Thursday, July 30, 2015


As I have gotten older, realization hit that I need to alter my adolescent shyness in the face of meeting strangers. For as long as I can remember I have been standoffish when having to interact with people I didn't know. Even speaking to people over the phone was something I would shy away from. In college, I did not go out of my way to make friends in my classes, which sometimes hindered me if I needed notes. At parties where I do not know anyone it is nerve wracking to look around wishing I could just open my mouth and make conversation. Something in my head holds me back. Could be worry I wouldn't be liked. Could be worry that I will have to come up with something to say yet nothing will come. The intimidation factor is strong and for some reason I have been struggling to overcome. As an introvert, I am independent, prefer to work alone, and often times get irritated with other people's opinions. Avoiding them seems the best option.

Through the last few years I have become much more confident when in a working environment. I answer a phone for a living now so that doesn't bother me. However, when trying to interact with people I still get shy, warm, shaky, and second guess my every word. I have known this needed to change for a while. Besides the fact that I want to make friends, I want to be more personable. How will I be able to make it in a professional position if I get anxious when working with people? In an attempt to change my current state I have been trying to be more outgoing. Instead of standing at the side of the room finding all different ways to blend into the wall, I have been attempting to strike up conversation. 

With my aspirations gaining momentum for my career, I have been putting myself out there more often at work. I went to my VP of my division to discuss my college degree options. I was still over heating and nervous but I did it. After speaking with him, he suggested I contact another gentleman in the field I am considering working toward. I spoke with him over the phone which was easier on the nerves. He suggested I attend a class my company offers. I attended it last week. In a room full of people I didn't know, I sat in the front by myself taking notes and worrying the entire time how to handle the situation. I couldn't leave without saying something to the team in charge since they worked for the man who told me to attend. The last 5 minutes of the class I sat there mentally preparing myself. Figuring out what I should say, if I should say anything, if I should introduce myself, worrying if they will care, worrying if I will look silly. Against my own mental block I strode over to the two in charge and introduced myself. We talked for a few minutes about the material, my position, my goals, and I was invited to come talk any time. I left there with a giant smile on my face, a spring in my step, and a feeling of pure pride in what I accomplished. 

Today, two weeks after speaking with the creative design team lead, and a week after taking the class he suggested, I was told by a coworker that she was asked about me by the design team lead in a professional capacity. Job performance and things of that nature. She was wonderful and told me she had nothing but good things to say. After speaking with her I couldn't stop grinning. Working up the courage to talk to my VP, the design team lead, and then his team felt like a mountain I had to climb. In the end, knowing that I made an impression and could potentially have a contact in the department I see myself striving toward feels so amazing. I have it in me to be great. I have it in me to take hold of my career, meet people, and accomplish the goals I set. I have to have the confidence to do these things. Today has shown me I am on the right track.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


"I just knew my life could be more than I was allowing it to be. I knew I was supposed to be happy and that it was possible. I just couldn't sit there any longer once I realized."

I was talking with one of my best friends today and I wrote the above statement. She is going through a hard time and we started reflecting on the past. She pointed this specific quote out saying "this could be the beginning of a book." Everything leaving my fingertips into the phone was my automatic response to the conversation but this statement really does define my outlook on life right now.

In the face of every worry, every setback, every disappointment, I have been forcing myself to think positively. Recently I have discovered I am predisposed to certain emotional responses and thought processes. I see myself reflected in my family members. The tendencies I have are enhanced to the point where I realize I cannot let myself go down the same road. If ever I feel anxious I take a deep breath and remind myself of all the reasons why I do not need to be anxious. Instead of being the type of person who holds their feelings in I have been talking about them more frequently. I've been letting my insecurities out so they can be understood and broken down. Holding in all my feelings was allowing myself to bury what I didn't want to acknowledge. I ask myself, "Would I look the other way if someone else was living like this?" The response is no. I would not let them hide themselves away in order to accept the easy way, deny reality, or pretend it would pass. If I would not let someone else live this way then why should I? The only person you have to fight is yourself. Standing up for yourself is an admirable quality even though sometimes others look down on the outcome. Naturally, I am scared of the opinions of other people. However, if someone cares about you then it shouldn't matter. If someone doesn't care about you, then they don't matter. There is nothing truer than being yourself in the face of adversity and holding onto yourself when challenged.

Happiness is not automatic. Life takes work. If everything was easy then we would have nothing in our lives to push ourselves to be better. Just like how I know I can do more on a personal level, I know I can do more on a professional level. If I am capable of changing my predisposed emotional nuances then I am capable of learning and achieving any goal I set for myself on an intellectual level. Tomorrow I am setting up a time with an adviser for the Arts, Humanities, and Sciences department at the University of Alabama Huntsville. I need to figure out the path I can take in order to develop these ideas into a reality. To go along with the Graphic Design goals I have purchased some materials for learning Typography. I have studied some tutorials to understand the basics and now I am going to attempt to teach myself. No better way to accomplish something than putting it right in front of you.

