Total Wimp

As I was being screened for pre-surgery last Friday, one of the questions they asked me was what kind of pain level I could tolerate. I said a 3. My mother, incredulous, asked if I was sure that was my limit. Life lesson (that I just made up right now) – if someone asks you what kind of pain you can tolerate, never say anything above a 5. After that’s settled, your doctor or nurse or whoever will feel totally comfortable putting you in pain, or letting you walk around post-surgery with a 7 or an 8 and none of the good pills. It just so happens that I’m a *total wimp* and a 3 is completely accurate, but either way, it’s a good lesson to live by.

As I sit here now in my bed, finally able to breathe again after taking a few of those aforementioned good pills, I hardly feel bad about being so wimpy because let’s be honest I hardly feel anything at all and it is wonderful.

My last week has been a shit show. If I told you what kind of surgery I had, that would be very ironic and funny to you. Although I may have just given away the essence of my surgery with that joke. But if you can’t joke about ass surgery, what can you joke about?

This has actually been the LEAST funny and MOST painful week in the history of Me, almost 23 years of blissful joy up until now. That may be a bit dramatic, as I was a super sick kid and I’m sure there was some pain sprinkled through the bliss there, but this sure feels like the worst. Not having control over how your body feels is a terrible feeling. I remember one of my past managers who had a medical condition that doctors could barely put a finger on, and once that finger was there couldn’t do much more than provide educated nutritional advice. I used to feel so bad that there was nothing I could do to help, as it’s hard to even empathize in a helpful way when you can’t possibly imagine what the other person is going through. Now, as I attempt to recover from the most random surgery to ever exist, I almost pity my roommates for having to stand in my doorway and ask me what they can do to help when I don’t even know what could make this better. I think feeling sorry for people feeling sorry for you is the sign of a really good person, so I am a really good person.

In all seriousness I think pain is a very interesting subject. From what I remember from the science classes of my youth, like 90% of pain is all in your head. After writing that I thought maybe I should google it to make sure that makes sense and google says that pain is like created by your nerve endings sending messages to your brain, and your brain is like “hey be careful something is hurting you, seems dangerous”. Which is just so cool how much stuff happens up there. Not as cool when what’s happening up there is a red alert fire alarm because it feels like you just fell ass first onto a hatchet (there’s no good analogy for the combo of surgeries I had done and the multiple bad feelings that have followed) but still pain is a nifty concept.

However, I didn’t go into science I went into marketing. Which brings me to the subject of sick days. (Stay with me here I realize that’s a weird jump) In other words, how do you sell it your boss that you’re as sick as you really are, without sounding like the title of this post? It is impossible. I know everyone’s employer wants them take sick days when they’re not feeling well, especially when they’ve just had surgery on an unmentionable part of their body. My employer is no different. But at the same time, in the back of my head I can’t help but feel like they expect you to be some tough business bitch who is unaffected by the outside world and puts her job first in all circumstances no matter what the case. Maybe this is my defensive feminism kicking in, aka I never want to look inferior to men in any way. Which should be easy because I’m not, but hey it’s the world we live in. There’s no stat that say men take less sick days than women but I mean look at maternity leave in this country. It’s probably an interesting sociological study to see how each sex is viewed by their manager when it comes to time off work. Anyway it’s just a weird situation. This paragraph is coming after a call from my boss who absolutely insisted I take whatever amount of time I needed to fully recuperate, and I promise there was not even a subtle hint of “be here tomorrow or you’re fired.” That feeling in the back of my head is really just my own neurotic paranoia and I’ve come to accept that it’s generally wrong. Like my manager is actually so understanding. But idk, I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels weird about sick days.

After working from home for two days, I’m hopping back on the sick day train tomorrow and de-stressing by sleeping in and maybe attempting to meditate? I’d like to be better by Monday, for work. And equally as important, by Tuesday, for my 23rd celebration of life. But I realize beggars can’t be choosers and however long it takes, I really just want to be better and healthy and living every day to its fullest again. Continuing to remind myself that pain is temporary and in the end can only make you a stronger you.

