All I Want is a J-O-B… Says All the Twenty Somethings Out There

Alright so something has got to give.

As many of you know I graduated from college in May along with lots of other twenty somethings across the country. So I know I’m not alone in the let’s get a job game. Whether its in the arts, marketing, communication, whatever you majored in, if you have just graduated from a college with a degree you’re probably feeling it right now.

I’ve talked with a few friends in different areas who seemed to be struggling with the job market just as I have been. Which makes me feel better, because I know I’m not alone, but at the same it also really sucks!

If you read my blog religiously or at all you know that I’ve been freelancing. I’ve chosen to go this route so that I could keep my options open. Since for me I still don’t know what world I want to sell my soul to. (That’s not true. I want to sell my soul to Cirque, but that’s another story at another time. .) I actually mean sell my soul, because once I start working for a genre there’s kind of no turning back.

It’s why last month I worked a dance recital and why since I’ve come home I’ve been working with Bella Love. A small local entertainment company. Who’s mission and vision for bring arts into Cornelius I believe and support 100%. Actually this company is doing great things! I’ve worked with them on and off the last 3 years. To the point now where I’m actually friends with my bosses who own this company. Which is an amazing feeling, because the respect and want to hear my opinion on how we can improve events, the quality of events, and such.

Unfortunately for me, though this company is only 7 years old and has been growing fast, as well as, bringing the community together, the amount of money that I get paid for each event is nowhere near enough for me to sustain myself on. Which is why I’ve also been supplementing myself with other jobs such as baby sitting and such. None of which I want, but need.

I actually had an amazing conversation last night about how the Cornelius Arts Center that’s being built soon is still being laid out. A lot of what the arts council and center want to achieve are things that Bella Love, the company I work for now, has done or already done. The problem is they can’t keep moving forward with the steam they have without funding. It sucks that everything comes back to money, but it’s the truth. Right now Bella Love functions as its own entity. We produce our events with the help of local business sponsors and sometimes the help of the parks department. Like I said this new arts center coming is expecting this company to continue doing what it has been the last few years, which just isn’t substantial.

The end result of this conversation was we need to figure out a way to get local government funding so that we can expand the company and quality of the events we produce. The issue we’re running into is a numbers game. When you have a company you should always have documentation of pretty much everything. This is the number one thing that has been frustrating me this summer. This company I’m working for has a terrible documentation system. When ever I want to know how we pulled off an event in the past so that I can figure out how to improve it. We have nothing on it and I have to start from ground zero. It’s just in everyone’s heads. If we had all of this information written down somewhere it would be a lot way easier to prove to the government why they should help with funding. Which in return could create more jobs (As in a job for me!) But I digress. . .

With each conversation I have with a friend who’s recently graduated we all come to same conclusion. A 4 year college degree doesn’t mean much anymore. The job market isn’t really conducive at to fresh out of school graduates. Before someone comes back at me with a negative argument you should know my friends and I aren’t being spoiled millennials.

We’re not expecting a high paying job at high level in a company. We’re not stupid we understand how the real world works. We know that you have to start at the bottom and work your way up. Honestly, most people I know have no problems with doing this and actually want to. The problem we are facing is the fact that there are few opportunities for us to start somewhere. We’re not expecting to be handed a job or for something to land in our laps.

I know that everyone has their own path and that things happen for a reason. Eventually things will fall into place for us. It’s just highly frustrating when you’ve sent nearly 45 applications, gotten about 9 interviews, and countless rejection emails. I personally keep my rejection emails as a way to fuel me. It’s my motivation. So that when I do finally land something I can look back at these emails and have the last laugh!

The other frustrating thing is I know lots of people who have degrees in various things who are currently working as a server, bartender, or cashier somewhere, etc. who get talked down by the people they are currently servicing. I haven’t really experienced this, but it blows my mind that some people have the nerve to do this. Just because someone is working a minimum wage job doesn’t mean they’re lazy, they have no motivation, or whatever other negative connotation that’s attached.  They’re most likely working that job because they need some form of income and they’re probably working two or three other jobs just like this.

