Friday, May 22, 2015

Things I Forgot Before Traveling Today

Originally written on 4/21/15

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- My I.D.
- My phone charger
- My black pumps
- My lip moisturizer. Lipstick is not moisturizing. I'm dry as hell out in here in New York. 

I remembered soap and deodorant though because freshness.

More on this tomorrow.

BECAUSE I'M HAPPY!

I am so happy right now. I was out for my girl's birthday yesterday and everyone was like you have the JuJu... I feel like I'm glowing. So friggin' happy! I'm going to try to write a top 10, but who knows if I'll be able to stop...

10. I LIVE IN NEW YORK! I feel like I live in a movie. Every day I walk to the train in Harlem like "pinch me."

9. I have a new job. Work is work, but NEW work is amazing. I'm happy to be back in the land of the gainfully employed.

8. I get paid at the end of the month. I thought I was going to have to wait until June 15, but nope. Money goals coming back into focus!!!

7. I have a new apartment. I'm sitting in my friend's apartment writing this blog post. #FreeWifi The movers won't be at my new place until 1:30 p.m., but I got my keys this morning and it's NICE! It's better than I remembered it in my head. I'm so happy about it!

6. I have new clothes. Listen, I couldn't start a new job with too-tight and/or outdated clothes. In PR, how you look is important. I didn't go ham at the mall or anything, but every time I pick something up, I pop a tag and I'm SO happy about it.

5. I SEE BLACK PEOPLE! Everywhere. At work. In Harlem. On the train. At the bars. ALL! OVER! THE! PLACE! I am not the only Black person in the room anymore ever.

4. I know nothing. Moving to New York will let you know you know nothing about what you thought you knew. I'm like a sponge, soaking up all the education.

3. McDonald's gave me two hashbrowns today when I only ordered one. The responsible thing to do would be to throw one away. But I ate it...

2. I'm overweight [for my size]. I'm happy because I don't care. I don't care because I'm happy. When I get back in the gym, it'll be because I want to be strong to lug my laptop up and down subway stairs in NYC, not because I want a flat stomach. I'm about this flowy shirt, maxi skirt life. I also sometimes feel like more of a woman when I'm at a higher weight. Like I was a child for the first um.. I dunno... 28 years of my life. I'm squishy and I like it! 

1. I'm going to Chicago tonight! Grits and Biscuits tonight, fresh off the plane with 4 Southwest drinks tickets in my purse. Day Party to celebrate all these Gemini birthdays Saturday. Wedding of the Century Sunday and chill time with my sick grandmother on Monday. Doesn't matter where I reside, Chicago is my home and makes my heart happy.

Bonus: I saw um... four Chicagoans last night. Because Chicago is everywhee. And we find each other and we party together in different cities and it feels like home, but better.

I'm so friggin' HAPPY!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

I Hate *Unnamed* Airlines

Originally written on 4/21/15

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I'm leaving for New York this morning for interview number several with one of the five companies I'm interviewing with in New York. They paid for the flight, so I didn't tell them that I would prefer to fly American or Southwest. I'm trying to practice being gracious.

I wake up to a text message saying my flight has moved from 6 a.m. to 7:23 a.m. 1. Thanks for the text, but 2. What the fuck? What if I had a 9 a.m. meeting? Don't they understand people traveling this early are traveling for business.

I know things happen, but I swear things happen MORE on *Unnamed* than on any other airline. I have no patience for people or companies who don't work on their craft. If UPS can master logistics, clearly *Unnamed* can figure out a way to get flights out on time. This is a big part of why I stopped dealing with them in the first place.

Now the car service has to wait downstairs for me for an hour and a half because there's no way I'm leaving at 4:30 a.m. for a flight that doesn't leave until 7:23 a.m.