Tidbits from a boring adult

Transitioning into adult life I basically assumed would feel like dying, like all my best days were far behind me. I think I was wrong. I love my new city, and having the cash money to actually do fun things. In college I borrowed clothes and formal dresses, begged the underclassmen for food swipes, and was an all around cheapskate. Not that any of that has really changed, I can just afford to be a little more loose with the purse strings now. Money aside, adult life is pretty interesting so far. For example…

I joined a gym. Or I guess, not so much a gym as a spa located inside a gym. That’s right readers, I’m ballin now. I don’t think I had ever even been inside a spa before this year, much less purchased their services on a monthly basis. Granted, it’s a gym spa not a five star relaxation zone but it works. Plus walking past all the dedicated lifters and joggers and jazzercisers on my way to get my tan on is really just so motivating. I.E. maybe I’ll skip that third cookie today. Occasionally I’ll join my roommate who has a real membership and she’ll show me the workouts she does with her personal trainer. Please see below screenshot from Girls where Hannah tries to learn how to exercise – this should serve as a visual representation of what V and I look like working out. Guess which one I am?

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I’ve lost my phone twice in the past two weeks. I’m considering getting it surgically attached to my hand (my mother makes enough jokes how it is now, really have nothing to lose here). Once was on the El where a nice man yanked me back and pointed to the seat where my baby lay, shivering and scared to continue the journey down to 95th alone. I quickly rescued her and thanked my hero profusely. Lucky for him I had to get off at that stop or I may have actually kissed him. The second was just yesterday, in an uber. I felt so terrible making the guy come back that I tipped him probably too much. Merry Christmas uber driver.

I’ve found my calling, which is networking events. Do you know how little pressure there is to attend these things when you’re not looking for a job or selling anything? It’s literally just a mixer to make friends and mingle. And drink. Like a classier version of Saturday night. People in this setting are just fun, for the most part. And I no longer feel like a recent college grad, the desperation to gain both a real job and recognition of my adulthood oozing off of me.

I’m learning the most random things at work. Like the difference between a media buying agency, a third party agency, a media planning agency, etc etc forever there are so many types. I’m learning how to create marketing pieces although I’m not on a marketing team. Sales support means I get to help our reps invite new advertisers into our space, and the best way to do that is with a cold call and a warm one-sheet showing the different options available to them. My sister asked for one of my pieces to hang on her fridge. So basically I am an artist. Or back in third grade. Can’t decide what she meant by it.

Investing gets me riled up. You want to talk about football please find anyone else to harass. You want to talk about stock strategy and mutual funds I can’t get enough. Probably because this is a world where I know nothing but the fact that I should know something. Money making money while you sit and go about your daily life? Yes sign me up thank you. My company also offers a 401 k which is this magical account that accumulates your own money and your company match, and then grows in whatever funds your portfolio manager decides to invest in. I’m drooling right now I should change the subject.

Our apartment has an in-home bar now. Which means my days of bartending are not yet over. Christmas wish list – a recipe book for cocktails (are you there @Santa, it’s me Mollie). All I really perfected in college were Vegas bombs and vodka lemonades, not that I’m complaining. Occasionally we’d try out a few new shots, although those nights generally ended with none of us remembering which ones were winners and which ones were trash, aka we had to try them all again the next night. Now of course we’re classing up our experiments with real glasses and real alcohol (bye Burnett’s) but the idea is the same. Less consumption and more enjoyment – ghost of college past can you believe that’s a thing.

While the new connections in this new city have been a bit of a slow process, I feel like I’m finally gaining some sort of foothold. Mostly by stealing my best friend’s friends and family. Her sister told me I’m going to be in her wedding I legitimately shed tears (maid of honor I think even, bye Vivi you can be guest book).

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Just booked a trip to Germany for March. Which, after my January cruise, is the most exciting part of my 2017 plans yet. I like my life. And I like my friend Kallie who I get to see for the first time in over a year. Party on.(PS look at how awesome her Euro life is right now. Let the jealousy sink in-)

And I like my family. Not to play off the last fun fact with Kallie, as these thoughts are supposed to be as disconnected and adhd as they are in my head, but I really do like them. It’s harder now to be far away from both my core and my Wisco sister, but we’re making it work. Maybe there’s even a family vacation in our future… And I don’t just mean the 10 times we’ll be watching the Griswolds celebrate the holidays on December 24th.

