One Month Anniversary: Funemployment

Today marks exactly one month since coming home from my summer internship in New York. This means it’s been one month of uncertainty. One month of waking up in my childhood bed. One month of seeing hometown friends. One month of spending everyday with my mom and siblings. And of course it’s been one month of sending in job applications–even though I told myself I was going to take a little break from that. As you can imagine, that break from the job search never did quite happen.

This was definitely a result of that feeling of uncertainty I mentioned. I am positive that I am not alone when I say how uncomfortable uncertainty makes me. Not just with careers, but with anything in life. All summer while I was earning a wonderful experience in public relations, I kept reminding myself that I would try and relax when I got home. I needed a break. I needed time to breathe after the past year–the past few years.

Yet when I arrived home, Monday morning rolled around and I couldn’t help but open up my LinkedIn profile and “just peek” at what opportunities are out there. By the end of that Monday, I had already sent in multiple job applications.

Everyday since being home I have found myself scrolling endlessly through job boards, LinkedIn and Indeed. I’ve had plenty of Netflix binges in between these applications; however, for some reason I couldn’t even take just two weeks off after ending my internship.

I constantly go back and forth on my anxieties about the future–one moment I’m anxious that I won’t find a job soon enough, and then on the other hand I’m anxious that I am not enjoying this time off as much as I had planned to.

And why?

Because I’m so uncertain about my future.

I’ve unfairly blamed this on the fact that everyone wants to ask me what my next steps are. Answering this question makes me so nervous. I don’t have any next steps. Sure I’m sending out applications and preparing for interviews, but this is the first time in years I don’t exactly know what I’ll be doing even a month from now. I don’t have a fall semester to begin or an internship lined up.

I’m so eager to enter my career, and because of this I’ve forgotten that there is nothing wrong with taking a month or two off. After all, this is it. My next role starts the “once you work you never stop” stage of my life.

I don’t know if I’ve appreciated this month as much as I should have because I didn’t feel comfortable with uncertainty–not when everyone around me seems to know what their next steps are.

I wish I could be more comfortable with living day to day, and not worrying about finding the perfect job. My life has been career-focused for so long, that I honestly couldn’t shut that part of my brain off, even for a couple weeks.

I think this is okay though. I have loved every second of being home with my mom back in my hometown. And I have relaxed as much as my busy brain has allowed me.

I’m not sure how much time I have left at home before I make the move to my next job, so I’m going to try to take advantage of that. Even if it’s just a couple weeks. It’s okay to breathe. It’s okay to be uncertain about what’s next because I don’t necessarily have to follow the same path as the person beside me.

I’m going to continue being proactive about my career because I want to be able to carve out a life that I am happy with; however, I’m also going to make sure I take time out of each day to focus on the present.

Specifically, these days of waking up on cool summer mornings and having coffee in my childhood home.

-Rachel

 

 

 

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World Poetry Day

On my final night of spring break before heading back to my last block of college, I couldn’t sleep. Instead of sleeping, I found myself putting words together in my head: a poem. I haven’t written a poem in years. This is why it’s so strange that the night I wrote a poem was just a couple days before today’s World Poetry Day.

I was a child who loved words. I even received a collection of poems one early Christmas because of my interest in poetry. I was one of the few students who adored the chapters in high school English when we analyzed poems; however, since attending college I have lost touch with my love of poetry. My mind has been so focused on research papers, social media writing, blogging, writing for professional communications. I forgot that I once admired creative writing, embracing imagery in my words, sharing emotion with a reader.

Now let me get one thing straight–I was no young Maya Angelou; however, I did enjoy the challenge that poetry brought with it. The vulnerability you must have to put emotions into words and find the right word that feels perfect for every line.

I wrote the following poem while sleepy, emotional, and desperate to put words to paper (or my phone, which I probably need to stop sleeping so close to). Again, I’m not saying I’m a poet, but that’s not going to stop me from writing. Just like being on the verge of tone deaf doesn’t stop my love of showtunes.

This is what those words became.

Titled: “We Overcome”

Children play
In fields of freedom.
With innocence
And superficial fears.

Time passes,
As it does too fast.
Play lessens,
Fears deepen.

Dark clouds,
Halt children at play.
Storm looms near,
Air thins.

Or so it seems.

Time passes,
As it does too fast.
Play lessens,
Fears Deepen.

Clouds part,
Light emerges.
Storm distances,
Air is plentiful.

We overcome
Our loss of innocence.
Freedom is near,
Angels at our sides.

-Rachel

Baking and Blogging: Happy Saturday.

I guess you could say I’m lacking in the blogging department due to the fact it’s now been over two weeks since my last post. But hey, maybe that’s a good thing–being busy and all. This is the most “adult-like” summer I’ve ever experienced. Commuting a half hour almost every morning into my internship, leaving during rush-hour, making time for the gym, and finally getting back home for dinner. This structured schedule couldn’t be more different than any past summer, and I have to say, I really enjoy it.

Sure I complain about being tired, about the minimum free time, and the obvious downfall of my gas tank depleting ever so quickly with each commute; but this summer of 2015 is the biggest learning experience thus far. Not just in the internship itself, which trust me has included plenty of lessons just a month into the job, but also through the learning experience of balancing my life. I need the family time when I return home each night and on the weekend mornings (brunching life, am I right?). Then there is the time I spend with my hometown friends who I see only on college breaks, and finally the “me time,” which is something that I believe is beyond necessary when we all have so much to juggle in our lives.

