March 2009

… is coming. I promise. But in the meantime, I want to know something from all of you.

Comment below… when was the first time you felt like an adult?

Thanks. And yes, I will post an update about the job SOON. I promise.


Yesterday, oh yesterday.

I left my interview feeling great.  Have you ever walked out knowing you nailed it?  Yeah, that’s how I felt.  I didn’t expect to hear anything until later this week – they wanted to fill the position quickly, and told me I’d know something by Friday.

My phone rang at 3:30, and I had accepted an offer by 5.  I start tomorrow.

So, wow.  I’m still recovering from the whiplash of the day.  I mean, I hadn’t heard ANYTHING from any jobs since November.  NOVEMBER!  It’s bad out there, and I was ready to settle in for the long haul.  I’d finally made peace with the waiting game, and then, BOOM.  Everything happens at once.

Before I heard from my new employers (eep!), I got an unexpected phone call from a friend and mentor I hadn’t talked to in YEARS.  He was the first person to hire me in DC – he took a chance on a wide eyed, naive 18-year-old freshman and showed her the ropes of this crazy city.  He oh-so-gently reminded me that, hey!  No one judges you for your work experience, you dolt.  I can’t express how thankful I am to have him in my cheering section.  Check out his blog (which I just discovered) – I promise, you’ll enjoy.

That said, I also need to thank all the folks that sent me congratulations yesterday.  I am incredibly blessed to have so many people in my corner.  It’s so easy to get wrapped up in yourself and forget that, hey, you have more safety nets than one person could POSSIBLY need.  I’m a lucky girl, and I know it.

I’m off to finish my ironing (I do not remember owning that many button-downs…) and get ready for my next adventure.  Tomorrow’s going to be a blast!

My friend Caitlin sent me that analogy this morning… she’s exactly right.  But I think I’d add the other elusive on there, too.

I didn’t realize how down I’d been about this unemployment thing until I put my suit on this morning to get ready for my interview.  It felt… AMAZING.  I felt like a whole person again… which is strange.  Until this morning, I didn’t know a piece of clothing could have that kind of effect on me.

The truth is, I’ve been down because I’ve always defined myself by my job.  When I was 12, I couldn’t wait to volunteer at my local library, because then I’d have the chance to say I was going to “work.”  I couldn’t wait to turn 14 so I could work at McDonald’s.  I couldn’t wait to make it to DC so I could have an internship.  And I couldn’t wait to graduate so I could start my career.

Ambition is both a quality and a downfall.  To this point, I’ve been incredibly lucky in ALL of my employment pursuits.  I wanted to be a McDonald’s manager, so I smiled at every customer, memorized both the breakfast and lunch menu and volunteered to work in Drive Thru every chance I got.  I was a manager six months after I started.

(And yes, I understand that it’s MCDONALD’S and that they hand promotions out like candy.  But I was 16, and I thought it was pretty cool.)

My point is that this unemployment has been HARD.  I’ve felt rudderless for the first time in my life.  I’ve never had to ask what’s next because I’ve never given myself the chance.  I’ve rushed into the next endeavor without blinking, and even though my eyes were wide open, I was blind to the person I was becoming.

I want to be more than my job.  I want to be recognized, not for that ambition, but for being a good person.  For being someone people trust, and want to spend time with.  I want to be the whole package.

These past few months have meant more to my personal growth than any job I’ve ever had.  But, that said… I’m still excited at how well my interview went today.  Some habits are hard to break. 🙂

Today is a bit of a random day.  It’s Saturday, so I’m entitled, right?

First off, I’ve gotten 142 hits since I started this sucker what, 3 days ago?  As far as I’m concerned, that’s kinda awesome.  So thanks to everyone that’s clicked through from Facebook, Twitter, and 20 Something Bloggers… it looks like my shameless self promotion is paying off.

Good news!  I have an interview on Tuesday morning!  I would LOVE to work for this particular organization, and it seems like the job would be a good fit.  I already have my outfit picked out, and now I just need to settle on a pair of shoes. (An aside: I absolutely love Old Navy.  I found the perfect button-down shirt there yesterday AND it was on sale.  An interview isn’t complete without some new clothes.)

It’s finally starting to look like spring outside, even if it doesn’t feel like it quite yet.  The sun is shining today and there are purple and yellow tulips struggling to come up in my front yard.  I just wish it was a little bit warmer so I could sit outside.  The Cherry Blossom is coming up in a couple weeks, and even though I’ve lived in the DC area for almost 6 years, I’ve never gone down to the Mall to take part in any of the festivities.  I think that’s got to change!

My Dad and I were chatting last week about technology.  I just became the proud owner of a BlackBerry Storm, and, thanks to Verizon’s current 2-for-1 deal, my Dad has a BlackBerry now too.  He’d been unhappy with his Treo for quite sometime, but getting him to switch over to a new (and as far as I’m concerned, better) piece of technology was like pulling teeth.  We were at the Verizon store for THREE HOURS while he decided.  THREE HOURS.


Now, my father works in technology, so I couldn’t quite figure out what the issue was.  At one point, while he was staring at one of the new smart phones with baffled longing, I asked him what the problem was.  “I’ve never felt so out of the loop technologically,” he said.  “I feel like all this has completely passed me by.”  This coming from the man who makes his own computers and stores servers in our basement.

As frustrated as I was by the BlackBerry incident, I actually understand where my Dad was coming from.  Though I feel like I’m generally on top of the newest iPod updates or computer trends, social networking tends to leave me scratching my head.  Facebook was my limit – MySpace, Friendster… no thanks.  Now that I’ve just joined Twitter, Linked In, and reentered the blogosphere, my head is spinning as I struggle to stay ahead of the curve.  So I ask all of you, what do you feel overwhelmed by?  Social networking?  Technology?

Since I lost my job back in January, I’ve been struggling to figure out a way to pay my student loans.  I had a tough enough time making ends meet as it was, and the total lack of income wasn’t making things any easier.  So, for the last few months, I’ve been thrown into the hazy world of the economic hardship forbearance.

I knew I couldn’t defer my loans (they make this option incredibly elusive – you need to either be in school, in the health care profession, or, I don’t know, dead.  That was a no go.)  Forbearances aren’t easy to navigate, either.  You have to jump through numerous paperwork hoops just to be considered.  And, in my case, I had to submit three separate sets of information for each of my private loans.  I chuckled a little when I saw one of my loans is still owned by Lehman Bros – I had no problem sending them paperwork telling them I was taking a break.  They have my tax dollars, they can wait a bit for the rest.

Just this evening I got an email from American Education Services regarding my interest statement.  Hmm, intriguing, since that stuff usually gets rolled into monthly payments.  Did this mean, YES!  YES, THEY APPROVED THE UNEMPLOYMENT FORBEARANCES!  After dodging creditor phone calls for two months, I can finally breathe a little bit easier.  And, bonus, I can stop dreading my voicemail messages.

I don’t think it’s possible to be more relieved than I am right now.   My credit report and I are very happy.

I seem to find myself with some time on my hands, so I thought I’d start a new blog.  New, you say?  Well, yes.  I’ve been blogging for quite sometime.  This venture, however, is going to be a little different from my old attempts, mostly because I’m hoping to write about things people actually care about.  Instead of, you know, drama.  (That’s not to say I won’t get dramatic from time to time – I just promise to do it in a way that is slightly less self-indulgent.)

Ok.  So.  Who am I?  I’m Whitney, I live outside DC, I’m currently unemployed, and I really want people to read my blog.  So tell your friends, grab a bag of popcorn, and get ready – I have a feeling this is going to be a fun ride.