Tuesday, April 16, 2019

list of happy, pt 12

My last list of happy was posted two years ago. If you haven't been poking around these parts for that long, my "list of happy" posts are just that: things making me happy lately. 


- Three day weekends, every weekend. Four day work weeks are my jam, and they certainly lessen the Sunday scaries. And yes, even though I love my job, I still get the Sunday scaries.
- Watching Schitt's Creek with Ryan on weeknights. If you haven't started watching this show, ohhh my god (reference...if you know, you know) you need to start watching this show. It's kind of like It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia meets The Mick? So good. Plus, you can't beat 25-minute episodes.
- Our dwindling wedding countdown. 179 days, and I cannnnot wait. A dwindling wedding downtown also means a dwindling countdown until our honeymoon in Kauai! But in all seriousness...I am so looking forward to being able to call Ryan my husband. Even typing that out is so strange, but SO EXCITING.
- Upcoming travel plans. Colorado this weekend, Nashville in September, Hawaii in October. As much as I love a good routine, breaking the weekend mold with a little getaway is the best mental refresher.
- Going bare-faced...well, almost. Since starting at the hospital, my go-to makeup routine involves mascara and a little eye-brow touch up...and that's about it. Maybe some concealer if I'm afraid of scaring the kids with my zombie-like eye bags. I feel more confident in what I look like, and now putting on a full face of makeup for weekend shenanigans feels like a treat.
- Meeting my best friend's son 24 hours after he was born...that was a moment for the books. I didn't think babies could make me emotional, but I literally cried in the hospital room.
- Playing word games on my phone with my grandma, a cup of English tea in hand.
- Closing out my evenings with a few pages of a book.
- Waking up and realizing you still have five hours of sleep before your alarm goes off.
- Leaving work 45 minutes earlier than usual, which means getting home 45 minutes earlier, and getting to go for an evening run outside before the true Florida heat kicks in.

What's making you happy lately?

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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

a little blurb about my new job!


I started my job just under a month ago, and my life has been a whirlwind ever since. A learning curve, an adventure, and a big change that I am so happy I made.

I get to work with all sorts of children, from medically complex to mild language delays. I have patients as young as 18 months up to nine years old. I run a social skills group with a well-oiled curriculum twice a week. I work closely with my clinical fellowship supervisor and everyone is so kind and so knowledgable. I pinch myself every day thinking about how lucky I feel getting to work where I work!

On the downside, my days are long (although the Fridays off don't suck). I go into work just 30 minutes later than I did when I was working in the schools, but I stay about four and a half hours longer every day. Because I'm still a clinical fellow, and also brand spankin' new to the hospital and learning all the tricks of the trade, it's pretty typical for me to stay anywhere from a half hour to an hour and a half later than my allowed departure time. This leaves me roughly two to three hours to myself, to spend with Ryan, to get things done every night before I have to go to bed and do it all over the next day.

I ammmmm exhausted.

But I'm happy as a clam. I also know that I'll adjust, get faster at writing notes, get better at prepping materials. I'll never have a moment where I can say to myself, "okay, I know enough now," because I'm learning at least one new thing every hour on the hour. What I am figuring out is that it's okay to say "that's enough for today," and understanding that it might be impossible to have a blank to-do list at the start of every day.

I'm looking forward to getting myself in a routine and on a set schedule. I was in a wedding this past weekend, and before that, I was sick for a few weeks, so it's easy for me to say "I'll get there with time," but if I'm being honest, I just haven't made the time or dedicated myself to creating a routine. 

Any tips for getting on that? Especially when I have just a couple hours to myself each night?



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Thursday, March 14, 2019

my unexpected 3-week staycation

I'm currently in the middle of an impromptu, unpaid three week staycation.

When I accepted my new job, I gave 30 days notice to my previous employer. I'd finish up my last day on February 22 and start on March 4, with a whole week to prepare myself for the new position and take a mental break from paperwork and learning the ropes.

Then, life happened, and ruined my plans. The Florida Department of Health didn't send me a deficiency letter letting me know that I was missing necessary documents for my application, my transcripts got lost in the mail sorting process, and my start date was pushed back two weeks. When I initially started writing this post, this problem still wasn't solved, and I was in the process of doing all I could to go with the flow and not develop a stress ulcer. You know, accepting that I was out of control and all that.

