I’ve been unemployed for about 3 months now. I’ve applied to a lot of jobs but haven’t had many interviews. I’m fairly certain about 75% of the companies in Pittsburgh have my resume in their possession as we speak. I started out being very choosy about where I applied, but I’m now in the “spray and pray” portion of the job hunt. However I’m trying to remain positive about my situation.

Which is proving to be very difficult. I’m getting unemployment compensation, and part of Pennsylvania’s unemployment compensation requirements is that you sign up for their job gateway, which is a website that lists job openings from Monster, Indeed, Craigslist, etc all on one site. Helpful, right?

Sort of. It seems like I’m either nowhere near qualified for the jobs listed, or wildly overqualified. A few weeks ago, I got a letter from the unemployment office that basically said I was chosen to participate in a PREP program because, after reviewing my information, the office feels I may exhaust my benefits before finding a job. This letter gave me ALL of the warm fuzzies.

The letter also said that I had to go to an PREP orientation session today or I wouldn’t be eligible for unemployment compensation for this week. So I went downtown this morning with very low expectations. I was put in a room with about 30-40 other people and the first thing that the moderator said was that she felt the letter we all received was a bit stern. I was honestly relieved to hear that because I felt the same way. She also said that the only thing we had to do to fulfill the PREP requirement was watch a 12 minute video and briefly meet with a rep afterwards to discuss our job hunting plan. My low expectations were apparently going to be met.

The video was pretty lame. It generally discussed all of the tools that are available to us, most of which I already knew about and utilized, but it also touched on the opportunity for continuing education or training. This planted a seed.

I absolutely hate that I am unemployed again. And I hate the circumstances surrounding my unemployment. It’s stupid. I’m a smart person. After college, despite my art degree, I took a job in an office that I ended up really enjoying, but when they moved the company to Connecticut, I decided not to go with it. My career path has been clerical in nature ever since. But is that really what I want to do with my life? What do I want to be when I grow up? That is a question that I did not know how to answer when I was 17 and about to graduate high school. But I went right to college because that’s what you’re supposed to do. I’ve always said I should have taken a few years off and found a job in the real world before I decided what I wanted to get a degree in. I think that would have been tremendously beneficial.

Well here I am, 10 years into the real world and I feel like this could be a great opportunity. I have more than enough real world experience to know what interests me and I definitely know what doesn’t. I researched a few local colleges and trade schools today and requested more information. I’m going to contact some advisors and if anything piques my interest and the numbers add up, I might be going back to school! This could very well result in nothing. I may just find a new job and continue down the same path that I’ve been on, but the thought of finally figuring out what I want to do and then doing something about it is exciting. Time to dig deep and do a bit of soul searching. Turn this negative situation into a positive one. Everything happens for a reason.

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I’m still here.

by Alison on April 6, 2015

Hi there. Is anyone even reading this? Probably not, but that’s okay.

In the off chance that you are, I’m still here. It’s been over a year since I wrote anything. I’ve wanted to write. I’ve come up with topics but just never sat down to actually do it. A lot has happened in the last year, but I won’t bore you with the details.

What made me decide to write tonight? I came across this 100 Day Project post a little bit ago and thought, “Yeah, I can commit to doing something every day to better myself somehow.” I’ve been treating my body horribly for a while now and I figure this would be a good way to kick myself into gear. My project is going to be 100 days of health, whether it’s exercising that day or making a healthier meal choice than I normally would or maybe even sitting outside in the sun instead of sitting inside in front of the TV. Seems easy right?

Normally when I attempt to do a challenge of sorts or try to commit to something, I’m gung-ho for at least a week before it slowly fizzles out. Tonight, minutes went by before I was all, “Who am I kidding?”

The last year has been a tough one, guys. By no means has it been the most awful time that anyone in all of ever has experienced (because, really, let’s not be too dramatic), but it’s been rough. I’ve essentially spent it getting beat up, worn down, and when I thought I was at rock bottom and ready to tap out, the powers that be got one more knock-out punch in there to seal the deal before I could. I wish I could be one of those pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps, “I’ll show them!” types, but I’m tired.

So we’re going to start out slow. I’m rebooting in many facets of my life and maybe in this case, starting out all gung-ho and trying to take on the world in one swoop isn’t the way to go. Maybe starting slow will turn a flicker into a flame rather than the other way around. I’m not going to make some empty promise that I’ll document everything here because, well, we’ve been there before. But I’ll try.

