Day 7, 30 Days of Me

What is your dream job, and why?

This is tricky, because I’m not entirely sure I know the answer. I can talk about my last internship, which I adored, and my desire to return there. I can talk about the field I’m currently in, which I enjoy. Or, I can talk about any number of things that intrigue me and I’d be open to doing someday, should the circumstances allow for it (some more cheesy than others).

First, the internship I had whilst finishing graduate school was fabulous. I worked with great people, including my supervisor. I had enough work to stay busy, the work challenged me, was interesting, and helped make a difference in society in a positive way. It paid well, and I was excited to go to work each day. My current ambition is to return to that agency. Unfortunately, they weren’t hiring when it was time for me to find work. Thankfully, they are supposed to be hiring in the next month or so, and God-willing, I’ll get through the process and be able to return. The most I’ll give on here (have to maintain some efforts at privacy and anonymity) is that the job was part of the legislative branch.

Second, the field I’m in now. I’ll clarify that technically, my job duties mimic the ones from my internship, it’s really almost the same field. I essentially do program evaluations for the federal government. Yay efficiency and effectiveness! Seriously though, facetiousness aside, I truly adore the mission behind what I do. Public service and improving our government’s accountability deeply matter to me. Beyond that, the type of work I do is challenging and interesting, and uses my skill set perfectly (logical reasoning, interviewing people, working on a team, writing, data analysis). Thing is, the specific job I’m in at this moment involves working with folks that are quite challenging in an organization that has many, many challenges. Essentially, not keen on the current job, but very keen on the field.

Lastly…I still have lots of things I enjoy doing. I’d love to write and publish a book someday. I’d love to be a guidance counselor or someone that helps kids select and apply for college. I’d enjoy working in intelligence. I’d enjoy helping with criminal investigations, doing operations research or something. I’d enjoy working in local political office. I’d enjoy being a full time “homemaker,” PTA-soccer mom type of style. I’d enjoy event planning for weddings or nonprofit/political fundraisers. I’d enjoy doing psychological/behavioral research, especially on sex. I’d enjoy owning a bookstore or coffeeshop, running a bed and breakfast or small inn, or helping manage a restaurant or bar. Basically, my interests are wide and varied, and who knows where life will take me? I’m not actively pursuing any of these things, really, but I’m open to living life and maintaining some flexibility.

I’m goal oriented, but I also understand that really, a big part of life is knowing what you enjoy and like and trying to enjoy each moment. When things aren’t challenging or satisfying at all, it’s worth reexamining the situation and current options. Furthermore, I always keep my ears and eyes open for opportunities, because you never know when a welcomed curveball will be thrown your way.

Post-Job Pity Party

Definitely had an awful day today. I’m not sure how much of my over-emotionalism can be attributed to PMS and con-drop, but in general, awful. I actually had to leave class to get all upset and teary in the bathroom – and I very, very rarely cry.

I didn’t realize just how difficult it would be to leave my job. I mean, I loved working there – I loved the people I worked with, what I was doing, the mission, all of it. I just didn’t realize how much a part of my life it has become. I have spent 640 hours with these people, in that building. I loved every second of it (ok, maybe not the 14 hours I was there with strep throat, but you get it). Realizing that I won’t get to go back there tomorrow, that I won’t be seeing certain coworkers, that I won’t be finishing certain projects literally crushed me.

Yes, there is hope that in FY13 they will hire. Yes, there is a high degree of certainty that when they hire, I’ll be able to go back. It was great that everyone I talked to and said goodbye to offered to help me in any way they could and professed how upset they were that I couldn’t be hired – people of all levels, including upper management. That was definitely gratifying. And of course, I know that I still live here, and a few of the people I’ll miss most will still likely be up for grabbing coffee or drinks occasionally. I have contact information, and I can stay in touch.

