More grown-up talk…this could get boring

Somebody remind me the next time I go out that when I come home and throw up in my garbage can, throw the garbage bag out immediately! Last Saturday I ended up doing just that (throwing up in my garbage can) and neglected to throw it out the next day. As a result, it was sitting in my room for a week and spawned a handful of gross-looking fruit fly thingies (I think they’re fruit flies, at least) that continue to fly around in my room. Seriously. I am 22-years-old now, and I can’t believe I let that happen.

This week was my very first week working both full time and part time. Let me tell you, it’s a lot harder than I thought, and I didn’t even work a full 40 hours at my internship this week because we get a four-day weekend for Labor Day. My body is so completely exhausted, and I barely have time to shower, eat and sleep when I’m home. I actually have to make plans for things like shopping, which I’ve been doing a lot lately. I insist, though, that a majority of my shopping is for work-related clothes, because I noticed my closet kind of screams “college girl” (lots of T-shirts and skanky tops) rather than “young professional” (dress pants, fancy blouses). It also doesn’t help that I just got a new credit card. With a $5000 limit. But I’m telling you, I’m going to do everything in my power to go against the norm and NOT be one of those girls who just pulls out the plastic whenever she sees something pretty in a window display. I really just wanted to get a new credit card with better rates because the one I’ve had since freshman year is sucking me dry, and my Best Buy one just hit me with a nasty load of deferred interest charges. So I’m trying to manage.

Speaking of money and grown-up things, my parents have been pressuring me to buy a car lately. It makes sense, obviously. There’s five of us in this house, three working adults (I’m one of them now, yay!), one community college student and a high school kid. Everyone’s got somewhere to go, especially now that summer’s over. We have three cars, one of which is a total gas-guzzling SUV that is in desperate need of a checkup. My parents have been commenting a lot on how we need a fourth car for the family, and obviously that fourth car is going to need to be bought by me.

But the thing is, I don’t really want a new car of my own. And by that I mean I don’t want to have to pay for a car every month for the next 5 years. I know I really do need a car and all, but what if something happens and then I’m stuck with a car I can’t pay for? My internship is only temporary, and my part-time retail job isn’t going to cut it if/when the time comes and I’m stuck in a rut again. Plus, there’s my secret fantasy plan, which I haven’t really told anybody much less my parents. Thing is, I can’t see myself wanting to stay in Illinois for the next 5, 10 years. As much as I love the city of Chicago, the feelings aren’t there anymore. Plus, the politics and government in this state sucks. At the moment my plan is to live at home and work in Illinois for a couple more years, then move abroad temporarily. I’d really like to do the Peace Corps or teach abroad for a while before settling somewhere more permanently. Or, there’s still my other plan, which is to go to graduate/law school.

There’s also the fact that I don’t know anything about cars. Which one do I buy?!

Man, looking for work IS hard work

The time has come for me to decide what direction I want to go in for the rest of my life…or at the very least, my immediate future life. ‘Cause as much as I don’t want to admit it to myself, I really can’t decide. I don’t really know quite what to do. I don’t know what my next step is.

Throughout most of college I operated under the idea that someday I would work in book publishing. It’s a fantasy that had formed shortly after I first saw Bridget Jones’s Diary sometime during junior year of high school. And when I declared my English major, I figured books were my number one love (tied with piano/music, I suppose) and why not pick an industry that involved them? As it is, I currently do have a fair amount of writing and editing experience, I would say, not only in book publishing but also in journalism.

But alas, book publishing jobs are not really to be found much here in Chicago. My future dream is to find a fab one somewhere in New York City or London. But the thing is…I don’t want to move away right now. Ironic, right? Me, the girl who’s been itching to get the heck out of America, is trying her best right now to stay at home. It saves money and gives me the chance to help out my family. In a few years I can see myself moving out to the aforementioned cities…but right now I just don’t want to.

So therein lies the problem. What do I do now? I need money. I need something to do. I need to start saving up for when I travel around the world and for when I eventually move out of the Midwest. I could do journalism here. I guess.

Yet…I still have other dreams. Other fantasies. Such as…

  • Working for ESPN. As an NBA sideline reporter, to be specific. I am so obsessed with basketball, I know I’d have the right enthusiasm. Although there’s a good chance I might start declaring my love for some of the athletes in public were I to actually meet them in person. Besides, don’t networks want pretty girls on their channels to attract more male viewers? Just sayin’.
  • Being a librarian at a big city library. I can’t imagine ever wanting to spend the rest of my life as a librarian at my local library (which pales pitifully in comparison to the public library in my college town), but I’ve often fantasized about working at a giant public library (the main branch, obviously) in Chicago or New York City.
  • Working either for the United Nations or somewhere abroad (or, ideally, both). I attended a workshop last semester on finding jobs with the United States’ State Department (meaning embassy jobs abroad). Getting paid to live somewhere abroad? Freaking hellz yeah.

And then…there’s the last option. Pursuing a legal career. Going to law school. It’s a very very tempting idea. People have been telling me to become a lawyer ever since I was about 5 years old (“Because you wouldn’t shut up and stop arguing as a kid,” my older cousin claims). My grandfather on my mom’s side was a prominent lawyer in his day, and like I previously said, my grandfather on my dad’s side originally was planning on becoming one. If ever there was something in the stars for me, it’s becoming a lawyer. I even took law classes in high school and was enrolled in a law course during undergrad for a time (I had to drop the class in order to take another one that was required for my minor). But again…what would I be doing exactly in law? Only thing I can think of wanting to practice is something international-y. I don’t really know that part yet.

I don’t know anything yet. Except that I’m broke and need some form of employment ASAP.

