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Monday, February 22, 2016

Don't just sit there! How quitting my job changed my life

Living the life. I've often gone to IMGUR and envied the posts talking about how individuals or couples quit their high paying jobs to chase their dreams. My husband and I had spent years talking about what we wanted our lives to be like. Did we want to chase the money? Did we want careers with good work-life balance? What did work-life balance mean to us? It's every parents' dreams for their children to have a good life and better than theirs if possible. My parents struggled when I was young but they always encouraged me to be brave with my life choices even if they didn't always agree with them.

Graduating high school at 16, joining the Marine Corps at 17, going to Iraq as a contractor, working on multiple educational pursuits and multiple career pursuits has given me a unique look on the world. I know what it is like to make minimum wage, to make military pay, to make a six-figure income and back to making a hourly wage. My latest work experience having been a Program Manager in Washington D.C. with a good salary ended in August. I was so excited when I first started but after experiencing D.C. traffic, political appointees, a CEO with a questionable leadership style, disgruntled employees, I found my dream job wasn't so dreamy anymore. What saved me during the approximate year and a half I was working there was the long walks on the farm my husband and I used to walk on the weekends.

Frying Pan Farm Park was where we dreamed. It was where we talked about how we wanted to live our lives. Did we want to be city people and work in corporate offices for the rest of our lives? Or did we want to venture out of our comfort zone and go on adventures?

From before marriage we were going on adventures and since marriage our adventures continued and it was only a matter of time before we decided the best course of action was to be set free.


So I quit my job. We had the beginning of a plan but nothing concrete. Was it the wisest decision, quitting your job without a strong plan in place? Seems foolish and something you would do if you were single and still in your twenties. But we went for it and my husband joined the Coast Guard. Thus our adventure begins. We've been here for about 3 months now and it feels great. There has been nothing like it and I'm grateful for every moment I spend outside of the office and look forward to where life will lead us.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Recovering to normal

It was an incredible feeling leaving work early at 1:00pm on a Friday knowing that I wasn't going to return that Monday. Playing Savage Garden on the car radio and listening to the words "I want to live, I want to run through the jungle , The wind in my hair and the sand at my feet" truer words cannot describe the feeling of escaping the cage of work. I had it all planned out in my mind about the wonderful days following that Friday of what I was going to do and what I was going to accomplish. Then Saturday night happened.

Early in the day I went to Richmond, Va to visit with my parents and siblings having a great time eating good food and gossiping about life. As evening approached and I had another taste of the wonderful home cooked meal and headed off to bed skipping with delight I was about to experience some pain I had not ever felt before. I've had indigestion problems for  a while but I woke up with heavy chest pain, my stomach was sensitive, and I couldn't find a comfortable way to lie flat in the bed. It hurt so bad I went to the Urgent Care Clinic.

My first visit didn't help, as the second, as the visit to my primary care doctor and not until I visited the actual emergency room did doctors discover it was my gallbladder. After 5 days of barely eating anything but soup and water did I find out what was wrong. I had waited until my husband came home from Florida to help me at the hospital and I was glad I wasn't alone. The surgery didn't take place until late the next day but thanks to some good pain medicine I got through it. Come to find out a few weeks later not only my mother, my sister, my grandmother and few aunts have also had the same surgery.

I know I need to learn how to eat better, exercise more and be less stressed. One of the main reasons I quit my job besides not feeling fulfilled was due to my health. I wanted to take time to lose some weight and get healthy. I want to get pregnant and I know if I continued on the same path it wasn't going to happen without spending a ton of money on fertility treatments. I look forward to the next several months of freedom from having to work daily. I'm grateful for the opportunity my husband gave me. I can't wait to see how it goes!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Letters from the Burrow

The last couple of days I've been thinking about the way I want to express my love for you. I remember the letters of John and Abigail Adams and am renewed with a sense of love for you as time and distance is but what both individuals put into it.

…should I draw you the picture of my Heart, it would be what I hope you still would Love; tho it contained nothing new; the early possession you obtained there; and the absolute power you have ever maintained over it; leaves not the smallest space unoccupied. I look back to the early days of our acquaintance; and Friendship, as to the days of Love and Innocence; and with an indescribable pleasure I have seen near a score of years roll over our Heads, with an affection heightened and improved by time -- nor have the dreary years of absence in the smallest degree effaced from my mind the Image of the dear untitled man to whom I gave my Heart...

