Alex in Transit(ion)

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And if I made a fool, if I made a fool, if I made a fool
on the road, there’s always this.
And if I’m sewn into submission,
I can still come home to this.
And with a face like a dad and a laughable stand,
you can sleep on the plane or review what you said.
When you’re drunk and the kids leave impossible tasks
you think over and over, “hey, I’m finally dead.”
Oh, if the trip and the plan come apart in your hand,
you look contorted on yourself your ridiculous prop.
You forgot what you meant when you read what you said,
and you always knew you were tired, but then,
where are your friends tonight?
If I could see all my friends tonight

LCD Soundsystem

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The Southern Bucket List

Man, I can’t even tell you how excited I am to find out what life down south is like. With the way life has been, I haven’t really had the chance to go out and travel. Not because I don’t want to- anyone who has taken a trip with me can tell you that I don’t mess around- but since money was a little tight these last couple of years after graduation, I mostly stayed in my little niche in the Northeast.

But yay! New places and new culture! I don’t know exactly how much I’ll really get to take in but I’m really looking forward to it. 

By the end of this year I want to experience…(heavy emphasis on “the end of this year”)

1. The Everglades

2. Savannah, GA 

3. Traveling through Alabama and Mississippi

4. Spending some time in New Orleans

5. Everyone talks about grits. I want some. 

6. I want to eat gator. 

7. Same thing goes with real Southern fried Chicken. I’m convinced they probably do it better down there than we do up here. 

Note: You may wonder, what happened to me being a pescatarian? I’ll get back to it next year- I really can’t be choosy as to what I eat now.

8. I want to eat at as many greasy-spoons as I possibly can.

Note: A lot of this list has to do with eating

9. Swim in the ocean! I haven’t seen ocean since 2008! 

10. My friend got to swim with a dolphin. I want to swim with one too!

11. Eat crawfish. 

12. Meet Paula Deen. It will happen. 

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Scoring the Dream Job

I absolutely refuse to believe that my generation is the “lost generation.” In fact, I think that we have what it takes to be the greatest generation because things haven’t come easy to us, which has forced us to work harder and be more creative to get where we need to be.

Trust me, I get how easy it is to be disillusioned by it all. It took me two years of being unemployed, underemployed, and laid off to finally get where I am now. Through all of the headaches of wondering if I’m good enough, struggling to make the bills, and changing my lifestyle to fit my budget- I wouldn’t change a thing. It brought me to now. 

I am in a specific field, but I feel that my advice is applicable to people in any field. So you want your dream job? Here’s my advice.

1. Take Baby Steps.

When I was in college, I said to myself that I was going to work for __________. I knew it was a lofty goal- although I had two jobs with my college, had great grades, a DC internship under my belt, and I held a leadership position in almost every extracurricular I was involved in…just because I did all of that didn’t mean that I was going to get a job in my field right off the bat. I had many connections within higher education but I didn’t have connections within my field. So when I graduated, I knew that if I wanted any shot in hell of getting the dream job, it was time to do whatever it takes to get connections in my field.

I had to think of a couple things:

  • Am I in the right place to get those connections? After graduation, I moved to my parents’ house but I knew that I wasn’t going to get anywhere by staying there. I had to move to either Albany or DC and take whatever job I could find, even if it was unrelated to my field. If I was in the right location, I could build on making those connections. I knew that DC wouldn’t be possible for me financially- there is a higher cost of living there and I didn’t have much money saved up. However, Albany’s cost of living was affordable and I liked the idea that my field’s infrastructure was a little smaller because it meant that it would be easier to find some opportunities. 
  • Speaking of doing whatever it takes- I had to learn to be humble. Taking temp jobs that I was extremely overqualifed for wasn’t easy. Although I sometimes got upset about that- I didn’t let that discourage me. I kept saying to myself that I will get where I need to be, I just need to do what Senator Robert Byrd said: “learn to labor, learn to wait.” 

2. Volunteer and Network.

I knew I wasn’t going to get ANYWHERE in my field if I just stayed home or went to the bars after I got home at 5PM. Even though work was done for the day, I still had “work” to do. So I looked for volunteer opportunities within my field. Each field is different- but I will tell you this, I don’t care what field you desire to be in, if you want to be apart of it, there are volunteer or networking opportunities available to you. The one thing that matters is the timing of them. I know for my field, the volunteer opportunities are ample around June and I had to wait for that. If I couldn’t be paid for work in my field, I knew that I was going to volunteer to be noticed so I could get paid to work in my field. At the end of every week, ask yourself: what have I done to volunteer or network towards attaining my dream job? Keep track of your progress.

