Saturday Stream of Consciousness

It’s a rainy Saturday here in Ulsan, so I decided to spend some time at a cafe and do a little writing. The following is what I penned in my notebook:

It is grey and raining in this cafe where the tables look like Morocco: blue, patterned. I am drinking my iced latte, my favorite simple pleasure. And I want to cry like the rain. Croissants. Scones. Chitter chatter. I’m never alone, even though I feel like I am sometimes.

The barista is bringing out more pastries for display and the music isn’t my favorite,  but it’s pleasant. Cars are driving by on the tiny street and I see my apartment from my seat. Why do I love coffee so much? I used to hate it. This place is filled with bamboo and other big, leafy, green plants. The sign on the door says “coffee is always a good idea” and I agree. And I’m looking at the seafood restaurant across the street, but it’s probably too expensive. But the pictures of the lobster look so good.

The rain is rolling down the windows and drip dropping on the outdoor benches. I’m waiting for a package. I wonder when it will come. I wanted to go for a walk today, but the rain.

MUST. ESPRESSO. BLEND. CODE BLACK. That’s what it says on the card on the saucer that my coffee came on. And I think about how many cafes I’ve been to and how much coffee I’ve had with friends, boyfriends. I love it.

Dark chocolate. Cacao. Cashew nut. Mandarin. Good body. (The other side of the card.)

Balance. Am I balanced? The Lexapro makes me feel like I am. Until I feel overwhelmed. Anxiety. Boom. Fuck. I can’t breathe. I can’t make everyone happy, but I can make me happy. This coffee helps. I’m going to Taipei. That helps. Food and art. Food and art. Probably my most favorite things in the whole wide world. I’m going to eat xiao long bao and bubble tea and beef noodle soup and Taiwanese breakfast. Give me culture. Give me experience. I’m not going to just pay bills and die. I’m going to live. I’m going to do everything I want and more!

Colombia “Narino” Supreme. Guatemala “Fraijanes Palo Alto Azul.” Indonesia “Aceh Gayo.” (More from the card.)

I keep looking at it. I didn’t bring an umbrella. And I’m wearing sandals. I don’t really care. I think the rain’s getting heavier. 종가2길. My Korean should be better after all this time. But it’s not. Is not giving a fuck an art? If not, can it be? A family just walked in. The little boy is in awe over the pastries. Mom is wearing neon green and black striped socks. The boy’s wet shoes are squeaking across the floor. Dad looks tired. I look tired. It’s fine.

Origin. Origin. Origin. Origin.

The croissants are looking mighty good. The espresso machine is beautiful. MUST. Custom? Italian? I’ll have one someday.

Purple poncho. This guy is outside leaning on his motorbike, drenched. Driving away. I don’t miss driving. 가위 바위 보. Rock, paper, scissors. An older couple across the street is playing, smiling. They look happy. I like that. 

Pensive. I like that word. I like a lot of words. History. Defined.

Is this Oasis? Shazam. Yes, it is. “Married with Children.”

Eclectic. Marble. Wood. Brown. Black. Cream. The light is soft.

Do other people scream internally? Because I feel like I do that a lot. Sometimes I look at people and wonder how they’ve made it this far. And they do some stupid fucking shit which makes me open my big, fat Jersey mouth. Whatever. I didn’t used to do that. I think living here has made me more fearless. That sounds cliche. Wow. But seriously. I can’t stay quiet anymore. Is it growing up? I don’t know.

I love myself.

I Didn’t Choose the Mug Life

The mug life chose me.

Three years ago, I had just graduated from college and needed a job. My good friend Greg was working at a new coffee shop in Montclair, NJ and said he’d give the manager my resume. After an awesome interview (spent talking mostly about unicorns), I was hired. I was a barista, and eventually a key holder and trainer for a year. After struggling with some personal issues, I ultimately quit and had to move to Ocean County. During my year at that coffee shop, I had my fair share of meltdowns (like I do) but I always kind of missed the environment. I learned some sweet skills and met so many interesting people on a regular basis.

About two weeks ago, I took a job at Starbucks. And I’m really excited about it. I will be starting out as a barista but hopefully within six months, I can become a shift lead (more money!).

Starbucks seems like a great company to work for. The offer benefits after 90 days to all employees who work at least 20 hours/week (medical, 401k), free drinks during shifts, 30% off orders when you’re not working, and free ground coffee or tea to take home each week. I even get a free premium Spotify membership. Pretty sweet.

After completing my introductory computer training, I started training on the floor. The espresso machine is not one I’m used to, but the trainer was impressed with my steaming. I even successfully made a flat white on my first try and the manager walked by just in time to see it. Learning how to make the specialty drinks will come in time, but I feel really confident about making the regular espresso drinks. It’s just a lot of memorization.