Here’s to the beginning of the rest of my life…

First of all, today this blog turns two years old. Feels strangely like a long time, although in the realm of things it isn’t anymore. I’ve been blogging since I was 11 or 12, so overall my words have been floating around out there on the Internet for over 10 years. Wowzer. At any rate, happy second anniversary, bumplum!

The Philippines was, for the most part, a blast. I met so many family members and went to so many places…and also ended up getting ridiculously sick. Muscle pains, backaches, fevers, headaches, upset stomachs, you name it. Everyone was convinced it was the change in climate and that I wasn’t used to the tropical weather (apparently the four months I spent in Central America didn’t mean a thing). To their credit, there were several bagyos and several low pressure storm systems that popped up, which I wasn’t used to in Costa Rica, so maybe they’re to blame? I also did a lot of shopping, watched a lot of TV (mainly basketball and teleseryes, thank god for BTV), and overall just relaxed. Oh, and returned to the gloriousness that is a tropical beach:


White Beach, Boracay Island

And glorious indeed. Boracay was every bit as gorgeous as advertised, just way more touristy than I anticipated. I felt almost exactly as if I were back at Playa Jaco or Playa Samara in Costa Rica…sans the insane partying and sexy Latin men, of course.

I also learned several very interesting things about my family:

  • My grandfather on my dad’s side died of a heart attack while he (my dad) was in college. Not only was he a Philippine soldier who served in World War II for the U.S. Army, he was going to study law afterward but decided to stay a soldier instead. That would have been two grandfather lawyers for me; no wonder my entire family believes I’m destined to become one.
  • My mother’s oldest sister, the aunt I never knew, had died from internal injuries sustained in a jeepney accident. Apparently my aunt, who was pregnant at the time, never sought treatment after the accident, and by the time she realized she was sick it was too late. It was the first time my mom told me the whole story. Oh, and guess what? She studied English literature in college!!!! No wonder my mother never made fun of me nor gave me crap about my English major like you would have expected an Asian mother to do…amazing. I feel even more closer now to my oldest aunt, who died before I was born and like me, was the oldest in the family.
  • My parents first met in Saudi Arabia. I always knew Saudi was a source of connection between my parents, but I didn’t know the whole story…and in fact, I’ve got a lot more family in Saudi Arabia than I first thought. Not only have my parents and some aunts lived there, my uncle and other aunts still do. It’s crazy. I’ve always been fascinated by Saudi Arabia, and now I’d like to go there someday. Are Americans allowed to travel there for tourist reasons? Must find this out.

At any rate, now I am home. No more vacations, no more dilly-dallying. I have graduated from college and moved back into my parents’ house. Most unfortunately, I am completely unemployed. I decided not to return to my old seasonal job, and have yet to line up my real first grown up one. I interviewed for a company before I left for the Philippines but they ended up rejecting me, which I wasn’t too sad about. So far I have yet to hear back from any of the jobs that I applied to before my vacation, and have now begun applying to more in earnest. I’m worried. Today I sent resumes online to three more places…and seriously, whoever said job hunting is a job in itself was right. I’m pooped. And still worried.

Let the realities of grown up-hood begin. 🙁

Bye bye, America, again!

Eff eff eff. It’s 3:22 in the morning, I’ve barely packed, my room’s a mess, and I’m slowly dying inside from lack of sleep. Once again, I am having a devil of a time trying to unpack and pack at the same time, for a trip abroad no less. Though I’ve got the essentials down, it’s all a matter of actually stuffing everything in and zipping it all up. Doesn’t help that we’re supposed to be leaving the house at around 7.

This will be the first time in 17 years I’ll be visiting the Philippines, though in reality it just feels like this trip will be my very first. It’s also the first real family vacation we’re going on in a really long time. Just me, my parents, and my brothers, traipsing around the islands visiting family as well as tourist destinations. I’m incredibly nervous and excited at the same time. This isn’t going to be like Costa Rica — there I just “looked” like I could pass for a Latina and when I said I was American everyone was simply fascinated. This is me going to the “motherland,” where physically I should be able to blend in seamlessly but at the same time I know I’m going to feel incredibly self-conscious about being American.

Gyaahhh. Can’t really dwell on all this now though. Must. Finish. Packing!

Will be back in a little over two weeks!

Halle-freaking-lujah

After about over a week of hibernation, my beloved laptop and I have been reunited! Last Thursday, my power adapter fritzed and stopped working. Since my battery barely lasts an hour as it is, my laptop has been unfortunately out of commission for days, which seems like an eternity when you’re living in this day and age. I’d been living Internet-wise out of my iPod, which doesn’t help much when you have things to do like apply for jobs and do freelance writing.

In the meantime, since I last blogged the following has happened:

  • I finished my undergraduate career. Senior year. Graduated from college. No biggie.

  • Went out and partied a little too hard…heh.
  • Found out my host mom from Costa Rica is visiting the United States! I’ll be seeing her sometime late next week, yahoo!!
  • Officially de-friended and blocked Boy O from Facebook. I’d already deleted him off my cell phone weeks ago. This will have to be further explained in a later entry.
  • Found out I will be going to the Philippines on June 1 with my family!! Will be there for a little over two weeks, visiting extended family and doing touristy stuff. I’ve only ever been there once, when I was four, so this trip should be uber fun.
  • My cut finger is slowly healing and no longer gushing blood. There was a scary incident last week when, a morning after I had drunk a little too much while celebrating the end of finals, it started bleeding thinly again but since then I’ve managed to not repeat it. So hopefully by the time I return to tropical paradise, I can splash around in the ocean without worrying about infected fingers!