Photo by Jen P. on Unsplash

Note: I'm no good at that. And it's a good thing I'm not, because last week I spent hours driving around to my old university and tracking down higher-ups in Tallahassee to speak to over the phone about the situation. Even though I knew the hospital had dealt with DOH issues before, I was deathly afraid of getting fired from a position I hadn't even started yet. I was a woman on a mission. All I can say now is that perseverance is key, friends. I got 'er done, and I am all ready to start on Monday.

But anyway, getting back to it. I've been free as a bird in the Florida summer sky. That analogy seems fitting, as it's been early summer temperatures here in Tampa Bay lately. Early summer temperatures means high 70s/low 80s, because true summer doesn't begin here until evening temperatures are upwards of 90 degrees. I read an email subject line from Francesca's the other day that said, "Bright sweaters for spring!" and I said to Ryan, "who can wear sweaters in the SPRING?"

Probably the rest of the country, Samantha.

Having all this time off with no responsibility, no shifts to pick up, and no one to report to has been a weird feeling, but it's also been a giant spoonful of soul food. I've been getting to sleep in, spend extra time with family, make plans with friends, go to the gym, read books, and catch up on all the shows I've been "meaning to watch" for months. Before you get too jealous of my seemingly dream life, understand that because of my unexpected paperwork debacle, I'm also behind a couple of paychecks, so I've been staycationing rather frugally. Ha!

Alas, soon enough, I'll be back in the working world, so I'm trying to enjoy every slow morning waking up alongside my pooch pals, every sip of a weeknight margarita, every afternoon telling Netflix that I am indeed still watching. And by that, I mean HBO because I'm at the tail-end of season two of Game of Thrones and finally getting into it.

What would you do if you had an extra two weeks of unpaid vacation?



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Thursday, February 28, 2019

february wrap up | i got a new job!



2019.

A year of change for me, in so many expected and unexpected ways.

Expected: get married in October (woohoo!)
Expected: buy our first home together (hopefully...)
Expected: take a honeymoon some place aaahhhmazing
Unexpected: quit my school-based SLP job just four months after starting and finish my clinical fellowship year at a Johns Hopkins pediatric hospital.

Oh, yikes. Snuck that right in there, huh?

I'm thrilled/nervous/terrified/sad/proud, to say the least. Thrilled because I've landed my dream job just months after graduating. Nervous because I've landed my dream job just months after graduating. Terrified because it's going to be a big change. Sad because I really did love my previous position and all that came with it (my co-workers, the students on my caseload, the days off). Proud because it's a big deal and a great opportunity and I feel incredibly lucky to be able to continue my clinical fellowship year in a medical setting. Lucky, and for lack of better words, PUMPED.

I am now, anyway. I was a blubbering buffoon the night before my interview, and not because of pre-interview jitters, but because of self-imposed guilt. At the time, I'd only been working my job in the schools for about two months; I was enjoying it enough (after the first few bumpy weeks), loved my co-workers, and of course, my students, but I already knew it wasn't where I wanted to be forever. I felt like I was spending more time learning how to complete paperwork correctly versus how to effectively treat my students.

The opportunity to interview elsewhere fell into my lap, and I almost passed up the opportunity because of fear. My fear of being selfish, of looking foolish, of not finishing the job, of letting people down. In retrospect: YIKES. But after seeking advice from family, friends, and previous clinical supervisors, I decided to go for it. What was the harm in interviewing, right? I'd learned about the position a couple months prior; maybe they'd already filled the position. It was a safe bet.

In a nutshell: they hadn't filled the position, I had a call with the director the very next day to set up an interview, and then interviewed four days later. Ten days after that, I was offered the position. Two seconds after being offered the position, I accepted the job. And then I had to start telling people at work, which absolutely terrified me. I was scared of being considered a disappointment. For lack of more eloquent words, it all felt too hard.

But you know what I found out this month?

I can do hard things.

I can break difficult news. I can be selfish and survive the consequences. I can do what's best for me, regardless of opinions. And I am so damn happy about it.

I'm embarking on this new journey, and I know it's because I took the initiative. I know it's because I took a risk, and I have myself to thank for that (and of course my fiancé, friends, and family who pushed me). I'm so thankful for where I started, but thrilled about where I'm going. Change is good, even when it feels big, scary, and selfish. It's okay to be selfish.









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Friday, February 15, 2019

on writing, blogging, and everything in between



YOU GUYS. I MISS BLOGGING. 

