Thursday, April 10, 2014

My Hippie Parents.

This week has been abbbbsolutely nuts!

In good ways, but crazy ways. First, the news about my fantastic new job! (See here, if you missed it.)

Second, been busy suddenly wrapping up my contract gig with Ralph Lauren on a week's notice. Thankfully my boss was SUPER nice about that time crunch, which took some weight off my shoulders! I love it when people are nice humans, even when they might have reason to be a little put off. Three cheers for nice humans!

Third, my car decided to overheat last week. You'd think that after 15 years of living (8 with me) and 208K miles, she'd have a little spark left in her, but noooooo. (Sarcasm. I know I'm lucky she's lived this long!) Anyway, point is, she needs *a lot* of repairs. I opted to just fix the essential ones and bought myself 2-3 more months so I can shop for a new one instead of sinking more money into the ol' gem. Quit while I'm ahead, ya know? Here's what else I know: I think most cars are ugly in their own various ways. I've never paid attention to cars, but now that I am, turns out I don't like most of them. haha. I'm working on that. And you know what? Not to be cliche, but I want a friggin' MINI Cooper. So now you know where my heart is.

Fourth, you're probably wondering why the title of this blog post is about my parents and I've yet to say anything about them at all. So we'll end on this note...

This morning, my mom posted this photo on Facebook and said, "I have never participated in TBT, throw back thursday, but here goes......"

I feel like this photo needs no more words. Thank you and goodnight.

Monday, April 7, 2014

And now I work at......!

(note: I am a contract employee via Adecco)

To me, Google is the Disneyland of employment.

Consistently ranked the #1 place to (amazing) food...happy, hard-working people...colorful bicycles...interesting decor all over the place (including a slide and a dinosaur)...conference rooms named after YouTube videos...nap pods...gyms...did I mention all the free meals...seriously, it is the ultimate dream. Like the magical unicorn of jobs. The energy on a Google campus feels like walking down the Main Street of Disneyland. And it's been *my* dream to find a way in, ever since I moved here and actually met people who work there, and discovered that no one from the inside had anything bad to say about it. IT REALLY IS AS MAGICAL AS THEY SAY.

So you can imagine my more-than-a-little-totally-over-the-moon excitement when I officially accepted a Google (contract via Adecco) job offer today!

I kid you not, I think I was prancercising down the streets of San Francisco when the phone call came. My role is in the People Operations (aka HR) arena, and it's a temporary gig for the next few months. (A HUGE thank you to my friends Brian and Anna for referring me and then pep-talking me through the interview process.)

I've had mooorrreee than my fill of temporary/contract gigs over the last year, so I've mostly avoided them like the plague as my Ralph Lauren gig drew to a close and I began looking for the next thing. But I always said that Google would be the one place I'd make an exception for on the contract/temporary front, just to get my foot in that magical unicorn door. (Let's be real, they probably have a door somewhere with a unicorn painted on it. I wouldn't be even slightly surprised.)

So, there you have it! I feel so grateful...and relieved! Oh my little heart, so relieved. The last year of my career life with all its ups and downs and hopes and rejections has seriously worn me emotionally thinner than thin. Like pancakes are thin, but then there's crepes. Like that kind of emotional thinness. (Look, Google didn't hire me for my analogy skills...just go with it.) I've been wanting/needing/hoping for a "win" for some time now. Win, indeed! Time to refatten my soul. (This analogy is getting weird, but...they do say the "Google 15" is a thing with all that free food. Can I apply it emotionally?)

I've had a few different potential job opportunities over the last month, and as I've navigated the interview processes I've really been praying and trying to focus on my gut feeling. And when a couple sort-of-OK job offers came, I considered each of them....but my overwhelming, clear feeling was "Just keep waiting." And I was like "I'm hella tired of waiting, but gosh, OK." And when the chance to interview with Google came, I was a little afraid. Because, I went through 6 rounds of interviews with them last year only to get turned down -- and it kind of crushed my job-hunting soul at the time. But that little voice said, "This one is right," so I trusted that (and also threatened to throttle that little voice if it was lying to me) and went for it. And what do you know? Sometimes when life seems to shove you off a cliff, there is that safety net waiting after all :)

And now I will celebrate by getting crunk on apple juice, whatever that means...

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Giveaway. Glamping. G...engagement.

I guess I should start by saying I didn't actually go glamping (glam + camping = luxury camping with electricity and fancy house-tents = glamping), and no "engagements" doesn't actually start with a G.

But, oh well. Because, alliteration.

Here's some things that ARE true:

1. GIVEAWAY. The rafflecopter widget has spoken and there is a winner for my Anjolee Jewelry giveaway! (drumroll please) The winner is.............Kristin C., AND a great story! Because actually, the rafflectoper widget proclaimed Derrelyn P. the winner. Here's the great story that will give you all the feels: I emailed Derrelyn to tell her that she won, and she was all capital-letter excited about being a winner....BUT, admitted she actually isn't a jewelry person. And then, asked if she could give her winning entry to Kristin, mama of adorable twin boyz and a little girl on the way, because "I have a feeling she would love the heck out of this, plus she could really use something to make her pregnant self feel extra beautiful right about now." I mean....all the feels, right? Since I was making the rules, I decided that giving someone else your winning entry is absolutely acceptable. And so I got to write a really nice email that made Kristin's day. And then my day was also made in the process. Derrelyn, you won life this week!

