Archive 2013 July

Sunburns are good for the soul

Despite not being good for the skin. A sunburn means you earned your color, in some way or another. Whether you made the trek to the beach for the sole purpose of laying out with friends or you were kayaking down a river in Alaska; sunburn means you went out and seized the day even if you forgot to lavishly apply sunscreen. I’m proud of my temporarily blushing face and pink shoulders. Yesterday was good.

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It’s been 6 weeks since I’ve moved to Alaska. Six weeks Wednesday, actually. Six weeks is the longest I’ve ever gone without seeing my mom and dad. It’s without a doubt the longest I’ve ever gone without seeing my sister. And since my oldest niece was born, it’s definitely been the longest I’ve gone without seeing her. I know what it’s like to miss people. My oldest sister moved to Wyoming when I was 15 and we’ve gone an entire year without seeing each other. My husband and I would go months at a time where we’d be apart. Missing people isn’t new for me. But missing people who were so constant in my adult life…that’s new.

I’m doing fine. Better than fine. I stay busy with my full time job, I thoroughly enjoy the few hours every weekday evening my husband and I get together, and on the weekends I love our mornings sleeping in and going on adventures in the afternoon. But my parents, my sister, and my niece remain a huge part of my every day life. I try to skype them once a week at least, I get daily pictures of both of my nieces. I text my sisters and best friend each and every day, and I usually get a nice, long phone call in with my parents. Modern technology may be the cause of some problems in our everyday life, but it keeps me sane. It keeps me grounded. It keeps me from being sad.

Six weeks isn’t even that long. In the grand scheme of things (i.e. how long we will be in Alaska) six weeks is a small bump on the timeline. But I’m giving myself credit. I’m giving myself a lot of credit for how happy I am, how much I’ve accomplished since I’ve arrived, and how much I have tried to live in the moment.

I could be sad that reaching Wednesday means the longest I’ve gone without seeing some of my absolute favorite people, or I could be happy for the handsome guy asleep next to me who I get to enjoy the wonders of Alaska with and all the little things we refuse to take for granted (cooking together, watching seasons of shows on Netflix, playing soccer in the field next to our house whenever we’re bored, etc, etc). I have to choose the latter.

So back to this sunburn. It hurts at first; in certain moments after it initially occurs it might even hurt like hell. But it dulls. It fades into a color you appreciate. Something you’re proud of and thankful for, because the memories you make for a little bit of pain are incredibly worth it.

“The more you love your decisions, the less you need others to love them.” – Anonymous

Guess who has a big kid job?!?

THIS GIRL. 

The most exciting news in my life by far, is my recent employment. I have never been more proud of myself and my accomplishments than last Tuesday when I accepted a position at the largest (essentially only) advertising agency in Fairbanks, Alaska. The search for a job in my field began the second I stepped off the plane and I had just reached the three week mark when I got a call from the owner to come in for an informal interview. It was fate. Literally. I’d sent my resume the first week I’d arrived after searching out all the PR/advertising/marketing services in Fairbanks and at the time, they were not hiring.

Fast forward two weeks and one of their employees had accepted a position at another company and BAM! There I was with an amazing opportunity that in almost any other circumstance would be unavailable to an entry-level graduate, but they were willing to teach and I was SO eager to learn. I am still immensely excited to learn every piece of information and knowledge they have to share. This is my dream job for being right out of college. DREAM JOB.

I know I’m no professional job lander, but I’ve had some awesome success (and some disappointing letdowns) in the past couple years since I discovered what career path was right for me. My best advice for someone searching for an internship/job right now is:

1) To have patience. Landing a job won’t happen overnight. It takes time.
2) Speaking of time, timing is EVERYTHING. You could be perfect for a company that just isn’t hiring right now. Don’t burn bridges, lose hope, or stop networking. Something could come up later.
3) Companies can tell if you’re just applying to jobs to apply (guilty). I had an interview for a secretarial position where I was left stumped when they asked me why I wanted to be a secretary in their office. I did want it! But not for the right reasons. Apply to jobs you actually care about.
4) Sending your resumes to companies you admire even if they’re not hiring is worth it. Send along a note that addresses what makes you want to work for this company and ask if they’d keep your resume on hand. Your resume may just be there next option when an employee leaves…

Employment is good. Employment in a position that I’m passionate about and am eager to learn and gain experience is great.