That’s all.

Real Job

Alternate title “More Money Does Not Mean More Problems And Whoever Said That Was Dumb”

I finally have a real life, salaried, benefitted, full-time position at my company! I am no longer just an intern and it feels super. Not only because I feel like I’m a real member of our company now, but also because I can officially afford to be in Chicago.

Which leads me to the fact that more money absolutely means less problems. I can get real lunch instead of eating rice cakes and peanut butter when I’m out of dollas. I can buy on-brand (?) cheese and toilet paper and bread. I don’t have to worry about paying rent with the whopping $13 in my bank account (how did I survive this summer).

Now, I am living comfortably (still not crazy rich but I’ll keep you updated), continuing to supplement my salary and my cuddle time with dog sitting every couple of weekends. And the best part is that I love what I’m doing so far.

My title is Business Development Rep – B2B. Which, to be honest, is a brand new role AKA there are still a lot of gray areas when it comes to my responsibilities. One of my favorite right now is being able to attend conferences. I’m currently sitting in sunny Orlando for a 3 day marketing conference, and I’m so excited for it to get underway.

While I don’t have a ton to report on the actual job so far, I did want to take a second and comment on the awesome women I work with. My department is like 85% women, and it’s so inspiring. My boss is a woman, her boss is a woman (and a Drake grad holla) – even my great grand-boss is a woman. Sure, like any company, there’s still a gender imbalance specifically when it comes to the executive board. Of course that will be remedied in a few years when I’m CEO. Obviously. Focusing on the positive though, I love being surrounded by powerful, driven women. They are the best role models I could’ve asked for starting out in my career, and I’m so excited to see what I can continue to learn from them.

More fun updates to come. Like maybe I’ll tell you about my terrible Bumble dates or my exciting times in Wrigleyville or my experiences on the train. That’s another post though.

 

 

Bye Evanston

The test run is over. Tonight I took my last lukewarm shower in my first big girl apartment. No, I haven’t sworn off hygiene just yet (although soap is expensive really). August 29th is my scheduled move out day for my summer sublease. Which is really quite convenient with my move in day for my real apartment being September 1st. Thanking God for my gracious best friend and her awesome fam, who are taking me in for 3 days until we begin the big move. Asking God why it is necessary for me to commute 2 hours each way the next couple days. He said he will get back to me.

This week is going to be tough (please see previous sentence), but so was the last week so I think I’m prepared. Last Sunday, my grandmother passed away. She’s been gone for 1 week. Although we weren’t very close, this was one of my first real losses. I was grateful to GGP for letting me take a few days to head home and be with my family. As sad as funerals are, this one let me see some of my favorite people. Of course, family events always bring out the drama gene. I am continually learning new things about our story, and generally those new things are things I didn’t need to know. As rough as this week was, with hours of driving and my crazy family and the loss of my grandma, overall I am so happy to have a family that loves me and supports me in all I do.

Speaking of family – I might have had family bonding overload this week! Kidding. It was awesome. I got to see my dad & step fam TWICE, plus my sister and her husband who I haven’t seen all summer. We all headed to Milwaukee (only a 1.5 hour drive for me) to catch a Brewers vs. Pirates game. Miller Park is GIGANTIC – it was such a fun time. Helped that the Pirates won. Afterward we played cards and talked politics at the hotel, which was actually great. I love to argue. Especially with people who make valid points (and possibly convince me to change my opinion on certain topics… although I would never admit that). I also love playing games, and joking around with people who really get me. Sometimes I forget how nice that is. This morning, we explored Milwaukee a little bit before my dad and fam headed home. Kim and Trev stayed, and we had lunch right on the river. I laughed so hard I almost cried. Until next time.