2. CAMPING. On Friday I up and left town. Unplugged, turned my phone off, left town, went into the woods, and....I realize this is starting to sound like the beginning of a bad horror film. If the horror film was titled "It was all awesomely fun but the night temps were so hellishly cold that I slept not a wink and the birds were really loud" then yes, it was a horror film. Luckily, all the parts besides the freezing/not-sleeping aspects were so top notch that it all evened out in the end. Also, I climbed a tree. You may enjoy some photos below! If you have trouble finding me, I'm the one hiking in the unearthly neon shirt.

3. ENGAGEMENT. My bestest best bestie, Kelsey, has a ring on her finger! (A good ring, see it HERE.) Although it happened last night, that precious soul decided to announce it to the world today, on April 1, because she likes to be difficult. Ha. But, it's true! She's engaged. And I would say a lot of nice things about how I met her my freshman year of college, 9 years ago, and we still talk every single day like our lives depend on it (because they do), and I'd also add some smushy thoughts about how she and her beau are just my favorite people together and they've been dating for 3 years and I am just so so so happy but.....if I were to get into all of that, it would probably turn into multiple paragraphs of nonsensical inside jokes about Celine Dion and my eyes would start leaking and you'd all awkwardly leave the room. So mostly, just BE EXCITED and stay tuned for more rambling about that as the wedding approaches in June. Bridesmaid Round 14, baby! (Who are we kidding, I've had my dress for 3 months now.)

And now here's some camping photos. kbyyyyye

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Saying Goodbye to Guilt

I have reached some kind of emotional-health zen.

Let me 'splain. So, in the past I had a crushing tendency to aim for perfection and then beat myself over the head with my shortcomings. We're talking, regular cry sessions on my knees at night because I just wasn't measuring up and felt like I needed to apologize to God for the numerous ways in which I was obviously a terrible person. (Anyone feelin' me?)

Don't get me wrong, it's good to have a healthy conscious. It's good to have personal morals. It's good to make path corrections when your choices aren't lining up with those morals. BUT. Sometimes I think that too easily turns into a hyper-focus on all the ways in which you are falling short. It too easily causes us to link our inherent worth to which choices we did or didn't make on a given day. I know that's what it easily/often became for me.

And then something remarkable happened.

With all the chaos of the last year of my life, my brain had about as much weighing on it as it possibly could. So much to process, so much to decide, so much to analyze, and SO.MANY.FEELINGS. A month or two ago, I felt like my brain was about to crack under all of it. Something had to to give...and something did. I did choose to give up something important.

I gave up guilt, and I gave up shame.

I reached a point where I was just simply tired of feeling guilty all the time. I didn't suddenly run out and abandon all my personal standards and embrace riotous living and tell myself I could do whatever-the-eff I wanted, don't get me wrong. I just...eliminated guilt. I did away with it. I just let myself make choices, trusted that I was making them with the best intentions of my heart (or sometimes with petulance and blatant selfishness, because I'm human), and then refused to acknowledge or entertain thoughts about whether or not that made me a good or bad person. Just honest, authentic choices from someone who's trying to be an honest, authentic person, whatever that looks like on a given day.

In short, I started giving myself permission to be myself.

I'm pretty open-minded about other people's lives. Friends can tell me the most sad or horrible things about themselves, and it usually doesn't faze me or change my opinion of them as someone I love and care about. My reaction is usually somewhere along the lines of "So?" or "And..?" Why wasn't I ever doing that for myself, too? Why not be open-minded and forgiving about my own life?

In a religious sense, I've stopped approaching God as an ashamed, apologetic version of myself. Instead, I've started coming to Him Just me, with all my ups and downs, just one complete whole with varying parts. Just one complete, GOOD, whole. One whole circle that doesn't have shameful pieces hiding off to the side, but rather has all the various parts inside one bigger, GOOD circle. All different parts, all one good whole. I'm learning to look at myself and say, "I am a good person, AND I have less desirable moments or traits or habits. And that's OK. My heart is still good, and I'm trying my best." Because I honestly believe that is how God looks at me, too. He sees my mistakes. He sees my best and my worst. And just like a good friend and a good parent, it doesn't change my value in His eyes. It doesn't make me lesser, or worthless, or something to be ashamed of.

I've long been taught that I don't need to earn God's love, or earn my inherent worth. I'm finally starting to believe that. And, I'm finally learning that I don't have to earn my own love either.

I challenge you to try it: The next time you feel worthless, guilty, ashamed, etc., simply turn and look at yourself, as a friend, and say, "So?" The next time you're nitpicking every little piece of your day and feeling bad about this or that, shrug your shoulders and say, "And...?" Then remember that you are still good.......and let it all go out the window.