Shout out to the Pittsburgh airport for being so easy to get through that I can show up an hour before my flight and still make it. #SilverLining

I'm going back to sleep.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Tea's Tangents: Unemployement Edition

Originally written on 4/11/15

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1. Procrastination is the devil. I also participate in active procrastination to try to trick myself into thinking that's not what it is. For example, I went to the doctor and had lunch with a former coworker [and took a nap] before I got my day started today. BUT since today is the day before I travel, I probably should have rescheduled both of those appointments and skipped that luxurious nap to fully focus on preparing for these interviews.

2. I thought my flight was leaving at 2:30 and it's actually arriving in New York at 2:30, which means instead of leaving at 12:30 p.m., I now need to leave at about 11 a.m. and the number of things I need to do before now and then is just...

3. Meanwhile, I still sat down to write down my thoughts because I can't Tweet them because I don't want people asking me what I'm doing in New York and I have to say interviewing because I don't have a job. 

4. Trying to pack for a trip when you have given no thought whatsoever to how your weight gain has affected your work clothes, BUT you also cannot buy anything because you are not employed... is the pits. I'm about to be sucking it in for 7 straight days. I'm seriously considering buying maternity pants for my everyday flow. I need a belly pocket too. I just want to be comf-table.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

It started with an invitation

Originally written on 3/31/15

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Yesterday, I got a wedding invitation in the mail. It was gorgeous. Classic, traditional, elegant. I couldn't wait to RSVP.

A quick survey of my closet indicated that I'd need to purchase a dress (or maybe even a gown because it's an evening wedding) and I IMMEDIATELY got online. After exhausting myself on RentTheRunway, Ebay, Maggy London, Badgley Mischka and a host of other sites. I decided on two styles of dress that I MAY wear to this wedding.

Then today, I borrowed a friend's car to go to the dentist and found myself on errands, amongst those, taming these brows. Do you know I went in about a month ago and Hanna (brow threader at La Biotique in the Monroeville Mall)... Yes, I know they were shooting in the mall, but seriously, where else am I going to get my brows done in Pittsburgh.

I digress.

A month ago Hanna told me I'd messed up the shape of my brows so bad that she couldn't even clean them up.

I had to go to Sephora, buy some brow powder and fill them in for a month and ACT like I didn't notice the monstrosity on my face. It was real Bert from Sesame Street level horrible.

Back to the story.

So brow place is at the mall, the mall is near DSW. I need shoes to go with this imaginary dress I'm buying. And perhaps shoes will help me pick between the two imaginary dresses I'm buying.

I proceeded to play a game called "If I wasn't unemployed, how many pairs of shoes would I buy today?" The answer was four, maybe five. Maybe three. If I was feeling sensible, but probably not, there wee some great deals: Cole Haan loafers for $60. And there's no tax on shoes or clothes in Pittsburgh. I about cried putting those back in the box.

So I leave out of their unscathed, but I still need some cute flat shoes that are not flip flops for the upcoming bachelorette party that's in New Orleans in less that three weeks (related to the wedding in less that two months).

I get online looking for some shoes that I saw in DSW LAST YEAR and left them there being "responsible" and boy, I'm not doing that anymore. They next time I have a job and want something, I'm buying it.

So thanks to the lovely internet, I track them or their knockoffs down at Bakers and they are $84.99 and I cannot spend $84.99 on anything frivolous when I do not have an income and I am sad. If they were $25.99, I would have been all over that and taken it out of my grocery budget. I'd be all... #MeatlessMondays What?

So now, I'm going to be flip-flopping it up in New Orleans like a peasant without cute, strappy, rhinestoned footwear, but the moment I have an income, I'm buying these shoes. And not even because I want them so bad. It's because I want them NOW and I can't have them. So I will have them later. (I clearly have issues with rejection, denial and the word no in general. I feel like one of those girls on Ricki Lake talmbout "You shunned me in kindergarten, but look at me now." Pray for me.)

UPDATE: Now that I have a job, I really don't want these shoes. I bought some other stuff I wanted though. :-)

Taken For Granted: Employer Costs

Originally written on 4/7/15.

