Tag Archives: new job

One Year & Counting

Almost a year ago, I packed up my apartment, shared bittersweet goodbyes with friends and colleagues, and moved back to North Carolina.

A four-year relationship with a city I loved quickly became part of my past. I was relieved to move forward, but I was anxious to move towards whatever those next steps would reveal.

Without a job at the time or an idea of when I’d be able to get settled on my own, I threw up my hands to the uncertainty that wrapped around me. Everything that had become familiar was swept from under me. Cary, NC, may have been my hometown, but I found myself feeling a bit lost, trying to find my footing again. Trying to rediscover a home for myself.

Life is graceful, patient, and understanding. I frequently forget all of those things. I forget how forgiving life can be and how it moves at a pace outside of us yet utterly integral to each of us. It moves us, shakes us, and wakes us up when it’s ready–not when we think we are.

When I think back to where I was then and where I am now–the difference is startling. My life has such a different pace and my lifestyle feels so, so different from the one I had in Chicago, but everything evolved in its own time, and I am happy with where I am, happy to finally feel settled. The change is good, natural; I’ve managed to create a life for myself that I couldn’t have imagined yet feel thankful for every single day.

This is my last week at Fuqua, Duke’s School of Business. Although my RA position was set to wrap up at the end of September, I got an excellent job offer and jumped on the opportunity to finally start my publishing career. As of August, I will be an Editorial Associate at Duke University Press. For so many reasons, I am very thrilled about the position and, on some days, I can’t believe I’ll finally be doing the kind of work at the kind of company I’ve wanted to work for; it seems like such a rare thing these days.

It’s hard to believe I’ve been at Duke for ten months already, but I’m ready for the change. And emotionally, I’ve been anxious about getting to this week because I know it’s the end of one big thing and the beginning of another. Anyone that knows me knows that my job has never defined who I am, nor have I wanted it to. However, over the past year, I have had a growing desire to be doing work that excites me and motivates me more. There needs to be more than just a paycheck that keeps you in the game. And I’m so ready for August.

The new job will also be a considerable change in my routine and a change for Theo and me. It’ll take a while for us to feel comfortable and set in our ways with my new schedule, but we’re ready–I’m ready.

I don’t feel like I’ve necessarily arrived, but I’m writing to say that I’m proud of how far I’ve been able to come in a year. And I’m lucky to have so many wonderful people who have supported me over the months and several other extraordinary people that I’ve also met in that time.

I haven’t been updating this blog as much as I’d like, and with the looming transition ahead of me, I’ve decided to end “Four and a Half and Counting.”

My blog had a modest run for over a year and a half; it’s time. And it’s only natural that the end of one thing marks the beginning of something else. With August right around the corner, I’m ready to wrap up loose ties and prepare for a new chapter. Ready myself to start something else, start something new.

Clean slate, open heart. Renewed perspective.

“Four and a Half and Counting” was an excellent way to chronicle my thoughts and anxieties about graduation, job hunting, and the big what-ifs that followed. Now, however, I need a new voice. And although I haven’t quite figured out what that voice will be, I know it won’t be this one.

I’m in the process of working on a new project (ASK THEO CASANOVA) as well as starting a photo blog, so those are a couple things to look forward to from this corner of the world.

For anyone who has kept up with my entries since last year–thank you so much! And to my friends and family, please know that I wouldn’t be doing so well today if it wasn’t for all the encouragement, criticism, and love that I’ve received from you. You challenge me and push me and help me grow in ways you don’t even realize. And that kind of friendship and support is incredibly priceless.

“Life is too short to be little.”  -Benjamin Disraeli

Make the most of it, my friends. Stay well. And thank you for reading :)



First Paycheck, Hi?

With several post-graduation months under my belt, I am repeatedly reminded of how quickly time passes these days. (My parents assure me that this phenomenon progresses with age.) That said, where the heck have I been?

I apologize for the sporadic and negligent posting. A lot of things are changing these days, and it seems that I am still getting adjusted to everything. As I explained to a friend of mine, the funny thing about being out of college is the inconsistency of time—I go through long, static stretches and then here and there are sparks of big change. For example, my last posts reflected on the unshakable restlessness I’ve been experiencing since June. By the end of September, though, I was offered a job at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business (Durham, NC). Alongside a job, I finalized plans to move into a new apartment around Cary; I move there next week.

Although I spent far too many days putzing around in new-grad-unemployment-glory, I started commuting and working full-time at the beginning of October. New co-workers, new desk. New place to go to every morning. I am still adjusting to my work, but I am very grateful to have come across such a great opportunity.

So, what am I doing? I am a Research Associate for one of the professors in the Department of Management at Fuqua, and I am basically supporting the research for one of his National Science Foundation (NSF) grants. The research deals primarily with the use of cyberinfrastructure in team science collaborations. (If you ever want to know more about the topic, I can definitely go into more detail…but I’ve found that people are happy enough with that answer to move on, ha.) My position is completely funded by the grant, so it’s limited to nine months; I’ll be at Duke through the end of June.

I will revisit all my job hunting later in the wintertime with the hope of landing a full-time position for after June. I really hope I can find something at one of the publishers around the area, but I’ll have to see what happens.

In addition to work, I also mentioned a new apartment…

After moving back to NC, I started apartment hunting on the side, not ready to commit to a place (because I didn’t have an income) but knowing that I would want to make the move soon after I found a job. I ended up finding a complex in Cary that I really liked (I like my hometown, and I wasn’t up for moving closer to Durham since I don’t know what I’ll be doing after my Duke job), and within a week of my job offer, an affordable one-bedroom unit opened up in the neighborhood with a late October move-in date, so I jumped on it.

Living at home has been a comfortable change but not necessarily an easy one, as I’ve mentioned before. I am itching to have my own space, privacy, and independence again, so I am very excited about moving into a new apartment. As my mother says, it really is my first “adult” place. I have to be at work Tuesday morning, but then my parents, grandparents, and a good friend will help me haul everything to my new apartment. I’m excited.

I know that a lot of my updates over the summer have discussed the change and complexity of that change. I don’t feel settled yet, and I can still feel everything shifting; however, I do believe I am on the upswing of it all. Getting set up at my new apartment will finally give me a chance to establish a routine, and I’ve recently made more efforts to reconnect with friends nearby or at least make more attempts to build my social network. I still miss my friends up in Chicago, but I know that I need to get out more and have friends to rely on and spend time with down here, too, so I’ve tried to make more plans and see more people when I can; that kind of support and company has really made a difference in the last couple weeks.

Long stretches and sporadic sparks of change.

I don’t know how time manages to pass so quickly, but I do know that my update was long overdue. I mean, I was so clumsy with time that I managed to receive my first paycheck today before I even filled you in about about my new job…c’est la vie.