Rants · Uncategorized

Where To Go From Here

It happened. At twenty six years old, I was fired for the first time. I’m not going to go into detail as to why it happened, because to be honest I’m still processing it. To be even more honest, I’m processing a lot. It was bizarre how everything came about because I was “fired” but given an extra week to work so they could start training the new person to take my place. Truly though, I’d been wanting to find a new job for a while. I wasn’t happy where I was anymore. Going to work felt like a chore, but I still did my job. Being fired was unexpected but has become my push to find a new job that appreciates me.

I took that weekend to have my pity party and be upset that I was facing unemployment and be terrified that I was not going to be bringing in a pay check for an unknown amount of time – which is still a constant thought right now.

Monday came around and I felt a bit better (thank you to my fiance and my mom for boosting me up) but that fear was still in the back of my mind; what was I going to do with no job? I walked into work and the awkwardness flooded the room because of course everyone knew. I decided to go about my day, and my week, like I’d done for the last year and just did my job. Of course that’s not to say that every chance I could take was spent pumping out Indeed applications. A couple of times I didn’t really know what position I was applying for but at that point it felt like I needed to focus on quantity over quality. By the end of the week I had applied to 100 plus jobs, had a video interview that went nowhere, and only heard from a recruiter for a place I didn’t apply to, but I set up an interview anyway.

I finished my final week at work with the relief of not having to go back (other than to return my scrubs) but trepidation about the weeks to come. I was going into the new week with only one interview set up and an inbox full of “Thank you for your application” messages. Absolute frustration. Also very disheartening. Am I really not good enough or qualified enough for these jobs? Luckily Sam and I got away for the weekend and my mind got a bit of a break from the negative feelings.

This new week came too quickly but I put on my big girl pants and got to it. I went to the interview for the job I didn’t want, and found out that I for sure did not want it. Door to door sales, no thank you! I went home and got back to more job applications, pondered if my resume was good enough, and questioned why I didn’t do more in college to ready myself for what I actually wanted to do with my life.

And now here I am, finishing my first full week of unemployment. Hundreds of applications and resumes sent, two interviews under my belt, and a lot of soul searching done. I came to the conclusion that I do not want to be a veterinary receptionist for the rest of my life. As much as I love working in an environment that helps animals, I’d be stuck in the same role forever. I want somewhere with upward movement, a place where I could grow. My writing is also something I need to start focusing on, which is partially why I wrote this other than needing to get my feelings out in the way that I know.

This is also my way of asking others how they handled being unemployed. I want to know if there are others in my shoes who are looking for a career change and aren’t sure how to get there. Or maybe you made that change, how? What are your suggestions?

Until I find what fits, I’m glad to know that I have a wonderful support system that will not let me fail. Of course I still have the dread of no income but I can take that as it comes. And I believe that most mornings are going to begin with the thought of where to go from here but here’s to not knowing what’s next!

Rants · Travel · Uncategorized

The Journey South

Well, it’s official – I live in Texas. It’s been just over a week since my boyfriend and I arrived and now we’ve officially been in our apartment for a week. It’s our first apartment together, and my first apartment ever. All of my bedroom furniture came with along with a few other items like a chair and bookcases. Once we’re able to there will be a dining room set purchased and a new couch. But for what we have right now it’s comfortable and cozy and, most importantly, it’s ours.

Sam and I drove from Minneapolis to Missouri on our first day. We went out of the way because Sam’s best friend lives in Missouri and he and his wife just had a baby so we wanted to stop by and see them, plus it gave us a free stay for the night. We drove through Iowa which was probably the least exciting part of the whole drive. Even though I slept through most of the state, the part I was awake for was not entirely exciting. Plus the rain didn’t help the fact that I was incredibly sad about leaving home.

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But we made it into Missouri without any problems, well except for the truck that almost ran us off t13072754_10208226140266882_5226333321149443201_ohe road. We arrived at Sam’s friends house around 3:00 in the afternoon and talked and laughed and held the baby. Although our stay was brief it felt great that Sam was able to catch up with old friends and that I was able to become a part of their little family as well. We got a great night sleep and set out the next morning to finish our journey. It was the longest part of the trek but with Pandora radio on our side we knew we could make it. While driving through the rest of Missouri I sort of wished we’d been able to stay longer. The winding roads we drove on and the magnificent farm land had me looking out the window the entire time. We saw billboards for caves as well and that sounded really interesting. But we had to keep going. Texas was about 13.5 hours away, and we weren’t stopping overnight again.

