It’s 2010. What do you see? My future’s so bright, I’m going to need sunglasses.

Ugh, I’ve been away for much too long. I feel like my mind and spirit (crazy, but good crazy) have been awakened after sleeping for so long. Now that 2010 is upon me, I’ve got to ask myself, what do you see in 2010?

  1. Working at my *REAL* job (one that uses my journalism degree, my creative and technical skills, in Washington, DC and even better than I could have ever possibly imagined). I will accomplish this by keeping the dream alive (keep it before my eyes and in my thoughts) and most importantly, believing God’s promises and plan for my life and continuing speaking it into existence.
  2. Begin paying off my college loans. My plan is to get those out of the way in 2-2.5 years or less.
  3. Staying healthy. For once in my life, I’m starting the new year on a healthy foot and I need to keep it this way.
  4. Being a grownup. To me, so far this means to make those tough choices and take responsibility for the choices you make and making the best of the situation.
  5. Making more to do lists to get things done. Now that an app like TeuxDeux has dropped, there’s no excuse.
  6. Curbing my shopping. Outrageously cute stuff + the deep discounts brought on by the recession = monetary policy disaster for Jess. This means shopping my closet (the glut still astounds me) before I buy something, now that a majority of my finances will be spoken for. What if I didn’t buy any clothes/shoes/accessories for a month? Two months? Three? The possibilities are endless. I just need to be more financially prudent.
  7. Keeping up my blog. 3 posts a week. Minimum. On anything.
  8. Having it the other way. I don’t normally take risks; I play it safe. I hate gambling (not just money, anything really). But what if I took more risks?
  9. Not taking no responses personally. While I would love it if every place I applied would send me some reply (whether negative or affirmative), I know that’s probably not going to happen. It might be policy. It might be lack of time.¬†Whatevs, since that is no longer going to get me down.
  10. For God’s sake, get me to the church on time. Now no longer just a song in My Fair Lady, but a literal aspiration. I need to stop being late to church every Sunday!
  11. Choose not to let what people do negatively affect me. Most of the time, I don’t think people realize what they do/don’t do can offend someone. So since they usually didn’t do that out of malice (we all forget stuff unknowingly and don’t wake up and think, “I’m going to forget to call Jess back just to ruin her day”), I’m going to choose not to be offended by that.
  12. Maintain my relationships. They’ve taken a backseat while I drove around in circles via the job situation. I’ve realized that I’ve been isolating myself for the past few months because I felt inadequate about not finding a job right immediately at the end of my internship. So, I need to get back out there and repair my relationships and keep them up, because I can always use some encouragement.
  13. Keep doing something towards what I want to do. I might not have a specific job title in mind, but I know what I enjoy. For me, this means keeping my skills fresh by just doing random projects that exercise them. Number one on my list? Making data visualizations/plans using readily available data.
  14. Not letting the little things get to me. Clearly, there are so many things I want to accomplish in 2010, so I don’t have time for that.

This is your year. What do you see? Take it and own it.

I had a wonderfully low-key season this year and spent the major days (Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s) with family and close friends. Hope everyone enjoyed their past few weeks.

After some reflection, in the spirit of resolutions and starting my year off right, I’ve decided to undergo a full-on media fast for the first 6 weeks. This means no Twitter, Facebook, NetNewsWire, TV, movies and things like that. The media (in general) saturate our lives so fully that we don’t even realize we’re addicted to them. Now that I’ve sufficiently fed my body and soul (with the media), I’m going to focus on feeding my spirit and putting it before the other two.

I’ve been given the gift of another year, and this time, I can’t waste it. It’s my year (and yours too).


War stories are everywhere

It’s the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, so that means it’s Veterans’ Day. I’m going spend all day with my grandpa, show him how to do laundry and listen to his war stories about fighting the Japanese in the Philippines during World War II. Since it’s also called Remembrance Day, I’m always up for some philosophizing.

I thought about this last year too, inspired by this Plato quote:

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

And it’s true. Everyone is going through something. Some people are just better at hiding it than others.

So, according to Plato, we are all unofficial veterans of our own wars. Whatever battle you are fighting in your life (unemployment, stress, despair, financial issues, parentals, children, annoying people at work, an addiction, etc), take heart. Keep fighting, because eventually you will win.

But to all of you who have served our country and who are currently serving, I salute and thank you for your service and sacrifices. You are amazing.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

Waiting around is painful. It literally sets aside time to overanalyze every little thing, remember the mistakes you made and replay them in endless loops inside your head. Sorry Jenny Lewis, but all the immediate unknowns are NOT better than knowing this tired and lonely fate. With certain things (jobs, serious relationships, etc), in my life I’ve concluded that any definite answer is favorable over room for possibility.

But in the midst of this uncertainty, some things have become clearer to me.

  1. Optimism is always an option. Really. Everyday, regardless of whatever situation you are facing, you can choose to be happy or you can choose to be pissed. Choose to be happy.
  2. I am more certain of the path I am taking. As I have time to truly consider my current life goals and aspirations, which I didn’t have while I was in college, I am convinced I want to enter the online field.
  3. I will miss actually reading what’s in my Google Reader. Right now, I get to think and really churn around ideas in my mind, but once I have a job that will soak it all up.
  4. I am truly, truly blessed. As much as I don’t like my situation right now, I must admit that I have it better than what many people have. Living at home irks me, but I am grateful I don’t have to pay for rent or food or anything like that. I miss my college friends (who, except one, are all on the east side of the country), but I am grateful for my mentors who have advised, counseled and supported me since high school. I don’t have a job that uses my journalism or history degree, but while I’m waiting I have a job that still earns money (although minimum wage, Washington’s $8.55 is better than the national average–$7.25 or Georgia’s–$5.15). I don’t have health insurance, but I have a healthy body. The list could go on.

There’s a time and a place for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. As my other boss reminded me, “the right thing will happen.” It’s not that opportunities aren’t out there. It’s when the right one will come along. For right now, I’m applying myself to as much as I can and I know the right one is there waiting for me. I just realized how this sounds like the search for “the one.”

But really, Sometimes you don’t fall for the first one that comes along, you have to kiss a few frogs to get to the prince and all that inspirational fluff. In other words, seek, knock and I will find.

I hiked up Multnomah Falls and up Larch Mountain over the weekend and my limbs are still sore.

As a sign of the times, my other job is going social media. I get to make a Facebook page and a Twitter account for my other job and I get to update them. I am so excited.