Back to my Evanston sign off – I’m more sad than I thought I’d be. I like change and new beginnings. It’s the endings I have a tough time with. This is the apartment where I first developed a hatred towards trumpet players who don’t own watches, where I was infested by gnats, where my lack of AC factored heavily into my decision to chop my hair, where I doubted my decision to move, where I patted myself on the back for being independent, where I broke a sweat washing dishes (see above AC comment), where I made one giant bag of frosted flakes last all summer, where my friends and I whined about our jobs and our hangovers (mom, KIDDING about the hangovers!), and where I confirmed that I have very mixed feelings about living alone. I’m ready for this next adventure – roommates in wrigley (lookout for that memoir). I can’t wait to come home from work to friends, and share clothes again, and spend nights in with other human beings. I won’t mention the nights out in too much detail, as my mother is already worried about the party scene in Wrigleyville. But I’m excited for those too.

Stay tuned for hopefully a very soon update on my job, and most likely many public apologies to my aforementioned roommates re: my cleaning habits.

Full Time Intern, Part Time Dog Walker

My resume is poppin’ right now. I won’t address my ongoing internship at this time, as I’m trying not to think about the abysmal amount of money in my bank account. Which I blame on my current salary and not me lack of spending self control. To give an example of my personal poverty level, last week after we signed our lease, my bank account had somewhere between 5 and 50 dollars (spoiler – it was $5.33).

>> High Level – I’ve learned a lot (such as phrases like “high level”), I love my department, and I am trying to be patient for a perm position.

My (second job? hobby?) right now is dog walking. I’ve been sitting for a little dog named Vito for 5 days now, and am writing this post from a stranger’s bed in Roger’s Park. I’ve been using an app called Rover to find gigs, and was lucky to stumble upon this one! One week with Vito, 3 walks a day, and I get some cuddles in.

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CONS of this line of work:

  • Somehow I forgot about the main event of dog walking. Which is the poop removal. I gag every time, which confirms my fears that I can never have children.
  • This dog is a freak. He burrows into my hair, grabs my hand when I don’t pay attention to him, and bites me every time I attach the leash. He’s 20 times more needy than me. At least I can say I don’t bite.
  • It’s actually such a time commitment. I have to wake up early enough to walk this monster, come straight home after work, and get up after 8 PM (the time of night when I generally glue myself to my bed) to walk him around the park in my pjs.

So Vito is going well. Although I just realized the $30 a day I’m getting is actually $24 because this app forces me to pay taxes. UGh.

Then, I got a message yesterday from a guy in Evanston asking if I could take his dog out 4 times this weekend. It was a semi sketchy thing, as I can’t imagine booking a dog sitter I’ve never met, a day before I go out of town. On top of that, I feel SO bad for this dog. Vito is getting so much love and affection from me and this pup is getting 4 visits over 3 days. I’d be more willing to hang out with this new dog (Penny) if she didn’t scratch the shit out of me when I walked in the door.

Which leads me to the actual booking – I made this man call me (to confirm he was a real, normal person) and we booked the job. As I approached the apartment, my handy paranoia kicked in. What if this guy was like, in the apartment. What if this was some sort of trap. What if I was definitely going to die, all because I don’t have the monetary freedom to turn down $70. So naturally, I called my mother, who while 6 hours away still provides some sort of comfort over the phone. At least she’d know why I died if my intuition was correct (for the record – my intuition is NEVER correct – I trust the wrong people and distrust the right ones, there must be a flip switched in my brain or something). By the time I got to the door I was literally terrified – there is no way anyone is as paranoid as me.

Long story short I hate Penny but at least she didn’t murder me. So could’ve been worse. She still pulled my arm out its socket multiple times, I enjoyed those moments so much.

Another fun tidbit to include with this post: at a Drake alumni networking event yesterday, our former student body present nearly died laughing when I told him my pre – tax salary. I wasn’t even mad, it actually is hilarious that I am surviving in this city on pennies. But I also kind of wanted to hit him. There’s still time for that I think.

How is it August already

The Des Moines > Chicago transplant is a work in process. I still refer to Des Moines as home (as in, “I got to go home last weekend and I’ve never been happier”).

