Monday, January 25, 2016

See You Again

It comes with great excitement and long anticipation that I am proud to announce, I am moving to Memphis!

You are probably wondering a million things, so let me try and answer them quick and dirty, then I'd like to talk about the personal aspect I have been dying to dish. 

-I am moving because I got a new job with my current/same company. 
-Feb. 15 is my start date & they'd like me to move ASAP. 
-I will be leading a project dealing a lot in Milwaukee, so I will still travel to Milwaukee through June. 
-My official new title is Production Development Specialist, which is a fancy term for Sr. Manufacturing Engineer. 
-Yes, my cat is coming with me! 
-No, my boyfriend is not, however he is 200% supportive of my decision in lieu of my career. We have a plan to make things work long-distance, so that's all you should be concerned with. 
-It is warmer there!! The 7 day forecast shows over 60 degrees (for January). 
-It is in the same time zone. 
-I visited Memphis quite a bit in 2014 for a project, so I am semi-familiar with the area. 
-I have begun apartment searching, but will do more when I'm there in February. 

Those are the basics.  

My feelings:
I AM SO EXCITED!! My impatience, lack of fear, affinity for change, are all characteristics that helped make this life decision. Most importantly, for the past 10 years, I have complained about Wisconsin winters. I have agreed with the phrase "if you hate it, why are you here?" for far too long. This is me standing up and doing something about it. I didn't exactly go searching for the opportunity, but it found me and said; "Hey Berea, I'm here. Are you coming?".  I couldn't say no.

I had my mind made up the day I found out about the opportunity. After the shell shock, my subconscious had a 20 minute conversation about the positives & negatives, but at minute 21, I vividly remember thinking "Berea, are you kidding me? You have to do this." End of story. I knew. 

All too often, I get into conversations with people wanting to do more. When I talk about my brothers' life adventures, the usual comment is "I wish I could do that." What are your limitations? What is the consequence of exceeding those boundaries? As much as I hate cliche sayings, "never say never". 

I am not moving as an excuse for an escape, rather to challenge my comfort zone and learn MANY new things. I am perfectly content with what I have and where I am, but contentment is not progressive. Fear of change is the biggest road block I face in my career, so if I am advocating for change, I need to understand its challenges in order to sell the change.

My fears:
-Leaving family
-Leaving the best friends (& boyfriend) I've ever had
-My job not meeting expectations 
-Living in a southern state (and getting the Yankee comment all too often as well as the pace of things) 
-Not being amongst Packer fans
-Driving 9+hrs with my cat 

Not to sound rude, but I don't need your advice. I will be fine. The positives outweigh these fears and I have contingency plans for all the above. My family loves me, friends will come and go, and I won't have to wonder "what if".

What I ask of you:
Please text me whenever! Probably a lot at first, but I will really need you 1, 2, 3+ months in. Just say hi, tell me you miss me, whatever. Our relationship won't be the same, but I promise I will always want to hear from you! I have moved enough in my life to know when I'm out of sight, I'm out of mind. I will hold no animosity when your life moves forward without my presence because mine will too. 
I want you to visit!! Just give me a slight warning and I promise I will be the best hostess! 

I made this decision because I decided if not now, when? This is the best time to do it.

I ask that you send me Spotted Cow, Packer's swag, and cheese. No brats or snow please. 

Stay tuned for my Memphis adventures! There will be more to tell. :)

Monday, January 4, 2016

2015 Finale

Happy New Year!

Let's start with some 2015 stats:

I took a personal record number of vacation days = 20.875 days
     (The previous highest was in 2014 at 13.5 days)
I visited 2 new countries: Italy & Jamaica
My salary increased 10.4% over my 2014 salary
     (Thanks to a job change followed by a promotion to Senior Engineering)
I spent 44% of my weekends outside of Milwaukee
I visited and stayed at my parents house the most since college (6 visits)
I experienced Las Vegas for the first time as an adult & didn't gamble once
I was at Lambeau for the retirement of Brett Favre's jersey
Experienced the warmest September in Wisconsin's recent history & no snow until Dec. 28th
Stayed up for more than 24hrs for the first time since my college era (for my brother's 24hr Ultra)
Surpassed 1,500 posts on Instagram

On a more personal note, I don't feel like my year was as exciting as the stats show! How is that for pessimistically high standards?

Even though I took an exuberant number of days off, I traveled to less places that my previous 2 years. I think taking 3 major trips was the reason for the vacation depletion. I spent more time in fewer places than less time in more places. I also traveled much less for my new job, as I only took 1 trip instead of 6. I like traveling so that was a big bummer, so subconsciously I must have made up for it on my personal time.

I also had much less pressure from a work aspect this year. Since it was my first year in my new position, I didn't have years of knowledge weighing on my shoulders, like me leaving would not remove a fraction of daily functionality for the rest of my coworkers. In previous years, I had always been moderately stressed about leaving work and the consequences of missing events or knowing important information that no one else did. I've got to say, both are hard. In my case this year, it makes me nervous about my necessity and the age old, 'do they really need me?', question. However, I think it's bad for a company to have employees that have hidden knowledge that only they know. Considering on a day when we had to let 7 white collar employees go, HR called me in to say how my work is much appreciated and recognized across management when none of my coworkers got the same praise was reassurance I am still needed. :)

I became quite the movie buff this year. I didn't keep track, but I must have seen a record number of movies this year. Some of the most notable and highly recommended, in no particular order, are: Everest, Secario, The Big Short, The Hateful Eight, The Martian, Mad Max, Ex Machina, Inside Out, The Longest Ride, Southpaw, Furious 7, and Entourage. Also highly recommended non-movies are; Making a Murderer and Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show.

