10 weeks into the working world.

I’ve been working for over 2 months now and as a side note, I am proud to announce that I have finally rejoined the privileged Americans and I have health insurance for the first time in 2.5 years! My job is hectic to say the least. I work in a residential treatment home that houses 5 adolescents. We’re currently at 4 residents and every day is chaotic and totally different. My shifts (7 am – 3:30 pm) go by very quickly but I am always so worn out it’s difficult to do anything on my time off, plus my “weekend” are Mondays and Tuesdays, so a social life? nope. My clients range from 17-23 and they are male and female and live with several different mental illnesses and behaviors including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, self-mutilation, suicidal ideation, depression, panic disorder, conduct disorder, and post traumatic stress syndrome. Plus, they’re all moody adolescents on top of it! I help with cooking, daily hygiene, facilitating skills training and therapeutic groups, take clients to medical appointments and outings, administer medications, and bill for any interaction longer than 7 minutes and take notes on everything. Again, my job is very hectic :)

Being back in Portland has been a slow but great adjustment as well. The weather here has been amazing and I’ve been to several Timbers matches, but I haven’t found a way to network and make connections yet. I grew up in Portland but it’s been nine years since I lived here so it just feels a bit strange!

any ideas for how to network with people my age that doesn’t include me awkwardly sitting at a bar by myself?

:) cheers to summer!!

the freshest start.

walking across the Burnside Bridge this afternoon.

well, hello from Portland! in a quick turn of events, I now live in my own apartment in Portland (with the kitty, of course). I never thought I would end up back in Oregon – albeit an entirely new neighborhood that I hadn’t even driven through during my first 18 years residing here.

so here we go! another “fresh start” to add to my list… but the biggest and best news of all? I’m employed – in my field – with benefits! yeah, what a concept, I know, but this has been the most complicated and slowest employment process ever! I’m not doing entirely what I wanted to be doing, but I am doing what I know I am great at and I am very excited for my position and the population I’ll be interacting with. I’ll be working as a counselor at a small transitional group home with residents that are between 17-24 years old with varying levels of mental health and life skills. I started orientation on Monday and I’ll be continuing to train and start shadowing employees at several facilities around Portland until my facility is ready for me to begin. I’ve worked as a residential counselor before in Los Angeles and it is seriously intense work but I love it, I’m great at it, and I am more than ready to do this! oh and for the record – I signed a year lease. no more moving. cheers!

redefining “new year, new you”

confetti dropping at Decadence in Denver, NYE 2011/2012

I’m not a big new years person. I’ve never really made resolutions – or stuck to them – and I never really gave the ‘fresh start’ notion a try. You could infer that I’m a pessimist and don’t give myself enough credit to stick to my resolutions or that I believe I am above the cliche new diets and discounted gym memberships. Whatever the reason, I’ve never been a fan. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve most certainly had fun on NYE, most notably my junior year of high school when my family and I traveled to Australia, and NYE 2011/2012 in Denver with a weekend of concerts with amazing light shows. Further, I’ve been single for the past three years and always feel awkward when it comes to the infamous midnight kiss. The past few NYE’s have been almost too much fun – lots of drinking, concerts, cute boys, staying out until morning, and smiling all night long. Unfortunately, I had a more than horrible new years eve this year. I’m not going to get into any detail but all I can really say is that I am officially taking control of the “new year, new you!” slogan and decided that I get to be a new me whenever I want, it just won’t be in January.

meet ryan kitty!

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ryan kitty.

If you’re friends with me on facebook or follow me on twitter, you have most certainly already ‘met’ ryan kitty. I adopted him in June from a friend I worked with at the restaurant in Denver and rooming with an 8 week old kitten was difficult. We bonded immediately but man, he drove me nuts! Let’s just say we didn’t choose to sleep at the same times…and I only technically had one room so it was me and him 24/7, literally. So where does “ryan kitty” come from? I like human names for animals because they seem more unexpected – such as Jennifer for a dog – and when I thought of male names, I immediately thought of my favorite DJ that I mentioned in my last post, Kaskade. His real name is Ryan and being the creepy superfan that I am, it was an obvious choice to name this adorable kitten ryan! the “kitty” part I often add to the end is really just as simple as it sounds – to ensure that people know I am referring to my kitten and not some boyfriend that does odd things – such as bite my face to wake me up.