All that said, it still doesn’t matter. I’m still very, very upset by it. I found my absolute dream job, and I was awesome at it, and I still can’t have it anymore. I’m lucky I found it at all, I know, and I know I’m young and have time to get back to that. Logically, yes. But it is so unfair!

What’s even more frustrating is how most of the people in my program got their job easily – one discussion, and BAM. I was one of the last people to find something, and I had applied to more than triple the number of places as everyone. I had interviews and phone calls and cold calls and then – finally – I found my place. Now, all those other people get to stay where they are even if they don’t like the job, and I LOVE mine and worked so hard to get it, but I can’t stay.

I’m going to move on from this. I’m not letting myself be upset like this past today. It is what it is. I’m blessed that I know what I eventually want to do long-term, I’m blessed that I have people rooting for me there, I’m lucky that I have other options for the time being and for after-graduation. I’m in no position to complain, so this post is all I get to have.

As a last point – my day sucked for many reasons beyond this whole job thing, it was just the job thing that personally upset me so much. The other things were kind of just last straws.

1/31 – Bye Bye January

I got the job! Well, sort of. I have moved on to the next stage of processing, aka extensive paperwork hell for security and medical clearances. I don’t have a salary offer yet, nor have I signed (or been asked to sign) an acceptance letter yet. But, they offered me the position contingent on all this crap. Crazy! So, now I have to decide how dangerously I want to live. I never thought about working in Afghanistan before. That said, I always said that if I was in better shape I probably would have enlisted…this is my civilian way of serving my country. The danger scares me, and in some ways the job isn’t ideal – it’s a male dominated office, the office has a bit of a bad rep, some of the jobs on contracts could be dull. On the other hand, having a top secret clearance, experience working with contractors, int’l experience, and lots of training/prof. development opportunities is a great deal for a first job. I feel like in many ways, it isn’t somewhere I want to be long, but is a good place to be for a short while. I’m going to move ahead with paperwork , and see what happens in the meantime.

I heard officially that I can’t stay where I’m at past Feb 22 – that’s the FINAL line. I’m now refocusing on something to fill the last 9 weeks of the semester so that I don’t go crazy with boredom. Hopefully, I’ll find something that will be good experience.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close made me cry (as expected), but was a great movie. It definitely deserves the nomination for best picture.

The number of people registered for DO:WF has surpassed 1,000. I’m more than a little overwhelmed by this. Hopefully I will not be hiding in a corner the whole weekend.

In other news, I’ve basically realized I’m afraid to date a vanilla guy at all. This is why I say no to second dates and shy away from flirting sometimes. I think I could handle not doing kinky stuff in a relationship, at least for the short term and I’m willing to try it. Thing is, I cannot and will not lie about who I am, and some members of the kinky community are good friends now. I can’t pretend to have not gone to events or participated in activities. I don’t know how to explain the friends without getting into the activities. I don’t know how to explain the activities at all without seemingly like some sort of crazy deviant, sex addict, or moral-less slut. I know I’m not a slut, but for someone unfamiliar to kink, it sounds ridiculous.

How do I explain the level of experience (or inexperience, rather) I have sexually whilst still making sense of the number of times I’ve been in intimate situations with folks – ala less clothing, pain, etc. Kinky play evokes sensual reactions, even when there is no outright touching or sexual contact – so is it sexual experience? Is it something I mention? How do I explain my enjoyment of pain, or do I not say anything? How do I tell them about my erotic stories, which are all kinky, without explaining the rest of my kink? How do I have a relationship with someone without mentioning any of it? I wish vanilla guys of interest would just somehow magically figure it out and be the one to bring it up or go there.

Basically, I don’t know how to be myself with a vanilla person. I acknowledge that certain vanilla people are open minded and may be able to talk about it without being into doing it, but I’ve not mastered how to discern who those people are yet. If I could find out VGF’s level of acceptance and/or interest in kinky things, maybe I’d feel less afraid of the possibilities there. Part of the appeal of meeting someone through the kinky community or an Alpha/dominant “vanilla” guy is that they make the innuendo, they bring up the out-of-the-norm sex stuff, they make the moves.