In other Alaska related news, the husband man has been on a military-sponsored fishing trip the last few days in Seward, AK. He reported back today that he’d caught halibut, salmon, and cod. I’m drooling. I love fish, but I especially love seafood. Fresh caught seafood right out of the ocean and on its way to my kitchen and my tummy tomorrow night…

(Courtesy of Google Images. Picture links to website.)
(Courtesy of Google Images. Picture links to website.)

I hope the husband has that many fish. No complaints if our freezer is full of fish for the next two or so years we’re here. Now he is extremely somewhat picky when it comes to eating seafood so the big question for my fellow bloggers is:

Have any Halibut/Cod/Salmon recipes?

Hope everyone is staying cool! Feel free to come to Fairbanks if you’re not. We’re rocking the high 60’s, low 70’s this week.

“Have some fire. Be unstoppable. Be a force of nature. Be better than anyone else here and don’t give a damn what anyone else thinks.”

– Cristina Yang (Grey’s Anatomy)

Alaska is for the wild ones

My loyalty to WordPress runs deep.

As in, so deep I went to make another blog to separate my professional and personal blogging and I felt so compelled to come back to my lovely little WordPress blog here that the one I created 8 hours ago is about to be deleted. Goodness “get busy living”, I have grown strangely attached to you.

I’m not leaving or changing the content. I intend to post some professional and some personal blog posts and that’s that. I decided I don’t want my entire personal life devoted to one blog (people don’t need to know that many details) and devoting an entire blog to only professional content will make me want to gauge my eyeballs out. Sorry ’bout it. I’m here to stay and make both work.

So Fairbanks, Alaska is one interesting city. I suppose no matter where you move in the United States there will be quirks you’re not used to, but I genuinely think there is something in the water here. The people who move to Fairbanks to stay – mind you, I have yet to meet a single person who has lived here their entire life – are something else.

For example, today I showed up at the Fairbanks Community Food Bank where I’m volunteering and was sent to work with this adorable 75 year old woman named Peggy. Now Peggy was a talker and once she got going, I had only to begin to ask questions and she was off on a spiel. Within fifteen minutes of meeting her, Peggy tells me this past year she fulfilled everything on her bucket list. Now I’m standing there sorting moldy produce thinking, ‘Wow. That is pretty impressive. I wonder if her bucket list was short or if it was comprised of simple things’ when this 75 year old woman says to me, “Yeah my son was so worried about me skydiving last year, but it was amazing!”

accurateyeah

I am not even making this up.

She proceeds to tell me she also drove from Fairbanks, Alaska to Houston, Texas for some religious conference last year and she took the scenic route making it an almost 10,000 mile round trip. I asked her how and Peggy’s response? “Well with my Subaru.”

The mom and daughter I met the day before moved there so her husband could make twice the money doing construction and her 16 year old daughter was telling me about the trophy elk she would shoot every year with her dad. Last week I met an older woman (early 60’s) who used to vacation in Fairbanks and moved here for the beauty, then met her husband, who now takes her to “Moose Camp” for a month in September every year. Oh and they were going white water rafting the next day down a glacier fed river through the tallest mountain range in North America.

The people in Alaska are ONE OF A KIND. It really takes a special type of person to live here willingly. Now I’m not saying I don’t have an adventurous streak. I like hunting, spontaneous road trips, hiking on trails I’ve never been, and moving to new places where I hardly know anyone. But until I’m jumping out of airplanes at 74 years old, I’m not sure I have what it takes to be a permanent Alaskan resident.

Plus everyone drives really slow in Fairbanks. I have the Twin Cities traffic bug. The cop who pulled me over and gave me a warning the second day I was here made it pretty obvious I’m no local…

“Don’t fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.”

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