Although our official 'dating' didn't begin until February, this NYE marked 3 years that I have been seeing my boyfriend, which feels like a huge milestone surpassing my past relationships. We did many things together and independently this year which I feel makes a strong relationship. I am also proud to say he had a great year as an entrepreneur making many tough business decisions as well as getting to visit his work force in the Philippines. I read a book recently that gave the statistic that by 2018, 80% of wives will make more than their husbands & although we are not married, I will probably not make more than him in our careers, but it is certainly something I aim for!

In conclusion, I would like to leave you with some of the goals I have for 2016, maybe you can hold me accountable.
Take the GMAT (& tentatively/ambitiously get accepted to grad school)
Take more management training
Visit 2 new countries
Buy a pair of Christian Louboutins
Keep my weight under 121lbs consistently (I maxed at 124 this year)

Thanks for reading!!

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Era

I am most certainly at a weird age!! I think from 25-30 is generally a weird time frame, age wise, at least from what I have seen across the board.

Our high school friends who had babies are sending those little ones off to kindergarten/1st/2nd grade, high school & college sweethearts are married and have bought their first house, we mostly all have some sort of job or clearer career path, our identities are somewhat making shape, wedding invitations are growing drastically, not to mention hanging out now means a baby shower or bachelorette party. For the rest of us, we begin to fear crossing 30 with no husband, no children, no house, no job. It is almost as though this weight is peer pressure disguised as a cultural norm.

I have always had older friends, at least since high school. I am thankful to be the baby in my group of friends. I get a heads up for all these life changes at least a couple years in advance, however, that makes me the best and worst person to help them deal with the struggles of growing up. I am telling myself now, NO ONE WANTS TO TURN 30. It is the first age that you really do not want to turn, and from what I hear, it never really changes after that.

No one wants to turn 30 because they don't have a husband/wife, they don't have a kid, they haven't bought a house, they don't have the job they want, they don't have a puppy, they don't have a new car, etc. The problem is that no matter what you have, you'll always want something else or something more. How does that change from 29 to 30?

I cannot count on one hand how many of my friends have had the 30 year old life crisis. I am going to say every friend I have who has turned 30.

As a 25 year old, I would like to give my input, what you do with it is up to you, I suppose.

Over and over and over and over again, I remind myself that my mom was THIRTY-EIGHT (38) when she had me. As far as I know, I have no disabilities, after all, I am an engineer! Even when she had my brother, she was 34, and he turned out better than anyone I know. Okay, so maybe by 40 I will be worried about not having kids, but that is a distant thought right now. Besides, there is always adoption.

Okay, so let's talk about being married. Marriage is not on some check list to get done by 30. If anything, it is a life-goal. A couple of my other life goals include becoming a CEO and getting my pilots license, but I can tell you I have put a fraction of my time into those as compared to finding a husband. My point is, that you should not get married just to be married. It is about much more than that. Maybe you spent your 20's in the military or climbing Mount Everest or building your career that you missed the opportunity to be where your future partner was. Would you take that back? I wouldn't. God put you where he did, when he did for a reason. I am going to guess there are FAR more 80 year olds that have been UN-happily married than 80 years olds that are un-happily never married. Think about that.

Okay, the house thing. At my naive stage, I don't know enough about house buying nor do I have money saved for a down payment that buying a house isn't even on my radar yet and I'm fine with that. I am just not ready, so I guess I don't have that fear.......yet.

I guess you just need to be happy for what you have or at least don't make yourself sick if you don't have what you want. It is not completely in your hands.

Monday, December 7, 2015

A Gram of Beauty

"My personal theory is that a way to deflect a possible negative interaction is by starting a friendly interaction with the person."

This is a recent observation that my brother pointed out on his blog and it struck a familiar note.

To quickly recap his quote, he is a runner and was discussing how runners often say "Hi" or "Good morning" to each other almost in a way to establish a basic friendship of trust. I think this eludes to a recent situation in the town he lives where a woman was brutally murdered around the time he runs in the morning.

Within the past year, I met a woman, who for lack of better terms is what most would call "drop dead gorgeous". Everything from her composure to benevolence and ease of sparking conversation and drawing you in is 'on point'. Yes, it is intimidating to the average Joe, mostly because of her beauty and confidence, but she recently clued me in on a secret to her poise.

After months of growing our friendship, we were talking one night and I questioned how we even became friends. I mentioned something along the lines of my insecurities often coming off in an obtrusive manner and it's not like me to easily make friends with beautiful women*. In her nonchalant tone, she giggled and said; "Berea, #1 you know that you are one of those beautiful woman, right?! #2, I always have to introduce my right away to people who make me feel like that and make friends so that I don't feel intimidated by them." That, to me, was so powerful, like DUH! I guess it just clicked.

So when my brother made the comment I quoted above, it seemed very familiar to me. I'm not sure if it is just how we were raised and the same blood running through our veins or something that many people could learn from.

However you look at it, I can't help but revert to positivity. Enough said.

* For my friends reading this, please do not interpret that to mean you are not beautiful in every way, it was just as hard for me to make friends with you.