You might be a big fish in a little pond, Doesn’t mean you’ve won. ‘Cause along may come a bigger one & you’ll be LOST*
It’s been a couple months since I’ve even attempted to blog so here’s a catch up of life since graduation (aka, the last year or so):
I moved into the city shortly after graduation and I completely fell in love with Lincoln Park, Chicago, and my proximity to Lake Michigan and the chance to drive along Lake Shore Drive every day. This city just makes me smile whenever I think about it and I’m not entirely sure how I’ll be able to leave it, if I ever do. I can’t explain my love for the city, it just feels like home to me, almost as much as California does. And really, I think a large part of it is the friendships I have made here. I have an incredible group of friends and I can’t wait for all of us to finally be in the same city again.
July 2009 – Jan 2010
I worked at Apple (big surprise) during this time period. I finally got the chance for my first NSO; opened the Main Place (Naperville, IL) location on August 15, 2009. It was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had in my Apple career thus far. As close as I am with some of my old managers, I’ve never felt like we got the chance to know our management team and our team as a whole as much as through NSO. I don’t think any of us can ever forget this-especially for me, as it is my first (and only) NSO. Main Place is like my baby and I’m so amazed that it’s already been a year since we opened!
Jan 2010 – Present
Late in 2009, I got recruited by Gilly Hicks (Abercrombie & Fitch) for their manager-in-training program. Up until that point, I had really never considered leaving Apple. And looking back, it was a huge leap of faith for me to take-kinda like moving to Illinois in the first place. Apple was all I ever I would work for, but I knew I couldn’t give this opportunity up.
And I really do love my job. A lot of people go into this company probably for the wrong reasons, but I love retail; always have. Choosing visuals as my first position was hard. Not in that I didn’t want it, it was my first choice, but I also knew how challenging it could be. In the end, it was a lot harder than I even imagined because you really do need to inspire and motivate your staff to do their best for you, and for the company.
I started off at a different store, but was able to transfer (mainly because the commute was really starting to drain me-that and school). But I feel like the move has helped me in so many more ways. When you first start out, you don’t know what your management style will be, and I think the associates do kinda take advantage of that, probably not even because they mean to, it just happens. But when I transferred, I knew right off the bat what tone I wanted to set with my pti and with my models. And I think that really shows in how much more smoothly updates are run now.
However, I’m feeling so incredibly lost in/at work right now though. I don’t really feel like visuals is my role anymore because I’ve had to teach someone else the role and that meant really giving it up. It makes me feel like I don’t have a purpose at this moment in time. It’s a weird feeling because you don’t feel like you’re really helping out the store, even if you are. I don’t think it’s uncommon as you transition to your next role to feel some anxiety about it, but I just kinda wish I knew what my next role will even be. I guess I’ll find out this week!
I just really needed to LEAVE this weekend. So I went up to Milwaukee to see Albert ’cause he just moved in and started med school at MCW (soo excited for him!) and so I got to hang out with him, and guess who else was actually in town? Kelvin, Matt, Kyla! Crazy, right? And then, they actually ended up staying at my place on Saturday and I haven’t had a late night in a while (doesn’t help that most of my closest Chicago friends have been out of city/state for the past couple of weeks now!) and it was amazing to hang out with people from home, or maybe to just hang out with friends in general. Whatever it was, they made their roadtrip seem like so much fun that I ended up hopping on a plane and meeting them in NYC. Crazy idea, but I think I really needed this time to get away from the City just for a day or two. I stayed at my sister’s place, hung out with her for most of the day before getting dinner with her, Carl, Kelvin, Matt, Kyla, Zach. And then we went out for a lil bit of a low key night before Carl and I met up with Viv in KTown for pho (don’t ask, haha). It felt great to catch up with a lot of old friends. So I’m also super excited for Mike to finally come home next week and work from home and hopefully I get to go to SF for at least the Giant’s game and see the parents and everyone still in the Bay.
I don’t regret leaving Apple, as much as I miss it every single day. (It doesn’t help that my new Gilly store is RIGHT across from Apple!). But what can you do?
*Coldplay – “Lost?”
These past few weeks have been so crazy and had so many ups and downs. But I don’t think I would take one moment of that back. And the craziest part out of all this is that I think I’ve finally decided that I do want to stay in Chicago for a couple years; that I’m just not ready to move out of Chicago yet. The thought about staying was triggered by something small that someone said. It struck me, the way that they so definitely said I was leaving in June. I paused and just knew it wasn’t time for me to leave yet.
I got to facilitate my first hands-on workshop today; and it was TOUGH. I’ve done mock OneToOne, but never a workshop and while in concept, it is very similar to a OneToOne, it’s so much tougher because you have a group of people-all at different levels of proficiency. But it was so amazing to be teaching-as corny as that sounds.
*Leighton Meester – “Somebody to Love”
For all the surprises the L decided to throw my way on my adventure to Midway, it was surprisingly one of my most enjoyable flights to date. Smooth ride. Smooth landing. Bliss.
I got my haircut at Mitri today by Tony, and let me tell you. I have NEVER. EVER. been this pleased with my cut, ever. I got my bangs back AND I got an edgier layer on the bottom (without anymore split ends!) LOVES IT. $50 price tag and all.
How interesting wold it have been if I had kept this [written journal] from Freshman year… and seeing how far I’ve come from then. I used to be so sure that I’d win the bet, yeah. Not so sure anymore. I’m really not even sure if I won’t lose by the end of this year or not.
