currently november 2018

Currently Reading: The Prestige by Christopher Priest. This one wasn’t on the list I posted a month ago. I was talking about how much I loved the movie version at the bar, and a customer said the book was incredible. He found his copy for me and let me borrow it. I finished First Fiction last week, and I was eager to start The Prestige. First Fiction was very good. I wish I was more familiar with some of the authors because I really enjoyed some of the stories. I tend to like short stories that are about mental health or stories that cast a curious light on seemingly average people or scenes. I listed some of my favorite stories here.

Currently Listening To: Use Me by The Goo Goo Dolls

Currently Watching: A Series of Unfortunate Events

Currently Loving: My Roomba and slow cooker. I listened to Jenna Kutcher’s podcast regularly for a few weeks, and something I kept hearing was that she “outsources” to get more done in her business and in her personal life. I’m the kind of person to do something for myself. I prefer to cook at home and fix things myself. While I don’t run my own business, I do work 56 hrs a week, and with the new position I accepted, I will be driving for 7.5 hrs a week. I think the Roomba and slow cooker are my little way of “outsourcing.” These two machines make life a little easier. BTW – I bought a certified refurbished Roomba using my “fun” money and I couldn’t be happier with it.

Currently Thankful For: A new opportunity at a stable company. It’s only temporary, but I feel good about it.

Currently Celebrating: Friends and family.

Currently Thinking: Christmas presents. I need to buy Christmas presents.

Currently Worrying: I need two new tires. Fun stuff.

Currently Hoping: The weather stays decent for driving to work.

Currently Considering: I lost my six-month diet bet. I’m really disappointed, and I went through a phase where I wanted to be done looking at the scale. I want to do Keto for 21 days without any weighing myself or counting anything. I just want to add more protein and cut carbs blindly and see how I feel.

Currently Trying: I did two holiday craft shows in November, and I learned that if I could sell enough art to pay for the hobby, I would be happy. My mom and I are splitting a booth next Sunday, and I am hopeful that this show will be a little more lucrative.

Currently Painting: Poinsettias.

Currently Knitting: A beautiful ribbed scarf. I’m loving how the knit pattern looks.

To my friends and family that follow along, sorry for going silent for a month! My routine should be seeing a vast improvement now that I’m no longer at my old position.

<3 Hannah

uncertainty vs. opportunity

About three months ago, I wrote this. In it, I explained that I am where I am because I made the best choice I could. I stopped asking, “Is this the path I’m supposed to take?” I chose based on what I know for a fact. I act with intention even though I can’t possibly foresee every outcome. A podcast I listened to over a year ago compared this way of living to way-finding. He argued that it’s not about finding your purpose or your destiny. Life’s about making choices and making them work.

I’m so happy in my home. I truly love it. I love my crazy dog. I have plans here. I have monthly plans. I have yearly plans. I’m making a life for myself… and my dog. Up until the past few weeks, I was content and everything seemed like it made sense.

Have you heard this one? “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”

What about this one? “When God closes a door, he opens a window.”

A door is closing, slowly but surely. I’m searching for that open window. I knew this could happen. I had hoped it would be in a few years or so. I just bought a house and was on a schedule to pay off my student debt by May of 2019. Now,  I’m in the exact position in my career that I was over two years ago.

My company is being evicted from it’s building, and I will, more than likely, be laid off.

The first person I told was my cousin. She told me that this could be a really good thing. This could be a moment that puts me on the road to something greater. She also said that no matter what happened, I would most definitely be okay. She’s a “sign-seer.” I am not. This isn’t an omen or divine intervention. It’s just life. I want to listen to her and look at this as an opportunity for a window to open. I know she’s right. I know I’ll be okay, but there are so many things to worry about.

I have several options rattling around in my brain.

  1. Find a job in PA. It’s close enough to my family to make a weekend trip, and far enough to be out of NY.
  2. Get a part-time job and never see my friends, family, or dog.
  3. Find a job I’m not interested in, nor using my experience in, that pays better.
  4. Commute an hour to the closest city to a job that is either in my field of interest or pays better.
  5. Get a two-year degree in engineering or nursing and change my field altogether so that I can stay in my hometown, perpetually single, with my dog and a homestead.
  6. Sell everything I own on eBay (plus the promise of my firstborn) and hope that puts a dent in my loans.

Parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents always think that young people have all the options in the world. They don’t see my world being uprooted. They don’t see the hours of job searching. They don’t see the looming bills to pay. Uncertainty, to them, means opportunity. It’s the proverbial “youth is wasted on the young” outlook.

I wouldn’t need to tell so many people if I didn’t work part-time at the bar. I can’t lie when people ask, “How is work?” Obviously, I’m grateful that I have so much support, but at this point, I’ve heard it all.

“I’ll get you a job.”
“We have an extra bedroom.”
“You have so much talent.”
“You’ll figure it out.”
“Rent out your house.”
“You can go anywhere.”
“So and so is hiring.”
“You should be a teacher.”
“Move to Texas.”
“Take the Civil Service Exam.”

I’m practicing smiling and saying, “Thank you. I will think about it.” I can only take so much well-meant advice before I go crazy. A friend of my dad says I should start telling people made up plans for my future to see which individuals are blabbermouths. It would be so entertaining to hear people say, “I heard you were starting a candle business,” or “So when are you moving to Canada?”

A couple of people understand where I’m coming from: my dad and mom, a few friends.  My friend was very apologetic and told me to fight. He said I should “pull a midnight coup d’etat.” He said “write your elected reps;” “write letters to the people at the agency.”  He recognized what I’m losing. He knows how good the opportunity that I had was and I appreciate him for it.

If there’s one good thing about uncertainty, it’s that it illuminates the people you really value for advice and support. There was a core group of people I wanted to tell, and each had their own unique response to ease my worries. Then there are people I didn’t plan to tell but was glad I did.

i’m so happy

If I could tell the me of two years ago how happy I would be right in this moment, she would be shocked but so relieved. You know you are happy when you drink rum and Black Cherry sparkling soda and you are overcome with gratefulness. I’m just sitting here staring at the empty space that will eventually be my living room. It needs furniture and wall hangings. It needs sweat and elbow grease. It needs color and warmth. It needs memories. It’s a work in progress, but I am so happy that it’s mine. Charlie is being annoying and needy, but we are in our home. He is literally putting his face in my coat to go outside (even though every time I take him out he stares at the yard like “this is not what I expected”).

–Also side note: I’m listening to Lonely Eyes by Chris Young on repeat, and for some reason, the chorus is just so uplifting that I’m not even thinking about lonely eyes. —

Tonight I looked at my loan payments and savings account. It’s so relieving to know that even though I’m not living an extravagant life, that I am paying my bills and getting ahead of my student loans. Even though I’ve change my lifestyle a little bit, I’m still okay.  I’ve been eating out a little too much, but I’m cutting back so I can focus on my student debt again. It’s crazy what a little raise can do. I’m so used to saving money and accounting for every penny that I think I can go a few more years putting all I have towards my student loans and have them paid off by 2020 just like I hoped. According to an online calculator, I actually should be able to pay them off in May of next year!

Honestly, at that point, I don’t even know what I would do with all that money  when it isn’t going toward the loans. Maybe I would roll the snowball into my mortgage. Maybe I would put new siding on my house. The possibilities are endless. Just a little while longer watching all my money pay down my degree. It’s so close; I can taste it.