2018 Didn’t Kill Me, It Made Me Smarter

As OSH’s final days loomed closer, I decided to face reality.

Interning at The 7th Magazine was the right experience that I needed as a journalism major. However, there were still some financial obligations to settle at home.

Before I could think, my body moved on its own. I was already on Indeed, scrolling through job listings and ready to submit another application for retail.

I got a call back within a week from most of the places I applied to this time. One interviewer made it clear that I was underemployed and overqualified for the position she had opened.

For some reason, the thought had never occurred to me. My mind was already fixed on making ends meet, I suppose.

So I went home, hoping for another call – and I got it! Wanna hear more about that experience? Read this if you skipped it earlier and scroll down to the second half.

Safe to say, I ended up working as a seasonal sales associate at See’s Candies during the Christmas season. I made sure to sample and help the team sell high quality chocolates to our clients with a smile.

Of course, I’d have a sample, too.

However, there was one caveat. My health declined and almost gave up during December of 2018. Defeated by my own immune system, I would show up to work only to return home with a sorer throat and even more chills.

To my surprise, the store managers and supervisors were always super supportive and understanding. I still thank our team from the bottom of my heart.

I explained that my body was recovering much slower than usual due to stress. I spent most of my paychecks buying groceries for me and my mom.

However, that wasn’t enough. We were beginning to starve and my health wasn’t getting any better for it.

Stick around for my next blog post where we will dive further into this story. In the meantime, click this! Thank you for your support!

2018 Didn’t Kill Me, It Made Me Wiser

Freaking out, I applied to a dozen open positions for writing and in retail. Here’s why and here’s what happened after. I also applied to a couple of internship programs during my days off OSH.

Finally, I got an interview with The 7th Magazine during one of my shifts at the hardware store. I left with nothing but encouragement from the store manager and returned an hour later as an intern for the magazine.

As I came back to the register, people kept asking whether I had found a job or not. “I just got an internship writing for a magazine,” I said. Here’s how it started out.

This experience built character for sure. I started out by learning how to design newsletters while managing my time at OSH.

Just when I was getting into the swing of things, I lost access to the Internet for a month. My laptop, currently on life support as my boyfriend likes to say, has to stay plugged into an outlet with an exterior hard drive. You get the picture.

There was one instance when I submitted content via smartphone at a parking lot just to meet deadline.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to manage a job -under liquidation, mind you- and an internship at the same time, but I didn’t quit. I even got published in an interview with Brendan McGetrick for the Global Grad Show in Dubai in September.

I’ll have to admit that I was starting to feel pretty darn good about myself! Stay tuned for 2018 Didn’t Kill Me, It Made Me Smarter! You’ll find out why.

2018 Didn’t Kill Me, It Made Me Stronger

I began searching for a job one year ago to this very day, but didn’t get one until last March.

As an inexperienced cashier, I began to familiarize myself in working with the Orchard Supply Hardware team.

At first, I was assigned to work the indoor registers. Soon enough, however, I was called to the nursery.

It was arguably, the most beautiful department of the store – and the hottest. Palm trees rested underneath the shade while succulents basked in the sun.

“I can get used to this!” I thought to myself.

As scheduled, I headed to lunch, but received a phone call the moment I got back. It wasn’t a normal event. The person calling meant it probably wasn’t good news.

He informed me that someone I loved passed away. I only cried once. Despite my boss’s offer to let me call out for the day, I refused and went straight to work.

“Are you okay?” a client asked.

“It’s just the allergies,” I replied.

I mean, what was I gonna do? Ruin her shopping experience?

For the next few months, I felt depressed. During that time, I honed my ability in providing customer service by watching my team help our community.

Not to boost my ego or anything, but people LITERALLY came to visit me. I began to learn so much more about our products and services. I began to feel comfortable.

That is until one evening before I was scheduled to leave for the day. Usually, we locked the gates as the nursery closed. This time, it was shut earlier to than anticipated.

As customers slowly exited the store, we held a group meeting. That’s when I learned about the liquidation.

Freaking out, I applied to a number of jobs and internships. And that’s where I’ll share part two of my story.

When Life Goes As Planned: What Education Really Gets You Part 1

My life is going according to plan, except I didn’t plan it. At least, not everything. For as long as I could remember, I always carried one goal throughout my life. Buy a house. Whether that meant occupying it with a family of my own or a bunch of cats, I was perfectly happy with the idea of reaching that goal alone. But I knew that I lacked the resources to get my foot into the door.

So unlike the majority of my childhood classmates who became gang-affiliated, juvenile delinquents and teenage parents, I decided to continue my education past high school. Facing those odds was one thing, but getting past them is another. And it all seemed pretty slim at the moment, but I was determined. I’d also like to take a moment to add that I respect the life decisions of the people who still struggle to overcome those same issues today.

