When movies start reflecting real life

“I’m going to do what I want to do. I’m going to be who I really am. I’m going to figure out what that is.”

I’m doing something right now that’s very radical for me. I’m making a plan for myself. I mean, I’m always doing to-do lists like they’re my job, but instead of figuring out what toiletries I need to buy on my next trip to the store, I’m figuring out the next few years of my life for the very first time, like ever.

I can’t go back to my old seasonal job at the movie theater. It’s just too awkward now with the GM. I went there today to watch the third Transformers, and saw that she was behind the popper for a bit. So I went over to say hi, and while we made small talk, at the end of the conversation she was all, “So what do you want?” And after all the weirdness I had to go through last year (asking to work only sparingly over the summer; not being able to work over winter break due to the fact they thought I’d be in Costa Rica for a whole year, not semester; and not calling in May to ask for my job back like I promised because of my internship and vacation), I just knew she thought I was coming to ask if I could work again. Which, I mean, I wasn’t. But admittedly I was testing the waters there…and now I know that that chapter of my life is officially over. What a weird ending. Sad, too, because there are a lot more people I know still working there than I thought.

So now I am in full job hunting mode. I even finally bought a suit jacket/blazer. I know they say summers aren’t necessarily the greatest hiring periods, but I’m applying to anything that remotely sounds interesting and is within commuting distance for me. And that includes other mall jobs that could sustain me for a bit while I look for my first grown up job. But alas, Carson Pirie Scott’s already emailed me back saying they weren’t going to “pursue my profile further.” Being a grown up is tough.

Speaking of, I noticed today that the last two movies I watched have had eerie resemblances to my current life. Yesterday I finally saw The Hangover Part II, and I felt like I was being transported back to my two week stay in the Philippines: the annoyingly long journey, Delta Airlines, and the riding around in public jeep transports. In fact, what with all the Asian people and beautiful beach resorts, it was almost like my vacation in the Philippines…sans the whole drugs and partying and car chases. And then today! I took my little brother to see the third Transformers, and there he was, the lead human character, Sam Witwicky, a recent college graduate desperate to find a real career job! It like totally inspired me to kick my butt into overdrive and be serious about my future. The kicker was when everything shifted to the battle scenes in Chicago. I’ve seen a lot of disaster movies, and Chicago is almost never featured. Usually you only see cities like New York or L.A. or D.C. get trampled on and blown up and whatnot. But when the Decepticons started shooting up the place and people were running everywhere and they’re blowing up very familiar buildings…I almost started crying! And when they had that massive car chase down I-88, it was so surreal. Made me really wish I could have gone into the city to watch them film last summer, like everyone else I know seemed to have done.

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. 🙁