I was speaking from my soul when I said "I couldn't sit there any longer once I realized." I have discovered my potential. It is time to funnel it into something and if at first I don't succeed, I will adjust, and try again.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

What am I doing?

The thought has crossed my mind on multiple occasions that I cannot be the only person in the world that is completely clueless. I mean, seriously, I cannot be sitting here in this big world and be the only person looking around thinking, "What am I doing?" Some background on this subject would enlighten you I am sure.

Hi. I am Kristin. I am a 26 year old going on 27 (yikes) who just so happens to be clueless. The path I followed into adulthood had me graduating High School with an acceptable GPA and a lot of shiny JROTC trophies. College was the next step in this process where I picked up a Bachelor of Arts in History with a concentration in Humanities as well as a new skill, colorguard, in the university marching band. Post grad was a gleeful time of no more school, part time jobs, job hunting, and realizing I was no longer a student. A typical step in my growing up was meeting and marrying my college boyfriend. At the ripe age of 22 I said "I do" to my electrical engineer. I was working at the local Starbucks, making as much of a living as I could, while he was getting a Masters Degree and a high paying job which happened to be two states away. Upon his employment the "logical" decision was "let's buy a house, get married, and move to Alabama." 2.5 months later I was in a big white dress, our lives were packed away, and we headed to our new lives. Unfortunately, a little over 3.5 years later after a lot of soul searching, life obstacles, and realization my husband and I have separated and have gotten divorced. I get to add myself to another statistic. Graduate college with no job in sight, check. Married and divorced before the age of 30, check. However, that is a whole other story and we have some more information to fill in.

In the new land of "Alabama" I was just as successful with the job hunt. Over qualified to be a receptionist, under qualified for basically everything else outside of Starbucks. Specializing in European history in the US South does not hold high hopes for jobs in my major. Teaching was an option with not a lot of personal interest since either going back to get a teaching degree or getting a teacher's certificate were both challenging prospects. After many job applications, only two interviews, and lots of emotional breakdowns, I was able to get a job at the company my husband worked for. Starting off as a temp then eventually getting hired full time, I am a Technical Service Representative which is just a fancy title for a call center worker. Yes, I have a cubicle. No, it is not a cubicle farm. No, this is not in my degree of study. Yes, I make enough money and have enough interest to be happy doing it. I am the type of person that can learn to do anything and usually does it well. That is not me being conceded, I promise. Telecommunications was not a path I ever thought to follow. Through the evolution of my job I have developed skill sets I didn't know I had and understand a lot more of the jargon than I ever believed I was capable of. All this being said, "what am I doing?"

Here we are, 5 years after graduating college, not working in my field of study, not married anymore, not able to clearly define the path of my future. This is when the ceiling started getting lower and the walls started closing in. I am in a box of my own making. Lazy after college I did not push myself to figure out a life plan. The fact that I married someone with a well paying stable job made me complacent. Near the end of my marriage I hit a downward spiral of not knowing who I was, how I got there, what I was doing, and where I was going. Now 7 months later I am renewed with purpose. Taking back myself one new idea at a time. Finally realizing that things are hard and you have to put forth the effort in order to really accomplish anything. The last part of the puzzle though is that tricky part, "what am I going to do?"

The company I work for offers tuition reimbursement for certain degrees. I am starting there. Going back to college seems daunting but doable. History is a love of mine I will never lose but it will not create a career for me. If I could drop everything and move to Italy to study to my hearts content, I would be a happy camper, but that is not in the cards. In the recent future my eyes have been opened to the idea of working in marketing or advertising. I concluded that with enough effort I could get a Marketing degree, even if that is something I am not 100% interested in. The other side of this coin has me extremely interested in the prospect of getting a Graphic Design degree. Being an artist on the side I feel like this could be my calling. If I could go back and kick myself for not thinking of this sooner I would. I am not sure what my company is going to let me do, what they will agree to, or if it will be an option, but I have to start somewhere.

Making decisions is a hard part of life but following through with them is even harder. In the face of the decisions I have made I am still second guessing myself every chance I get and wondering if I am doing everything wrong. This blog is going to be the story of those mistakes or accomplishments. In this field of study, in this economy, in this country, in this world, I know there is another person sitting there looking around and thinking, "What am I doing?" I want to be there for you. I want to share my story with you. I want to help motivate you if I can. I want you to see that you are not alone, that I am just as clueless as you and just as worried but motivated.