Saturday, April 25, 2009

Are you there, God? It's Me, Ashley

I was raised Catholic.

I have a very strange relationship with religion...especially my own.
My family was the type of Catholic that went to church on Christmas Eve, Easter and...a random Sunday? Nothing regular.
My sisters and I have participated in religious education, and received all of the sacraments.

But, I have a really hard time getting behind everything that the Catholic Church is all about. What, with the anti-homosexual sentiments, the whole child molestation thing, and women can't be's a hard pill to swallow. I also think I have a hard time with organized religion in general.

I think I've always wanted something to believe in. I desperately want some kind of faith, and I feel like I DO need to be part of some sort of organization (sort of like a support group?) in order to actually integrate faith into my life (because I'm really lazy).

This all comes about because I am my youngest sister's Confirmation Sponsor. I'm supposed to be her religious "mentor" throughout her life. I'm not the best. But, today we had to go to church for confirmation practice, and the youth minister there was so inspiring. He's the sort of man that actually makes me want to pursue religion. He's so happy, and upbeat, and filled with love. He's wonderful.

He talked about the Holy Spirit (which, actually sounds so hokey to me), but the concept of some higher being, or God, really does appeal to me. He talked about how when he hasn't had time to nurture his relationship with God, his wife sends him on "retreats" to reconnect, and he comes back completely revived, and refreshed, and a whole different person.

In light of my recent job rejection, I feel so out of whack, and maybe this sudden urge to find religion (or faith? or spirituality?) is me (or a gentle nudge from the universe? from God?) trying to get aligned again.

In general, I feel lost. I really don't feel like I know who I am. Actually, that's too much of a sweeping statement. I know plenty about myself. But there are a lot of respects where I feel like I am fading into the background. The term "shrinking violet" comes to mind.

Maybe all of this is a sign? Maybe I'm making an ass out of myself by posting this on the interwebs for everyone and their mother to read? Maybe I just feel super desperate and trapped because I can't find another job? I don't know. You tell me.


I got a letter in the mail today from the latest job I applied for. And while I have to give them credit for ACTUALLY responding to me, I still cried a little cry. I mean they didn't even want to interview me

It is insanely frustrating to be a match for a position, and then get rejected. Over and over.
Jobs I think I am qualified for - REJECTED. I don't know what I am going to do.

I technically work in sales, yet I'm not qualified to work in sales. My job has taken every qualification and skill I have, and cannibalized and bastardized them. The knowledge I have is SO job-specific, that I really have no hope of being confident in another position.

I'm kind of devastated. Just kind of.

I feel like I need to re-evaluate my options again. See where I can go from here. Maybe I should look into getting certified to teach again? Look into getting my HS certification (it takes like 9 months, and therefore less money)?

Ugh. Barf.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I made these last night. I like them very much.

I really like doing crafty things, with stamps and stickers and such.

I'm like a month-ish away from the wedding, and I still need to write my vows. Here's what I have so far


It's not much yet. But it will be. Oh-ho, it will be.
Although, I am debating using Michael. But who knows.

I mean it's really hard to write vows. Especially when I'm either 1) in a bad mood (because I'm at work) 2) in a bad mood (because I'm commuting) or 3) tired (because of work and commuting).

It's also really nerve wracking to realize that I've never spoken in front of 150ish people. I've never spoken in front of more than 30.

WAIT - that's totally a lie. I used to give speeches to registration participants at U of I...but I didn't write them. And they were informational.


We're planning to keep them secret from each other until the wedding day. But we're going to have my sister (Maid of Honor) read both of them beforehand. Let's face it, it would be really embarrassing if I wrote a short, goofy, but cute poem as my vows, and he wrote a page-long confession of his undying passion for me. I'd look like a real asshole. And that's just the sort of thing we would do.

This wedding is coming up fast, and I. Am. Terrified

Thursday, April 16, 2009

It's not easy being green.

I'm feeling greenish.

This week has gone by at an alarming rate...which is awesome. It's been a terrible week - full of stress and anxiety and reprimands. My boss was on the warpath - which made me more anxious to get a new job.

I applied for a position at the community college. The New Student Enrollment Specialist. It seems to combine the work I do now (data entry, database and information management, administrative stuff) with higher education, which I've done in the past. It also reduces my commute by like 2 hours. And has better benefits! And more vacation!
Now, if I don't get this job, I may very well have a mental breakdown, because I won't know what to do next. This job seems like it is a perfect fit. But I don't want to jinx it.
They don't start reviewing applications until 4/20/09. Not soon enough.

The wedding is no longer creeping up on me, but sprinting full speed. And to be honest, I'm not all that unprepared. With the exception of my hair. I just don't know what I'm going to do about my hair.

I wish I knew where I wanted to go with this blog. It feel so...boring. So sloppy.
There are so many out there that either chronicle exciting social lives, or document recipes and cooking techniques, or share cool craft ideas, or invite us to read about a weight-loss journey. And they are interesting. Mine is...blah. Sort of like my life at the moment.

Truly. I have a wedding coming up. Big deal. My job hurts my heart because I want so much more, but don't know where to find it. I live with my parents in an Illinois suburb. And I don't generally share much about my relationship, good or bad, because I feel like that's private. That's Mine.

