I began the year working as a newspaper reporter, a job I never thought I’d do but that I ended up really enjoying. As I’ve mentioned, I was a very shy child, so I think for a long time part of me thought I could never do such a job that required so much high-level interaction with people. But I did it, and it was great.
But at the same time, I was applying for my visa to move to Sweden to live with Oscar, who I had been dating for nearly four years, spending a lot of it long distance. Once my visa was approved, I left my job at the paper and moved to Sweden. And then we broke up. It was a friendly breakup, and I think we’re both better off now because of it. But it was hard.
So I found myself back in the States, totally unsure of my next move. I knew it was for the best; I had spent too long basing my decisions off short-term plans around our relationship. I knew it was time to focus on me, what I wanted to do with my life, what I wanted from life. But that is not an easy thing to face. Not at all.
Back in Florida, I was determined to move elsewhere, but I didn’t want to go until I had a job. I was convinced it wouldn’t take long, so I refused to get anything temporary in Florida. I lived off savings, spent time with friends, did some freelance writing, and began applying for jobs.
I told everyone I would spend a month — maybe two, tops — in Florida. I’d be out by August, by September for sure. Suddenly it was October.
I had had some hopeful-looking prospects. I had a couple promising interviews with HostelBookers for a position as a Content Writer in London. I had applied on a whim, but they had been really impressed by my cover letter and resume, and the subsequent interviews seemed to go extremely well. I allowed myself to get excited and think seriously about moving to the UK and what that would entail.
And then I received the (very impersonal) rejection letter. After so much warm correspondence, it stung even more than a normal rejection. Since they never responded to my follow-up email, I just allow myself to believe that they decided the visa sponsorship process was too daunting and that was the only reason they didn’t choose me. Yep, that must be it. Adding insult to injury, on that same day I received another rejection from another job that I had thought for sure I was going to be offered.
Before I knew it, it was Thanksgiving. It took me a while to pick myself up and start applying to jobs again. I went through some dark times where I wondered what I was doing. Was I going to be stuck in my parents’ house in Florida forever? Finally, I stopped feeling sorry for myself and dove back into the job hunt. I focused on the positions I really wanted and the companies that I really identified with. I amped up my freelance writing, which helped give me a confidence boost and something else to focus my time on.
After a dry spell, I suddenly had multiple responses. Yes, when it rains it pours. I interviewed with three jobs. I had follow-up interviews with all three in the same week. Then offers. Suddenly, the ball was in my court and I got to choose. What a refreshing feeling! One was in North Carolina, where I have wanted to live for a long time. (It has kind of been one of those “non-goals” of mine.) The other was near Baltimore.
Deep down, I knew that one called to me a bit more. The position seemed more suited to my skills and my passions, while allowing me to grow and try new things — a job I would enjoy going to each day. I also felt an immediate positive connection with the people I had interviewed with. And for possibly the first time in my life, I felt strongly that I would fit in with that elusive “company culture.”
So what does this all mean? It means 2013 is going to be quite a different year…
I’m moving to Baltimore!
I can’t wait to explore this new city and share some of it on here as well. I’m going to be working with an international exchange nonprofit (I’ll share more when it’s official-official), so it will give me a whole new insight on things. I’ll be meeting new people and trying more new things! (I still have some new things from Florida I need to share.) And hopefully I’ll get to do some real, honest-to-goodness traveling sometime in the new year as well! Wouldn’t that be nice?
So cheers! Happy New Year! Make the most of the rest of 2012 and get prepared for an awesome 2013! I can’t wait to see what it holds in store 🙂