My friends and family have heard me say it before, but in reality my “me time” resembles that of a grandmother. I mean it’s Saturday afternoon and I have no soccer game tonight, so what am I doing? Baking. Then there’s my evening tea while watching Netflix or a movie with my family. Yes I have my daily tea time. No shame, it’s good for the bod and mind–at least that’s what those health mags say.

(Proof of the baking)
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I think it’s the small moments when we make time for ourselves that, to be honest, allow us not to go completely insane. For example, my morning coffee while watching The Today Show is one of those moments. The obsession with coffee is real, and this is one part of my daily routine that I just cannot leave the house without.

Remember that half hour commute I mentioned? On a beautiful clear morning, who knew how relaxing listening to the radio and driving through the country could be (well up until getting on the expressway…).

Then there’s the gym–my ultimate “me time” when I can take an hour before dinner with my family and just focus on my workout. Honestly, it’s the perfect escape from any stress.

As I just finished writing these past few paragraphs, I realized they were NOTHING toward the direction I intended when I set out to write this post. Originally it was going to be all about my Ithaca orientation earlier this week and what not. Well, I guess that just goes to show how much I like to change up everything (big or small) in my life; not a negative thing at all. We can’t let life get boring on us can we?

Maybe the next post will touch on the always dramatic “Transfer Decision” from BU to IC. Or maybe something else will bring some inspiration. We’ll see, we’ll see.

-Rachel

City Farewells and Summer Hellos

And just like that my two years at BU have finished. From the last final, to packing up the dorm room, and then onto a traffic-filled drive out of Boston for a weekend pitstop on Long Island with my grandma. Exams are no longer on my mind, which is why I have time to let it sink in that a lot of changes are coming my way in the next few months.

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BU set the foundation for so many aspects of my life–both personal and professional. It’s going to be a lot to get used to when August hits and I don’t return to the amazing city, but that does not mean I’m any less excited for what I can make of these next two years in Ithaca. I’m ready for the college town, the beautiful campus, the hiking trails, all the organizations, the sports teams, and most of all the Park School where I can continue learning the world of communications.

As i mentioned, I have a lot of changes to come in the next few months, starting with my very first internship. Cue the nerves. My excitement to step foot in the “real” PR world definitely comes from the classes I took at BU where I became eager listening to my teachers talk about their own experiences. This is my first chance to be in the action of the industry and learn from the experts in the field. I can’t wait to practice, can’t wait to absorb all the information that my mentors have to share with us newbies of PR.

For the past few years, soccer has unfortunately only been a part of my life through knee pain as a reminder of my injury-prone self playing the sport years ago. I’ll always miss playing the game, but this summer I’m lucky to bring the sport back into my life. I may not be playing, but I get to experience a different side to the game. The behind-the-scenes. I have the opportunity to combine my education in public relations with my favorite past time–a pretty ideal set-up.Rochester_Rhinos_2011.svg

Interning with the Rochester Rhinos is my first step into the sports communication industry, and I couldn’t be more excited (and nervous) to begin this experience in just one week. I have so much to learn and I believe this summer will be the perfect way to bridge the transition from one college to another.

Lots of changes–changes happening this year, this month and even this week. All the transitions will take some getting used to and a lot of deep breaths, but I like to think that I’m taking steps forward in my college life, my personal life, and now with my future career.

From one hard farewell to my first college home to one hello to the busy summer before my move to Ithaca. I’m ready for you, Summer of 2015. The summer filled with family, hometown friends, sun, running, Ithaca prep, learning PR and now even soccer. Who knew I would ever get the chance to say that one again!

For now though, at least for this one week, I’m going to enjoy a little R&R with family before the summer gets a little more serious!

-Rachel

Home-Cooked Memories

Recently I discovered I have the personality of a grandmother in regard to food. Not just any grandmother, but my 2 wonderful grandmothers–let’s just say you won’t get away with eating just one helping at dinner 😉 . To me, food equals love—when you give someone food, that shows you care (hence the “grandma mentality”). When I come home I love to make the family breakfast as often as I can. That’s my version of helping out. If I want to cheer someone up? I’ll bake them cookies. Is it time for a birthday? Oh that means it’s time to bake a cake.

So when we decided what to do for my parents’ 25th anniversary–coming up on March 23rd–where else would we turn to other than food? European food of course. After all, what’s more romantic than a European tour through your own kitchen, am I right? 

Mind you we only had one day after our return from school to organize the food AND keep it hidden from Mother, so yes this is all made from our dear friend Danny Wegman. (Side note: Wegmans is actually my happy place.)

A little look into the food-filled [early] anniversary celebration:

Memories are surrounded by food. Whether with our Macken Family tradition of “Italian Night” before Thanksgiving, snacking on antipasto around the kitchen island as we laugh and chat the night away, ordering from the hometown pizza shop (one too many times), sharing morning coffee and biscotti on a summer morning, or just coming home each break to my favorite meals that my mom can’t wait to make for her kids.

Different foods help us remember different occasions, help us remember times with our loved ones, and let’s be honest, food just tastes good. 

My family does food right. Just ask my Instagram feed:

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This past break at home was proof that food is a part of bringing family together. Maybe it’s my Irish-Italian roots or maybe just my pure love of pasta, but I don’t regret one bite I take when it’s around the family table. 

So yes, food might seem like a strange topic to write about. But in my house, food is where the memories are at.