Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.

Monday, March 31, 2008

All is not lost

The second half of my vacation was much better than the first. I was able to spend time with my mom and my dad (separately) and the uncles I really like. Despite the falling-down buildings and closing stores, the country there is beautiful...all rolling green hills and blossoming trees and daffodils. And it seems that there are some with ambition still in that part of the dad has enough ambition and dreams for three people, and my uncle, age 50 or so, recently moved out of his parents' house and has a very nice townhouse near where he works. He's clearly happy and is aiming for at least slightly bigger and better things.

On Saturday, I got to do one of my favorite things in the world...see for yourself:

That's me on "Big-un". My dad has a knack for naming...he has a dog named "Pale face" and another named "Patch". Other dogs have been "Blue", "Red", and "Speck". Big-un is a Rocky Mountain Horse. They are a beautiful breed, and their gate is SO smooth. That smoothness, however, did not prevent me from getting a little saddle sore!

It was a beautiful day- the best we had while I was there. My dad and I went out for about 1 1/2 hours and rode over some of those gorgeous rolling hills. It was relaxing and made me remember one of the things I love most about "back home". I wish I had taken my camera with me on the ride so I could share just how pretty the landscape is.

I'm glad to report that my "non-vacation" turned into a good visit after all. I won't be heading back soon, but at least I'm open to going back!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The non-vacation

Visiting family is supposed to be fun, right? Not a chore? Well, for me, it's a chore. At least for 90*% of my family. I like spending time with my mom, and my stepdad's family, my dad, and a couple of my cousins. I dread seeing my aunts and uncles and other grandparents "back home". I used to love spending time with them, but recently, I've noticed that while time has progressed and they've gotten older, they haven't done anything. Their lives haven't improved. They are in the exact same place they were when I was visiting for the summers in middle school and high school. Some are worse off than before. And none of them are even trying to make it better.

It isn't just my family, either. It's the whole area. I'm blogging to you right now using dial-up internet, and it's a rarity that my grandparents even have that. Of course, the people on welfare living in trailers or low-income apartments, driving Cadillacs, have high-speed internet, and run drug rings from their back yards. The whole area is depressing, and depressed. Lots of "closed" signs, and falling-down houses, barns, trailers, and shops. It's very sad.

This so-called vacation is sucking the life out of me, and for the first time in my life, I can't wait to leave. Leave what used to be "home" and is now just another dinky little town in the middle of nowhere. Maybe once my mom and stepdad build their new house, I can come here and not feel so badly. Maybe their home will be my haven and I can vacation here. Maybe having my husband with me would make it easier.

I can hope, right?


Friday, March 21, 2008

The end of an era

Today was my last day at DAC. I have been there since 1 week after my college graduation - nearly 5 years! My manager, J, pointed out at my "farewell lunch" today that I had been there longer than any of the people who came out to wish me well (or to eat some darn good sushi...either way, they were there!). There's a lot that I could reminisce about, but surprisingly, I'm not really in the reminiscent mood. I'm happy it's a weekend, I'm looking forward to visiting my family next week, and mostly I'm excited about my new job! I promise I'll blog about something other than work at some point. Really, I will. It might be a while though, so bear with me...or wait a few weeks and check back to see if I've settled in and can think (and therefore write) about other things.

To any DAC-ers that are reading...keep in touch! I still exist, and I still think you guys rock. And, as "Dr. No" used to remind us guys will probably all be millionaires in the next 10 years. Of course, I haven't heard him say that recently, so maybe your financial outlook isn't so hot, but regardless, I think you guys are gonna make some really great waves. Cheers!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What's in a name?

I have a VERY common name for women my age-ish. To the point that at one doc's office, there are 14 of us with the same first AND last name. 14!!! There are two at my hair dresser's (and apparently, we're on the same hair cutting cycle). My given name is Jennifer. I go by Jenni. Until 4th grade it was 'Jenny' but I wanted to be different, so my mom suggested 'Jenni' which is quite logical - just drop the 'fer'. I liked it, we changed it, and my teacher told me I spelled my name wrong.

I digress.

Jenni is fine, but I don't love it. It seems to be a bit childish with the "ee" sound at the end. In 5th grade (when I moved to Germany) I tried to start going by Jennifer, but kept forgetting and introducing myself as Jenni. Now that I'm starting a new job, I thought about going by 'Jen', but alas, I found this job through a friend who introduced me as 'Jenni'. It's hard to get past that first introduction and I hate constantly correcting people, so I'll be 'Jenni' through this stage of my life, too. (Plus, I'm not sure I would remember to introduce myself as, or respond to, 'Jen').

Growing up, I always thought I'd like to be Samantha (Sam for short...remember "Who's the Boss"? Sam was cool.). Now, I think I'd be happy with something, anything, more mature than "Jenni".

Know this - should I have children, girls particularly, they will have a much less common name than "Jennifer" was in the late '70s/early '80s. It's too bad kids don't get to choose their own names after a certain age. Of course, then we might end up with a lot of "Frankensteins". Maybe that's not such a good idea, after all.

Monday, March 17, 2008

It's official!

I've accepted an offer with the "second" company listed in my last post - I'll be working with a BI marketing team, and couldn't be more excited!! Hooray!! Happy hour on Wednesday - post a comment if you want details! :)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

A whole new world

My blog title talks about change, and the beginning of this blog comes at a time of great (hardly infinitesimal!) change for me. I am in the process of not only finding a new job, but really starting a new career. For 5 years, since the week after I graduated college, I've worked for the same company. I was in a technical role there, and wound up doing marketing for the past year. I LOVED my job last year. It was fabulous. But, then, budgets got trimmed and I wasn't able to do marketing anymore.

So, I started looking for a new position, and have found a couple of good ones. One is with the American Diabetes Association doing relationship management - i.e. ensuring that current companies that donate to the ADA are happy and continue to want to donate. This job is enticing because it is with the ADA, and I am passionate about their cause. The job sounds interesting, the people are nice, and the benefits are actually quite good. The other position is with a business intelligence company doing traditional marketing stuff where I can actually use my Masters degree (who knew that was an option!?). The company is closer to home, the people are great, and the job description checks off every box on my "wish list" for a new position. Assuming we can come to an agreement regarding salary (and I'm confident we can), I will take the second job. I'll start on 3/31 and am overjoyed at the thought.

Between now and then I'll take a few days and visit with my family in Kentucky who I haven't seen in what feels like ages, but is actually about a year and a half. I'm looking forward to my trip, and to this new adventure I'm about to begin.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Hello, World!

Hi! My name is Jenni, and I'm a 20-something woman living in the DC area with my husband and two dogs. I've been considering blogging for quite some time now, and have finally made the leap at the encouragement of Chris. Many of my friends to whom I've blathered about this blog have asked me what it is going to be "about". My answer is always "I'm not sure yet...we'll see." I know about and/or am interested in many things, and any, all, or none of them may appear in future posts. These interests include the following (in no particular order):

- dogs
- philosophy
- diabetes
- horses
- math
- "the environment"
- photography

It is no coincidence that my blog debuts on March 14. The nerds'll know why.

P.S. - Happy Anniversary Ken & Amanda - may your nerdiness continue to bond you together ;).