Head Over Heels

[tldr version is at the end of this blogpost]

(I listened to this song today, hence the title of my blogpost. I think it’s appropriate here, honestly.)

 ~

Okay. So several months ago I wrote a rather depressing post about how life as a college graduate sucked. To recap, I complained wrote about how I couldn’t find a job, how no one seems to be hiring recent sustainability grads, and how anxious I was to be out in the real world. I wrote about how hard it was to stay positive.

Well, that was towards the end of June. I couldn’t sit around and dwell on those thoughts, so I distracted myself instead. I filled my days, and so these past six months have been a whirlwind: a happy, exciting, sometimes stressful, always crazy whirlwind.

Since my last post I:

  • volunteered like crazy at Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary
  • went back to Hallmark to work part-time
  • applied for jobs
  • got published
  • signed a lease with my boyfriend at an apartment in Ahwatukee
  • applied for jobs
  • moved all my stuff over to said apartment in Ahwatukee
  • went to several interviews
  • got 6 job rejections so that I lived at my mom’s house in Glendale all summer (P.S. the 40 minute drive to see my boyfriend every few days was no bueno)
  • worked for my dad as a social media manager for his website
  • applied for jobs
  • went to a good friend’s wedding
  • wrote curriculum for and helped to launch the nonprofit SmartRoots Global
  • tested several lessons at Homeward Bound
  • applied for jobs
  • turned 23
  • FINALLY got a job as ranch manager at Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary
  • FINALLY moved to Ahwatukee with my boyfriend

I also applied for jobs over the last few months.

Let me tell you, reader: if there is a more soul crushing, devastatingly painful thing to do in life other than try to be something you’re not in order to get people to like you and hire you so that you can spend your days in a cubicle doing work you don’t care about, I don’t know what is. But that’s what I did.

Well, the long story short of that brainwave is that I did get a full time job after waiting for so long, the perfect job that I think was meant for me all along.

But that’s a post for another day.

This post is to make an announcement to my friends and family, friends and family I’ve neglected lately since I’ve been so busy with three jobs (two part-time and one full time). Perhaps this is an apology of sorts to you guys as well, because as you’re about to read, my life is about to get even crazier.

I guess all I have to say about this decision that I made is that, surprisingly, not a whole lot of thinking went into it. I mean, I thought about it a lot. But my reasoning behind doing what I’ve done is not complicated at all.

On September 26th, two days after my 23rd birthday, something in my brain snapped. Snapped, I tell you. Since this was before I became ranch manager at Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary, on that day I was scouting out jobs on my good friend Google.com and was typing in just about every variation of the phrase that would capture my interests:

“sustainability jobs in….”

“sustainability education jobs in…”

“education jobs in…”

“environmental jobs in…”

“environmental education jobs in…”

Jobs in Arizona. Jobs in Washington, D.C. Jobs in California. Washington state. Oregon. Massachusetts. New York. I even looked in London, if only because I’m dying to go back. I looked for jobs everywhere and I qualified for nothing. The few jobs for which I did qualify, I sent out applications and received brisk email responses informing me that I “lacked experience”.

On September 26th I sat staring at my computer screen and thought…. Is this what I’m destined to see for the rest of my life? Email after email telling me I’m not good enough?

Once that thought entered my head, I started asking myself a lot of other questions. Why is my $20,000 bachelor’s degree useless? Why does no one want to give me a chance? Is this even the field I want to be in? What do I want to do in life? What do I want to DO?

Make your announcement already, Alexis, you say. I’m getting there. I think you see where I’m going.

Anyway, I spent all summer asking myself what I really wanted to do, and another post for another day is how the horses at Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary guided me towards the answer to that particular question. There’s no lying with them, no barriers to hide behind and no denying what is truth. And as I spent this summer with them – and in fact, as I currently spend every single day with them – they led me to my conclusion that prompted my decision:

Later in my life (I’m having fun working with horses and helping to built up a nonprofit right now), I want to help fix the education system in this country. After writing curriculum for SmartRoots Global, I realized I want to continue doing so, but I want to add sustainability initiatives at the K-12 level. I want to study education policy and figure out what works and what doesn’t. I want to help teachers teach. I want to give kids a chance.

I want to go back to school. I want to keep learning. I want to give myself a better chance in the battlefield that is establishing a career in my early 20s.

Oh, I sure as hell won’t make a career for myself the way everyone wants me to, by starting small and quietly making my way up the ladder that is the unwritten hierarchy of business.

No, I want to make my own path. And starting in the spring of 2015, that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

[Tldr version starts here]

And so, I am very excited to announce that I will be starting my master’s degree in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Instructional Leadership at Northern Arizona University (Online) in January!

I told my boyfriend the minute I found out I was accepted. I said, “I am officially going to be a grad student!”

He said, “You are officially insane.”

Yes, yes I am.

But as I said before, I have no idea what’s going to happen in the future. And that, my friends, is half the fun.

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