Category Archives: Things You’d Expect

all good things must come to an end.

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Tomorrow is my first day at the new job. We all knew this day was going to come.

Guys, it has been one wild ride. K came over tonight to give me a lovely end-of-Funemployment gift (see above) and do some reflectin’ and editin’ for this post. And warning: It ain’t a short one. So, I’ll summarize my thoughts here… If you choose to read no further than this, I want you to know that the last 5 months have been some of the, if not THE absolute, best of my life.

Also know that my following thoughts don’t include the recently discovered meaning of life or specific revelations about what I’m going to do with the rest of my life.

I didn’t learn these things. But I did learn that I have some really amazing friends, an incredible support system in my family, and that it pays — REALLY PAYS — to save money for years on years on years. I have 16- to 26-year-old S to thank for my good fortune these last few months. Because of her dedication to working multiple jobs in college and putting those birthday checks directly into savings (with a little help from the ‘rents), I got to enjoy myself in a relatively panic-free Funemployment.

If we can revisit that oddly warmish November day when K and I left our old jobs for just one moment… Bless my parents for taking my manic phone calls in the minutes I had to decide my fate. And of course they did their parental duty by giving me the obvious, reasonable, responsible advice: Stay. It’s better to find a job when you have a job.

I heard them. I really did. I understood what they were saying and WHY they were saying that. And let me tell you, in a lot of ways they’re right. You have a lot of ‘splaining to do with that hole on your resume.

I also knew I had to leave. However, I can sit here and write all about my gut and where it was leading me and how I always trust it etc. But it’s one thing to know what you want/should do and quite another to have the courage — the balls — to actually DO IT. I can say with confidence that I would not have left without K leaving with me. Your friends are there to support you and tell you everything is going to be okay, but sometimes they’re also there to leap right off the cliff with you, holding your hand. K, I’ll never forget, even though your time was much shorter, that this was something we started together. Friends push each other to be better, to want better for themselves, and I thank you for that support. Always.

It has been an incredible 5 months., including trips to visit friends / new cities — from Florida to New York to San Diego to Philly. Here’s my little (or not-so-little) list of what I’m taking with me from this whole experience. Let’s call it…

The Most Unofficial Guide to Funemployment: Lessons Learned while Grievin’ and Growin’

1. Cry. Like, cry a lot. If you’re like me, you may not have been totally happy with your former job, but you certainly weren’t unhappy. You’ll miss the routine, you’ll miss feeling a part of something, and holy hell you’ll miss the people. Grieve it. K and I left on a Thursday afternoon and took the weekend — 2 and a half days — to mourn the loss of jobs we poured everything we had into for 2 and a half years. It was so, so necessary. And if I had spent the weekend trying to pep myself up instead of letting myself feel loss, I don’t think I would have moved on so quickly. It truly is like a break-up. It also is a great way for your friends to show you how ridiculously amazing they are. I’ll always, always remember the people who sat with K and I as we cried in a bar that Thursday night. And the ones who on Friday came to my house with a delightfully punny care package. I mean I’m sure listening to me cry while eating string cheese on my sofa was exactly what KR had planned for her Friday. 

2. The best way is to get over it is to find something productive on which to focus your energy. Whatever your feelings about your old job, it’s just weird to not have anything to do during the day. At first SOAPNet might seem too alluring to miss out on. Don’t cave… yet. The blog was K and my little passion project — a way for us to channel our energy into something that felt productive at least for part of the day. Then we could retreat back to our homes, bake cookies, and pop bottles at 2 p.m. (André, obviously. But letsbehonest, that’s regardless of budget.)