So, back to the search for a kinky partner in the meantime. I’m also not sure I’m ready to give up the kinky community and the openness and exploration. On a lot of levels, it’s fun and I’m young so why not have fun? At the same time, it’d be great to have someone looking out for my best interests, to play with regularly, to get sexual with, and to go out with in vanilla ways sometimes.

Conflicting Forces

I feel like there are lots of things that are confusing me right now, both professionally and personally.

First, I keep going back and forth between what I was raised to think and what my friends think to what is the norm in the kinky community, in terms of poly, playing with others, sex outside of relationships, etc. There are just so many different ways you can live your life, and at the end of the day only you can make those decisions.

On top of that, I have no idea where I want to be in 5 years, if I’m going to enjoy the next 9 months at my new job, or what sector (private, public, etc) suits me best. I am answering so many questions with “I don’t know” lately, and it drives me bonkers. I like having a plan, having goals, knowing expectations. I feel like this year is just pushing me out of my comfort zone in so many ways.

I know that it’s ok, that’s it’s just how life is, and that it’ll all work out. I’m sure opportunity will find it’s way to me and I’ll figure my shit out at some point, it’s just weird in the in-between. On the surface, everything is right on track to success in both my personal and private lives (and I’m very happy with my life right now, if stressed), but I don’t know the best way to pursue continued success and move forward whilst still also being unsure of my exact destination.

In the rest of randoms:

  • Started the new job, though it’s just been paperwork thus far. I’m more worried about it being an introverted, anti-social environment, but hopefully it will be fun.
  • Classes continue, I’m already behind. I’ve also determined that I need to read for budget policy after the class, otherwise the class is repetitive and boring as hell.
  • I had a great weekend full of socializing and fun activities with a variety of different people. I was all set for a weekend full of lovely one-on-one time with myself, errands, chores, and getting my act together post-traveling. Instead, I literally spent every moment with people. It was great, but now I’m behind on life things.
  • –With the above, I drank kind of a lot (for me) on Saturday night. It was interesting. If you ever want my high school self to reemerge (read: see me sing and dance), all it takes is some flip cup. I’m a terrible lightweight with alcohol, and I become much more outgoing. I also laugh a lot, but since I do that anyways, that’s not a big shocker.
In the days to come, I’m going to update my new DC bucket list and general one. I’m very certain about the many things to do here! I know I’ll have very little time to do them all, but here’s to trying :).

Great News

I got the job I wanted for this fall!!! It’s definitely a blessing. I’m very, very, very excited :).

In other news, I’m debating events this week: BR munch and demo on Tuesday, Rockville munch on Wednesday, Baltimore TNG happy hour on Wednesday, and DO happy hour on Thursday. Which event(s) should I go to?

The BR demo could be good – it’s on self esteem, and lord knows I always need more tips in that department. I’m not certain if it will be age-play themed, though, which isn’t really my kink. The TNGB event would be great, but I’m not sure how traffic and parking would be. It may be worth trying, though.

Hmm. I will continue to ponder.

Update: TNG -Baltimore is the winner this week. It looks like the most people go, people stay within TNG age range, and it’s a bit out of the city which intimidates me less. I don’t know why that is, it should be more intimidating, but I find it comforting. Parking hopefully won’t be terrible.

Also, one of my nipples is literally black due to intense bruising. This is the most bruised it’s ever been. I’m not sure what to make of it. I probably should buy some form of lotion or balm for it.

EEE!

Just got the perfect internship offer for this summer. Prestige, substantive, gets me into government. YAY! JUST before I accepted somewhere else, too.