It's like magic: I am allowing myself to be imperfect, and I have honestly, finally, never felt better about who I am.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My First 12 Hours on Tinder

Sometimes when you're curious about something, you just gotta do it.

Like that one time when I wondered if it would be socially unacceptable to take pics in a photo booth by I felt compelled to go ahead and do it. (Evidence.) (Please don't quote me on my curiosity logic and use it as a reason to try drugs or criminal activity.)

I've had a similar approach to Tinder. Don't know what it is? It's like online dating....but it's an app. Basically, you scroll through pictures of people in the gender/age-range/proximity of your choosing, and you swipe right if you like them, left if you don't. Sound shallow?'s what we do in real life anyway when we scan a crowd.

After my first (brief) foray into technological dating a couple years ago, I kind of swore it off.

I've had friends get married from online dating, but I'm not sure the cyber-introductions are for me, even if it's really not so different than meeting someone at a party or on the train or whatever, in the end. But after evvvverrrryyyyone I knew started using Tinder (and reporting good/benign things, mostly), that gnawing curiosity took over I am!

Most likely scenario? It'll fascinate me for a week or two and then I'll lose interest like I do with most new apps on my phone. But in the meantime, why not? It's like this cultural phenomenon that I must try.

My reaction thus far:

  • Really makes me aware that I only find like 1/40 men attractive. We all have our type, so I'm not totally surprised/ashamed by that. Beards, plaid, hipsters, tacos, good taste in music and 90s TV/! (Tinder tells you if you have any Facebook interests or friends in common, which is a neat bonus.)
  • I'm really not into guys who want to tell me what to do, e.g. "Swipe right, you know you want to." I? Maybe. But I might go left just to spite you, bossypants.
  • It really is harmless and less intimidating than other dating sites seem to be. I have mentioned on the ol' blog that I'm a little soured on dating in general right now...but maybe what I need is something less serious to remind me that dating can be fun, so I'll stop choosing Netflix and sneaking-out-side-doors-of-parties over flirting. (Baby steps.)
  • You can tell a lot about someone from the types of pictures they choose to post...or so it seems. Makes me wonder what someone would think about me if they didn't know me and just saw my pictures/brief bio. Do I represent myself accurately?
  • Poor grammar is a big turnoff for me. (That's no surprise, let's be real.) I mean, we all make mistakes...and I'll probably ironically have a typo somewhere in this post just so the universe can spite me. But...some of us make more mistakes than others. Moving onnnn.
  • I'm paranoid I'll match with someone who I end up working with at a future job. Don't get me wrong, it would be hilarious. "Hi, deskmate. I'm glad we find each other attractive." Team unity, right off the bat.
  • I get most excited when I see someone I know on there. I want to swipe right just to say hello, even though I could say hello in real life. So maybe I'm missing the point. Shrug?
The funny part for me, still, (and what I expected I would encounter) is that I'm not sure what to do with myself when I match with someone. I'm just not fully sold on the idea that random virtual chatting is for me. I have all these matches sitting in my inbox and only one of them has said anything to me. And now...? Am I supposed to talk first? Or do we just go silently on our way, enjoying the fact that we just validated each other? How does this work?

Basically these are my feelings:

...bahaha. Like I said, good adventure. Stories to come, I'm sure.

Do you Tinder?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Anjolee Jewelry Giveaway

Who doesn't like things that are sparkly and free??

I'm beyond amped to be teaming up with Anjolee - The Art of Jewelry to offer one of you lucky ducks the chance to win a shmancy new piece of jewelry! If you win, you'll have your choice of the three options below, set in silver with the option of cubic zirconia, topaz, citrine, garnet or amethyst as the stone. *insert some kind of happy Irish jig*

Be sure to check out the full collection of customizable jewelry and engagement rings that Anjolee offers!

So head to the widget below and enter away!

1. Enchantment Bridal Set
2. Eternity Band
3. Romantic Stud Earrings

Giveaway ends on Friday, March 28!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

movies: The Giver trailer

Are you a fan of the book The Giver?

This was one of the first novels I read as a wee, I think I hate that a young child. It was one of the first dystopian novels....a la Hunger Games, Divergent, etc...before that genre really exploded. I always loved it, so the idea of a movie adaptation made me oh-so-happy!

...and then I saw the trailer. 

So...there's new dialogue and attractive teenage characters and...color....and...alien abductions...? ...? What? On a positive note, if they are going to age Jonas by several years at least he's nice to look at. This article used the words "Aussie" and "strapping." *throws book out the window* *buys movie ticket and popcorn*

Mostly, I'm worried this will be an attempt at being like Hunger Games that isn't as good at the Hunger Games type of movie and then everyone will think it's just a lame movie that tried to be Hunger Games. Look, I like HG. I do. But I would have preferred to see The Giver as some kind of artsy indie film. One with good music and things that provoke thought. But for now we have Aussies and alien light beams, I suppose.

I guess there's always hope? Now you watch it and tell me what you think:

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