3. Believe in yourself. Cliché, maybe, but SO important. You are going to feel like shit sometimes. I mean complete and total shit. You will have moments where you have an overwhelming feeling that you are now officially, 100% un-hirable, that your parents are disappointed in you, and that Jason Segel really is never going to be your husband. That too shall pass. You’ll realize (most of) your fears are just untrue. (This realization usually comes around the time you sober up…) I’m lucky in that I can count these really rough days on one hand — but I also still remember each one; they come fast and furious. But don’t let these down moments force you to question the process / what you’re meant to be doing. Don’t take the first job you are offered just because it’s a job. I turned down a job earlier in the process because I knew it wasn’t a good fit for me. The money would have been nice. The people were so sweet. But I also knew that I left my last job for something greater; if I just wanted a paycheck, I would have stayed.

4. At my last job, my coworkers became my friends. My friends became my coworkers. My life was my job in a lot of ways. I’ve always sort of defined my success by what I’m doing at work. Obviously you can’t rely on that when you don’t have a job. And that is hard. Really hard, sometimes. But this time has helped me find value in other things — hobbies, friends, exploring other interests. It’s allowed me to find value in myself and what I’m doing outside of the office. A nice reminder that you’re a person, not a position.

5. Have fun and a little faith. After you believe you WILL find a job again, the hardest part is the huge unknown: the WHEN. It can be paralyzing sometimes; especially when you see your savings account getting smaller and smaller. But in those moments, I tried to always imagine future me, in her new job, looking back on her Funemployed days. I won’t regret a minute of it because I used my time wisely; or at least I like to think so. I traveled, I saw friends, I kept up writing and editing, I discovered some really great coffee shops (and the people who work and hang in them). I took the time — and sometimes the money — to live it up with what we all wish we had sometimes: unlimited free time.

In the end, I just really want to say thank you to my friends and family. Again. And Again.

To all my friends who were there with me during this, y’all are some of the best a girl could ask for. Whether you were crying in a bar with me, coming to my house and offering comfort when I needed it the most, doing the same from afar, or just generally being my partners in crime, you guys have done way more than I could ever ask of you. And I hope I get to return the feelings and favors and all of the above in full one day.

To my family, I love you. Thank you for all of your support. I think having such good, strong examples in my parents helped me have the confidence in myself to take this journey. And the idea that perhaps there’d be a safety net if I truly, truly crashed and burned. (Thank God for all of us that didn’t happen.)

I’ve been saying it from the beginning, to the middle, and now the end. Truly, truly, I believe…

bestisyettocome

Upward,

S

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wine barrels of fun.

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So this weekend I spent the last of my Funemployed days helping K say goodbye to the single life. Along with 7 of other gals from parts of K’s life, I had a fantastic weekend wining and dining around DC and Charlottesville.

We spent Friday night in DC with a delightful dinner at Ripple in Cleveland Park (mmm cheese plates!), before retiring to the Omni in Woodley Park. Early Saturday we awoke and got on the road, accompanied with Starbucks and Bethesda Bagels.

It was smooooth sailing, until about 15 miles from our hotel, when the car I was in broke down … The exhaust may or may not have fallen off. So the entire caravan pulled over and waited for our soon-to-be BFF Gene, the AAA tow truck driver, to arrive.

After dropping the car off at a local auto body shop, we booked it and managed to make  it to the hotel just in time to hop in our private van for a day winery hopping around Charlottesville. We made it to three — King Family, Stinson, and Veritas. They were all great, but everyone agreed the first was their favorite. Dinner was at this fantastic restaurant, The Local. Go there and get the truffle Mac and cheese and the trout with crispy avocado. So good.

The rest of the weekend was spent drinking, dancing, brunching, etc etc.

Now I’m at home, exhausted, and gearing up for my big first day at the new job TOMORROW. Ah, time flies.

I’ll update soon with a reflection on this whole experience. Until then.

Upward,

S

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it’s the final countdown: days 4, 5 & more.

I’m writing this on my last weekday as a Funemployed person. So, naturally I’m doing it in a coffee shop.