I got denied from all of the universities that I applied to. I barely remember them now. What I do remember was betting all of my odds on getting into the California State University of Dominguez Hills. I remember that moment the most because I got denied even though it was my “safe bet.” I was confident and arrogant in thinking that I’d at least make it there as opposed to entering CSU Long Beach, which also denied me earlier that semester.

Okay, so I got denied by all of the universities that I applied to, but I wasn’t going to giving up! I enrolled myself into El Camino Community College six months after graduating high school and chose Journalism as my major.

Just go to school, get out of the dumps and get your head in the game, I thought. From there, my life began to pick up one night in the Fall of 2010. Hours had passed while I scrolled down the list of majors on the ECC website.

And in all honesty, nothing really jumped out to me. The only major that I could relate to was Journalism. It was that or take English. Art classes couldn’t guarantee my financial stability in the future, so I made an effort to choose something that would help me become marketable. And boy, was I wrong.

A Transition Into Living Color

It was as dark as night, hidden within mom’s beige, built-in apartment closet. Black and grey clothes hung here and there, peppering our entire wardrobe collection. Back when I wanted to wear clothes that were as dark as my mood. And it all began in the early 2000s. I was just a teenager when, to mom’s dismay, I began to rebel via wardrobe malfunction and a complete change in color scheme.

Way back when rhinestones, glitter, leopard prints and rainbow tie-dyed everything competed with metal spikes, long, black midi skirts and fishnet tank-tops. I shudder to think about it now.

But that was my way of expressing myself. My way of hinting at those dark, deep thoughts that lead to symptoms of depression and eventually, lead to suicidal tendencies. The types of struggles that can hardly be put into words. Black and grey fit me as comfortably as skin-tight jeans. They just felt good. Up until this point, my life wasn’t so colorful.

But that changed the very moment I began my last semester at university in the spring of 2017. I’ve found no reason to brood over the past and have learned to let go of old grudges. I’ve graduated from college, found a job and have managed to maintain fulfilling relationships with friends and family.

And did I mention family? Yeah, I’ve found that I want to have one of my own. Right now, I’m happy and optimistic. I’m only just starting to find many reasons to live. Words a teenage Diane would’ve have never associated herself with. Or the colorful wardrobe sprinkled with dresses and pastels in pink and blue. With me, what you see is what you get. I’m wearing my heart out.

Zero Words & A Thousand Pictures For The Friendly Type

Complete silence. Dead as a doornail. Pause. Just like that, a conversation comes to a stop. It’s something that people worry about because they aren’t quite sure how to interpret it in general terms.

But then their minds start to wander, as their doubts and concerns start to eat away at their self-consciousness. They ask themselves questions like: Am I weird? Boring? Do I have anything in common with this person? Can we see eye-to-eye? Agree to disagree? Is this conversation over? Do I just let this person go? Are they even paying attention?

Well, that depends on how close the relationship is between the people in question. As we all know, stressing about it won’t make much of a difference for anyone involved in this scenario.

So what can we do about this? What’s the first step? Sometimes we have to understand that this person needs their own space. It’s a sign of respect. It gives them time to make their own decisions like whether they want to return the gesture or not? And then there’s so much more to consider after-the-fact.

Everyone’s got their own style of social etiquette, which mainly goes back to the way they were raised, their background and their personal tolerance for social settings. While this may seem pretty obvious to some, others need a reminder from time-to-time.

However, there’s one question that could be easily missed by all—how badly this person wants you to be in their life? Once you figure it out, the direction of your relationship will become easier to manage. People tend to pitch in the same amount of effort into a relationship that they value.

Regardless, it’s always refreshing to move onto new ventures and new people, who are just as happy with having you in their lives.

3 Easy Ways To Improve Your Memory And Survive A Busy Schedule

Lately, it’s become a struggle to remember the smaller details that you’ve forgotten throughout the day. You’ve forgotten things like what you ate for breakfast or what you said about an hour ago and that’s okay! Those things belong in the past!

I’m totally with you and I’ve listed three ways to help you survive your busy schedule starting with this one:

Create a list of things that you have to do

List the most important things that you have to do right now. Like that new project that you have to finish within an hour or the fact that you can actually set some time aside to grab some lunch and maybe a coffee.

Make sure to take care of the time-sensitive things first and then work your way down the rest of the list. Don’t sweat it if the day has already come to an end. You’ve got a lot less on your plate now!

Cut out the fluff

Cut out the habits that you can live without. Indulge occasionally. Are you addicted to social media, but have so much to do? Unless it’s something serious, surely, your friends can wait.

Are you watching YouTube videos and gaming the night away? An hour or two of that is plenty because there’s enough leveling-up to do in real life.

Take care of yourself

This part can’t be said enough. Make sure to drink plenty of water and eat full meals throughout the day. You’ll want to do everything that you can to stop those nasty headaches.

Try to change your daily routine. Your health is at the door, but your brain says your schedule’s booked!