"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." [Mark Twain]

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Dear Ms. Davies,

It's the beginning of April 2011 and I am still unemployed. These past 3 FULL months, sometimes day and night, I have been on a pedal-to-the-metal job search. This is definitely one full-time job I will never forget! Thing is, I am a girl who won't just settle for anything or something I don't want with all my passion. I want what my heart wants, set my sights on it, and just GO FOR IT. I put 200% in, and am always blessed with an amazing outcome. I expect nothing less this time around. Hopeless job hunter? Nah, I call it being blessed with trust, faith, and diligence.

Major turning point, March 9, whipped me back into shape. I knew that I needed change, and fast. I was not getting anywhere, just spent too much time cleaning out my rejection-lettered inbox. Here is just an idea of what my experience has been like: 

 "Dear Ms. Davies,"

"Once again we thank you for your interest in our company. Much to our regret we have to inform you that we cannot consider your application for further short listing. We feel very sorry that your efforts have not been rewarded. But we want to clarify emphatically, that this denial is no negative valuation of your knowledge or abilities."

"We wish you good luck for your private and professional future."

"In the time since you applied, we have had the opportunity to review your profile in consideration for the position. After careful review, our hiring team has decided to not move forward with you for this role at this point in time. Any other positions you may have applied for will be responded to separately. We are sorry that we could not provide you with better news this time, but encourage you to continue to visit our career site for future opportunities."

"All of a sudden we have already found candidates for the Graduate Program. This is the reason why the planned Assessment Center will not take place. Therefore we can not consider your application moreover."

"Unfortunately, after careful consideration we have to inform you that your application has been unsuccessful on this occasion. We wish you every success in your future career."

So after 3 months of this, I was fed up. Patience was not my ally anymore in this war. I had wasted too much of my life in all the wrong places, or so I think. In the beginning it was so hard and nerve wrecking for me to just sit back and do nothing but write cover letters, enhance resumes, and so on. I was used to the day-to-day routine of having responsibilities in school and in my job. But, as you get used to most things, I got used to being patient. Can you be too patient? 

May 9th, Ash Wednesday, the 1st day of Lent, patience heard my battle cry. Now, 23 days later, I can say and prove that I am winning. Patience can take that! 

I decided that this Lenten season not only would my main goal be to develop a closer relationship with God and my spirituality, but also to put all of my trust in him and just let go. So while I let him work things out up there, I would search in places I've never searched before, in hopes that I would be led to where I should be after trying all possibilities. 

Now Day 23 of 40 of my Lenten plans, I have: 
  • started my applications in the states while giving up my focus in the German job market and started interviewing for positions the very next day with the following progress:
      • Round 1: Marketing company in Chicago, Dannon in Houston, Samsung in Little Rock, Staples in Little Rock, HypoVereinsBank in Munich, ISA in Austin, Red Bull in Austria
      • Round 2: Staples, Marketing in Chicago, Samsung in LR
      • Round 3: Staples (withdrew my own interest in position)
  • forwarded 23+ good deeds out into the world
  • read and studied the Bible each morning after I flick on the light and before I turn out my light at night, as well as my Little Black Book :)
  • become conscious of my diet by giving up products with refined sugar and alcohol (except the occasional glass of wine...it's healthy!!), resulting in a 10 - 12 pound loss thus far
  • plus other little extras that have just grown on me along my journey in the desert :)

My goal is to surface from these 40 days in the desert with my foot in the door of something I've been chasing for months and to have an even greater bond with the Lord. Can't wait to see what's in store! :)

 Trust. Faith. Diligence

Therefore I tell you,
whatever you ask for in prayer,
believe that you have received it,
and it will be yours.

~ Mark 11:24 ~

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My First True Love

This has got to be the best and most perfect winter of mine yet. Wait, hold on to your seat. I think I've finally experienced my first love. :) 

The saying must be true: If a guy teases you, it is only because he likes you.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I used to passionately hate him and his cold wrath. 

He regularly destroys my sunny days and steals my sultry summer tan. 

Just this season, he has hidden 2 of my mobiles and my snowball-making gloves under his thick white blankets, 2 of which were lost forever to his Houdini-like powers.

After years of loathing him, I've finally come to see his real beauty.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

How he stole my heart...

I've had the chance to experience old man winter this season on two different continents/countries/cities, which is how I discovered my true feelings.

First up was in lovely Munich! Snow began to fall in mid-November and I couldn't help but loving every bit of it from start to end. Even on the very day of my flight home, my last moments breathing the Munich air were spent frozen waiting on the S-bahn bench with one of my best friends Heather. 
Surprisingly, the cold didn't even get to me as much as it normally would because I was just so distracted by the perfectly-shaped snowflakes softly piling on my legs and suitcases. 

Every snowflake to me in Munich was just impeccably hypnotizing. Each flake glistened with such a peaceful character that I was just automatically drawn in to discover each's hidden mystery. Even in the company of dear friends, I would drift away with the schools of flakes floating past me just wanting to follow them wherever they were traveling off to. 

He started up one night while we were in one of our hot hang out spots, Jäger's, enjoying my last Maß night of the year, when I just flew outside the hostel and danced around in the snow-covered street with my mouth open wide catching the landings of the tiny beauties. It felt like my little glimpse at heaven. Onlookers were weary of my amazement, but I was in another world and had no time to even care. I even stole friends, Heather and Daniel, from the warmth to dance under and catch the falling beauties. Time stood still that night.

