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HK gun
...There's a support group for that. It's called everybody, and they meet at the bar.

After the initial OMGNEWJOB subsided (a bit, anyway), work was bearable for maybe a golden week. And then a new sort of mental anguish set in--the OMGIHAVENOTHINGTODO problem. And who wants to be the new girl going to her boss and saying "hi, please give me more work, thanks"? Not me. Besides, my team members said that normally it was super busy and this down time was a nice change. Maybe for them--they at least still had some back tasking to work on and such.

It became so bad that I became obsessed with the idea of quitting. I started looking at LinkedIn and Monster. I typed up emails following up on leads I had from my job search before (though they stayed in my drafts folder). I typed a resignation letter. I planned out my I-quit conversation and what I would say to my team members. I scoured my budget for ways to make being unemployed feasible for as long as possible (at least a year, doable). And even if I had wanted to talk to my boss about it, I couldn't, because he was gone on travel. I became very angry and felt like I had been brought on without a clear role in mind and that no one really cared about me as part of the team.

Finally, I decided I needed to force myself to at least act like I wasn't 2 seconds away from quitting. I set up a meeting with my manager. (Who didn't help with the feeling-ignored thing by telling me it wasn't time for my 30 day review--when in fact I have been here for over 40 days.) And when I told him that I needed more to do, I could kind of see a bit of shock come over him and he immediately told me there were a lot more things I could do and that he had been trying to give me a nice easy period to get up to speed (which *is* good--but I finished reading all the material he gave me WEEKS ago). Now we have another meeting set up tomorrow morning to go over some new tasking for me.

And of course my fickle brain, as soon as he said that, froze up with fear and was like "WHAT ARE YOU DOING, YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO ANYTHING!" Which, it's true, I don't. But at least I might finally have a chance to do something besides perfect my surfing-the-internet-on-the-sly skills.

So. Trying to take a few deep breaths and accept the anxiety instead of letting it claim me.

And, at the end of the day, I *can* still quit if I want to.

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Sep. 30th, 2014

ugly one
I typed up a resignation letter today.

Haven't sent it yet.

Big decisions to make.

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working that 9 to 5

ugly one
So my client, who is based on the east coast right now, was in town this past week. I was pretty nervous about finally meeting him and feeling very stressed about my current output (or lack thereof). There is also NO extra space in our cube, so we were sitting right next to each other so I felt like every single thing I did on my computer was being analyzed (how long has she been staring at that one picture? does she ever do any real work?)

Yesterday before he left he took me aside and told me that he was super impressed with me and that I am doing great work and he is really happy with me. ! And then one of my teammates told me that our client told him the same thing about me, and that I had really made a good impression.

So obviously that was really nice to hear, because I still feel out of place half the time and not sure what I am doing. And also it's a little mind-boggling. One thing that was specifically called out to my teammate was a quick turnaround on creating some slides that our client needed. Um, it was TWO SLIDES and it was mostly copy and paste. How much longer could it have taken? If that's the standard then maybe I don't need to worry. Because I am worrying.

Wait, Nora, your client said he likes your work and is happy with you! Why worry? BECAUSE I'M ME AND I WORRY ABOUT EVERYTHING. Seriously, it really stressed me out because then I was thinking that I've set a high bar that I might have trouble living up to and it means that he is expecting my newbie period to be over when I don't think it is and he is going to find out soon that I am totally faking it half the time and it's going to be the end of the world.

I know that's dumb and I've been trying to just talk myself out of it and calm down. Honestly, even if that DID happen, what would be the worst result? I get fired? That seems extremely unlikely, and even then, so what? I could find another job. My life wouldn't be over. And the far more likely outcome--based on what is already an unlikely event anyway--is that I would get a talking to that would be embarrassing but ultimately not that big of a deal.

So, taking some deep breaths and trying to just be proud of myself for doing okay after my first 2.5 weeks on the job. Oh and my first paycheck comes on Monday! *yay*

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over my head

ugly one
I went in to the local office for the first time today. Had a security briefing, met my new hire sponsor (who is one of the 4 members of my team), and started doing lots of onboarding stuff--forms, getting my laptop, etc. Everyone was super nice.