Day 4 — yesterday — was lovely. I started the morning as I usually do lately: consumed by my allergies. But I tore myself out of bed to meet C at the new NPR building — his office — over in NoMA. After lunch and a tour (the office is shiny and new and pretty, y’all — or as C would say “trendy”), I started my walk home. Desperately in need of a little wake-up call, I stopped at Big Bear Cafe on the way. I’ve heard about this place forever, but have never made it over there. The staff is friendly, the outdoor patio is inviting, and the iced vanilla latte is delicious.

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I then went home for a couple hours (to watch Homeland, obviously) before heading over to C’s for some beers on the porch. Then it was off to Sara Bareilles at the 930 Club! The show was good, y’all. Like, real good. She’s obviously a great singer, but the gal has a sense of humor and sarcasm that is rivaled only by yours truly …JK LOL NOT JK. But seriously, see her LIVE! if you can.

Aside from Sara’s singing and joke-slinging, the night was also memorable because two fabulous guys got engaged on stage. The crowd was on their feet. And of course he said yes!

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Today — Day 5 — has been a little more uneventful… SO FAR. I’m sitting in a coffee shop now doing a little reading for the new job, which starts bright and early Monday morning.

I tried to convince my body to sleep in — IT’S MY LAST CHANCE, AFTER ALL — but alas, I was up at 8:30 a.m. I’m having lunch at the lovely U Street Cafe right now (they know my name you guys!), and the rest of my afternoon will be spent reading before I meet up with K at 5 p.m. to start the weekend with a couple of cocktails. But it’s not just any other old weekend. IT’S K’S BACHELORETTE WEEKEND, Y’ALL. I’m so happy that I get to spend my weekend saying goodbye to Funemployment by helping K say goodbye to her single gal days. She and future Mr. K are such a great pair; I’m so happy for her. I won’t/can’t say much about this weekend, as K reads this here little bloggy, but rest assured it will be fun (read: drunk). I’ll update y’all on Sunday. With lots of pitchures.

Sometimes I feel like my posts are just like “Hey! Here’s what I did today…”, which considering what a jet-set life I lead, I know is like, totally super interesting for you all to read. But in case you were looking to know a little bit more about me as a human, outside of my jam-packed schedule, here’s some other random info from the last few days.

1. I FINISHED HOMELAND. You guys. You guys. Seriously. Watch this show. But make sure you either a) watch it with someone or b) have a best friend on the West Coast who has already seen it and who is available to indulge your 3 a.m. EST text messages being all like ‘THIS SHIT IS CRAY.” (ALL CAPS NECESSARY.) Also, considering how many shows Funemployment has allowed me to get hooked on, I can confirm this is the most accurate thing I’ve read on the Internet in a long while… http://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelhorner/the-27-stages-of-getting-addicted-to-a-television-show … Thanks to aforementioned BFF M for this gem.

2. If you’re looking for a happy little summer ditty, try Ben Rector’s “The Beat.” I can’t stop listening to it. I was walking around in the sunshine smiling to myself this morning as it was dancing through my headphones. Yep, I was THAT girl. I think in the last few days I have listened to approximately four songs on repeat (what are blogs for if not embarrassing admissions like this?).

  • Next to Me by Emilie Sandé
  • Come & Get It by Selena Gomez (seriously, f’real, thanks a lot, H)
  • The Beat by Ben Rector
  • Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

3. Hokay, this is actually some big news I’m sorry I haven’t mentioned here before. So at the moment I live in a huge rowhouse with 4 other roommates. This sounds like a lot o’ people, but we’re all friends and it’s been such a great home for the last two years. Sadly, but understandably with all the new construction around, our landlords have decided to make themselves bookoo bucks by selling our house to presumably the highest bidder. And they want us out by May 31st. Eeks. H and I have decided it would be fun to continue living with each other, and saw a 2-bedroom house recently we both fell in love with. Well, turns out the landlord loved us right back, and yesterday we got a note saying we got the house! We move in June 1! The house has a great outdoor back patio, so for those of you in the DeeSee area, expect a little partita invite soon! Or, just come on ovah.