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I just got my water/sewer bill and it is 150% of what it was last month (the last bill I had before I lost my job). What's worst is that this bill I'm looking at includes 2 weeks that I was out of town.

I completely took for granted the fact that I wasn't cooking breakfast and lunch at home and running the dishwasher and the laundry machine daily while I was at work. All my trash. All my dishwashing were paid for by the gig.

Add that to these healthcare costs:

Obamacare is awesome, but my copays are higher because I picked a midrange plan vs. an expensive plan that cost about as much as COBRA.

Then add that to the fact that I no longer have a tax-sheltered fund to pay for prescriptions and doctors visits. I paid out of pocket to go to the dentist chief. I was like we're not doing X-rays until I'm an employee again. Eff that. Scrub me white, then I'm out of here!

So yeah, the next time I have a job, I will be thanking God line by line for all of these things that I never quite considered as "costs" or "low cost" because I always had them.

After I get a job and sing grateful at church, it's going to have a new meaning.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Get Humble

Originally written on 4/4/15.

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I went out for a friend's birthday last night in Pittsburgh. The pickings are so slim that we ended up in a club that's really for college students and has no discernible dress code. I seriously saw a woman with a McCutchen jersey on and a man in a jogging suit amongst other things that FURTHER let me know that Hulu Plus would have been a better look.

But, I'm a good friend, so I subjected myself to it. Sidenote: In 2016, I may really stop going to places I don't want to go whether it's someone's birthday or not. It's SO hard to do, but I wonder if I waste my life away doing stuff I don't want to do under the guise of supporting others. Like are they going to quit me if I don't go to their birthday party. I think no. 

I digress.

So somewhere on this blog, I've written about how I hate DJs calling out the dumbest stuff on the mic. I believe I said something like:

"The DJ said 'if you have a job and make more than $25,000, MAKES SOME NOISE,' but if you DON'T have a job and/or if you make less than $25,000 a year, you shouldn't even be at the club. Like, why are you consuming anything that isn't essential if you don't make more than $25,000 a year?"

Of course, I'm out at this place with teeny boppers and the DJ says the same thing "If you have a job, if you make more $30,000 a year, if you have XXX in your pocket, MAKE SOME NOISE!"

It was at this moment that I realized that I'm a judgmental jerk. And for all the people I want to ride out of my pockets, I spend a lot of time assigning meaning to what other people have a don't have. 

The DJ at this wack club called out these meager stats and I couldn't even fist pump to them. I was in there looking at my shoes. I wanted to be like, but I have a healthy savings account and a strong IRA. I have good credit and lots of earning potential. I'm just in between jobs right now. This is really what I was thinking.

God humbled me last night. Even though, it seems to be in contrast to my core and who I am as a person, it's my goal to keep this humility with me in my future dealings. Everything happens for a reason and if the only reason for me to be unemployed was to humble me, that's reason enough.

Thankful for the opportunity to have a new perspective.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Bum's Log: 2 Months

Originally written on 3/27/15

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I've been unemployed for two months. It went by so fast. I sometimes wonder what I do all day with the 8-12 hours I would have been working. Well... 

I've traveled.
I've networked.
I've applied for 74 relevant positions and had 13 interviews (and had two noncommittal meetings, that were NOT interviews)
I've rediscovered the joy of daily naps.
I've been a TV junkie.
I've done bikram... twice. 
I've unsubscribed from every irrelevant email listserv, as my nerves can no longer stand having to delete party pluggers, shopping coupons and boring newsletters while I'm waiting on interview invites.
I've shredded papers like I have something hide. Apparently my Verizon bills are G14 classified. 
I've entertained.
I've read for pleasure [this is how you know I'm bored].
I've prayed.
I've eaten.
I've searched my soul and explored my innermost desires.
I've cried.
I've slowed down.
I've volunteered.
I've sent birthday postcards.
I've given my hair way too much attention.
I've budgeted.
I've clean. Oh boy, have I cleaned.