So why did I practically break down when I got home??

I just get super worried/nervous/anxious and I don't know how to alleviate that. Feeling horribly inadequate, totally unsure of what I am doing, trying to get used to a whole new environment and a whole new career and knowing I have to bring value to this company and not sure how to really do that.

Not really feeling very confident/good about things going forward. At least tomorrow is Friday and then the Labor Day weekend so I can decompress some before my first full week. Need to just breathe and learn how to turn off my anxiety.

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lots and lots going on!

HK gun
The past couple weeks have been crazy for me. Lots of stress, but things are finally falling into place. Accepted a job offer on Friday, got approved for my new apartment on Saturday (move in next week), had a successful trip to Chicago this past weekend, hosted my parents the week before, lost a couple pounds and finished the first draft of my newest novel.

So PHEW. Trying to just be glad of what is done and not start stressing about the next steps. I know I worry too much and this is something I have been trying to work on. So, going to not make any to-do lists or work on anything else tonight. Just going to have a nice dinner in front of my own TV on my own couch and sleep in my own bed and enjoy the good.

the woes of nora

pass
Not feeling well.

Job hunt is still turning up zilch. So depressing to send out carefully tailored cover letters and fill in application after application, and then...you just never hear back. Sorry. I did randomly run into a former Marine who saw my USNA shorts and offered to pass along my resume to a defense contracting company he used to work for. I'm not holding my breath, but at least it's better than being one of the faceless horde on Monster.

Cannot believe J's only been gone 10 days. The first week wasn't TOO bad (aside from that first day), but the past couple days have been hitting me hard. I've only gotten like 2 emails from him (I write him every day). Making it until January feels impossible.

I've been throwing myself into my writing lately (one upside of unemployment), but that too has its own soul-sucking dimension. The paths of querying are lined with form rejections (or worse, no-response-means-no). I'm halfway through writing my fifth novel-length manuscript and I still don't know if I'll ever have "it." Entirely possible that I am delusional for even trying.

Been trying to eat healthy. Except I haven't felt like cooking and half the time getting dressed and leaving the apartment isn't happening either. So while I'm managing to maintain a calorie deficit, I wouldn't say I'm really being healthy and my body isn't exactly shedding fat like one would hope. I have been working out more which is definitely helping some.

In good news, my parents are coming to visit next week and I'm actually quite excited about it. Four days under my roof I can do! Pippin continues to be the world's cutest bunny (though kind of a little shit!). And while I'm stressed out about the implications for my financial future, I must say I am a lazy enough person that I am still enjoying the time freedom of unemployment.

So to cap off this mostly-depressing post, here is a bunny picture!

2014-07-20 18.56.07

guns are fun but mostly they suck

sheldon mad
I was at the Dallas Love airport this morning, getting ready to fly back to Cali after a short visit to see my sister and J's sister and their new babies (cuties, both!). We were standing in line, waiting to go through security, when the elevator doors opened and discharged a large man carrying a black duffel bag and just SCREAMING so loud. Maybe bellowing is a better word. He was pretty far away but his voice carried throughout the entire terminal area. And he was just screaming "FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU!" At one point I think he screamed "FUCK YOU, OBAMA" but I'm not positive. And he screamed at the crowd of us standing there "FUCK YOU, TOO."

Then he left (I think onto another elevator) and a couple of TSA agents (quite leisurely, it seemed) went after him to make sure the situation was under control.

Honestly, I was really scared. It pretty much seemed like the opening to a shooting. It is completely possible he could have had a small arsenal, entirely legally purchased, in that bag. We were in Texas, where you can buy a gun at a pawn shop, FFS.