The other thing is it’s not uncommon for people who freelance in the performing arts industry or really any industry to have multiple side hustle as a way that’s supplementing them. We all have bills to pay, debts to repay, and other things. However, asking someone in my field to work for free is insulting. I’ve been asked to Stage Manage or work an event as a volunteer before. As someone who has a degree and knows that with this unprofessional work you’re asking me to do for free. . . Is most likely going to require more of me than the normal quality of work and professionalism I’m used. Yeah, HELL NO I’m not working for free! I wouldn’t ask you to do my taxes or whatever it is that’s your occupation for free. So don’t assume I’d do the same.

This is how I make my living. Yes, it’s art. Yes, it’s my passion and I chose to live my life this way. No, I don’t plan on getting a real job. . .This is a real job.

I know this is probably annoying, but it’s a frustrating time for me and other people my age. We’re lazy if we don’t have a job and we’re lazy if we have a job that’s minimum wage. When the reality is we’re not being lazy at all! I guess for now all I can do is keep applying and interviewing until I get something.

Until then you can find me behind a bar, being your barista, working retail, or as your child’s babysitter. Here’s to all the twenty somethings with a side hustle trying to make in the world! Heads up.

Comment below if you’re feeling the same way, have some words of wisdom, or whatever.

– Bre-nana

Relationships Are Hard.

I’ve mentioned in other posts I recently broke up with my boyfriend. It was a mutual thing and did not end on bad terms. In fact we still talk pretty much everyday. Part of me wants him to read this post and the other part hopes he never does. I guess we’ll see. . .

See the thing is him and I are in two completely different places in our lives. There’s nothing wrong with that. At the moment he just moved back to Asheville, adjusting to the move, and is planning on starting school again. As for me, well I’m kind of floating right now. We both have a lot going on in our lives.

My reasoning for wanting to breakup is our relationship changed. Once we both moved away from Winston-Salem our entire dynamic changed. I noticed it when I was saw in May for my graduation party. Something just felt kind of off. I attributed that to meeting my family and friends for the first time. Which I don’t blame him. My family and friends are intimidating. We continued on anyway seeing if we could make things work.

This past month in June I went through a lot of emotional turmoil. I’m still emotional a mess right now in my life. My Dad’s situation is a lot to deal with. I personally am not one to let out my emotions. I tend to avoid them or keep them bottled up until I can’t anymore. Neither are very healthy and I know this. Which is why when I initially left for New York I told him this is how I handle difficult situations. He had told me he wanted me to lean on him for this, but I don’t think he really understood what I was going to need. I didn’t even realize what I was going to need.

There were lots of moments throughout the month of June when I needed him physically and emotionally. . .physically we were in two different places. I knew that wasn’t possible. Emotionally all I wanted was for him support me. Call me or answer when I called him. I just wanted to have a person to talk to that I didn’t have to keep it all together. I thought I could do that with him. There was some other things that came between us this past month as well. I think emotionally he wasn’t ready to be in a relationship again. I’m sure he felt like he was. Honestly, I don’t blame him. He went through a lot with his ex-girlfriend.

At times it felt like for me I was in a relationship with myself. Which I have no problem with being alone. I’m actually pretty good at it, but at this moment in time I wasn’t. So I shouldn’t have felt like it. There were weeks where I realized if I didn’t text or call him first he wouldn’t have at all. That wouldn’t normally bother me, but the situation I was in I needed that. I needed to feel that connection and it was lacking. The entire month of June I felt sad and alone. I knew I wasn’t alone because I have some amazing friends who never let me stay in a dark place too long. However, I felt like I was missing something and it was him. It might not be fair to him to ask or need that. If that’s the case then I apologize.

I remember one night after a hard day at the hospital I had been talking to my boyfriend about everything that was going on and he just wasn’t really getting it. I could tell he was trying, but all I wanted was him to wrap his arms around and hold me while I cried. Since I knew that wasn’t going to happen, because we were 9 hours away from each other. I was at least hoping to hear his voice as some form of comfort. He ended up falling asleep on me which had been a reoccurrence throughout the month and honestly throughout the past few months. I had just finished telling him how I was upset, sobbing, and hyperventilating. Nothing he wasn’t there for me. Luckily one of my longest best friends called me and she let me just cry until I was done.