Only negative: it’s unpaid. I have a fellowship that will cover my rent, and the gov will pay for metro, but I still need to eat/survive all summer… Not sure how that will happen yet. And, it isn’t in energy, which is kind of a negative I guess. But, national security and energy go really closely together, and substantive policy work in a government agency will work out well even if it isn’t energy specific.

I think my decision has been made. It will take a killer offer at this point to change my mind.

I’m so excited!!!!

*edit* I wish my parents would be excited for me. Just once. The unpaid part is what is turning them off of it. Thing is, my paid offer isn’t a lot of money, and I’d literally be answering phones all summer. It’d be low key/fun, but entirely unsubstantive, and no one has heard of the firm really. Working for a government agency looks amazing when I’m applying for government jobs, and I’d be doing real work (wtf is the point of paying $70,000 for school if I’m not using the skills?). Plus, only 5 in about 500 applicants get it. You’d THINK they’d be proud of me. Talk about a killjoy.

Noisy Neighbor Fail

This is another clusterfuck of randomness, but that really seems to be what my life is lately.

First, my neighbors are being inordinately noisy right now. It’s Thursday, people. I get it – I want to party too. I even like your music…but I have class in the morning, and I’m tired, and I don’t want to hear it right now. I do get some satisfaction that when I filed the noise complaint, apparently other people had already called it in. AKA, they’re annoying the hell out of everyone, not just me.

Then, there are a lot of good’n’bads of the last few days.

  • Good –> I got accepted to go to the ARPA-E Energy Summit in DC in 2 weeks! I get to hear Steven Chu, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and a host of other politicians and energy experts speak. I’m pumped. Bad –> I have to take some mini-finals early to be able to go to the conference. Good –> I got $500 in funding from my school, so I get to stay at the luxury hotel the conference is being held at, and it cuts WAY down on logistical stress and spending. Bad –> I have to buy new career stuff to look snazzy. Good –> I get to go shopping!
  • Bad –> my friend’s car got towed from my apartment lot yesterday. It cost her $125 to get back, and I felt awful. Stupid towing people.
  • Bad –> my laptop has these funky lines on the screen, indicative of a failing video chip/cord or some such thing. It needs to be repaired, and I really don’t have time for that. Good –> I bought the extended on-site warranty, and they send someone to my house to fix it, free of charge! YAY! It would cost $600 to repair if I didn’t have this…aka I would’ve had to have bought a new computer, and I’m too broke for that.
  • Good –> It was 65 degrees today!!! YES! WARMTH and SUNLIGHT! It really does make that much of a difference in my life.

Things are going well, in general. I’m still really enjoying everything in my life, which is great. I’ve been talking a lot with some friends who aren’t really happy with what they’re doing, and they don’t know what they like to do. I’m lucky – I know what I want to do, and I want to do it because it satisfies me, enthuses me, and inspires me, not just because of the potential acclaim I will receive. I love public policy. I absolutely adore research, especially about energy subjects. I enjoy policy analysis – figuring out trends in numbers and doing the analysis excites me. I know my passion, and I’m blessed for it.

Sure, I may not end up in the job that does that right away. I have to get my foot in the door and figure out if a federal agency, think tank, committee, consulting firm, or ngo is the best place for me to do the type of work I want to do. The benefit is that working in any of those places will only help me at the others, so I really can’t go wrong to start. I’m still focusing on the feds to start since it’s the hardest to get into, but I’d be equally happy at any of them. I’m one of few people I know who can say that, and I feel extraordinarily blessed.

It’s hard to believe that at this time last year, I was waiting to hear from grad schools, uncertain about my future and my own ability to succeed. I have so many more skills now, academically, and I have so much more insight professionally, as well as so many more connections. I have a great group of friends, I’m living in a wonderful city, and I am really “finding myself.” I’m even letting my inner kinky side out, and I’m taking it by the balls and attending things by myself without tweaking out (yay for progress!).

I only hope that the rest of 2011 continues in this fashion, especially after I move to DC. I’ll miss the communities I’m currently part of.