He was even distracting at work, as I just peered out our office's big glass windows each time he decided to show his face. My manager would catch me sometimes and double check what really caught my stare. To her surprise, every time, it was only him. I was definitely in love. It was one of those "can't-eatcan't-sleepreach-for-the-starsover- the-fence, world-series kind of" loves. Undeniably, 'twas my winter heaven. 

A group of dear friends and I traveled to the Chiemsee Christmas Markets one snowy day. We put on one of the best snowball fights EVER. :) Snowballing should become a professional sport! Who wants to help me lobby?!
Final destination, good 'ole home on the range! Old Man Winter is being very generous with us this season. He just keeps sending this beautiful white fluff to us in heaps. We've had at least 3 good doses and 2 or so other flurry nights. Normal winters he gives us maybe 1 good dose, if that! But I can't complain, I'm enjoying each snow day to it's fullest with the best of fixings - company of family and friends, hot chocolate sippings, bonfires with s'mores, the wonders of nature, and the silent beauty of the little white gifts sent from above. 

I dove into that perfect sheet of snow to make my angelic mark :)
And the difference between a German and an Arkansan winter-man? 


True Appreciation.

It was the Germans who taught me to appreciate the 4 seasons, all the rainy, cloudy and sunny days. Reason being, they have one of the best seasonal variety packs I've experienced compared to the imbalanced-plethora of gorgeous warm sunny days and skipping of some winters and falls in Arkansas and Texas. Weather was always a daily hot topic when I lived in Germany. Whereas in Arkansas and Texas, we are used to our regular schedule of hot sunnies and chilly drearies. I used to hate rain that would destroy the chance for yet another blissfully sunny day, but now I've come to appreciate the variety as the Germans do. I guess I will have to agree - it does keep things interesting and the weathermen well-known! 

However, just as the Germans have taught me the topic of seasonal appreciation, I almost never saw them appreciate anything but those perfect sunny days. They cursed winter - slow traffic, the winter tire law, etc. Odd? Why yes, I do think so! Although I wasn't too fond of anything but sunny days before, I've come to see just how much more appreciated the variety of weather is here in Arkansas. Being one of America's top crop producers, farmers here depend on the rain and sun for a season of good crops. Still, when old man winter comes our way, you better believe we are all on our tippy toes awaiting our first, second, and third snowy forecasts with snow-day excitement. So, only when I came home did I learn how to appreciate the seasons and, specifically, him.

Well folks, hope you all are enjoying this wintry season as much as I am. Old man winter ain't nothin' but a big hunk 'o love, and if he ain't sent some love your way yet, I'm sure it's a comin'! Who knows? Maybe he could be your secret Valentine. :)

I'd like to conclude my personified love of winter banter with the words of Albert Einstein: 'Imagination is more powerful than knowledge.'

Watch out!! Professional snowballer here!! :D
Just imagine... (:

Monday, February 7, 2011

Beachy Daze on the Funny Farm

So maybe I have had a bit too much of this?


I wish! 

It has been too many days to count since my last life update and experience tracking. Watch out folks, Jessica is back with an agenda! 

My adventures in Munich have been put on PAUSE since December 16th, 2010.

I really dislike whoever pushed that button. Now, I'm getting my player checked out, so the PLAY button will finally be working again. I've had to write up many applications and set up many interviews to find the right handyman. I feel I'm on the cusp of solving this mysterious dilemma. My PLAY button shall work - I can feel it in my bones. February is the month of the magical fix. 

Till then, here's my fantastic life on the Funny Farm in a nutshell.

Lots and Lots of beloved family time - The thing is, I just discovered this and felt super bad about not realizing this great advantage of being able to spend time at home without work obligations or others. Please forgive me beloved familia! I haven't had this much free time to spend with family since ummm...before I got a job at 16! I've been a workaholic since then, went off to Uni in Texas for 4 years and studied abroad and worked in the summers - leaving family time to just find it's place among my busy life. Even though this break has been detrimental to my social life off the Funny Farm, I thank God for this PAUSE

Applications and Interviews Galore - You don't even want to see all that goes into this. It drove me crazy in the beginning sorting it all out. But, now I've got such an amazing system of organizing everything that I feel like a real pro and I could teach my methods to other job seekers. So, here's an open offer for anyone wanting tips!

Hobby Catch-Up - This is mainly my wild crafty side. I LOVE creating. Anything. I've made a few nice selections of jewelry for friends and family - earrings, necklaces, etc. I've also thought of some great ideas for purses. I've got the medium, but now I'm on the hunt for the right covering/decorating materials. Also, cooking. Send me your fave recipes ladies and gents cuz I've got kitchen duty and I'm lovin' it!

Me Time - Much needed breathing time. Like I said before, even though it has just been less than 2 months of being home, I haven't had something like this since I was 16. I see it as a good pit stop in the middle of my journey. I'm out of the car and taking in the fresh air, preparing to step back in and slowly put on the gas to my next spot in life. I still can't decide which is better. Manual or Automatic? I guess it just comes down to the situation. Most of the time, I like to just go with the flow of the wind. But, sometimes it is all about stepping in and taking control of that gear, slowly releasing your foot from the clutch. The key? Balance.

So, let's Prost to the joys of family and friends and all that life brings. I'm off to enjoy another lovely family adventure and taking that sidekick travel bug with me!