I’m not mad that he’s a sleepy person or what not. Some people can’t help it I guess. It’s just frustrating when you tell someone you’ll be there for them and then you’re not. . .It really let me down. I get that he had to work all day, but at the end of the day (9:00pm) I wanted to be able to talk to him for at least 15 minutes so I could get out whatever is that was going on. It just never really happened though.

Everyone I’ve spoken to about it or really anything I’ve been through with my Dad throughout June stopped what they were doing to talk with me and be there with me. My best friend who’s in Florida use to call me after work which was at like mid-night just to check up on me, but the person I was in a relationship with couldn’t do that? It just didn’t feel right and honestly I couldn’t imagine doing this to anyone let alone him. I don’t really get it though and I guess it’s something I’ll never truly understand.

I’m not a perfect ray of sunshine either. I thought 4 months ago when we got into a relationship it seemed like a good idea. I think I might have been blinded. He’s a great guy whom I’m attracted to. He’s sweet,  he likes the way I think, he’s incredibly kind, and I love his dog. How could I not want to be in a relationship with him?

We had a great physical relationship too. It wasn’t weird and we were both comfortable with each other which is important. Really it wasn’t a bad relationship. It just started to feel more like we were friends instead of together. Although I can’t even really say that because I have exceptional friends who really care about my well-being. Not that he doesn’t. He just has a different way of showing it. It’s just hard to move past that when in a romantic relationship. Especially because it’s important to me.

All this being said I still love him and a part of me always will. It hurts that he doesn’t understand why I got frustrated, but I’ve got to let learn to let go so that we can be friends. Awhile ago I said to him I think he’s special and is meant to be in my life forever. I wasn’t sure how or in what capacity, but that we’re meant to be a part of each others lives in some shape. I know this sounds crazy, but I truly believe this. Theres a few people I’ve felt this was about and so far it’s been true. But I defiantly think we crossed paths for a reason.

At the end of the day I think we both made the right decision for ourselves. Relationships are hard. I mean all types romantic, friendly, and family. Here’s to growing and learning.

 

IMG_3635

4th of July Weekend

My parents have recently gotten on a camping kick. I never thought that’s something they’d be in to, but they love it. It just so happened that one of my best friends lives 10 minutes down the street from where my parents were planning on camping this weekend. I happened to make plans to see him this weekend.

19756523_10214356878422765_3923678863406726014_n

So Friday we packed up the car and drove the 2 hours to Raccoon Holler in Jefferson, North Carolina. We arrived a little after 8:00pm and had to set camp up in the dark along with the rain. It was quite the adventure. We then met up with some family friends at their camper (talk about glamping!). We sat around the fire laughing and drinking. It was a good way to end the night. My Mom, Step Dad and I made our way back to the tent. I snuggled into my sleeping bag for the night. Theres something relaxing and recharging laying in the tent. Listening to the pitter patter of the rain.

At about 5:30am we all woke up. Mostly because my Step Dad wakes up at the ass crack of dawn every day. Mom and I just had to pee. So it was an adventure in the dark to the bath house so we could relieve ourselves. After we walked back the parents wanted to make some coffee. I watched the sun come up over the mountain. By then it was 6:00am and I wanted to go back to sleep for a couple more hours. So I did!

19702175_10214356881902852_3942278180232370285_n

When I woke up again I had some coffee made in campsite. We went to see if our family friends were up and about. They weren’t yet. So we explored the camp grounds. There was a small “lake”, it’s actually a pond. There were fish in this pond. Strictly catch and release. For some reason I really don’t like the idea of catch and release. If you’re going to go fishing you should keep whatever catch. . . unless of course it’s too small. I don’t know I feel bad for the fish. We ended up walking back up to our friend’s campsite. They had finally risen. We began snacking and enjoying some Bloody Marys. Because what else do you do on a rainy Saturday morning?!