Eventually we made it into Oklahoma and we were lucky enough that we missed all of the bad weather that was happening in and around the state. It was sunny the entire time! But, Oklahoma was sort of like Iowa, flat and uneventful but since the rain didn’t hit us it was bearable. I’d rather watch sunny farm fields than dreary ones.

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Missouri and Oklahoma took up most of that last travel day but once we made it into Texas, it still felt like forever before we made it to Sam’s parents house. It didn’t help that we hit the Dallas rush hour and rain, but around 7:30 that night we were finally at our resting spot. We spent the night at Sam’s and the next morning loaded up a couch and television his family gave us and set off for Houston to get the keys to our humble abode. That was the only furniture we had for a couple of days. The moving company wasn’t able to bring our stuff until last Monday but boy did it feel good to finally sleep in my own bed.

So now we are going to make Houston home for the next few years while Sam goes to law school. Once I find a job and gain some more financial stability, I really hope I can start doing all of the traveling I want to do. My bank account laughed at me the other day when I was looking at airfare for Peru (I really want to go to Machu Picchu). In the meantime I’ll stick with exploring my new city and the surrounding areas. It also sounds like I’ll get to go to Louisiana in July for Sam’s birthday, someplace I’ve never been.

Here’s to a new adventure and a new stage in my life!

 

Rants · Travel · Uncategorized

Movin’ on…Down?

IMG_1511Exactly a week from today I will be leaving the snowy tundra of Minnesota for the currently flooded Houston, Texas. I moved from Washington state to Minnesota in 2011 with my mom and her wife and attended Augsburg College where I graduated in May. The second half of my senior year I started dating the love of my life and after I graduated he decided to move home to Texas so he could advance in his career choice which involves going to law school. Long distance relationships are hard enough but to do one for three or more years sounded ludicrous so it was decided that I would move to the Lonestar state.

To many people it seems as if I’m moving for a guy, and yes that’s part of it. I’m moving for him but I’m also moving for us, and myself. As someone who wants to travel for a living this move presented itself with some benefits. Texas is huge and has a lot of potential to get out and experience the South, a part of the country I’ve yet to really explore. Cities may not be close together but I’m up for a road trip!

I also think moving to Texas and moving in with the person I see myself with will benefit a bit more financially. With planning the move we both realized that we couldn’t just spend money on senseless things and that we should really focus on saving as much as possible. The fact that we’re moving in with not much in the way of furniture will also make us want to save more so we, well, have a place to sit.

The idea of visiting Texas was something that never crossed my mind. It’s a red state, and I’m not exactly of the red party. I’d heard nothing good came out of Texas but you really can’t judge a book by its cover…or a state by who came out of it. It’ll be an experience for sure, but one I’m absolutely willing to have.

Now it’s just a matter of tying up loose ends here in Minnesota; seeing friends, finishing packing, all the wonders that come with moving. But, here’s to the next adventure.

Rants · Uncategorized

My Love Hate Relationship With Winter

This year will mark my fifth year of living in the lovely state of Minnesota. When my family and I moved here after high school I was beyond excited to experience a real winter, my favorite season. Growing up in Washington State, there were some winters that were worse than others but it was ultimately a state that closed schools when there was very little snow on the ground. It was understandable though, Washington has hills, large ones. Ice and hills do not mix. My high school was situated on a hill. My house was up a massive hill. The majority of the winters in Washington however were quite mild and a dusting of snow on the trees transported you to a winter wonderland.

76976f478753edfa0faa63cebb1788fdMy favorite part of winter, at least in Washington, was when my moms’ and I would go to Leavenworth, essentially a town of eternal Christmas. Almost every year from the time I was four, we would go to Leavenworth and see their annual tree lighting festival. We’d rent a condo or house for the week(end) and spend our time shopping, eating, drinking hot chocolate, and ultimately watch as the town lit up with Christmas lights. The same winter wonderland existed here, with the Cascade Mountains right in view and beautiful snow you see in movies surrounded you everywhere. Leavenworth was and always will be my favorite part of winter.

I’ve now experienced a few Minnesota winters and this is where my love hate relationship begins. I love snow, I’ve always loved snow and winter because it’s always so beautiful when it first starts out. I now love snow but only when I’m watching it fall from the comfort of my house. I cherish time spent inside reading with a cup of tea, being able to glance up and see the beauty outside.