July was good. Some good friends visited Chi City. Ash fit right in to my new little life. Laur had literally never seen a city this big. It was fun to show her public transportation. I missed them both a lot.

I learned how to grocery shop… Although chips and queso always sneak their way into my basket. It helps that I have to carry my groceries three blocks from my parking garage, and then drag them up 2 flights of stairs. So the fact that I can only comfortably carry 15 lbs at  a time naturally limits my queso consumption.

I’ve been working out every day, making up for the past 4 years of broken New Years’ resolutions. I finally have time since, thus far, my social life is slacking. Remind me how I managed to make friends these past 22 years?

I traveled to Houston for work, and Dallas to visit friends. Friends trapped in this fantasy world where responsibilities can be ignored and alcohol should be consumed as frequently as possible. Physically, they’ve moved on from college, but mentally it’s like they’re in denial. As interesting as my move to Chicago has been, at the very least I can say that I’ve moved on. From bad friends and care free living, to the best people I know and so much responsibility I could vomit.

Speaking of adult life (and vomit)… Today I woke up and made myself a hearty breakfast. That is, 1 piece of leftover pizza and 1 handful of frosted flakes. I went to the fridge to grab the milk carton (because who needs cups when you live alone), unscrewed the cap, and took a big swig of curdled nastiness. I will never trust the “use by” date again. I still had 2 curdle free days left and I sort of feel like I’ve been robbed.

Getting used to cold showers and burnt out light bulbs. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I think you’re allowed to be cheesy when you’re poor.

Things that make me a real (if also maybe sort of disfunctional) adult

Where do I start…

Yesterday I didn’t have enough quarters to both wash and dry my laundry. But I also didn’t have any clean towels. Catch 22 I think they call it. So I washed my things and made make-shift clothes lines out of shelves and other objects in my apartment.

I found $0.35 on the washing machine. So technically the whole deal only cost me $0.65. Thrifty.

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Speaking of money. I have a negative amount right now basically. I only got one paycheck for the month of June. So that covered rent, parking, and half of my metra pass. City livin.

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Speaking of money. This is what really makes you an adult I think, when all your stories are about money. Saturday night we went out in a swanky part of town. I discovered the hard way that $11 was the average cost of a whiskey/diet. Had to decide then if I was going to turn on the charm or become the babysitter for my non-intern friends. (They could afford a few $11 drinks.) Turns out the charm worked! Or maybe it was the lie… I mean it could’ve been my 21st birthday, they’ll never know the real truth.

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Speaking of money. Some rich SOB thought that making it rain in the club would make him look cool. I thought it was very cool when I went home with 3 extra dollars in my pocket. I thought it was strange when people walked right by the dolla dolla bills on the ground like they were worthless. That was 1.5 loads of laundry I earned just from being alert to the smell of nearby money up for grabs. It was like those people on gameshows in the money booth. A little desperate and sad, but they walked away with money, uk? Now I understand them.

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Slowly I’m learning to deal with lukewarm showers. It’s way easier than developing any kind of patience while the water warms up. Plus I don’t like to waste that much water, seems irresponsible.

Today my shower involved stepping out into a crunchy, air dried towel.

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I bought ear plugs. Because a new neighbor moved in upstairs. And he likes to do jumping jacks and move furniture when he gets home at 11 pm. And he weighs 500 pounds. He’s not all to blame for my adult onset insomnia. It also may have something to do with the sirens & motorcycles & delivery trucks outside my window at all times of the night. The ear plugs are effing magic.

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I got my first adult haircut. My best friend told me it would make me look more mature, professional. The first thing I heard after it was chopped was “you look so much younger!” Since then, I’ve heard the words cute and adorable, but never mature. You win some you lose some. On the bright side I’m going to save so much money on shampoo.

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I went to the grocery store and bought things based on price per ounce rather than brand or quality (unnecessary factors now). I can eat Philadelphia cream cheese again when I get a real job. Kind of a good motivator.

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I had a lean cuisine for lunch.

