Merry Christmas!

Xmas 2005

Our family has quite a few traditions when it comes to the holidays. One of them is that we put all of the presents under the tree at midnight on Christmas eve. One by one, we get up and head down to see the tree surrounded by all of the presents. This year, I am the first one up. Its absolutely silent right now, quite a contrast to the mood that will be set once everybody else has joined me. But for now, its peacefully quiet. A good time to post and wish you all the happiest of holidays, and a Merry Christmas! Sometimes the greatest gift is just to have everybody together once again and enjoy their company!

The big question?

Question?

Since getting back from the trip, I have been very unmotivated to figure out what I want to do with my life. The job I currently have is very interesting and I get to play with a lot of high-end technology and toys, but it just doesn’t do it for me anymore. I know that I should consider myself lucky just to have a job and to be making a decent amount of money (and to get to play with cool stuff while doing so!), but I’ve had that experience before and I always ended up feeling a bit disappointed.

I have yet to figure out if its me I’m disappointed with or the actual job. There are plenty of people out there who are working for a living and seem to be quite pleased and content with their lives and their jobs. Even if it isn’t the “ideal” or “dream” job. Perhaps I’m setting my sights too high? Maybe I’m looking for something that doesn’t really exist… I don’t know. But what I do know for sure is that the more I stare at a computer screen and the less I interact with actual people the more brain dead I feel by the end of the day. One thing that I realized for sure during my trip was that I thrive on human interaction. I get so energized in talking with people and finding out new things about them and, in turn, about myself. Matt and I got so little sleep during the trip, we were constantly moving and exploring new places, yet I never felt drained. Now my level of activity has fallen to rolling out of bed and driving to work. I’m spending a LOT less energy (and my belly is starting to show the effect!) but I feel TOTALLY exhausted every day. Its not even that the work I’m doing is so complicated or technical, its just draining.

There was a period of about a week or so where I really buckled down and finished up my resume. I was convinced that I was going to start sending it out every which way once it was ready… I don’t think I’ve sent it out to a single job opening as of yet. My end-date with my current job was supposed to be December 31st. So as far as I knew, I wouldn’t have any income in the new year, yet that didn’t even seem to motivate me to find something. As it turns out, they will be needing me beyond December 31st, so I have the option to stay until March now. Everybody thinks its great news! I know that it is, because I will have a source of income – but something is missing. This certainly isn’t going to motivate me more to start looking for a new job… so why this lack of motivation? Why, when I really have nothing to loose, have I not even started to really look?

That’s the big question. I honestly don’t know. I spoke with my friend Marisa about it and she said that she always felt that way after traveling for an extended period of time. I guess being gone for almost 2 months gave me some perspective on my life here in the “real world”. One would think that kind of perspective would get me motivated to find something new… when all I am really doing is trudging onward on the same path…

Any given Tuesday?

Today started out like any other day. Get up. Go to work. Sneak away to take 15 min nap at work because I was literally falling asleep WHILE working with my new co-worker. Not sure what that is all about. I’ve been exhausted as of late. Maybe it has something to do with Dave and TK’s party on Saturday. Who knows… but either way, I felt totally beat. But we did get another program to work on the wall – a window to the milky way!

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After work I picked up Katty to go to Centro Romero where I have been volunteering the past few weeks teaching an after school class to help kids learn how to use computers. Katty was gracious enough to come help me out as Ben, the regular instructor, was not able to go today. The kids didn’t seem to enjoy my “lesson plan” all that much. Perhaps they could tell how exhausted I was.

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And that was just the beginning!

Continue reading Any given Tuesday?

20 cents

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I woke up late this morning, exhausted from my lack of sleep last night. I hurried off to work, not really paying attention to anything around me, primarily worried about getting there on time. As the day droned on, I decided to take care of a few things. I had returned a package, a computer part, and I wanted to make sure that they would send me the correct part. I also wanted to make sure that they refunded me the $7.50 I paid in shipping charges. I then called my credit card company, for they had charged me $18.45 in finance charges, seemingly out of nowhere. I spent a good 30 minutes of my time on these efforts this afternoon, mostly getting more frustrated at the incompetence of the people with whom I was dealing with.