Okay. Phew. This was a long post. Amazing that things never change: Having to do real work / reading brings me straight back to my procrastinating roots. Hope y’all are out enjoying the sunshine (assuming there’s some in your neck of the woods), or plan to this weekend.

Upward,

S

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it’s the final countdown: days 2 and 3.

So I’ve made it halfway through my final Funemployed week. And I have to say, I’ve at least a little bit made up for spending all day on the couch Monday. (Although to many reading this in their cubes, that probably sounds perfect and lovely. And it was).

Tuesday morning I got up and went to get a massage. My gym’s spa (yes, it’s a fancy place) has 15% off on Tuesdays. And because I could go, like, whenever, I was able to make an appointment with the guy everyone raves about on Yelp: Jean. He really is the best. I felt so relaxed after my time on his bed that I immediately went to Starbucks for a little pick-me-up to get on with the rest of my day. I ended up running into an old friend, and got to catch up with her for a while, before heading to grab lunch and get some work done.

But speaking of my gym… If anyone asked me what the first thing I wanted to purchase when I was with-income again, my answer was always the same: I WANT MY TRAINER BACK. WELL, guys, next Tuesday Nancy and I will be reunited once again. And i’m SO excited. I have been doing a little bit of stress eating this past month and making myself busy with anything but activities that involve a whole lot of physical exertion. This is going to be great. (Remind me I said that next week.)

Speaking of overeating… H and I had a lady date with R (one of my besties from college) and R’s roommate… other R. The R’s live up in Chevy Chase, so I got to cross off another DC bucket list restaurant: Comet Ping Pong. A hipster-quirky pizza place on Connecticut Avenue, the menu is diverse and delicious. I got the Rodrigo — lime salsa, beef, onions, some other stuff I can’t remember. And they have gluten-free crust for all yous gluten-free people out there.

Comet Ping Pong - Rodrigo

Today I spent my morning setting up some appointments (or trying to), getting my ‘brows done, and heading to a coffee shop for lunch and a little bit o’ work. Then I continued my dedication to Overeaters Not-So-Anonymous by grabbing a ton of food from my future place of work for a little menu testing. It was delightful.

But also made me so full I barely had the energy to go see Ben Rector’s show at the 9:30 Club. Who, you ask? Well H and I were asking the same question when 9:30 sent out their Upcoming Shows email last week and described him not only as a man who could play some instruments, but who could keep a gal laughing in between songs. We were sold on description alone, then Spotify’d some of his tunes — just some light, poppy, guy-with-a-guitar-sometimes-keyboard jams. And it’s rare to get some breathing room at a non-sold out 9:30 club show. The couple mauling each other and the other maybe-not-a-couple-that-included-a-guy-who-SRSLY-cant-dance enjoyed this as well. Check him out; the show was as promised — entertaining through and through — and even included an improvised song about bacon.

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Also, I’m now finally halfway through Season 2 of Homeland. SERIOUSLY WHAT ARE YOU DOING READING THIS AND NOT WATCHING ALREADY???

UPWARD,

S

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it’s the final countdown: day 1.

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Okay, before we get to my last Monday of Funemployment, a few quick weekend recap:

It was fun, fast, and filled with friends — some of whom I hadn’t hung out with in quite a while. Sunday in particular was notable, as it was marked with my first trip to Union Market (something on that DC to-do bucket list) and was filled with more than a fair share of blonde moments courtesy of me and my fellow fair-haired friend, KR.

For the record, Union Market is great. But don’t go if you’re not hungry; it’s basically just a building filled with a bunch of little countertop restaurants — and one produce guy if you were hoping to make your food at home.

Other highlights included a stop in one of my favorite local shops, Pulp. If you haven’t been, it’s this great card/gift shop on 14th Street. I stopped by on Sunday to pick up a few Thank You cards, but I always love finding gems like this…

winecard

As for my Monday, I woke up after a ridiculous 11 hours of sleep feeling the worst. So, I checked out my Final Funemployed Days to-do list and found the perfect activity for curling up on the sofa: Watch Homeland.