Anyway, it might not be a museum or a gallery, but I feel like working here is a good opportunity right now. I need money and I need stability. If I could manage to climb my way up the corporate ladder, it might be very good. After looking up how much managers make here, I realized it’s probably more than I would ever see in a museum anyway.

I’m trying not to feel like I’m throwing my dreams away, but I kind of feel like I’m throwing my dreams away. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a world where dreams are enough to succeed anymore. My peers were told that we could be anything we wanted growing up, but it’s just not the truth. I can probably count on one hand the number of friends I have who are doing what they went to school for.

Blah blah. Depressing shit. That’s the end of my rant, I guess. I’m just happy I’m employed right now.

Return to Unemployment

Once again, I find myself unemployed. The job I took at the interior design studio turned out to be a real life Devil Wears Prada, overflowing with rich white women looking to spend $10,000 on sofas, designers who belittled me every chance they got, and a lack of sufficient training to do the job that was expected of me.

After my intelligence was insulted for the final time, I picked up my purse and walked out the back door never to return. In celebration, Matt made pulled pork tacos and we drank tequila.

I refuse to be mistreated in the workplace.

Now, here I am: sad and broke. I have applied to many jobs and am even working with a recruiter. I have gotten several rejection e-mails and the only (potential) interview I have (kind of scheduled) is with a tile design company and the owner seems like a flake. I have absolutely no desire to go back to waiting tables.

I am filled with crippling anxiety and depression. I graduated three years ago and feel like my life has, in no way, worked out the way I had originally imagined. I make posts on Facebook, I’ve reached out to my mother’s friends. Nothing. As time goes by, it feels harder and harder to start a career. When I interviewed for the interior design studio, the owner bluntly asked me why I hadn’t held a full time position up until that point.

How do you even respond to that? I don’t fucking know.

I have a four year degree and I’m in a lot of debt because of it. I am literally three credits away from my Masters degree.

However, I feel like the fact that I didn’t grow up with money and connections to the art world has seriously hindered my search for my magical museum job. Sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t have majored in art history. If I was given the chance to go back and do it all again, though, I don’t even know what else I would study. English education? Communications? I guess it doesn’t matter now.

At this point, I’d take anything full-time with benefits.

I can’t help but break into hysterics on a fairly regular basis. What am I doing wrong? What did I do to deserve my current situation? I’ve worked hard and I have absolutely nothing to show for my efforts.

Has anyone else found themselves in a similar situation? How have you coped with it?

30 Day Challenge: Day 3

What Are Your Top Three Pet Peeves?

  1. Lateness – Personally, I always arrive about 15 minutes early for everything. Additionally, I absolutely can not stand if I have plans with someone and they show up late (even if it’s just a few minutes). This is, by far, my biggest pet peeve and even thinking about being late for something makes my head hurt.
  2. Throwing away food – I don’t understand how anyone can throw away perfectly good food. Especially now, working in a restaurant, it hurts when I see people throw out items like seafood or steak. That stuff is so expensive and it’s such a waste!
  3. Bad drivers – My road rage is pretty fierce due to bad drivers. Whenever someone doesn’t use their turn signal or cuts me off, you’ll probably be able to hear me screaming my head off.

What are some of your pet peeves?

Also, if anyone would like to do this challenge with me, it can be found here.

Stress Levels Reaching New Heights!

I don’t think I realized how stressful this entire process would be.

I recently passed my interview with Canadian Connection, and after being given a list of several options, I decided to go with the Jeollanamdo public school offer. After receiving all the information I need from my recruiter, I noticed that the first wave of documents needs to be at their office in Toronto by June 26. That’s one week from now. I’m only sending my background check to D.C. today! It won’t even be processed by then, let alone sent back to me. Especially since it’s Friday. I asked the recruiter if this would be a problem, and he hasn’t gotten back to me yet.

Then, I also had my fingers crossed for a private school in Ulsan. My recruiter just told me that they liked me and thought my interview went really well, but they can not give me a definite answer yet because of the MERS epidemic. Student enrollment for the fall is apparently very low right now.

Furthermore, I’ve been constantly applying to jobs state side throughout this whole process. I’m up to over 70 applications sent out in the last three weeks alone. I’ve had two in person interviews, both of which said no. I’ve also gotten a bunch of other “no’s” via e-mail.

I don’t know if I can take it anymore. At this point, I just want a full time job. Korea. United States. Micronesia. I don’t fucking care. I haven’t had an actual day off in over two weeks between both my part-time jobs. I’m upset and sleeping poorly.

Is this what I spent five years in college for? Is this why I’m in crippling debt? To be overworked and underpaid for the rest of my life?

All I’ve ever wanted was to travel and have a stable job which allows me to do so. Instead, I have an incredibly expensive education which is essentially useless.

I need to hear back from somewhere soon. Anywhere. I need to start living my life. I feel like I’m doing everything right. Guess not.