Here’s what I now really hate about winter. I can drive, and driving in snow is slow and terrible. Even with Minnesota being flat, it accumulates far more snow and driving conditions are treacherous. If Minnesota had the hills like Washington, I’d be screwed. The amount of slush that comes with the snow; it seems like there’s 200% more of it. It’s gross and sloppy. IFWith the snow comes the unbearable cold. Last winter it got to be around 50 below because of
wind chill. That’s not okay! To quote The Weeknd, “I can’t feel my face,” because it’s freezing! The last thing I’ve come to hate about winter is the fact of shoveling snow. As I’m writing this post, Minnesota is sitting through a blizzard that by the time I wake up will have dropped at least a foot of snow. I’m unsure if my place of employment will be closed tomorrow so assuming it does not I will have to get up at least 3 hours early in order to shovel my driveway, get ready, and then take extra time to get to work.

In the end, I still really enjoy the winter season because of it’s beauty and activities. But when I take a moment to look at reality, winter comes with a lot of work. I think though, that once I have the ability to do so I wouldn’t go somewhere warm to escape winter, I’d go back to Leavenworth or somewhere that’s more beautiful when sprinkled¬†with fresh snow.

 

Rants · Uncategorized

New Year

2015 was definitely a year full of joy, adventures, and achievements. I met the man I can see spending my life with. I graduated college. I went to new places I’ve never been. I had an article published about Dracula. My family got two new dogs after loosing our last two of five at the end of 2014. It was truly a great year overall.

2015 collage

Ringing in 2016 was nothing elaborate. Family friends came for dinner and a rousing game of Apples to Apples. Afterwards, Sam and I shared a kiss at midnight and grabbed some midnight snacks to watch Trainwreck and fall asleep around 3. In 2016, Sam and I will be celebrating our first year anniversary. We celebrated early with painting plates, a great dinner at The Melting Pot and a comedy show. Unfortunately we won’t be together on our actual anniversary since Sam is back home in Texas. But I’m sure 2016 will have a lot to offer and will be another great year of adventure and joy.

I hope you all had a great start to your new year. Cheers!

Rants · Uncategorized

Back At It

I tell myself that I am a writer. And I am. But why is it so hard to sit and write? I don’t have any excuses. I usually blame the fact that I feel overworked and all I really want to do when I get home is relax and vegetate, even though I’ve always seen writing as a release from those troubles. When it comes to writing a blog for the world to see, I don’t think I’m writing anything worth saying or that people necessarily care about. Even now, do you guys really care that I don’t write more frequently? Well I want you to care.

My dream is to be a travel writer but I need to get noticed before that can really happen. I need to apply myself not only to my craft but to jobs that will get me to where I want to go. So I’m back at it. I’m setting a goal and I suppose my biggest resolution for 2016. I’m going to write every day in a journal and I’m going to blog once a week. I’m also looking for any sort of writing challenges to do during the year. It’s going to happen. I hope you all enjoy the ride with me.

Rants · Travel

Things Change

Life doesn’t always go as planned. I mentioned recently that I would be going to Scotland in September to travel around on my own. Well, money is a thing that exists and unfortunately I didn’t quite have enough to make sure my stay in the Land of the Loch was comfortable. Getting to Scotland wouldn’t have been the issue, but I would have starved for ten days. But you just have to roll with the punches. Scotland it going to be postponed and instead I’ll be headed south to the Lonestar state, Texas. 

My boyfriend and I have been dating since January of this year and he’s a Texas native who is moving back to attend law school. Minnesota and Texas aren’t exactly next to each other so we’ll be doing long distance for a while. The money I’ll be saving by not going to Scotland right now will help tremendously in not only going to Texas but helping me to get back on board financially. Besides, my mother keeps telling me “Scotland isn’t going anywhere.”

As much as I would love to spend 10 days looking for Nessie I have to be an adult right now and spend so frivolously. The more I save now, the more I can do when I rebook my trip overseas. There’s always a give and take and I’m learning now more than ever that I need to slow down and look at what I can actually do right now and plan on what I can do later. 

I look at this change of plans and am still completely okay with the outcome. Either way, I’m traveling and that’s the goal of my life. I’ve never been to Texas and I want to go places I’ve never been. I’m still going to get just as much of a culture lesson as I would in the UK. This is just a little closer to home.