We’ll see how it goes.

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2014

by Alison on December 23, 2014

Google – Year in Search 2014

2010
2011
2012
2013

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What we Googled in 2013.

by Alison on December 21, 2013

Hi. It’s… um.

…It’s been a while.

I’m still here. Still alive. Still plugging along in all things Alison, whatever that entails. I guess I could post some updates, as 2013 has been fairly interesting. And then again, not that interesting at all. I did stuff. I inhaled. I exhaled. I laughed. I cried. You know the drill.

Anyway…

Since this has become sort of a tradition and I LOVE THESE VIDEOS, I figured I’d make my grand reappearance by giving you…

Google Zeitgeist – Here’s to 2013!

2010
2011
2012

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On finding comfort in the little things

by Alison on March 24, 2013

I’ve had a pretty rough go of it lately. That’s basically my reason for not posting for a while… a gigantic case of the blahs. While my current job might not seem very important, it definitely takes a toll on my overall mood. In short, people suck. A LOT. And I understand that people just blatantly suck and that I shouldn’t take it personally, but I do and I can’t help it. It’s just how I am.

And I know this job isn’t a permanent thing. I passed my state real estate exam at the beginning of the month (woohoo!) so that’s my ultimate plan, but it’s going to take a while before being an agent is a lucrative job. I’m going to have to stay at my current one for a little bit while I get on my feet as an agent. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel but it is a looooooooong tunnel. That said, I haven’t posted in a while because any free time I get is pretty much spent vegging out to recover from the (most likely) crappy day of work I just experienced.

The other night, during one of my veg out periods, I was watching Say Yes To The Dress while playing Candy Crush (my newest addiction) on my laptop. This particular episode featured this adorable 24 year old woman named Margo Mallory from West Chester, Pennsylvania. Margo had cervical cancer and was going through chemo, so she was trying on dresses with a bald head and you can tell that she was nervous and a little self-conscious, but she was just so sweet. I was incredibly sad to see a dedication to her at the end which said she lost her battle in 2012. I had to know more, so I googled her name and found her blog that she started when she was diagnosed in 2011. Her blog led me to another blog run by one of her sisters, which seems to be a diary of sorts for her to help cope with her loss. I was reading through and got to this post about her and other people close to Margo finding dimes on the ground near them. I had never heard this before, but finding a dime is supposed to mean someone in heaven is watching you. I’m not sure what I believe as far as heaven and all that goes, but I like to think that our loved ones don’t just stop being when they pass away. I’ve heard lots of stories about people getting what they believe are signs from their parents or grandparents or whatever who have passed, but I’ve never really experienced anything like that myself.

Tonight, as I was cleaning up after a particularly hellish day at my not-so-permanent-but-not-ending-any-time-soon job, I looked down and saw a dime face up on the floor. I’m not sure who’s up there looking down on me, but it was kind of comforting. I needed that.

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2012 in review

by Alison December 14, 2012

This is becoming a tradition. Let’s hope Google never stops making these videos. 2010 2011

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Guilty pleasures

by Alison November 13, 2012

I started server training at my new job today. Do you really want to hear about that? I didn’t think so. So what should I write about? I decided if I’m stumped for topics to write about from now on, I’ll take a cue from someone else’s blog that I read that day and found […]

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Let’s just jump right back into it…

by Alison April 23, 2012

Rather than make excuses about why I haven’t posted in a while, I’m just gonna jump right into a topic and pretend the 4 month gap of postlessness doesn’t exist. Ready? Go! I am super bummed today. No idea why, but I am. One of my favorite things to do when something is bothering me, […]

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2011, year in review

by Alison January 9, 2012

Since I posted the 2010 year in review video made by Google last year, I figured I would do the same this year. I don’t know what it is about these videos, but I think they are so moving. Enjoy! Zeitgeist 2011: Year In Review

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this trip is going to be LEGEN– wait for it…

by Alison October 19, 2011

13 days, 2 hours, 26 minutes, and 13 seconds until i am on a plane to las vegas. i. can’t. WAIT! to say that the last few weeks of work have been hell on earth really wouldn’t convey just how much i have hated it lately. i actually tweeted yesterday that i’m looking forward to […]

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