I've dreamed.

Have you ever been unemployed? What'd you do?

Friday, May 15, 2015

Unemployment: A day in the life

Originally written on 3/26/15 

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Despite being sleep deprived today was a good day:

9 a.m. - Breakfast with my Pastor. I figured since I'm close to my Pastor I might as well take advantage of that relationship. I imagine if I had a relationship with my father or stepfather that I would go to breakfast and talk to them the way I did with my pastor. I'm grateful that he's standing in the gap.

11 a.m. - Picked up my computer, a Trader Joe's bag full of papers to shred and some nonprofit paperwork to head over to the church.

12:10 p.m. Wrapped up some questions for a grant my Pastor's applying for on behalf of the board I sit on.

12:30 p.m. Got a call from a millionaire who needs marketing help for his nonprofit. Random as ever. I sat next to him at a charitable breakfast about a year ago. While I thought he'd thrown my card in he trash, he remembered every detail of our conversation and wasn't shy about asking me for help. He also told me to send him my resume and he'd forward along to some folks locally. Apparently sitting in the house of the Lord, agrees with me.

1 p.m. - SHREDDED PAPERS! Y'ont know how I feel about it.

2 p.m. - Stopped shredding papers to prep for a phone interview.

2:30 p.m. - Took a phone interview from the sanctuary (the rest of my day had taken place in the church office)

3 p.m. - RESUMED SHREDDING PAPERS. Free therapy, I'm tryna tell ya!

4 p.m. - Ran downstairs to get some macaroni/tuna salad. Another good thing about being at church is there is ALWAYS food. ALWAYS!

4:30 p.m. Sent out four networking emails and confirmed one interview for Monday.

5 p.m. Started prep for our nonprofit board meeting.

6 p.m. Board meeting.

7 p.m. Ate Dinner

8 p.m. Worked out

9 p.m. Crashed

I can't wait for the weekend y'all. I've really "worked" for it this week!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Kids Keep Me Young...

I love Humans of New York. It is by far the best display of diversity I've ever seen. It really tells you people's stories in one of the most diverse metropolises of our nation. So I came across this post, where a teacher says he does everything his students do (socially), so that they can know he's interested in them BEFORE they have a problem. Man, that's simple, but it's genius.

Fortunately, I saw this the right before I took Joy to Red Lobster for our farewell/she's just pregnant and hungry dinner. So instead of trying to play my gospel station (LOL!), I let her play her music in the car.

Kids will put you up on that new new. For the record all my juvenile delinquent girls LOVE Chief Keef. Joy thinks he's cute. (How you know she needs my help and guidance). But I let her cook. We listened to this so many times in the car that I started boppin' to it and downloaded it.

It's so bad that you have to watch YouTube with the lyrics to even know what they're saying. It's so bad, that Tank, my ratchet music connoisseur said he couldn't listen to more than 45 seconds of it. It's misogynistic, promotes promiscuity, drug use and probably low self-esteem.

BUT it gave me a way to connect to Joy and it's still banging in my headphones. I present to you Decline. For every fool who ever hit your phone that can't take a hint.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Saddest Post I Ever Wrote

It's Friday morning, I get up early, like I have to go to work and go get my nails done. Because it's my job to be pretty. *insert cute brown girl emoji here*

In Evernote, I have a list of things to do to prepare to move to New York. They range from get Renter's Insurance to get absentee ballot in Pittsburgh, since I'll miss the local election on May 19. I get off the bus with freshly manicured nails and toes right in front of the county building to go vote and my phone rings. It's some 412 number I don't know.