Everyone has either recommended this to me or has also had about 15 of their friends recommend it. Well, BELIEVE THE HYPE, Y’ALL. I’m writing this post at 2:30 a.m. because I just. can’t.stop. I’ve made it through episode 10, but am making myself stop. Mostly so I can wake up and be somewhat productive tomorrow.

Other recent obsessions:

1. Free Flow for the iPhone.

2. Brussels sprouts. Seriously, I’ve made them the last like 6 days — with pasta, roasted alone, roasted with apples, chicken sausage, and onions. They’re just so good. I mean look at ’em:

brussels sprouts

So many addictions, so little free time. Like seriously, I can feel the time floating away. I better get some rest.

Upward,

S

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the good old (town) days.

Sometimes having teachers as roommates is the best (I mean, it’s never bad, but sometimes it’s just so convenient). One of those lucky days is Emancipation Day. It’s only recognized in DC, but on this day, schools are out, and kids and teachers alike are free to celebrate their… freedom.

H and I chose to do so down in Old Town Alexandria. I haven’t been there in ages, and we put it on our DC To-Do Bucket List months ago. The day started out sort of cloudy, but cleared up by the early afternoon.

restaurant eve

Our first stop was Restaurant Eve for lunch. We had each heard about this place separately from friends, and it did not disappoint. It’s a classy establishment, with classy prices, but luckily for us budget-minded folks, they do serve up a $15 pick-two-items lunch menu from 11:30-3:30 Tuesday-Friday. H and I opted for a lunch entreé + dessert. I had antelope for the first time (delish), followed by an individual-sized, adorable birthday cake. A vegetarian, H selected a shittake mushroom salad and finished her meal with this delightful almond cream with strawberry sorbet. There were some fancier words in the menu item name, but I don’t remember them.

The food was delightful, but so was the company. Specifically the bartender, who we heard telling war stories to the person next to us. Or, the guy who came in and sat next to me and proceeded to ask which cocktail on the menu was the strongest. Speaking of the cocktail menu, the names are genius. Including the “I’m the Taylor Swift of Cocktails!”, which rumor has it, starts off smooth… until it gets bitter. HEY-O.

old town tour

Then we walked down to the water, dropped into the torpedo factory, and finally did some shopping. (I haven’t been shopping in four months.) I need new work clothes, and there was a sale at Loft; it was the perfect combination. Maybe I didn’t NEED that hot pink blazer, but ima make it work. We finished the day at Killer E.S.P., a charming coffee shop on King Street. E (espresso) S (sorbet) P (pies) was adorable, and came complete with a little French bulldog running around the place. Also, they have flatliners — lattes with 4 shots of espresso — that are fantastic and expectedly REALLY strong. I got the salted caramel. Iced, obviously. Yum.

I finished the night back in DC at a happy hour for a former coworker who is moving out to Cali- California. He was my first intern, and I managed him for a long time before passing him off to K to manage. MPQ is  a great guy, and DC is losing one funny man. But I’m so excited for him, and know he is going to do so many great things out West. San Fran, get ready.

me + MPQ

Today, I’m taking it easy. My allergies are the worst in the morning these days, so after some time in bed, I rolled into a coffee shop for a little work and lunch. I’m being really ambitious and wearing my gym clothes. We’ll see what happens next.

Upward,

S

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this is my two weeks notice.

Well, y’all, the time has finally come.

In the middle of last week, I got my first job offer. Then, a mere hours later, I got my second. (Sorry for the delay in posting; wanted to make sure my offer letter was signed, sealed, delivered before jinxing it publicly.)

Just like K, in the end, I had two choices:

1. A communications job that got me back into writing and editing, along with the responsibility of driving content online and managing social media.
2. A marketing/communications job that is more out of my comfort zone. It offers a deeper dive into the social media / marketing world, which my last job let me dip my toes into. This job is at a fast-growing restaurant group, which is huge globally, but expanding quickly in the U.S.