 

 

Chile v Chicago

My two and a half month stint as an unpaid intern at Principal in Santiago was 110% different than my current internship at GGP in Chicago, both inside and outside of the office.

The language is a big change. Because I know it here. This time around, when my boss asked me my age on my first day, I had full control of the language I was using to respond (no longer “diez y uno” years old. please note that is not a real Spanish word, although it most closely resembles the English word “11”). Additionally, now when I look blankly at a store clerk, it’s not because I didn’t understand them but rather I was not listening. Everything is back to normal.

The commute is one billion percent better. Instead of squeezing sardine style onto a subway full of strangers (that alliteration was actually unintended I swear), here I get to sit down on a cushioned seat and read books. How lame that I’m legitimately smiling as I write that. I love to read. I am the dictionary definition of a nerd. I also get to commute in the sunlight. Last year in Chile, it was winter, and I saw the sun for 1 hour a day over lunch. Pretty sure I sleep-walked to work. The only downfall of this year’s commute is the bridge I have to cross. The scariest bridge I’ve ever encountered. My fists stay clenched in fear, brow furrowed to create those envy inducing worry lines women in their 40s rave about. Did I mention bridges are a top 5 fear of mine, and that this one shakes when cars drive on it?

Laundry was easier last year. It was in our apartment. We hung everything to dry on an indoor clothesline. Now my laundry is done in a wet, smelly basement. & it costs money. The two apartments themselves may actually be comparable in size. Currently I’m in a giant studio, although I really only need space for my bed. The desk is unrealistic. Week days after work I generally just crawl into bed, line up my computer to catch any type of wifi streaming in, and lock into a great night of Breaking Bad or The Office. It’s great.

The biggest difference in these two experiences may be the fact that I live alone this year. How awesome to be able to look terrible all night and no one cares, or to leave the dishes for tomorrow and no one cares, or to take a long shower and no one cares. The sad part of this situation is that there is no one there to care. Not in a sad way. But my roommates last year were SO COOL. My big brothers, Felipe & Ignacio, were the coolest couple. They were both artists, had interesting friends, loved practicing English and helping me with my Spanish. They left me alone when I wanted to watch Desperate Housewives in my room, and were all in when I wanted to have wine night with them in the living room. They didn’t have a tv, so we’d watch hours of Madonna music videos and documentaries about sloths and “Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas. It was the most interesting living situation I’ve ever had. The conversations I had with them I will never be able to replicate ever. About Chilean customs, about poverty & old money, about 90s American pop culture. I miss it.

The jobs themselves are pretty different too. I haven’t figured out this one quite yet. But I can tell you that it is paid and that pay day is tomorrow and that this office has its own gym and free coffee. So far, GGP//Chicago is winning this faceoff. Although I love Chile more than any other foreign country and that won’t change ever.

New is good

Packing up my things was nothing new. I condensed and smushed and chose wisely the things I’d like to take with me to Chicago. My oversized Des Moines Public Schools sweatshirt and my Clueless DVD made the cut.

Pulling out of my driveway and not knowing exactly when I’d be back was very new. Everything has been so temporary until now. Although I left the majority of my things at home(?), I could still feel the weight of the situation as I drove away from the only house I’ve ever known.

Driving five and a half hours was not new. The half hour of solid tears was.

Moving boxes into my Clark Street Studio was new. Luckily I had my best friend to help me haul. And her dad to doubt my intelligence when I lost my keys 60 seconds after receiving them.

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I forgot silverware and a razor and hand towels. But that wasn’t a huge shock to me and I’m working through it.

I bought a vegan cream cheese alternative. Because I hate Whole Foods with all my heart. Admittedly, it’s not terrible.

I took a walk today to the lake. In order to feel like I got some sort of exercise. I brought a book but I mostly just watched the waves and reflected on having a total of 2 friends in this entire state. That’s new.

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My wifi only works in certain places in my apartment. I’m thinking of marking these areas off with tape so I never forget, and don’t have to deal with The Office freezing up on me.