You are my friend. You are my love. We met in the most unlikely of places, developed a friendship, developed a passion and developed a lifetime and eternal bond no matter what ever happens in our life. You give me an insight into my own self I never really knew was there. You make me want to be a better person.

I admire you and I respect you. Your intellect, your charisma, the devotion you show your family and to me. It has never been about you or me but us. You are my best friend in this whole world. I want to tell you all the juicy gossip, cry on your shoulders, be hugged, consoled. I want to laugh and dream with you. All the adventures! I look forward to all the ups, the downs and the in-betweens. The bad sci-fi movies and the babies. I love you my Honey. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Social anxiety

I never thought I had a problem with going into a crowded room of people and being able to socially maneuver through an evening until recently. I want to go out, make new friends, participate in activities but when I want to and how I want to. Any other way I end of overwhelmingly anxious and just want to go home. I know it sounds selfish but I think over the years I've grown to know what I like and what I dislike and anything else seems like a waste of time.

But I am trying. My husband does a great job with taking me out and we have made friends with neighbors, co-workers and are even expanding our circle. For the Superbowl we went to a party in our neighborhood and it was pretty low key and awesome but as more people arrived I started feeling the anxiety. I wonder if its also mixed with claustrophobia? I don't like being in any room with too many people. It makes me feel weird.

The strangest thing is that I am a Program Manager and I think I'm pretty adjusted at work. I've also been an adjunct instructor, served in the Marine Corps and have done many jobs requiring loads of interaction with people. Ironic I know. Well one day at a time! We are going to try to sign up for some classes like fencing or other classes and see where it takes us.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Average people doing extraordinary things

Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives. Such striving may seem admirable, but it is the way of foolishness. Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life. Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples and pears. Show them how to cry when pets and people die. Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand. And make the ordinary come alive for them. The extraordinary will take care of itself.” ― William Martin

I don't think I ever see enough stories telling people about non-celebrity individuals doing extraordinary things. Where are the articles showing how a single mom is doing a great job raising her kids? Or how a local member of the community has committed over 1,000+ volunteer hours? Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn among other sites have provided the world with such a great way of connecting but it can also be overwhelming sometimes. I want to not only be inspired by people of the past but also by the people of today. I do like the quote I found by William Martin. Finding the extraordinary in the ordinary day to day events. I have a hard time sometimes stopping and finding the wonder and joy but each day I'm striving to do a little better.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Granada, Spain...Add to countries to visit?

It is no surprise to my husband or my family I want to travel the world. I was watching House Hunters International on Netflix and saw an episode on Granada, Spain and I want to add it to the list of places I want to visit. The Alhambra was a real draw and the historic aspect gives me the goosebumps. It was originally constructed as a fortress and then renovated as a palace.

I loved how the show highlighted the people, the homes, and the beauty of the city. There is so many places I want to visit and maybe even live in for a few years. I love my husband for agreeing to look at our path every few years and seeing if it is the right path for us. I don't want to chase the money and my husband agrees.  Life should be about the experiences, the memories, the love. I want to enjoy life. I want to learn, grow, love and experience new things. The show did highlight some of the couples with children and it made me happy. This is the year we hope to get pregnant and its nice to see bringing children around the word doesn't hinder couples. With my husband I feel it would only bring us closer. So the countries now are Italy, Greece, Japan, China, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Spain, France and Spain! I can't wait!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Thoughts on my daily work routine

Husband and I at a Virginia Winery
What powers our desires to be happy at work? I wake up at 6:00am and return 12 hours later often hungry, grumpy and wishing for alternatives to the daily commute and the daily grind of office work. My job itself can be great at times and my feelings are certainly no reflection of the company and customers we interact with on a daily basis but in the back of my mind I always wonder, is there a better way? I often change my mind on what I want to do with my life in terms of career choices. I seek to be intellectually challenged, have a sense of contribution to society while being able to enjoy and interweave my personal life goals into the equation.

I have a bucket-type list of things I want to accomplish in life such as running the Marine Corps Marathon, visiting several countries, seeing the Mayan ruins, jump out of more planes, have 5 children with my husband and teach them how to be nerds of science and space, learn how to can and preserve food, learn French, maybe run a personal farm among some other things. I know in order to accomplish much of this I need to have stability in my career and there also needs to be stability in my husband’s career but I can’t escape the feelings of wanting to just explore the world, explore all the things I want to learn and not be restricted. I guess its all part of being responsible and an adult but I can dream of one day finding a perfect balance.