Hanging out in Chicago kinda makes me really miss the city. Don’t get me wrong, I’m in LOVE with Northern California, and I’ll always feel SO at home here, but Chicago has SO much character that I just want to explore it like I’ve explored San Francisco by now.
I was also looking at my New Year’s Resolutions and I’m really not doing so hot on them so far. I’ve got ONE done, and I’m sure some will never happen.
I’m going to see the LOVES OF MY LIFE tomorrow and I’m hella excited!
OMG. O-HI-O was the most amazing experience of my life. Like I knew going into the roadtrip that it’d be one for the ages-because they are an amazing football school. But I never expected THIS. US, beating the #1 team in the nation. It was so surreal that I get chills still every time that I watch the highlights for the game and the fact that the Illini are plastered all over the news. We’re finally getting SOME legit recognition. It’s still hard to get it though ’cause we’re such a young program. We’ve never been a HUGE football school, even though our football team tends to do better than our basketball team. Sad really, especially with all the renovation that Memorial Stadium is seeing these days. I’m really glad now that I’m staying through the weekend for the Northwestern game ’cause it’ll be so worth it. I mean, it’s the very last home game of the season, which makes it that much sweeter. AND THEN, it’ll be on to Florida from there. I CAN’T WAIT FOR NEW YEARS! And maybe I’ll even get a kiss in this year ;). Haha, just kidding. YAY! :) SUPER SUPER SUPER-excited! :) :) :) Oh, what an amazing Saturday it was!
*Yellowcard – Lights And Sounds
This weekend was definitely a disappointment in terms of college football. I knew that Cal couldn’t possibly stay undefeated until we had to play USC. Basically just waiting for the ball to drop. It was just unfortunate that it had to once again be against UCLA…at the Rose Bowl (on the irony of that!) Bye bye Rose Bowl berth! And then we lost to Michigan which was the real punch in the stomach for an already shifty game.
However! At least Steele came down from Chi-Town and there was lots of fun all around Campustown.
I’m going home in less than a month! :) I do want to work on black friday since I don’t care much about shopping on that day. Anyway, there was a kid at JKaye’s party who really wanted to play with my iPhone. As if saying no wasn’t enough, he kept trying to drag me away from my friends to bother me some more about it (more like begging actually). Just ask nicely? Jerk.
*Jimmy Eat World – Open Bar Reception
So I really have not blogged in a super-long time here (sorry!). This year has definitely been a lot busier than i thought it would be. In between all the schoolwork, Illini Pride events (’cause I actually go to most, if not all the events now), 13 hours of work a week, it doesn’t leave much time for anything else. And it’s going to just become tougher (homecoming float building, barndance, extra online courses to fulfill my dual degree requirements, and the overlap of fall and winter sports…) Yeah. Sounds exciting doesn’t it?
I’ve been REALLY excited about football season though! We were finally ranked / receiving votes so it’s been an amazing season. With one more win, we will be bowl-bound! But not to get ahead of myself here, no matter what, NOBODY thought we would even be 5-2 at this point in the season. Week 8 is just around the corner now so I can’t wait for Michigan and UCLA! (Cal was SO close to #1, but hey! at least the Rose Bowl is still looking great for my favorite golden bears!) Sadly though, basketball season is starting up which I hate ’cause that always means it’s the end of the football season. And it’s nearing the end of baseball season. Cubs have done extremely well and Giants are finally rid of Bonds next season :) Some one take me to Wrigley and Fenway!
Enough about sports…
The semester is halfway done with and my grades aren’t exactly where I want them to be. But I’ve been learning to study more lately so I should be able to have something decent by the end of the semester (hopefully…if I wanna keep my James Scholar Honors status. haha).
*Jimmy Eat World – Chase This Light
I really should post more in this, but I don’t end up getting any sort of inspiration for doing so anymore. I think it is because the layout isn’t mine. Hence, I don’t feel like this domain/blog is mine. That would explain why it automatically directs to my photolog right now. And of course, it’s not updated at all anymore either because I don’t even have my camera with me here in SoCal (I know, sad, right?)
I’m not really sure what I want to say about this past year. It’s been really hectic and complicated (I guess, about the latter). But all in all, it’s been pretty awesome. I’ve really learned to love Illinois and I’m really excited to start my second half of college (kinda scary though that it’s already been two years). And this summer has already been really crazy ’cause a lot of my friends are graduating and whatnot, so it’s kinda like their last hurrah before the year is over and they have to move on with their lives.
I guess sometimes I’m concerned about my future. Like there’s the ever-elusive pastry-shop dream. But then again, who knows if that will ever surface. I mean, hopefully, yes. But I don’t even know if I will end up back in the bay or even in LA. It would be my hopes to, but it’s not like they actively recruit at UIUC for jobs back in CA. My grades aren’t exactly up to standards anymore either (sad, but true. oh well, it’s not like I regret the lifestyle I lead this past semester). Truth is, I haven’t had TOO much fun the first three semesters because I was afraid I wouldn’t get into the College of Business. And now, all that has kinda caught up with me. I’m scared of what the future holds, but at the same time, I can’t wait to graduate so I can get closer to my real dream job.
So another question…why am I not sleeping at 4:30am?! haha. Well, I basically couldn’t sleep ’cause I’m soo excited to finally go back to UCLA. Even if I just chill there, it’d be still so much more fun there knowing that my friends and sister are there. And I get to see / lunch with Kim tomorrow, so that should be exciting! :)