My best friend and the dude he’s currently dating came to pick me up from the campsite. We drove into the town of Jefferson. This weekend was it’s annual Christmas in July festival. Anyone who knows me knows I hate Christmas. I’m actually the Grinch. Surprisingly though this festival was just your typical small town street festival. It really didn’t have anything to do with Christmas. This town is known for selling Christmas trees in the holiday seasons. Which is what this festival is celebrating. It’s heritage.

We walked through the town to the different stages. We watches some clogging. Then caved into buying Gyros and fresh lemonade. We then walked up to the park that sat on top of the town for a quiet place to sit and eat in the shade. I just so happened to have a flask in my back pack. (I like to come prepared!) So my best friend and I spiked our lemonade with some tequilla! Go a head judge me, but it defiantly made things a lot more fun! We eventually met up with my friend’s parents. After watching the kids bounce around the bouncy castle and contemplating if I was going to sneak in to join them. I didn’t.. I really didn’t want to get arrested. We ended up at the Tavern, which is a restaurant in downtown Jefferson. It was hot and time for Margaritas! We escaped the sun’s rays on the top deck with cool drinks. After some funnel cake we left to go home. We then sat on the back porch and watch as their neighbors shot off some pretty spectacular fireworks.

The next day I woke up at my friend’s house to a biscuit from Bojangles. My favorite! We sat on the front porch swing drinking coffee, eating our biscuits, and plotting our day. I was slightly fried from the day before. Fair skin, slight gingerness, and lack of sunscreen equals sunburnt! We end up deciding to hike Elk Knob Summit. A new trail that neither of us had been on. I was up for the adventure. I currently broke up with my boyfriend (I’ll write about that another time.) and right now in general I’m feeling lost in life.

Whenever I feel lost and need to gain some clarity I usually hike to the top of a mountain. There’s something about walking up an incline, sweating and being one with all the nature around you. It’s like meditation for me. While hiking to the top of a mountain I’m distracted. I usually focus on my breath and pace. Along with my water intake. Every now in then I stop and smell the flowers, or in this case I stopped and photographed the flowers. Which has been awhile since I’ve had my camera out shooting something just because I feel like. Being behind a lens felt great!

The view from the top was worth the hike up. The flies may have drove me nuts, but the breeze and scent of honeysuckles was well worth it. After we hiked down I felt better about where I am currently in life. I may keep getting rejected from everywhere I keep applying to but I’m keeping my head up. After the hike we went back to my friend’s house. We had stopped at Food Lion before so that I could pick up some pound cake and whipped cream for dessert. (There was strawberries at home) We arrived and there was salmon and veggies on the grill. My friend and I both took quick showers and set the table for dinner. The glaze on this salmon was to delicious. Seriously the perfect meal after hiking all day.

When we finished dinner I began to clean up. Everyone kept telling me to stop and that I’m a guest. . .For me it’s entirely way too hard for me not to help or do the dishes. I’m weird I love to do the dishes. Also my mother would kill me if I didn’t help clean up after dinner or at least offer to help. We all then took our glasses of wine a played a couple of rousing games of corn hole. Which corn hole is apparently like beer pong in that everyone has their own rules. So for me their house rules were if it bounces off the ground it doesn’t count. . .This is literally how I get any points ever. So i started just trying to swish it into the hole. It failed most of the time, but the few times I happened to make it in my team won. So it was a worthy method.

The next day we tried to go tubing down the river. However, we got rained out. We were all bummed out at first, but honestly I didn’t mind the rain. It was really relaxing to hear and smell the rain. My friend and just sat on the front porch swing listening to the rain and drinking coffee. Once it let up I began my journey home.

This weekend was needed. I haven’t seen my best friend since May. (That may not sound like a long time but believe me it is..) We have both been through a lot in the past month. So it was healing to be around him and his family for a few days. Not to mention a great way to distract myself from everything that’s happening in my life. Like I said I got rejected on Sunday from a job I really wanted and then another rejection email on Monday. I feel really discouraged, but I know something will happen eventually.

Today to celebrate America’s Birthday the family is doing a low country boil and I’ll be making some upside down pineapple cake. I have so much to be thankful for. I’m going to continue to enjoy the time I have with my family and enjoy the rest of my summer.

Have a safe and fun 4th of July everyone.

– Bre-nana