My one tip when you receive an opportunity to volunteer or network is that you need to be remembered in a good way. This is your chance to be noticed so whatever task you do, make sure you play to your strengths! When I finally got the opportunity to volunteer within my field, my task was to serve the soda at a birthday party. That seems like the most menial task ANYONE can do. I could have just poured soda for people but I didn’t. I know my biggest strength is my ability to connect to people and after years of being a waitress at my father’s restaurant, I knew that you always had to provide service with a smile. So that’s what I did. Next thing I knew, I had people who were in my field coming up to me and asking if I worked with the organization. Within a month, I was hired within my field…all because I made sure to be personable while serving soda. 

Everything you do is an opportunity. Do not forget that because you never know what can happen. 

3. Be Relentless.

I know it is so easy to throw in the towel and just say to yourself that you’re a victim of circumstances. As hard as it is to keep your head above water, especially with bills to pay- don’t lose hope. It is not only important to stay focused, but you must also be relentless. I can’t tell you how many jobs within my field that turned me down or didn’t even consider me- even though the rejection hurt, I didn’t give up. And now I’m here because of that tenacity. You have that tenacity too. All of us do. 

When you don’t take advantage of your inner tenacity, you’re not going to be a victim of the economy’s circumstances. You’re going to be a victim of your own circumstances. It is tragic to me to see so many talented and smart people languish in jobs that are not in their fields because they aren’t being relentless and tenacious enough. If you’re not where you’re at, as hard as it is to write this, I feel it’s because you’re not being relentless enough. You are either not working as hard as you should be or you’re in the wrong location. Something needs to change. You’re the only one who can change it. 

4. Take Care of Your Own

I know I wouldn’t be here if someone didn’t take a chance on me. Make sure that if you are in a position to help a talented person out, do it. No one makes it alone and no matter what field you’re in, we all have the responsibility to ensure that our fields are stocked with the top talent. Although we may have struggled, it doesn’t mean that everyone has to.

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I got dosed by you and
Closer than most to you and
What am I supposed to do
Take it away I never had it anyway
Take it away and everything will be okay
In you a star is born and
You cut a perfect form and
Someone forever warm
Lay on lay on lay on lay on

-Red Hot Chili Peppers 

Every there’s a road trip coming up…this song will come on. I can’t tell you how much this grounds me.  

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of all of the last weeks in Albany

As I drove to Albany this morning, it hit me that this was my last week here. Unlike all of the other “last weeks” in Albany I’ve had…well, they were never the “last week.” I came back. I don’t know if I’m coming back after my business in Florida is done. So this could very well be the “last week.”

But I’m not sad about it. I was sad about it in 2010- I had almost everything planned out and if it wasn’t planned, glorious spontaneity ensued.  Girls night. Running through the streets. Alive at 5. Bar hopping. Jumping into the Hudson River. Falling Slowly. Playing with the fake dinosaurs in the Binghamton mall. Bubble Tea. Sitting on the sidewalk, outside Macy’s. I couldn’t have asked for a better “last week” than that and ever since then, it’s been pretty hard to top it. For every time I’ve needed to go away, I’ve found that I’ve become more lax about leaving. I was trying to figure out why and then it dawned on me about why I made it such a point to go out with a bang for that “last week” in 2010…

…and that’s because I was so worried, in 2010, that once I’m gone that my friends will forget about me. So we did all of these epic things and I’m so thankful that we did them but I learned something after I came back from 2010- that if you have real friends…they won’t forget about you. They’ll be there right where you left them. It doesn’t matter how busy they got or you got. As soon as you pick up the phone, open up a GChat, or see them in person (I’ll be doing two of the former more often than the latter after I leave)…it will be like you two just saw each other yesterday. I know better now and it dulls the pain of leaving.

Until we see each other again.

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Road trippin’ with my two favorite allies
Fully loaded we got snacks and supplies
It’s time to leave this town
It’s time to steal away
Let’s go get lost
Anywhere in the U.S.A.

Let’s go get lost

-Red Hot Chili Peppers

T- Minus Two Weeks…no pun intended =D This song will ring very true soon.