Right now! I am stagnant. I am stuck in a silly rut, and I feel like I will soon get out of it. Unfortunately I don't know how soon. Bear with me. I'll get interesting soon enough. Swear.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The most wonderful time of the year!

I feel like right now, on this cusp between winter and actual spring weather, it is the most optimistic time of year - at least for me. Winter is all sneezing, and hibernating, and fat pants. But when the weather hints at something better -something warmer- I start making all these crazy-ambitious plans.

I start to look forward to the summer, to the sunshine, to flip flops and daiquiris! Even though I'm still rocking my winter jacket, I'm more pumped about life than usual. I can see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

I've been absent for a while, because I was reevaluating this blog. It started to feel like this was my forum for self pity. I mean, sure I can bitch here, complain about work, chronicle an ongoing sage, but I don't want to wallow - and that's what I was doing. If I'm going to keep up with this, then I need to make sure it is a productive practice.

So on that note - I need to make sure I include the positive things going on in my life, and really look at the bright side of the nastiest dilemma.

Part of Operation: Outlook Improvement comes with doing 101 things in 1001 days (which is approx. 2.75 years), inspired by Day Zero. I've started my list in a Blogger drafts and just reading it makes me optimistic. I plan to actually put it on here, and start doing it June 8 - after the wedding/honeymoon.

Speaking of which - the INVITATIONS are SENT. Amen. I'm SO SO SO SO happy to have that off my plate. They got out about a week later than we would have liked (printing delays), but they turned out SO much nicer than I expected. I can breathe again.

I like putting the final details on the wedding. That suits me so much better than making large blanket decisions that affect a lot of people. I prefer to worry about tiny things like the schedule for the day, when I'll get my nails done, what my vows are, how I want my hair/makeup to look, what the program says, etc. Deciding what 7 of my friends/sisters are wearing as bridesmaids gives me anxiety.

I'm taking tomorrow off, because I'm the only one in the house who would have to get up to go to work, and I just CANNOT bear that. So, instead I'm going to run mad errands, and visit the elementary school where I used to work. Gonna catch up with my old boss, then go to the community college and drop off some applications - but I'll write more about that when I'm not at work. :)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Working on my fitness

Oh. Em. Gee.
Jillian Michaels is horrible. I can't stand her. Anything about her. However, she knows what she's talking about.

Mike and I did the Jillian Michaels: 30 Day Shred last night and we were dying. About to puke on the floor while crying for mercy type of dying. Today, we are sore, but not completely destroyed. We're doing it again tonight. Whoo. Working on our fitness.

I'm feeling healthy these days. I've got 1 day of working out under my belt (it's a new month!), and about 30 food blogs on my Google Reader. I'm IN LOVE with food blogs. Especially the ones with the beautiful pictures and unexpected recipes. It makes me more excited to move into a house where I have a kitchen. I'm all sorts of jazzed about making dinner and treats and going to the grocery store and having a well stocked pantry!

I just wish there were more accessible farmer's markets in the area. That would be a dream come true! Flea markets too. Fun.

I'm trying to be more optimistic about life (and I think my 1 day of exercise is helping). I'm almost entirely sure I'm not going to school next year. Bummer. But I need to be financially secure before I can do that. I have to weather this economic storm the best I can (even if that means staying here and entering data), and when everything levels out, I can go from there.

I applied for a position at McDonald's (corporate). A Media Production Specialist. Which sounds like (from the description) a glorified Administrative Assistant. However corrupt McDonald's is, they have excellent benefits, and they do a lot of charity work. Don't judge me! Ahhh!

I'm going out to lunch to fill the empty void that our weekly meetings leaves in my heart.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

New name

I changed my blog name. I am no longer "onward and upward" a name i choose quickly out of necessity. Now, as "Sound of Silent" I match my url.

On the topic of school - as if I haven't beaten this dead horse already - I'm not sure I'm going to go. Don't get me wrong, I WANT to. But I don't think we can afford it. Financially, it is not a good time. We want to focus on buying a house and getting settled after the wedding. Plus - I want to see if there are more opportunities out there...someday.

In another life, I was really good at my jobs, all of them. I was a leader! I motivated people! I was always a standout employee, and advancement was always in my future. But here, I'm still good at my job...but how good can you really be at entering data? Apparently I am efficient? Gross. Gross. Gross. Here, there's no room for advancement, and if you are REALLY good at your job, they don't reward you because they have to pay you more. Too many people have gotten screwed by being good workers and trying for a promotion.

I want the opportunity to be promoted. To earn what I make, and feel like I deserve a raise. To be able to take pride in my work, and to really own what I do. Sorry, but entering data into Excel spreadsheets just won't cut the mustard.

Something will come along eventually, I'm sure. I just need to get as far away from sales as possible.

On another note: I'm a lazy piece of crap. HA! I was supposed to do the Jillian Michaels: 30 Day Shred DVD last night, but when I got home, it looked like my Netflix hadn't arrived, so I started putting together dinner. Two seconds later, my dad gets TODAY's mail and puts it on the counter - and there was Jillian. By this point, I was already mentally prepared to have dinner and be lazy. So I proceeded to be lazy.
Oh well, its the 1st of the month. I'll start today.


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