And that's fucking bullshit. I shouldn't have to be terrified that someone is going open fire on a crowd I am in. I like guns. I've gone to shooting ranges (mandatory, for me) and really enjoyed it. I've had the chance to shoot a ridiculously large machine gun with tracers, and yeah, it was pretty cool. And yes, of course, the second amendment is a thing. But I don't think that the tradeoff is worth it. I don't think that what we gain as a society by clinging onto clearly inappropriate levels of civilian armament is worth it. Yes, I know that there are already so many guns out there that they won't go away if we have stricter gun laws. I know there are many ways of getting a gun without going through legal channels. I know that the disproportionate amount of mass murders in the U.S. isn't solely due to guns but is also largely cultural in nature (I'm not even going to try to cover the scapegoat that is mental health). But. These things are never going to change if we never try. Maybe I will never get the chance to live in a society that doesn't think we have the right to shoot people at will. But maybe my nieces and nephews can, or their kids. Or maybe they'll just be sitting in the same place we are now, saying "there are too many factors, it's too hard!" and putting it off even further.

Okay, that's my unnecessary political rant for the day. I guess I should just be glad I didn't get shot. This time.

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Honorably Discharged

face
Well, it's official. I'm done with the Navy!

Okay not entirely. I have my DD214, but it is only administratively issued, as technically I am active duty until June 7. And even after that I'll technically by in the inactive reserves for another 3 years. But for all intents and purposes, I am done.

It's been a long, long journey. From a scared 17 year old girl to a still scared 26 year old woman, with a lot of stops along the way. This day has been a VERY long time coming and I am not sure my brain even knows how to process it. It hasn't really hit me yet.

I could get up tomorrow and fly to Europe. I could go off the grid for weeks. I could sleep all day or go get a tattoo on my face or just spend three weeks working on my tan. I can do whatever the fuck I want. For the first time in 9 years, no one owns me. In fact, it's really the first time EVER. I went from being in high school/living with my parents to joining the Navy. I've gained more freedom as I went, like getting my own apartment and learning how to deal with the real world, but the Navy is very much an almost parental like figure. It's crazy that I could get arrested and not have to immediately call and inform my chain of command.

Of course I still have obligations. I have savings but I do need to get a job eventually. I am not just going to abandon J and take off on a trek through central America. I have bills to pay and chores to do and tasks to accomplish. But if I really wanted to say fuck it then I could, and just having the option is a weird, wonderful feeling.

And to balance this all out, I am sick and getting sicker (currently in the nasal drip/sore throat/headache/loss of appetite area, but full-on congestion and sleeplessness is sure to come), so I'm likely going to spend my first few days popping medicines and wanting to die, as I am not particularly stoic about being sick.

easy as pie

baking
I put my pie baking skills to the test last weekend, and I think I am improving! Sure, I still cried when trying to line the pan with the crust. Seriously that shit is impossible, it breaks everywhere and grrr...but in the end, the crust turned out crumbly and delicious and the pie even looked halfway decent, which mine generally do not!

proof

And it tasted even better. It's been years since I've had strawberry rhubarb pie, and I was afraid I was misremembering how delicious it could be. Turns out I was not! We finished half the pie (suitably decked with french vanilla ice cream and whipped cream) the first night.

Nothing wrong with bringing some love into the world via fat, sugar, and flour! Well, my scale disagrees, but whatevs. Now time to reprise the dark chocolate peanut butter banana caramel cupcakes for J's work event tonight!

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HK gun
Just got back from a whirlwind trip (landed Wed night, left Fri afternoon) to DC for my nuclear engineer interview with naval reactors. I not only passed, but I scored an excellent, so I got whisked up to the admiral's office for a handshake and a coin. It's not especially important--it has little relevance outside of the Navy--but it was still a nice moment for me.

I got a chance to see an old high school friend who lives out there, and I got to walk about and be a little touristy before my flight back. It was quite cold, but at least I thought ahead and had brought winter coat/scarf/gloves/hat/long sleeves/thick socks. I know my own threshold for cold!

On the taxi back from the airport tonight I realized that my house keys were not in my purse and that my car was inside the garage. J is underway, so I was locked out. My plane didn't land til after 9 PM, so by the time a locksmith came (and left with 200 of my dollars), it was close to 11. Long long day! That I have now made much longer by staying up past 1 AM reading the board and other random things.

I have exactly 2 months before I begin my terminal leave. I have no job nor any job prospects at the moment, I feel completely unprepared to be an adult, I have no idea what I am doing with my life or what I want to be doing with my life or what I need to do to get to a place where I can figure those things out. But...that's life, eh?

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