More importantly, I miss writing.

I started blogging a long time ago. I've always had a blog in some regard; my fascination of writing about my daily life likely having stemmed from my incessant keeping of a diary or journal throughout my adolescence and into adulthood. My personal, handwritten journals were never properly organized. To this day, I don't care much for bullet journals or organized templates. I wrote about what was happening in my life, how I felt about it, and documented my growth. Heartfelt diary entries aside, I wrote stories as often as I devoured them. I had spiral notebooks filled with "day in the life" stories about my best friends, teenage-hormone driven romance chapters, and song lyrics. I didn't write for anyone else (in fact, to this day, I feel awkward "sharing" my blog posts). I'm not even sure if I wrote "for me" - I wrote because I wanted to tell my story, and to create characters and their background stories.

Fast forward to now, and this blog, and what blogging has become...or should I say what Instagram has become. Where there's a blog, there's a conjoining "influencer" Instagram. On the flip side, where there's an "influencer" Instagram, there isn't always a blog, and to an extent, that's perfectly fine. To be blunt, writing doesn't come naturally to everyone, and there are plenty of popular, full-time "Instagrammer/Bloggers" whose posts I read and I think to myself, "yikes, perhaps it's time to invest in an editor." 

I've put this pressure on myself to become a certain kind of blogger, to be an "influencer," to grow my Instagram following. After all, "that's the dream," right? To be able to create content and get paid handsomely for it. Once you hit the almighty 10k on Instagram, not only do you get the fancy "swipe up" feature, but you also become eligible for 100x more campaigns (most of which rarely require a blog post, mind you) that generally pay pretty big bucks. If you're a shitty person (sorry, not sorry) you can easily buy those followers, because who can tell the difference, right? The true answer to that is nearly everyone, but that's neither here nor there. It can be a lot harder if you're someone who truly enjoys connecting with others, who thinks a curated scroll feed is just as important as a curated Lightroom preset, who is actually in it for the content creation...not simply what you get out of it. 

So we use the "right" hashtags and post at the "right" times, and browse through our explore tabs, and likelikelike commentcommentcomment in hopes of building relationships and gaining an authentic following. And I've seen lots of influencers (some of my friends included!) do this successfully and admirably. They put in the time and effort, hours a day, day in and day out, and it works for them. They get invited to all of the things, and get sent all of the things, and meet all of the people. I think to myself, "why not me?" 

But then I think to myself, "do I even want that?"

I didn't start blogging to review restaurants, or get #sponsored posts (even though it's super cool when I get to do any of that, and I am absolutely thrilled when I do get invited...I'm not one to turn down free margs in exchange for IG content). I am a recent yet semi-active user of Like To Know It, and I try to keep up with local events and posting on Instagram. But when I started blogging in 2013, I'm not sure I was even cognizant of such opportunities. I wasn't in it for extra money, because I was in sales and was already making great money. I was in it because I felt inspired by the bloggers who shared their daily snippets, not just their daily outfits; the ones who shared lightly edited snapshots of their nature walks and talked about their Sunday nights, and their opinions. That's why I started this blog.

I think it'd be unfair to say that I've been trying to squish myself into a lifestyle blogger box, because I've always been happy with the content I've posted. But when I get the urge to write, I want to create stories, to share snippets of my daily routine, to discuss the things I love, in a way that feels like I'm chatting with an old friend, because those are the kinds of things I want to read about. You know?

I actually wrote a variation on this exact post almost two years ago, so hey, at least I'm consistent. I'm not quitting blogging, nor do I think there's going to be a "giant shift" in my content. In a way, this is me telling myself (but also giving you a reminder, if you need it) that it is 100% okay to have a blog just for the sake of writing. 

It's great if you have lofty follower goals and a dream to go full-time, and it's also okay to do it just for fun. I started this blog as a hobby, and maybe that's all it will ever be (never say never, of course). I've always loved writing, and now that I'm out of graduate school, I think I'd like to tap back into writing creatively, even outside the blog. Getting vulnerable here: I'd absolutely love to write a young-adult fiction novel someday. The key, as I'm sure you've heard about many seemingly impossible tasks, is to just start, right?


If you're still here after alllll of that, BLESS YOU. And if you can relate (or even if you can't), drop a comment below, because it'll make me feel a whole lot less self-conscious about baring my soul. 




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