I pick up. I'm in a good mood. My nails are fly. My to-do list is getting beasted, I'm about to go exercise my American right to vote and I was going to try a new restaurant for lunch. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Hello
Ashley: Hi Ms. T., this is Ms. Ashley from the Group Home.
Me: Hey Ms. Ashley, how are you?
Ashley: Well, we're really sad today.
Me: *Thinking, yeah you are, I'm moving to New York, who wouldn't be sad about that*
Ashley: Well, I wanted to give you a call so you wouldn't see it on the news. You haven't seen the news, have you?
Me: No, I'm getting ready to move to New York, I haven't been paying attention to much locally.
Ashley: Well, there was news last night of two women being found in a home in the East Hills.
Me: Uh huh.
Ashley: And one of those women was one of our girls.
Me: Oh my God. Oh no. I am so sorry to hear that. Who? WHICH GIRL?
Ashley: Tionna, I don't know if you know her, she was kind of quiet.
Me: Tall, a little heavier, kind of soft-spoken, she had a newborn baby? Yeah, I know her. She likes to workout. She used to put her son in his bouncy seat and workout before dinner. Yeah, I know her.
Ashley: Well, she passed away and we didn't want you to see it on the news. We know how close you are to the girls and wanted to let you know.

That's the conversation. That's the call I got on Friday. I asked if I could be of service, to come over and console the girls or hug them or listen to them or whatever they needed. They were only allowing crisis staff in the house that day. I understood.

And I googled the news and I saw it. And I called Mrs. Grayson (my Pittsburgh mom) to see if she was in court (She's a lawyer) because I was sitting on the side of the court unable to move and crying uncontrollably, but she wasn't in court. Then I called my Pastor and unfortunately, he gets these calls of death and despair all too often. And he said he would pray for me and he did. And I called my homeboy. And he read the article to me and answered my questions about the facts because even though I saw it, my eyes couldn't make out the words. And he was at work, but he listened to me cry.

And I updated my Facebook status to see if anyone was around for a hug. Because I REALLY needed a hug.

Then I willed myself to go vote because it was the only time I had to do it. And the only thing to keep me from voting is my own death. So I walked into the county building, tears streaming down my face and shaking and I voted. And no one consoled me. Because as heavy as this is, I imagine people going in and out of courts and the county building have all kinds of heavy things going on, so maybe it wasn't odd to see a woman crying uncontrollably.

And I knew I had to eat. I didn't want to try the new restaurant anymore. I wanted a pizza. A whole pizza. I didn't have an appetite, but I knew I could eat that. I walked to Domino's and they didn't have any pizzas ready, so I ordered 5 individual slices and went home. It was 2 p.m. by the time I got home. I got the call at about noon. It took me 2 hours to walk six blocks. I was a zombie. I just wanted to lay on the ground and die.

I had to show someone my apartment. I told them I was mourning the loss of a loved one, but willing to show them around. That happened.

Then I got up and went to a girlfriend's house. She had seen my Facebook status and said she was working from home and could she do anything? I took an Uber to her. That poor driver. He tried to talk to me and I just said, not today. Today is a horrible day and I don't want to talk about it.

I got to her apartment and collapsed in her arms. My tears streamed down her body and she just held me. We're not even that close, but I thank God for her. It took me three hours to get to that hug and it was all I needed.

As fate would have it, I had an appointment with my therapist at 4:30, so I went to that. Cried again. Acknowledged all of this sadness, but caught her up on all of the happiness I was feeling before I got that call and was reminded that I can be both happy and sad. I do not have to choose one over the other. 

I walked from my therapist's office to meet my girls for drinks. I had sent out a text at like 8am that day asking what was popping after work, then by the time 5 p.m. came I kept going back and forth from I want to lay on my floor and die to I want to be on a rooftop with a mojito. Dark liquor would have taken me to a bad, bad place.

I opted to hang with my girls. We went to three different places looking for a rooftop (third place had it) and a mojito (nowhere in Pittsburgh makes mojitos. This stupid, stupid city.) I finally gave in to wanting to be alone at about 8:45p.m. then I slept. Lord, did I sleep.

