Monday, April 11, 2011

Keeping Resolutions

Last year I set a few goals for myself. I'm happy to say that I've followed through on most of them. M and I are on our way to being healthier versions of ourselves. In the last six weeks, I've lost just under 21 lbs, and he has lost just over 33 lbs. I'm very proud of him (and myself, for that matter), but we're going to keep up the good work.

I've really enjoyed living in Austin. I'm making great friends, having new experiences, and making an actual life here. It feels like home. And this summer, with my new classes in CS/CIT, I'll be taking language classes. Things are coming together slowly but surely. That's really all I can ask for right now.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

On Starting Over

For me, the last year has been a journey in starting over. I moved to Texas in January 2010 to get away from a very toxic family situation in Massachusetts. I had a couple of friends, but was really starting over and living a new life down here. I split from my boyfriend of four years, and met someone new and wonderful. I began and got laid off from my job. The government cut back on hiring and DS cleared hundreds of new names for the register; I had to start over with the Foreign Service.

Tens of thousands of dollars into my bachelor's degree later, I have realized that I have no real, feasible Plan B for if the Foreign Service doesn't come through. So here I am, making what I hope is the adult decision to start over one more time. Because I was laid off due to outsourcing, I'm eligible for a program that falls under the Trade Adjustment Act. This allows me to attend training for a new career full-time while collecting unemployment benefits. I have up to two years to complete said training. This means I have the opportunity to bid the soul-sucking world of customer service and call centers adieu.

After a week of being completely overwhelmed with information and emotions--mostly regarding the possibility of ending my Foreign Service candidacy for another year at least--I took a deep breath, spoke to some of my friends, and decided to look into computer science and information technology. While this is completely subject to change, it's likely that I will start school this summer to gain a degree and/or certifications in programming. It's not a field I ever would have imagined for myself, but it makes sense. I live in a technology hub, so a career in computer science is a natural shift. There are a lot of positions available for an entry-level programmer, and they make enough for me to pay my bills (an all-important trait, really), so I'm going to go for it. A new skill-set can't hurt me, and I'm ready to look for a secondary career, not another job to occupy for the next however many months.

I'm nervous and scared that this might not work out for me, but it feels like a step in the right direction. I still want the Foreign Service more than anything else in this world, but I'm willing to consider reality for once.