In the end, I did get my the money back, a whopping $25.95, which was promptly spent on another computer part, and later on a magazine and iced tea. Its funny how when I feel that I have “recovered” money I feel as though it is something that I can now spend… but I digress. Katty and I just went shopping and as we returned home we realized that they had overcharged us on some frozen shrimp we had purchased. Said shrimp was $15.60 but we didn’t get the 50% off. I made my way back to Jewel to get our $7.80 back. In writing this, I am embarrassed about how stingy I must seem. My only explanation is that it was a coincidence that this all fell upon today. As it turns out, the return trip to Jewel was not a coincidence at all.

Continue reading 20 cents

Autumn Leaves

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It is amazing what a ten minute walk can do for the mind, body, and spirit. It is also amazing the different things you can find in a place that you have known all your life. Its funny, because while I was traveling in Europe, I thought to myself how amazing it must be to live in the different places that we visited. So many things to discover, so many things that were new and different. But it didn’t occur to me that the people who live there probably don’t spend hours a day roaming through the city searching those things out. It also didn’t occur to me how we too can get so trapped in the routine that we miss out on new things everyday. During my walk on campus, I discovered three new places that I had never been to before, that I never knew existed. I also took the time to look up and appreciate the beauty of the changing colors of the season. The greens, yellow, oranges, reds, purples… amazing. Sometimes I wonder if I would notice these things if I didn’t have a camera with me loaded with the desire to share with others. But in the end, I guess it really doesn’t matter. The underlying truth is that I discovered something new, that I captured a few colors and a few moments… and those little things, in a ten minute time span, made all the difference.

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Northwestern Library (where I work), from a different perspective

Continue reading Autumn Leaves

Nothing Interesting

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What I stare at for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week… with nary a window to the outside world through which I could escape for a moment!

I haven’t been very good at updating since my return. A few stories here and there – stuff that I thought might be interesting. But the fact of the matter is, I don’t feel like I have been doing very interesting things since I my return. Of course, its hard to beat a trip around Europe as far as content, stories, and pictures go. I’ve been contemplating putting up more pictures from the trip, as well as telling more stories. I think that will come in time. But for now, its amazing how quickly one returns to the everyday routine after a trip such as the one I took. Ok – maybe its just amazing at how quickly I returned to the “norm” after this trip. Trying to get my work done here at the office, which has become more and more monotonous as the weeks unfold. Perhaps its just because I know that something different is coming. But the problem is that I have to search that something different out. Believe it or not, I’ve never had to do that before. Things just came to me. No Liam, I don’t think that means that I have things simple, in fact, I think it makes things even more difficult when the time comes for me to actually take action.

Take action. I sometimes wonder if this is something I’m even capable of!

I guess I shall find out in the near future.

I, thankfully, have accomplished at least something since I returned.. My new-from-the-ground-up resume is finally complete. Thanks to the help and motivation of my wonderful girlfriend Katty! I at least have something to send out – if I actually find something that I want to do. I have been attending the recruiting sessions for various consulting firms, thinking that may be the route I want to take. What happened to my desire to work at a non-profit? It still exists, I just need to be realistic about paying off the loans that I have taken out to complete my education. I’m hoping that volunteering in some capacity will fill that void. But I just now realized a problem with that – volunteering on a regular basis will be difficult in the
extreme if I am required to travel regularly for work. D’OH! I guess I shouldn’t worry about it until there is actually a job offer on the table.

Until then, its just more of the same old… nothing interesting.

A peek inside my head

Yes, I assure you all, that is actually my brain. It would be interesting to get it scanned again after our trip to see just how many brain cells were lost. But finding a way to get paid to do it, as I did before, would be a bit more difficult. As I was walking to work one day I saw an add that stated “Cash for your brain!”. Being the curious human being that I am, I decided to take a closer look. “$50 for one hour of your time” it stated. Being a cash strapped recent grad I couldn’t resist, I decided to fire off an e-mail to see what it was all about. Shortly thereafter I received the following reply.

Continue reading A peek inside my head

Voyage

I am Pablo

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
Marcel Proust

The weathered paint shows the passing of time. Unseen, just to the right is the date it was painted: 9/96… almost 9 years ago. It is amazing to think how much has changed in that time, more amazing yet to imagine what awaits in the years to come.

Continue reading Voyage