Saturday morning, I was awakened by a Facetime from two fools who made me laugh for an hour straight. Thanks Dion and Mike, I love you both more than you know! 

As I write this, I feel much better now, Wednesday, a few days later. The funeral is Friday. I am not going and that's ok. I checked in with the girls at the house. They are clearly sad. Joy, my one-on-one mentee, said that she feels like it's not real, like it's TV or a movie or something. And it will feel real to her after the funeral on Friday.

The hardest part is knowing that I've done all I can do. I can't mentor away violence. I can't protect these girls from the world. The day I found out, I felt so guilty for my success. I have all this goodness happening in my life and I just wanted to trade it all to get Tionna back. I would be poor for the rest of my life to see that child again. I know that favor is not fair, but some days I just want to give some of mine away to help other people. But, life doesn't work like that. I am sure that I am what God needs me to be in the lives of these girls, but this murder has changed my life forever.

I pray like a parent now. I call every girl's name in prayer and pray that she is alive, well and no harm or violence comes to her. I pray that everyone I know or encounter is blessed and protected. I pray I NEVER get a call like that EVER again. 

I love you all, but I'm disabling the comments. I can say with some certainty that 1) you are SO sorry this happened, 2) you have me, Tionna's family and my girls in the group home in your prayers and if there's anything you can do, that you want me to let you know. Sometimes condolences make me sadder, so thank you in advance, but let's just talk about happy stuff, ok?

One more thing: They CONSISTENTLY pronounced her name wrong on the news reports, which is why, amongst other reasons, I stopped following the story. It upsets me to no end. It also underscores the sad fact that she didn't have a lot of family. Family would have corrected the reporter. For your information, it is pronounced TEE-AHN-NAH. Not TIE-OWN-NAH. If I die and you let the news mispronounce my name, I will haunt you in your waking moments and in your nightmares. Believe that. 

aijuswannasleep

Originally written on 3/26/16

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I looked back at my blog and on March 2nd, I talked about not being able to sleep. Waking up at about 3:30 in the morning and not being able to go back to sleep.

Somewhere between then and now, I've been able to sleep 7, 8, sometimes even 10 hours each night. This feels amazing. While I can't exactly pull myself out of bed before 8 a.m. (I tried and it's like nah...), I am pleased to once again get a full night's sleep.

Or I WAS pleased with a full night's sleep until yesterday, when I woke up at 3:30 in the morning and couldn't go back to sleep until about 7. Then I woke up and 9, rolled over and didn't wake up again until 12:50.

Today I woke up at about 3:15 a.m. I have to be somewhere at 9 a.m., so I'm not going to sleep in until 1 p.m. again like yesterday. I'm already tired thinking about the nap I can't take today.

Whenever I hear preachers talking about being up at the crack of dawn, they say it's a call from God. A call for prayer. Strangely, I don't feel like that's the call I'm getting. I pray every day. I pray long, specific prayers every day, so I'm not convinced that God is waking me up in the middle of the night to talk to Him again. But I guess if you love someone you probably talk to them more than once a day.

Maybe it IS prayer time. Whatever time it is, it's not going to sleep time and for that I am sad.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Blessings of Unemployment

Originally written on 3/25/15

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Today, I volunteered at Family House. Now, I usually volunteer at the Shadyside House, but I haven't been able to sign up in a timely fashion because I never know when I'm going to have an interview out of town. So I hit the volunteer coordinator up on Monday to see if she still needed a Shadyside volunteer on from 10-2 on Wednesday. She didn't, but as fate would have it, someone had just dropped out and she ask if I could go to Neville. AND could I go 10-2, same shift ACTUALLY, 12-4, No, Actually, 2-6.

I wish I could say I WANTED to go to Neville. I didn't. It's off of my bus route. I got lost going and had to pay twice on the bus (a real issue when you don't have a job) and when I got there, I had to wait about 15 minutes for the current manager to show me around the house. *I'M* supposed to know how to show people around the house. That's part of my job description as a volunteer. When I first arrived, I felt like more of a nuisance than a help.

