The dust is settling

IMG_1354Three (almost four) months since we made the epic adventurous move to beautiful Maui and the dust is finally settling and things are getting into place. We’re moved in to a beautiful condo, my man and I finally, for the first time since we started dating have the same days off together! I can’t even begin to describe how nice that is for us to have 2 whole days together. Half of our workdays, I can even come home to him having lunch made for me before I take him to work – so it’s like we get extra bonus time together. We’ve explored some of the island, but there is a ton more to see and take hundreds of pictures of (don’t worry mother dearest, there will always be plenty of pictures). I’ve done snorkeling, surfing, and hiking. I’ve been able to hang out with old friends who just happened to be visiting the island on holiday, as well as extended family who I haven’t seen since I was 8 years old. My work is chill and relaxed, and I didn’t have to take a pay-cut – which is great. My man is greatly enjoying his work, even with the bumps and dips that come with being a  manager. I’ve met a few friends – which is great. I thought people in Portland were friendly – well, Maui-ans put Portlanders to shame. “Talking story” is big here, and I’ll frequently have customers who will stand at my counter and chit-chat for 20 minutes or more, just because. I love that – it’s just so nice to be a part of a culture that values people and relationships and communication. Doesn’t have to be anything important, but those relationships are growing into how this island runs. More and more, I find out that it really is who you know and what you ask to figure things out. People are more accepting here – it’s such a small island that everyone knows everyone – or at least can figure out a relationship on how they know that person. A person at a bank is the sister-in-law of your next-door neighbor sort of thing. 5 months ago, I had no idea I’d be living in Maui within 2 months, but now that I am and things are calmer, I have no complaints, and am relishing every moment I have in paradise.

Life Changes: See ya later PDX, Hello Hawai’i!

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I was getting antsy, I’ll be honest. I had spent three and a half years in a job where I wasn’t going anywhere, and the office morale was terrible. Then I found a great job, but I knew the upward mobility just wasn’t there, however it was a huge breath of fresh air for me to not be in such a toxic work environment. My immediate family moved 4 hours away from me a few years ago, and while my mother made frequent trips, it’s just not the same when I wasn’t able to visit my sibling’s basketball or volleyball games, or hear them in their school choirs. Portland is an amazing city, and it will always be “home-base”, but I feel that it’s always a jumping off spot for me. I left Portland as an infant, only to come back as a teen. Now I’m leaving in my twenties, I’m sure I’ll be back eventually.

My partner received an excellent job offer in Maui, and while it was definitely a tough decision, we decided to each pack two suitcases, sell and give away the rest of our belongings, and move to paradise! I’ve been here almost a month now, my car is here, we are moving into our beautiful beach-side condo tomorrow, and the hunt for a new job for me continues. I’m thinking I’m going to change my career path – where before it was obvious finance, I’m thinking hospitality is more in line with what I love to do. We’ll see. My finger’s are crossed, and I’ll make my own way here too. I’m optimistic and hopeful. So far the people have been extremely friendly and helpful, but as they say here: “Lucky live Hawai’i!” And I definitely feel lucky to be a part of this vibrant community.

Triggered by Religion

I know today’s a big day that means alot to many people. For most of my life, it was one of the most important holidays. Growing up fundamental Christian, my family wouldn’t hide candy in the eggs around the yard, they would put articles that related to Good Friday and the Resurrection (ie, 3 dimes for thirty pieces of silver, a nail, piece of cloth). Then after all the articles were found, the story was able to be reinforced in our minds. I haven’t set foot in a church in probably 4 years. I left my family’s house when I was 21, and I went to a couple of church services in the next two years, but I never felt comfortable or that I belonged. It used to be my history, my identity, how I viewed myself and the lens that I viewed the world. Not anymore. I was going to drop of a boy for his baptism, I walked into the chapel – not even a church, and it was on a college campus, no less. But I couldn’t do it. I got a creepy, oppressed feeling. The back of my neck was crawling, and I felt literally sick. Couldn’t do it. No way. It was a strange feeling. My life has moved on, religion is no longer a part of my life. I’m happy with my life, and the way it’s going. But I don’t think organized religion or even any religion will ever be a part of it. I had to tell the boy’s family that there was no way I could sit through it, that I felt way too triggered, and it just wasn’t for me. They were very sympathetic. No offense meant, I have no issues with those that love that, find a sense of wholeness, or think that that is the only way to live their life – kudos to you. Go for it. But I realized today, that I have some major issues with it, and it does not make me feel comfortable. 