Rants

Becoming an Adult – One Step at a Time

In the past month and a half since I walked the stage and accepted my Creative Writing degree, things have started to change. I’ve given up the two part-time lifestyle for a more structured full time schedule at a portrait studio. Of course I’m still looking for jobs more suitable to my career pathway as a travel writer. In the past month I also had my first article published on a nifty little website known as The Artifice. I thought it might be a good idea to get something out with my name on it even if it wasn’t something entirely creative. The pride I felt was what mattered. 

I’m planning a solo trip to Scotland in September so I can really hunker down and get some travel pieces out in the world. Scotland seemed like a grand place to start for a first solo travel experience. English speaking was high on my list until I feel more comfortable in truly foreign spaces surrounded by languages I don’t know. I’ve always wanted to go to Scotland and castle hop – it’s a big part of the trip but not the only. So far my itinerary includes 3 nights in Glasgow, 2 nights in Inverness, and 5 nights in Edinburgh. Hotels are booked, excursions planned out with room for stepping off the determined path, all that’s left is to book the flight.

My apartment search has begun; as much as I love living at home I know I can’t stay forever. Sorry, mom. It’ll be my next step into adulthood, I think. That’s what adults do right? Live on their own and support themselves – starting to seem a bit overrated if I do say so myself. But, it’s a fact of life. Maybe I’ll buy my own car at somepoint too. 

So I think I’m on my way to knowing how to adult. It’s a step by step process and I’m glad it hasn’t been thrown at me all at once. I’m extremely lucky to have to support system that I have because I know if I slip, I can get back up. I’m interested to see where the next few months take me.

Rants

I Have a Bachelor of Arts Degree: Now What?

This past Saturday I graduated from Augsburg College with a BA degree in Creative Writing and now I’m faced with the challenge of finding my future career. My goal is to be a travel writer and I’m fully aware of the fact that I won’t have that dream job right away but I guess I’m not even sure where to start searching. I’m wanting to at least get into a company focused on travel: Lonely Planet, National Geographic, tour companies, etc. These last few weeks have been spent worrying and being terrified about graduating and honestly nothing has changed but it also hasn’t set in that I’m no longer a student. Which rocks do I need to look under to find a full time job within my field? Or should I even be looking in my field right now? I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to find an office job and get out of retail.
Unfortunately, I think higher education doesn’t do a decent enough job emphasizing that we won’t be in our dream job right out of college. As a writer it seems even more difficult to grab onto that goal.
The long and short of this is that I’m terrified that I’ll never get off the ground. I’ll never reach my goal. It seems to far fetched. But I need to remember that not everything is given but earned. For now I should revel in the fact that I graduated from college and I will do something great in my life.
Those of you out there who have graduated, where did you look for jobs? Especially you writers out there, I’d love to hear some advice and next steps.

Rants · Travel

The Start of Something New

For almost the past year I’ve neglected to pay any attention to my blog and that’s all about to change. To achieve any future in writing, I need to write. I will not put my creative writing degree to waste. To those of you who have followed me in the past, I continue to appreciate any support. To those future supporters, thank you. Before posting this I have already changed the style, layout, and title of this site to reflect what I’m ultimately going to post for you all. I’ve also deleted all of my previous entries because this is the start of something new.
My name is Katrina and I am six days away from graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative Writing from Augsburg College. In my four years taking countless English writing and literature courses I’ve studied abroad twice. My first adventure was to Berlin, Germany for the spring semester of my sophomore year. While there, I traveled to several other countries including France (for a second time), Russia, Ireland, Czech Republic, and Italy (for a second time). I learned a lot about myself during those few months and I made friends who I hope to keep for a lifetime. My second journey was this past May (2014); I spent a week and a half in Ljubljana, Slovenia with a horde of Augsburg students and two professors studying the Slovenian education and psychology systems. At the end of the trip we spent a day in Croatia and two in Italy – my future refuge. I couldn’t imagine my life without travel which is why my future career goal is to be a travel writer.
The goal for this new start of my blog is to write more and write often. I can’t neglect my passion if it’s going to shape my career. I will write about my travels, past and future, posting pictures along with and I may post other items like short prompted stories and such.
As I said before, I’m just days away from graduating and to be honest I’m terrified. I know that my dream job isn’t going to fall into my lap and I think that’s why I’m striving to write more because in order for that job to even appear I need to get myself out there. I’ve stayed quiet for long enough. The world is out there and it’s waiting for me. I hope you’re all along for the ride.