But then something amazing happened. I slowed down and helped two people to their rooms that day. They didn't need help with their bags and they didn't really even need to know where to go. What they needed was to see a helpful friendly face welcome them to a warm place during a difficult time. They needed someone to talk to about their drive in and how nice it was to have a place to go while they awaited their wife's and their own medical procedures, respectively. They needed me to just show up, slow down and be myself.

Then another thing happened. I was fasting for Lent today (no food on Wednesdays until 6 p.m.), so I brought my dinner and planned to eat it in the kitchen at 6 p.m. when my shift was over. But some students from the Circle K Club at DuQuesne University made noodle stir fry for the guests and volunteers... and guess what time dinnertime was, 6 p.m.

So I sat at the table with the patients and families of patients battling terminal illnesses or awaiting surgeries or transplants and we had dinner like a family. And we watched and discussed the 6 p.m. news. And they asked me about the cold winters in Chicago. And they told me what it's like to live in the sticks of Virginia or West Virginia or Pennsylvania and how how Pittsburgh is too fast for their tastes.

One woman, about 70 years old, who was sick and by herself... She took a liking to me and I had the chance to talk to her until she went up to her room for the night. This woman asked me if there was a Christian cancer pamphlet because her neighbor was recently given a terminal diagnosis and when she got back home she wanted to share support with him and his wife. (The pamphlet sitting out at the desk was for Jewish folks and she didn't want to impose.)

I don't know all of these guest's stories and I don't know their outcomes, but I know I was exactly where I was supposed to be today. And if I had a job, not only would I have NOT been available on a weekday, and NOT have been flexible to switch houses, but I DEFINITELY would not have had time to sit and fellowship with the guests.

Days like today remind me what a blessing it can be to be unemployed. And it's days like today that I hope I remember most when I get back to the grind.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Today was a good day!

Originally written on 3/16/15.

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Last weekend, I forced myself to finish House of Cards, so I wouldn't be left out of any conversations. This weekend, I forced myself watch the Good Wife to catch up to the network airing (I didn't catch up. I had to buy CBS All Access Pass to watch Season 6, then I was about two episodes away from being done when the live show aired. I finished this morning). I digress. While I was forcing myself to watch TV, I somehow got really motivated to not just job search, but to do all the other work-like things on my to-do list and to participate fully in life (vs. hiding from life on the couch with ice cream and cookies).

I decided from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. M-F, this week, I'd "work" and then after 5 p.m. I could get back to being a couch potato or whatever.

So I have a list of 111 Pittsburgh restaurants (and counting) and today I decided I'm going to start knocking those restaurants off of my list whether people want to join me or not. A lot of them are walking distance from my house AND lunch is cheaper than dinner AND I REALLY need to get out of the house these days, so the first such outing went extremely well.

Today, it was 70 degrees outside (in the middle of March). I did EVERYTHING on my to-do list, explored a neighborhood close to my home that I rarely visit, ate at a restaurant I'd never eaten at before and allowed myself to both be happy and experience joy, no matter what my job status.

While doing so, I came across this gem here and laughed uncontrollably:


Today was a good day!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Unemployment: By The Numbers*

Originally written on 3/15/15

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143: Episodes of the Good Wife that I've watched since I lost my job
56: Jobs I've applied to
49: Days I've been unemployed
10: Interviews I've had 
3: Cities I've visited since that fateful January day 
2: Number of times I've been on the phone with the unemployment office this morning because who cares about accuracy when it comes to paying my bills...
1: Mind I lost

*This post seemed a lot more interesting when I started to write it, but after I finished it fell flat. But, I already wrote it, so I'm posting it. This asterisk either represents "I'm sorry" or "you're welcome," depending on how you feel about the post.