Speaking of offices, I like mine. It’s a corner cube with a window view. They threw me right into projects and tasks. I’ve met a lot of new people. They curse more than I do, and I want to impress them. Not with my cursing, hopefully with my hard work ethic and commitment to excellence. Maybe with some cursing mixed in there… I mentioned my love of pork products today and so I’m nervous they have already classified me as a cow tipping, rodeo loving Iowan.

I’m entering a new stage of my life and it feels like when you walk into a room at a party and you don’t know anyone there. You’re quiet and polite because you don’t know what this room will be like but you want to get involved in the conversation, maybe share a laugh. You just need one person to say “Sorry who tf are you?” and you can begin to charm them with your mean sarcasm and witty comebacks. In this analogy, the room is an entire city. And in this city, everyone is way too busy to worry about who tf I am.

I’m happy that I’m not sad about my lack of friends. Just curious to see if new friends will fall from the sky or if I’ll actually have to make some sort of effort. Hoping for the first, dreading the second. Enjoying the comfort of my subleased bed.

Two of my favorite things: all you can eat soup and an open bar

Last weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to compete in the Drake/Creighton Murphy Cup. This is an event where each school picks 12 students, we pair up into 2 Bulldogs 2 Bluejays, and we work on a real life company to create a marketing plan addressing a problem they’re experiencing. The event has been going on for three years now, and is funded by this neat guy Chris Murphy who has connections with both schools and wanted to see them collaborate on something rather than the usual competition we see. If you were wondering, Drake and Creighton compete, but as I chatted with our Creighton counterparts this weekend we couldn’t really decide why. Like in sports I think Creighton usually wins. I think we settled on academics. Which of course Drake usually wins…

The event this year was working with Yahoo! on a marketing plan for Yahoo! Fantasy Sports as it relates to 18-24 year olds. It was such a unique thing to be able to work with a real life company to solve a real life problem. It wasn’t just a case study that we read through or a NY Times article, it was a living, breathing problem that required hands on solutions. We spent all of Friday at Yahoo!’s Omaha office, where the candy and coffee flow freely, and there’s a vending machine for apple products. We split into our groups and headed to our private conference rooms to begin development on our plans. Our group spent a lot of time on market research and segmentation during this time and really developed a strong base to build our plan around. Then we had lunch. It was an unending supply of white chicken chili, served in a bread bowl. There were no judgy looks as I approached for round 3, and their fridges were stocked with anything from sparkling water to Diet Coke. It was incredible. Then, back to work, our team began to develop our concrete plan to present for our mid-day check-in with the Yahoo! team. We finished our day at like 4:30, and headed to a Creighton baseball game.

The opening dinner on Thursday night, the baseball game, and the closing awards dinner all had  something very special in common. No, not the nice people and cool vibes. The open bar. I have never experienced an open bar in my entire life, except during my catering days where I was always on the serving side rather than the enjoying side. This was not the highlight of my trip although it did make the title of this post, but it was so interesting to see this at a university, where as at Drake we would never even consider alcohol at a student event. Those Jesuits know how to have fun. But #CreightonCantParty.

Our last day we put the finishing touches on our presentations. My pride and joy was the slideshow I got to put together for our team. I used a new platform that I had never heard of before and it was so exciting. That’s how you know I’m a marketer- powerpoints really get me going. Our project was due that afternoon, and while we waited to present, our kind Creighton counterparts gave us a tour of campus. Creighton is similar to Drake in a lot of ways but their campuses are very different I discovered. Before our presentation we bonded over our shared nerves, and one of my teammates gave me a tip- when you’re up there in front of everyone, pretend you’re breathing through tiny pin points in your feet, all the way up your body to the exhale. It worked like a charm for her but I almost suffocated I think. She was honestly one of the best presenters I’ve seen at our age and I was so glad to have her on our team!

Following our presentation we had our awards ceremony, where everyone was recognized for a job well done and I did not win a single thing. But I did gain something this weekend – new friends, a new outlook on Yahoo!, and a new appreciation for free food. I’m so glad this event exists and so happy to have been chosen to compete. Go Bulldogs!

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Photo Courtesy of Bre @ Yahoo!