reservation, a Masters degree, and having traveled to 5.5 countries since 2004 (two of those countries twice!), but I feel like I’ve failed in the last five years.  I’m not where I thought I would be and I’m definitely not doing anything I consider important.  Shit.  Last year I did quite a bit of therapy, EMDR therapy – look it up, I recommend it for adoptees – and I did make some progress with releasing my regret and accepting where I am.  But I’m definitely not at peace yet.  So Dustin says to chill out.  SO much easier said than done.

2.  Don’t wait.  Maybe he means I should try to take little steps every day toward something, anything, and the Universe will meet me in the middle.  Or maybe he means I have to create the whole thing myself.  That seems a bit  unlikely.  I don’t live in a vacuum.  So steps every day it is then.  Damn.

This might not sound related to anything I’ve been writing here, but I promise it is.  Someday if/when I have a daughter, I’m going to do my very very best to instill a gigantic sense of self-worth in her.  I want her to be able to tell me why she’s good.  What she can do.  What she likes.  What she doesn’t like.  What she wants/needs to work at.  I’ve probably spent the last five years underestimating how awesome I am.  And I don’t mean for that to sound boastful.  But for most of my life, I’ve wondered what the hell I’m good at, if I’m really good at anything, and why the hell no one else can see me.  But no one else could see me because I didn’t see me.  I AM awesome.  I am smart.  I can solve problems.  I think in global terms, how decisions affect lots of people.  Systems.  Networks.  I’m generally a nice person.  I make friends fast.  I care about people, hot damn do I care about people!  I want other people to succeed…  Okay, Ang, now go write some of those damn coverletters.  You’re on a roll….

What to do with a Pickle?

What’s this, two posts in one day? Yeah, I’m playing catch-up.

So I’ve been searching for a job.  This year I’ve learned much more about myself and the things I like about work and what I don’t.  What I’m good at and what I’m not good at.  I’ve decided I’m not happy sitting in an office, staring at a computer all day.  I need face-to-face interaction with people.  That’s what I thrive doing.  A very, very cool opportunity has come to my attention.  This opportunity (we’ll call Pickle so I don’t have to keep writing “this opportunity” out) starts out with training in Minnesota for a few months and then two years on a Caribbean island.  If hired, I’d live on the island, work with community members and greet the volunteers who come to work on service projects.  The awesome thing would be daily interaction with all kinds of people – the community I’d be serving, coworkers at HQ in Minnesota, and the volunteers who come to the island.  I’d have the impact on the world I crave and relatively little office work.  Sounds fantastic right?

Maybe.  This Pickle sounds like the perfect thing for me in many respects.  I have a few hesitations though.  First, I hate the heat.  I mean I really hate sweating.  Two, will the salary for living on the island be enough to live on?  I’ve got those damn student loans to pay back – can I make progress on paying them down?  Three, it’s kind of my MO to do something crazy like move to the middle of nowhere where I know not a soul and hope I’ll make it through.  And this past year my therapist and I have discussed how the past five years of taking such risks haven’t panned out so well for me.  Perhaps applying for this Pickle and jumping into something crazy is what Einstein or someone said about insanity – doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result?  Yeah.  I mean, I JUST moved home to be closer to my family and regroup from this roller coaster year.  Is leaving next year for the Caribbean really conducive to my mental/emotional health?

It might sound silly, but seriously, these are real concerns for my life going forward.  I’m at a crossroads now with what to do with my life, and this year I’ve learned to put myself and my overall health first.  It’s a tough thing to think about not following up on a Pickle I might love because maybe I realize I just don’t need to punish or test myself so much.  What do I have to prove?  Who do I need to impress?  Why would I go off on such a crazy adventure again?

Things to think about….