Blue Skies and Happy Days in PDX

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Anyone who knows and loves Portland, Oregon knows that when we have a blue sky – it makes us instantly happy. All of a sudden, everyone is outdoors, enjoying the sun and the fact that the sky isn’t some sort of white or grey color.

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See? Proof! Everyone enjoying spring’s first blossoms, Portland Saturday Market, and the Waterfront!

My days personally have been looking up recently as well. I found a new job – was actually not expecting to find a job so fast since I wanted to be far pickier about accepting a job offer. I wanted to make sure that it was the right fit, not just monetarily, but personalities, job description and duties, company environment, etc. And I think I found it. My new job is night and day from from old one. I’m happy at work, smiling and laughing more during the work week. Even though it’s more demanding, I’m thriving in the environment. I feel empowered and able to suggest and make changes. I’m back working with several different departments and back talking to my customers. It’s been happy blue-sky days!

Optimistic

IMG_1055I’m feeling optimistic about my current job search. I’ve had acouple of interviews under my belt, a couple more scheduled. I have references ready, and am getting better at articulating what I’m looking for in a position, as well as explaining my previous job experiences and skills. Today I got the letter in the mail from the unemployment office advising me that I’m eligible to receive unemployment benefits, and the check has been cut and is on it’s way.  I also recently had an idea and went out and bought a spiral-bound notebook so I can jot down pertinent interview information. I’m going to try to keep in next to me this weekend, so when I have a question I want to ask a potential company during an interview, I’ll have all the questions handy, as well as the interviewer’s name  and contact info. I love my lists and writing important ideas and tasks down helps me keep focused and on track. 

I can’t say that I’m not enjoying being able to sleep in a bit every morning. I enjoy not having many time pressures, or work stresses. But currentlyI’m working on networking, building relationships, and finding new friends. I know my next job is out there. I know someone will be glad to hire me, and I’m excited to soon be able to put my skills and experience to use, and hopefully gain new ones. 2014 is going to be a great year!

Photo: Taken by me at Pittock Mansion Jan 2014

Life’s Twists

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Life has its bends and turns on its path. Last month, a life twist occurred and I left a company I had been with for almost 3.5 years. My department had gotten toxic (really had been the entire time I’d been there). After being pushed and pulled and put where I didn’t want to be, and performing job functions that were below my skill and experience level, its finally time for me to concentrate full-time on finding the right fit, the job, the career, and the employer. I put my heart and soul into my work. I am a career woman. I love working, I love waking up early 5 times a week to get dressed for work. I love talking with coworkers, beating deadlines, trying to make my workplace better and positively build my company’s reputation. My old job just wasn’t a good fit for what I was looking to do. Well now I’m focusing on getting the right job.

I’m getting countless requests for me to be a collector again, and while I loved collecting, I’ve decided I don’t want to only do collecting for 40 hours a week. I want to work on my office skills, I’d love to eventually be an office manager. I can’t wait to utilize the accounting classes I took in college in the real world, learning how to apply what I learned.

Time for new opportunities, new adventures, new coworkers. A new place that will recognize my experiences, reward my efforts, and provide insight into how I can be a better employee. For now, my current job is sending out resumes, tailoring each cover-letter, scheduling interviews, and networking. Trying to enjoy each of life’s twists.

Life happens

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I had grand intentions of writing a blog every day this month, and while I’ve had lots of ideas for blog posts, this week has been one of those weeks. My work has been stressful, my boyfriend’s new job has been frustrating, one of my boyfriend’s children had a major surgery, my house is a mess, and the weather got really frigid cold. Sometimes life just happens.