It may come as no surprise considering how this blog was started, that I chose the latter. It’s going to be an adventure and I’m so, so excited about it. (A huge thank you to everyone who took my phone calls while I was making my decision.)

I’ll save the reflective post all about what  Funemployment has meant to me for right before I start the new job. In the meantime, I’m going to send this time of my life out in style. Yesterday was my last day of temping, and I have two weeks before going back to an office full-time. Also, it’s spring in DC, and therefore gorgeous outside.

So, I’m currently making an epic to-do list (which, yes, might include watching ALL of Homeland), and will of course blog all my adventures. On the docket today: Exploring Old Town Alexandria with my roommate, a DC teacher who has today off because it’s Emancipation Day.

This is also a public plea for everyone who knows me personally: We have two weeks to get coffee / lunch / drinks during the day / before I’m a real human with a less flexible schedule.

Let’s do this.

Upward,

S

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daily affirmation.

thelmalouise

If there’s one thing I want this little blog to teach the world, it’s that you don’t have to settle. For anything. Patience is a virtue, and in the end you’ll be happy.

K and I were also compared to Thelma and Louise at the start of this grand adventure, so this picture seems fitting.

It also seems fitting considering the news I have to share in my next post…

Upward,

S

PSA: Starved for entertainment?

Netflix, the savoir of well, everyone, but especially the Funemployed (once you have the SOAPnet daytime schedule memorized, you realize it might be time to back away from the 90s soap reruns). It has introduced me to Breaking Bad, The West Wing, and Scandal; and helped me relive my girlhood crushes on Pacey Witter and Matt Saracen.

But for those of you aching for more current fare, I’m here to tell you The Hunger Games has now made its way to the streaming site.

This might be old news, I’ve been busy working 14-hour days, but I’ve was pretty excited when I  saw it just now.

hungergames

 

Upward,

S

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lifelong commitments & temp engagements.

Where to even begin.

I had an incredible weekend seeing one of my best friends from high school get married. I was fortunate enough to be in the wedding, which meant a full Friday afternoon rehearsing and reliving the past before starting Saturday early at a hair salon. Don’t worry, we were smart (and lucky) enough to have mimosas and delicious breakfast there as well.

KW & M are just so lovely together. I’m so happy my friend found such a genuine, caring guy. And obviously I think he’s pretty lucky as well.

kriswedding

I spent most of Sunday recovering from all the fun. Then laughing harder than I have in a long time hanging out with my roommates while watching / judging the Country Music Awards. But in all seriousness, without judgment: Blake Shelton, I love you.

So another thing that happened on Friday: I got a call from this boutique temp agency where one of my mom’s friends works. They got a job in they thought might be good for me while I still go on interviews. Obviously, I am in no place to turn down such a favor. And the people at this agency are so, so sweet and great to work with.

I went in for my first day today not really sure what to expect. I’ll be acting as a communications associate for the organization — managing some social media, helping round up press clips. It was a good first day — as temporary as the time might be — and everyone was so lovely and nice.

Oh, also, my day was 14 hours long.

Fourteen. I went from a relaxing 4-month stretch of not stepping foot in an office to a 9:30 a.m. to 11:15 p.m. day. Now, I was forewarned they wanted / needed me to live Tweet a meeting for them tonight, and I didn’t mind doing it. But it was a bit jarring to go from setting my own schedule to having my whole day consumed sitting at a computer. Especially when the weather was an UNBELIEVABLY GORGEOUS 70 degrees today.

I’m not sure what my schedule looks like the rest of the week, but it’s a part-time gig, so the days will likely not all be 14 hours. (I’m bad at math, but that just don’t seem to add up, AMIRITE?) But I’m lucky to have such a great network here, and lucky to have a temp opportunity that will give me some applicable skills to what I want to do eventually.

And there’s a little more movement on the more-permanent job front. So, fingers crossed for that. In the meantime, I’m gonna go fall asleep listening to the soothing sounds of Mr. Shelton’s new album.

Upward,

S

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