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chomping on one of my fingers.

ryan kitty accompanied the roommate and myself during the long drive to the northwest (and was perfectly behaved during the drive & hotel nights, believe it or not!) and now lives with another boy kitty his age and a female about six months older in our townhouse. The two boys get along well and I have a suspicion that ryan kitty has a crush on the girl cat, but she hisses at him when he gets near her and she runs away – with him chasing behind, of course. Sounds like young love to me! So yes, I freely admit my obsession with my cat, you all have now ‘met’ him yourselves, and I do shamelessly text pictures of him to my friends – the ones that allow me to do so, of course!

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he is so silly.

top moments of 2012

2012 has not been an awesome year for me, and to be honest, it hasn’t even been a good year. However, I want to reflect on the positive, because we all know it’s all too easy to stay in the shitty negative zone. So, here are my top 6 moments of 2012.

  1. Adopting ryan kitty. I haven’t introduced you all to ryan kitty yet but oh my lord of all things cute, I am shamelessly and beyond obsessed with my kitten. He plays fetch, he purrs in an instant, sleeps on my chest, loves me endlessly, and makes me squeal and giggle all day long. ryan kitty (I’ll explain him and his name in a later post) has been the my absolute highlight of 2012, hands down.
  2. Seeing Kaskade twice in one week. There are certain bands/artists that impact you like no others can, and Kaskade is that for me. He went on tour this summer and I immediately bought tickets to see him at Red Rocks in Denver. My parents invited me home for a long weekend, a friend in Portland mentioned his tour schedule, and I planned my trip around his Portland date. Red Rocks is a bucket-list worthy venue, and the tiny venue in Portland was the location of the majority of the concerts I went to in high school. it. was. awesome.
  3. Obama’s reelection. enough said.
  4. Turning 27. I’m not a fan of my birthday but this year I celebrated (just two days before my move!) with my best friend in Denver, in pajamas, with ryan kitty, we watched the presidential debate and Mean Girls, played a drinking game or two, and ordered a pizza.
  5. Hearing the words “we can offer you a position…” for the first time since I graduated. I haven’t expanded on my employment yet on the blog because my job, which I was hired for almost a month ago, hasn’t begun yet. But it will, and when it does, I will explain.
  6. Starting over, yet again. I’m not fully convinced that moving back to the Northwest was the best possible idea. However, I love my roommate, love the area, and love that I had 3 job interviews in a week (one of which resulted in a job). I miss Denver like crazy but things are falling into place here.

Here’s to 2013.

fur is murder, right?

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me (left) and my roommate. my sign shows the “rest of your fur coat”.

I live with a vegan, so my perspective has definitely been changing on the consumption and wearing of animals in the past two months. I do consume and wear animal products, I freely admit that, and thankfully my roommate doesn’t overtly judge me, or so she says! The majority of my closet doesn’t contain animals but I do love my Uggs, a particular pair of leather boots from Bosnia, and a bright pink wool blend pea coat that I couldn’t imagine giving up – and never considered that I might. Three weeks ago the roommate and I went to a protest outside of Nordstrom in Seattle hosted by Action for Animals and it totally opened my eyes to a world of animal activism. About 15 of us politely stood outside of Nordstrom, holding signs and distributing pamphlets. Several families were disgusted by the graphic posters and said we should be ashamed of ourselves, others clapped in support. A few women walked by in “fur” jackets or vests and loudly exclaimed “it’s fake! it’s fake!!” likely out of their own guilt for us assuming they could be wearing fur.

Here is my question, can I be an activist for animals if I continue to eat and wear animals on a regular basis? I do eat animals and I wear them – that sounds totally weird to say, but it’s true. Talking about eating and wearing animals makes me uncomfortable, yet I am directly contributing to their death. So, will I continue to eat animal products? As of now, yes. I do cook and consume a mostly plant based diet – it’s way easier to cook a meal for the two of us that we both can eat – but I do eat animal based products almost every day. I would never, ever buy anything with real fur, but a lot of people do, and I’m wearing leather boots right now. How big is this grey area? Where do you stand on animal rights?

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated… I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man - Mahatma Gandhi.

twenty six point two miles.

I have recently been tantalized by a very daunting fitness goal – to run a marathon. To be honest, I don’t know if I have the mental or physical ability to actually do it, but does anyone? The body is not made to just run 26 miles…it’s incredibly grueling and demanding. I have finished a half marathon in a mostly acceptable time – my judgment, not anyone else’s- but I never put my heart fully into training. I have always liked running and athletics but it’s always something I feel like I have had to work harder at than everyone else. So does that give me more or less motivation? I don’t know yet. The race is the Portland Marathon, October 6th, 2013. I have the time. I have the opportunity. I have the gear. As of now, I’m think doing it. What do I really have to lose? (well, besides a few toenails).