Plans are still under-way for my move in the up coming months. I have been researching apartments in my area and have found that there are indeed positive options in my price range. I do insist upon a place where utilities (at least most of them) will be included - I find it helps better with making a realistic budget... less surprises to worry about.
I'm excited and scared at the same time about this eventual move. It's something I wanted for a very long time - but it can also be a bit overwhelming when I think of all the many things that come along with living on my own. Thankfully, I do have a supportive network of family in the area who are there to help me out and assist me with the transition... not to mention my wonderful friends.
Right now I'm looking at June or July - depending on what apartments are on the market in my price range at that time. Ideally I would like to be out by my birthday which is in early July. I just have this mental need to be out before my 30th birthday. I know it really shouldn't matter but for some reason I always promised myself I'd be on my own by 30. Even now on the eve of it actually happening it feels sad that I had to wait this long before being financially able to make the move. It's like I need to make up for lost time.
While I am very grateful for the new position I have at my store - working in personnel as a training coordinator - the hourly pay raise was not very significant - which means I will still be living pay check to pay check. The only difference is that the full time status will give me the opportunity to be living pay check to pay check in my own apartment.
I enjoy the work I do much more than when I was on the sales floor. I have some great coworkers who can help the day sail by - and I don't have to deal with the attitudes of customers like I did before.
It does sadden me though to think I am STILL in a retail setting after all these years. Last month I "celebrated" my 11 year anniversary. In that time I earned two degrees and a teaching certification, yet I am not much better off than when I started. - Though I DO make better money than if I was a substitute teacher full time, or even taught in a Catholic school full time. (isn't that sad??)
It's pretty depressing to think of all the money and time I spent on my education.. and what little I have to show for it. The economy is not picking up and things don't seem much more promising for teachers in the area. In fact, I think I have mentally accepted the very real possibility that I may never be a teacher. Not that I'm happy with that mind you.. but I have accepted it as a reality.
The stigma of working retail - albeit in a different capacity - still lingers. I ran into an old friend today who asked if I was teaching. I told him no, but that I was working in human resources now. "The government?" was for some reason the first thing he thought of. When I told him it was for the same company I've been with, he laughed and was surprised I was "still there".
Sigh.. yes, we are judged quite often by what we "do for a living". That will never change. And you know what? It's not always easy to brush off.. not when it happens so often.
I'm not sure what's worse though.. the ones who look down on me because I don't have some fancy career or those that feel it is their duty to find me work as a teacher. This gets annoying fast. "Go down south! I have a friend who did that..." blah blah blah. Everyone has a friend who did something wonderful. Ever notice that?
I know myself and what I want from life. While it's true I always wanted to be a teacher I was never one of those people who wanted to live for their career. If I up and transplanted myself what would I be gaining? I'd have a job, but at the expense of my family and friends. What good would having a better pay check and better place to live if the people I love and care about aren't there to share it with me?
I have an uncle who moved out of state for a similar reason. He now has a very good career that he could not find in WNY, but he's miserable there away from his family and network of close friends - and he's been there for over a decade. No thank you. I won't sacrifice one for the other.
What I have learned over the past year is that things can change for the better in ways we never expected. I have a new position that I enjoy - making going into work less torturous - and now thanks to full time status, am looking to get a place to call my own... something that was impossible last year when I was working retail part time and substitute teaching.
So I guess one never knows what will happen next. What I do know though is the next person who snubs me for where I work or who feels it is their mission to point out how their friends succeeded where I haven't is going to end up with a black eye. - But after Easter.. I gave up inflicting bodily harm on others for Lent. :)